Secrets of Successful Bloggers

By: | March 1, 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , |
Networking is the Secret Ingredient to Blogging.

What is the one secret ingredient to blogging?

Are you a blogger who has tried everything you can think of to improve readership?  Are you tired of being discouraged by falling stats?  Be concerned no more.  There is a definite answer to getting more readership.

This is a follow-up post to How To Be A Successful Blogger: 19 Experts Share Their Secrets.  Even though I just published it a week ago, it is my most successful post.  I am still a relatively new blogger, but the post was getting triple-digit page views for many days after it was published.  According to my definition in 4 Ways to Make Your Blog Posts Go Viral,  my interview of the 19 bloggers went viral since it had unusually high page views.

However, despite the favorable response of the readers, the post did not offer a definitive answer since the nineteen experts disagreed with each other.

In the week that followed, my readers and I embarked on a debate in which we tried to ascertain the definitive answer.  What is the secret ingredient to blogging?

Infographic: Successful blogging according to blogging experts

When asked for the secret to successful blogging, the experts had a variety of answers.

The blogging experts’ answers are listed in the infographic.  In order to come up with the key ingredient to blogging, we need to address the factors they believed would result in successful blogging.

  • Be Yourself

As Glen Long explained in the Experts… post, being themselves can get bloggers in trouble.  For many bloggers, this includes only writing about what interests them, the person in the mirror, themselves.  If readers feel like the blogger is only throwing a party for one, they could lose interest.

  • Ignore Numbers

Human growth is evolution.  There is nothing wrong with healthy competition, especially when competing with oneself for higher stats than the month before.  If that push to beat your stats makes you a better blogger, than I am all for it.  Track runners try to beat their time, bloggers should be able to try to beat their stats.

  • Think of the Reader

Giving away free items to get a reader to follow you is gimmicky.  What if they follow you to get the free item and then unsubscribe once they have it?  We shouldn’t need gimmicks.  (Is that idealistic of me?  Hey, I’m still new; I’m in the honeymoon period of blogging; I’m not jaded yet.)

  • Use Images

I am still trying to explain the value of Pinterest to my husband.  Hey, don’t get me wrong.  I believe in the value of engaging images both as a blogger and as a teacher.  However, not everyone is a visual learner.  Apparently, my husband falls into that category.

  • Money

I know of bloggers who get validation from helping others.  They don’t want ads cluttering up their site.  They have successful blogs and make no money at all from blogging.

  • Great Content

I know a blogger who publishes inspirational quotes others have written several times each day.  He did not write them, so the quotes aren’t his content, and he doesn’t respond to the quotes.  He just publishes them, and he has one of the most successful blogs I know.  It astounds me how many readers he has who click “like” and comment.  Since the quotes are others’ writing, the key ingredient can’t be great content.

  • They All Matter

What can I say except, no comment.  I asked the expert, if you could give bloggers one tip for success, what would it be?  He said more than one, so his answer is hereby disqualified from consideration.

  • Networking

After reflecting on the experts’ answers, I have honed in on networking as the definitive answer.  I believe based on experience and observation that there is a definite answer.  There is a key ingredient to blogging success, and it is networking.

Every time I have had a boost in readership and ultimately page stats, it was because of networking.  I networked with the experts and had a post go viral.  Bloggers reblogging my writing, guest posts, Blogger Meet and Greets, WordPress classes, Linky parties, and Twitter connections are all additional examples of networking that led Reflections to grow.  Whether the goal is to get new eyes on your blog, get a question answered, or get emotional support, networking is the key to help you reach it.

If you think the experts’ information or my response to it could help others with their blogging, please share.

Readers, do you agree with me that networking is key or do you think one of the other experts is correct?  Do you think there is another key that none of them mentioned?

I look forward to your views.  What is the secret ingredient in your pot?



    • Janice Wald

      You have been so good to me, a friend. Does that mean I get to call you by your first name? Is it Wy?
      Thanks for the reblog. Let me know if your readers think networking is the key to blogging success. I do.

  1. Human Interest

    Reblogged this on Human Interest and commented:
    Thank you for this!

    • Janice Wald

      Benjamin, you are the best! You and I are the perfect example. I networked with Jason Cushman; I think that’s how I met you. I networked with you, and my blog grows each time we interact.
      Seriously, I wish I could help you in some way. If yes, let me know.
      Otherwise, send me a link to a House of Cards post you’ve written and we can talk dead Season I characters. Ha Ha Ha. I had an amazing weekend, in part due to you. You are THE MAN!!

      • Human Interest

        No, Janice, you are! We really are. Really? He’s great!

        You can help, just continue writing great blog posts so I can reblog them. Oh and keep the conversations coming too! 🙂

        You will most certainly be the first to know! I’m glad! My weekend wasn’t good good but you definitely made it alright 😉

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Lorie,
      Thank you so much for the reblog. I was so touched when I read it. I’ll be curious to see if your readers agree that networking is the answer to growth. Take care,

  2. blondeusk

    Great post Janice! I think the human element is the key. Your blog needs that human aspect added to be successful.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Lucy,
      You and I are a perfect example. My blog grew because you and I networked. It’s that simple. Thanks for reading what I wrote.

      • JcCee

        Hey Janice,
        I looked at it just like a person would at someone who is trying to sale a product. I have often read that people buy from people because of the connection that was developed. A relationship was built. You can have the best product but if you are not connecting with the customers it may be difficult to sale. This same approach can be use for promoting your blog. You can have the best content but if you are not connecting and building relationships with others, it may never been seen. So, I do understand that great content is important but I do not think that it can stand alone. Another example could be when authors get a deal with a publishing company and they do book tours to promote their books. They are participating in networking when they are doing book tours. Even though I am still in the beginning stage of networking, my blog started picking up in traffic when I started visited other blogs and interacting with them by commenting and networking on twitter. I also have started getting a little traffic from google plus.

  3. sunflower

    I agree with networking. An editor of the website told me it was un real that I had so much interaction on my blog since it was so new. So I told her that I made a point of taking the WordPress courses, visited many other blogs, built relationships and networked on Facebook and Twitter. So it’s definitely the key.

    • Janice Wald

      So nice to meet you this weekend. First, thank you so much for the follow. Secondly, I went to your Blogger Greet and Meet. Although people clicked the “like” button on your site, I don’t think anyone came over from there. However, I noticed you encouraged others to reblog it. I plan on doing that later this week. I’ve never had a Meet and Greet before! Thank you for the great idea and for contacting me. I’m excited!
      In regards to networking, please offer me some tips. I am learning from you. How did you network on Facebook? Did you join groups? If so, which ones? Thanks and welcome!

      • sunflower

        Hi Janice! In the beginning people did follow blogs but by now, since the post is a while ago, I wonder if ppl come back to check? About FB, you need to have an established presence on FB for this to work. I have my friends who support me. Then I am part of a great group of friends who are all bloggers and all support each other. THEN I joined many bloggers group and there you have people who comment on each other’s blogs and some like what they see so they follow 🙂 Do you have a FB page?

        • Janice Wald

          I wonder if we’re in the same FB groups which is why I asked. I never see you in them I’m in SoCal Lady Bloggers, Women of Midlife, MommyBloggers, Pin it, Tweet It, Share It, you?
          Here is the link to my FB Page
          Would you mind checking it out for me? I only have 48 likes and have had it for months.
          What do “likes” get you?
          My FB friends are not bloggers, so maybe 48 isn’t surprising.
          Can you check it out; am I doing anything wrong? Thanks so much for all the time today.

          • sunflower

            I’ll connect with you on FB (I’m Rebecca Beck)

          • Janice Wald


          • sunflower

            wrote on your wall 😉

          • Janice Wald

            Thanks. See we’re net working =). I’m curious as to your opinion. Will check tomorrow. Got to go to sleep; I have school in the morning

          • sunflower

            Morning here! Good night 🙂

        • Janice Wald

          When was the Blogger link up first reblogged? That explains a lot. I’m glad you told me.

          • sunflower

            21 Feb

  4. john doe

    After re-reading your blog several times, I thought about my other comment and the other readers comments and I have changed my position. I thought about no matter how much networking you do or promoting your blog on all the social media sites, no one is going to care if it has bad content.and does not say anything worthwhile. What you write and how you write it is more important than promotion. If there is no substance in the blog, then who cares. Nobody on Facebook, Twitter, or your followers are going to re-blog or share something that has no meat and potatoes, or is written badly. Yes networking is the key to being a successful blogger but first you have good content and be a good writer. I remember the Experts disagreed on what was the most important thing in blogging. All your Blogs have great content and you are a great writer who educates anyone who reads your blogs. You are always providing us with the tools to become better networkers

    • Janice Wald

      It is obvious you put a lot of thought into your comments which I appreciate. I’d be curious what my other readers think about your comment.
      For me, I think the bottom line has to do with the stats I read. So many excellent, well-intentioned writers abandon their blogs on average six months in. Why, if they are excellent writers with an important message? Because they don’t know how to promote. They are playing to an empty room.
      I am arranging for a guest blogger to enlighten my readers on the best way to network. Stay tuned!

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  6. Susan Langer

    I think networking is important, but I agree with the experts that it all is important. If you fall down on any o the things mentioned, your blog falls down too. 🙂

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  8. Elle Knowles

    Reblogged this on Finding Myself Through Writing and commented:
    There are lots of little secrets to successful blogging, but Janice Wald seems to have put her finger on one of the most important ingredients. It’s not a secret anymore. All you have to do is take it and run with it! ~Elle

  9. Elle Knowles

    The secret’s out of the bag now Janice! Lots of great advice here. Re-blogged this today. ~Elle

    • Janice Wald

      I have had such a nice few days getting to know your readers. I tried to tell one of them how we met. Was it in WordPress U Blogging 101?
      My growth this week, as a result of your reblog, confirms that networking is the answer to growth.

      • Elle Knowles

        Janice, I think it was blogging 101. That was a great class wasn’t it? Glad your stats are up and yes networking helps a whole lot! Join me for #reblogwednesday if you get the chance! ~Elle

  10. Christy Birmingham

    The key, I think, is also to blog at least once a week so that your name/face stays fresh in readers’ minds 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Christy,
      Thank you for the follow! I don’t know if once a week is enough. A new blogger needs growth. The more exposure your writing gets, the more growth your blog will get. I wrote a post on how to never run out of blog ideas just today since a reader was concerned he’d run out of ideas. Check it out. Here’s the link in case you haven’t seen the post.

  11. Shel Harrington

    Appreciated this. Especially the “content” comment – now I feel less alone in my “REALLY??”

    • Janice Wald

      Hi! How cool is that! My husband and I, like the commenters, have been going back and forth on this since I wrote the post. Wayne insists content is the key. I insist networking is the key. I’ve continued to think of that because of the comments on the post and my discussions with Wayne.
      I met Elle (in a WordPress class, I think). She reblogged me. I met you and many from her site. My blog readership grew. Wahla! Networking.

  12. Fat-Bottom-Fifties Get Fierce

    Yea, networking! We’ll keep plugging away – thanks for the encouragement, Janice!

    • Janice Wald

      You sound like you have a wonderful personality. I’m trying to understand from your other comment, did you want me to add you to the Follow to Follow Directory?
      Welcome to Reflections.

  13. annepm2015

    Networking is important but I think JeCee gave a great point. She said the connection people make is an important attribute to promoting one’s blog. I post weekly to make connections to others and get my blog out there in familiarity. I also pick up other viewers that way. Good advice on networking with twitter and google too.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Anne!
      Welcome to my blog! Thank you so much for the follow.
      Isn’t the connection people make and networking similar? Maybe you’re saying it’s not enough to network, you need to bond. I’m sorry if I’m confused. I’m trying to understand the difference. Am I right? Is that the difference?

      • annepm2015

        Yes, networking is important but connection really starts the bonding process. People respond better to familiarity as it feels safer, especially communicating online. I happen to think both are important. You are not confused. I just needed to make it clearer. 🙂

        • Janice Wald

          Thanks. I think I will go into Twitter right now and bond. LOL Thanks for clarifying.

  14. Oh My Heartsie Girl

    Reblogged this on Lady Via Bella Boutique and commented:
    From all I read “Networking” above all is the key to the success of a well read and visited blog to gain followers that will return again and again.

    • Janice Wald

      Hey Karren,
      I wasn’t sure if I thanked you yesterday for the follow, and I wanted to make sure I officially welcomed you.
      By the way, for a post that is almost a week old, “Secrets of Successful Bloggers” is still doing very well. I know you reblogged it. Hopefully, it’s getting you some page views too.
      Thanks again for the reblog and the follow. Don’t forget to keep me apprised of your Linky parties.

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  16. Melissa (Wading Through Motherhood)

    Networking is definitely important. I have found that a good title is essential too. If the title isn’t interesting, people might not click on it. I found your post at the #SITSgirls Saturday Sharefest.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Melissa!
      Thanks for coming over. I had trouble finding SITS this week, and I stayed up till 2:00 am California time. Did you? As a result, my posts were almost #300 and after, so I’m relieved you are here. Thanks.
      Yes, I agree. An intriguing title is very important. It’s the reader’s first look at your writing. It’s the foot in the door. They won’t enter if they don’t like what they see at the beginning.
      Thanks again for coming over.

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