This is a guest post is by Nicole Crimaldi, founder of MsCareerGirl.com: a career and self-improvement blog for ambitious young professionals. Nicole is seriously one of my favorite people (both online and off), and her passion for blogging, Social Media, and building relationships shines through in everything she does.

In a recent podcast interview I did for blogcastfm.com, I mentioned that successful bloggers often run their blog like a business.  For many, this notion initially sounds unappealing.  These passionate bloggers fear blogging won’t be fun anymore if they run it like a business.  I beg to differ.

What makes blogging so much fun is growth.

Growth leads to a feeling of success, which leads to confidence.  Confidence helps you be happy and settled in your life and career.

In order to experience the “highs” of blogging, you must experience growth. Growth occurs when bloggers are intentional and strategic.

The 3 Blogging Growth Benchmarks

Blog growth occurs in three ways: growing readership, growing opportunities and growing personally.

  • Growing relationships. Meeting new readers and growing your relationships with existing readers is probably the greatest reward as a blogger. Sometimes growing relationships involves tweaking your blog design and narrowing your focus.  Other times it involves volleying emails back and forth with these people during a tough time.  It is exhilarating to see what started as a little idea turn into a reality, and take on a life of its own and help others.
  • Growing opportunities. Some of you know that I’m big on “career insurance.” In other words, you need to have a back up plan if life throws you a curve ball.  A blog is a great way to create a stage to launch other things.  A great blog can introduce you to tons of great people, it can lead you to opportunities you never thought possible. It can help you generate income if you get laid off.
  • Growing personally. Matt and I always talk about how our blogs led us to immense personal growth.  The benefits of blogging go way beyond meeting people and opportunities.  Blogging helps you grow as a person-and this sentence deserves its own post, so we’ll leave it at that!

Ok, I get running your blog like a business is a good idea.  How do I start?

First ask yourself, “What makes a great business?” Think about your favorite brand or your favorite local business.  What makes them great?

4 Things that make a great business

  • Consistency: If your local grocery store says they are going to be open at 8, I bet they are open at 8.  If they weren’t, they wouldn’t make your favorite list.  If they always carry your favorite homemade muffins, you look forward to that and become a repeat customer because of consistency.  Consistency also comes in terms of service, price, and quality.
  • Great customer service: customers come first and the company delivers what they promise.
  • Great Communication: a great business listens to its customers, is approachable and responsive. The business adapts to changing customer needs and engages in positive communication through branding/marketing.
  • Respect: from the business to the clients, from clients to the business, and from the business to its employees.

Now apply the four principles of a great business to your blog.

  • Are you a consistent blogger? Do you post a certain number of days per week?  Do you post certain series on certain days?  Can people come to your site knowing what to expect?  Are people confident that they can find what they need on your site when they need it?  Is your topic focused?
  • Great customer service. Do you put your readers first?  Do you give them what you promise?
  • Great Communication. When your readers email you with a question, do you write back (and in a timely manner)?  Do you actually care what they are saying?  Do you go above and beyond to meet their individual needs?  Do you read their comments and respond to them?  Are you open to negative feedback and suggestions for improvement?
  • Respect.
    • If you respect your readers, your readers respect you.
    • When your readers respect you, they tell others about you.
    • When they tell others about you, you experience growth.
    • And when you experience growth, you experience a lot of personal satisfaction!

Your Turn

  • What do you think makes a great business?
  • What makes a great blog?
  • Do you see parallels between your favorite businesses and your favorite blogs?
  • What tips do you have for bloggers?
  • What do you do with your own blog to stay consistent and focused?

Join the conversation! 95 Comments

  1. I actually like the idea of my blog being like a business. In my mind that means that I am providing value to my readers and they in return are providing something back. In this case that means getting to know more people and growing as a person.

    Very well stated and organized post!

    Take care,
    Ben

    Reply
    • Hey Ben-

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Yep- I think people here the word business and they automatically think “boring!” and “greedy!” But the truth is, staying organized and strategic is what grows things. I don’t believe that success is LUCK.

      Nicole

      Reply
      • Agreed on the luck comment Nicole – even though sometimes it feels like it. Success and building relationships is founded in organization and hard work. Claiming that your blog is a “business” isn’t a bad thing – it sure as hell feels like a full-time job sometimes (a very awesome full time job).

        Reply
  2. I actually like the idea of my blog being like a business. In my mind that means that I am providing value to my readers and they in return are providing something back. In this case that means getting to know more people and growing as a person.

    Very well stated and organized post!

    Take care,
    Ben

    Reply
    • Hey Ben-

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Yep- I think people here the word business and they automatically think “boring!” and “greedy!” But the truth is, staying organized and strategic is what grows things. I don’t believe that success is LUCK.

      Nicole

      Reply
      • Agreed on the luck comment Nicole – even though sometimes it feels like it. Success and building relationships is founded in organization and hard work. Claiming that your blog is a “business” isn’t a bad thing – it sure as hell feels like a full-time job sometimes (a very awesome full time job).

        Reply
  3. I believe thinking of your blog as a business is the key to having a successful blog. In the long run if you wish to use your blog as a launch pad of starting your own business (like Matt w/ MattChevy.com) then being constant and building community around your brand is important. The great thing a blog gives you is opportunity and I’m grateful to witness the opportunity its given my online friends.

    Reply
    • True- imagine if Matt’s blog sucked. Would YOU hire him to do your freelance projects? HELL no! The way Matt, or any other freelancer, runs his or her blog indirectly reflects how they would run their business.

      On opportunity- YES we are so darn lucky we have the internet! What did other generations do to get opportunity before it?

      Nicole

      Reply
      • We are extremely lucky to have the internet – and as you both mentioned, I attribute any and all “professional” success to the time and dedication I put into this blog, and getting involved with you guys all over the web, as well as offline (Tony – we’ve got to get you here to Chicago).

        Also, Tony – if you’re looking for another great person to interview for your blog – reach out to Nicole, she’s great, has a lot to say, and I’m sure would be more than happy to do it.

        Reply
  4. I believe thinking of your blog as a business is the key to having a successful blog. In the long run if you wish to use your blog as a launch pad of starting your own business (like Matt w/ MattChevy.com) then being constant and building community around your brand is important. The great thing a blog gives you is opportunity and I’m grateful to witness the opportunity its given my online friends.

    Reply
    • True- imagine if Matt’s blog sucked. Would YOU hire him to do your freelance projects? HELL no! The way Matt, or any other freelancer, runs his or her blog indirectly reflects how they would run their business.

      On opportunity- YES we are so darn lucky we have the internet! What did other generations do to get opportunity before it?

      Nicole

      Reply
      • We are extremely lucky to have the internet – and as you both mentioned, I attribute any and all “professional” success to the time and dedication I put into this blog, and getting involved with you guys all over the web, as well as offline (Tony – we’ve got to get you here to Chicago).

        Also, Tony – if you’re looking for another great person to interview for your blog – reach out to Nicole, she’s great, has a lot to say, and I’m sure would be more than happy to do it.

        Reply
  5. Timely post for me. I think treating your blog like a business is a great way to take it to another level. For me a great blog is consistent and fresh, that gives me something useful. Thanks Nicole.

    Reply
    • Keeping it fresh is definitely a challenge! I was just talking to a blogger friend yesterday who said he is having serious “blogger block” lately. If any of you are facing this here are a few ways I push through the block:

      -Write in a different place.
      -Start writing just to write, not with the intention of publishing it as a post. Not with the intention of writing a traffic-record breaking post. Just write to write.
      -Read a lot of other blogs.
      -Pick up a completley unrelated book.
      -Take a shower.
      -Workout. This clears my mind and gets me creative like no other.
      -Take a survey of what your Twitter friends want to read about.
      -Do a post that is made up of Twitter responses.
      -Guest post or ask for a guest poster.

      Reply
      • All great suggestions Nicole – and believe me – we’ve all been there (I’m still there sometimes). Reading is the number one thing for me – that, and actually having one on one conversations with other people (off your blog & Twitter). Get on Skype, go grab coffee, having “real” conversations with people is always a huge source of inspiration for me.

        More here: http://www.copyblogger.com/inspired-writing/

        Reply
  6. Timely post for me. I think treating your blog like a business is a great way to take it to another level. For me a great blog is consistent and fresh, that gives me something useful. Thanks Nicole.

    Reply
    • Keeping it fresh is definitely a challenge! I was just talking to a blogger friend yesterday who said he is having serious “blogger block” lately. If any of you are facing this here are a few ways I push through the block:

      -Write in a different place.
      -Start writing just to write, not with the intention of publishing it as a post. Not with the intention of writing a traffic-record breaking post. Just write to write.
      -Read a lot of other blogs.
      -Pick up a completley unrelated book.
      -Take a shower.
      -Workout. This clears my mind and gets me creative like no other.
      -Take a survey of what your Twitter friends want to read about.
      -Do a post that is made up of Twitter responses.
      -Guest post or ask for a guest poster.

      Reply
      • All great suggestions Nicole – and believe me – we’ve all been there (I’m still there sometimes). Reading is the number one thing for me – that, and actually having one on one conversations with other people (off your blog & Twitter). Get on Skype, go grab coffee, having “real” conversations with people is always a huge source of inspiration for me.

        More here: http://www.copyblogger.com/inspired-writing/

        Reply
  7. Let’s say I’m on the verge of treating it like a business. This is a great reminder and a great plan to get it in gear. Great work Matt!

    Reply
    • Jenny- it is a tough transition to make. I never made blogging a part of my daily routine until a few months ago. I was a mood blogger- I blogged only when the mood was right. Mood blogging is scary- sort of like a “loose cannon” of ideas. Not dependable, not consistent, not focused.

      What part of making the transition is the toughest for you?

      Nicole

      Reply
      • Agreed – when does a blog stop becoming “just for fun”. I mean, yes, at the end of the day we all want to and should be having fun with this, but when you start to see it as a “business” – it does change the game a bit and it does require much more of a commitment.

        I try not to be, but I’m still a mood blogger every once in a while. Sometimes the inspiration just comes and you go with it. That’s OK too – but scheduling and consistency is super-important.

        Reply
  8. Let’s say I’m on the verge of treating it like a business. This is a great reminder and a great plan to get it in gear. Great work Matt!

    Reply
    • Jenny- it is a tough transition to make. I never made blogging a part of my daily routine until a few months ago. I was a mood blogger- I blogged only when the mood was right. Mood blogging is scary- sort of like a “loose cannon” of ideas. Not dependable, not consistent, not focused.

      What part of making the transition is the toughest for you?

      Nicole

      Reply
      • Agreed – when does a blog stop becoming “just for fun”. I mean, yes, at the end of the day we all want to and should be having fun with this, but when you start to see it as a “business” – it does change the game a bit and it does require much more of a commitment.

        I try not to be, but I’m still a mood blogger every once in a while. Sometimes the inspiration just comes and you go with it. That’s OK too – but scheduling and consistency is super-important.

        Reply
  9. Solid points here, but you didn’t touch on promotion at all, which I think is a very important part of a business.

    One thing I struggle with, and I’m sure many others do too, is how to promote your business blog beyond Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Any advice in that arena?

    Reply
    • Yes! I didn’t include this important it because I really think it depends on the blogger, the subject of the blog, and the blogger’s ultimate goal. I would run promotions completley differently depending on these 3 factors.

      For example, if your goal is to use your blog as a platform for freelance services, I think a great way to promote your site is to offer free sessions with your readers. If you are hoping to be a social media consultant- you might do free webinars or free in-person sessions.

      -If your goal is to become the next Perez Hilton, you might need to set up some type of Celebrity trivia game, an entertaining and addicting iPhone app or some type of Fantasy Football celebrity style spoof to keep readers coming back to your site. You should also be forming a mastermind group with the top celeb bloggers.

      -If your goal is to be a consultant/coach, you might set up local networking events, sponsorships at the event or for your blog, give away some free services, do something for charity, work for a coach you admire for free for a bit, set up seminars around your topic and invite other top people to be part of it.

      -We can’t forget the most obvious and easiest way to promote- guest posting. Guest posting allows you to get in front of new audiences and have more links back to your site.

      -I also think getting Peter Shankman’s HARO email every day and responding to relevant jouranlist queries is a very easy way to get published in big media outlets.

      -Media Bistro is also a great resource. There is tons of info about ways to get in magazines, or learn about whatever you need help with through their annual membership ($55/year). There are also a lot of communities, groups, and freelancer resources there.

      -I could go on and on, but lastly- I think it’s important to find where your target audience hangs out online and go hang out there too. Join in on conversations in several online communities- ones that are much smaller and less-known than “the big 3″ I think this is where you will find your most die-hard fans and your most loyal customers.

      I think promoting your site gues way beyond social media.

      Reply
      • It does go way beyond, and great, well-thought out points made here Nicole. I think what we so often forget that offline promotion is just as, if not very much more important than what we are doing online. It doesn’t always have to be “make the connection online then take it face to face” – it should also be interacting with people face to face and pointing them back to your blog or business. It’s important to promote from multiple angles using a multi-headed approach.

        Reply
  10. Solid points here, but you didn’t touch on promotion at all, which I think is a very important part of a business.

    One thing I struggle with, and I’m sure many others do too, is how to promote your business blog beyond Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Any advice in that arena?

    Reply
    • Yes! I didn’t include this important it because I really think it depends on the blogger, the subject of the blog, and the blogger’s ultimate goal. I would run promotions completley differently depending on these 3 factors.

      For example, if your goal is to use your blog as a platform for freelance services, I think a great way to promote your site is to offer free sessions with your readers. If you are hoping to be a social media consultant- you might do free webinars or free in-person sessions.

      -If your goal is to become the next Perez Hilton, you might need to set up some type of Celebrity trivia game, an entertaining and addicting iPhone app or some type of Fantasy Football celebrity style spoof to keep readers coming back to your site. You should also be forming a mastermind group with the top celeb bloggers.

      -If your goal is to be a consultant/coach, you might set up local networking events, sponsorships at the event or for your blog, give away some free services, do something for charity, work for a coach you admire for free for a bit, set up seminars around your topic and invite other top people to be part of it.

      -We can’t forget the most obvious and easiest way to promote- guest posting. Guest posting allows you to get in front of new audiences and have more links back to your site.

      -I also think getting Peter Shankman’s HARO email every day and responding to relevant jouranlist queries is a very easy way to get published in big media outlets.

      -Media Bistro is also a great resource. There is tons of info about ways to get in magazines, or learn about whatever you need help with through their annual membership ($55/year). There are also a lot of communities, groups, and freelancer resources there.

      -I could go on and on, but lastly- I think it’s important to find where your target audience hangs out online and go hang out there too. Join in on conversations in several online communities- ones that are much smaller and less-known than “the big 3″ I think this is where you will find your most die-hard fans and your most loyal customers.

      I think promoting your site gues way beyond social media.

      Reply
      • It does go way beyond, and great, well-thought out points made here Nicole. I think what we so often forget that offline promotion is just as, if not very much more important than what we are doing online. It doesn’t always have to be “make the connection online then take it face to face” – it should also be interacting with people face to face and pointing them back to your blog or business. It’s important to promote from multiple angles using a multi-headed approach.

        Reply
  11. Nicole, great post! I appreciate this perspective and I am working more towards it. Over the last 6 months, I’ve approached my blog the way you described and it has given me more focus as to who my audience is and what they like. I need to learn more the “business” side / making money on my blog, but I’m confident I will get there. I’m following you now on Twitter to get more great posts like this one and have encouraged my students at the college and young colleagues to follow you as well.

    Keep up the great work!

    @EdCabellon

    Reply
    • Ed good for you! Matt is really good at kicking peoples asses into gear with focus if you ever need extra help! He did it to me. :) Focus may be the single most important thing. Also, experimenting with different writing styles.

      Making money on blogs is a VERY difficult thing to do. Therefore, I think blogging is best used as a way to express your passions and get to know others who may become your customers or contacts for something else in the future.

      Also- THANK you for passing my info on to your students! Are you a professor? I love talking to and working with college students! I’d love to connect to talk more about this.

      Nicole

      If you ever want to talk one-on-one about blogging stuff, feel free to email me (nicole@mscareergirl.com).

      Reply
      • Thanks for the comment Ed – the same offer rings true with me, if you’d like to chat, I’m more than happy to oblige :)

        I never plan to make money ON this blog – that is, through advertising, etc. Of course I’ll say that now and someone will offer me six figures to throw up a banner on my site, and of course I’ll take it – we all have our price (lol). But seriously, as Nicole states above, a blog is a platform for opportunity – and it single-handedly has spring-boarded me into starting my own business.

        Reply
  12. Nicole, great post! I appreciate this perspective and I am working more towards it. Over the last 6 months, I’ve approached my blog the way you described and it has given me more focus as to who my audience is and what they like. I need to learn more the “business” side / making money on my blog, but I’m confident I will get there. I’m following you now on Twitter to get more great posts like this one and have encouraged my students at the college and young colleagues to follow you as well.

    Keep up the great work!

    @EdCabellon

    Reply
    • Ed good for you! Matt is really good at kicking peoples asses into gear with focus if you ever need extra help! He did it to me. :) Focus may be the single most important thing. Also, experimenting with different writing styles.

      Making money on blogs is a VERY difficult thing to do. Therefore, I think blogging is best used as a way to express your passions and get to know others who may become your customers or contacts for something else in the future.

      Also- THANK you for passing my info on to your students! Are you a professor? I love talking to and working with college students! I’d love to connect to talk more about this.

      Nicole

      If you ever want to talk one-on-one about blogging stuff, feel free to email me (nicole@mscareergirl.com).

      Reply
      • Thanks for the comment Ed – the same offer rings true with me, if you’d like to chat, I’m more than happy to oblige :)

        I never plan to make money ON this blog – that is, through advertising, etc. Of course I’ll say that now and someone will offer me six figures to throw up a banner on my site, and of course I’ll take it – we all have our price (lol). But seriously, as Nicole states above, a blog is a platform for opportunity – and it single-handedly has spring-boarded me into starting my own business.

        Reply
  13. Well done, Nicole. I’m working towards the mindset of building a blog into a business. Finally, have the consistency part down.

    Now I need to build my marketing department.

    Reply
    • RJ- I REALLY like your blog. We should chat via email. I originally wanted Ms. Career Girl to be a personal finance blog. That subject is SO important for young professionals and is dear to my heart.

      Would love to hear what you think about all these new credit card guidelines. Perhaps a guest post on Ms. Career Girl? I’m happy that they finally reveal truths to customers who didn’t know any better before.

      Reply
  14. Well done, Nicole. I’m working towards the mindset of building a blog into a business. Finally, have the consistency part down.

    Now I need to build my marketing department.

    Reply
    • RJ- I REALLY like your blog. We should chat via email. I originally wanted Ms. Career Girl to be a personal finance blog. That subject is SO important for young professionals and is dear to my heart.

      Would love to hear what you think about all these new credit card guidelines. Perhaps a guest post on Ms. Career Girl? I’m happy that they finally reveal truths to customers who didn’t know any better before.

      Reply
  15. Nicole,

    Thanks for the shoutout on your interview. I’ve moved more and more towards treating my blog as a business over the last 4 months. I love your approach to running it like a business because it simplifies things for the early stage blogger and there’s no pressure of income.

    In my mind the next step is strategic planning. The day things really changed for me was when I decided to write an actual marketing plan for my blog. In that I did a few different things

    1) Identified high ROI activities
    2) Set goals for those activities
    3) Determined Potential Income Streams
    4) Implemented those income streams which I could do right away
    5) Set a subscriber goal and reviewed that goal daily.

    One thing that having a set plan does is creates accountability, especially if you share that plan with your readers. While I’m not exactly on target with that plan, I think it’s definitely been essential everything I’ve accomplished in the last 4 weeks.

    Reply
    • Srini- Ooo great idea on creating a marketing plan. I have started some of these in my notebook, but what I SHOULD do is type it, print it, tape it on my fridge and in my notebook. I should also give it to my blogging mentors like you and Matt so you can kick my butt into following the plan. My problem is that I creat plans and change them every day! haha.

      Reply
      • Gotta stick with it Nicole! And great points all around Srini – thank YOU for providing the inspiration of this post. I listened to your interview with Nicole (which was great by the way) and really wanted her to elaborate on the “blogging/business” point she made. Good stuff!

        Reply
  16. Nicole,

    Thanks for the shoutout on your interview. I’ve moved more and more towards treating my blog as a business over the last 4 months. I love your approach to running it like a business because it simplifies things for the early stage blogger and there’s no pressure of income.

    In my mind the next step is strategic planning. The day things really changed for me was when I decided to write an actual marketing plan for my blog. In that I did a few different things

    1) Identified high ROI activities
    2) Set goals for those activities
    3) Determined Potential Income Streams
    4) Implemented those income streams which I could do right away
    5) Set a subscriber goal and reviewed that goal daily.

    One thing that having a set plan does is creates accountability, especially if you share that plan with your readers. While I’m not exactly on target with that plan, I think it’s definitely been essential everything I’ve accomplished in the last 4 weeks.

    Reply
    • Srini- Ooo great idea on creating a marketing plan. I have started some of these in my notebook, but what I SHOULD do is type it, print it, tape it on my fridge and in my notebook. I should also give it to my blogging mentors like you and Matt so you can kick my butt into following the plan. My problem is that I creat plans and change them every day! haha.

      Reply
      • Gotta stick with it Nicole! And great points all around Srini – thank YOU for providing the inspiration of this post. I listened to your interview with Nicole (which was great by the way) and really wanted her to elaborate on the “blogging/business” point she made. Good stuff!

        Reply
        • Matt- I have no doubt you will help me keep my ADHD on track!

          Reply
          • Actually the best thing you can do with that marketing plan is create a powerpoint and then share with your readers. Every time somebody comments on the thing I”m like “SHI#$#, now I’m accountable. Everybody is expecting me to actually do all those things). If you want mine I’ll send it to you.

            Reply
  17. Nicole, Thanks for the insight. I started my blog a couple of months ago because everyone said that I should have a blog to help promote my business. As time has gone on, my blog has taken more of my mental thought process as well as forced me to do more research that definitely will help my business in the long-term. Being consistent and coming up with relevant content is always going to be a problem but, as time goes on, I am mentally working two to three blog subjects in my mind. Someday I want to be like you, but in the meantime I will carry on.

    Reply
    • Very cool! Isn’t it funny how much you learn and “Stretch” thanks to blogging? I checked yours out, great way to promote a small business for sure!

      As far as coming up with relevant content- I carry a notebook around with me in my purse and when ideas come to me (usually at a completley inconvenient time) I have to write them down immediately. If you are by your computer, take advantage of jotting ideas and bullet points down and saving them as a draft. Even if you don’t have time to finish your thought at that time, you can go back.

      Reply
      • In short Stephen – we should all carry a purse like Nicole and stash some notebooks for random moment of inspiration. :)

        Great point Nicole – I have countless notebooks with chicken scratches of ideas and thoughts (mostly incomplete) but I want to make sure I’m always prepared for an idea should something come to me.

        Reply
  18. Nicole, Thanks for the insight. I started my blog a couple of months ago because everyone said that I should have a blog to help promote my business. As time has gone on, my blog has taken more of my mental thought process as well as forced me to do more research that definitely will help my business in the long-term. Being consistent and coming up with relevant content is always going to be a problem but, as time goes on, I am mentally working two to three blog subjects in my mind. Someday I want to be like you, but in the meantime I will carry on.

    Reply
    • Very cool! Isn’t it funny how much you learn and “Stretch” thanks to blogging? I checked yours out, great way to promote a small business for sure!

      As far as coming up with relevant content- I carry a notebook around with me in my purse and when ideas come to me (usually at a completley inconvenient time) I have to write them down immediately. If you are by your computer, take advantage of jotting ideas and bullet points down and saving them as a draft. Even if you don’t have time to finish your thought at that time, you can go back.

      Reply
      • In short Stephen – we should all carry a purse like Nicole and stash some notebooks for random moment of inspiration. :)

        Great point Nicole – I have countless notebooks with chicken scratches of ideas and thoughts (mostly incomplete) but I want to make sure I’m always prepared for an idea should something come to me.

        Reply
  19. Great post, Nicole! I don’t think I’m ready to really target this in my blog yet, but I’m saving this for the near future!

    Reply
  20. Great post, Nicole! I don’t think I’m ready to really target this in my blog yet, but I’m saving this for the near future!

    Reply
  21. I started my blog only about a month or so ago and your tips are really helpful since I’m just starting out. I think the main thing bloggers struggle with is consistency. It’s fun to start blogging and then it gets to be a chore. But I think if you keep at it – you will gain success – like you said – and the success will make you feel more confident, which will in turn make you want to blog more often and improve yourself and your blog.

    Reply
    • But if you’re blogging about something you love (which is THE ONLY way to do it!) then it is not a chore! Scheduling posts, writing things ahead of time when you are in the mood, and developing somewhat of a schedule is really helpful too. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Success does bring confidence, without a doubt, but don’t focus purely on the success and whatever you do – don’t get too caught up in the numbers. That’s the number one reason people get discouraged, because they are sitting there starting at their page views and comments every day. Focus on writing and talking about your passions, get involved with the online community around you, enjoy yourself – and while you’re at it, set some goals for yourself to work toward. Thanks for the comment Adrienne!

        Reply
        • Good point Matt. NUMBERS does not define success! Be careful of how you define success so you aren’t constantly setting yourself up for disappointment. In the first year, maintaining a growing blog is sucess in itself.

          10 evangelical follwers are more valuable than 1000 people who check out your blog once and never come back.

          Reply
          • Hi Nicole,

            Thanks for the post, good thoughts. I’d love to hear you expand more on how you have grown your blog if you are not focused on numbers (which is fine). How do you define “growth” of Ms. Career Girl and what do you do to grow it?

            Marc

            Reply
  22. I started my blog only about a month or so ago and your tips are really helpful since I’m just starting out. I think the main thing bloggers struggle with is consistency. It’s fun to start blogging and then it gets to be a chore. But I think if you keep at it – you will gain success – like you said – and the success will make you feel more confident, which will in turn make you want to blog more often and improve yourself and your blog.

    Reply
    • But if you’re blogging about something you love (which is THE ONLY way to do it!) then it is not a chore! Scheduling posts, writing things ahead of time when you are in the mood, and developing somewhat of a schedule is really helpful too. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Success does bring confidence, without a doubt, but don’t focus purely on the success and whatever you do – don’t get too caught up in the numbers. That’s the number one reason people get discouraged, because they are sitting there starting at their page views and comments every day. Focus on writing and talking about your passions, get involved with the online community around you, enjoy yourself – and while you’re at it, set some goals for yourself to work toward. Thanks for the comment Adrienne!

        Reply
        • Good point Matt. NUMBERS does not define success! Be careful of how you define success so you aren’t constantly setting yourself up for disappointment. In the first year, maintaining a growing blog is sucess in itself.

          10 evangelical follwers are more valuable than 1000 people who check out your blog once and never come back.

          Reply
          • Hi Nicole,

            Thanks for the post, good thoughts. I’d love to hear you expand more on how you have grown your blog if you are not focused on numbers (which is fine). How do you define “growth” of Ms. Career Girl and what do you do to grow it?

            Marc

            Reply
  23. More great stuff Nicole!

    I’ve always been entrepreneurial-minded, so I tend to think of everything as a business…

    Quick question – something I’ve been struggling with as a beginning blogger. I’ve heard both sides of the argument – publish on a consistent basis vs. publish when you have something remarkable to say. Thoughts?

    Reply
    • Great question! This is definitely a big debate among bloggers. I don’t there IS a right answer, therefore here’s my take:

      -Not every post is going to be a winning post.
      -Consistency trumps perfection. In other words, if you’ve commited to doing a series on a certain day, DO IT. If it’s just a normal day and you don’t usually blog daily, don’t feel pressured to put something half-assed up.
      -Planning ahead/scheduling posts in advance can help you overcome “inspiration lulls.”
      -Sometimes the stuff you think is boring or not very cool is a huge hit with readers.
      -If you are going to say something you regret, don’t post it. Definitely save it in your drafts because when you calm down and tweak it, it’s probably a gem post. Some of my most popular posts are those I write when I’m angry and publish later.
      -Don’t be afraid of contraversey, this can be traffic’s biggest booster.

      I really hope that helps!!

      Nicole

      Reply
      • Most of what I say isn’t remarkable (at least, I don’t think it is) – and in time you’ll come to accept that everything you say in the online space isn’t going to be pure gold (and that’s OK). I’d rather focus on writing because I have something to say, and not worrying AS much about if other people will like it. With that being said, I do think it’s extremely important to be consistent – the quickest way to lose people is to post 7 days in a row then post nothing for three weeks. Space it out, plan ahead for those times when “life” is going to get in the way of your writing, and if possible, schedule in advance to maintain your consistency. Thanks for the comment Mike!

        Reply
  24. More great stuff Nicole!

    I’ve always been entrepreneurial-minded, so I tend to think of everything as a business…

    Quick question – something I’ve been struggling with as a beginning blogger. I’ve heard both sides of the argument – publish on a consistent basis vs. publish when you have something remarkable to say. Thoughts?

    Reply
    • Great question! This is definitely a big debate among bloggers. I don’t there IS a right answer, therefore here’s my take:

      -Not every post is going to be a winning post.
      -Consistency trumps perfection. In other words, if you’ve commited to doing a series on a certain day, DO IT. If it’s just a normal day and you don’t usually blog daily, don’t feel pressured to put something half-assed up.
      -Planning ahead/scheduling posts in advance can help you overcome “inspiration lulls.”
      -Sometimes the stuff you think is boring or not very cool is a huge hit with readers.
      -If you are going to say something you regret, don’t post it. Definitely save it in your drafts because when you calm down and tweak it, it’s probably a gem post. Some of my most popular posts are those I write when I’m angry and publish later.
      -Don’t be afraid of contraversey, this can be traffic’s biggest booster.

      I really hope that helps!!

      Nicole

      Reply
      • Most of what I say isn’t remarkable (at least, I don’t think it is) – and in time you’ll come to accept that everything you say in the online space isn’t going to be pure gold (and that’s OK). I’d rather focus on writing because I have something to say, and not worrying AS much about if other people will like it. With that being said, I do think it’s extremely important to be consistent – the quickest way to lose people is to post 7 days in a row then post nothing for three weeks. Space it out, plan ahead for those times when “life” is going to get in the way of your writing, and if possible, schedule in advance to maintain your consistency. Thanks for the comment Mike!

        Reply
  25. Great post Nicole. I think what separates a blogging business versus a real business is that there is more flexibility, freedom, and creativity involved in blogging compared to the restrictions set out by a company or by a boss in a real business. Even in a business blog, you have the option to do what you like and it’s only limited by your imagination.

    That’s why I agree that people shouldn’t think that blogging isn’t going to be fun anymore when you think it’s going to be like a business, because it’s really not. There will be hard work involved; but if you enjoy what you do, it won’t even seem like your running a business.

    Reply
    • Exactly right Hulbert – it may be “business” but it’s a hell-of-a-fun business, right? If blogging starts to feel like a chore, take a step back and assess what you’re doing (and what you want to be doing). Above all – this should be fun for both you and your readers.

      Reply
  26. Great post Nicole. I think what separates a blogging business versus a real business is that there is more flexibility, freedom, and creativity involved in blogging compared to the restrictions set out by a company or by a boss in a real business. Even in a business blog, you have the option to do what you like and it’s only limited by your imagination.

    That’s why I agree that people shouldn’t think that blogging isn’t going to be fun anymore when you think it’s going to be like a business, because it’s really not. There will be hard work involved; but if you enjoy what you do, it won’t even seem like your running a business.

    Reply
    • Exactly right Hulbert – it may be “business” but it’s a hell-of-a-fun business, right? If blogging starts to feel like a chore, take a step back and assess what you’re doing (and what you want to be doing). Above all – this should be fun for both you and your readers.

      Reply
  27. Blogging makes you grow as a person. Cheers to that!

    Reply
  28. Blogging makes you grow as a person. Cheers to that!

    Reply
  29. Thanks for the great conversation, Nicole & Matt! I’ve definitely built the mental structure for crafting my blog as a business – I’ve got a schedule of days when I post, pretty good discipline on writing/cooking/photo editing, and workin’ on the promo angle now to build more community. Blogging what I love (whole foods cooking) is separate from my design freelance stuff, but the blog definitely feeds the freelancing, for sure, and keeps me on my creative toes!

    Reply
  30. Thanks for the great conversation, Nicole & Matt! I’ve definitely built the mental structure for crafting my blog as a business – I’ve got a schedule of days when I post, pretty good discipline on writing/cooking/photo editing, and workin’ on the promo angle now to build more community. Blogging what I love (whole foods cooking) is separate from my design freelance stuff, but the blog definitely feeds the freelancing, for sure, and keeps me on my creative toes!

    Reply
  31. I love the part about personal growth. We learn so much from the writing process and reader comments, and that in turns fuels our desire to be a better blogger/friend/whatever. I feel that my blog is my retail outlet (or burger shop) which one be one of the hundreds out in the street but the only one for me and my handful of clients. That’s enough, as long as we enjoy the sense of growing together :)

    Reply
  32. I love the part about personal growth. We learn so much from the writing process and reader comments, and that in turns fuels our desire to be a better blogger/friend/whatever. I feel that my blog is my retail outlet (or burger shop) which one be one of the hundreds out in the street but the only one for me and my handful of clients. That’s enough, as long as we enjoy the sense of growing together :)

    Reply
  33. Btw your site is having some display issues in the latest version of Safari, big black bands keep appearing across your content. Thought I’d give you a heads up.

    Reply
  34. Btw your site is having some display issues in the latest version of Safari, big black bands keep appearing across your content. Thought I’d give you a heads up.

    Reply
  35. What a great post! I agree with all of you. Blogging is defiantly much like a business. You have to be creative, savvy, and you have to enjoy what you do. Cheers to all.

    Reply
  36. What a great post! I agree with all of you. Blogging is defiantly much like a business. You have to be creative, savvy, and you have to enjoy what you do. Cheers to all.

    Reply
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About Matt Cheuvront

I empower folks to do the work they want to do and live the life they want to live. Connect on Twitter or check out the work I'm doing at Proof.

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