Will you be a successful blogger in 2014?

I helped my friend who became a first time blogger blog set up at Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress.com, Shutterfly and Medium.  She was able to provide her own description of what a successful blog would look like and I helped her get started.

My friend travels, writes essays and creates image collections but has never blogged before. “All I want to do is write!” she typed in frustration. “Why is this so hard to do? I don’t have the time to learn how to jump through hoops. Where can I go and just write?”

She has moved forward as a neophyte blogger and sent me images from How to be a successful blogger in 2014 by  on Jan 08, 2014 from slideshare and asked for my ongoing advice.

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Successful people are realistic and pragmatic. They have clear objectives and step by step plans to achieve them within a specific time frame. To be a successful blogger visualize the big picture and then figure out what’s essential. A useful approach to goal setting is to use the SMART mnemonic. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Researching where your blog is at and setting goals isn’t enough. What’s also needed is an action plan to achieve them and a feedback loop.

How to be a successful blogger in 2014

  1. Write your goals down  and state each goal as a positive statement: Be clear about what you are out to achieve and know there is more strength and power when you express your goals positively, rather than negatively. Write your goals down to crystallize them and give them more force.
  2. Be precise and set priorities:  Set specific goals and be precise about dates,  times and amounts so you can measure achievement. Then you will know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can celebrate having achieved it. Make sure your low-level goals are small and incremental because if they are too large and disparate, it can seem you aren’t making progress by working on them. Assign a priority to each goal so you  direct your attention to the most important ones, and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Set performance goals, not outcome goals: Set goals over which you have as much control as possible because nothing is more discouraging than failing to achieve a  goal for reasons beyond your control.  If you base your goals on your own performance, you can maintain control and draw satisfaction from achieving them.
  4. Set realistic goals: It is important to set goals that you can achieve. Setting goals that are too high, means  you may not appreciate obstacles,  or understand  how much skill you need to develop to achieve a particular level of performance.
  5. Be prepared to innovate: Remain flexible in your approach to achieving your goals and by remaining open to new means of achieving them.
  6. Learn from your failures: Failure is excellent feedback on your approach and what you need to change. Every failure contains within it all the elements required to achieve the goal in the future.

By deciding what you want to accomplish in each month, week and day, creating an editorial calendar, and following these 12 Time Management Tips for Top Blogging Performance you will succeed.

Related posts:
Top 10 Beginner Blogger Blunders
10 Guidelines for Writing Engaging Posts
Keyword Power in the Blogging World
6 Ways to Make Google Your Blog’s Best Friend
Blogs are About Comments and Commenting
7 Common Sense Social Networking Tips

60 thoughts on “Will you be a successful blogger in 2014?

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  4. One line in particular really jumped out for me:

    Set performance goals, not outcome goals: Set goals over which you have as much control as possible because nothing is more discouraging than failing to achieve a goal for reasons beyond your control.

    Sounds obvious, but it’s funny how the “obvious” things are so often the hardest to see. Performance doesn’t guarantee success, but done consistently, day after day, it sure does boost the odds! : )

  5. i don’t know what to say….finding you has refreshed me in unexplainable ways. i took a decision to improve on my blogging in 2014 and my email subscription was a major headache to me, because it usually sent a full text to my subscribers instead of a summary. i read your comment in the support section on wordpress.com and applied and baaam! i’m all good. you’re the first blog i’m following and for good reason too. i feel like giving you a hug!. thanks so much. your basic blogging column has definitely become a COURSE for me.

    • Welcome,
      I’m glad I was able to help you in the support forums and happy to know you think my Basic Blogging posts will be useful to you as well.

  6. Love this post. As usual you manage to un complicate the complicated and offer sound and doable advise. I feel motivated to work on my plan and tighten it up. My problem is I have met so many interesting people with fascinating blogs that I spend far too much time reading them and end up neglecting other things! :-D

  7. Your friend set up a blog at all those places? How does that work? Will she post on one or some or all? Original posts on each or write one post and put on each blog? Maybe I am just not understanding.

  8. As always, great tips! I do have a question however. People keep telling me I should get on tumbler, I am not even sure what that is, or if it is worth doing. I am assuming since you mention it here it must be worth doing. But what is tumbler exactly and how does it work?

      • I know what you mean. But we need to set priorities or we end up all over the show! Hope you are well and starting the New Year with a big leap!.. c

  9. Gosh, you’re right. You have to set goals that are specific and be able to measure the results–that’s important to remember. My goal is blog once a week in the coming year, though I would LOVE to post more frequently. I just don’t have the time. Sure, I could just post a photo or something I hadn’t put much time into, but I prefer to focus on quality over quantity. Thanks for the pointers, my friend. Hope your week is going well!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

  10. Really great information, thank you! It’s interesting, when I started my blog last year, I just wanted to write and inspire, but I didn’t really feel like I had a goal. Because a goal is something like, oh, I want to write a book! Or become famous! Or sell ads for $$! But looking at Jeans list is great, because I’m realizing perhaps I didn’t write them down, but I have had some unspoken ones. It doesn’t involve writing more, because my rule is that whatever I write needs to have takeaway tips or some sort of inspiration for the reader, it can’t just be babble, so I take my time but make sure I post 2x/month. Also, I like to write with a personal story and relate that to the takeaway. Include a variety of topics that don’t just speak health, because we can’t be preachy.

    Regardless, good to know I have at least a good start and perhaps with some of your tips and make some new ones that are more measurable.

    And one last comment about you helping your friend set up on a variety of different sites to start her blog. I’m confused about how to use Tumblr, Blogger, etc, when I use WordPress so probably need to do some research into how these all work together.

    Again, thank you!

  11. Love this post! It’s such a good organized list to help me reach my blogging goals for 2014. Almost reminds me of a college syllabus. : )

  12. Hi timethief.
    Well, for now, I’ve started full of energy for this 2014. Now, I’ve just have other 11 months to keep maintaining the same rhythm. It’s a hard work btw.. ;)

  13. Your excellent suggestions help motivate me to keep blogging. I’ve been writing all my life, mostly news writing. But blogging is different from all the formats for written communication that existed prior to the internet. Therefore, I’m uncertain how to define “success” as a blogger. My instinct says we all crave an audience, preferably a larger and more engaged audience. Mostly what we get on the net is a small, fleeting, indifferent audience. That’s the problem or challenge I have to overcome to consider myself successful at blogging.

    “. . . Write whenever the idea is still flaming away and then schedule publishing later,” is one of the best suggestions I’ll ever heard. So often I get a great idea but let it slip away without writing anything down. It’s not always easy to recapture that momentary inspiration. I’m going to have to be flexible and dedicated enough to make a moment to capture those thoughts and words. I’m going to approach it as if I were a volunteer firefighter. When the alarm sounds, you drop whatever you’re doing and respond to the fire! (Don’t be firefighter if your other job involves taking care of small children or performing surgery.)

    My first goal this year is to be a disciplined and focused blogger. No more general-interest blogging. I’ve learned that lesson from blogging failure. I WILL select a subject and blog exclusively (and regularly) about that one subject. I must make the subject narrow and specific.

    I choke on only one blogging recommendation. Google+. I have a phobia about Google+. I’ve converted on Facebook and Twitter. I hope Google+ is negotiable.

    • “. . . Write whenever the idea is still flaming away and then schedule publishing later,” is one of the best suggestions…

      John, your comment reminded me of my other passion aside from writing: photography. We are told as photographers to always have our cameras with us in order to capture what inspires us at the moment it does. Those moments are fleeting and I have often regretted not stopping to take a photo when I’ve been quietly nudged by my heart to do so or have decided not to bring my camera in the first place. In the same way, although I usually take my journal with me wherever I go, “life” often steps in and keeps me from writing down those thoughts that “slip away” all too quickly. And, I regret those missed opportunities, too.

      I have never regretted stopping to take a photo or pausing to write a snippet (or tome!) in my journal.

  14. Late last year, I expanded to Google+ and this year, I’m going to expand to Pinterest, Reddit and Stumble Upon (I haven’t ruled out Tumblr yet). That, I’m hoping to get my YouTube show up and running.

  15. Very valuable tips for successful blogging in 2014. You are so right about everything. Besides everything else I am looking forward to achieving the goals that I set up for my blog and also innovation is an excellent idea with the audience being more social and smarter. Thanks for the great tips for successful blogging. Wishing you the best in 2014.

    • Hello there,
      It’s so nice to hear from you and know you appreciated this post.

      Flexibility and readiness to accept opportunities to make changes is so important. I discovered three new approaches to my offline work that have freed up some time for me.

      Jean just revealed a goal and in her goal list that I intend to adopt:

      Take advantage of my Muse –write whenever the idea is still flaming away and then schedule publishing later.

      All the best to you in 2014 when it comes to blogging and your offline life as well.

  16. Much as I hate shopping lists of “goals”, I admittedly have a few fuzzy “goals” floating loosely in my head for my personal blog. The fuzzy goals are like clouds that are in my blue sky. :):

    • Blog at least once per month and always a blog post that has a few illustrative photos that I’ve taken or my partner has taken.
    • Topics that I care enough to write and topics that are part of me.
    • Try to write in a manner that is from my personal voice.
    • Have a happy blend of blog posts primary topics, on cycling, art, history, food, culture annually. I don’t want to bore my non-cyclist readers with a slew of posts exclusively on cycling.
    • Take advantage of my Muse –write whenever the idea is still flaming away and then schedule publishing later.
    • Hi Jean,
      I like it. Your goal list isn’t that fuzzy because it reveals your approach to blogging. I say your goals are value added valuable content to this discussion. The last one is one I intend to adopt. Whenever I can I’m going to be creating posts in advance and scheduling publication. Thanks so much for taking the time to post your goals here.

      P.S. You reminded me of this Writing Prompts and Scheduling Posts

  17. WHOO HOO! My last post was a flopped project and I told EVERYONE. According to your post being genuine is good. I love your posts. Always make me feel like I’m somehow doing ok! Thanks for the info.

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