Rebranding and starting a new blog – even though I am not starting from scratch – I thought a lot about what makes a blog successful. Or what makes some bloggers successful and others not. And there is one factor for success that is often neglected: your blogging personality.
Because it is not all about social media channels, marketing, and following best practices.
For some bloggers, it seems a lot easier to grow on social media, keep their newsletter subscribers active and engaged, and to build community. Other bloggers struggle with this. But when you look at their blogs, they all have value and expertise to give. Still, some thrive and others struggle.
And the main difference is blogging personality.
It is not even that all successful bloggers have the same blogging personality. In fact, there are very different bloggers and all of them are successful.
Here are examples of successful bloggers that are all sooo different.
Seth Godin – Down to the point
Seth has a colorful mix of posts. He just uses as many words as he needs. That can be one sentence or long-form content. But he posts every day. No, marketing best practices here – just plain and honest how he wants it said.
Gary Vaynerchuk – Extrovert entertainer
If I would believe that every successful blogger has to be like Gary, I would stop blogging today. That is just not me.
He is outspoken, I perceive him as rather loud – not quite what I like. But that does not matter. He found his audience and what an audience! He inspires fandom and he is addressing these fans. Entrepreneurs hang on his every word.
Neil Patel – Teaching his audience
This is probably the closest to what The Social Ms’ Blog was all about. Informing our audience. But on our path, we sometimes felt we had lost some of our personality along the way.
Neil’s blog posts have a clear motive: ranking on Google searches. Blog post length and content are all set for SEO.
My gut tells me that community is not the first that comes to mind when you think about Neil Patel. But since he knows his SEO he has so much traffic that it does not really matter.
Melyssa Griffin – The charming girl next door
Don’t get me wrong, I am in awe of Melyssa and what she achieved.
And she sure as hell knew how to drive traffic from Pinterest. But I have the feeling a large part of her success depended on her personality.
(Why I am writing in the past tense here? Because Melyssa decided it was time to move on and do something else).
The charming young girl with the awesome success story could sell like hell with one email where others needed sales funnels. Because her charm and personality helped her build trust and community.
Helene in Between – The creative storyteller
When you learn that you need to focus on one niche and audience, I think Helene proves you wrong.
She is a travel blogger who teaches some photography and Instagram.
And it is all about her personality. You like her or you don’t. But she sure as hell managed to build a community and make a huge success out of it!
I chose the above bloggers because they are so different in their personalities that nobody in their right mind can claim only one personality will make it to success.
So, what do they have in common?
They are people, persons with rough edges and imperfections. They are human.
And for me, that means: you can make it to success with your personality. But you need to be willing to share it. The worst you can do is hide who you are.
But there are still some personality traits that are crucial to blogging success. Since saying “be yourself” is not enough to make you successful, here are some things you need – if your personality is just not capable of the following character traits, you will have a hard time finding success as a blogger!
Keep in mind that blogging is often a “lonely” job, there is no one controlling what you do every day and how you do it. So the most important skills are about getting the job done even though you don’t have to or at least not today.
Here are the characteristics that an aspiring blogger needs:
#1 Blogging Personality
It is hard NOT to have a personality. Everybody has a personality. But a blogger needs to be willing to show it and share it with their audience!
Your audience wants to know who you are and become a part of your blogging journey. Pure facts as blog posts are not the best to invite them in.
Make your blog posts a personal story instead.
Your blogging personality will help you build a community and grow your audience of fans instead of followers.
#2 Persistence/Work Ethic
It is the same for almost any solopreneur job. But if you don’t have clients that have appointments with you, you can easily fall into postponing work forever.
A blogger needs to get the job done. Not one day or one week. But for a long time.
Bloggers need to motivate themselves to start anew every day. Even if it gets frustrating or if there are setbacks.
I have seen many bloggers fail because they lacked the ability to push themselves to work on their blog (almost) every day.
And then one day of not showing up turns into weeks of not blogging.
You will not succeed as a self-employed blogger if you cannot find a work routine that you can stick to.
#3 Writing Skills
Yes, writing is part of the job. But honestly, every blogger evolves and their writing does, too.
There is a lot more to be written than just blog posts.
You need to write social media posts, email newsletters, sales, website and landing page copy. But don’t shy away from blogging just because you feel your writing needs improvement.
You can learn writing! Read a lot, decide what you like and learn from there. Use a tool to help you with grammar and spelling!
#4 (Self) organization
Blogging is not just about writing. And you cannot neglect most of the tasks. You have to find a schedule and a routine to get everything done every day.
Sure, you can take a day off, but if a day turns into days and weeks – are you still blogging?
And if you plan on using social media to distribute your content you need to show up every day, too.
Plus community-building tasks and all the organizational stuff.
Blogging is a very colorful bouquet of tasks and most of them require your attention on a regular basis.
Some organizational skills are imperative or you will get lost in the jumble.
#5 Ability to learn
Blogging is about learning new things all the time.
This blog here? It is the first that I set up myself. The Social Ms’ Blog was set up by Jonathan. It took me some weeks to get the job done. Not because it was so time-consuming. But because I had never done it before.
There are some new tasks that I shy away from and postpone for a while until I feel ready to tackle them head-on.
But as a blogger, you NEED the willingness to do new things that you have never done before. Because that is part of the job.
You will have to learn about SEO, social media, marketing, email marketing, and more.
You will also have to learn about some basic business topics, tax.
At one point you will have to hire people or fire them.
Blogging is not a fast way to success. If people tell you that, they are either lying. While you may be able to buy some “success” via ads, real blogging success needs time to build a reputation, trust – and some search rankings. Because not even Google will know you exist after a couple of days.
If you want to start blogging you have to be aware that you will not start your blogging career with a huge audience. Audiences have to grow with time.
#7 Ability to take breaks
While it is important to be persistent and have a work ethic – too much of it is not good either.
Because when everything is your responsibility it can be hard to take breaks and invest some time into your well-being.
Be aware that you don’t want to face burnout after a couple of months. Breaks are important, so are meetings with friends, family and even fellow bloggers. Stay part of the real world, don’t get lost in the blogging world.
#8 Don’t try to be perfect
Trying to do a good job is great. But if you are so afraid of getting things done because they may not (yet) be perfect that will stand in your way. If hitting publish takes several days of convincing yourself that the post is good enough, or if you never seem to be able to finish that course or ebook – it may just become too hard to move on.
You need to finish things – even if they are not perfect.
If you cannot stop your excessive perfectionism, that is going to be a big struggle.
Instead of focusing on being perfect – be human:
- Don’t be a know-it-all. Yes, you want to show expertise and have authority. But you still don’t have to know it all
- Don’t be consistent at all costs. You are allowed to evolve and learn. Even if it means changing your mind once in a while.
- Break rules. Just because someone said it is a rule does not mean it has to apply to you. Be willing to take a risk and try things that may work even if someone tells you differently.
Final Words on the Importance of your Blogging Personality
You are you – and that is what makes you stand out.
People will like you or not. But they will remember you for being who you are.
If your blog is just a collection of tips, people will like them and consume them but they will not connect to you.
Don’t be afraid to show your blogging personality. It does not mean that you have to share all your private life or your personal feelings. But glimpses of your personality and your personal experience with blogging and what you write about will inspire your audience and build a more personal connection.
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