6 qualities you need to become a successful blogger

Do you have what it takes to become a successful blogger?

I bet if you’re already blogging or considering starting one, you’ve asked yourself this question. So are these 6 qualities really necessary? What if you don’t have them, does it mean you’re bound to fail as a blogger?

Let me put it this way. While anyone can be a waiter, not everyone is a natural. Some people can learn quickly how not to drop food on people, while others (like me) will never truly understand how on earth you can carry a tray full of food and not spill it on the customers. That’s why I’ve decided I’m never gonna make it as a waitress.

It’s the same with blogging.

Some people are natural writers and photographers, but for the rest of us that may not be the case. While I don’t think being the best writer or photographer guarantees you a stellar blog, I believe you need to develop other essential skills and qualities to make it as a blogger.

What exactly are these essential skills? Well, no one has written a job description for blogging so far. So I decided to create mine and shed some light on the day-to-day of bloggers.

Here’s my ‘Essential skills’ list. If you don’t have all of these qualities, that’s perfectly okay – you’re not doomed to fail! All I want to do with this post is break one illusion that many people have.

Blogging is not a 1-hour a week hobby and it doesn’t only take Starbucks latte selfies to succeed (although, they do help!). 

I don’t want to be trashing anyone’s dreams, but to give you a realistic perspective that will help you develop whatever skills you may be lacking, so you become a successful blogger. And in case you wondered, I am not perfect and I’m still working on some of them myself.

Do you have what it takes to be a successful blogger? Find out if you have the 6 qualities that teach you how to become a successful blogger.

  1. Initiative + willingness to learn

Firslty, your initiative is the desire to start a blog. If someone is forcing you to start a blog, please DON’T. The inital push should always come from you. Otherwise blogging will quickly turn into another thing on your to-do list, which is probably already pretty full, right?

If you really feel like giving blogging a go, you have to be very willing to learn. And by that I mean VERY, VERY keen to sit down with a notebook and start researching online. Blogging is one of the fields where no matter how much you already know, there’s always something new to learn, since the whole industry is changing daily.

What if you are a complete newbie (like I was at the beginning)? Then you have to be prepared to learn even more! At the beginning all the tech jargon sounded like gibberish to me (self-hosted blogs, plugins, API), so you need to be prepared for a whole new world you’re going to enter.

If you love learning, then blogging is a fantastic opportunity to do so. Just a couple of the things I’ve dipped into in the last year include creative writing, affiliate marketing, HTML, social media marketing, SEO and photography. Maybe you don’t know any of these things, but as long as you’re willing to learn and implement what you read, you’ll be a successful blogger. I can promise that even if you didn’t love studying at school or Uni, learning something useful as a blogger is 100% more rewarding.

Ask yourself:

Why do you want to start a blog?

Do you have enough time (at least 4-5 h a week) to spend blogging?

Are you willing to feel super unprepared and learn things from scratch?

Do you mind not knowing a lot about something?

  1. Adaptability

The second super important blogger quality is adaptability. Unlike many other industries, blogging is not very structured (yet). Different areas are evolving super quickly that sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Just look at how much things have changed in the last 5 years, and compare it to the finance or construction industry.

You won’t find an economist worried that the theory he learned 2 years ago is outdated. But for bloggers an article about Pinterest tips from 2014 is pretty much useless! So one of the essential blogger qualities is the ability to thrive under this uncertainty and being able to make the most of every situation.

As a blogger, you’ll need to be adaptable and ready to try different strategies. This includes writing different types of content to see what works for you and what doesn’t. Same goes for photos, social media, even affiliate marketing. You need to be able to get out of your way and experiment, and that is really hard if you don’t like change!

Ask yourself:

Do you like when things change quickly, or do you prefer a more structured work?

In the past, did it take you lots of time to adapt to new studies or work?

Are you able to ideas that are different from your own?

6 signs you're going to be a successful blogger

  1. Courage

Lots of lovely people (including my mom) have never tried blogging, so for them it all seems like a stupid, easy to do hobby. At the same time, if blogging was so easy, why isn’t everyone doing it?

The truth is, blogging requires a lot of skills (that’s what this whole post is about, after all!). But besides certain qualities, it really takes a lot of courage to start putting yourself online. It’s a scary thing if you’re the type of person that cares a lot about what other people think. In fact, it took me a long time before I decided to share my blog on my Facebook, because I was just so afraid of people judging me and the fact that I write about fashion.

One of the things that take a lot of courage is preparing to be disliked. This may be especially hard if love praise as much as I do (and who doesn’t). At the same time, the more people that read your blog, the more different opinions there will be. Big bloggers get hate under every post or video, some even have dedicated threads on gossip forums. So if you’re not prepared for the occasional negative comment (or simply ignorance from a friend), you may become easily discouraged.

The good news is that courage and fearlessness can be cultivated. I’m the living proof!. I’m no Beyoncé, but the more I thought of it, the more I realized that it takes a lot of balls to expose your thoughts, personality, and face for the whole world to see.

So if the mere thought of putting your blog online makes your belly go funny, don’t worry – the excitement after you receive a positive comment makes all the nerves worth it! Just remember, you should always be proud of the content you publish online!

Ask yourself:

Do you care about what people think? If so, will a negative comment stop you from blogging?

Are you ready to stand behind your words and opinions?

Are you comfortable with people disliking you (sometimes very openly)?

Do you get easily discouraged or more motivated when someone criticizes you?

  1. Creativity

I’ve heard so many people saying they’re ‘not creative enough’ to be bloggers. Let me put this straight – you don’t need to live and breathe art, know how to write a page-turning novel or sew your own clothes (but if you can, I’m secretly jealous!). Some people are born creative, but even if you’re not the next Picasso, you can still become a successful blogger.

We’re all creatives of some sort, you just need to find what you’re naturally good at and work on the areas that don’t come easy. If you never tried to write anything (a blog post, a novel, even a script for a video), how do you expect to be good at it? If you never really took photos of yourself, how would you know your good angles?

For me, I’ve never really tried photography until I started my blog. My first photos were less than spectacular, but the passion to improve led me to take photos I’m really proud of. This wouldn’t be possible if I never really tried, right?

Creativity is a muscle, and as any other muscle, you need to practice if you want to get better. Gradual improvement is much more important than natural talent! If you have all sorts of negative thoughts about you being creative, I honestly recommend reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. It helped me embrace my creativity and got me rid of fear of being not-good-enough.

However, as a blogger you should always be YOUR OWN creative self. I’ve seen so many people blatantly stealing others’ ideas. In an industry where ‘intellectual property’ is still a very grey area, you may get away with copying what other bloggers are doing. But honestly, if you can’t even come up with 5 blog post ideas on your own, maybe blogging isn’t the right thing for you.

Ask yourself:

Do you often come up with new ideas?

Do you get easily inspired by others? If so, do you prefer to copy them or alter their approach?

Can you turn an idea to make it a reality?

Do you have what it takes to be a successful blogger? Find out if you have the 6 qualities that teach you how to become a successful blogger.

  1. Persistence + Patience

Persistence and patience come hand in hand with blogging. Unlike what many people believe, in the blogging industry overnight success is rather rare. The people who you see killing it online are some of the hardest hustlers I’ve seen. These girls work relentlessly, often until the early hours, sometimes balancing a job or a baby with a blog. Hard work pays off but only if you keep at it.

The trick is to not get discouraged when you constantly give in time and money without any significant pay-off. Patience is a virtue, especially as a blogger – hardly anyone sees 10,000 page views in their first month as a blogger. You’ll probably make tons of mistakes (I surely did not only in my first month). But being prepared to learn and experiment with different strategies pays off eventually.

If you’re more of an instant gratification type of person, you may find blogging quite hard. It surely takes more than just a selfie of your Starbucks latte to become a successful blogger with an engaged audience. But don’t get discouraged: there’s light in the tunnel! Blogging allows you to keep your gratification monkey happy (with Instagram likes, blog comments and retweets) while you work on your persistence chasing a long-term goal of growing your blog.

Ask yourself:

Do you get easily discouraged and quit after a couple of tries?

Are you ready to change your strategy if it isn’t working?

Are you willing to work really hard to make blogging happen, or do you prefer it just as a hobby?

  1. Independence + Time management

Blogging is an incredible industry without many set rules for now. There’s no university degree or a structured path for you to follow. This means that you’re free to do whatever you want as long as it’s not illegal or affecting others. But with this freedom comes a lot of procrastination and self-doubt because no one is going to grow your blog for you.

Blogging involves spending a lot of time by yourself writing, editing, taking photos and promoting your work. As social as some bloggers may seem, what you don’t see is the incredible amount of emails, paperwork, responding to comments and general life admin behind the scenes. That’s why independence and supreme time management are essential if you want to be a successful blogger.

Being a self-starter (and finisher) is crucial for bloggers – in fact, you have to find out early if you’re able to work for yourself or if you prefer a more structured working environment. Of course, if your blog is just a hobby, you don’t need to push yourself as hard as when your blog is your only way of paying your bills.

So ask yourself: can you motivate yourself easily, or does the temptation to watch just another YouTube video usually wins over doing a more boring blogging task? If so, you can either work on your time management skills, or decide that you’re only doing it as a hobby. Because unfortunately, it’s 2017 – it’s really hard to make waves if you’re only stirring the pond once in a while!

Ask yourself:

Do you work better when you’re given a task and have to report to someone?

Can you motivate yourself enough to complete a boring task (such as replying to emails or comments)?

Do you struggle to juggle 5 different tasks at the same time?

The verdict: Can you be a successful blogger?

If you don’t think you possess all these qualities, don’t worry and quit blogging overnight. Just because I said you need to be adaptable and you aren’t, it doesn’t mean you can’t work your way through it. Yes, blogging is much easier if you already are creative and good with time management. But if you really want it, I truly believe you can work on yourself and develop the skills you’re lacking. Below are some of my favourite books that have helped me become a better blogger!

However, if you find it hard to imagine staying until 2 am just to finish up a blog post, that’s completely fine. We all have different priorities. I just want to break the illusion that blogging is easy and can be done by ‘everyone’. It can, but as with waiters – you have to judge for yourself if you want to be great or spilling drinks onto customers.

If you honestly don’t think it’s the right thing for you, I’m glad I could save you some time (and money).

But if you answered all of the questions above with ‘Yes yes and yes I can’t wait to start blogging’, I’m having my fingers crossed for you.

Do you have what it takes to be a successful blogger? Find out if you have the 6 qualities that teach you how to become a successful blogger.

Follow:
  • Jeni

    Blogging can be SO tiresome sometimes. And overwhelming! This is a great post. People should definitely ask themselves these questions before diving in!

  • Dia

    Wonderful post! I love that you point out that it isn’t about starbucks and cute photos. I mean it’s Easter Sunday and I’m huddled up to my laptop trying to knock out marketing and planning my week. It’s not a fun thing to do when you feel like it, it’s basically another job if you want to make money out of it.

  • Bree

    You’re so right, blogging isn’t as simple as non bloggers make it out to be!

  • Brittany Daoud

    I love that you added the “ask yourself” portions! It’s easy for us to say, “yeah I’m creative” and “yeah I like change” but actually asking those crucial questions really puts it into perspective!

    • Thanks for understanding Brittany – that’s precisely why I added it! I want people to be honest with themselves, so they don’t venture into something that they will later dislike 🙂

  • Kaitlynn Charalambopoulos

    Amazing post! Persistence is definitely one that you need to be a blogger. I learned that after my first month.

    • Definitely it’s very very important for success!

  • Ali Mageehon

    Great post! These are all so very true and definitely not obvious when I started blogging.

  • Poonam Patel

    Awesome tips! I recently started my blog and i’m loving it so far.

    • Glad you’re enjoying blogging – keep up at it!

  • This is an AMAZING post. So true all the qualities. I am developing some of them still after 5 years in the blogging game. It can be incredibly hard, and also incredibly rewarding. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you so much Kimberly 🙂 You’ve been at it for so long – I’m secretly jealous!

  • Ginger Marie

    One that i probably taken for granted is creativity. If you’re basing your blog off of someone else, that’s no bueno!

  • Great post! Helpful tips for being realistic. I think blogging looks so easy, but like everything else, it requires hard work. You have to be intentional and persistent. Love your advice and insight. So goooood!

    • Thank you so much for the kind words Jessica! It does look easy, that’s why so many people want to blog -but if you’re serious, you need to be persistent!

  • These are great tips! You definitely need patience

  • These are great tips for anyone to think about when it comes to blogging! It takes a lot to be successful with blogging, but it’s so worth it

    • I agree with you Ashley – it’s hard but small successes are so worth it!

  • Love this post! You definitely have to keep at it and make as much time as possible.

    • That’s so true Elizabeth! I definitely need to make more time too!

  • Great post! You really got me motivated on this early Monday morning!

  • I absolutely did not realize how much time blogging required when I started my blog!

    • Me neither! But once you start, there’s 1001 things to do, right?

  • This post has made me realized, YES I can become a successful blogger. I’ve been blogging since 2014 but have only become more serious about it now. Thank you for these kick ass points, I love your vibes girl! x

    • Thank you so much Peta, means the world to me! Keep pushing – you’ve been doing it already for some time, I’m sure you have a great potential!

  • Kimberly @ Berly’s Kitchen

    You bring up some great points! The instant gratification thing is so hard for me. I want to be successful quickly, but I know it doesn’t come over night.

    • I know, I know – I have the same desire, and my instant gratification monkey is not always happy! Keep going Kimberly, we can do this 🙂

  • All so accurate!! Even after years of blogging I am still working hard on the time management… because all the other areas make me spend too much time distracted 😉

    • Haha I can completely relate! I want to learn everything and write better content, yet time is never enough! Thanks for reading Rachel 🙂

  • This post is so on point! It really takes your blogging becoming part of your soul IMO. Aside from it being my business, it brings me so much joy

  • You’ve shown those thinking of starting a blog the reality of what that means. It certainly is not for everyone, and it’s not an easy way to make money. I think this post helps people take a realistic look at their expectations as compared to what they think is reality.

    • I hope it manages expectations, indeed! Thank you so much for reading, Barbara – I really want to be helpful for new bloggers!

  • This post is great! It’s informative and straight to the point and thats what I love about it! Blogging isn’t for everyone, and it’s a large commitment! Thanks for sharing
    Neelofar
    http://www.theloveliestlily.com

  • Jen Lee

    Great post with a lot of harsh truths! And i love what you said about people who’ve never blogged underestimating what it takes. It is a big time commitment! but you’re clearly knocking it out of the park. keep up the great work!

    • Thank you so much for reading, Jen! It truly is a great commitment but I’m loving blogging 🙂

  • All so true – and so many people think it’s just a ‘fun little hobby’ and that we spend the majority of our time sitting in front of the TV in our PJs haha. Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.mastersofinstagram.com

    • Yeah this is such a common misconception that I wish to break!

  • I think the biggest one that I’m learning right now is to be patient. Success doesn’t come over night, you have to pursue it and keep trying until it works.

    • For me patience is really hard to learn, too! I want everything to happen quickly, but unfortunately blogging is no quick fix 🙂

  • Mimi HomewithMimi

    Great tips for any blogger to remember. Thanks! Pinning

  • Elizabeth Ghekiere

    As a new blogger this post is super helpful and encouraging! Thanks

  • This is an awesome, thorough and honest list about having what it takes to blog! I love it! Definitely sharing this one. I’m working my way through some of these right now. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much for sharing it, Glady Anne 🙂

  • Janelle Reeves

    Love this!! I get people asking me how to start a blog all the time and this is a great place to start! Definitely not something you can do for 1 hour a week.

    • Completely agree with you, Janelle! If only it took an hour a week.. 🙂

  • this is the kind of post that makes me believe i’m cut out for this, thanks for the encouragement!

  • Great tips! I completely agree. Such a great starter-kit for someone considering entering the blogging world 🙂 The questions are a perfect way to get you thinking about your goals and how you can tackle any potential hurdles!

    • Thank you so much Kenzie! Always great to hear 🙂

  • This was a fantastic post! You have some really solid points. Above all, bloggers have to be adaptable and be willing to put the work in!

    • Completely agree with you! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Selina Ryan

    Great post I loved all the questions you asked, it really helps. I’m new to blogging and this was a great read for me to get real with what I really want to achieve with my blog.

    • Thanks for reading, Selina. I hope the questions can be a good guide if you answer them honestly!

  • Lauren Heske

    Absolutely loved this! These qualities are all so important. I just started out so enjoyed reading this.

  • All great qualities! While I might be a new blogger, I’ve ended up enjoying it way more than I ever thought I would. It’s been tough, and a lot more work than I initially anticipated, but I’m very glad I started!

    • That’s awesome, Cameron! Keep going with your blog 🙂

  • carl stanley

    as a one that is new to blogging i thank you a lot for theses tips and the questions to ask yourself are the best

    • Thanks a lot for reading, Carl! Glad you appreciate the questions, and I hope they can help you!

  • Anvita – TheBellyRulesTheMind

    This is such a good post. So many folks thing blogging is easy but it’s not. So much time and effort goes into it. It’s a great perspective to everybody who is a newbie to blogging

    • Thanks a lot Anvita – I hope I can shed some light for people who are just starting now!

  • Razena Schroeder

    I love this post. It has reminded me that blogging is so much more than what others perceive… they don’t see all the hard work and frustration that goes into it.

    • It’s frustrating when people around you just don’t get how difficult blogging really is! Thanks for reading Razena!

  • Lauren

    Some great points here! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with all of them and this is really eye opening for anyone who wants to start a blog! Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren
    https://www.basicbabelauren.com

    • Thanks for reading, Lauren! Glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Mary Leigh

    Great tips! I think that the adaptability and willingness to learn are the points that resonate the most with me. I have been blogging personally for several years and just recently launched a new site, Live Well Play Together. I am working to learn so many details and intricacies of the blogging world that I didn’t know before.

    • Thanks so much for reading! I’ll definitely be checking up your blog- and it’s so great you’ve been doing it for years!

  • Jamie Fray

    I think you’ve totally nailed these. It is NOT easy to become a successful blogger–it’s often very frustrating (perspective of a newbie)–but it is completely rewarding every time you have a win. Great post 🙂

    Jamie | http://www.TheSkinnySoul.com

    • Thanks a lot Jamie! Totally agree on the little wins – I feel like a BOSS every time I do something new that I was frustrated with before!

  • IG:Suetanyamchorgh

    These are so important. Thanks.I totally agree with these.

  • Marvina Musser

    OMG…I’m so glad I read this. I have a blog, I love what I write about…I love talking to people, but I’ve been so stressed with every day life things that I’ve put it aside for awhile…I really want to do this full time someday and I’m passionate about what I write about. Thank you for sharing this, and I’m going to bookmark this so when I feel discouraged I can just reread this and rethink my time management and strategies.

    https://itiswellwithmysoul741.wordpress.com/blog/

    • Thank you so much Marvina, means the world to me that I’m somehow able to help! Keep pushing – I’m sure it’s all worth it in the end! I also want to make blogging full-time a thing for myself, so we need to work on ourselves and not get discouraged in the harder times!

  • These are all so important! I totally agree with all of these.

  • Sofia Sakare

    Wow – this is just in time for me! Great tips! I need to work on my time management very hard, it feels like I don’t have time for everything I want.

    • I feel the same way, Sofia! Time management is so hard but I think we’ll get there 🙂

  • Couldn’t agree more with these – esp that it’s not a 1-hour a week hobby!

    • Thanks for reading, Rachel! I wish it was a 1-hour a week one!

  • Angelle Marix

    This is such a great post. I agree with every single word. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips.

    xoxo,
    Angelle
    http://www.dashingdarlin.com

  • Brittany Strawbridge

    I was starting to read this thinking I hope I have these qualities! haha – This is a great list and SO true! My biggest struggle is time management and I know that is holding me back a little! Thanks for sharing!

    • Ugh time management is the mother of all evil! I have so many ideas but only 24 hours a day 😀 Thanks for reading Brittany!

  • Julie

    This is a fantastic read! I am a new blogger and I am so glad I choose to blog I couldn’t go through life without it now. I don’t even care if I make money I enjoy spreading my opinion on many things. Thanks so much for sharing! XO

    • I think it’s fantastic you want to have a blog no matter what, Julie! Honestly, for me it has always been a way to express myself, and I’m glad you enjoyed this post 🙂

  • Mary La Fornara

    Blogging is not easy, that is for sure and anyone who thinks it is won’t be doing it for long.

  • Tasia Bruderer

    One of the reasons I became a blogger is because I wanted to help others find their artistic passions in life no matter what that may be. My husband would always laugh & tease because I have about 6 filled notebooks & sticky notes all over the house, filled with ideas I have to be able to share information with others.
    Blogging is not an easy path. It takes hard work. Dedication. Passion. You spend hours educating yourself to help educate others. Keep moving forward, you’re doing a fantastic job ❤️

    • Thank you so much for the encouraging words Tasia! I also have the notebooks, I just find satisfaction in educating myself about blogging, plus I have so many ideas! Keep pushing through <3

      xx Mili

  • Janel Berchielli

    These are definitely things you need to become a successful blogger!