The Psychology of 10 Successful Bloggers

by Cathy · 33 comments

This is a guest post by Cathy from Australian Credit Cards team. In this post, you are going to discover what the 10 successful bloggers and their blogs have in common when we study their success story. Hope you will feel inspired and do something better than them in coming future 😉

Of the millions of people who start blogs every day, a good portion probably have making money at the back of their minds. Stories of blogs that are now worth six figures are certainly pretty inspiring.

What the hype doesn’t show, though, is that these success stories are few and far between. Making shopping money from blogging takes time and effort. If you want to make a fortune, we’re talking 40-hour weeks and the occasional working weekend, if not more.

Obviously, successful blogs have something in common. And studies show that it’s more than hard work and a gift for words—it’s in the blogger’s psychology.

The best bloggers have certain mindsets that make them more motivated and their writing more likable. Here’s what 10 highly ranked blogs have in common:

1. A sense of timeliness

A large majority of personal blogs focus on what’s going on within a small circle of people (i.e. the writer’s friends and family). A good blogger likes to know what’s going on outside their personal lives, and believes that their readers do as well. Arianna Huffington had been concerned about current events and public affairs long before she founded The Huffington Post in 2005, which is now the Internet’s leading news blog.

2. Personal passion

If you’re going to write about something as a full-time job, you’d better be passionate about it. Successful blogs most often start out as hobbies or personal causes, and their first loyal followers are naturally people who share their interest. TechCrunch.com started out as founder Michael Arrington’s way of keeping up with trends in the Web 2.0 industry, and has grown to become a resource in its own right. Arrington was named one of the world’s most influential people by Time in 2008.

3. A desire to share

Anyone who blogs wants some form of attention; why else would you put your writing on the Web? What makes popular blogs different is that their writers want more than that. They genuinely want to share what they know, or what they’ve just learned, with the rest of the world. As a result, their blogs are user-oriented: they talk to the reader in words and pictures. Many creative blogs, such as Adham Dannaway’s Cre8iveCommando.com, are clearly designed to communicate.

4. Organized thought

Listverse.com always comes up on the first page when people search for Top 10 lists. We all have a penchant for well-organized ideas; we’d rather read a long bulleted list than big blocks of text. Good bloggers know this. Their posts are organized in their heads even before they sit down to write them; when published, they are neatly organized into lists and subheads.

5. Openness to discussion

Strong opinions get mixed reactions from online readers. The ones that get flamed are usually those that impose their views on readers, rather than offering them up and inviting discussion. TreeHugger.com is clear on its stand on environmental issues, but it doesn’t do it blindly: it cites sources, addresses contrary issues, and most importantly, invites people to offer their two cents.

6. Originality

We’re not just talking about plagiarism or grabbing someone else’s pictures. A good blog offers a fresh take on common ideas—after all, that’s about as original as you can get these days, when everything under the sun has been covered. Take The Man Repeller by Leandra Medine: a blog about unattractive, often high-fashion clothes that’s gaining ground when other fashion bloggers are posting pretty ensembles.

7. A drive to change

One thing you’ll easily notice about a successful blog is that it’s more than a chronology of events. True, most of them start out that way, but if you want to keep people coming, you must give them something to come back for, something new once in a while. Penny Arcade began as a comic, but as their fan base grew, they added a blog, forum, store, and even a few supplementary websites.

8 . Curiosity

People come to your blog because they’re interested in what you have to say, but you have to return the interest to keep that relationship going. Good writers are naturally curious; they actively try to expand their knowledge so that they can share more and become better bloggers.

Dark Roasted Blend, started in 2005 by Canadian Avi Abrams, is a general interest blog that’s all about sharing interesting knowledge—or as the site puts it, “weird and wonderful things.” From planes and cars to food and nature, with the occasional joke or funny picture, it satisfies everyone’s curiosity—and it’s reflected in the 1.5 million unique visitors it welcomes every month.

9. Humility

You wouldn’t see the words “The Only Resource for Business News on the Web” on a popular blog, even if they’re telling the truth. No blogger has monopoly in his field. This is the Internet—anyone can press Back and leave. You have to be especially careful when you’re narrating personal experiences, as it’s easy to appear self-centered.

Heather Armstrong of Dooce.com has it down pat: while most of her blog is about her family and everyday life, it’s never just about herself. Even her most mundane stories find a way to connect to the reader, which makes them come back for more.

10. A good work ethic

Finally, and this goes without saying, successful bloggers work hard. Blogging in your spare time can earn you pocket money for a weekend trip, if even that—but blogging for a living is a full-time job. ProBlogger’s Darren Rowse said he would write as many as 20 posts in a day during his site’s busier periods, and the site makes an estimated $40,000 per month. There’s no way around it; to be as prolific as they are, you need to put in the appropriate hours.


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About Cathy

Cathy is part of the team that maintains Australian Credit Cards, a complimentary credit card comparison service and a personal finance blog based in Sydney, Australia. Before joining ACC, she was a staff nurse at Clark Airbase Hospital and conducted lectures on First Aid, Bio-Terrorism and Disaster Management.

has written 1 superb article(s) on this blog

Hichame merhari April 28, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Passion is the most important one , besides working very hard a,d providing unique content in oerder to improve your blog, i guess it’s all about giving something useful to your readers regularly .

Smith@steam cabin May 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Really you have disclosed all those which are normally obscure. You have keen understanding of psychology.

Lyka Ricks May 2, 2011 at 10:31 am

I agree… Passion is the Ultimate Ingredient for Successful Bloggers plus Sheer Optimism.

Davis May 3, 2011 at 9:29 am

I couldn’t tell you how many blogs I’ve come across recently that the blogger has just sort of given up or no long posts on a regular basis. Their passion has dwindled or maybe wasn’t as strong as they originally thought it to be. Thank you for taking the time to explain in detail what is usually little know facts about bloggers.

Dianne May 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I love blogs which allows readers to express their opinion and those that are open to guest posts. These two things keep readers like me, coming back because we want to see how others react to our opinion. The variability of contents makes the blog something to watch out and be bookmarked.

Fraser Hannah May 20, 2011 at 3:40 am

We are just starting out with our blog and I found your post very interesting. I suppose the most important thing other than passion is stamina, keeping going when you get no feedback rather than getting disheartened.

Jean May 23, 2011 at 10:59 am

I am strong believer that passion and success has a very strong correlation. If you dont have a passion for something you certainly wont be able to go the extra mile consistently. You can ask many successful billionaires, and millionaires, most of them will tell you what they are doing, they are passionate about.

-Jean

Cheolsu June 6, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I believe a personal passion, organized thought, original content, and a good work ethic are the most important ones from the list of 10.

Jarope October 19, 2012 at 8:33 am

A person who has strong passion for blogging will ensure success, for the desire in the end. Those brave people who are willing to stand up and take responsibility of their action and has great passion in sharing to others their experiences in the form of blogs are great inspiration for those first time bloggers. Personally, this 10 tips are very informative!

Virgil April 29, 2013 at 11:53 pm

So, so true. Why would we expect anything else?

Hard work is the only true path of success. It’s called the law of cause and effect, sowing and reaping, etc.

The internet attracts people who want to get rich like moths to a flame. And it’s more than happy to teach such people a lesson.

Good post, kept my interest. I read the whole thing – thanks!

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