So you’re wondering why your blog refuses to grow after putting so much time and effort into it. You’ve implemented all the things you have learned from other blogs in order to build a very successful blog yet there’s no sign of growth while other blogs that were built after yours are speedily picking up and getting lots of exposure and mentions.
Does it mean that those other bloggers that are becoming famous are smarter, luckier or more intelligent than you are? Or maybe you’ve concluded that blogging is not meant for you after all? Well, that is not the problem. The problem is that there are few things they’re doing which you are not.
In this case, giving up usually looks like the best option but I urge you not to even think of that at all instead, give me some minutes and I will show you exactly why you’re not moving forward with your blogs.
After reading this post, you’ll see the exact things that separate the pro/successful bloggers from other bloggers that struggle to build their blog all to no avail ,so… let’s do this.
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Top Secrets of Successful Bloggers (Don’t tell mama)
After carrying out my research, below are the things that I found out that are synonymous to every successful blogger out there.
1.They have a good Plan, Strategy and Schedule
Blogs don’t become successful by accident; as a result, it usually makes many people to fail at it. They believe in the “fake it till you make it” philosophy and by doing it that way, your failure become inevitable.
Successful bloggers understand that no good business survives without adequate and workable plans and strategies. They don’t just blog for the sake of blogging or because every other person is doing it. Before they even launch their blog, they already know the necessary things they need to be doing in other to ensure the success of the blog and once they’ve mapped out their plans, they follow it diligently not allowing anything else to deviate them from that plan.
As a blogger, you don’t just publish articles because you feel like or because you know that you should publish, NO!
Every article that you publish must have a goal. The first goal is to add value into your life & someone’s life with the message you delivering. After that, either you want to use it to attract more social shares, get some solid backlinks, connect with influencers, build your email list etc… According to Social Media Examiner, People who “wing it” (i.e. blogging without a plan) when they blog are only setting themselves up for failure.
If you truly desire to imitate these pro bloggers in order to also take your blog to the next height, then, you must also be willing and able to learn and practice what they’re doing. One of the things I’ve learnt about them over the years is that they all have an editorial calendar and have publishing schedule that guides them on what and when to publish on their blogs. But a majority of bloggers out there don’t even know what an editorial calendar is and what it is used for, let alone, actually knowing how to use one. Do not be one of these bloggers.
There are so many benefits that come to having a good editorial calendar and posting schedule including but not limited to: It helps in your blogs SEO, builds anticipation in the minds of your audience and totally gets rid of writer’s block that we often encounter at one point in time.
Not having a schedule is dangerous and can ruin your blog if not corrected immediately. Brian Harris of video fruits stated in his 2015 review post that not having a content planning and continuity for his blog last year was one of the things that didn’t go well in his business.
Hence, he went ahead and created his own content marketing editorial calendar as you can see below.
So, I really urge you to go create your editorial calendar now if you haven’t done so because you can’t possibly succeed without it.
2. They Constantly Create Great and Compelling Contents
A lot has already been said about the benefits of creating great contents for your readers and I had to also include it here because of its importance.
You see, pro bloggers don’t just write and publish any type of content on their blog hoping that magic will happen and it end up creating a buzz!
That’s not true!
They always take their time to research and make sure that what they’re creating is needed and will be well received. Every content they publish have a goal behind it, they have an idea of what they want that content to achieve for them, and finally, they will make every effort to make sure that aim is met. If you really want to speedup the growth of your blog like the pros do every time then, you should start by learning how to publish the right contents. You might be confused on what exactly is the right content here, let’s look at Brian Dean’s definition…
As you can see from Brian’s definition of Right Content, any piece of content you publish on your blog must be able to achieve any of (if not all) the qualities above, that will make your contents very successful and rewarding.
When writing your posts, it needs to be very actionable and backed up with good data where necessary, this will not only make it more authoritative but, it will also enable you to be creating long form contents that your audience will find very valuable and educating. According to a report by Curata, long form content generates 9X more leads than short contents.
It’s true that everyone has his own opinion on how long an article should be but at the end, longer is much better. This is true because statistics has shown that “If a post is greater than 1500 words, on average, it gets 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook likes”.
By writing long form contents, it will also benefit you more due to the fact that, on average, only 18% of companies produce articles that are longer than 750 words, this will put you ahead of others because your own blog posts will also have more value.
People will be happy to read, link to and also share it with their fans because they like it. You also need to know that 94% of people who share contents on the internet do so because they think it will be helpful to others according to a research by New York Times.
Furthermore, successful bloggers know exactly the things that make articles go viral. Are you a successful blogger? You should understand this. Leanne advices that you write with empathy, this will make your audience see it as if you’re speaking to them directly, it will also make them to understand that you’ve also gone through what they’re currently experiencing and this is a no brainer.
Understanding what makes up a viral blog post is very crucial to your blogs growth and this should not be neglected.
Two Upenn professors recently carried out a research named “What Makes Contents Go Viral”. They analysed contents that were published over a three-month period to find out the factors that contributed to their higher sharing and here’s their discovery
Remember; don’t fill your blog post with irrelevant words if they don’t fit into the article. If what you’re writing cannot fit into 1500+ words then, cut it down. It will be very time wasting to write a 2000 words article on a topic that’s supposed to be 500 words just because you’re aiming for a long form article. Relevancy matters as well as quality, therefore, don’t aim for quantity alone; consider relevancy and quality.
Also, while writing your contents, don’t try to use fancy words or slangs if they are not necessary, instead, write in simple and conversational tone. Write as if you’re discussing or writing to your friend, better still, write like you talk as this article suggests.
It’s also important that you learn how to incorporate storytelling to your posts; this will make it more engaging and fun to read especially on your post opening. Maybe the graph below by buffer app will drive my point home.
As you can see, incorporating relevant stories to your posts is very important and that is also what you should start mastering. Check out what Buffer has to say about it too…
Finally, you also need to be using images on your posts as often as possible and where necessary. It has also been proven that articles with images get 96% more views than those without. It has been said a countless number of times that an image is worth a thousand words and that is very correct. Most people prefer visual contents to text contents and that has been proven by the fact that our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster compared to text.
Check out this post to learn more on how to use images on your blog posts.
3. Pro Bloggers Know how to Craft Magnetic Headlines
Your headline is a very important aspect of your content marketing. According to some of the best copywriters of all time, you should spend half of the entire time it takes to write a piece of persuasive post on the headline.
Brian Clack also discovered that 8 out of 10 people that visit your article will read the headline but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is why your headline needs to be as inviting and compelling as possible because it will eventually determine if the post will be read or not. You can actually create a great post that will provide a lot of values and benefits to your readers but if your headline is not enticing enough, the post will not be able to get the attention it deserves.
However, writing a great headline does not guarantee the success of your blog post, the benefits covered on the headline also has to be properly satisfied at all means, else, your article is doomed to fail. There are no two ways about it.
So how do you write a great headline?
According to the copywriting trainers at the American Writers and Artists, there are four ‘U’ approaches to writing good headlines and they include…
Headlines, Subheads and Bullet points should:
- Be USEFUL to the reader,
- Provide him with a sense of URGENCY,
- Give the idea that the main benefit is somehow UNIQUE, and
- Do all the above in ULTRA-SPECIFIC way.
If your headline includes all of the above FOUR U’s then, there is every opportunity of it performing very well.
In the same manner, Clayton Makepeace suggested that you ask yourself the following six questions before you start to write your headline:
With Clayton’s six questions combined with the 4 U’s that a headline should have, you already have the right template to always craft irresistible and outstanding headlines.
You should consider keeping a swipe file of some of the best headlines you see. Then see how you can emulate the strategies used by your favorite headlines into your own blog posts.
You might also do what Upworthy does, and write 25 headlines for each of your post, this will enable you to have so many variations of headlines for that post which will help you to choose the right one. You should also use the Coschedule Headline Analyzer to check and see how good a headline is each time.
Emotional Headlines Performs Well (Here’s a Proof)
The guys at Coschedule and Okdork wanted to see if there is an easy way to rate a headline and predict if it will be a well shared post or not and in order to achieve this, they started testing some of the most well shared headlines on the internet using an awesome tool by the Advanced Marketing Institute called “Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer”.
This handy tool promises to let you know how emotional your headline is by counting the number of emotional words that are used in the phrase.
The tool is very easy to use. Just copy and paste your headline in the space provided and click on submit For Analysis and it will calculate and give you the EMV score of your headline. Here’s the result of the headline of a post I got from Enchanting Marketing by Henneke titled: How to Write Conversational Content and Make Your Readers Deliriously Happy
And below is the headline score for this post:
So the question that the guys at Coschedule and Okdork are asking is; does this really work as a way to predict popularity? To find out, they took an average sampling of headlines from three sharing groups.
- Posts with greater than 1,000 shares
- Posts with 500 shares
- Posts with 100 shares
And below is the result:
Now as you can see from the image above, posts with a high number of shares constantly reached an EMV score of 30 or 40, several points higher than posts with fewer shares. And the conclusion is that posts with emotional headlines get more shares. So, this is why you really have to work on using emotional words on your headline. You can check out Jon Morrows guide on using Power Words.
Finally, According to Koechley, tests show that traffic to content at Upworthy can vary by as much as 500% simply because of the headline, therefore, you need to make adequate use of it, else, you will be losing your readers and potential clients. You might want to check out this free guide by Brian Clack to learn how to create magnetic headlines that will open doors for you.
4. Pro Bloggers are Consistent with Content Marketing
The problem with most content marketers is that they’re usually not consistent and this is because they don’t have patience. Content marketing does not always bring a fast result; you have to stick longer to it in order for it to pay out.
A recent research by Altimeter showed that 70% of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy. If you really want to become a very successful blogger then you have to do what you need to do and one of such things is to get really serious with content marketing because you cannot possibly survive without it as a blogger.
I understand that writing can be very tedious sometimes especially as a starter but with constant practice, you will certainly get used to it. Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Case stated that “Once you write 24-51 posts, your blog traffic jumps by up to 30%” so, why not try this and see the impact it will create on your blog? To drive more of my point home, check out this stats by Impact branding and design……
Be mindful, I’m not just talking of any type of content here, if you must succeed with content marketing then your contents need to be of higher quality, you need to be constantly churning out epic contents that will be even better than others of its kind, if not, your content marketing efforts will only be a total waste of time. It might interest you to know that 69% of content marketing lacks quality so, if you’re anything like me, you will want to be among the remaining 31% that writes quality contents.
According to Neil Patel, More and more companies are taking the content marketing plunge. It’s growing so fast that 77% of companies increased their content production in 2015.
Be cautious, content marketing here does not only mean text-based contents, you also need to be using other forms of content marketing like videos, webinars, podcasting and info-graphics depending on your budget. Remember that YouTube has become the second largest search engine on the internet, much bigger than the likes of AOL, Bing, Yahoo, etc… so, if you’re not yet part of the network then you’re actually giving up on your chance of being discovered by the new audience as well as potential clients.
A lot of people have already made millions of dollars from YouTube and there are so many ways through which you can also tap on this goldmine as a blogger depending on your niche. For example, how to video has proven to be always well received on YouTube and if you can make good videos on how to solve some of the most difficult tasks on your niche, it will eventually give you more audience and traffic.
Two-thirds of marketers and agency executives believe that original digital video will become as important as original TV programming within the next three years.
If you’re wondering how to get around YouTube marketing, there are already lots of good guides on the internet that can teach you this. Check out the ones below.
- The marketing value of YouTube by Phil Nottingham
- How you can use YouTube to drive additional traffic towards your blog by Social Media Examiner
It’s also advisable that you understand who your target audience is while carrying out your content marketing campaign. You need to know the people you’re writing for:
Are they male or female?
What are they struggling with?
What do they like doing in their spare time?
Knowing all these will enable you to ensure that you’re really meeting them at the point of their needs and they will end up liking and trusting you for that. Take a look at the graphic below from the Neil Patel blog:
If you want to achieve your business goals then, you need to constantly write contents that resonate with your target audience. You need to talk to them using the language they understand the most.
Content marketing is a very integral part of blogging, they work hand in hand and one cannot function well without the other, therefore, you need to get used to it. You need to determine your own content publishing frequency. A recent statistic by Curata found out that 91% of the best business bloggers publish weekly or more often while only 70% of all other bloggers post at this frequency.
5. Pro Bloggers Always Use the Right Tools
Just like every other thing in life, you can’t possibly succeed at blogging without having and using the right blogging tools. Ask any successful blogger you already know and you will find out that he makes use of the best tools from day one. Starting from your web host, you need to ensure that you choose the best out there because this will ultimately determine if you’ll be on the market for long or not.
I’ve seen lots of bloggers whose blogs were liquidated by their web hosts. I’m sure you understand the feeling when you put in so much time and efforts into building out your site only for it to get hacked after some time because of the unsecured and free web host you used.
If you’re really serious about blogging for business then, the first step is to ensure that you make use of a good and secured hosting company. Here’s one recommended , by official WordPress.org for hosting WordPress blogs.
While it’s good to start with a shared hosting plan, if you have the budget and plan to build your blog into an authority in your chosen niche, I will recommend you go with your own server. It will be well worth the investment at the end.
One thing you must always bear in mind is that none of the successful bloggers out there became successful by chance, it took a deliberate action and making use of the best tools before they arrived at where they are today.
If at any point in time, you ever felt that you can’t possibly attend to every task on your list as a blogger because of lack of time then, maybe you just need the right tools. These tools can be a time saver for you, also, it can ultimately cut down the time required to research your market and competitors.
Blogging tools are very necessary these days in order to work faster and possibly land more clients and readers without compromising content quality. Setting some of these tools up can sometimes be very confusing but the best part is that once you’ve successfully incorporated the right tools to your blogging business, you will have less to worry about and you can even travel to any part of the world while your business will still be in a good shape.
Talk of any blogging task out there and you will definitely see a good tool that can make it easier for you. For instance, Email marketing, social media marketing, content writing and promotion, analytics and split testing, shopping carts, etc… And the best part is that most of these tools are free to use. You just need to figure out exactly what you want then, carry out a little research on the best tools for it and boom!…you will be amazed at what you will see.
Any serious blogger needs the ability to save time and get more jobs done in order to become successful. You can only do it on your own manually for a short period of time but the truth is that you cannot achieve any significant result without the help of these tools. So you need to decide what you really want.
6. Pro Bloggers Make Motivation Their Habit
Being successful might not be so easy for everyone but I think that the first step towards succeeding at whatever you’re doing (blogging included) is to first have the motivation to be successful.
You need to have the desire to succeed and once you’ve achieved this, the next step will now be to figure out the various disciplines which will best help you to make progress and achieve your end goal and then burn all the bridges to ensure that nothing stops you from getting exactly what you want.
Check out what my friend Glen from Viper Chill has to say about this in his recent post titled: How to Make Money Online in 2016: An Unexpected Approach (I’ll suggest you go read this post later).
I’ve seen lots of bloggers that gave up after a few months of starting their blogs simply because they had nothing to show for it, they’ve spent lots of time, their money and efforts to see if they can make it via blogging but at the end, it didn’t work and so…..they quit.
The truth is that quitting always seems to be the best way out but it’s not. You will only quit if you’re not very committed to your goal and do not even know your ‘why’ in the first place. You need to, first and foremost, determine why you’re blogging and if you get it right, that feeling alone will always carry you through whenever you feel that things are not moving well.
Yes, no one told you that the road will be rosy and if anyone ever told you that, then he lied, yet it’s not a rocket science either. Many people have passed through that same road and if you’re motivated enough, you will also pass through it someday, it might only take some time but at the end, it will certainly come to pass.
All is required of you is to always find ways to motivate yourself just as Glen did with the picture below which he hung on his wall.
As you can see, Glen uses these pictures to always keep himself motivated and each time he starts feeling down and out, he simply takes a quick glance at them and he will get back on track. Now, I know that this approach might not really work for everyone but why don’t you just give it a try and see if it will work out for you or not?
He also uses another great method which I haven’t heard of. Glen wrote a book specifically for himself where he wrote his entire ‘why’. According to him, the book practically contains all the most important advice and tips he believes in and can follow in order to reach his own personal definition of being successful. Check it out in his own words.
Wrapping Up: The Secrets of Popular Bloggers
I’ve said it all. You need to decide if you really want to succeed with blogging and enjoy life like pro bloggers or not, it’s your calling and you’re the one that will choose whether to answer or not. At the end, those that succeed are those who think they can.
So take up the challenge and do what pro bloggers are doing in order to become a pro too. It’s not all about reading, if you spent your time reading this 4,000 words article and still do nothing with it, then I’m sorry for you. You need to examine yourself properly. Remember, successful bloggers are also action takers.
Go take action now and become successful too.
I will love to hear what you think about this post via the comment section, let’s take it further and remember to share it with your friends.