How to be a MASSIVELY successful blogger

Make megabucks! Get famous! Seriously? Well, you can have a successful blog, but some of that depends upon how you define success itself. Anyway, here goes.

 how to be a successful blogger

First things first.

Set your blog up for the sole purpose of making yourself money

That’s right, be completely grasping and selfish and set the whole thing up as multiple income streams that serve only to channel that cash into your own pockets!

Only joking. If that’s your starting point, it’ll come through in everything you say and do and your site visitors will notice it, either consciously or subconsciously. People don’t like being herded like sheep or bled dry in a series of one-sided exchanges. It’s a slow poison that corrodes trust and loyalty, and the really great people won’t stick around.

This even rings true if your chosen topic is personal finance. Perhaps more so, as people expect you to be money-minded, and maybe even part of the banking industry, in the first place.

There’s nothing wrong with ‘monetising’ your writing, but write or otherwise create something good first, eh? Blog about things you are genuinely interested in, knowledgeable about, or currently discovering and finding your way in. It needs to have some kind of heart or spark, however small or quirky, or it will die.

Monetise everything, all of the time!

If your blog is solely about making you cash, you will probably start to make some Really Bad Decisions. For example, plastering all your headers, footers, middles of posts and sidebars with tacky banner ads – especially ones for low-rent and unscrupulous companies – might make you a pound or two here and there, sure. It will also scare off an enormous amount of visitors and increase your bounce rate (people who drop in for a couple of seconds, think ‘ick!’ and leave quickly never to return again).

One or two well-chosen ads here and there should be fine. People tend not to mind, as long as you refrain from total bombardment, because most are aware that you probably have running costs associated with your site.

Also on the subject of making bad decisions and grasping for cash – don’t take on every single sponsored or paid post that comes your way. External content is not always well-written, and you don’t want to flood your site with it or (you’ve guessed it) your readers or viewers will get fed up. Short term grasping can easily lead to long term loss of reputation and readers.

It is possible to do a few sponsored posts here and there, and either write them yourself (a good way to make sure posts contain some useful and relevant information) or at least insist on editorial control and the final say. And try to remember to mark them as what they really are: promotions, advertorial, paid for.

Ideally, work with companies you really like, know reasonably well and are perhaps a happy customer of. That’s true for affiliate schemes too: don’t recommend sub-standard products for the sake of getting the biggest affiliate bonus – your readers aren’t stupid and they will work it out.

The people who make real money from their personal blogs tend not to have heavily monetised sites. Their work acts as a portfolio or calling card, and they are hired to work full-time at certain businesses, or to host events, do public speaking, design websites / recipes / clothes, write freelance articles or books, and so on. Keep that in mind.

Quit your day job, you’re going to be a millionaire

For the love of Pete, don’t quit your day job. At least not without creating an incredibly detailed business plan first, and running it by several people who really know what they’re talking about. Be realistic: most UK bloggers don’t earn nearly enough to live on, although it can provide you with a supplementary income or some very welcome pocket money, or the occasional perk.

If you do want to earn serious money directly from blogging, you will probably have to set up and regularly update several different blogs or other arms to your business, or you’ll have to go down the freelance route. This could be blogging for other sites and businesses (i.e. doing freelance writing or other content creation) and/or going into the realms of PR, marketing, event management and publicity.

The average scenario for this is long hours, not-great pay and clients who don’t pay on time. So, if you do quit your day job, be prepared to do far more hours than someone in an average day job, and probably have less income than an average wage at the end of it. If you love it, do it, but go in with your eyes wide open.

The real benefits of blogging often come from becoming part of a community of like-minded individuals, and from the simple enjoyment of creation: writing, sharing ideas, art or photography, or curating things that interest you. Anyone who forgets that is kind of missing the point.

Write everything for the search engines

Cobble all your posts together from popular or niche search words and phrases! You’ll get LOADS of traffic to your site!

Remember what I said earlier about short-changing your readers, and bounce rates? That. Times a million. Posts created purely for SEO invariably read like crap. They’re stilted and empty, and your readers will feel manipulated and that you’ve wasted their journey (which you have).

Want to hear a funny story? A few years ago I won an award that was based on metrics (cold hard statistics, as opposed to some of these awards that are mainly created to get the award-givers some publicity for themselves). The metrics were based on traffic levels, key words and phrases, and ease of being found by search engines, things like that.

In a nutshell, I won an award for SEO on a site that I had never consciously done any SEO on. I’d just been writing about things I was interested in personally, and that I guessed / hoped other people would like to read about too. Try it, it works, trust me.

Obviously you don’t want to piss the search engines off, and a little SEO tweaking here and there after writing isn’t always a bad thing, but you are far better off concentrating on the quality of what you’re writing in the first place.

Blog every single day

Grit your teeth and churn it out. You’re a hero! You’re a winner! Think of how good it will be for your site’s SEO!

See my slightly jaundiced comments about SEO above. Also, it’s supposed to be fun for you, or at least interesting in some way. It’s OK to have a day off here and there, or even a holiday. Do it when you’re feeling reasonably inspired, and it will build on itself rather than draining you. It’ll definitely be more interesting to read as well.

To put it less politely, if you really feel like you’re straining and squeezing it out then it might be…a turd. Come back later or you’ll give yourself some kind of blog hernia. And please stop making that horrible noise.

Obsess about ‘success’

Constantly check stats and compare yourself to others! Read sites and buy books about SUCCESS all the time! Follow the SUCCESS blueprint for fame and fortune, to the letter, step by step!

Comparing yourself constantly to others is a trap: you’ll either find yourself lacking or end up feeling smug, and neither of these is healthy. I only check my stats about three times a year now, and feel that’s the most efficient way to get the big picture. It’s human nature to focus on the downs rather than the ups, so the easiest way to short-circuit that is by taking a big step back and not looking at the everyday fluctuations. It saves time and stress, and frees you up for better things.

Don’t strive to get your ‘piece of the pie’ either – there is no ‘pie’. Just because some other blogger has done well in a given arena, that doesn’t mean their success has prevented you from doing well there too, that’s just faulty logic. The truth could be quite the opposite, and in fact we now live in a world of co-operation, collaboration, cross-marketing and long-tail purchasing behaviour.

Many of the most famous blueprints or checklists to TAKE YOUR BLOG TO THE NEXT LEVEL have useful bits and bobs contained within them. Pick and choose as you wish, there’s always something new to learn. However, they probably won’t bring you UNLIMITED SUCCESS (YOU ARE LIMITED ONLY BY YOUR OWN LACK OF COMMITMENT OR FAITH!!!!), some of them just won’t work in the UK market, and er, some of them don’t work at all anyway, so don’t feel bad about it.

Just get on with what you do, set your own goals or targets, enjoy the process, and concentrate on being the best version of yourself. It’s your best bet every time, at least on your own site. Your place, your rules and all that.

Suck up to people you don’t like or respect

Hang out with the winners! You’ll become successful by osmosis! Pretend you like people when you don’t, make lots of fake connections and then climb over them to get ahead!

Oh lordy, where do I start with this one? Yes, blogging is a sociable arena, and that is a Very Good Thing. However, being your authentic self, as mentioned above, is important. Within your genre or wider subject area there will be bloggers that you have nothing in common with, and you don’t have to create formal or informal associations with every single one of them. Seriously, relax.

For example, in the world of personal finance blogs there are all kinds of sub-genres and some of them might be considered to have little or no overlap, or even to be mutually exclusive at times. You have bargain bloggers, thrift bloggers, frugality bloggers, extreme frugality bloggers, miser bloggers, puritan bloggers, survivalist bloggers, off the grid bloggers, no-waste and eco bloggers, anti-debt bloggers, anti-poverty bloggers, personal project bloggers, and bloggers who overtly or secretly primarily just want to make themselves a big pile of cash.

That’s a lot of different people. Some of them I feel a natural affinity with, some of them I don’t. Some I get a warm and fuzzy feeling from when I think about them, some I admire, and others I don’t want to be associated with because there’s a conflict of interest or because their ethos is a very, very long way away from mine.

Being connected is undoubtedly useful in many circumstances, but the quality of your connections might be much more important than the quantity of them. And once again we are in the world of accidental SEO, but I’ll shut up about that now. There needs to be genuine goodwill, and some good-natured, balanced give and take. Get involved with what you genuinely like or admire.

So I might bend over backwards to help your charity or public awareness campaign, or give your beautiful labour of love a bit of support in some way. But no, I still won’t share your crappy business infographic, sorry.

Many a true word was blogged in jest. Blog on, everyone. 

Similar Posts


  1. This really made me laugh! I’m new to blogging, and I can totally imagine how people can ruin their blogs by getting bogged down by all the issues you mentioned. Well observed!

    Gayle x

    Please do feel free to pop over and say hello by the way-

  2. Now you put it like that I’ve totally got off the idea :). And who wants to read blogs written for the engines only anyway? I know I don’t.

    Great article!

  3. Thanks Gayle, Susan and Maria. Guess I missed my calling as an internet guru 😉

  4. Genius post. There are just too many gems to pick out, but thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you!

  5. Really interesting tips. I am fairly new to blogging and am now thinking about monetising my blog…that £5 a week will be welcome ;-). Am currently refusing sponsored posts, as want to build up my own style before I consider having paid for stuff on my site.

  6. Hi MBH, glad you liked them. When you’re ready, you could consider doing sponsored posts where you write the article yourself – the sponsored posts here are written by me to keep the house style, and limited to a set number per year so the site doesn’t get swamped. PS £5 a week is pretty good for a newbie 🙂 Best of luck.

Comments are closed.