Blogging is NOT a GET RICH QUICK scheme! To be a “Pro-blogger” you have to work like an “A-List blogger“! This is why YOU and I aren’t (yet) A-List bloggers…
I think every now and then we all wonder why we’re not an “A-list blogger”. That’s kind of like wishing you were in professional sports, or a rockstar, a celebrity, or a politician. It’s probably becaue few people realize what it takes to get there, and even fewer are willing to do the work required to get there. Usually what happens is that jealously sets in or even worse resentment. It’s at that point bloggers start giving reasons why that person “had it easy”. A lot of people resent John Chow for being able to make money talking about how much money he makes. Your time would probably be better spent analyzing the reasons that they are successful and you’re not!
I don’t claim to be a Problogger or A-List blogger, but I can stand back and at least analyze what they’re doing right to draw up a “blogging plan for success” that will eventually get me to that level.
Let’s look at what an “A-List Blogger” has that YOU (and I) currently don’t:
- Something they’re known for: It seems like every big A-List blogger is known for something that got them to the “critical mass” point of success. I know that with shoemoney the thing most know about is his $132,994.97 30 day adsense check from way back when. That’s how I first found his site. With John Chow, he was the first blogger I ever remember disclosing how much money he made online on his blog. With Problogger, I remember Darren Rowse as the first blogger to go full time and claim himself as a “pro” blogger. He also co-founded B5 Media because of this.
- A Distinctive Voice: This may be better described as a “writing style” but to me every blogger has their own distinctive “blogging voice”. It nearly the same as book authors that write in a style that’s pleasing and engaging to read. I read blogs I learn from. I read blogs that make me want to know more. I read blogs where the blogger gives me details and insight that others don’t. When you have a distinctive blogging voice people become loyal readers because they want to know more about your business, your life, and what you’re going to do next.
- Traffic: Big-time bloggers have lots of traffic, but I always watch what they do with it. John Chow was the first one I remembered having a little dancing (banana) animation by his “releated posts” drawing your attention to them. Shoemoney is the first one I remember putting next to his post titles how many comments there were (most have it at the end). Both those guys have strategically recommended and reviewed different things just raking in commissions with their traffic. They actively work on “converting” their traffic into dollars in every way possible.
- A Brand: Successful bloggers have built their blog in to a brand that you would know anywhere. Shoemoney’s got his blue Superman logo that you would know anywhere, and Probloggers “atom P” logo stands out as well. I noticed that John Chow only recently got a nice looking “JC” logo for his blog as well. John Chow has his famous “Make Money Online” eBook, Shoemoney just did Elite Retreat and own “Shoemoney Media”, Problogger helps fun “B5 Media”. For these top-notch bloggers their blogs have become household names and “brands” known by thousands yearning for online success. These three have even taken those brands to the next level and created million dollar companies.
- Authority: The “top bloggers” have authority, and I don’t just mean ‘Technorati authority’ either. If I told you to put “widget x” on your site you may or may not – but when an A-list blogger recommends it, it must be “the next big thing”. The more successful you are the more authority you have with visitors and readers. Especially if you have a track record of useful recommendations, tutorials, help articles, and making money.
- Loyal Followers: When you get to the “uber-success” level of blogging you attract ‘loyal followers’. These are people that will link to and review and recommend your posts all the time. They will digg you, stumble you, and quote what you write in their posts. They will comment on your site every day and ask lots of questions.
- A Successful Niche: Every big-time blogger has something that they’re most knowledgable in. It usually has something to do with the success that they’ve achieved. Whether it’s PPC, adsense, affiliate marketing, eBooks, arbitrage, SEO, themes, or plugins – everybody has a niche that they’re known for, some have several niches.
So now we’ve talked about the A-List bloggers and what they have. Without theorizing what they did to get there, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out what you need to do to strive for that level of success. First of all you have to snap yourself out of the notion that blogging will “get you rich quick”. That’s just not going to happen. Did you ever watch any of those “Driven” shows that aired on Mtv the last few years? They were 30 minute shows about ultra-successful musicians and stars. Each program interviewed their family, colleagues, and friends to try and find out why they were so “driven” to success. Even though each episode was about a different successful person – the qualities in nearly every episode rang true.
“(they) wanted to do this since they were a child…”
“(they) tirelessly worked until they got it right…”
“(they) were perfectionists…”
“(they) were passionate about their work…”
“(they) cared about other people…”
“(they) ate and slept their work 24 hours a day…”
I’m sure a lot of the same qualities ring true with very successful bloggers. What you have to ask yourself first is – if you want to be that successful, are you willing to have that kind of commitment to it? Because if you don’t, than telling you the steps required to get there is fruitless. In my post “I am the Most Successful Blogger in the World” I talked at a very high level about having a plan to manage where you spent your time. You’re (and I) aren’t A-List bloggers because we haven’t created a plan to get us there. Along the lines of the 7 Habits of Highly Successul People – I give to you…
7 Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers
- Become known for something people remember: Constantly blog about your successes and failures and something will boil up to the surface. Whether it’s a particular article series, being an expert in an area, making extraordinary money in a particular area, software, online tooks, video, hacks – you can and will stand out once you become known for something that makes you stand out. When you find that certain “thing” be sure to key in on it.
- Find your blogging voice: I think very few bloggers find their “blogging voice”. Involve your readers in every aspect of your success and failure. Tell them about sites you own and what you’re working on. Blog about where you live and your family. Mention your hobbies every now and again. Give people insight into why you do what you do. Describe everything in great detail. Write your posts as if you had a person right in front of you and you were talking to them in person. Always be honest, and never pretend to be somebody or something that you’re not.
- Constantly Build Traffic But Plan to Convert it Now: The worst thing you can do is post and post and post to get readers but make no plans to monetize or convert traffic once you get it. Obviously you’re blogging to make money and you wish you had more traffic than you do now. If you had 10,000 visitors per day how would you make more money with that? Would you offer an eBook chock full of how you make money and lots of affiliate links? Would you sell more ads? What kind of ads and where would you place them? How would you manage them? Would you use adsense or not? What about clickbank products or software of some kind? To be successful you have to constantly visualize the success and plan the road to get there. Start treating your site as if you had 10,000 visitors so you don’t have to “figure it out someday”. If you’re not working on this now, than maybe you don’t believe you ever will get to that level.
- Create a Brand: Your brand represents who you are, what you’re knowledgeable in, and why people should remember you. This is possibly the most important thing you have to do if you are planning for success. Here’s short checklist of ‘branding’ items:
- Create a “favicon” (google it) to brand your page every time it loads in a browser
- Create “brand name” that you will forever use. “Shoemoney”, “Problogger”, “Make Money Online” – you know who these all belong to. Create a short and descriptive name that you will forever use on every comment form and forum post you make, and that will be on every single page of your web site
- Create a “catch phrase” or slogan for your site. Again – “keywords” are key here…
- Create some kind of graphical “logo” that people will recognize the instant they see it…
- Combine that logo and brand name into a 125×125 ad that can become your profile pic, avatar, gravatar in every place you are a member of (mybloglog, entrecard, blogcatalog, bumpzee, youtube, myspace, linkedin, facebook, google, yahoo, etc…)
- Become an “Authority”: Believe it or not you can become an “authority” in anything. Read, Research, Work, and Document what you are doing all the time. Blog about success and failure. Write an “article series” on something you do really well. When you’re done release it as a “free eBook” and maybe even give Private Label Rights to it for exposure. As long as you have articles and posts to back it up you can easily highlight or feature yourself as an “authority” in your niche.
- Create a Following: Successful bloggers already have a following, but you have to build your “congregation” up yourself until you get to that level. It’s easy to build a following if you work at it every day. Do this by commenting on other blogs insightfully, post in forums diligently, offer to help other bloggers, offer to guest post, accept guest postings, submit to article directories, become active in digg, blogCatalog, stumble upon, or any other community. To create a following is no different than building a church congregation, politicking, or promoting. You just have to “get out there” and network! Ask for help, offer to help, talk to people, comment on your own comments on your site – and you will make friends, meet people, network with other bloggers, attract advertisers and start to build your following!
- Find a Niche: To become successful you obviously have to be good at something, and the quicker you can focus in on what that “something” is the quicker you will be successful. No one can be an expert in everything. Focus on what you know, what you like, what interests you, and what you’re passionate about. This is the last of the 7 habits because it ties it all together. Without a niche you won’t build authority, or followers, or a solid brand, etc. Keep in mind that you can have several niches as well, but usually it’s easier to master one, and then use that to branch out to others. Become the best you can be at one thing first before branching out and taking on the world. Your path to success will be quicker, you will be more confident, and you can use both the money and the traffic to more rapidly build the next next. This is how successful companies all over the world have grown from “mom and pop” shops to global organizations.
Work to become an “A-List Blogger” every day, and eventually you will become one!