Do you consider yourself a great blogger?
Have you ever wondered what separates an average blogger from a highly effective one?
Prior to starting this blog, those were two of the most prominent questions running through my mind.
So I took it upon myself to study some of the most successful bloggers and understand what made them so different from everyone else.
Come to find out, most of what I found was common sense.
However, there were little nuggets hidden inside all this research that opened my eyes and answered all of my questions.
… And without further ado, let’s find out what the 18 habits of highly effective bloggers are:
1. Effective bloggers take action
Have you started a blog yet? If not, here are 13 great reasons why you should.
If you have, then you have a leg up on your future competition already.
The point I am trying to make is that you cannot become an effective blogger without having a blog.
Heck, you couldn’t even become a horrible blogger if you don’t start a blog first.
Effective bloggers take action and lots of it.
Be it starting a new blog, writing a new article, reaching out to other bloggers, etc. Effective bloggers are always taking action.
2. Effective bloggers are consistent
Have you ever notice how professional athletes seem to practice more than they play?
They train consistently so that their muscles get used to what they do… To the point where everything they do becomes second nature to them.
The same goes for highly effective bloggers.
They consistently do the tasks that they need to in order to become more efficient at it.
Below are some examples of things effective bloggers do consistently:
- Write new blog posts
- Update outdated blog posts
- Brainstorm new ideas for their blog
- Study their subject
- Promote their blogs
Without exception, effective bloggers publish and promote new articles on a consistent basis.
Some publish articles on a daily basis, while others chose to do so weekly. However, regardless of the publishing timeline, they keep it consistent.
They are so consistent that it seems like they are running on autopilot.
Below are some successful bloggers I follow who seem to have a robot running their website:
- Melissa Giroux (Mel)
- Runs an incredible travel blog that focuses on long-term travel. I have no idea how she finds so much time to write so many helpful articles while traveling all over the world at the same time.
- Here is an example of a successful blogger who doesn’t publish on a daily basis. However, he consistently publishes articles that are 3,000+ words which educate his following on e-mail marketing and SEO. I dare you to find a short article on that site.
- Carly The Prepster
- Carly is one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers. She has been writing on her website since 2008 and to this day she still churns out an article almost every day. Guess you know what can be attributed to much of her success.
- Thomas Dunckley
- This is my go-to blog for all things perfume. I don’t know how he does it, but he seems to have a review for every fragrance known to man. Literally every day there is a new review or recommendation on his blog.
As you can see, there are many niches housing highly effective bloggers. So no matter which niche you decide to go into, be consistent and the rewards will come.
3. Effective bloggers write great content
According to serpIQ the average content length of an article showing up in the top results of Google is around 2,450 words.
Guess what the majority of effective bloggers do?
They write long articles that go in-depth on their subject and teach their readers valuable information on said subject.
Now, don’t go thinking that you can blab on about whatever without any rhyme or rhythm and expect Google to rank you on their first page.
Some key aspects of a great post are:
- Attention-grabbing headline: this will lead people to click on it.
- Great introduction: this will hook your readers into continuing to read.
- Concise topic: nobody likes clicking on an article about dogs, to find out its written for cats.
- Graphics: this will make the flow of content easier to read. A big block of text is hard to keep up with.
There are exceptions to this rule…
Seth Godin being the main one!
He is an expert marketer who writes short blog posts (mostly under 300 words) and outranks just about everyone in his niche.
I wouldn’t recommend anyone starting out to follow in his footsteps, it is an uncommon way to become an effective blogger and unless you have major connections you are most likely to fail.
However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t try it that’s your thing.
For everyone else, let’s focus on writing great content that is long, concise, easy to read, and informative.
… This will ensure that our readers stay engaged and willingly share our posts on their social media accounts.
4. Effective bloggers share their content on social media
Social media is not for everyone, but it is for effective bloggers.
According to a report published by Hootsuite and We Are Social, there were 3.196 active social media users in 2018.
That’s a lot of eyeballs and effective bloggers understand the importance of it.
Sharing your content on social media can create an effect on your blog’s traffic that no other platform can touch.
Imagine the following scenario:
- You share your post with 100 followers on Facebook…
- 20 of them share it with 50 of their followers…
- 10 of those share it with another 50 people…
Get where I am going with this?
You never know how many people your blog post will reach once is shared. It could be 10, 20, 100, or maybe it goes viral and then what?
Brace yourself for an avalanche of new readers that only effective bloggers know how to create.
5. Effective bloggers enjoy teaching
Have you ever read a book, newspaper article, or blog post that left you wondering what was the point?
I come across those all the time and the worst part is that I want to kick myself for wasting my time like that.
Effective bloggers don’t write just because they can, they write with a purpose.
That purpose is to teach their audience about whatever subject they are writing about.
You can find evidence of this by checking out Brian Dean’s website: BackLinko.
He writes in-depth articles that teach you just about everything there is to know about the subject matter.
Brian never leaves his readers wondering what else can I learn about XYZ!
On the contrary, he leaves you thinking that you are a guru on said subject.
Read his blog, even if you aren’t interested in the subject, it will open your eyes to how you can go about teaching your own audience and therefore becoming a better blogger.
6. Effective bloggers engage with their readers
Have you ever been in a meeting or sitting at a table full of people and said something but no one seemed to care?
Boy… that’s a horrible feeling!
So much so, that some people prefer to stay quiet out of the fear of not being paid attention to.
Effective bloggers know this and take great pride in engaging with their readers.
A great example of this can be found over at Jenn’s Trends website in her post about “25 signs you work for social media.”
You don’t have to read the post if you don’t want, but scroll down to the bottom and you will see the post generated 104 comments.
You will also notice that Jenn interacted with every person that commented on her post.
Perhaps you are thinking that it would take a long time to engage with so many people and its true, but think of how great each of them feels knowing that in this table someone is paying attention to them.
This isn’t just about responding to blog comments. You also need to engage with your readers on social media, forums, and anywhere they might be.
Remember… your readers are the lifeblood of your blog. Without them, it might as well not exist.
7. Effective bloggers have a unique voice
Everyone human being is unique, however, sometimes we sound so much alike that it seems like we are drinking the same Kool-Aid.
This is even more common in the blogosphere.
Why you might ask? Well, because most bloggers are lazy and piggyback off another’s back.
They do this by going over to a popular blog in their niche, seeing what they are writing about, and writing the same thing.
Does it work? Yeah, I guess so for some people.
However, effective bloggers understand this disease and put their own spin on things.
Don’t get me wrong. Most bloggers eventually get ideas from others, but effective bloggers use those ideas and make them better by having a unique voice on the subject.
A perfect example is this blog post… I got the idea for the title from the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Stephen Covey.
However, if you have read the book, you know that is where the similarities end.
8. Effective bloggers are honest
Most people start a blog because they want to share their ideas with the world. Right next to that is because they would like to monetize their blog.
I get the creeps every time I see sleazy salespeople say whatever they have to in order to make a quick buck.
Don’t they understand that being honest is the best way to becoming a great salesperson?
No one is ever going to come back to you to buy a car known that you sold them a car worth $5,000 for $10,000.
Even worst, they are going to tell everyone they know not to buy from you.
That is why highly effective bloggers are honest. They provide their readers with valuable information and when it comes time to recommend products and services, they recommend those that they can vouch for.
What would you prefer?
- Having 100 one-time sales of a crappy product which nets you $25 per sale and gaining a bad rep or…
- Having the same 100 sales of a great product which nets you $15?
This is an easy decision for a highly effective blogger. I cannot stress this enough.
If you think that an extra $1,000 is worth it, think again. The hit on your reputation alone is priceless.
Not to mention that those 100 happy customers will continue purchasing from you because of their great experience and will most-likely tell anyone who will listen about how great you are.
Be honest and never look back!
9. Effective bloggers are lifelong learners
New trends are popping up every day.
Be it a new feature on Pinterest, a different hairstyle popularized by the Kardashian’s, or a new popular app on the iPhone.
It’s impossible to keep up with everything that’s going on around us.
The world moves too fast for us to keep up with it. However, effective bloggers are lifelong learners.
They read up on other people’s blogs, newspapers, magazines, etc. to keep abreast of everything that is happening in their niche.
How can you teach if you don’t learn? Or as Phil Collins would say…
10. Effective bloggers use the 80/20 rule
Also known as the Pareto principle, the 80/20 rule states: “Roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.”
In other words… 80% of your blog’s success, will come from 20% of your efforts.
So what is your 20%?
I don’t know, but most effective bloggers seem to think marketing is where you should be focusing most of your efforts if you end goal is to monetize your blog.
Perhaps you already have a successful, smoothly running marketing campaign which takes up little of your time. If so, analyze your results and find out what is creating the most bang for your buck and focus more of your time on that.
Find your 20% and focus on it like a hawk if you wish to become a highly effective blogger.
Hint, Hint… Its most likely content marketing.
11. Effective bloggers keep an eye on the competition
Have you ever noticed how the newest features on the latest smartphone tend to morph into all the others?
Remember back when Sony came out with the first waterproof smartphone and every other commercial on TV seemed to be talking about it?
Can you name a top of the line smartphone that isn’t waterproof these days? Probably not, and that’s because other companies realized that it was a great selling point.
Highly effective bloggers do the same thing. They keep an eye on the competition and see what is working for them.
However, instead of coming out with the same features such as smartphone companies do, they put their own little spin on it.
A great example of this is the Skyscraper Scraper Technique used by Brian Dean to increase his blog traffic by 110% in just 14 days.
… He found a great article on Google’s main ranking factors and made it even better. So much so, that the original writers of the articles linked out to his because it was so much better.
Never underestimate the value of keeping up with what’s working, as well as not working for your competition.
12. Effective bloggers have influential friends
As the saying goes, “it’s not what you know, but who you know” that matters.
Ah… that’s why highly effective bloggers make friends with influencers.
What is an influencer?
- An individual who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.
- Depending on their niche, influencers can reach several thousand people or millions.
Influencers can be an integral part of growing your blog. Making friends with the right influencers in your niche can supercharge your blog’s growth.
Examples of several influencers in this industry are:
1. Brian Clark
He is the founder of copyblogger.com, a website that has evolved into an influential digital trade magazine for the content marketing industry that reaches millions of bloggers each month.
2. Darren Rowse
Rowse is the found of problogger.com, a website dedicated to helping bloggers learn the skills of blogging. His website reaches millions of people all over the world and it is home to a community of over 300,000 active bloggers.
3. John Chow
I don’t necessarily like his style, but there is no denying his success or his status as one of the most powerful influencers in our industry. Have to give credit where credit is due.
Go out and find the influencers in your niche and become their friends if at all possible.
You won’t regret it.
13. Effective bloggers learn from their mistakes
You probably don’t remember (I don’t), but when you were a baby trying to take your first steps you probably fell on your face more times than you can count.
The beautiful thing is that no matter how many times you fell, you got back up, and tried again until you finally started walking on your own.
Every fall (failure), became a learning experience on what not to do next time.
Eventually, you put all those failures into a box and never made them again… That is until you reach old age and your bones start to fail you :).
Effective bloggers learn from their mistakes and use those experiences to fine-tune their blogging techniques.
Want to know what my biggest mistake was?
- Not making use of the 80/20 rule: I was stubborn thinking that if I write great articles people will flock to my blog with minimal marketing efforts.
Learn from my mistake and make it a point to market your content to the largest audience possible.
14. Effective bloggers know how to monetize their blogs
Over the past years, there is a growing movement of bloggers reporting their income trying to impress their readers with how easy it is to succeed by following their “three simple steps.”
Many income reports are insightful and even inspirational so I am not against them, but be careful believing everything you read.
Making money as a blogger takes time and dedication. It’s hard work just like any other job and there are no short cuts outside of paying others exorbitant amounts of money to do the work for you.
However, if you are willing to bust your behind and push through the ups and downs the sky is the limit.
Effective bloggers figure out the best ways to monetize their blogs and run with it.
Only you can set the limits on how much money you want to make from your blogs.
Start with smalls goals though… there is no reason to start a blog thinking that you will make $50,000 in your first month.
However, having $50,000 as your long-term goal is certainly achievable.
Below are several ways effective bloggers are monetizing their blogs:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Digital Products: E-books, photos, videos, software, etc.
- Sponsored Posts
- Guest Posting
Anything you can think of can be monetized through a blog, it’s up to you to figure out how.
I will write an in-depth article in the future going into detail on the different ways to monetize your blog.
15. Effective bloggers set goals
Every self-help book I have read speaks on the importance of setting goals.
Whether you are a blogger or an aspiring artist setting goals can transform insurmountable mountains into walkable hills.
Effective bloggers are master goal setters.
They set goals on traffic growth, content creation, earnings, social media followers, etc.
Examples of short-term goals you can set for your blog:
- Reach 500 visitor mark in your first month
- Reach 10,000 visitor mark in six months
- Make friends with 10 new influencers a week
- Gain 5 new social media followers a day
- Make your first dollar
- Have your first $100 month
- Write 10 new articles a month
- Take your first blog paid vacation
Examples of long-term goals you can set for your blog:
- Reach 50,000 visitor mark by the end of your first year
- Reach 100,000 visitor mark within three years
- Become an influencer
- Have over 50,000 social media followers
- Earn ______ income (whatever amount you feel is needed to live off of)
- Earn ______ income (whatever amount you feel is enough to live the lifestyle you desire)
Your goals will be different than mine and everybody else’s for that matter.
The key is to start with simple goals that are attainable and work your way up.
Don’t make them too easy though… make yourself work for it!
16. Effective bloggers manage their time
We all have 24-hours in a day. But, why does it seem that some bloggers are able to get the most out of every minute of the day?
Believe it or not, they don’t have the power to slow downtime.
Effective bloggers do, however, know how to properly manage their time.
How? You might ask:
- Creating a publishing schedule
- Planing daily tasks ahead of time
- Setting time limits for each task
- Limiting time-wasters such as using their cell phones, watching TV, etc.
- Scheduling break times throughout the day
- Prioritizing important tasks
- Delegating whenever possible
If you feel like you do not get enough done throughout your day, it is probably because you are failing at managing your time properly.
This is nothing to be ashamed of, but something that is essential for becoming an effective blogger and therefore something that we need to focus on improving.
Below are some books/articles that can help you with that:
- David Allen – Getting Things Done: The of Stress-Free Productivity
- Tim Ferriss – The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, Join the New Rich
- Atul Gawande – The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
- Mindtools.com – What is Time Management
- Entrepreneur.com – 15 Time Management Tips for Achieving Your Goals
You should have access to those books at your local library, so go check them out and buy the one you feel better connects with you.
Don’t have access to a local library? Do some research online by starting out with the two articles recommended above.
Regardless of how you go about improving your time management skills, the point is to do it, not how.
17. Effective bloggers track their results
How can you improve your blog if you don’t know what’s working?
Below are some of the things you should track:
- Which articles are generating the most traffic
- What keywords are ranking in Google
- Which pages/articles are creating the most income
- Where are visitors clicking
- Where is traffic coming from
- Which articles are generating the most shares (not necessarily the most viewed ones)
Effective bloggers keep track of everything on their blog. Not just traffic!
They use the information to pinpoint what their readers are most interested in and to know what’s generating them the most income.
Think that’s valuable? I would say so!
I will be writing a future article on this topic, but for now, if you are unsure of where to start read the following article:
That article is a step-by-step guide on how to use Google Analytics to track the performance of your WordPress blog.
Google Analytics is a one-stop-shop to tracking most everything on your blog, and the best part of… It’s free!
Try it out of you haven’t already and let me know what you think.
18. Effective bloggers have fun
Merriam-Webster has several definitions for fun:
- What provides amusement or enjoyment
- A mood for finding or making amusement
- Violent or exciting activity or argument
- To indulge in banter or play
- Providing entertainment, amusement, or enjoyment
My way of having fun can be boring for you and vice versa. There is no right or wrong when it comes to having fun so long as you are enjoying it.
I cannot give you a list of how to have fun, because only you know what creates joy in your life.
One thing’s for sure… effective bloggers aren’t unhappy, like most people at work, they find ways to make blogging fun.
Have fun, never take it for granted. Be it as a blogger, parent, teacher, friend, or whatnot. Having fun and you will find joy in everything you do.
Are you a highly effective blogger?
Becoming an effective bloggers takes commitment and plenty of time. However, it is something that you should strive to become in order to avoid becoming just another blogger.
Invest in yourself, there is no better feeling than that of becoming an influencer in your niche.
Having a flock of people that trust you because of your honest teachings is a thing of beauty.
Bookmark this page and go over these steps on a daily basis until they become second nature to you.
It’s essential that you do all of these things to become an effective blogger.
… And don’t forget to add a little fun to everything you do in your life!
Leave a comment and let me know how you plan on becoming an effective blogger.
FAQ’s about being an effective blogger:
What makes a blogger successful?
Successful bloggers add value to their reader's lives. They provide their readers with solutions to their problems. In return they receive an income for their work.
How do bloggers stay consistent?
Bloggers stay consistent by creating a plan and sticking to it. They break tasks such as writing, editing, publishing, and promoting down to the point where they know what they need to do at all times. The key though, is sticking to the plan and improving it the more experience you gain.
How can I be a better blogger?
They say that practice makes perfect. Malcolm Gladwell explains that reaching the 10,000-Hour Rule, which he considers the key to success in any field. In other words practice and follow in the footsteps of bloggers who you know are successful.
How do I get my blog noticed?
By writing great content that people are willing to share and link to. Also by promoting your content on social media and to influencers in your niche.
How long should your blog posts be?
A good rule of thumb is to create articles that are at least 1,500 words in length. Long-form content has been proven to rank better, but in reality you should focus on creating content that fully solves your reader's problems and go from there.