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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. Need to few more pointer to increase my new website, appreciate this article very much. Will help those newbie like me alot..thanks

  2. Need to few more pointer to increase my new website, appreciate this article very much. Will help those newbie like me a lot.

  3. The title says it all!

    My wife picked me up 31 days to a better blog about a month ago. I admit it’s collecting virtual dust…

    But not anymore, I’m going to take action and set aside a few minutes each day to give this a fair shot, and see what happens!

    Thanks for the motivational kick in the blog! :)

  4. Ah yes I have experienced this many times in therapy, usually its something you already know, may even have told it to others, but it REALLY hasn’t sunk in that you need to actually HEAR it and DO it. Sometimes its just so simple, of course we can always find ways to talk our selves out of good ideas…..

  5. I participated on this program but was unable to continue because of some personal issues, I received all the emails and would do it at my own free time anytime soon.

  6. Thank you for the great advice Darren! Blogging, mainly micro-blogging, is taking the world of Internet Marketing by storm; and truly revolutionizing the way information is shared online!

    Also a great way to make a decent living, from home! Thanks again!

  7. Doing something has always been my policy for success. As long as one keeps doing something, the success rate will increase due to higher probability for getting noticed by other blogs and audience. If a person doesn’t write many posts, but writes high quality posts, success is still far away. Solving a problem doesn’t necessarily mean having a quality post. Your post can be bad but you can still solve a problem.

  8. I don’t blame you spammers are so annoying I get spam comments on my blog quite often so the 90 day rule sounds fair.

    As far as your post goes in my opinion to be a successful blogger you have to do exactly that blog. Be persistent, come up with new topics, and optimize your content for the search engines.

    Your readers always come first the search ebgines are secong though. Blogging is a passion of mine so it makes things a little easier. But to those newbies out there reading this comment my one piece of advice would be stick to your game plan, and be persistent in your blogging efforts.

    Good things will eventually come to you in terms of money, and traffic!

  9. Fantastically simple ideas are often the best Darren but I think you really have hit the nail on the head.
    For most people failure to achieve is not because of some unforeseen event but simply the failure to act and to take small actions on a regular basis towards a defined goal.
    I find it helps to always be working off an action plan for the Day, Week, Month, Year. I like to set goals because this will automatically start an action plan and a list of things to do, it is the natural progression and happens without much effort at all.

  10. You have to work hard to make a blog work, some people expect it to work on auto-pilot and mostly that never works. You have to invest time and effort.

  11. I personally think that 99% of all bloggers out there want it all for nothing, they are not prepared to put the time, effort and energy into growing their blogs. ‘Do Something’, is just too obvious for most people and requires way too much effort!

  12. I agree. Instead of not doing anything because you feel inadequate, you should take some action. Thanks for the examples. Great job.

  13. Very interesting….I especially liked the tip in giving one of your readers a surprise personal email. I can totally connect on this level as someone who loves to penpal/cyberpal. Giving someone that added attention makes them feel special and they want to know more about what’s going on in your world. You can earn a friend or in this case, a loyal reader for life who in turn is more willing to share who you are.

  14. Doing something is vital in every aspect of our lives not just blogging.I have been complaining about having a 8-5 day job but never got motivated enough to do anything about it.Finaly I have decided to take action,I will quit my job but before I am going to clear my mortage debt and have decent earnings online.
    I am going to record everything and blog about it at http://www.watchmequitmydayjob.com please wish me luck!

    Darren your blog is awesome,I wish I could write like you:-)

  15. Emailing one of your readers unexpectedly is definitely something that can produce some very positive results and long term readership. That’s awesome advice Darren. I guess the workbook becomes kind of like a checklist of things to do and it motivates bloggers to really take action.

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