The Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Bloggers

Filed as Features on September 21, 2007 12:30 pm

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First off, let’s define success. What is success to you? For me, success means being able to do things that I wouldn’t have believed possible at one time in my life. It means challenging myself to achieve professional and personal accomplishments and gaining the confidence to try things that I would have not thought possible even just one year ago.

We all have different needs, aspirations and talents so the meaning of success differs for each one of us. If you’re like most people, you’re reading this post because you want to discover the secrets of success. Well, a little bit of research will uncover what skills and strategies worked for others. The real trick is to make those work for you and your blog.

As with everything in life, we get out of it what we put in – it will be no surprise to you to find out that it takes determination and hard work. And there is definitely an ultimate secret sauce, the ingredient that you must have above all — you. We’ll come back to that in a moment. So what are the seven secrets of successful bloggers?

Secret 1. Highly successful bloggers seek out a mentor or advocate at each step of their development. Someone who can guide them through the growth spurts they will undergo. Nothing new here, successful people have done this for years. The great advantage that blogs afford is that the person you pick does not need to be someone who takes you by the hand through it. All you need to do in some cases is read their material and interact with their audience.

Secret 2. Highly successful bloggers know how to increase their visibility. Whether that is by putting themselves at the crossroads of a popular and highly trafficked blog written by a mentor, or choosing thoughtful and insightful comments on other blogs, the important teaching in this is to pick a strategy that fits your brand. My personal blog is Conversation Agent so engaging in conversations with readers of my blog and in other blogs is part of my modus operandi (MO) and brand. What is yours?

Secret 3. Highly successful bloggers know how to develop an effective network. Maybe this is intuitive, it is definitely important. The blogosphere is a very large community with pockets of interest – what I jokingly call my neck of the ‘sphere. Who’s in yours? Do you read people who help you stretch and think differently? Are you part of a group of self publishers who will support each other on topic development, lending expertise, or even being keen on helping you gain exposure on good stories and events?

Secret 4. Highly successful bloggers have learned to communicate effectively. Read it again, as it may not be as easy as it seems. The meaning of communication is the response it elicits, not the intention. The word communication has the Latin root in communicatio as well as in commercium – it means exchange between people. If you’re curious about my definition of conversation and its parts, you will find more information here.

Secret 5. Highly successful bloggers can balance blogging with life. Especially in the early days, when we crave recognition and readership, it is easy to sign up to guest blog somewhere else, or try and write every single day, maybe even multiple posts per day. Before you accept filling in for someone else, or writing that extra post, think about what’s involved. Consider how much time it will take you and if it will fulfill your interests and needs at that stage. It’s also important to build life experiences into your routine. You will take a much-deserved brake, and fill with new ideas while you play.

Secret 6. Highly successful bloggers know when to take smart risks. Once you feel comfortable with a regular flow of publishing and blog optimization, it’s time to take some small risks to stretch a little and grow. What have you been dying to try and never got around to? There is another very important reason why doing this is a smart idea – it’s something that has not been done, that’s why it’s a risk. Maybe it’s a way of looking at a story from a different angle – I’ve done a couple of those and let me tell you, the adrenaline until that first comment is rushing like crazy. Or it could be breaking a story, broaching a new topic — you name it.

Secret 7. Highly successful bloggers understand the dynamics of the online environment. When you combine visibility, effective networks, and mentors, you have a lot of help in learning the dynamics of the online environment in which you publish. It’s also important to understand your own abilities, interests and limitations within those dynamics. You may think about having a thick skin in some cases – if you stay out there long enough and have opinions you are bound to find someone who will differ from you and make their voice heard. So you need a strategy that you are comfortable with ahead of time. What steps are you going to take to prepare? Chances are your gut will tell you when you’re about to publish something that may raise questions – how you address negative comments should be part of your consideration as you flesh out the topic of the post.

Whenever possible, set the pace. You decide if you’re ready to tackle these activities and which ones speak most to you. The secret sauce it’s not the ingredients as much as the sauce itself – you.

Remember to practice so you can improve what you wish to work on, perform to your best, persevere through setbacks and low energy moments and, most importantly be patient with yourself and any situation where you have no control over the outcome.

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  1. By Michael Martine posted on September 21, 2007 at 12:55 pm
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    As a blog consultant, I heartily agree with your first point! And the 3rd point is one that could really catapult many bloggers to greater success if they did it right. Personal emails are still the best form of social media.

    Reply

  2. By Valeria Maltoni posted on September 21, 2007 at 1:24 pm
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    Welcome to the conversation, Michael. There are subtle cues in the presentation that each blogger chooses that are important to them — and to you. For example, I liked the touch of your using a key as an icon next to your URL. It tells your value prop in one image.

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  3. By Carolyn posted on September 21, 2007 at 4:41 pm
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    Awesome post, Valeria. I co-organize a bloggers meetup in NYC and this post will be a wonderful assessment for us, as well as a fun way to gauge our blogs. I humbly ask your permission cuz I just love bragging about my blogging buddies!

    Reply

  4. By Valeria Maltoni posted on September 21, 2007 at 5:46 pm
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    Hi Carolyn, sorry I missed meeting you last night. Could not make it on a school night from Philadelphia; too long of a drive/train ride to get there on time ;-) Of course you may refer to the post… The Blog Herald owns the copyright to what I publish here. Thank you for your kind words.

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  5. Improve Your Blog and Web Site - Need to Read Posts 9-21-07 | The Fatty Talks by Adam HirschSeptember 21, 2007 at 7:10 pm
  6. By The Internet Cash Flow Guy posted on September 21, 2007 at 9:14 pm
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    Good article – balancing between real work and blogging is tough so it is good to take a step back to think about how to keep things seperate and sane.

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  7. By the turkey posted on September 22, 2007 at 12:25 am
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    Having just started on the adventure/ride, It’s a little bit difficult to start to define what is success. But I have to say, 57 unique visitors the other day to my site was cause for celebration!!

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  8. By Valeria Maltoni posted on September 22, 2007 at 4:01 am
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    Hello Internet Cash Flow — that is a very interesting observation. I thought we did away with trying to keep things separate with work/life. You’re right though, seeing friends and family in the real world is a good thing ;-)

    The turkey — what a fascinating name! I hope you celebrated your visitors. I remember when I had my first five. It’s all good. The important thing is that you enjoy blogging. Usually like minded people do find you.

    Thank you both for visiting with The Blog Herald today.

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  9. Seven Secrets at better than blankSeptember 22, 2007 at 5:13 am
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  11. By Shay posted on September 24, 2007 at 2:09 am
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    Thanks and these are some pretty good tips. Additionally, I think good content is important for a successful blog. Though I’m sure many of us would contest that some popular blogs don’t supply the best content :P

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  12. By Valeria Maltoni posted on September 24, 2007 at 12:19 pm
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    Hello Shay,

    Welcome to the conversation, and thank you for contributing your thoughts. Of course content matters a great deal and each point (secret) addresses that. I was looking more for the angle on nurturing the blogger himself/herself to build confidence and believe in self.

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  13. By BlogOxide posted on September 25, 2007 at 1:38 am
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    Excellent post Valeria, especially the advice of being patient, coz we cant see the overnight growth of a blog.

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  14. By Bridget Garwitz posted on January 20, 2010 at 5:34 am
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    Excellent post, Valeria! The world of blogging is laden with opportunity to develop these niche pockets of followers that you mention. I also agree with accepting limitations. The greatest strength of blogging (democracy at it finest) is also a weakness (plenty of voices out there). It’s definitely important for individuals or brands marketing their platforms via blogs to accept this reality.

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  15. By Yusri Big posted on November 9, 2013 at 2:52 am
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    Top bloggers have been blogging for a long time and they’ve learned many secrets along the way. It’s time for us to learn some of those tricks, too. Top bloggers understand the importance of internal linking, particularly at the beginning of a blog post. Those internal links are great for search engine optimization and they help to keep people on our blog longer, so be sure to link to other posts in our blog archive early in our blog posts. Also, try to hold off on including external links in our blog posts until at least after the first paragraph, and don’t use keyword phrases in the anchor text for external links. Save those keyword phrases for internal links.

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