Three Things You Must Have to Be a Successful Blogger

For anyone who wants to make a living blogging, there are three things you must have. You won’t be able to be successful without them. Problem is, no one can teach you these three things. These three things are deep inside of you, part of your core.

Before you give up on your dreams of being a full-time blogger, I’m here to tell you that these three things are inside of everyone. You just have to find them.

When I started blogging a long time ago (seriously, I’ve been at this since LiveJournal days!), I didn’t think “oh, okay, I could do this as a job!” Even today in an era of NYT articles about famous bloggers, people don’t really understand what it means when I tell them I was a professional blogger who started a marketing agency. Most people just don’t really get what makes bloggers tick. In fact, most bloggers don’t understand what makes successful bloggers tick.

I’ve worked with countless bloggers, helping them figure out a path to make the transition from blogging as a hobby to blogging as a job. Sometimes, the advice I give is the push these bloggers need to finally see the freedom and income they wanted. Other times, the advice fizzles out and they’re stuck.

No one wants to be stuck. It’s not fun. It’s draining.

The secret that sets apart bloggers who make the transition into successful blogging as a catalyst for their careers and dreams is easy to understand.

Successful bloggers know what they want, why they want it, and are ready to do what it takes to get it.

Once you figure out these three elements about your life and blog, you’re in the position to start the transition to successful blogging. Until you know these three things, no amount of blog coaching, blogging courses, or blog tutorials are going to help you become successful.

Why You Can’t Make the Full-Time Blogger Transition

When I started blogging in earnest, I wasn’t exactly sure why I was doing it or what I wanted out of it. I started my blog, I’d told myself, because I needed to keep up my writing and have a creative outlet after college graduation. Writing for an audience seemed more logical than in a diary to that end. But to be honest, that reason wasn’t really true.

Most of my content meandered between personal reflection that only my mom cared about and somewhat useful but disjointed content. I had a hard time getting readers to come back and my numbers were dismal. All the while, I spent excessive hours working on my blog, often to the point of hurting other areas of my life.

Needless to say, I wasn’t successful because my content was just all over the place. It wasn’t until a few years later that I finally realized what my biggest problem was.

I didn’t have clear goals for what I wanted out of my blog or why I was doing it. All the years of work I did were mostly wasted. 

I don’t want you to be in this position too. It really hurt when I realized what was really holding my blog back and I almost gave up blogging entirely.

Today, looking back, I’m so thankful I didn’t. Making changes in the why behind my blogging habits made such a difference that I was able to leave my job and become a freelance blogger. I eventually went on to start my own marketing agency that I now helm with my boyfriend, bringing freedom not only into my life but those I love too.

What’s better than that?

If you have dreams of using your blog to springboard a new career and to leave your traditional job, you need to figure out the three things no blogging course can teach you. If I hadn’t figured them out, I’d still be failing instead of living a life I absolutely love!

Prevent Blogger Burnout by Knowing Why You Want to Blog

Blogging takes up a lot of time. Like a lot of time. Ask any serious blogger and they’ll likely say they spend as much time as a part-time job every week on their blog while working another job. Professional, full-time bloggers keep up their blog while serving customers and creating new products. Very few professional bloggers dedicate 100% of their time to what we think of as actual blogging! And that means you need to know why you want a successful, profitable blog. If you don’t have that deep desire, you’re going to get seriously burnt out after a while.

I spend around 5-7 hours on each blog I maintain per week but most other bloggers spend much more time than that. (I’ll be sharing next week how to keep your time in check while working on your blog without losing progress!) Are you going to be doing something that you want to be doing when you’re blogging?

  • What does blogging add to your life emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially?
  • What burning passion do you need to share with the world that you can’t appease any other way?
  • Do you feel that blogging is essential and part of you, not just an obstacle you need to get over?

Blogging is, of course, only one way of achieving what you’re seeking in your life. Make sure that you actually want to blog, not just because it’s something to occupy the time or a hurdle you might have created for yourself.

Get What You Really Want from Blogging

You’re probably thinking “But I do know what I want! I want to quit my job.” Okay, sure. Lots of bloggers say that very same thing. In fact, I don’t think there’s a person on earth who loves working for the sake of work alone enough to do it every day. But blogging shouldn’t just be the means to the end—but it also can’t just be something that sidetracks you from your real goals.

If you’re blogging just to make money, you’ve picked a serious uphill battle. Go do something else that’s more quickly lucrative. The days of making a quick buck with a blog died ten years ago. If you find yourself thinking “Gosh, I should really go write that post” just to churn out something that doesn’t help you towards what you want, you’re doing it wrong in my book. Every piece of your blogging life should focus on getting what you really want, especially if you’re in it for more than just the act of blogging itself.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What about blogging full-time is appealing to you?
  • What does others reading your blog do for you?
  • What kind of long-term benefits do you get from long-term relationships with your readers?
  • How will blogging impact your life positively? And negatively?

There are lots of other ways to get what you want in life without a blog. Yup, I just said it. Blogging isn’t the be-all-end-all for achieving your goals. Even when it’s the thingyou’re doing, it’s still only one part of the puzzle! Knowing that blogging is where you want to take yourself in life to get to your goals is important to blogging success.

If you don’t figure out that blogging isn’t right for you and force it, you’ll delay your progress towards you goals. Instead, you could have found something that worked better for you and got to you final destination much, much faster. And talk about less hair-pulling!

A Drive to Achieve with Your Blog to Get You There

There are times when I just don’t want to blog. And heck, I do it for a living! But there are days, weeks, and sometimes months where I feel like I have nothing to say that’s worthwhile. Nothing that I want to share. Or I’m just sick and tired of searching for the right photo for a post. The working pieces of blogging can really get in your face sometimes and make even your favorite parts of blogging feel like a chore.

Some of us just aren’t cut out for the blogging world. Professional bloggers however, slog through those times and do it anyway because they have to to get what they want.

The only thing that’s going to keep you going is a laser-focus on your goals and a serious internal drive towards them.

  • How badly do you want what you want and how deeply do you feel why you want it?
  • Are you good at working through problems you have to solve on your own?
  • When push comes to shove, are you good a buckling down and keeping your motivation?

Lack of motivation is why so many blogs launch and stop after a handful of posts. Lack of emotional wherewithal drives even the most consistent bloggers to quit, even years down the road.

You need to want it so badly that it hurts.

You might think I’m being a little bit over the top by saying that. But when you want something that badly, you’ll do just about anything to get it. And that’s when you make it past slogging through thousands of stock photography to get just the right one. You’re just going to have to trust me on this one if you don’t believe me. (You will.)

What Blogging Skills Can Be Taught (And You Should Learn)

Everything else about blogging can be taught. Yup, everything. In fact,there are thousands of great, free blogging resources out there to help you learn the basics of blogging as well as more advanced skills. I could share a huge laundry list of skills you need to have to be a successful blogger. It’d be much debated too—because what one person finds most valuable, another doesn’t! (Isn’t everything always that way?) To put it bluntly, there’s so many things, it’s not worth listing them all.

As a blogger, you’re never going to stop learning. But isn’t that AWESOME?!? Who wants to bored doing the same ol’ thing every day? Not me. Probably not you either!

Ready to start learning the essential skills to become a successful blogger? Sign up for my newsletter, get a free blogging course and professional level blogging tips to your inbox weekly. I cover all the things you’ll need to know to turn your blog into a source of revenue and help you towards your goals, whatever they might be.

P.S. Have you seen the new Start a Profitable Blog guide? It’s free!