How to Grow a Successful Blog

If you’re a new blogger who wants to write a successful blog, you’re in luck, because it’s absolutely possible.

I’ve coached many bloggers to grow their audiences and create blogs that bring them consistent income.

how to grow a successful blogIt’s not rocket science, but you do need to be strategic and follow a few basic rules.

Here’s what I’ve found works for bloggers from all different niches and backgrounds.

1. Understand your readers

First thing’s first: ­ you must understand your readers to have a successful blog.

That means knowing who they are, what they struggle with, and why they are reading your blog in the first place.

Create a profile for your ideal reader.

  • How old is your reader?
  • Is your reader a man or a woman?
  • What does he or she want to accomplish?

Write out a short description of your reader, and then look at it every time you write a blog post.

Then, make sure that each post is designed to help your reader. You can learn so much from your readers by asking them about their struggles.

I ask every reader that signs up for my email list what they are struggling with in their blog, and get around 10–20 responses a day! Their answers help me create content that I know they will love.

2. Leverage your content

Once you know who your reader is, you can create great content that builds trust and makes them want to buy from you.

But don’t just write blog posts for your blog. Use your time wisely by writing content you can leverage.

Guest posts

I recommend that beginner bloggers write 2 posts for their own blogs every month, and 2 guest posts for other, more popular blogs. That’s because, in the beginning, no one knows your blog exists. It’s a far better use of your time to guest blog and get in front of other bloggers’ audiences rather than writing content for your own blog that people will likely never see.

Round up posts

A great way to get more eyes on your blog is to create roundup posts, where you ask a number of experts a specific question, and then share their answers in a single blog post.

When you publish that post, you tell all the experts, and then many of them will share it with their audiences, giving your blog a great traffic boost. I’ve had many of my clients publish round up posts and then see their traffic go up dramatically.

3. Comment on other blogs

Speaking of leveraging your content to get more traffic, you can’t just stay on your own blog and expect to grow your audience.

A great way of getting backlinks to your blog and building relationships with bigger bloggers is to comment on other blogs in your niche.

Write a list of 20 bloggers with whom you want to build relationships.

Then comment on 2 of those blogs every day. Make sure your comments are thoughtful and add to the conversation.

When you’ve taken the time to build relationships with influencers, they’ll be far more likely to answer your roundup question and to have you on their blog as a guest blogger.

4. Be consistent

Even if you’re guest posting, commenting, and doing round up posts, it still takes time to grow a loyal audience for your blog. That’s why it’s so important to be consistent with publishing high-quality content on your blog.

I publish a blog post every Thursday, and I have done that since I started with this blog.

Writing consistent content helps your readers trust you and come back for more. They won’t be left guessing when your next post will come out.

If you struggle with writing consistent blog posts, consider having other bloggers guest post on your blog. You’ll not only get great content on your blog, you will also build relationships with other bloggers, which is key to having a successful blog.

5. Grow your email list

When it comes to having a successful blog, your email list is the most important asset you need to grow.

The best way to grow your email list is to:

  1. Know who your readers are
  2. Find out what transformation they are trying to achieve
  3. Create a lead magnet you can give them in return for their email address
  4. Strategically place that lead magnet throughout your blog.
  5. Get free traffic through guest posts and round up posts

Once someone is on your email list, you can tell them of new blog posts, and more importantly, let them know when you have something to sell.

Sell your own products

On the topic of selling, the best way to make money from your blog is to sell your own products.

Create a $97 dollar product and sell it to 10 people, and you’ve just make your first $1K blogging.

6. Get help when you need it

Let’s face it – sometimes you can’t do everything on your blog yourself. I have grown a successful blog by reaching out and getting help when I need it, and I recommend that you do the same.

I’ve spent over $50k on mentors and courses. They have taught me essential lessons on how to build a successful blog. And I’ve built valuable relationships with mentors like Jon Morrow,  Racheal Cook, and Yaro Starak.

I also get help with things like maintaining my blog and creating graphics. That means I can focus on what I love doing the most -­ helping beginner bloggers create successful blogs.

The best way to grow a successful blog fast is to connect with a blogging coach who can teach you the ins and outs of blogging. I would love to mentor you and help you grow your blog.

grow a successful blog

In conclusion…

If you want to build a successful blog, you absolutely can.

Know your readers, leverage your content, build relationships by commenting on other blogs, be consistent, grow your email list, and get help when you need it. If you do those 6 things, you will be miles ahead of the other beginner bloggers out there.

Over to you…

What has helped you grow a successful blog? Share in the comments below.

Comments

    • says

      The interesting thing, Bill, is that forums got me my first clients. It didn’t up my traffic much, but my first coaching clients were from two forums that I was a member of.

      Thanks for asking!
      Sue

      • says

        Hi, Sue,
        What kind of forums are we talking about? I would love to mindset-coach SAHMs. The thing is that I have a group of 250 women on a Facebook group called “Embracing Motherhood” that I created, but I really get the feeling they do not like to be marketed to. 😉 So here I have an audience, that has maybe seen the “messy” side of my mom life too much to even think of me as a professional leader. Oops. How do you pivot your identity in this case?

        • says

          Hi, Wells,

          Facebook groups are the new forums. The key to them is to get your group members to webinars to build your list. Or to optin for a content upgrade on one of your posts. Keep thinking of ways to get them over to your blog and to your email list.

          Thanks for your comment and question!
          Sue

    • says

      I too appreciate your role modeling here Sue. Great job!
      Your consistency is valuable and helps us recognize the power of ‘facetime with your dedicated interest in helping others.

      I am slowly moving into the blogging world from an Interspiritual perspective through my Mindful Paths.com website and Facebook worlds.

      Have you ever considered adding Doctoring services? What I mea to say ie I can see you going into your clients cites, with the intent to perscribe to them the necessary, changes, adaptations or recommened “medicines” for greater impact. 🙂

      Most respectfully your,
      Constance McClain

      • says

        Great way to put it, Constance. I help my clients with their blogs, so in that instance I do prescribe recommendations.

        Thanks for your comment,
        Sue

  1. says

    Hi Sue,

    You have written so many golden tips in one just post. My favorite is the second one because I use it all the time. I make expert roundups as guest posts (because I’m the author, I don’t do ghost-writing), and I get paid for them. 😀

    I owe you so much. Thanks to the roundups I did for you I got the chance of meeting new clients, some were yours students others just bloggers that saw the posts I did for you, and they wanted the same thing for their site.

    Thank you for being such a great teacher for me, Sue!

    Best,
    Minuca
    Minuca Elena recently posted…40 Bloggers Talk About Their Biggest ChallengeMy Profile

  2. Nnenna says

    Hello Sue

    My first time on your blog and I am hooked. Thanks for sharing so much value in one post.

    I am just starting out as a blogger. Hoping to start fully by the first week of next month.

    Well I have played around with blogging for about a year plus but this time, I want to make money with my blog Above all reach out to people with so much value and rich content.

    I would love to learn as much as I can from you.

    Love
    Nnenna

  3. says

    Sue,

    I’m in the process of getting my self-hosted WordPress site and I’m reaching out to influential bloggers to help me take blogging seriously. All of them, including you, have been so helpful. In fact, I’m going back to your earlier emails and posts whenever I need some guidance. I don’t have the money to spend on courses, so I’m trying to get all the guidance I can in other ways. Thank you for the brilliant posts every time 🙂

    ~Cynthia

    • says

      Just came across your comment, Cynthia – and wanted to say that you’ve found the best resource there is out there! Feels good to cut through all the confusion, hey? And when you find the time is right for, you can bet your investment (with Sue and Successful Blogging) will get you farther, faster than you imagined for yourself… Just my opinion 🙂

      • says

        Hi JoAnne,

        You’re right. Ever since I found Sue I realised all that I was doing wrong with my own blog. My blog has always been neglected, but after being around this blog for four months, I have started getting things straight. Sue is really helpful. She always replies to my emails no matter how lame the query might be!

  4. says

    Hey Sue!

    These are all very great tips. I’ve been working on all of them, especially #1 and #2. It’s been a lot of fun.

    I like to comment on other blogs, but have I hard time making time to do it.

    I’m just getting started and being consistent is probably the biggest thing I need to work on.

    Growing your email list is such a big pillar in the success of your blog, maybe the most important one.

    Great post!

    It was a healthy reminder for me.

  5. says

    How is one supposed to write a guest post when you are a newbie blogger? Who is going to even trust you yet? I read this a lot, but it doesn’t seem rational that anyone wants an unknown to write for them.

    • says

      I used to think that also, Florence, but I don’t even look at the person’s blog when they ask to guest post. I tell my clients that, as long as you have 3 posts, you are ready to guest post and they go and get guest post gigs!

      Give it a try – I’ve never had someone fail at finding a guest post and getting traffic from that post.
      Sue

      • says

        How would you recommend someone ask a blog of they can “guest blog” something for them?

        • says

          I would recommend that you connect with the blogger first – thru social media or email. Comment on their blog posts, share their social media posts, etc. and then ask if they would be interested in a guest post for their blog. Make the connection before asking.

          Thanks for your question.
          Sue

  6. says

    Sue, this is a perfect synopsis for some of our peeps who have been getting started with blogging as a strategy to get more visibility, and build trust & credibility as coaches, consultants and speakers. Thank you again for the huge value you create in all that you do 🙂

  7. Tola Korede says

    I must opened up that be your mailing list is for the purpose of get more useful information which i will related to your point 6. Get help when you need it, am always getting help from you via reading your blog.

    For blogger either upcoming or veteran, must put the points you highlighted here in your blog post.

    Thanks.

  8. Tessa Smokes says

    Knowing our readers’ pain and providing solid solutions to it is by far the biggest way to build loyalty with readers; that’s one thing I’ve found that works aside guest post because when we write great guest articles and write half of that on our own blog, then those readers might see us as less of an expert in our niche.

    I’ve also found that building genuine relationship with bloggers out of our niche makes a great collaboration in the sense that the bloggers feel less in competition with us and help build awareness for us. For example, I write about issues facing young people, now as a fan of Successful Blogging, I don’t need to be a blogging blogger, all I just have to do is write a compelling guest article about a problem young bloggers are faced with. With this I’m not competing with Sue Anne for readers, while her readers go to her for compelling blogging issues, I could just be a side guard on other young people related matter.

    That has worked for me and continue to. By the way, thanks for the reminder Sue, half of the blogging strategies I’ve built came from Successful Blogging.

    And it feels good to be back with a sound health, I missed coming here when I was hospitalized. And I hate missing contents here.

    Hope I didn’t miss a lot?

    Tessa.

    • says

      We missed you also, Tessa, and hope you are dong much better.

      Remember, people read more than one blog in a niche. They can have more than one favorite so there is always room for more.

      Thanks,
      Sue

  9. says

    I recently launched a Blog, and getting traffic is proving to be a challenge. Thank you for your suggestions. I am not a techie person, so I’m considering hiring some help with the technical aspects of maintaining the Blog.

  10. says

    Making a blog successful is the ultimate goal in the life of a blogger. There is no doubt that readers are the real asset of any online blog. More readers means more value.

    Your tips are always influential.
    Sona Mathews recently posted…Free Blog Vs Self Hosted Blog InfographicMy Profile

  11. says

    Indeed a great post, Sue.

    Completely agree that Round up posts are more powerful and It attracts more eyes towards our blog. Round up posts not only help in attracting readers but It also helps in building friendly relation with other bloggers by which we can make our own identity.

    Having huge blogger contacts are very much important for making a blog successful and commenting on other blogs is the perfect way of making connections and relation.

    Yup, consistency is very important factor whether It is for SEO perspective or for growing audience. We must be consistent in our work.

    Thanks for sharing it with us. 😀
    Chetan Gupta recently posted…{ 60% Off } SiteGround Coupon Discount 2016 : Real & GenuineMy Profile

  12. says

    Hi Sue,

    Indeed an excellent post, You have shared with us some lucrative methods which plays an imperative role for the betterment of our blogs. By using above mentioned techniques one can grow our blogs nicely and effectively.

    Thanks for fantastic share 🙂

    Regards

    Mairaj

  13. says

    Hello Sue, am still trying to grow my audience and monitize my blog but at the same time not forgetting the sole purpose of my blog which is to create awareness for Special Needs Children especially in Nigeria and Africa as a whole and to bring products to them as close as possible. Am thrilled whenever i read your posts i hope to grow on my knowledge on blogging with time.

    • says

      Good luck to you, Peace. I’m glad I can be of help to such a worthy cause.

      Sue

  14. says

    You’ve done it again Sue,

    This post is awesome! And while it’s simple, the points that you brought across are 100% tried and true (these are things that EVERY single blogger should be doing – in order to grow their blog successfully).

    Thank you, soo much for the actionable advice that you provide on your blog for all of us to follow. There is high value in all the articles on this site.

    Keep up the great work Sue,

    Benjamin 🙂

  15. says

    Hi Sue,

    $50k on training – wow, that’s a lot. Has it all
    been worth it? It’s lucky that you had that to
    spend. Of course, if it’s all worked for you,
    then it’s an investment worth paying.

    I would agree with you on #1. This is so important.
    It’s all about finding people who you understand
    because you’ve been through similar struggles and
    empathise with what they’re going through and
    what they want.

    I also think, taking time to decide what you want
    out of your blogging business is important because,
    not only does it give you focus, it can help you
    decide what training (and who to pick) you need.

    For me, helping me build my blog has been taking
    time out to decide what I wanted out of my blog and
    then, finding that group of people I understand
    because I’ve been through the similar struggles
    and can appreciate what they want.

    Thanks Sue.

    – Tom
    Tom Southern recently posted…How To Get More (Targeted) Traffic To Your BlogMy Profile

    • says

      Yes, I’m a training nut, Tom! It was an MBA or blog coaching and I went for the coaching. It has proven financially worthwhile.
      And it was smart of you to take that time to figure out what you wanted out of your blog.

      Appreciate your comment!
      Sue

  16. says

    Awesome content as usual Sue!

    And I love your additional thoughts, with regards to
    tip # two, leveraging your content.

    You wisely point out, it makes far more sense, to generate some
    “guest blogging” opportunities, and not spend or invest all of
    our time and available resources, trying to grow our targeted traffic alone!

    That is a great example, of utilizing proven marketing leverage!
    And like you pointed out, doing so, it will definitely put us light years ahead of our
    less blogging educated” major competitors.

    And tip # six, sadly Sue, I must confess, that one has taken me the longest
    to finally grasp, and come to grips with!LOL!

    I must have been a struggling inventor, in a past life, because my blogging journey started, with me desperately trying to reinvent the wheel and do it all myself!LOL!

    But thanks to experts such as yourself, I’m so over that now!LOL!
    Mark recently posted…Three Incredibly Simple Reasons Why Savvy Entrepreneurs Rely On Strategic Email Marketing!My Profile

    • says

      I think a lot of us, Mark, try to reinvent the wheel. Glad you are now over that 🙂

      I always appreciate your comments!
      Sue

    • says

      Hi, Anirudh,

      I believe that a roundup should be interesting with great answers, not just for backlinks. The backlinks are a pleasant side-effect!

      Thanks,
      Sue

  17. says

    Hey Sue,

    There are millions of blogs running on the web but few are there with the proper traffic and the content. People are striving to become the successful bloggers.

    They need to figure out about the target audience. Blog commenting is one of the best ways to boost up the traffic to your blog.

    I always say that consistency is the key factor for a blogger which can improve the degree of success.

    An informative post indeed.:)
    Have a wonderful week ahead.
    ~Ravi
    Ravi Chahar recently posted…What To Do After WordPress Installation? A Guide To FollowMy Profile

  18. says

    Hi Sue Anne!
    Nice visiting your website again. Your posts are so helpful including this one. I have no regret from subscribing from your blog. Keep writing such great articles to help people Sue.

  19. says

    Hi Sue,

    Excellent advice as usual. Growing a successful blog does take all you mentioned above for sure. I have to say that #3 is my favorite. Commenting on other blogs is key to grow your own blog. When leaving a good comment, the blogger usually reciprocates. And even better, other people may notice your comment, like what you have written and jump over to your blog.

    It’s all about making connections with others. I like your idea on commenting because it is not overwhelming, especially to new bloggers.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Rebranding Your BlogMy Profile

    • says

      So true, Donna. I didn’t comment when I was a brand new blogger and I started getting engagement on my blog as soon as I started commenting on other blogs in my niche.

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment today!
      Sue

  20. says

    Hey Sue Ann,

    You can’t go wtong with these tips. I like the fact that people who don’t have a lot of time can also do these tips

    I can’t pin point which one is more important than the rest because they’re all important. I think it’s great that youve made “Understand your readers” as the number one tip.

    A lot of us tend to jump into and maintain writing about SEO, copywriting, etc.. without knowing what really interests our readers. This is why so many constantly fail at blogging.

    Thanks for sharing Sue Ann! Have a good one!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Conquering The Fear Of Publishing Your New Blog PostMy Profile

  21. says

    Such a great article you shared with us. I am not a blogger, but really, this post is helpful for Non bloggers, as me. Your some tricks are too good That’s how to use our brain to make a connection with others peoples. And how it is easily possible, I know after reading your post.

  22. says

    More good stuff Sue Anne,

    I am slowly starting to work out the guest blogging bit! In your last two or three posts you have started to be more specific about how to make that work and the numbers required. This surprised me a bit as the target is a lot higher than I had envisaged. I now need a plan to make that happen which will be challenging given the limited daily time available. And to find that number of “non broadcasting” wine bloggers where I can open a conversation.

    Keep you posted, onwards, David

  23. says

    Hi, Sue i am fan of you but i forget your name to search, today i find you at pinterest. It is great to read your article again and getting help again. Thanks.

  24. says

    Thanks for putting all of these tips together. I think that it’s very important that you are aware of the time you want to spend on your blog and find the correct balance. It’s very shocking to see that we waste a lot of useful time and we could accomplish lots of things if we would spend it wisely. As a student, I find it hard to dedicate time on my blog. I don’t do it professionally, I have it as a hobby, but this year I wanted to start taking it more seriously and this post was very helpful 🙂

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