Do you ever feel as if your blog has plateaued?
Like you’ve hit some kind of blogging hump you just can’t get over?
About a year ago I wrote the 8 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers here on Copyblogger.
I practice those habits and continue to see huge improvements in my writing — but some habits come more naturally than others.
Through this continued struggle, I’ve identified 8 more habits to help stay on top of the ceaseless blogging and writing game, to get over those humps and get back to work that matters.
I think these 8 habits will help you reach your blogging and content marketing goals:
1. Effective bloggers take risks
Most successful bloggers have one thing in common: they’ve started blogs that failed.
They don’t stop trying new things at the first sniff of success either, their blogs keep evolving and changing to move with the times and with their readers.
You have to be brave when you start blogging, then keep taking those risks and keep innovating.
Not every idea will work.
Many will fail, but if you don’t keep taking risks and trying new things your blog will get stale and your readers will get bored.
2. Effective bloggers are creative
If you’re ready to take risks you need to come up with creative ideas to run with.
As time goes on it can feel harder to come up with and act on new ideas that keep adding value to your blog.
It’s critical to keep acting creatively, and then fine tune those ideas that have legs.
If you want to be truly creative you’ll need to keep taking action and develop a thick skin.
3. Effective bloggers are really passionate
You’re passionate about what you do, aren’t you?
But the whole idea of being passionate about your niche is such a cliché, I can see you’re just about to skip this bit.
Yes, you might know you’re passionate about your topic — but you need to make sure your readers know it too.
You need to make sure your passion jumps off the screen from your blog, your Facebook page and your Twitter account so that your readers love hanging out with you and don’t take their attention or business elsewhere.
4. Effective bloggers are visible and engaging
I’m always astonished by how many new bloggers see comments as being a pain in the neck.
It seems they look at comments as something that only eats up their time.
Effective bloggers see their blog readers as interesting people who they naturally want to interact with them. They reply to comments on their blog posts and talk to their readers on other social media because they value them.
The best bloggers focus on creating strong content that resonates with their readers. They’re not afraid to be provocative or share personal stories. They have that unique voice and point of view which creates reader loyalty.
Effective bloggers really talk to people. They show they care, and engage their readers rather than just going through the motions of networking because it has to be done.
5. Effective bloggers are disciplined and organized
If you’ve got one of these traits, you’re onto a good thing.
If you have both, you’ll go far.
The top bloggers are able to focus on the big picture and have the discipline to stick with it.
They have organized systems with editorial calendars planned months in advance, lists of RSS feeds for blog reading, and deadlines for new products they’re developing.
Like many good traits, you’re not going to nail discipline and organization overnight, but if you keep working on them, and keep improving your productivity, your blogging will improve.
6. Effective bloggers are self-aware
They know what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how to work to them (or through them) to achieve their goals.
You need to know your limitations and learn how to delegate the tasks you can’t do well, or don’t enjoy, to people who can take care of them more effectively than you.
Things like blog design, technical issues, or editing can be handed over to other people or organizations.
If you’re not a natural born writer you can even pay someone to ghost write your blog posts for you.
7. Effective bloggers use a variety of media
In 1995 I signed up for an Master of Arts program in Design for Interactive Multimedia.
We spent a lot of time working out which media would best communicate our desired outcomes.
We spent spent days debating if a particular point would be best taught through video, with images, or in text.
But out in the real world, it doesn’t work like that. Bloggers are governed by budget and time constraints.
It’s easy to stick to text and hope for the best, but more and more bloggers are turning to video, audio, and more.
Video doesn’t have to be a difficult undertaking, and it needn’t cost an arm and a leg. And it’s a powerful way to get your point across or to make your point more accessible to your readers.
Nothing will personalize you and your blog better than video, even if it’s just a two-minute production filmed on your iPhone.
8. Effective bloggers diversify their income
Having multiple income streams is a good idea in any business.
It’s key if you want to make money blogging. It protects you if one income stream fails, and allows you to safely test new ways of earning money.
There are many ways to build a business around a good blog. You may use your blog to build your profile, sell your services, open up new career opportunities, or partner with the right people to develop software or instructional courses.
If you’ve grown your readership and built trust and authority with them, you can make money directly through your blog by selling advertising, offering sponsored blog posts, or becoming an affiliate. (These aren’t Copyblogger’s preferred models, but they work well for many bloggers.)
A combination of some or all of the above will increase the income that your blog generates, whether directly or indirectly.
It’s not what happens, but how you act on it
Whatever habits you do or don’t currently possess, one thing is inevitable when it comes to effective blogging: The bumps and turns will pop up regularly. You will reach plateaus that you feel you won’t be able to break.
The only way to get over those humps and through those plateaus is to keep blogging, to slowly adjust your habits, and keep learning and applying new techniques that work for you.
The problem is not that these challenges come along, it’s that we don’t face them correctly.
Can you add any wisdom to these 8 habits of highly effective bloggers? Let us know about your own effective habits in the comments …