Today I celebrate 3 years of blogging. This article will be about my reflections at the end of my 3-year journey.
This article will share what I’ve learned about the most popular blogs during my time blogging.
By the end of this article, you’ll be able to pattern your blog after the most popular blogs by adopting the mindset and the practices of the most successful bloggers. Those practices include making money blogging.
Reflections on blogging:
How my thinking evolved:
Initially, I thought traffic was the be all and end all. That’s all well and good except for one problem: At midnight, our stats revert to zero.
What matters more than blog traffic?
What matters is exposure. Exposure leads to influence. Influence leads to opportunities.
How to get exposure: Promote everywhere.
If you are trying to make money blogging, what really matters is your influence. Your reach and influence will extend from your widespread blog promotion.
Imagine my shock when I had extended my influence so much, I was called an influencer. My reaction to being called “an influencer” was disbelief.
In addition to being called “an influencer,” in my 3 years I’ve:
- Been nominated for having the Most Informative Blog at the Bloggers Bash out of only 13 nominees.
- Became an ebook author.
- Made thousands of dollars.
- Hosted a Twitter chat.
- Participated in over 30 expert interviews.
- Been invited to participate in a blogging summit.
I experienced all these milestones without trying. This post will explain how these events occurred and what you can control so you can experience these successes as well.
Blogging guru Ryan Biddulph predicted people would seek me out. They did. He was right.
Why did it happen? How did they know about me?
- People found me on Lifehack and offered me financial opportunities.
- People discovered I have almost 14,000 Twitter followers and offered me financial opportunities. I have a paid writing gig I got without looking for it. The blog found me on Twitter. People have written that Twitter is a waste of time since the traffic to your blog might be minimal. However, the financial opportunities I received due to my Twitter growth is a great return on my time invested. Making money blogging is not always about having blog traffic.
- People found me at MyBlogU and offered me opportunities.
- People saw me in expert interviews and offered me additional opportunities. As a result, I received links from the biggest blogs on the Internet like Jeff Bullas’s blog.
- I have a good DR score. People want a link from me and pay me to give them one. A link from a blog with a good Domain Rating gives you Google juice and increases your SEO.
What is your blogging goal?
Is it traffic? Exposure leads to traffic.
Is it money? Exposure leads to traffic which leads to money.
What are the secrets to success of the most popular blogs?
18 Lessons Learned: The most popular bloggers know the following truths about blogging:
- Blogging envy is normal. Don’t beat yourself up emotionally if you have it. Accept that there will always be bloggers more successful than you– who have more organic traffic, more subscribers…
- Don’t compare your journey to others. What works for you might not work for other bloggers and the other way around. For example, I know bloggers who have generated a great amount of traction from LinkedIn and Reddit and other bloggers who haven’t received any traction from those sites to speak of.
- Don’t compare your subscriber count to others. I work outside the home and don’t have as much time to network as other people do. They may have greater numbers if they spend all day in front of a computer.
- It doesn’t matter if other bloggers have more engagement than you do. Facebook groups exist where you can trade comment for comment and like for like. You don’t know if their comments and likes represent true engagement.
- Patience is a mandatory quality for a successful blogger. When I heard blogging is a marathon, not a sprint, blogging became easier for me. I am not the most patient of people. For example, I heard organic traffic can take months or even years to generate, so I bit the bullet and tried to patiently wait for my articles’ turns for search traffic.
- The philosophy, “Treat others the way you’d want to be treated” is true. If you want people to support you as a blogger, you need to support them. For example, if you want people to retweet your articles, you need to retweet their articles.
- You need an understanding support system. If my husband wasn’t supportive of my blogging, I can’t imagine how I’d have been able to push on for three years.
- Blogging takes money. Self-hosted bloggers have expenses. Your monthly host fees and your email service won’t pay themselves. You need money to maintain a blog.
- You do not need tech skills to be a successful blogger. Of course, that’s assuming you can afford to outsource your tech needs. (See realization #8.)
- Blogging can be stressful. For example, what do you do when your blog breaks? How do you stick to your editorial calendar and meet your publication deadlines when your offline commitments get in the way?
- You will meet more supportive and interesting people than you could ever imagine existed. My 2015 Thanksgiving post What No One Tells You About Blogging discusses my gratitude to the blogging community. Your blogging friends are your friends. Your online friends are as much your friends as anyone offline.
- Blogging will spoil you. How could you possibly be this lucky?
- There is more to social media than blog promotion. I know you’re busy and want to link drop when you promote your posts. Get in and get out, right? Wrong. People write me on Twitter to ask how my weekend was and wish me a good week. I write people on Twitter to thank them for supporting my blog. Social media was designed for you to be social.
- Blogging will exhaust you. You will lose sleep. How could you not? Creative ideas will pop into your mind as you toss and turn in the wee hours of the morning. You must record them immediately or risk losing them. You have editorial deadlines to meet, comments to return, photos to transform into graphics, and sponsored posts to write in order to pay your blogging bills. Also, somewhere in all of that, you need to find time to live your life offline.
- Blogging takes a great deal of time. In the comments section of a recent productivity post, bloggers reported that from start to finish, one blog post takes four hours. My latest expert interview of 7,000 words took four months.
- You will sacrifice time spent on activities and with people you made time for before you became a blogger. Something had to give. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day.
- Friends and family you have offline may not understand your blogging passion. They won’t. Don’t try to force realizations.
- It is possible to make money blogging.
How to Make Money Blogging: My Discoveries
Consider these comments from a reader:
You are right, per survey a few years back, 81 percent of bloggers never make more than $100. ~ Peter Nyiri from https://blogging.org/blog/blogging-stats-2012-infographic/
I say that nothing that gives you exposure is a waste of time.
One of the most frequently asked questions by bloggers: “How do the most popular bloggers make money?” When I started, I wanted to discover those secrets as well. It turns out the answer does not contain secrets at all.
How did I make thousands of dollars blogging in less than three years?
- People rent space in my sidebar.
- People pay me to publish their links.
- People pay me to publish their writing on my blog.
- People pay me to publish my writing on their blogs.
- People buy my ebook.
- People hire me as a blogging coach.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Run your own race. It doesn’t matter what other bloggers are doing.
- Influence is more important than blog traffic.
- Do your best to create quality work.
- Success will find you.
In closing, these are the lessons I’ve learned about the most popular blogs and so should you.
I still haven’t hit all my marks as a blogger. However, I’ve hit many of them. If you follow the strategies in this post, you can hit your marks too.
What are your goals? If it’s monetization, then focus on that objective. Use my ideas as a checklist.
If that is your goal, and you want to make money blogging, you need exposure.
Do you want traffic? You need exposure.
It doesn’t matter what your goals are. Whatever they are, whatever your fondest blogging wish is, exposure will bring it to you.
The ideas in this post should tell you how to achieve your blogging dreams.
The admins of the most popular blogs have mastered these blogging tricks that have taken me three years to learn.
If you adopt their mindsets and practices, you can have one of the most popular blogs as well.
Readers, please share so other bloggers know techniques of the most popular bloggers.
Veteran bloggers, did I leave out any epiphanies you can add to my list?
Newer bloggers, I look forward to your views in the comments section. Did I share any practices the most popular blogs have that were new ideas for you?