8 More Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers

image of number eight typewriter key

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 …

About the Author: Copywriter Annabel Candy started blogging in 2006 to overcome her fear of being read publicly. She didn’t write another blog post for three years. Finally she set up a popular travel blog and become a confident writer. Last year Annabel wrote the ebook Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps to help other writers tap into the power of blogging. Check it out here and use discount code “35off” to get (you guessed it) 35% off.

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Comments

  1. Brilliant Post, highly appreciated.

  2. Great lessons here. I particularly identify with the first one; I have started blogs that have failed and blogs that have crashed (read: hacked). But I refuse to give up. My blog is successful because I have decided to treat it like it is. About using a variety of media, I’m still trying to incorporate that. I try to practice the 8 habits but every day is a learning process. Thanks for this post Annabel.

    • I second this comment whole-heartedly because it’s so true that this post is a good reminder of great lessons: there are failures along the road, but you can still be successful (needed post this morning!).

  3. In a nutshell….effective bloggers have an entrepreneurial spirit.

    I can’t recall what 8 habits were in the original post (will go check now), but I think that anyone that blogs as a business…and finds success….can be classed as an entrepreneur. The same qualities apply.

    Great list!

    • Great point — the same traits that serve entrepreneurs (creativity, energy, a certain flexible stubbornness) are the ones that make for successful blogs.

    • Wow – maybe that is why I like blogging so much…but still have yet to see how I am going to transform this into earning a revenue :-). For now it is more about providing me some therapy and hopefully encouragement and hope to others!

  4. Effective bloggers are social.

  5. Thank you for this highly useful information. I am new to blogging on a regular basis. I tried a few different types of blogs in the past…but finally found my real passion – based on my on real life experiences. While I don’t yet have a huge readership…I know that if I just keep pressing on, that this will come eventually as my writing and expertise continues to grow. I hope to look at this blog site more over the coming months to keep incorporating more into my own blog. While earning money isn’t a primary reason I am blogging – grabbing a larger audience sure would be nice!

    Blessings,
    Holli

    • Hi Holli,

      Love that you mention how your writing and expertise will grow the more you blog. So true and we all need to remember that every blog post we write helps us improve our skills and grow our audience:)

      • Thanks Annabel…and I will check out your book over Thanksgiving! And I just totally experimented with a little bit of a new style and a touchy topic tonight…thank you for giving me permission to do this!

  6. Annabel,

    You have some really good points here on what it takes for a blogger to become successful. So many fail…because it is tough and it takes a lot of talent.

    Bloggers need to be hard working, entrepreneurs with vision and good planing abilities. that is quite a lot for any single person.

  7. The place I look to when I’m stuck is the list of search terms by which people find my blog. If I see a particular term pop up more than once and if it’s a topic I’ve not addressed yet, I’ll blog about it. (I should note that this scheme does not include paparazzi searches. I do not run a gossip column.)

  8. Creative, Disciplined and Organized are great habits, I like to use checklists as to do lists, but I always keep at least an hour a day for random stuff, that tends to be my most creative moments.

    • I give myself a set of goals for the day, and then I give myself more time than those goals require.

      That way I have some time left just to randomly browse around or to write something on a whim. And it usually works out as being a bit of a self-reward, too.

  9. Awesome, I have none of those habits, except #3.

  10. Great tips Annabel!
    Thanks for sharing, I struggle the most with #5, but I’m getting better.
    -AJ

  11. Annabel,

    I like all 8 of your “8 habits of highly effective bloggers”. As I read through them I kept thinking “I am working on that”.

    The one that really stands out for me however is “5. Effective bloggers are disciplined and organized”. I think this is really important in order to be able to accomplish anything. In some ways I am not an overly organized person but in others I am very organized. I think my biggest problem is kids. It I did not have someone reorganizing for me all of the time I could actually stay organized. I home school as well so organizing my time gets difficult also. I truly believe that I have to be disciplined and organized in order to be good at everything else I do. So, I work on those every day.

    Great list. I loved the post.

    Dee Ann Rice

  12. I am going to try to implement these ideas as much as possible. I think your first point, about risk-taking, is very important. It is important to realise that not all ideas are going to be successful, but due to some failed endeavors you can not stop innovating.

  13. Seriously Annabel! You are a breath of fresh air! I will be forwarding this to every one I know who thinks they can blog for 5 minutes and get the results the want! Consistency, dedication, passion, innovation, engagement, discipline….the list goes on! Thanks for adding another valuble 8 tips. You rock!

  14. This is pretty similar to the “code” I’ve been blogging by all year. It has paid off in profile building, 1000% traffic increase and revenue increase. Number 5 is something I’m ALWAYS working on. I’m pretty organised around my blog but not with deadlines around the products I have “planned”. Thanks for the reminder, Annabel. Love your work!

  15. Great Post. I think diversification is really important. And the comments comment is an interesting one, I wonder if it is hard for some of us (like myself) because we are naturally introverted (which is why we like working online vs off)…

  16. Hi Annabel, Good article. Pretty much sums up the blueprint for success no matter what the venture. Words of wisdom for all business here. I love the clean, clear way you express yourself. Feel very inspired after reading what you write.
    Madonna

  17. Great post, lots of great tips. I thin you are right about passion, it definitely has to jump off the page.

  18. I am one that needs to probably be a little more honest with myself. Especially in terms of using a variety of media. I think it can work against you sometimes, if you do not have an aptitude for certain mediums (like video), or the willingness to work on it.

  19. Hello Annabel,
    I have been reading your work for quite some time, and you led the first ever webinar I watched with Brenda Gaddi.
    Just cast any eye over the list…I truly will come back and look in details. I know that I can tick the boxes of all except the one about income.
    My passion is there, my variations of exposure too, as is my discipline, my knowledge, and my organisation.
    As someone who went from full time employment as a teacher and school principal, to ‘nothing much’ I needed something other than lazy days and caring for grandchildren.
    Blogging became an outlet, then a source of community, then a place for friendships….and now my blog is taking me to the world of Business.
    My blog is actually part of the website, where I am creating the niche of services and advice in education and schooling.
    I am surrounding myself with great people to guide me, both on-line and off, and I am making this venture my new business.
    As an ordered person, and with skills of organisation, along with a heart for listening to people, I believe that blogging will become a way to earn income. I have many irons in the fire…including speaking engagements, e-book ideas and more.
    I will be in touch I am sure.
    Denyse

  20. It is shocking how many bloggers take their readers for granted. Of course, as many new bloggers tell me, you have to get comments in the first place in order to respond to them. But I think that circles back to your earlier points: if no one is moved to comment, it’s probably because you aren’t taking enough risk or being terribly creative. The best advice I got was from Jon Morrow (Associate Editor here at Copyblogger). He said if you aren’t afraid to hit the publish button, you haven’t put enough of yourself in your post. I try to live by that advice today, and it’s served me well.

  21. Hi Annabel… a very timely reminder and just what I needed to get a bit more focused on my blog today!! I especially liked #2 – I look at it that if I live creatively I’ll always have something to write about!! And the topic I most need to write about today is presence… it has come up in so many ways in the last couple of weeks… a big universal kick in the proverbial I think!!

  22. Habits become skills with repetition so I’ll keep on trying by taking risks and being creative, but as you say its no good just ‘being’ passionate – You’ve got to be able to communicate that passion –
    When it comes down to it, communication skills are the key don’t you think?
    Love your #7 tip reminding me to be more adventurous using the variety of media means available to spread the word other than always using just the written word. :)

  23. Excellent tips here Annabel. I particularly love number one. Taking risks is important, it is how we learn what we are good at and what to leave to others. It allows us to create a blog that is interesting and unique.
    Love your work Annabel – in my bookmarks most definitely.

  24. Hi Annabel. As a new blogger, i’m keen to learn and your points are very helpful. Blogging involves so much more than I originally thought but I am slowly realizing how important it is to be organized and disciplined. Now to try and introduce your other points especially those of taking risks and creativity.

  25. All power tips Annabel! I like 3. Effective bloggers carry passion with them, in all they do. Readers feel this passion and flock to them.

    Thanks for sharing!

    RB

  26. Well done, Annabel. Hope these points are going to end up in a pay-for product. ;)

    As a commercial guy, for me successful blogging is all about creating reader value without giving away ‘free’ information – unless of course, people are blogging as a hobby.

    Best to you,

    Robin

  27. Effective bloggers are effective and , organised, disciplined and self-aware, i personally love those ones – they are key to any blogger. Anyways, thanks for the great post

  28. Great post Annabel:) I like the structure of this post, having a number checklist like this is always enticing to read, & somehow seems easy to read as well. maybe that’s why the big JC made 10 commandments etc…people like me respond well to numbered checklists:) cheers, neroli

  29. Awesome! I just wrote a post about this then saw yours and I got them all! I’ve got my own dimensions too – blogging as an ACTIVE LEARNING space. Please contribute, I could do with some stimulation people!! Thanks, Jonny http://enablecreation.com/2011/10/26/true-power-of-blogging/

  30. AAAARRRRGGGHHH!! Looks like I’ve got some work ahead of me … but good news too – I’ve nailed a couple of habits as well!! Excellent and helpful post – as usual- Annabel!!!

  31. All 8habits are quite educative,will try to adopt.

  32. Excellent advice Annabel. I’m going to share it with The Blogstress Network.

    I’m considering closing my 2nd blog, Petals, Palettes and Parties, and incorporating it into my primary one. I’ve been too worried about putting too many divisions or pages on Zero to 60and beyond but maybe I just need a better design. Know anybody??
    b

  33. Most of these are traits, not necessarily habits. That said, good stuff. I do quite a bit of reading about blogging and starting a successful web based business. There is a lot of good information. When it comes down to it, you just have to roll up your sleeves and work smart and hard. You don’t learn how to box without getting punched in the nose.

    So, I have been finding that posting some quick notes and reminders of info I find helpful / useful where I can see it often is a good way to keep me focused and keep these things top of mind.

  34. Hi there lovely Annabel as usual you have hit the nail on the head with these tips – well done! So good that you have mentioned that we’ve all had blogs that failed, sometimes miserably before we became more successful lol and passion for your subject – oh yes! Loved your last post too re: monetization some great tips there as well :)

  35. passion is very important it keeps you going even when things are not looking up!

  36. The first habit started so well that it has come to my awakening.
    It goes: “Most successful bloggers have one thing in common: they’ve started blogs that failed.”
    While I read on, it inspired me to continue blogging with consistency in schedule and content.
    Thanks for the the post!

  37. I agree with Annabel, unless you are passionate about blogging don’t start with it. It takes time, little bit of research as the technology is changing daily & a dedicated schedule for writing. These all things are THE most important factors that can help make or break a blog. Gone are the days that you write a controversial title and a mediocre content and your blog will survive, I think you have posted the 8 most important factors!

  38. Point number 5 is a reminder to me. At times there are 1001 things to do that I don’t know where to begin. I actually forgot to plan schedule in a longer term. Currently I;m only working on 2 days schedule which I know it’s not healthy.

  39. I think I have 1,2,3,5,6 in place more or less. But I need to work on using more media, diversification of income and engaging my readers more. There is certainly a lot more that could be done.

    My biggest strength is probably in being organized and writing efficiently. Producing content and getting productive blogging done is not an issue for me.

  40. I am really trying to get into video. That is my weakness right now. I can do a Skype conversation and audio recording with no problem but talking to myself in front of a camera is not a step I have taken just yet. So, I guess that takes me back to #1.

  41. Great breakdown Annabel!

  42. I’m in the process of refocusing my blog … anyway, planning posts ahead is essential for me as my blog is not my day job. Any tips on creating an editorial calendar?

  43. My favorite point was about being passionate and I loved your line about getting ready to skip ahead. Yes, I am passionate about my niche and yes, I do need to communicate it better to my readers. thanks.

  44. The way that you have explained about the highly effective blogs is very impressive. Good informative post.

  45. It is also about taking action and taking action consistently. Work to a regular schedule and stick to it

  46. I like it all but my favourite part is the being disciplined and organized part because that is just me in a nutshell. I have now begun to make a list of titles for my future posts. I had fun doing it, now I have to fill out those titles with new posts. I am doing one tonight and look forward to getting started. Thanks for the info and suggestions, it helps!

  47. Katherine Wilson :

    Excellent information here! You provide some great points and suggestions. Communication is key, especially for a great blog, and you broke it down so well. Wonderful Annabel, keep up the good work!

    All the Best,

    katherine

  48. What do I say Annabel? You must be a blog therapist! I feel so comforted and motivated by this article. I have been blogging for quite some time but I was considering quitting because I never get anything from it. But by the time I had reached your eighth point, I had already changed my mind. Thanks for good work on these captivating tips.

  49. hi miss annabele! this is a very nice post, so sweet and accurately put. i like all the points that you have. i also think that taking risks and being creative must be occupy the top two spots. frankly speaking, i believe all of us have failed in our lives countless times but that does not mean we have to give up. it is a good article for people who needs to be affirmed in the things that the do. furthermore, on my own opinion these 8 habits should be for everybody and not just for bloggers. i’ll be waiting for your next post. kudos!

  50. This is an interesting post, Annabel! Thanks for sharing it with us. All these habits are very helpful and I particularly relate to the habit of being visible and engaging to your readers. A blogger also has to reach out to his audience, as a way of sharing ideas and showing appreciation to the readers. I would also like to add that an excellent blogger should set a regular schedule of posting articles and he/she should be committed to follow that schedule all the time.

    I’m looking forward to more of your posts, Annabel! Good luck!

    • Wow Annabel! These are certainly great simple pieces of advice! There are some new and absolutely easy-to-follow ideas I had never thought of. I must say I’m still struggling with some of the tips as #5, but still can manage quite well. My worst problem is how to start making money out of something I’d started just as a kind of therapy. I´ve always wondered how to make a profit out of my Blog and I couldn´t find the way out. I´ll start trying your tips right now and post another comment with results – and maybe some question? Thanks anyway.

  51. Congratulations on a well done article, Annabel! I must say this is one of the most useful material about blogs I have across so far. Straight to the point information any Tom, Dick and Jane can use, the kind I would be happy to pass around. I guess that the subject of choice is the most important one to be considered when a person wants a fun, alive and relatable blogsite. Readers will surely feel if the blogger himself or herself is tired or bored of whatever he is writing about. That is for sure, I for one can say that people are getting smarter and it would feel like a “betrayal”of some sort if the writer himself (or herself, please feminists, this is already implied so I will cut myself some slack here) is not passionate about what his site is about. Don’t you agree? I visit a lot of sites but the ones that I really go back to are the ones I feel are sincere. And yes, successful blogging is a habit and as an audience, I really do like pictures, I mean, yeah it is childish to want or expect pictures but hey, that is what blogs should contain right- humanity in process, the good, the bad, the interesting, the fun, the useful and most specially the fun! You made blog writing sound like fun again Annabel, thank you for this article…

    JAYZ

  52. Hi Annabel! You made lots of good points here. I agree with you about taking risks when it comes to blogging. Sometimes you’ll never know if an idea will work if you don’t try it. And some people, maybe not all, might want to see something different in your blog. Maybe you can add some photos in your latest post or add a video. You can actually “feel” you readers’ reactions through their comments. So try something new – even just once in a while. Thanks for all your great blogging tips!

  53. Hey Annabel,

    It’s a good post here.

    You really can’t please everybody, still you need to take risks on making your way up. Getting out of your own shell is one of the best thing to do. Explore more about life. Another thing is to talk to the heart. We know that the heart or the emotion is the most fragile part of a person’s being. As a blogger, we need to reach out for people through the virtual world.

    I am blogging for months already, sad to say my blog only reaches to some people. Still I’m hopeful and patient. If blogging is your field, then you must not lose hope in everything you have started. You need to believe in yourself that one day you will make it to the top. It’s your passion and you can’t let your inner self bring you down.

    Learn a lot from you. Thanks.

    JAYZ