Professional bloggers seem to make blogging easy – but it only seems that way. There is a lot of hard work involved in blogging professionally, and there is not much different between the super-blogger and most other people. However, there are some essential qualities of professional bloggers that enable them to be successful where the majority are not.
Here are eight of those qualities, presented in no particular order. Many of these are intrinsic to their nature and others acquired.
1. They Are Extremely Analytical
Unlike amateurs, successful professional bloggers analyze every facet of their blogs, particularly their traffic sources. It is not enough simply to set up a blog and provide content. It is important to scrutinize your traffic and evaluate where it’s coming from. If you give no though to your traffic sources, then you will be less successful than you might be.
It is important to identify and then optimize your existing sources of traffic, and then to seek out fresh ones. Check out other blogs in your niche and analyze where they are getting their traffic – then mine these sources to increase your own readership. Analyze your blog posts and determine which get most readers or most comments. Make use of that information to increase your traffic.
The most successful professional bloggers spend much of their time in researching where their traffic is coming from and searching for new sources. If you simply put up posts and hope that somebody will notice them, then you will never achieve your blogging potential.
2. They Write To and For Their Readers
In other words they are good communicators who seem to appreciate what their readers want. You should never start a new blog with lots of ads or sales pitches, and neither should you spent much time on visible SEO. Professional bloggers build up a good readership by writing to them naturally. Sure, they will use their SEO plugins like everybody else, but will not be guided by Google! They are guided by what their readers want and expect. They have their readers in mind when they write.
3. They Are Patient and Persistent
One of most common qualities of a successful professional blogger is patience. When you look at a successful blog that has large numbers of readers, keep in mind that this did not happen overnight. Many of these blogs have been in existence for several years, and their success is the result of patience and persistence.
Many have achieved success by writing high quality content day after day, week after week, for many months or even years. Their traffic likely began as a trickle which grew and grew over the months and years. As mentioned earlier, they would have analyzed their traffic and leverage the most common sources while seeking out new ones, all the time writing to and for their readers and not for some search engine.
So don’t expect instant success. It very rarely happens – even with regular forms of internet marketing. Do not lose heart if your blog is struggling after a week or two – or even a month or two! Keep going. Very, very few pro bloggers ever achieved their success after only a few weeks. It takes time, but it will come with persistence.
4. They Are Smart Marketers
Another of the essential qualities of professional bloggers is the ability to market their blogs and themselves. They participate in forums and get known as an expert in their niche – a go-to guy for people with problems. They comment on other blogs, often being asked to guest blog as a result.
What they don’t do is fill their blog full of advertisement and affiliate links. Once you have a large following monetizing becomes easier. It is much easier to sell a product simply by suggesting it when you have thousands of visitors every day. That is one reason for the top bloggers to continue increasing their readership and mining every source of traffic they can find.
5. They Know Their Niche
It’s one thing to be able to write well and naturally, but a professional blogger must also know their niche. People read blogs for one or both of two reasons: to be entertained and/or to be educated. They want to enjoy reading, but they also want to learn.
Blogs are not specifically about problem-solving – that’s what forums and support groups are for. If you have a specific issue you do not visit a blog. However, if you want to learn something more about your niche every day – then you follow a blog. To be able to meet that need, a professional blogger must be knowledgeable, and must also have an instinct for what information people are looking for today.
The most popular blogs are those that tackle today’s issues today and not tomorrow. They want to know about Google+ and authorship when it is announced, and not when everybody else is applying it. News blog readers are not interested in yesterday’s people and yesterday’s news! If you have a love and a passion for your subject, and know it well, then that will show through in your writing and people will love it.
6. They Value Their Readers and Find What They Want
Professional bloggers know that every single reader is valuable to them. They rarely respond negatively to even the silliest of comments. It can be very dangerous to believe that one reader out of the thousands you may have is unimportant to you. Once you start thinking that way it is easy to start resenting more readers and you are on a slippery slope.
If you receive negative comments analyze why they are like that. Look at yourself – what did I say or do to warrant that comment? Perhaps nothing, but at least consider it. If you feel you are getting jaded or running out of ideas for material, ask your readers! There is nothing wrong with polling your readers for the topics they would like addressed.
7. They Keep Themselves Informed
Another trait of successful bloggers is they are always learning and keeping themselves informed about their niche. They do not rest on their laurels, thinking they have made it and know it all. They would be back to the start again before they know it!
Subscribe to blog and RSS feeds relating to your niche, and keep yourself educated in current developments. Be the first to announce new events or developments in your niche. Don’t just copy what all the other blogs are saying, but get advance notice by subscribing to the famous feeds, or Matt Cutts blog for the next Google algorithm update – or even Googleblog on Blogspot.
Finally . . .
Professional bloggers are exactly that – professionals. For many, it is their only source of income. Not all bloggers are expected to be as dedicated, but if you have the ambition or desire then be prepared for some hard work.
Every one of the 8 essential of professional bloggers outlined above will be useful to you but first and foremost be patient. However, were I to select the top three, they would be patience, keep analyzing and respect your readers. Others will have their own selection, but good luck and best wishes on your journey – it will be a blast!