The Number 1 Trait of All Successful Bloggers

The Number 1 Trait of Successful Bloggers

This post might be incorrectly named. The number 1 trait of all successful bloggers, of all professionals, hell, of all people, could be more accurate.

The single thing that all successful people have in common is a continuous, fiery need to learn something new every single day.

As a blogger this concept feels like it’s magnified. If you’re at the crossroads (with Dean?) and thinking about stepping into this world, weighing the pros and cons of launching a blog and side hustle, you should know that blogging is actually only a small piece of blogging.

That might not make any sense at first glance, but think about this. If you publish 3 posts per week and it takes you about 2 hours per post to actually create the content…that’s only 6 hours of a week that it takes you to “blog”.

What do you do with all the rest of that time? Mojitos and ice cream!?

Unfortunately, it’s not mojitos and ice cream.

As a blogger, especially a new one, you will spend hundreds of hours (if not more) on learning something totally new and foreign to you. “How does mailchimp work exactly?” “Do I need a landing page for this?” “How do I write catchy headlines?” “What makes a good pic for Pinterest?” “How do I edit my own CSS?” Shit. “Where can I learn CSS?”.

I’ve been doing social media and digital marketing professionally for nearly 10 years and I still am looking up tutorials, reading articles, watching webinars, and absorbing information every single day.

Blogging is NOT easy. Blogging is not something you use to rise to stardom overnight. Blogging, like any other career, takes time, energy, dedication, and a whole lot of patience.

With that in mind, I want to share with you one of the best things I’ve ever done for my blog and business.

When I was in college I had a teacher, whose name I no longer remember, insist that we create a “dashboard” for ourselves. Essentially he wanted us to create a list of sources online that we would check out everyday to keep ourselves informed about current events and global happenings. I did the assignment and created a random list of things I didn’t totally care about, got the points, and went on with my life thinking this guy was just a little too excited about his palm pilot.

It wasn’t until years later that I understood what he meant that assignment to be.

Today I have an awesome list of sites that I check out on the daily and that content helps inspire me consistently.

Without my list I would be drained, exhausted, and totally out of creative mojo by now.

How To Create A Dashboard

Here is how to create your dashboard (and a few suggestions for awesome things to follow) using just your favorite browser.

Click on the link below for your favorite browser and check out the full tutorial.

Safari
Chrome
Firefox

(if you’re totally in love with a browser and it’s not listed, drop me a comment and I’ll see what I can do for you.)

Who To Follow?

Depending on your niche, the people/organizations you follow (let’s call them “influencers”) are going to vary.

Having trouble choosing a niche? Check out this post to get you going in the right direction.

To build a really useful dashboard that doesn’t get boring make sure you’re selecting influencers from a range of subject matters. Include some authors who blog about business, some who talk about social media, some who generally give great advice about technology, sales, current events, writing tips, etc. Don’t skip the good Twitter accounts, and make sure you’re adding a few instagram or photo heavy channels in there too.

If you need a little inspiration for where to start, here is my list:

HubSpot Marketing Blog
The Facebook Blog
Buffer’s Twitter Account
Jeff Bullas
Mari Smith
Melyssa Griffin
Moz
Elle & Company
Social Media Examiner
Kim K’s Instagram Feed
OliviaDerby.com (Obviously)

If you haven’t already, join me over in the Create Kit Facebook group for daily challenges to grow your business, live chats, and lots more cool stuff. Get access to the group by signing up for my newsletter here, then join the group here.

Join me for a webinar on launching a side hustle and finding the time in your day to do it!

Join me for a kick ass free webinar all about launching a beautiful, and designing your day so that you have the time to actually do it. The lovely Marissa Lawton will be joining me to drop the knowledge bombs on June 23rd. Sign up for the webinar here.


Using Safari

1. Find Your Faves

Open up Safari and create a new tab with each of the sites you want to include in your dashboard.

2. Add Bookmarks For These X Tabs…

Once you’ve got your tabs open, click on “Bookmarks” → “Add Bookmarks For These X Tabs”

The number 1 trait of all successful bloggers - Safari tutorial

3. Name This Bookmarks Folder as “Dashboard”

You will be prompted to choose which directory this new folder of bookmarks will live in. It’s fine to keep it under “Favorites”. Name the folder “Dashboard”.

The number 1 trait of all successful bloggers - Safari tutorial

4. Open Up Safari’s Preferences

Click on “Safari” → “Preferences…”

The number 1 trait of all successful bloggers - Safari tutorial

5. Choose Tabs Folder

Once you’ve got the “Preferences” window up, select the “General” tab. Next to the label “New windows open with” click the arrow to open the drop down menu and select “Choose tabs folder…”.

The number 1 trait of all successful bloggers - Safari tutorial

6. Select the “Dashboard” folder

From the pop up window, choose the “Favorites” directory from the column on the left (this should already be selected if you left the directory as “Favorites”) and select the “Dashboards” folder from the column on the right.

The number 1 trait of all successful bloggers - Safari tutorial

Now, quit Safari and open up a new window. Your brand new dashboard should be waiting for you!

Get into the habit of clicking through each of the tabs every day to stay current on all the cool stuff that’s going on in your industry, and don’t forget to keep a notebook handy to jot down inspiration for new posts, projects, etc.


Using Chrome

1. Find Your Faves

Open up Chrome and create a new tab with each of the sites you want to include in your dashboard.

2. Open “Preferences”

Click on “Chrome” → “Preferences…”

The number 1 trait of all successful bloggers - Chrome tutorial

3. Set Pages

Chrome will open a new tab where you can set your preferences. Under the “On Startup” category, click the radio button next to “Open a specific page or set of pages”, then click “Set pages”

The number 1 trait of all successful bloggers - Chrome tutorial

4. Use Current Pages

Click the “Use current pages” on the pop up to set all of your current tabs to open when you start up Chrome.

The number 1 trait of all successful bloggers - Chrome tutorial

Now, quit Chrome and open up a new window. Your brand new dashboard should be waiting for you!

Get into the habit of clicking through each of the tabs every day to stay current on all the cool stuff that’s going on in your industry, and don’t forget to keep a notebook handy to jot down inspiration for new posts, projects, etc.


Using Firefox

1. Find Your Faves

Open up Firefox and create a new tab with each of the sites you want to include in your dashboard.

1. Preferences

Once you’ve got your tabs open, click “Firefox” → “Preferences…”

The number 1 trait of all successful bloggers - Firefox tutorial

3. Use Current Pages

From the “General” tab, click “Use Current Pages” under the “Start Up” heading.

The number 1 trait of all successful bloggers - Firefox tutorial

Now, quit Firefox and open up a new window. Your brand new dashboard should be waiting for you!

Get into the habit of clicking through each of the tabs every day to stay current on all the cool stuff that’s going on in your industry, and don’t forget to keep a notebook handy to jot down inspiration for new posts, projects, etc.

  • Wow! What a thought provoking post! Who would have thought that the assignment you had in school would translate into blogging! I love that you took that assignment and created this post. I’ve never thought about a dashboard, much less creating my own. What a wonderful way to stay informed and current on the events that really matter.

  • Great points!!! 🙂 Totally agree with you. It does take tons of time, energy, dedication and lots of patience to be a successful blogger.

  • Tiffany

    This is such an awesome idea! I’m an information junkie (sometimes spending more time researching than actually doing), and it gets overwhelming with all the information available. Thank you!

  • Raquel Harbin

    This is one of the things I stress about as a new blogger. There is SO much knowledge out there and I’m just a fraction through the basics. I’ve joined the fb group and signed up for the webinar. I’m excited! Such a great post, thank you for linking up with the #coolmoms <3
    xo Raquel
    http://www.TheCoolMomsBlog.com

    • Thanks Raquel! Welcome to the tribe! The biggest tip I can possibly give you is to “not get overwhelmed.” There is so much out there, but try to focus on solving 1 problem at a time.