Sometimes in the business of blogging, we are so focused on the craft, so hard at work on our content, that we forget certain things.
Things—behaviors, really—that if practiced consistently, will move us from an average blogger to an outstanding one.
I’ve been watching bloggers for three years now. I’ve visited a few of my own readers’ blogs this past week in preparing to select my first guest blogger. I’ve watched bloggers on Twitter and Facebook. Revisited the comments they’ve left on my own blog,
It is what they do around and outside the actual act of blogging that takes them to that completely different level.
The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers
1. They are open to new learning.
They are sponges, always absorbing new ideas. They experiment (So what if this one post bombed? Look what I learned!). They ask questions and weigh answers—from other bloggers and from their readers.
And they don’t get offended when someone takes the time to make a suggestion for improvement. Because it just may make their blog better.
2. They read widely.
Some of the smartest bloggers I know have voracious appetites for books. They understand that reading across multiple genres opens up their minds, makes them think in different ways and helps them understand all kinds of people.
What could be better for priming the blogging well?
3. They recognize and promote other bloggers.
Many of the successful bloggers out there find ways to shine a spotlight on others. They share links to some of their posts on Twitter and Facebook. Give them increased visibility with a guest post. Comment on and support their blogs. Write posts like “5 Bloggers I Admire.”
4. They are inspired by the ordinary stuff of life.
They can take an ordinary observation, like seeing a woman driving a car with her dog in her lap, not seat-belted in—something that we’ve all seen— and apply that to a marketing lesson. Or find blogging lessons in an episode of Sex and the City.
They observe life—I mean, really watch— and find gems of wisdom and insight. Then they blog about it.
5. They admit their mistakes.
This can be a tough one to swallow. Sometimes a reader will catch you not following your own advice. (It occasionally happens to me!)
How you react determines what you are made of. You can get all defensive in an oh-that-wasn’t-what-I-really-meant kind of way. Or you can say, “Yeah, boy. You’re right on that one. Thanks for calling me on that.” In the process, you either lose a reader or gain a fan.
Because honesty is in short supply these days.
6. They network with and find ways to recognize their readers.
Successful bloggers have a way of giving their readers a voice, too. Engaging them in the comments. Asking them to share resources and tips and giving them a link back to their blogs. Publicly recognizing a thoughtful comment they made on another blog that you both read. Even giving them an opportunity to write a post.
7. They don’t take themselves too seriously.
At BlogWorld last year, I was struck by a scene in the hallway outside the main conference room. There was a small knot in the center where a mini-crowd of 20-something women were gathered. They were focused on the person inside the circle.
As the circle opened up, I recognized the guy in the center as one of those social media “thought leaders.” (Man, do I hate that term.) He wore a t-shirt that said, “I’m kind of a big deal on Twitter.”
His groupies fan club appeared star struck. He seemed to be enjoying it. I’d say he was taking himself a little too seriously.
And then there are the other ones. The ones who don’t get freaked out when your eyes glance down at their name tag because, though they may be “famous,” you don’t recognize them by face. One such person saw me look at his name tag and held out his hand. It wasn’t until then that I knew who he was. And he didn’t seem to mind in the slightest that I needed an introduction.
The successful bloggers don’t focus on themselves, but, rather, on others. And they are even able to laugh at themselves from time to time.
What about you?
Aside from producing stellar content, what behaviors do you think successful bloggers have in common?
Did I leave something out?