Building a successful blog can seem like an insurmountable task if you’re not armed with the right mentality. It takes grit, determination, devotion, education and a serious will to succeed.
Having built a successful skiing website from 0-1,000 visitors per day, I’m fully aware of the challenges you will face. Rejection, frustration and extended working hours can be part-and-parcel of the process, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to achieve success.
In this article I have listed five rules that I wish I knew when building my first successful blog. I don’t possess a magic formula that will take you from zero to hero in a matter of weeks, but I can give you a glimpse of what to expect by sharing a few nuggets of experience.
1. Be prepared to work exceptionally hard
Just googling ‘build a successful blog’ will give you a bunch of listicles providing seemingly simple advice that will grow your audience in a matter of minutes. However, they rarely tell you about the long hours required to actually see tangible results.
When starting my first blog; I worked 14 hours per day for 9 months before I saw my first income. That’s an incredible investment of time and perseverance with zero promise of reward.
The thing is; building a successful blog is incredibly time consuming. Writing content, sharing on social media, guest posting, optimizing for google and building beautiful web pages all take considerable amount of time. Especially if they’re done well.
But there is a silver lining here; effort usually equals reward. The more time you spend growing all aspects of your online presence, the sooner you will see traction. Trust the process, trust yourself and make the sacrifices necessary if you want to see the fruits of your labor.
2. Make good use of your time
Being a blogger is like doing 10 jobs at once. Going to work as a web designer in the morning, a digital marketer in the afternoon and an author in the evening can leave you feeling overworked and overwhelmed.
Since you will have limited hours and little resources at the beginning, it’s best to work on areas that give you positive results without excessive time.
Sounds simple, but how do you do that?
It’s often best to try different avenues and find which option brings you success. Once you’ve discovered your strengths, weaknesses and assessed the market; you will have a clear picture of what growth will look like for you.
Are you good at social media promotion? Have you got a knack for SEO? Do you have great communities you can leverage? The answers to these questions will provide you with a path to success.
3. make sure you love what you're doing
The time demands involved with building a successful blog become much less painful if you love your work. ‘If you love what you do, then you’ll never work a day in your life,’ pretty much sums up my point.
The first thing here is to make sure your blog is centered around a subject that you feel passionately about. Whether it’s nutrition, mindfulness or mental health; you need to create content that shows your enthusiasm.
Writing naturally, passionately and from the heart is a key component of any successful blog post. It needs to feel authentic and genuine; characteristics that will shine through if you love your work.
If researching health studies and analyzing supplements is your jam, a nutrition blogis surely the way to go. Those who love learning new meditation techniques and feel in touch with their spiritual side would likely see success writing about mindfulness.
Creating a blog is a chance for you to learn more about a subject you’re passionate about and share it with your audience. Finding a topic you’re generally interested in will make the learning process effortless and give you the drive to share your knowledge with the online community.
4. Just keep showing up
Consistency is the key to success in a wide range of endeavors. This is especially true when it comes to building a successful blog, where showing up day-in, day-out is the key to long-term success.
Growing an engaged audience takes dedication, showing up for your followers throughout each week with quality content and valuable advice.
It’s easy to find blog posts with titles like; ‘how I went from 0-10,000 visitors per day in only 6 months,’ but trust me, these stories are 1 in a million. The reality of blog development is patience and persistence over the course of weeks, months and years.
The route to sustainable success involves showing up with great social media posts, insightful articles and email campaigns on a daily basis. Look to keep your audience engaged and entertained with regular content and you will see sustainable results and acquire a genuine following that sticks around for years to come.
5. You're good enough, so believe in yourself
The reality is that most bloggers fail because they lack the confidence to trust their senses and follow their dreams. Growing a website is a daunting task and many feel overwhelmed by the process and quit before reaching a point of real growth.
Self-belief is at the root of success. It’s vital that you trust the process and trust your instincts, which in turn will give you the resilience to keep pushing forward when times get tough.
It’s funny that most people think of bloggers as sitting by a beach somewhere, sipping a matcha latte and typing out a few posts about their latest adventure. However, it the job actually entails long days and frustrating results that can lead people to give up if they lose faith in themselves.
If you genuinely have passion, knowledge and expertise; why can’t you build a successful blog? Just because it’s competitive doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Believe in yourself, trust your instincts and have patience, you will get there in the end. As long as you are aligned with your values and expressing your true identity, the sky really is the limit.
Bonus rule: Want more than everyone else
Desperation often breeds success. You need to want a successful blog more than all of your competitors. It should keep you engaged in the evening dreaming up ideas, it should wake you up in the morning eager to make progress.
The simple fact is; if you want it, you will work for it. You need to be committed to working harder than everyone else and work with an intense desire for success.
So, before you go ahead and try to become a blogger, I suggest you ask yourself the question: how bad do I actually want this? If the answer is less than other people, then you might be in the wrong business.
James King is the founder of health and wellness brand PlantFuelFocus and the popular ski website SnowSunSee. He spends his time working with health coaching clients and is studying the Certified Coach Profession program with Well College Global.
Ally McDonald-Bull; Wellness Coach