Blogging Grit: Do You Have Enough To Succeed?

5 Tactics To Build Your Blogging Grit

Blogging Grit is a marathonDo you have the blogging grit to push your blog into your category’s top ranks?

Or do you have lingering doubts about your blog’s lack of ability?

Face it—The leading bloggers have been pounding away, creating top quality blog content for years.

Heck, a blogging renaissance is taking place right now!

Wondering how you can compete?


Stop that negative self-talk you think no one hears but peaks through weakening your blog content.

Let go of this negativity.

Believe in yourself and focus on what you need to succeed.

This year, I had the honor of judging Social Media Examiner’s Top 10 Social Media Blogs along with blogging experts: The Sales Lion’s Marcus Sheridan and Copyblogger’s Sonia Simone.

Before this experience, I’d have told you it was extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a new entry to break into the Top 10 blogs in a popular category.

But judging the Top 10 social media blogs taught me that blogging grit empowers new bloggers to penetrate the upper echelons of their segment. The Social Media Examiner Top 10 list included bloggers I’d never heard of before. They entered a crowded field and kept going until they stood out.

The blogging grit secret: You can too!

Learn blogging grit to build your blogging muscles to keep going for the long run.

To help you accomplish, we’ll define blogging grit and show you how to put it into action with 5 key tactics.

Blogging Grit is a marathon


Blogging grit defined

Blogging grit applies Angela Lee Duckworth’s theory of passion and motivation to blogs.

While many bloggers start their blogs full of passion and energy blogging over time eventually causes their enthusiasm to dissipate, often before their blog starts yielding results.

Blogging is a marathon. Start slowly and build your blogging muscles over time. Then increase your posting and related social media participation.

To manage your blogging expectations, here are 2 data points:

  • It takes about 18 months for a blog to become the engine driving your business according to Content Inc author, Joe Pulizzi.
  • It takes about 30 months (or 2.5 years) to become known in your field according to Known author, Mark Schaefer.

To see these 2 blogging trends in action on your blog, check your blog’s Google analytics.

Two examples highlight the power of long-term blogging grit:

The Everywhereist Geraldine DeRuiter’s husband, Moz’s Rand Fishkin used its Google Analytics to underscore the point that most bloggers give up after 12 months of blogging. As a result, they miss the big payoff after 3 years when longevity significantly boosts traffic. (BTW, although Fishkin is a top SEO expert, DeRuiter doesn’t get any help from him!)

The Content Strategist Contently’s Joe Lazarus revealed a similar blogging grit trend for their blog, The Content Strategist. It’s in the crowded content marketing category.

Blogging Grit works for Contently

Contently’s blog growth over time

Don’t get dazzled by the blog traffic numbers. Instead build quality blog content around your topic and a base of loyal readers.


5 Steps to build blogging grit

Here are 5 steps to build your blogging grit muscles to enable you to continue to blog for the long term.

1. Start with a blog strategy

To ensure your blog gains traction and contributes to long-term growth, start with a blogging strategy.

In its most simplified form, have a blogging mission, know your audience and determine your core 3 to 5 categories.

Ideally it helps to establish your blog strategy before you start your blog. As Smart Blogging’s Jon Morrow says, it’s important not only to do the right things but also to do them in the right order.

But don’t worry—you can always modify your blog’s strategy.

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Create your blog mission. It’s as easy as filling in the blanks.Maximize b2b blog results
  • Determine your ideal reader. To this end, create a blogging persona.
  • Select your top categories. Don’t just look inside. Analyze competitive blogs. What do they write about? What are their core topics? Where does your content fit in? How can it stand out?


2. Add building block posts to grow your blog

Each blog post should contribute to your overarching blog objectives.

In my opinion, each blog post is a Lego block to build your blog authority. It’s interlocking, multi-functional and color-coded. (Hat tip to my oldest nephew a true Legomanic!)

  1. Each post has at least one purpose. Ask: What should this post accomplish for the blog? How does it relate to existing posts on the topic?
  2. Each post can be used again. Extend the life of your best-performing blog post by repromoting it, updating it, upgrading it, or curating it. For weaker blog posts, figure out how you can improve them to yield better results. (Here’s how to reuse blog posts.)
    1. Each blog post should be aligned with one of your core blog topics. This advice is attributable to SEO expert Bruce Clay who talks about content silos. Your objective is to ensure that readers and search engines know what’s important on your blog.SEO Silos           Bruce Clay explains SEO silos using marbles

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Create a mix of core blog content types. This will maximize reach while managing blog resources.
  • Appeal to the 5 core audiences. Optimize your blog content for customers, social media, search, influencers and your business.


3. Build your identity as a blogger

Ensure your blog stands out among its peers. This is core to blogging grit because it reveals your passion. And it’s difficult to have passion for a blog that lacks character.

Among the key factors to creating a blog identity radiates a unique personality:

  • Brand your blog. Blog branding extends the look and feel of your blog. It’s the colors, typeface and logos you use. Also, it’s the way you set up your blog posts visually, the width, the images, bolding and other attributes.
  • Find your blog voice. Voice refers to how you write your blog posts. It includes the language and words you choose to give readers a sense of who you are. Everybody Writes author Ann Handley explains voice best.
  • Be yourself. As Dr. Seuss famously said, “No one’s youer than you!” Further all of the other bloggers are taken.

Over time, your identity as a blogger can evolve, especially if you’ve been doing it for a while. For example, Brian Clark is back at the helm of Copyblogger’s editorial staff after focusing on other areas of the business.

Actionable Blogging Tips:


4. Become an active member of your community

Creating a top blog filled with quality content on a consistent basis truly takes a community built around your blog, through your email and on social media.

It’s tough braving the blogging world by yourself. As a blogger you need a support system (and your mother or spouse doesn’t count.)

You need your squad. Not just your editorial support, creative input and technical help but also, your community. This includes the readers and promoters who read and support your content. (Hat tip: Ann Handley)

Understand: Blogging isn’t your blog versus the other blogs in your category. The broader blogosphere is also your community. Support your blogging peers: read, comment on and share their posts.

Spin Sucks has a very active community with a #ContentChat on Mondays and shout outs in Gini Dietrich’s Saturday Gin and Topics posts.

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Build relationships with your readers and other bloggers. Community doesn’t just happen. You have to participate in the social media ecosystem as well as attend live events.
  • Respond to blog comments. Show others that you’re a real person. Answer comments on a timely basis.
  • Get a blog buddy. Don’t go it alone. Reach out to another blogger to create a mutually supportive relationship. This doesn’t mean that the top bloggers and influencers in your category. Specifically, a blog buddy is another blogger who’s at a similar level of experience.


5. Track your blog results and progress over time

Let’s be honest here. I know numbers and analytics may seem scary to you.

BUT—sticking your head under the blankets to avoid looking at them isn’t an option if you want your blog to break-through.

Blogging grit is about putting on your big girl pants and facing your challenges—all of them. This includes numbers.

Take a deep breath. You can do this.

Among the core metrics you need to track beyond traffic and time-on-site are:

  • Email registrations. This is Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi’s favorite metric.How To Maximize B2B Blog ResultsHow Content Marketing Institute’s Email List Has Grown Over Time
  • Search terms and their rankings. Use tools to show how your keywords are ranking versus the competition.
  • Leads generated and related sales. To this end, you must include a call-to-action in each blog post.


Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Include a call-to-action at the end of every blog post. Once you’ve led your reader through your content, encourage him to act.
  • Curate older, related posts where appropriate. Keep readers on your blog with hand selected blog posts.


Blogging Grit Conclusion

You can become a top blogger in your category with a heavy dose of blogging grit. This includes equal parts of passion and perseverance.

Don’t listen to those negative naysayers in the back of your head. They don’t have the experience to tell you differently.

Most people aren’t going to tell you how difficult it was for them to do what they’re doing.

They won’t admit the tough challenges they went through.

Yes—some times it can be scary to hit publish.

And there are times when you need to let your blog post rest before you decide whether it should be published.

But you’re not the only blogger with these doubts.

Look at each of your difficult posts as a rite of passage.

Learn from each post’s challenges and successes.

You have the blogging grit it takes to succeed.

Just keep blogging.

Yes you can!

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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