Eleven Point Plan for Successful Blogging

successful blogging

Perth bloggers meeting up to support and encourage each other at Kings Park.

I can’t believe it’s Bloggie Friday again. How fast the weeks fly by. I’ve been working on this post for a while after an inspiring chat with my hubby, He Himself, and finally, in the nick of time (don’t you love a deadline?) it all came together last night.

Anyway.

He Himself,  came home from work the other day and was talking about a 6 point plan he had put together for improving business.

He explained that if you could improve on the six areas he was talking about, then it almost guarantees success – whatever business you’re in.

So I challenged myself to think  around these points in similar terms for blogging, and came up with the following ideas.

But I got to eleven points – I’m not sure if that’s good or bad! In no particular order, here they are.

Plan for Successful Blogging

1. Align & Engage with your peers:

We can’t blog in isolation. It’s important to communicate openly, honestly, positively and authentically with our blogging peers. On the question of commenting on their blog posts – don’t be an acolyte or just offer fluffy praise, always provide positive feedback and constructive comments.

2. Understand that you are on a journey and enjoy the ride

Blogging isn’t a race to be won, but it’s a journey that will keep on revealing new learning, new opportunities and new people to chat or engage with. It’s not something that can be learnt and ticked off in six months, it’s not a destination. If you’re serious about it, then you’re in for the long haul so enjoy every twist, turn, snake or ladder. That’s what successful blogging is all about.

3. Be passionate about your blog

Sarah Wilson said: “The world doesn’t like wobbliness.” Neither do your readers. If you are half hearted about your blog it will show. On the other hand, passion will shine through on your blog in many not so obvious ways; from the way you write, to the way it’s designed, to the way you engage with readers, and how often you post.

If you don’t love your blog, it won’t love you.

As Darren Rowse has said: “Blog from the heart but be smart.”

4. Create team spirit with other bloggers.

We are all in this together, we are all part of this amazing new world of the blogosphere and we are all working towards the same overall objectives – to be helpful, interesting, inspiring or entertaining in our own way.

As Kelly Exeter said on her Manifesto for Bloggers: “Remember things aren’t always as they seem, so don’t compare and covet.” I think that’s so true – it’s easy for the little green monster to appear at the back of our mind when we see other bloggers being really successful – but they too have had problems to overcome – so congratulate and encourage and be part of the blogging team. It will all come back to you in the end.

5. Give continuous feedback and recognition.

Bloggers often ‘go’ to work in their pyjamas, and might not speak to another soul all day, except online. There are no Friday afternoon office drinks, or ‘all expenses paid’ training conferences in other cities, or lunches out with colleagues. It can be a lonely life this blogging life, so providing continuous feedback and recognition to each other is important.

6. Take on leadership roles in the blogosphere.

Bloggers are accountable for what they write, and how they conduct themselves on the internet and we can all choose how we want to be perceived. Why not become an internet champion? Perhaps support a good cause or become a blogging buddie to somebody new, and in doing so challenge and help grow someone else’s goals and ambitions.

Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse from ProBlogger supports different charities and takes on many leadership roles

7. Develop Client Relationships with Brands.

If you are monetizing your blog via working with brands then you need to stay close and be highly responsive to your clients’ focus.   Focus on understanding the clients business and challenges and always deliver, deliver, deliver – never let a client down and provide value for money – always go the extra mile and exceed expectations.

8. Collaborate with other people.

You, as a blogger, are responsible for putting a smile on your readers faces but you don’t need to do all of the technical work yourself.  So mobilise the capabilities and capacities of other people with the skills you don’t have to meet your blogging needs. If you can’t yet afford to pay someone, then consider bartering skills.

9. Diversify.

Diversification is a key success driver for bloggers.  Consider slowly increasing your  revenue streams to ‘future proof’ your blog by making it more resilient in changes in the blogosphere and in fluctuating markets.  This is how Darren Rowse diversifies his Income Streams.

10. Identify who you want to work with.

If you’re serious about working with brands then learn about their businesses –  find out who the decision makers are – look for opportunities to do work with them.

11.Win New Work.

Maintaining adequate work-in-hand is a constant challenge for anyone, let alone bloggers. Make sure you are competitive and have a great Media Kit and Advertising Rate Card prepared. To win new work you need to seek out, track and pursue new opportunities – “think outside of the box”.  And why not do everything possible to be involved in major regional projects?

Bonus Tips

  • Legalities – Set up your disclaimer, disclosure and conditions – talk to a lawyer if necessary. Or take a look Here.
  • If you’re serious about blogging, then set your blog up right from the start. Switching platforms once you’re established is often tricky.
  • Network constantly
  • Guest blog as often as you can
  • Monetise slowly
  • Build your tribe
  • Be interesting
  • Spread the love – love don’t loathe
  • Talk don’t troll
  • Give, give, give – roll it forward all the time

Over to you ZigaZag Readers – Do you have anything to add?

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Comments

  1. Nice post, ziga!

  2. Glad you liked it!

  3. Ash says:

    Thank you for those interesting points.

    I really like the point about enjoying blogging as a journey and staying in it for the long haul.

    Also really like the points about collaboration and taking a leadership role in the blogosphere.

    How long have you been blogging for?

  4. Thank you Ash. It is important isn’t it? Thinking beyond the box of just sitting and creating content, getting out there into the wider world and then sticking at the whole thing. I’ve been blogging for just over 3 years – and a freelance writer for quite a few more – but I love blogging the best ;)

  5. Ash says:

    Hi Joanna.

    Thanks for the prompt reply. Yes thinking outside the box (of content creation) is a bit of a challenge particularly for someone as new as me to the space.

    I’ve only been blogging for a month. I love it but I’m not sure I will ever be able to pay the bills with blogging (or writing)

    I have a background in financial services (worked in the corporate world for 15 years) and while I can’t imagine ever being happy in the corporate world, the financial upside makes it hard to follow my bliss as a blogger

    I would welcome any ideas or suggestions you may have for me. Is it easy to earn money as a writer? That’s probably a very naive question isn’t it? :-)

  6. yogesh pant says:

    being interactive to the readers and maintaining passion towards the blogging is very essential. Many bloggers do write a good quality content but fail to give a good feedback to the readers. The habit should be made to interact. Nice article!
    yogesh pant recently posted..Google page rank updateMy Profile

  7. Thanks Yogesh, yes it’s important to provide feedback and interact, especially if readers ask questions, I think.

  8. Not naive. One that many people ask. Ash I shall answer your question in more depth on Monday.

  9. lots of great points and tips Jo and food for thought. I guess the first thing to decide is whether “your” blog is something just for yourself, to be creative, to share, or to make money – and how much time you want or can to put into it. To make money takes a lot of time I think. And then perhaps the blog becomes something else.
    As always I love your writing Jo – you certainly put a lot of time and effort into being engaging and attracting and keeping readers.
    Thanks Jo.
    Life Images by Jill recently posted..Paperbark cathedral – Leschenault Estuary, Australiand, Western AustraliaMy Profile

  10. Well said, Jill. If you are blogging to make money you need to treat your blog as a business, and then it ceases to be a hobby or something you can turn to when the muse strikes, or just in moments of inspired creativity. Thanks for your kind words, Jill.

  11. Hello Ash, to answer your question. Is it easy to earn money as a writer? My immediate reaction is, “No!”. It’s easier to make money if you are famous and you write, rather than if you write for a living and (perhaps or hopefully) become famous! In my humble opinion, making money as a writer is hard and as a profession it’s undervalued – even full time journalists will probably tell you that they are underpaid for the hours they put in. I think we write because it’s something we can’t bear not to do. It’s an itch that needs to be scratched. If you want to make money as a freelance writer then you need to diversify – write for print publications, write for the internet, build a following with your blog and use that as a platform to get other paid writing work. There is a lot of competition and while nearly everyone ‘thinks’ they can ‘write’, not many can call themselves writers or actually do it well. If you want to “follow your bliss” as a blogger, I’d say keep at it, but don’t give up your day job until you’ve built up your blog and have a substantial following, and not until you’ve also built up some reliable writing networks that will pay for your words – magazine or newspaper editors, companies that might use you for copywriting purposes, potential advertisers for your blog, affiliate schemes for your blog, etc. Multiple small streams of income are important when you’re writing for a living, because when one dries up, it takes time to find another. I wish you every success, Ash and look forward to hear about your progress.

  12. Hi Jo, As my blogging guru, I’ve just linked this post to my disclosure page because you know so much more about this stuff than I do and I think the conversation about the motivations, benefits, and financial reward is really useful for people to read too.
    Tracey | Chronic Adventures recently posted..Owwwwww….. How to Feel Good With ArthritisMy Profile

  13. Hi Tracey – ohhh thank you – that’s quite something to live up to :) x Thank you for linking it to your site, I really appreciate links of most kinds especially meaningful ones like that :) Glad you found it useful.

  14. Bonny
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Johanna,

    I love these 11 points, especially numbers 2 – 4! It’s obvious to me that you are following all 11 of these, and in particular you exemplify the team spirit of blogging and passion for writing.

    I’m glad I found your blog when I did, which was just a week or 2 after changing my lonely old doudy website that I’d been writing for a year and a half into a blog and giving it a new lease on life. I never understood reaching out to other blogs and networking before. I feel silly now for never realising there was this whole other fun and friendly aspect to writing for the web and building websites, which makes it even more addictive and worthwhile!
    Bonny recently posted..Mauds Landing and Bateman BeachMy Profile

  15. Thanks Bonny :) I think a lot of us start off thinking that we can just produce content and it will be read and make us famous!! But we don’t quite get ‘how’ it will all happen. Then the penny drops and like you I realised later rather than earlier, how important and how much fun networking actually is. Thanks for your lovely comment :)

  16. I did not have a game plan when we started and it is still evolving. This article was of great help in clarifying some issues still in my head that need to be worked on. The one thing that I have learned in our 10 months is the importance of my virtual friends. I love what I am doing so much but I also love the interaction and the generosity of everyone. Thanks this is a great help
    Contented Traveller recently posted..Comment on C is for Cambodian Cuisine by Paula McInerneyMy Profile

  17. I’m so glad that the post helped you a little @ Contented Traveller :) You are so right about the generosity of virtual friends – a very kind spirited lot :)

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