I am the “Most Successful Blogger” in the world!

Posted by jtpratt |19 Jul 07 | 19 comments

I’m the most successful blogger in North America – well, probably the world. I have monetized my blog so well that I’ve quit my job and now I earn six figures while typing on my laptop in my living room watching TVLand re-runs in my underwear with a beer at my side! I get so my comments to my posts that I have to shut down comments after only 48 hours, and my site gets so many hits that I had to lease a quad-processor dedicated server with 8gb of ram. Jason Calcanis, John Battelle, and GigaOM have nothing on me! Have you ever heard of a site with over 2 million backlinks?

That’s what most of us wish for isn’t it? I wish I was the most successful blogger in the world. Then again that would be an awesome responsibility. To have that many backlinks would require significant content. To have that many readers would require building a huge community. To have that kind of monetization requires planning, marketing, and probably some very experienced help. I think that as we (bloggers) build our sites these are admirable goals to strive for. Honestly, the majority of us will never become one of those top bloggers – but what’s the worst that can happen if we aim that high? At the very least, we’re going to be more successful than we currently are!

None of the top bloggers got to where they are without a significant amount of work. And none of them just did that work by the seat of their pants, I’m certain that each and every one had a plan. If the only thing sitting between you and the blog superstars is a methodical plan, and a regular system of work – what are you waiting for? I mean, the roadmap is already out there isn’t it? Maybe that’s why I’m not a blogging superstar, there really isn’t a personal ‘blogging roadmap to success’. What is out there are fragments….nuggets of gold and wisdom….1,000′s of posts full of enough knowledge to catapult your blog into the top 100 in the world. If you just keep reading them and implement haphazardly what you find as you find it (like I have) you will be more successful. But – if you want to be “uber-successful” you’ll need to spend some time physically writing down your personal blogging plan for success. Even if you read an entire book on the subject, or took a course – you would need to apply your situation.

My Blogging Mistake #1: Not Having a Written Plan to Follow

So – what am I going to do about it? I’m going to spend time developing one. It’s not something I can (completely) do in a day, and maybe not even in a week. I’ve read a lot of “blogging success” articles, which I’ll be linking for you in future articles. Each has contributed to what I think I need to do to make this a successful and profitable blog. For now, I’m going to start at a very high level.

I think my plan must consist of three very basic things:

  1. Setup (20%)
  2. Content (30%)
  3. Promotion (50%)

Blog Setup: In my best practices for wordpress blog post, I talked specifically about how I setup this (and other) wordpress sites. I think that parts of that are “pieces” of what I would consider the “Setup” portion of a plan for blogging success. I think a lot of the points could be elaborated on, so I’ll spend future posts on that. Setup to me just means getting the blog up and running, but I also consider it maybe ‘blog maintenance’ over time….adding and removing plugins, refining your theme, backing up your database, etc. I put 20% next to setup, because I think that setup and maintenance are never ending, and in the end it can consume all of your time if you aren’t careful. One fifth of your time seems about accurate as far as the amount of time you should be spending setting up your blog. Any more and you won’t be writing or promoting anything. Any less, and your blog won’t be user-friendly enough to keep people reading.

Blog Content: Content is of course king, and what in the end your visitors are actually coming for. 30% of your time may seem low, but honestly your blog has to be setup properly so users can easily subscribe, comment, search, read, etc. And promotion is 50% simply because the most important thing of all is driving traffic to the site and then monetizing it (if of course that is your goal). 30% is not low if you consistently have high quality content.

Blog Promotion: For the reasons I just stated – blog promotion is (to me) the most important thing. This would include things like seo work, building links, commenting on other blogs, building relationships with other sites, writing articles for link directory submissions, analyzing stats and visitor habits, and ads, affiliate links, or methods of monetization.

Ok – so far my grand “plan for blogging success” only consists of three bullet points. But now I have a plan…..er…an outline rather. I have a starting point from which to build on. But it was obviously a huge blogging mistake not to have a plan at all. Fleshing out the details of that plan will be the subject of many future posts (I’m sure). Do you have a plan for blogging success? Will you create one now? Will you come back here to see how my plan is working out? Please comment now below…!

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19 Responses

  • Wordpress Advice/ 19 Jul 07 @ 7:09 PM

    Your previous post on best practice for setup wordpress made me a fan of yours, but I have to disagree here, though not entirely.

    First of, I am not a successful blogger, but saying so is a bit premature, its only been a month since I started contents-magic, and probably two months since I started John Doe’s Random Bits. So my success is really not a great question in questioning you. However I disagree with the distribution of your efforts in different zones. In my view, the distribution should have been something like

    Setup – 10%
    Contents – 50%
    Promotion – 40%

    Let me explain why i think this distribution is right.

    Setup is something you should do once in the early stages of your blog. Temptation will almost always be there to make changes every now and then when you see coll stuff in other blogs and would want to accommodate that in yours. resist the temptation. There will definitely some stuff you would want to do in your blog that appears to add some cool functionality, but once your blog is out there and people know it , it really does not matter, unless its something that lowers the readability, dont keep on changing the look and feel of your blog. Following two rules may help.

    1) Dont make more then 2 changes in your blog’s look and feel once your initial setup is complete.
    2) If you decide to make a change in the look and feel or plug in , you must do at least 50% more effort in the other two areas [ie content and promotion]

    Contents is really what makes your blog worth reading. Create unique, distinct quality contents. Thats why your readers are there for. They want something that in return to there time spent on your blog, and you want to enhance their experience and make them feel they got what they wanted by visiting your blog. Once you have, the attention of your user, chances are that you will make them a loyal reader if you got quality contents that matches their interests.

    Your contents may lying there on your site for ever and hardly fifty users a month will actually get it if you don’t employ proper promotional efforts. Make some noise. Let the people know what you got. Drive them to your site from other traffic sources like fellow bloggers, networking forums .

    I learnt a lot from Yaro Starak’ Blog Mentorship Program, I would recommend everyone to give it a try. There are some amazing contents for almost everyone whether you are a pro, or just started your blog recently.

  • admin/ 20 Jul 07 @ 7:18 AM

    thank you for your comments…this is exactly the type of discussion I was looking for. I eluded to it a little bit in this post, but to me setup is not just the initial setup of your blog. I should probably go back and call it “setup and maintenance”.

    For me blog setup can consume every last waking moment. I have been creating web sites for years, so maybe I end up spending more time on this than most. But, what I plan to do is to show how much better your blog could be if you were spending consistent time on setup.

    In just the last week I’ve added in a postview counter, fixed my about page, fixed my blogroll, removed the meta info from my sidebar, added an emamil subscription box, totally changed my comment format and features, changed the title of my blog, added the description in the template, etc.

    Granted, I won’t be doing all these things all the time, but I think that it’s very important once you find something needing improvement to get it done (or you never will). I read some posts about increasing comments on your blog, so I changed the entire way mine work. I even added “top commenters” blog in the sidebar.

    Blog setup is so many things. It’s checking your feed in feedburner. It’s checking the google and Yahoo webmaster console to make sure there are no errors with your feed. It’s checking your site in google search pages to make sure your robots.txt is still ok. It’s checking the list if newly updated plugins every month, and making sure the sites you link too aren’t negatively impacting your site. I’ll explain all these things over time, and I think many of them are things that most bloggers don’t do.

    thanks again for your comments…we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one for a little bit!

  • Wordpress Advice/ 21 Jul 07 @ 9:01 AM

    Like you, I should have said more.

    I understand the maintenance part. That will take forever for the life cycle of your blog. So you got to budget some time for that. Understandable. The point I want to make is that you will never ever like the 100% of your blog look and feel. Its because of two reasons.

    First as a reader you will keep on stumbling upon a number of cool features in other blogs, web sites. Not all of these cool features can be implemented in your blog too.

    Secondly, you are in control of your blog. The power to be able to do something will always keep on pushing to actually do it.

    Now there will certainly be a few features that add up to the value of the blog. And Eventually you will decide to have those. But remember the 80/20 universal rule of life. Only implement those features which actually give you the most value of your time. And for that too, if you put a strict rule of working more on promotional activity and contents creation activity, you will end up getting much better result of that effort.

    You put that very rightly. We will have to agree on disagreeing. In general I like your blog contents. These are great for me.

  • Ionica/ 24 Jul 07 @ 2:58 AM

    My plan would be very different from yours:

    Setup – 10%
    Contents – 80%
    Promotion – 10%

    But my blog might be very different, it is a Dutch theme blog about maths that I keep with a friend. We put almost all our time in the content. We get a lot of publicity almost for free, since we are two girls writing about maths. We also won two Dutch blog awards, that helped a lot.

    My grand plan for success would be “find a topic you can write about in a way that nobody else can” and stick to it…

  • admin/ 09 Jan 08 @ 8:58 AM

    :) very nice article – thanks!

  • Elizabeth Sheppard/ 19 Jul 08 @ 8:01 PM

    Wow – you hooked me with your title! I really thought you might be the most successful blogger in the world!

    But it was a good blog anyhow.

  • Peavey/ 06 Nov 08 @ 12:14 PM

    I don’t really aspire to be a millionaire blogger, but I would like to have an audience that enjoys reading my site like I enjoy reading sites like this.

    So, if you ever get too bored, hop on over to my site and tell me what sucks about it, if you don’t mind. I’ve tried to take a lot of your advise into play. =

    Thanks!

    Peaveys last blog post..Ban the Pixie Stix!

  • Siegfried Garcia/ 21 Nov 08 @ 5:41 PM

    I’m a newbie blogger. And I must say, this post was one of my favs. Something that’s worth the time spent reading from comment to comment. Good stuff you got here. Very very very informative. Thank you very much. keep up the good work!

    Siegfried Garcias last blog post..Volume 2-9: Muscle Development

  • belladenoche/ 30 Nov 08 @ 11:48 AM

    Great title!The best example of how you can attract visitors to your site.

    would like to see those plans in more detail.

    belladenoches last blog post..BLOODY BERRY/para nuevos ricos

  • Elizabeth Sheppard/ 11 Mar 09 @ 9:07 PM

    You really got me. I was sure you were a super-successful blogger – maybe even the most-successful-blogger-in-the-world. =[]

    I will really pay attention and read your posting carefully, because I am very interested in bringing more visitors to my blogs. I will be following your progress. I wish you great success.

    Elizabeth Sheppards last blog post..Nontrad Secrets!

  • Darvin @ bestionicairpurifiers.com/ 28 Oct 09 @ 1:55 PM

    Wow! This sounds like really good stuff. I’m just starting out in Blogging and I’vee been searching for a good source for tips and suggestions toward creating a successful blog.

    From what I’ve learned so far, I would agree with your assessment that promotion is critical.

    I will be dropping in frequently for some more blogging goodness!
    .-= Darvin @ bestionicairpurifiers.com´s last blog ..Do Follow Blog, Comment Luv and Keyword Luv =-.

  • Darvin @ bestionicairpurifiers.com/ 02 Nov 09 @ 7:54 AM

    I have rearranged my focus to align with your suggested priority scale, and it’s still early, but I am already seeing some positive affects with respect to commenters and rankings.

    Thanks again! =)]
    .-= Darvin @ bestionicairpurifiers.com´s last blog ..Do Follow Blog, Comment Luv and Keyword Luv =-.

  • John Paul Aguiar/ 26 Dec 09 @ 1:26 PM

    Great post, once you have your blogging plan the hard part is sticking to it long term, even when the results you want havn’t really kicked in yet.
    .-= John Paul Aguiar´s last blog ..Happy Holidays and My Personal Thank You =-.

  • Valentina/ 30 Dec 09 @ 11:31 PM

    Arrived here via Dennis Eddel’s blog … my but this thread has got legs (or is that wine that has legs :-)

    I have to agree with the commenter who recommends a lesser percentage be given to setup. I see your point re maintenance but feel that 10% would be sufficient, at least for me. I am a strong believer in working to your strengths and therein perhaps lies the point of contention. Your having set up lots of blogs/sites etc. gives you a familiarity in the techie type stuff and you can put it to good use. For those of us who find that setup/maintenance is a necessity rather than a joy the day of a steadily growing income is eagerly looked forward to … outsource time!

    To your point though one should always check things … whether on your own work or outsourced. Ironically, I just recently discovered – more correctly put, it was pointed out to me that my categories were all bad links. Perhaps there is a basic “maintenance” list that we should all perform at least monthly to ensure that such incidence are kept to a minimum. Would you have any recommendations for such a list.

    best………….valentina
    .-= Valentina´s last blog ..Offline Bootcamps for Online Smarts =-.

  • admin/ 30 Dec 09 @ 11:48 PM

    @Valentina: If I were you I’d re-think that. You feel the same way as many do – and that’s a shame – you can see it here in my comments. Being a blogger, and using WordPress – but not having a clue how to maintain it mean you don’t think much of your work online at all. You don’t project it, you don’t secure it, you don’t maintain it – and just paying someone else to do it only sets yourself up to be at the mercy of someone who potentially doesn’t know much more than you. Ever been ripped off by a mechanic or a plumber? How would you even know if they were lying about what needed to be done?

    Knowing how to maintain your own blog is like knowing how to do basic home repair. Most people can paint, clean out gutters, get ready for winter – and the like. You work online and intend to make money from it. I want you to know I mean no disrespect by what I’m about to say…because I’m going to comment on your blog, I just visited it. In 60 seconds I learned your robots.txt file isn’t setup right, your blog isn’t secure at all, your using the “admin” account (the first one a hacker targets), you’re not using wordpress “pages” at all (except for an about page with no contact form), the links at the bottom of every page don’t work (contact us, terms of use, trademarks, and privacy statement – you could get your adsense account shut down for that having a the last one), your adsense ads are the wrong color and in the wrong spots (to make money), and you’ve been blogging a year – and have yet to get better than a pagerank 1 in google (you get that just for having a web site online). You probably don’t even have regular backups and if it was hacked tomorrow all your work would be lost. My point is – if you care about your blog and the time you put into, learn to maintain it. Not only are you protecting the work you do, you’ll be more successful as well.

  • Valentina/ 31 Dec 09 @ 12:48 AM

    soooooooooooooooooooo …. I have a lot of work to do on my blog! You should have seen it some three months ago. I had a different template (boring was pointed out to me) and the number of comments could be counted on ok, two hands at most.

    J.T. I do care about what I do, I’m just not in love with the tech type stuff and as you so aptly put it, it shows. I agree that you do need to know how to maintain your blog. What happens when you have multiple blogs? Some bloggers have them in the tens and for all I know in the hundreds. John Chow has an assistant that does the stuff he’s not particularly keen on (and I think now the assistant writes many of his posts as well).

    Another self made millionaire IM type, Dan Lok, echos what you say, that it is important to know everything otherwise when you outsource you can be easily ripped off but he does support the outsourcing, as he puts it, he made a list of those things he enjoyed doing and was good at, and another list of things that he did not want to do and sucked at.

    But J.T. you’ve got me going. I am going to take your laundry list with me when I next meet with my friend the IT/IM type and go over the items. Thank you so very much for taking the time and effort to visit my site and give me the feedback. I so appreciate it. It is with comments like yours that I and others like me grow. Mucho, mucho.

    best…………..valentina
    .-= Valentina´s last blog ..Offline Bootcamps for Online Smarts =-.

  • admin/ 31 Dec 09 @ 12:21 PM

    @Valentina:

    best of luck going over your items with your IT friend. That was my only point – people seem to take care of their personal possessions like cars and houses, but put thousands of hours into a web site and don’t give it the same consideration. I have 15-20 blogs, and I maintain them myself. I do have people help with certain things, but I do most of it myself. I remember when John Chow was nothing, and he did it all himself – all the coding, the designing, writing – all of it.

    The other thing too is I advise most bloggers that aren’t successful yet to stick with just one blog until they start getting a good amount of traffic, and begin to make money from it. Until you learn to do this from one blog – anything else is just a distraction.

  • Ian@ Loans/ 05 Jan 10 @ 5:15 AM

    Well I couldn’t agree more with you… the basic point is, in the end, treat your blog and blogging like a real business, like you’d treat a business that you must grow day after day after day…. success is never overnight!
    .-= Ian@ Loans´s last blog ..4 Reasons to Consolidate your Student Loans On or Before July 1st 2006 =-.

  • willi/ 25 Jan 10 @ 12:04 PM

    I think i have the hardest time with the promo. people are always telling me different things to do.
    .-= willi´s last blog ..Advantages To Insulating Basements =-.

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