Andy Budd has a post up in regards to being a highly successful freelance web designer, but really the post is written in such a way that it is not design specific, and many of the points could be just as easily attached to a highly successful blogger.
Love what you do
This one is something simple, but usually so difficult to attain, but honestly if you want a successful blog, you have to love what you are doing. Do you love writing? Which topic? How often? All of these different things have to come together in such a way that a year down the road you are still smiling at writing on that blog, rather than dreading it.
Never stop learning
Even the best thought-leader in blogging still needs to learn a thing or two. New software, new image editing techniques, new ways of doing things, and it never stops, unless you want it to. But really, when you stop focusing some time on learning new things, you really just begin to stagnate, and I am sure none of us want a stale blog.
This is something that bloggers really need to take to heart. Specializing does not mean you can’t write about a wide variety of subjects, or use a wide variety of tools, but it does mean that if you can narrow it down to just one or two things, you can specialize and become the person to go to for whatever you specialize in.
If you love WordPress, dive deep into it, and learn it, as that is quickly becoming a reasonably decent marketable skill. If you love blue widgets, stop worrying about red and yellow widgets, and comparing them, focus on how great blue widgets are, and sooner or later, people will be following your blog to see what’s new in blue widgets.
Get a killer portfolio
This one really applies more to probloggers, people that want to make money off their writing. Just about every blogging network requires some examples of your work, as well as some fresh ideas. So get a portfolio going, and show off your talents. Archive your best writing and feature it in a portfolio page, or point it out on your blog. You never know who is reading, and what opportunities may come from it.
Network like crazy
Without talking to people online, I would never be in the position I am today. If you want to get noticed, notice other people. Take the time to be interested in them, and more than likely, they will become interested in you as well. Leave comments on other blogs (don’t just lurk), use your blog to point out a great article someone else did, or even just send an e-mail to a blogger to tell them you respect or admire their writing.
Networking can go a long way to not only helping a blog do better, but helping bloggers feel more a part of a community.
Manage your time
Pushing out a post or two every day can sometimes be difficult with the stress of life, but if you learn to manage your time effectively, then you will be able to find that five, ten, or twenty minutes it takes you to organize your thoughts and publish them, and every post brings opportunities.
Build your reputation
Thought-leadership is something you are going to see me mention constantly over the next while as well as passion, as they are both essential in building a reputation via your blog or blogs. By being a thought-leader, someone who is always focused on bringing out their speciality, passion and focus for a subject, you can quickly build a positive reputation online, and basically prove your worth.
The people that have the highest reputations online are those that are offered to write chapters of books, invited to conferences, and have a community built around them.
I know this can seem difficult because it feels like everyone has already said everything that needed to be said, but having the same opinion, but presenting it in a different way, could make it more easy for readers to digest, and the transfer of easy to understand information is one of the most important things that a blogger can do.
Read Andy Budd’s article for a more Freelance Web Designer approach to all the key points he made.