Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

The Key to Successful Blogging: Do Something!

Over the last month several hundred bloggers in the SitsGirls and TheBlogFrog communities have come together to tackle 31 Days to Build a Better Blog together. The 31 days are coming to an end this week and I’ve been so excited to see how working through the workbook as a large group has helped so many bloggers.

Almost every day since the challenge started I’ve had participants tell me that their blogs have been growing as a result of participating.

I’ve chatted to a number of participants in the last few days to get their feedback on the workbook and to try to get to the bottom of why it has helped them (or how it could be better) and there has been one consistent piece of feedback that I think is so valuable that I just need to share it.


Image by sevenphonecalls

Here’s the thing:

Almost every person I’ve talked to has said most of the teaching and exercises in the workbook are things that they already knew that they should be doing. The problem was that while they knew it – they were not doing it.

For example – Day 5:

Day 5 of the challenge is to email one of your readers. The idea is to give someone a little unexpected personal attention, to get to know them and to help them in some way beyond what they might expect.

The principle is simple and the concept wouldn’t be foreign to any blogger. It’s something most of us know that would be a worthwhile experience but yet its something that so many bloggers would write off as not important enough to really do.

The reality is that if you did this once a day over a year that you’d have 365 readers (each with their own network) who you’ll have made an impression on.

The impact could be significant, particularly for a new blog, yet for some reason many bloggers are content just to have the knowledge that looking after readers and giving them some personal attention could help their blog – but never take action on it.

Example #2

This same theme came up as a result of the ProBlogger Training Day here in Melbourne two weeks back. Much of what we covered on the day was not particularly new or revolutionary (although for some it was). However this week I’ve had 3 emails from attendees saying talking about how they’ve already grown their blogging business (two doubled their readership and one told me that they’ve just started experimenting with affiliate marketing and are making over $150 a day!).

In each case I asked the blogger what it was that helped them and in every case they told me that they started doing something that they’d always said that they’d start doing.

This post is not a pseudo sales page for my workbook or training days (although sometimes when you pay for something you feel more accountable to take action) – the principle applies whether you use one of my products, read the free posts on ProBlogger or work on your blog alone. The key is to not be satisfied to KNOW how to improve your blog but to move beyond theory and do something.

What should you DO?

There are many things that help to grow a successful blog. In the 31 Days workbook I covered 31 of them but the list is almost endless.

One exercise that you might like to do today is to grab a notebook and pen and jot down as many things that you already know to do to improve a blog. Don’t go looking for ideas or reading more theory today – but make a list of things that you already know that could improve your blog and identify some that you will implement today.

For you it might be increasing your content creation (for those of you who’ve let your posting levels slip), for others it might be paying some more attention to current readers, for others it could be reaching out to other bloggers in your niche, for some it might be about developing that eBook that you’ve been saying you’ll do one day…. the key is to move beyond the theory and do something.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Very helpful and makes me realize how even the small steps can make a big difference.

  2. Going to get started now!

  3. Darren, I’ve just started my blog (finally) but I’m storing the idea of a blogging support group for a later date. I think it is brilliant and will work beautifully once I solidify a niche.

    Would love more updates about the participants

  4. Thanks for your mention of the SITS girls in this post, Darren! Very true.

    I find being my own boss, i.e. running a website, I have to treat myself like the employee I am for everyone else…but better. Setting goals, finishing projects, going out on a limb are all things I do at a ‘job,’ I also have to do them for this at home ‘job,’ too.

    I’m my own best and worst boss, I suppose, but it helps to get things done on time. Thanks for this important reminder!

  5. I think the itme might have come for me to spend a litle bit of money and get hold of this ebook.

  6. I am participating in the the class on BlogFrog and I have tried to implement the techniques I found in the book but I noticed within the first week, my readership dropped to almost nothing. While reading through the book, I decided to change my blog URL since it didn’t seem that I had much to lose at that point lol I decided to do a month long giveaway so now I am behind in the book, but I am continuing to strive to make my blog bigger and better, especially with the new url (it reflects my blog where the other one didn’t). I love the ideas and they all seem to be very practical, but I am not sure why it isn’t working for me. Maybe I just need to give it more time?

  7. As they say, “A little progress everyday adds up to big results”. I firmly believe that consistency is the main key to get success in anything we do, may it be blogging, writing or just freelancing any task. Darren, you are simply great! You always touch very simple yest EFFECTIVE topics. Keep it up :)

  8. Darren,

    My wife was working on the 31dbbb project with the SITS girls and BlogFrog communities, and was really excited about participating. She told me what she was doing each day and I saw how much fun she was having with it. So, a week later, I took the plunge. I was the lone man in a group of 500+ women and I must say the project was fantastic!

    I wanted to pass on to you my thanks for creating this awesome guide. Also, thanks for supporting both groups. These ladies worked extremely hard on this and supported each other tremendously. They talked (via twitter) about each days task and it became almost an obsession to do the best job you possibly could on your blog.

    Over 500+ women, and me, are inspired and on the right path thanks to you!

  9. Changing status quo is paramount, Darren. You’re bang on (as always!)

    The other important thing is to have a solid framework around which to make daily progress.

    The 31DBBB Guide and Challenge provides one such solid framework. For anyone who follows the advice, not making progress and improvements is impossible.

    I was talking around the same lines on my blog, Social Media Notebook last night – about taking baby steps one day at a time.

  10. Darren’s book will be a true asset to anyone that really needs a daily boost to have a more successful blog.
    thank you

  11. I am a newbi and am trying to really make a go of it.. So much too learn, I need a glassary just to understand the terms!

  12. Good post – the title say it all DO SOMETHING1

    Its like anything online – the taking action bit is the one that seems to allude most people.

    I have noticed all the succesful people have one thing in common, they dont necessarily do anything ground breaking, they take action and get other peoples attention

  13. I participated in the recent 31 day challenge, although I was not able to keep up everyday, I made signifigant progress.

    Even though it is important to DO SOMETHING, I think that sometimes we get analysis paralysis, and don’t know where to begin. Darren’s e-book helps give you the framework, a track to run on, if you will!

    This is something I will go back to time and again to see what aspects I need to work on at that time.

    Thanks Darren!


  14. Do Something every day is a great motto to follow, remember to not only spend time writing content, but socializing, promoting, SEO optimizing and other activities all count and need their time as well.

  15. Doing something is so critical, no one wants to read a boring blog about a man who wakes up, yawns, has a cup of tea, goes to the shop, reports on the mundane people he sees, buys the paper, reads the paper…ARGHHH! Blogs should be interesting, great post!

  16. I think we get distracted so easily, especially online, next thing you know half the day is gone. It’s important to focus, stay on task and as you said, just do it.

  17. So would you say the real secret to successful blogging is taking steps everyday consistently over a period of time. Thus making the real secret to successful blogging, TIME?


  18. I remember reading you blogs when you were posting up the 31 Day Challenges before it became an e-book and they were inspiring.

    The trouble with our brain is that it can play so many tricks on us. When we’ve studied something we believe we have an expertise in it. It’s like going to university but never being in the real world.

    I think for myself, I’m going to work on making a better follow ups on my e-mail when people subscribe and give them more value.

    Thanks for pep blog chat!

    Vincent Ng
    Conversation Arts

  19. Well, I know that I have to do something, specially when I’ve not seen any results from my own ideas. But, I know that there are possibilities to be better everyday.

    I’ll try some of your advices and I hope that they work for me. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. Let see what happens.


  20. Darren, I found you and read your earlier book before the SITS girls came into my life. I had found other 31dbbb groups from other years online. Finding a current one was a blessing.

    Although I could not keep up, I am still doing the 31 days in 31+ days but will finish. I love what you have done and the support you give other groups too who chose to do your challenge as a group.

    Although there were 500+ women, I did not have contact with all of them but I am sure as I go back through the post for another blog, I will make contact.

    Emailing a stranger to make a connection is outside my comfort zone but Social Media has ignited me to reach out and find the FRIENDS in my COMPUTER. It is fun

    Thanks for all you do

    You are awesome!
    Eileen :-)

  21. I love this! I’m launching a Blogging Workshop based on the 31DBBB the same as these on 30th August and this is great ‘feedback in advance’. Definitely something to mention on the sales page. :-)

  22. yes I strongly agree with you. To successful blogging is to do something because success can not be achieved if the only hope and wait.

    thank you sir have reminded me. :)

  23. Thanks Darren for your nice article, thanks once again for making something worth reading.

  24. Darren,
    I love the “Do Something”. That was the biggest thing I learned through the #31DBBB Challenge. I can study and read till I am blue in the face. I need to take action and try things. Even if that means I fail. Lesson for next time!

  25. love this! I’m launching a Blogging Workshop based on the 31DBBB the same as these on 30th August and this is great ‘feedback in advance’.

  26. Do something … a very quick and easy rule! It’s kinda logical that you do something you can expect to see some results! Positive or negative … depends on what you do..


  27. I have been wanting and planning on adding a blog to my existing website but have pushed it off over and over. your completely right its time to take the thinking cap off and put the construction hat on. thanks

  28. I can’t even count the good ideas that I’ve had that never went anywhere because I didn’t take the first step. It needs to be a habit so it becomes routine and you avoid the inertia that holds us back. If you talk about your own unique experiences it’s easier to write something and the content will be more appealing and engaging to your audience to others. There are many ways to make money online but few ever get there because they never take the first step.

  29. do something! yeah that’s the thing. even if one have all the great ideas in the world but didn’t bother to act upon it then nothing good will happen.
    your program does sounds really interesting to me and i wish to be part of your 31 day challenge to build the website. it seems to me that i will be learning a lot more from it over what i already know.
    i’m glad to come across your blog that’s very informative.

  30. Hey, I like to thank you for this post. And I agree with you about we have to DO it to gain it.
    /Anette Hultman

  31. Instead of “do something”, I would say – “Don’t give up”, no matter how good your content is it will take time until you will get a decent amount of readers.

  32. Your day 5 example is a great example of what it takes to build a network quickly. Not only a network but a loyal network. There is a thing that I call my blogging circle where I know that these few bloggers will be in my life on a daily basis, and by giving another blogger some personal attention you can increase your blogging circle size dramatically. That initial traffic and loyal network is critical.

  33. actually it is really the time to do something.

  34. Great article! Definately getting started and just doing something is a key to success.

    If I waited to be motivated then I would never start!

    Robert Ringer (a successful author) once said he doesn’t wait to be motivated. He gets up every morning and starts writing. He says that once he gets going good ideas start following.

    You can also take this further and set long term, medium and short term goals to make sure you stay on track.

    So thank you heaps for writing such a great post. Like all your other readers I will be making sure I do something every day!



  35. A very timely reminder Darren – it’s so easy to sit back, safe in the knowledge that you know how to implement various techniques in order to make your blog more successful. I’m the world’s worst at NOT doing the things I know will help my blog – it’s a simple game to those who just get out there and act on that knowledge!

  36. “We don’t have an eternity to realize our dreams, only the time we are here.” — Susan Taylor

    As simple as it sounds, I’ve found The Rule of 3 to be the simplest and most effective way for taking action.

    You can use three stories to drive your day, your week, your month, and your year. You can decide three things to make happen, be the author of your life, and write your story forward.

    Assuming you know what to do, and how to do it, the real key then is finding the “why” to do it. For me, it’s focusing on a compelling outcome. By focusing on the outcome, I’m naturally inspired to action from the inside out.

    You can always find the passion for performing a task when you can connect it to your values.

  37. very nice article, if we do something then after we can gain something. And I agree with you about we have to DO it to gain it.even if one have all the great ideas in the world but didn’t bother to act upon it then nothing good will happen. this is good idea for the new bloggers….

  38. I am on blogspot now for an education period, my action is to read as much as I can, and try to apply my knowledge on my blog.

  39. I agree Don’t give up! Keep on providing unique content to your viewers followers and you will get there. Problogger is a fantastic resource site where the info is excellent and very valuable. Cheers Darren for your tremendous efforts.

  40. It’s so much easier to think about doing something or plan to do it than actually doing it. Why is taking action so hard? I came to your fab workshop and was also spurred into action. It has helped me gain confidence and resolve to work harder and faster too. I’m also happy to be working together with a lot of the SITs ladies to motivate them and help them keep making their blogs better. It’s brilliant to see those ladies in action and I love cheering them on:)

    I came here to see if my idea for a guest post for Problogger had already been written about lately but now I have a better idea. Off to write it now;) Action stations…

  41. Yes, it’s true, do something on you will be a half way ahead.

  42. This post really hit home for me because I have been struggling for a very long time to grow my traffic and enhance my readership.

    I blog about internet marketing, and because it’s such a saturated market, it’s very hard to come up with new and interesting content.

    I try hard, and do manage to find some good stuff to blog about, but I’m considering switiching the blog up or starting a new one because it’s been almost two years and I’m still only at 75-100 visitors per day. Maybe it’s just maxed out.

    This post did give me hope and encouraged me to go further. Thanks!

  43. Well it’s so much easier to think about doing something or plan to do it than actually doing it. Why is taking action so hard?

  44. Great advice. I usually stop following blogs when I see a real dormant period in the writers work.

  45. I will have to agree with some of the commenters here in that consistency is the key to your blog breakthrough :-D. When you are consistent, you build trust amongst your followers because they know that you are a trusted source of information. In addition to, we must provide value!!!! Its the secret ingredient to keep our followers coming back from more!!! Great post here guys!

  46. Yes, it’s true, do something on you will be a half way ahead.

  47. So many of us (me included) spend our time figuring out how we can take shortcuts and not actually do anything. Thanks for the kick in the pants.


  48. Action is what makes thing happen, without action our goals, dreams are forgotten.

  49. I believe you have to be strict and make sure that you are consistent with providing great content, and keep that content coming!

    Many people start something that’s great but then they get lazy after a couple of weeks and give up!

    I find when I write down my daily activites and what I NEED to do then I’m much more productive!

  50. Well it’s so much easier to think about doing something or plan to do it than actually doing it

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…