Think anyone can blog? Think again! While it’s true that anyone can start, the fact is very few people can successfully pull it off. If you want to truly make it as a blogger, you need to have several things. I’m not talking laptops and software, indeed those are important. Most of what you need to become a successful blogger can’t be found in stores, or even blogs about blogging.
1. A good idea –Not the same idea as everyone else. Not a copycat of someone else’s blog, but your own unique, good idea. If you want to make it as a blogger, you have to have content and a fresh idea. You have to be able to say something different.
2. Creativity –You’re going to need to update your blog, at the very least, several times a week. A successful blogger is creative enough to come up with fresh, engaging content every time.
3. Passion for Your Topic – If you choose a topic you love, your passion will show through. If you choose a topic you don’t know much about, that will be apparent as well.
4. A good work ethic – If you think blogging is just writing a quick five minute post and forgetting about it until next time, you couldn’t be more wrong. You’re going to spend hours on your blog writing it, promoting it and more.
5. A thick skin – Trolls, chronic malcontents and basic rudeness can be commonplace. People are going to pick your blog posts apart and call you names. You can let it get to you or you can develop a thick skin.
6. The ability to work alone – Most bloggers work alone. You have to be able to shut out all of the distractions of home or the coffee shop and concentrate on creating a good post.
7. A notebook. You’re going to come up with ideas at the oddest times. It’s helpful to have a notebook or PDA handy so you can jot down ideas.
8. A thriving social network. It helps to have people to talk to, network with and shoot ideas off. Plus social networking eliminates the loneliness some probloggers experience. By interacting with others you’re sure to come up with fresh new ideas and avoid some of that solitude.
9. Motivation. What keeps you motivated? Passion for your topic? The adoration of your public? Whatever it is, channel it and use it to keep you driven.
10. Longevity – Blogging isn’t a fly by night operation. If you want to succeed, if you want your readers to trust your name, you’ll want your blogs to last through the ages. The most successful blogs have been around for a few years. It’s the people who cut bait and run after two months of blogging that fail.
11. Long term vision – Sure, you have a month’s worth of posts written in your head, but what about a month from now? Two months? Two years?
12. The ability to work odd hours – Blogging isn’t exactly a 9 to 5 gig. Ideas hit at any time. Many probloggers even work well into the night or the wake at the crack of dawn to fit blogging into a busy day.
13. A willingness to learn new things – As a blogger you want to continue to feed your readers new information. This means you’ll have to set a portion of your day aside to read other blogs, books, magazines and websites in your niche.
14. An open mind – Sometimes bloggers need to completely change their line of thinking. What might have worked a year ago, doesn’t work now. Tools and techniques become obsolete. Keep an open mind, don’t be afraid to admit defeat and always be on the lookout for new trends and ideas.
15. The ability to teach – Blogging isn’t always talking about yourself. It’s about sharing what you know with someone else. Many bloggers are teachers, not story tellers – though it’s not a bad thing to be able to tell a story either.
16. Patience –Blogging isn’t instant gratification. It takes time and patience to build up a successful blog. Traffic doesn’t happen over night and any network penalizing you for not having high numbers in the beginning doesn’t know enough about blogging to succeed.
This post originally appeared at About.com Weblogs, I thought it was appropriate here as well. – Deb
Great list! I especially like #15. It is a challenge to do this in a way that is welcoming and not from a know-it-all.
I think #13 can be applied to comments too. I learn new things when my readers correct me or expand on the information I have provided. I try to keep that open mind and not take offense when people are just trying to be helpful.
Loved your list. Fully agree with all of them. One more I would like to add is that you need to be good at / work at communication, networking to make it big as a blogger. This is one place where I have to work most hard.
Great list. I agree with Avani about the networking. Sometimes it seems that takes more time than the writing!
Blog Network says
It doesn’t hurt to also have technical prowess.
If one already knows blog design, coding, SEO, etc, it saves one a ton of money and precious time. This cannot be underrated.
Great list. I am just starting but I’ve been starting for two years now. I like #10 & #16. Those for me are the hardest issues, but I think I am getting better all the time. There is one more thing you forgot. Fearlessness. To put yourself out there honestly is important. Transparency is scary and to be yourself and let it all hang out, for a first timer, it can be like what people fear more than dying or the dentist, public speaking.
Thanks for such great tips. Networking is by far the hardest thing to do. Not only do some people take offense to your want to make money at something as “easy” as blogging. People don’t know that attempting to be a professional blogger takes more work than most 9-5 jobs. It requires much more than a simple want to “blog”. It takes a sense of worth and worth in your ideas and words, in other sense – Confidence. It takes the small business idea of networking, but in a global scale.
I’m definitely a newbie – thanks for the ideas!