There are millions of blogs in existence today and tens of thousands of new blogs added every day. It is daunting thinking about how to find your feet in that environment let alone figuring out how to stand out from the crowd. There are those few that do, those blogging rockstars we’ve all watched with a mix of admiration and envy. ‘I’d love to do what they do – how the hell did they manage it – how can I do it?’
We’ve canvassed experts from different fields in our quest to discover what it takes to be a blogging rockstar. From pro-bloggers to blog coaches, editors and newer bloggers who have just found success, we’ve picked their braincells dry just for you baby.
On our podcast, the Blogging Betties, we talk a lot about the little things that can make your blog better, like an efficient design, beautiful pins, and a solid social media plan.
But as we go along, we’re starting to understand something.
Knowing all the essentials of blogging is important (after all, if you can’t compose a decent sentence, you’re sort of screwed). And it’s nice to have all of the bells and whistles to make you stand out of the crowd. But what really matters, is grit.
Can you stick it out? When someone says something mean, will you close your computer? When you hit a low spot and don’t feel like writing, will you sit down and do it anyway instead of watching Netflix? When parts of your job get tedious or boring, will you decide it’s time to do laundry instead? What choices will you make? Will you quit it, or will you grit it?
In order to reap these benefits, creative networking is essential. You have to think outside the box to get their attention… but even then, if you don’t have the quality content to back it up, it’s not going to work.
With the killer combo of excellent content and great networking skills, you can be unstoppable!
Don’t give up
The most important trait. Even if you have no writing skills whatsoever, you have no inclination for blog design, and you are a “nobody” when it comes to social media and influence. Start where you are and never, ever give up. You’ll get better everyday. Promise!
Be the rockstar before you really are
Think about yourself as THE blogging rockstar. Even when you’re “just” starting and you have no idea what you’re doing, see yourself as a rockstar already.
And, BTW… take out of your vocabulary things like: I’m only a beginner blogger, I’m still learning. This type of thinking keeps you stuck where you are.
Not giving up means you need to be stubborn sometimes and push through. However, at the same time you have to stay flexible in your approach. There will be times you have to say No to some proposals or shut down some ideas that used to work. Keep going and changing!
It takes an equal combination of patience and authenticity. A blogger needs to define for themselves what being a rockstar is. Is it thousands of followers? Is it hundreds of comments on a post? Does it involve making a living through blogging? Or is it something different?
For me – being a rockstar is simply knowing that I am helping others find strength in online communities. It’s knowing that I provide them with a safe space to share their stories with no competition for followers, stats, or numbers. I don’t have thousands of followers or comments and I don’t make a single penny on Project Underblog. Every expense comes out of my pocket. Yes, I could sell ads but I’m afraid that our site will lose its authenticity if we start playing that game.
Now that they know what rockstar means to them I’d say the most important part of blogging is being authentic. Be yourself, find your voice, and share your story with the confidence that it is valuable. It doesn’t matter if the audience is small I guarantee it is helping and connecting with someone! Trying to fit in a niche or do what other “successful” bloggers do will never work. Being authentic shows that you’re pure and real – you’re putting your most vulnerable self forward. That deserves respect and rockstar status in my book.
Finally, it takes patience. Nobody is going to find your blog or connect with your words overnight. It takes time. If you’re doing this just for the number of followers then you’re doing it for the wrong reason. Just keep sharing your words, being yourself, and trusting that the community, the support, the awesomeness of a blogging community will find you in time.
A blogging rock star has a few qualities in my opinion. First, they’re honest. Whether telling a personal story, or sharing their opinion on a product, their honest writing comes through and forms a connection with the reader.
They are also proactive about gaining exposure for their work. In most cases, the bloggers I really watch are people who are submitting their work for online and print opportunities and not afraid to extend beyond their own blog. They are inspiring me by being on the sites I read and love.
The last thing I’d say is that they are unique. It might be what they are saying, how they are saying it, or the way its delivered. It might be something as small as the way they lay out info on their site, or it might be a very specific niche that isn’t being done or a personalized brand of humor. Their blog stands out because its different in some way.
Subtlety is fine. I’d be more excited about a blog that tried a different GMO-free snack every week and gave reviews from each family member than I would about a blog that just did organic food product reviews. If you think about the blogs you love, you can probably find something unique about each of them
Also, have patience, be helpful and be generous.
Below are some things to keep in mind:
See the big picture
Your blog should have purpose and be guided by what you want to achieve.
Consider your goals and where you want to be in 5-10 years because you will end up spinning your wheels if you don’t.
Have a well thought out plan and understand how every tactic you use fits into your top level strategy.
Prioritize every promotional channel you use and focus your efforts – you can’t do everything.
If you’re not serious about your blog, how can you expect others to take you seriously?
When you change the way you think about your blog, the way people receive your content changes too.
Set yourself apart from everyone else
There are more and more people starting a blog every day which naturally makes it more difficult for your voice to be heard.
Doing the same old thing probably won’t get you very far so focus on setting yourself apart from the crowd.
Do this by looking for the negative space.
Ask yourself what is everyone else NOT doing that you CAN DO?
Stay focused on helping others
Building a popular blog is all about how much you can help people.
The more useful your posts are and the more people you help, the faster your blog will grow.
The next step is to keep people coming back which can be done by encouraging your readers to subscribe to your email list (I wrote a detailed guide on this a while back, find it here).
Build and maintain relationships
Like a lot of other things in life, building a blog is a lot about who you know.
Make networking with other bloggers a priority and help each other out. Don’t be the one that is always receiving help, put the effort into help others too. There needs to be give and take.
This phrase will help you: “how can we help each other?”
Keep learning and try new things
Henry Ford once said:
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”
Whether it’s building our Twitter following, our email list or our mind-set – we can always improve.
Every day is a learning experience and it’s up to us to keep pushing the envelope.
Don’t be the blogger that sits by the wayside and watches as everyone else keeps moving forward.
Be patient and realistic about what you can achieve
Building a successful blog won’t happen overnight but your success will be dependent on the time and effort you put in.
If you are blogging because you need to earn money fast – this might not be for you.
If you are interested in either blogging for a hobby or building a long term business – you’re on the right track.
You can only do so much so try not to put any pressure on yourself to publish a post.
Make every post have purpose.
Clicking publish is just the beginning
No matter how much time we spend writing a blog post, it won’t see the light of day if we click publish and leave it.
Clicking publish is just the beginning, it’s what you do to promote your content that really makes the difference.
There are some common themes from our experts about what it takes to attain blogging rockstardom.
- You’ve gotta have grit – determination, patience and perseverance.
- You’ve gotta be you – being unique is important but you’ve got to be real, authenticity shines through.
- You’ve gotta have integrity – give value and concern yourself with other people’s needs.
Sounds like a winning approach to life really, don’t it?
Check out the experts’ blogs and websites for more great insights and resources for writers and bloggers.
For more scrumptiousness like this here post, subscribe to The Blogzilla.
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Guitarist by Alexis via Pixabay CC0 no attrib which I’ve modified.