Let’s start with this: Being a successful blogger is how you define it. If you feel like your blog is successful, than it is. There is no standard definition of success in the blog world. Some blogs make money, some help their readers, some educate, while others well, they just make readers feel less alone. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?
So despite what you’ll often hear (sometimes even from me), here are 5 things you don’t need to be a successful blogger.
1. You don’t need to be an extrovert.
In fact, I’d venture to say that many bloggers are actually quite introverted. The implication behind social media is that active users are in fact social. This isn’t necessarily true.
Interacting with people you don’t know via a social media platform that shows a filtered version of your reality is quite different from real life socializing. You can be good at one and not at the other. Or maybe you’re one of the lucky few who are fantastic at both.
Either way, who you are online isn’t necessarily who you are in real life. It can be your foray into the world of being an extrovert. You can respond to comments, tweet at someone, and freely share personal details without your face getting red or stumbling over your words. You don’t even need to get off your couch.
2. You don’t need a writing degree.
Or any degree for that matter. My degree is in Communication, which I guess technically I am doing here but I’m certainly not a writer by trade.
One of the first things I discovered about blogging was that I needed to actively work on un-learning what my education taught me about writing. The most successful bloggers have found their blogging voice. They write how they speak, not how they’d write an academic paper. Sometimes that means breaking the rules of traditional writing in favor of a more casual tone.
Having trouble finding your blogging voice? Try writing a blog post completely via talk-to-text on your cell phone. Talk out your post and then email it to yourself. You’ll notice a difference and it can be helpful in finding your blogging voice before it feels comfortable to write so casually.
3. You don’t need to be a photographer.
It’s okay to just use stock photography. It’s okay to just use photos from your iPhone. Actually, iPhones can take pretty incredible pictures, with a steady hand. Here is a great article with 20 tips to up your iphone photography game.
For stock photography I’d suggest Pixabay or Unsplash for free options and Fotolia for fairly inexpensive options. There are also a lot of beautiful styled stock photography options (you know, the ones that are all pretty with a white background, usually with fresh flowers and gold office supplies) on Creative Market.
4. You don’t need a niche.
Some of the best bloggers started off rambling. Rambling about their lives or random passions, jumping from subject to subject with each post. Many eventually found a rhythm and settled in to blogging about a couple broad categories.
Want proof of this? Take a look back at the archives of some of your favorite bloggers. Though many bloggers go through and edit their archives (i.e. remove early, embarrassing posts), many don’t. I can almost guarantee that the earliest posts of these bloggers are not nearly as focused, well-photographed, and structured.
You don’t need to know your niche, going into it. Let the words flow and see where it takes you.
5. You don’t need to spend a dime.
If you opt to start your blog on Google’s Blogger platform, your blog is free. Here’s why Blogger might be the blogging platform for you. There are lots of free Blogger templates out there to make your blog pretty. Here are 3 free blogger templates from Designer Blogs.
There are a lot of “you should” and “you need to” type statements floating around in blog world. While a lot of that advice is true and helpful, you do what works for you.