The 7 Traits Of Highly Successful Bloggers

What makes a blogger successful? What are the common traits of highly effective bloggers? If you’ve even remotely tried to launch your own blog, that question surely popped into your head at some point. And I bet it was rather sooner than later.

I have more than a year of blogging as a pro. And before starting to blog for a living I was an avid consumer of other blogs. I think I have in my RSS reader feeds I read for more than 5 years now. Gradually, I developed my own set of blog appreciation rules. And of course, if you’ve carefully read the title of this post, those rules are no more than 7. In today’s article I’ll write about what I think is the recipe for being a successful blogger.

1. Authority

This is what makes a blogger believable.

Authority creates trust. And trust makes you spend your precious time on that specific blog instead of doing something else. Because you know it’s worth doing it. You know you’re in for something. You’ve been there before and you weren’t disappointed. Your expectations were met again and again.

Have you ever wondered what makes you click the links of a popular blog? What makes you follow that advice or buy that product? What makes a blogger believable?  It’s not his identity, nor his persistence, although both are part of the success mix, but his authority. You believe a blogger because you trust him.

Without authority a blog will be floating. It may jump every now and then if it touches some hot topics but if it doesn’t build a significant level of authority, it will drift away, at the mercy of fashion.

I think one of the most respected blogs in the marketing niche, for instance, is Seth Godin’s blog. Seth’s authority was previously built by his books but it somehow spread over his blog. The person vouches for the blog in this case.

2. Authenticity

This is what makes a blogger accepted.

Being honest. Being human. Being able to make mistakes and accept them publicly. Blogging is such a fantastic media revolution not because it created a super hero, like cinema, but because it made the normal, average, human guy able to openly express his intentions, dreams, challenges. And made those opinions instantly available.

Authority without authenticity won’t build a successful blog. It may create a solid corporation, but not a sustainable blog. With any interaction, people are unconsciously trying to find themselves in the other guy. It’s a human need, called validation, we all need that. If, as a blogger, you don’t reach out openly, without being afraid, you’re in the wrong business.

One of the most famous examples of  authenticity is, at least for me, Steve Pavlina’s blog. If you read it just for a few minutes you couldn’t but notice that vibe of authenticity which makes Steve so popular even when he’s allegedly “deluding” in some of the not-so-mainstream explorations like polyamory or, recently, BDSM or alike.

3. Accessibility

This is what makes a blogger palatable.

Accessibility makes a blog available, ready to be consumed. It’s the way you write, the way you wrap up your message, the package by which you deliver your goods. If you want to be popular as a blogger, keep in mind that your audience is extremely diverse. It takes much more work than you think to write in an accessible way.

This quality is often overlooked in almost all bloggers rankings I saw. Usually, authority and authenticity are the main criteria, but there’s no point in being an authority if you can’t deliver a readable, straightforward message to your readers. Regardless of your expertise, a clear, accessible blog will always increase your chances to a broader audience.

The most brilliant example of an accessible blog is Brian Clark’s It amazes me how Brian writes in such an easy to understand way about really complicated topics, like the art of persuasion. is popular because it provides easy to understand access to incredibly complicated issues, not the other way around.

4. Persistence

This is what makes a blogger wanted.

Persistence creates demand. Showing up constantly and doing what you have to do will build a sense of expectation among your readers. They will know you’re there for them. They will wait for you, call for you or ask things from you. Constantly broadcasting your message will create a certain frequency in your readers minds. They will just tune in.

Now, try to imagine a blog with only one article per month. How would this feel to you? Like a joke, I know. Or imagine a series of 5-6 fantastic articles in a week and then several months of silence. No way. Being there is fundamental, can’t be avoided or faked. They say showing up is 80% of success. I doubt it will be exactly 80% but it’s without a doubt compulsory to show up persistently in order to build a successful blog.

Few people know that several years ago, when he started, one of the most visited blogs on the planet, Darren Rowse only wanted an increase of 10% in traffic from month to month. That tells a lot about how far he was ready to go with it. may not be the most spectacular blog on this planet, but it surely is one of the most constant, reliable and respected. And the persistence of the author plays a big role in that.

5. Connectivity

This is what makes a blogger available.

Connectivity creates links. All kind of links, from plain HTML, PR-juice enabled links, up to human contacts. One of the fundamental characteristics of a successful blogger is his ability to be broadcast as far as possible. And here’s where connectivity plays a fundamental part. All A-listers are virals, without exception.

Have you ever wondered how many interactions a successful bloggers has in a normal day? My wild guess is that this number is at least 10 times higher than the average. Just imagine reading dozens of comments (and perhaps responding each of them), interacting on Twitter, or Facebook or Digg. You can’t really do that if you’re socially impaired.

One of the bloggers who could always be studied in schools for that is, in my opinion, Chris Brogan. I’ve been following closely his work in the last few years and his growth was literally explosive. I think he directly interacts with more than 500 persons each day. Guess what? Those persons are also the broadcasters for his message. How many persons are broadcasters for your message?

6. Creativity

This is what makes a blogger valuable.

Creativity triggers admiration. We admire a blogger not because of his authority or authenticity, but because of what he brings new and beautiful in this world. For his capacity to innovate, to re-create his environment, to embellish and refine. Many successful bloggers actually created their niche from the scratch, they built something out of nothing.

This ability to re-organize the Universe in a new form, to create value and to touch others is by far my favorite trait from all 7. Without this ability a blogger would offer no more than a Wikipedia entry, valuable advice but flat, with no human touch, no improvement, no spark.

My favorite creative blogger right now is Gary Vaynerchuk. For a guy who makes a living by drinking wine (joking, of course) he’s unbelievably creative: he re-invented  video blogging and he wrote a book not about Chardonnay, but about how to follow your passion! That’s creativity, that’s building something where there was nothing before.

7. Identity

This is what makes a blogger recognizable.

I chose the word identity because “personal branding” would have been a little bit too precious. But personal branding is what I meant by it. Identity is what makes you unique. It’s that square centimeter you own in your readers’ cortex, the same way you own real estate. It’s the instant link they make between a certain niche and your name as a blogger.

Did you observed how many times we actually use the name of a successful blogger to identify a niche? In blogging, the capacity to build a unique, easily recognizable identity (or brand, for what matters) is the difference between two identical copies of a newspaper. You may talk about the same things, have the same level of authority and the same creativity as other bloggers, but what makes you different is your brand. Your personal brand.

For instance, Leo Babauta identity would be tied up in my brain with the following concept: “minimalist productivity”. Whenever this concept pops out in a conversation, the first person I think about is Leo Babauta, creator of That’s his identity. His brand. I’m sure there are a lot of other bloggers writing about minimalism, but their identity may not be as strongest as his. At least for me.


Of course, all the aforementioned bloggers are sharing all the 7 traits, I just had to chose which one was the most representative for each.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any examples of successful bloggers where you can identify one, two or all of these traits? Do you, as a blogger, have all of them? Would love to hear your comments.

88 thoughts on “The 7 Traits Of Highly Successful Bloggers”

  1. Thank goodness for Twitter, because that’s how I found out about you and this great post, Dragos! (The first of many that I hope to read from you). And to think that I resisted Twitter for so long because I thought it was all about boring stuff like ‘I’m on the train right now’.
    Hmmm, I can see I have to work on quite a few of those traits, most notably persistence. But it gives me great food for thought!
    .-= Sanda´s last blog ..Not resolutions again!?! =-.

  2. This is FANTASTIC!! I am going to print this and out and bookmark it as I can REALLY use this right now. The timing is perfect. But due to work I am unable to really focus on it for a week or two, but it is soooooooo good. I think it will really help give me some solid direction and insight on where I need to go. Bless you Dragos. You are a fountain of information. I think I’ve already printed out 10 of your articles and am still trying to implement what you share. Thank you my friend. Hugs, Robin 🙂
    .-= Robin Easton´s last blog ..All That Will Remain =-.

  3. Here’s the thing with these lists (I think all the blogger listed are good and the qualities worth having): are there those who share these qualities but aren’t popular?

    I think I can put my hand up for at least six of them but my blog is very low traffic. (You may believe I’m just deluding myself of course.)

    My serious question is: could I, or anyone else have these qualities and still not have a popular blog?

    • I truly think that if you have all of them: authority (you’re believable and respected), authenticity (you’re honest and open), accessibility (you write in a very easy to understand way), persistence (you do it constantly for a long time now), connectivity (you interact daily with hundreds of persons), creativity (you innovate with your blog), identity (you’re having a strong personal brand), if you have them all, your blog simply doesn’t have other options than to be popular.

  4. A great great post mate. Great content and excellently written I have bookmarked it to refer to again in the future.

    I would be honoured if your would take part in the SUCCESS ebook project and join over 30 other bloggers in this collaborative work which is coming out at the end of January. Heres the link
    and keep up the fantastic work, you a talented writer.
    .-= Jonny |´s last blog ..The Glamorous Ferrari Driving Life Of A First Time Entrepreneur =-.

    • Thanks for the nice words. I’d be glad to know more about your project but the link you gave took me on sleep hacking post. 🙂

  5. Well this is my first time here and I can see I have missed out a lot. Look at all the comments above me. How can I stand out? Well I don’t know, but its ok because I love the post. Certainly 7 great traits of a successful blogger. Definately Authenticity being human and honest are right at the top of my list of things that you need to be successful. Originality and creativity are right up there too. Sometimes its hard to be creative, but if you just be yourself that works because everyone is different. Don’t just be a robot spitting out information. Put passion into your blog and your readers will feel the passion. You will feel this passion back through the comments that they leave on your blog.

    Thanks for making me think and I am glad I found you.

    • Thanks for the comment and I’m totally in line with the passion. One side note: passion IS creativity, most of the time. 🙂

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  7. The best article I have seen on being a better blogger.
    One of your followers had Retweeted the link.
    Will be coming back for sure.
    Thanks Bob
    .-= Robert Latchford´s last blog ..Dominican Republic =-.

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  9. Was I happy to see Creativity on the list! If there’s a single element lacking in many blogs, it’s the fresh twist, the unique perspective, the why-didn’t-I-think-of-that idea, or phrase, or spin, that makes the blog exhilarating to read and return to.

    • Totally. I know a few brilliant blogs which aren’t famous or successful, but I’m always drawn to them because their unique perspective. Some of those bloggers are not too connected or too authoritative in their field, but their creativity it’s sometimes enough to get me there on a semi-regular basis.

  10. about a passion from childhood that i decided to pursue last year, horse riding.that is why i find your blog helpful:), while searching for tips.

  11. This was very well done. You have an easy to understand list of things that bloggers should strive for. I also agree with the comment about perseverance.

    Sometimes it is hard to find a way to capture the attention of others, especially when so many are also honking horns and waving flags. But if you stay with it and keep plugging away you have a far greater chance of making it happen.

    The most popular blogs aren’t always those that are best written or most insightful. If you hang around long enough and find a way to build a community among your readers you have a real opportunity.
    .-= Jack´s last blog ..A True Test of Character =-.

  12. Excellent, excellent points – especially persistence, which is what I’ve lacked in the past. I go on spurts when I write great content. During those spurts I’ve seen a surge in Twitter followers and subscribers – but then I tend to let it slide when I get busy with other stuff.

    Right now, I’m following a tip I read from (I think) Sonia Simone. She suggested writing every day for 30 days, even if some of the posts aren’t good enough to publish. That’s the discipline I need and you know what? My first two posts were good enough to post and I got another surge in followers and RTs on Twitter. This stuff works but as with anything in life, it doesn’t come easy 🙂

    Thanks for the great tips.
    .-= Louise Fletcher´s last blog ..What Posh Spice Knows About Starting a New Gig =-.

    • Seems like persistence is the bigger obstacle for now, at least among the commenters on this post. I guess there’s this psychologically mistake of perceiving the “online” as something that goes on autopilot and does a lot of things in your place. Well, in blogging, it doesn’t. If you’re a blogger, you have to write. Period.

  13. Love this list Dragos. I will most definitely be saving and looking it over. I’m going to make it a challenge to incorporate all of these things into each post. I think it will do wonders. Thanks for the inspiration!
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Simple Breath Exercise For Clarity And Energy =-.

  14. I really like the simplicity here. You’ve put it out there in an elegant way.
    I will probably read this each day for the rest of the week. Atleast.
    .-= Scott Webb´s last blog ..Emergence of A Democratic Renaissance =-.

    • Well, since I know you pretty well now, I’d highly doubt that you’ll need the rest of the week to grasp it. I’m sure you got it right already. Maybe spending time on YOUR blog would be much more beneficial 😉

  15. Great post, loved it.Especially that i have in mind a niche blog to start and your post is helping me to understand what you need to be valuable in blogging. Also, liked the books. 30 sentences… read it 2 times and try to apply at least a few from the ideas.:)

  16. Great post!

    I think Persistence is the big key. With time and Persistence you’ll develop creativity and authority. It takes years to become an overnight success
    .-= Anthony Feint´s last blog ..The Art of Zenware, and Why You Should be Using It =-.

  17. Dragos,
    This is really a great list! What I’m drawn to is that the people you mention are people who get all of these characteristics, and so to become highly successful, it’s about giving all of these areas focus. We live in a world where there is so much information available. Being able to differentiate ourselves in some way is what can take us from good to great. And I think that what you have touched upon does exactly that – when we can “fire on all cylinders” we are taking our work to that next level.
    .-= Lance´s last blog ..Be Remarkable! =-.

  18. An excellent blueprint for blogging success, Dragos.

    I personally think that you only need 3 or 4 of these traits to start blogging right now. The rest can be learned and developed as you grow as a blogger.

    In my opinion those two are creativity and persistence. If you’re putting out great content regularly and you persist in promoting your great content then you’ll start to see success. As you hone your skills you can start to develop the other traits and evolve into a successful blogger.

    As I side note, I think that most up and coming bloggers are quite accessibly anyway. When it’s new and fresh and you don’t get many visitors then you’re very excited about every new arrival that shows up. Keeping that accessibility as you grow is when it comes tricky.

    Thanks for this, it’s useful to remind ourselves what we need to do in order to become successful.
    .-= Ian Nuttall´s last blog ..How to Write a Blog Post in 5 Minutes or Less =-.

    • Accessibility is not about availability, or at least I put that quality under “Connectivity”, or the ability to be available for as many people as you can. Accessibility is more about the writing style, the way you present your information. The easier to understand, the bigger your potential (and real) audience.

  19. hands down the best advice on blogging i have ever read. excellent post and thank you for taking the time to write it.

    – kristin
    .-= picky cook´s last blog favorite recipes of 2009 =-.

  20. so ‘flashing one’s breasts’ isn’t going to make it ‘8 Traits?’…damn
    .-= Rich Jacobson´s last blog ..Kitsap County WA Real Estate Market Report for January 2010 =-.

  21. Not sure when this was posted, so I may be late to the party, but I did want to mention this is bang-on true and very well written out (in a thoughtful way, kudos for that).

    When I saw the title, my first thought was, “Perseverance” and there it is in point 4. The ability to maintain and sustain a quality blog is definitely something that needs to happen in each individual aiming for success. And that’s tougher than it looks – everyone has their off days, everyone gets tired, everyone feels disillusioned with blogging from time to time.

    Anyways, well done. Cheers!

    • Nope, you’re not late, your comments arrived less than 24 hours since the post is up. Nevertheless, you can’t be late at a party with so many nice people, IMHO.

      And yes, I’m totally into persistence. Just go there and do your job. It will pay off.

  22. Hey Dragos,
    Thank you for your post 🙂 I’m glad to see blogger traits that you have identified are easy to follow, not rocket scientist secrets. I’ll put them into practice 🙂

    • Nope, there are no rocket science tips, Cris 🙂 And glad you’re going to follow them, just keeps us posted, I’m curious about what you are up to.

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  24. Dragos, this is a great post, truly. I have followed every single one of the bloggers you listed here and they are all great examples of bloggers who have all success traits. This is a book in itself 🙂

    I couldn’t help, like Jonathan, going back and looking over my traits as a blogger, will let you know how it goes 🙂

    It would be good if you got the plugin ‘PrintFriendly’ to print your posts as PDF’s as I find I am downloading a lot of your work.
    .-= Steven Aitchison´s last blog ..20 Tips To Feel The Joy And Dance With Life =-.

  25. I think all of these traits flow together just perfectly. It’s hard to say that you can have one without the other– they entangle each other perfectly. Creativity without authority is dead… It just makes a weird blog. Creative, but weird. Authority without connectivity is dead too–just makes for a mean blog. I enjoyed this. Thanks.

    • Yeap, my thoughts exactly, it’s not the prevalence of one as it is the presence of all that makes a blogger successful. One can stand out but if the others are missing…

  26. Dragos, you really distilled this down beautifully. Now that I’ve read it, it’s time to go back and look at my own activity with regard to each of these points. I am going to print this out so I can do just that. I am also open to any advice. You know my work and I value your feedback, so feel free to make suggestions. By the way, I’m still using Blog Audit to keep an eye on internals. It’s a great little plugin.
    .-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog ..Personal Excellence with Advanced Life Skills =-.

    • Thanks for using that plugin and glad it provides some value to you, I know it does for me 🙂

      As for your blog, I’m going to look at it and get back to you sometime today. Thanks for the nice words 🙂

  27. Hi Dragos.

    I like how you picked a certain trait for each notable individual there. They are quite representative.

    Good point about creativity separating some people’s work from what you would see on a Wikipedia article, devoid of any personal examples and entertainment.

    Chris Brogan certainly is a heavy connector.

    This recipe of skills/traits is not for everyone, but for those who are interested, they represent the ones to strive for.

    Nice package here.
    .-= Armen Shirvanian´s last blog ..An Interview With Chris Guillebeau =-.

    • My impression is that each successful blogger is leaning towards one, or maximum two main traits, but the interesting fact is the rest of them are still very well represented. For me, a balanced sum of all 7 IS a recipe for success. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  28. Dragos, first of all..the more you make me type “a better life” the more i feel empowered..this is a trick…isnt it…;)
    As for your awesome list…my god they are so awesome..all those amazing bloggers. All the traits you mentioned are so achievable yet seem so far fetched to someone who might be new to all this. I was very overwhelmed in the beginning..didnt know what on earth i was doing. The only thing i knew was quality writing works..and i just went with it. Somehow I feel happy with the way my blog readership is growing. I am happy if my readers are happy…..
    Only now, after a few ups and downs do i feel like i know atleast 50% of what it takes to be a good blogger. I say good cause thats what i want to be…Good. I prefer excellence over success anytime…ironically excellence will bring success sooner or later hmmm….. before i write a whole post…I say BYEEEEEEEEEEE…;)
    Thank you so much for your posts Dragos…always so informative…i just know reading post like these will surely make me a good blogger 🙂
    Much Love,
    .-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s last blog ..Recurring Patterns =-.

    • The trick about the captcha is real, I’m going to post something about it in a week, I’m sure you’re gonna like it.

      As for excellence, I can totally relate 😉 To be honest, when I started to read your blog I felt like you were doing this forever, didn’t have for a second the impression you were a “beginner”. I guess that means you’re a “natural” 🙂

  29. Dragos,

    This is awesome! You pretty much nailed it with every trait. It makes a lot of sense to me. Hopefully, i seem to be on the right track. Except maybe for that creativity thing which I can’t even spell correctly. 🙂


  30. I’d have to say, of all these traits, I think persistence is the key. So many, would be successful, bloggers give up before they breakthrough. You never know when your time will come, and you need to stay in the game to be there when it does.

    Great list,

    .-= Matt | Small Biz Bee´s last blog ..10 New Year Revolutions =-.

  31. This is a fantastic list! Lisis made a good point about successful female bloggers appearing to be scarce. For myself I believe that authenticity is really important, without that there is no sense in me even sitting down to write. But as my blog is new I will certainly use your list as guide to what I should be aiming for.

    A few years back I used to really enjoy a blog called Cash Quest, it was written by a young lady called Kumiko Suzuki. Her blog was incredibly poplar and the thing I admired most about her was her creativity, authenticity and identity.
    .-= Carol King´s last blog ..The Negative Limiting Beliefs from Hell (Part 2) =-.

    • I perfectly remember Kumiko and you know why? Because I even wrote a review on her blog back when the name of the blog was Interesting how a powerful brand survives.

      But to be honest I do see something true in this discussion about female bloggers not being famous and I really don’t know why. Considering women talk WAY more than men. The writing part should be easier for them…

      • Well, and when you consider “James” from Men With Pens couldn’t make it in the writing world as a woman, but once she took on a male pen name… ta-da! Magic and fireworks, seas of opportunity parting, checks rolling in. What gives?

        Like you said, women talk more, we read and write a good bit, we tend to be introspective and nurturing, AND some women even have hellacious business and technical skills. Is it possible there’s a glass ceiling in blogging, too?

        (I’m not expecting an answer, really… just wondering out loud.)

  32. Hi Dragos,

    I love the title of this post! It reminds me of another great piece of work. 😉

    Of course, I love this list as well. I agree with Oscar (comment #3) that these successful bloggers put balls in what they do. To be a successful blogger, I think one has to live an inspiring life so people would want to read about your life stories.



    • As one of my friends said once: it’s easy to be famous as a blogger, all you have to do is to chose an interesting life and then describe it in detail 🙂

  33. Love the choice of words!! Especially, Authentic. It is what I attribute to Jane Austen and Emily Bronte. A voice of your own. I think it’s important to remember to work on these wonderful 7 traits one at a time, and to balance them out. For me, some are easier to pursue than others. But to me, I am just like the rest if I cannot be Authentic :)!

  34. I definitely recognize these traits in your own blog Dragos, and especially in some of my other favorite blogs like and Productiveflourishing.

    In my own blog, I have been trying to focus on “Identity” lately, but this post has pointed out to me that I need to be concerned more about “Accessibility” too, sometimes my posts can ramble with no clear message, but this is something I have been trying to improve upon lately too.

    Thanks again Dragos!
    .-= Steven Handel | The Emotion Machine´s last blog ..Everyone Needs A Creative Endeavor =-.

    • Good thing to focus on the identity part, especially in the beginning. I reckon having trouble with identity on this very blog. The first year of it was a continuous rambling between GTD, productivity, personal stuff and alike. Totally delusional.

  35. Great list Dragos. One obvious thing I noticed in some pro bloggers is that they put balls in what they do, but either telling things that others are afraid to tell, or by trying new and untested things.
    .-= Oscar – freestyle mind´s last blog ..The Law of Attraction =-.

  36. Well put, Dragos! What a brilliant list, and I love that all the traits are relatively achievable. I’m still not sure what to make of the fact that most of the A-List bloggers (these included) are men… or at least we think they are (the whole Men with Pens thing added a new angle to that issue).

    Do you have any thoughts as to why this is? And even the women I CAN think of who have achieved success in blogging have done so by adding mostly entertainment value (showing the world they are complete train wrecks in their personal lives… like Dooce, or The Bloggess).

    Are there any *hugely* successful women bloggers you respect for the traits mentioned above? Women who could fit seamlessly into this list?
    .-= Lisis´s last blog ..Book Review: Female Brain Gone Insane =-.

    • Hi Lisis,

      A female blogger whom I really like and who’s highly successful is Naomi Dunford of She’s smart and she has a very distinctive style of writing – she swears a lot. But that is precisely what I like about her. One of the reasons why I like that is because I swear a lot too, but only to my guy friends. I just don’t swear on my blog. 🙂

      If you’ve not read her stuff, check her out. She’s really funny.



      • But would you say she’s at the same level as these guys? Almost ANY blogger knows full well about the guys on Dragos’ list… but would the same be true for her? For instance, I’ve never heard of her, fabulous though she may be (in fact, I’ll go check her out today). I know several women bloggers who have been at it a few years and are quite good, but just don’t achieve that level without, what seems like, total self-destruction. Not sure why that is? Hm.

        (Sorry, Dragos… having a little side convo here in your “living room”!)


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