Hott 101: Principles of Successful Blogging

Over the years, I have had thousands of people ask me, “what’s my secret to creating a successful blog?”  They are often surprised at my answer.

The truth is, there is no one strategy or magic app that I use.  There’s no “must” or “must not” when it comes to marketing, and I don’t apply ninja SEO techniques.  It’s actually much more simple.

My principles for successful blogging:

  • Ask the right questions.  Over time, I have developed the habit of asking primary questions in business. These vary, depending on the business so it’s important to establish those questions at the start of your business.  How do you do this?  Start by asking yourself what is the outcome I want from this blog?  Now decide what you need to ask yourself regularly, to meet that outcome.  For example, my outcome always includes adding value to my readers, taking time off;  1 to 3 months at a time.  My primary questions:
    1. What is your desired outcome?
    2. How can I add value?
    3. How can I automate this? (I ask this A LOT!)
    4. How can I make this better?
  • Setbacks are speed bumps. Not roadblocks. Remember there is ALWAYS a way to make it work. I have frustrated more than 1 developer that told me something “couldn’t be done.” My response is always, “Great, how can we do it anyway?”  (And it always works.)
  • There is no success without failure. If you have a fear of failure, now is a good time to get over it. In fact, welcome it. Then learn from it and move on. It WILL happen, but this is the fastest way you will learn, and a great time to look for opportunity.  In 2014, when one of my largest blogs was hacked, my business was devastated. My traffic tanked and that site’s income went from high 6 figures to about $3000 a month. Ouch, right? After I screamed into my pillow and considered purchasing a voodoo doll to use against the attackers, I decided this was an opportunity to do something new;  That was when I made the decision to split from my cushy deal with Google AdSense and switch to Affiliate Programs.  It was a huge gamble, but what did I have to lose? The results were fantastic, and far quicker than I could have imagined. Not only did I raise the site’s overall revenue, but the entrepreneur in me was thrilled to have the new challenges that came with such a huge switch.
  • Have patience. Over the years, I have come to realize fast is not always better when it comes to blogging.  Take your time and set up your blog the right way.  Take days or even weeks to write a solid blog post, instead of rushing it in a few hours.  Believe me when I say, a more well-thought out approach not only serves your readers better, but you as well. It can save you time from having to backtrack, pay for “fixes” and it helps you to create a more useful site for your readers. This ALWAYS pays off in the long run.