I recently had the good fortune to both attend BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2011 and speak on “Blogging in Financial Services” at the conference. BlogWorld is a great conference because not only do you get to listen and learn from some smart and successful people, but you also get the opportunity to network with them. Spending a little time with guys like John Jantsch, one of my all-time business marketing heros and author of The Referral Engine (a must read for professional business people), and rubbing elbows with Gary V (he’s got a new book out entitled The Thank You Economy, which I’m currently in the middle of)…what more could a girl ask for?
Listening to so many fantastic smart people at BlogWorld opened my eyes to a few really important ideas. I noticed that most of these successful bloggers had some common character traits about them, and these are also some of the same traits that I recognize in myself (fortunately)!
Blogging in and of itself is just a modern-day platform for building your community, delivering, and syndicating your message. However, blogging is the perfect platform for natural born leaders and teachers who are passionate about inspiring and motivating others. What I found at BlogWorld was that there are plenty of bloggers out there, but the successful bloggers are true thought leaders with 7 common character traits.
The 7 Character Traits of Top Bloggers
Successful bloggers are building something. They’re building their own little (or in some cases very large) empire of loyal advocates; people who will follow them to the ends of the earth. They’ve created a business out of their knowledge, and have learned how to package that knowledge in such a way that they can monetize their intellectual capital through ads and sponsorships, products and services, speaking engagements, and/or book deals. Top bloggers are entrepreneurs in disguise!
Each and every successful blogger who spoke at BlogWorld was incredibly personable and approachable. Whether they were introverted or extroverted, they were all about people and truly interested in getting to know their followers and fans. You won’t find a top blogger who thinks he or she is above another. They are down to earth, personable people.
Passion is a big key in staying motivated to do the work. Blogging is a big commitment because in order to be successful, you really have to stay at it and be as consistent as possible. You have to keep the knowledge, insights, information, and stories coming so that your followers stay engaged. Successful bloggers have figured out how to align their passion with their craft, and by doing so, they are truly inspiring others. The passion shines through!
Successful bloggers are not trying to reach the masses, in most cases. They have some sort of niche that they’re focused on. It may be a big niche or it may be a small niche, but it’s still a niche. I am a big believer of building your leadership presence within a targeted market and expanding from there (hence my focus on financial services). Take Gary V for example, his niche is wine and he built his current business as a highly respected new media consultant by starting with what he knew best. He still spends a tremendous amount of time talking wine! Most of the top bloggers out there are focused on a niche that either centers on their areas of expertise, or a specific demographic.
Seeing the commitment level of top bloggers to their craft really motivated me to get better at this. The most successful bloggers are sharing their knowledge on a daily basis, and sometimes multiple times a day through their blog and on their social media profiles. Blogging in some form or fashion has become a part of their daily schedule, and I truly believe it takes this level of commitment to really be successful. You can’t expect to get results and build community around your thought leadership by blogging every once in awhile. Clearly, it needs to become a part of your daily life!
Top bloggers know how to build authority. In other words, they have conviction and truly believe in what they’re talking about as they lead their followers to do the same. Let’s face it, people want to be told what to do. They want direction, advice, and guidance. Successful bloggers don’t make suggestions, they give direction! It’s so important to have an opinion as a leader and establish your authority within your niche. Your community is looking to you for guidance. At the same time, top bloggers are willing to be vulnerable by admitting mistakes and talking about lessons learned. They have the ability to be completely human which also helps them relate well to their audience.
Never stop learning. Spend your life being a student even as you teach others! This is what successful bloggers are doing. They are eager to learn more, be more, and do more. They want to be the best at what they do and they realize that to stay on the cutting edge, they must continue to educate themselves and most importantly, learn from their peers. In fact, top bloggers are wizards at synthesizing knowledge and breaking it down into digestible deliverables for their community. They are great teachers as well as students.
These are the top character traits of successful bloggers that I’ve identified. What are additional traits that you have identified? Please share them here in the comments section!