7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers, Redux

My previous post was all about what not to do if you’re new to blogging. But what good is that advice if I don’t offer you something that accentuates good blogging habits? In all the hours I spent reading other people’s blogs (and not writing on mine), I’ve noticed that all successful bloggers pretty much follow the same patterns:

  1. They are consistent. This is number one for a reason. Their blogs are like rivers in that content is always flowing, with average posting frequency of at least once a day. Consistency equals hard work plus solid routine. Special props to Shoemoney, SEOBook and Problogger for working on Sundays!
  2. They are passionate. I’ve never read a good blog’s post that indicates the author is bored, disconnected or hating what they’re doing. Every one of them believes in their work and the value they offer their readers. You can’t fool loyal readers with fake passion — sooner or later it’s going to backfire.
  3. They are original. So many niches are saturated, like this “how to blog” one I’m temporarily dabbling in. A top blogger is well learned, like all of us should be, but then they innovate, gather some experience and then apply genuine creativity to their subject. What results is leadership.
  4. They are generous. If you tend to hold out on your good ideas, perhaps out of fear of someone taking them, someone is going to take them anyway. That’s because there’s so many bloggers out there with reasonable intelligence that sooner or later they’ll make the same connections as you. The difference is they’ll want to share them and you won’t. This happens to me all the time, actually, but more so due to laziness and excuses.
  5. They take risks. Fortune favors the brave, they say. I couldn’t agree more, and look around you — how many blogger’s stories do you read where they got paid huge salaries to blog when they first started? None. If you got some time on your hands, read all of these stories: Darren Rowse, Jeremy Shoemaker and Aaron Wall (not really a blogger per se but a great dot.com story nevertheless).
  6. They are in touch with their audience. How can you lead without knowing and responding to your followers? For the answer to this I defer to Gary Vaynerchuk of Winelibrary.tv for an empassioned explanation: “You have a community when one person listens to you.” Watch the video here
  7. They edit their work. Sure, it’s a little mundane to go over what you’ve just written, but in my experience editing is where the magic happens. It’s where you take a raw piece of writing and refine it so the language, ideas and subject matter is mature and cohesive. Not to say all top bloggers sound mature, but I can bet they go over their post before publishing it to avoid any silly errors.

And there you have it, yet another list of good blogging habits. Notice I didn’t say anything about being a good writer? That’s because it’s not too important. It’s better to write for the sake of educating, entertaining or engaging your reader. Everyone has their own style, and that’s what gives bloggers their personality.

Oh yeah, I like to do this for people who actually read this far: the 8th habit: Vision. I believe it’s important to focus on where you see your blog in the future. Maybe not necessarily the details, but some idea of the importance, magnitude and value of your work is vital to staying inspired during the day-to-day grind of blog writing.

End note: I bet you haven’t read this kind of article before, huh? Hey, I gotta start somewhere!