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The Secret Success of Bloggers

by | Mar 20, 2014 | blogging, Decorating Inspiration, My Life, The Inspired Room

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The Secret Success of Bloggers

Every so often I share a few tips I’ve learned along the way in blogging. When I started my blog in 2007 (this post was written in 2014), blogging was mostly something people did as a hobby. Our expectations were fairly low, we just wanted comments and conversation. Over the years, many blogs have intentionally or inadvertently turned into businesses. The idea of blogging as a career is still a fairly new concept that I know many people are curious about. When people in real life ask what I do, I often get the question “How exactly do you make money from that?” I can understand the curiosity since blogging is not exactly a well-known or long-established career path. But since it is the business I’ve been blessed to stumble into over the years, today I thought we could talk a little bit and share some of the secrets to successful blogging as a business.

The Secret Success of Bloggers

What is considered a successful blog-turned-business?

There aren’t many facts and figures by which to gauge what a successful blogger is earning or how their business functions since blogging is a relatively new industry. It’s especially puzzling to people who aren’t online or aware of what bloggers do or how it could be called a business. It’s a new path even to many of us who have been blogging awhile.

Even among bloggers themselves, there is a huge spectrum of what bloggers might consider successful. I think that is partly due to bloggers not really knowing for sure where they fall in relation to others (ignorance can be bliss!), partly due to the lack of reliable statistics and information, and partly perhaps because the blogging experience is not a one-size fits all business model. The success of bloggers in terms of their traffic, their businesses, how much they earn and what opportunities they have currently or plan to have in the years to come is so unique to each blogger.

Some bloggers share numbers and tips, but it’s still not easy to gauge what you could expect financially if you were to start your own blog since every path to a successful blog is so unique. There are some very successful home/lifestyle bloggers who work very hard to make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year (and more). They might eventually even need a staff to help them keep up with the growth and opportunities from their blog. But even as they earn more income, bloggers also pay a lot of taxes and have extra expenses associated with running a business and website.

There are also bloggers who feel successful to make $30,000 or $20,000 or $10,000. Potential success isn’t about comparing the numbers to see how much money could be made, there is so much more to it than that. Certainly loving what you do will make a business feel successful to many of us! But yes, if you work at growing your business with the right goals in mind, you can succeed at many points along the way. You get to decide when you feel successful!

The Secret Success of Bloggers

How can you stand out as a blogger in a sea of so many new blogs?

As new bloggers come on the scene or existing bloggers navigate their growth, the question these days is HOW does one stand out in a sea of blogs? While competition is always a good thing in the end, it can also be frustrating and discouraging to keep up in an increasingly competitive field. But instead of comparisons, I think bloggers should focus on creating their own really good blog content while building up other bloggers around them. We don’t really need to compete against each other. Just be the best YOU you can be and succeed at that. As the saying goes, “it’s all been done but not by you.”

While many of us 2007 bloggers began with very little social media tricks available to grow our influence or traffic, today you can get a lot of traffic from Pinterest alone. While Pinterest can bring a lot of page views, it doesn’t necessarily indicate a blogger’s success or influence as a respected brand. Most of us earlier bloggers probably didn’t have fancy cameras or professional looking websites to lure people to our content. But today, it’s almost a necessity to invest in those tools. So how do we stand out beyond having a fancy blog or mastering social media tricks?

Here is how I see it. We probably cannot stand out or survive if we don’t grow as bloggers and keep up with what is new. But at the same time, new and existing bloggers need to remember it isn’t the shiny new things, the often annoying social media tricks or the fancy websites that bring a blogger long term success and a solid reputation. Those tricks and tools may bring big traffic or even name recognition in some blogging circles, but those will only take a blogger so far. You need a bigger vision than what will bring you traffic TODAY.

The Secret Success of Bloggers

What do you want to be known for?

Do you want to establish your blog as a sustainable business? Then you need an identity. If you want to succeed over the long haul, your approach should be be quite different than a blog that is striving for instant results or moments of recognition as they will quickly get lost in the sea of what’s new.

Having a purpose statement for your business can really help you to focus on what you are trying to accomplish long term.

The best blogs out there have always had their own unique identity that comes from authenticity. They blog with a sense of purpose and intentionality that is clear as you read their blog. They may grow and evolve as a business but should strive to retain what made them special to begin with. Your purpose for blogging should spring from a unique philosophy that you want to communicate. Why should people come to your blog? There are thousands of blogs that could be similar to yours. Figure out what makes yours noticeably different! Share your opinions and experiences. Unique content with an authentic purpose trumps everything as far as I’m concerned. Focus on having a clear philosophy and growing a long term influence in your niche, and you’ll be in a great position to thrive in the upcoming years.

It’s easy to get distracted by what everyone else is doing all around you. So many bloggers fear being left behind and forgotten. If you have to sacrifice quality or authenticity in order to get the big numbers or to get attention, I think you’ll find your success over time will be much smaller and less rewarding.

In blogging, your path should not look like everyone else’s. If it does, you might want to rethink what you are doing. It’s important to set some blogging goals to set yourself apart from others and to keep your eyes on what matters to you for the long run. You may not want to do any more with your blog than to share your life or hobbies online. And that is totally fine, there is not only one way to blog! But if you want your blog to thrive as a business, you need to set specific goals.

To stand out among all the bloggers now clamoring for attention, it doesn’t necessarily work to simply grow past them in traffic or get your name out more often in front of people or mimic the best of the best. In fact, you can’t really measure the success or growth of another blogger based on statistics or just what you see online.

Ask yourself what sets your blog apart once readers get to know you. What do you want to be known for and how are you going to get that message across to the world? Craft your unique message and then keep on sharing it in fresh ways!

The Secret Success of Bloggers

Stick with it.

Blogs that are striving for a strong brand identity require perseverance. Overnight success in blogging is an entirely different kind of success than one that is built with years of dedication. Long term success is going to be much more significant and bring more respect to your blog as a brand.

Long term effectiveness in blogging requires you to keep growing as a person and in skill, adapting and evolving to the times and setting new goals, but never losing sight of your authenticity and voice. The path to success as a business doesn’t always bring immediate recognition or financial reward, but successful businesses are built one good decision at a time.

Highly respected bloggers have offered quality content over a long period of time. Their consistency helps them stand out as a voice of influence among the rest.

The Secret Success of Bloggers

What do you want your business to look like in three to five years?

Dream big about the future! It’s been said that we tend to over-estimate what we can accomplish in a year or two and under-estimate what we can do in five years. Don’t give up too early or burn yourself out trying to succeed too early. Blogging can be the main focus of your business, but in many cases these days it is only a part of an overall business plan. There are many directions a blogger can go, so dream up ideas that are right for you!

What steps would you need to start taking now to get to your long range goals? Of course, always build others up, stay authentic and provide quality content. But in addition to those basics, what daily steps will you need to take to get you to where you want to be? Do you need to take a leap of faith in a challenging direction? Do you need to get brave and learn a new skill? Do you need to hire help or support in order to focus on what only you can do? Do you need to invest in your business in new ways? How are your every day decisions and actions contributing to your future dreams? What are some things you need to stop doing because they are distracting from the big picture of where you want to go?

I think bloggers who set long term goals have great potential to build respected and multi-faceted brands that will far out pace those that don’t.

There are many bloggers out there making big things happen for their businesses right now and much of what is happening is behind the scenes. Their upcoming success and projects may not even be on your radar for awhile. Many successful bloggers are working toward long term business goals that you cannot measure by what you see them doing online right now. That is one of the complexities of a highly successful blog. They are juggling both the content they share day to day, along with new opportunities to grow and expand their brand.

I’m proud of so many women I know personally or admire from afar as they blaze their own trails and follow their dreams through hard work, talent and persistence. These women have created a business with a purpose and message that keeps on growing, even beyond their blogs. I think it is inspiring to hear their stories!

The Secret Success of Bloggers

Dream bigger.

Sometimes we don’t dream big enough. I know I am living and building some dreams I never ever thought possible or even imagined. If you feel stuck where you are in blogging but want to grow a thriving business, set those long term goals and start being more deliberate about what you do. If you are doubting your direction, seek advice from trusted people around you who believe in you and see your real potential. Be willing to try things you never thought you would and make those dreams a reality.

The Secret Success of Bloggers

My Decorating and Homemaking Books (including my New York Times Best Seller, Love the Home You Have)


1) Elsie from A Beautiful Mess shared her thoughts about the blogging industry here, you might enjoy reading another perspective!

2) I’ve done another post with some great blogging tips for how to grow your blog and get more traffic. Click HERE to read!

3) 5 Questions and Answers About Blogging (more of my story)


  1. Brindusa

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I’m a beginner and can use advice… I’ve made my site mainly because I love to paint on wood and wanted to share that with others (and hopefully sell some of my paintings too :-) ).

  2. Emily Clark

    This was a great post. Even after blogging for nearly five years, it gave me lots to think about it. I totally agree with consistent quality over a long period and being authentic.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thanks Emily, there is always more to learn, be reminded of and to ponder isn’t there? Thanks for coming by, Emily! xoxo

  3. Summer

    Thank you so much for this post Melissa! I love you perspective and your encouraging words. I am a fairly new blogger (started my blog in August) but I love it so much and I am definitely working on long term goals. I love what you said about being deliberate and authentic too. What I love so much about blogging is that one of the keys to it is being yourself which is so different from the corporate world. Thanks again!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Great job on working towards you goals. Congrats on the new blog and I hope you find much success in your efforts! Thanks Summer!

  4. Erin

    Hi! Great post! Lots of food for thought. I just started a blog to document our house renovations but I’m hoping to translate that into some local design work. That totally feels pie in the sky right now but I’m going to keep doing my thing and we’ll see. :)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Yes, keep on doing your thing! Pie is good :-) and it just might be more possible than you think!

  5. Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    Good Morning Melissa!
    Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful and helpful article. Planning seems to be the core to success no matter what we do. I confess…sometimes I’m better at it…both from writing down the goals to following through…other times…[sigh]…not so good. Isn’t it great that we get ‘do-overs’ every day?!

    It’s been a blessing to have followed you and your road to success since 2009. Thank you for your kindnesses along the way. May you be blessed with success this year beyond anything you can even plan or imagine. :)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thank you Diane, I always appreciate your kind words and vote of confidence! :-) I’m not the best at planning and follow through at times either so I too appreciate GRACE with a new day! Blessings back to you, sweet lady! xo

  6. Emily

    What a great post! As a new blogger, I am constantly reminding my self that the success will not come over night and that sometimes I just need to put the iphone/ipad/laptop away and just let things simmer! Thanks for the great advice! <3

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      AMEN. That is exactly what we all need to do sometimes! Thanks for coming by and best of success to you in blogging!

  7. cherneeshouse

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts – as a new blogger it is frustrating you are wondering if anyone will stop by and how to be different – thanks for the great advise!

  8. Kelly Reber

    Thank you so much for this advice… it is coming at a time when I really need it! I am working on revamping sites for my blog and my Real Estate business and this has helped put that in perspective as I was stressing out this morning about it all! Thanks!! And you coffee pics always make me a crave a fancy cup!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Oh, good, I’m glad it was well-timed to encourage you! :-) Clearly in looking at our pics we must drink a lot of coffee to pull this off, haha!

  9. teresa

    Dear Melissa-
    You are always so forthcoming…Thank you. Even though I use my blog for a hobby and personal and family history. I love learning little tips here and there. ( I don’t want to look like the dinosaur in the room of great bloggers =)
    Thank you for making your site a beautiful/real and informative place to visit.
    Happy Day!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Ha, you are such a blessing to me. I always feel so much better about what I do when I see your encouragement. Thank you Teresa!

  10. Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    Melissa, Thanks so much for these encouraging words! It gave me a lot to think about! Happy 1st Day of Spring! Melissa

  11. Jeanette Keath

    Really enjoyed reading your ideas/tips on blogging. I totally agree with your advice on being authentic. You can usually tell in the first paragraph if someone is really being authentic. That’s what keeps me reading their stuff every time. It’s one reason I like yours! Great job!

  12. Amy Lynn Andrews

    Melissa, I love it. I love your insights and I love how you’ve taken The Inspired Room from hobby to a really amazing site. I admire your consistency and your authenticity. (And your kitchen. Holy smokes, your kitchen.)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thanks Amy, you know I’m always reading and following your posts to make sure I’m not making a big faux pas hahah. Thanks for the recent post on Amazon, I’ve read your conversation twice now to make sure I do it right. xo


    I am so grateful that you wrote this post and feel blessed that I read it! I’m a fairly new blogger and there are some days I get excited about my progress, and then there are some days I feel stuck and like I’m just surviving! It is difficult to not compare yourself to others. Your post makes me feel better about my baby steps! Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Yes, baby steps are worth it! You’ll be much happier with that pace and the results in the long run!

  14. wendy-ourcapeoncabotroad

    Thanks so much for sharing. It has inspired me to work harder.

  15. Emily

    big fan of elsie’s post and loved yours even more!!! thanks so much!

  16. dawn@joyfulscribblings

    Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others and where we are in our journey. I can get caught in the trap of thinking I need to do what others are doing instead of sticking with my original purpose. I appreciate all of your thought provoking questions and the reminder to just be me.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Hi Dawn, it sure is easy to compare and end up feeling behind. But I am my happiest in blogging when I shut out those thoughts and ideas and just go focus on what I love. Best of success to you in sticking with your purpose!

  17. Megan

    From someone with the self-proclaimed “blogging blues” I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved this. It is so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Hang in there, Megan! When ever I get the blogging blues I just have to shut off blog world and focus on living my life. From that place of real life I remember who I am and can get back on the right track! Hope you feel encouraged and inspired again soon!

  18. Sammi @Sammi Sunshine

    This is very inspiring for a new blogger like me! Some days I find myself wanting to just copy what’s popular and post it online. But, I convince myself to stay true to myself, because that is what is most important!

    Peace & Sunshine,
    Sammi at Sammi Sunshine- A Food Blog

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      I know exactly what you are saying! Especially with Pinterest it’s tempting to just look at what is popular and think that is probably what everyone wants. But as you said, in the end it’s better to be true to yourself and offer your unique ideas and point of view. Best of success to you with your blog, Sammi!

  19. allison anderson

    How do i start a blog? do i pay for one?I have started a wordpress account can i share that on facebook?need some basic beginning help.

  20. Cindy Lyon

    Thanks for your thought provoking article! My blog is only a few weeks old and I am still figuring out where I want to go with it.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Congrats on your new blog! I think oftentimes a blog begins to unfold and takes on a clearer direction over time when you just stay true to yourself! Best of luck and success to you in your journey :)!

  21. Melissa@TheChicDream

    Thank you for this post. I just hit the six-month mark with my blog. I love blogging so much and would love for it to be fruitful one day but my main concern is being true to myself and getting better. I love getting advice from those of you who have been doing it for years.

  22. Debra

    Loving this advice on blogging, what a great read. Pure inspiration, thank you!

  23. Cynthia @herlovelynest

    What a wonderful and thoughtful post Melissa! While my blog is most definitely one that falls under the hobby category [mostly just for me to track my projects], I still find it helpful to think of it as slightly more than that when I’m writing up tutorials and choosing images. Your post is a good reminder to keep that going.

    and loved all those yummy coffee and snack pics! :-)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      I think that is a great idea, Cynthia! Even with a hobby blog, you never know what unexpected opportunities might come your way or useful to you down the road if you give it just a little extra something when you post. :-D

  24. Emily

    Thank you so much for this information! I providentially stumbled upon this today and look forward to following your blog!

  25. Devea

    This is an amazing post, I am going to bookmark it and come back to it when I need it. I have been following the blogging world since when it started getting more and more popular and oh how the times have changed. I definitely agree with all of the advice you gave! Thanks a lot.


  26. Kathy @ In Quiet Places

    I definitely see God’s hand of blessing on the work/blog/business you do through the Inspired Room. I know you are helping and encouraging so many others with a post like this.

    Meanwhile, I just quietly post devotions that are an extension of the freelance writing I do and enjoy a small space in the big bloggy world.

  27. Phaedra

    Hi Melissa! I have been following your blog since 2008! It has been a joy to see your blog content and followers grow and mature! Your posts are always encouraging and “inspiring” :) Thank you so much for posting this today! I just dusted my blog off and gave it a spring look. :) I look forward to adding new content as well. At some point I would love for my blog to grow into a business as well. It never hurts to have dreams and goals along the way. Happy Spring to you!

  28. Shannon @ Fox Hollow Cottage

    Melissa, Thank you so much for such a beautifully written, thoughtful post. I took a lot away from it and I definitely have some things to think about!

  29. Sandra

    Very helpful post. My online business is a store, but I have started a blog to accompany the store. These tips you have shared will be helpful as I work on the blogging portion of my store. Thank you!

  30. Karen @ a house full of sunshine

    Melissa, thanks for this great post. Yours is one of the first blogs I subscribed to when I first began dipping my toes into the blogging world. I love your decorating style, your warm and authentic voice and your faith.

    As a complete newbie blogger, I decided from the outset to focus on creating consistent, quality content for a year with zero expectations of traffic or income. I would like to one day build my brand into a business, but for now, I’m loving how blogging gives me an extra burst of motivation to complete the home projects I’ve dreamed about, and inspires me to come up with regular creative activities to do with my kids. For me it’s a way to add follow-through and accountability to the things I most love and am passionate about.

    So I guess I could say that blogging inspires me to live my best life. Thinking of it that way really takes the pressure off and removes any expectations of “success” – for now, I’m a success if I live well, blog consistently and create great content. Thanks for this wonderfully affirming post!

  31. jessica

    Thank you. I truly loved reading your post with your honest opinions, advice, and insight as a long-lived blogger. I have followed your blog for sometime {i’m horrible, not by email, but i promise i just signed up!}, especially since Washington is my home base and have loved your stories and posts over the years.

    Your post is just what a girl like me needed to hear. After a recent move and transitioning from working to staying full time with the little babes, I decided to take on a blogging adventure to stay connected with those we moved away from. I so value your advice, as starting something new in a sea of veterans is not only overwhelming, but has had me second guessing my own adventures in the blogging world. I appreciate your wisdom and reminding me why I chose to start blogging in the first place. Your heartfelt post was a great reminder of my path ahead and focus for time to come.

    Thank you for continuing to share your passions and great ideas.

  32. christina @ No. 29 Design

    Thank you for the great article. I’ve been blogging for just over two years. It’s nice to hear what I’ve slowly been figuring out reiterated by someone else. Consistency and great content are such a huge factor. In the beginning I wanted big results and fast. Now I’ve learned to not rush at everything. I want to always enjoy what I’m doing and blogging about. Blogging on my own time and timetable means I can do just that!

  33. Gwen, The Makerista

    As a newer blogger, who is trying to grow, I really appreciated this! Thanks so much for your insight and encouraging words!

  34. Shauna

    This came at a great time when I’m pondering what my next step is in blogging. I do have some long term goals, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers. Yours is a blog I’ve read for many years and you’re definitely a good example of quality and longevity.

  35. Kayla Seah

    So nice to hear your thoughts about this. I think the biggest challenge for me is to set a 3-5 year plan. I’m really happy with how my blog has evolved organically, but I also know how important it is to set goals down the road. I guess brand identity specifically would be the most critical component to figure out as a goal for five years from now.

  36. Kitty

    Oh, wow! I started out in 2007! There are so few of us left from the heydays! It was part of the reason I stuck so long read your story – which was amazing, thank you for putting so much time and effort into it!

    the second part was that for almost a year now, I’m drifting… I started out Stylefrizz in 2007. It was truly a hobby back then and the biggest mistake I made was thinking that my (unique) voice will count the most. As far as authenticity and plus value, I think I have more anxieties than I have qualities (lol).

    How does one refocuses and rebuilds? Starts fresh or starts repairing? I know it’s not what you do and I know how time is of capital importance. But if you have a spare moment and should you be willing to, take a look from outside. A fresh perspective on my blog could be exactly the missing link from the ‘change chain’. You have my email (and we started out a conspiracy-theory talk on FB yesterday – about the postings visibility) and I would be extremely honored to receive even the littlest word of advice or opinion.

    Thank you so much – I started writing this comment without foreseeing where it would lead to – but I thought my tribulations are of no particular interest for everyone who reads your lovely blog, so that’s why I went on and asked the above…


    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Hi Kitty! High fives for the 2007 bloggers! :-) Congrats on hanging in there all these years.

      I hope you don’t mind me answering in the comments (which will be emailed to you!) as I think it might help others, too. As far as your drifting and wondering how to start fresh or rebuild, I clicked over to see your blog and right away I noticed something missing :-). I can’t tell who you are when I click over! I LOVE to see an “about me” box, a profile and a picture, a greeting, or something that tells me who you are, what the blog is focused on and why I might want to stop in to read your blog. In the sea of millions of blogs, I only have a few seconds to decide if I will like a blog so it’s so helpful if I’m greeted by a friendly face and an introduction!

      You can always start a new blog if you feel like your content is no longer representing who you are or what you want to write about, but sometimes all you need is to make a few little adjustments in order to refresh your blog.

      I hope that helps?

      • Kitty

        Thank you Melissa!

        And sorry for lacking coherence in my first comment. I was too nervous and forgot to re-read myself! I appreciate greatly that you took the time and visited Stylefrizz! It means so much, as I already told you! I’m actually working on that “about” for 2 months I think. I think 10 draft copies were already written and still feel ‘meh’ about the results. But I’m drawing closer and your words were tremendously helpful! Before the weekend is over, I’m hoping to have it done!

        I’m having troubles letting go of Stylefrizz just to start a new identity. I love this project dearly and I think it has tremendous potential, even so, despite Panda and all the Zoo that’s been put in place to ‘optimize’ search…

  37. hopefulgardner

    Thanks for all the great advice. As a beginner, it’s great to read this kind of post from someone who’s style I admire and advice I respect!

  38. leelee

    This was a really great post to read and with the perfect timing. I was feeling a little discouraged. I’m new to blogging and I didn’t start with any real expectations for short term success. I really had hoped it would reveal things about myself and ultimately lead me in a direction long term. However, it can easily feel like a rip current…sucking me in to the evil comparing monster and expecting more from my blogging in a short amount of time. It’s hard not to when you’re amongst so many bloggers and talented ones at that! So thanks for giving me a reason to reflect.

    Leelee @ paperbagstyling

  39. Marsha

    Thanks for such an insightful and encouraging post. as a new blogger I found it very helpful. thankyou for taking the time to write this .

  40. Lauren

    Thanks for this post, Melissa. Just this morning I was struggling with comparing myself to others and trying to figure out how to increase my numbers and traffic, instead of truly focusing on what I feel the Lord is leading me to share in my writing. Thank you for the great reminders here!

  41. CJ

    I thank you for a inspiring and encouraging post about blogging. So many times we read blogging ‘how to(s)’ only to end up feeling discouraged because of all the things we are NOT. I try to remember to be authentic and honest, not comparing myself to others, while I grow in my technical and business skills. I have two blogs – one personal and one for my business and I must say the personal one is far easier. But you have reminded me to be myself in both. Thanks.

  42. Kelly@mysoulfulhome

    Thank you for writing this post Melissa. I have been having a one sided conversation about blogging with myself on just these topics. I felt like I had a heart to heart with you on the subject. Thank you above all for freeing me from my page views for awhile. I bookmarked for the time I need to be freed again!

  43. Kathy @The Daily Nest

    Wow I just read this post at just the right time! Thank you! I think in todays world we want everything fast and right now! And it’s the same with blogging, but you reminded us that it takes time, work, and a lot of effort before you reap the rewards! Slow, and steady wins the race!! Have a great Monday! Xo, Kathy

  44. Misty Dawn

    Great post. I also started blogging in 2007. My blog has experienced some major changes along the way, and I’ve recently taken a short hiatus due to becoming a new mommy at age 38. I’m planning a comeback though and not quite sure which direction I want to head now!

  45. Beth Blacker

    I am getting ready to do a complete overhaul of not only my blog but website and entire brand. One of my products will be launched nationwide this year so I decided it was the perfect opportunity to go much bigger with blogging. I have a lot to learn, though, so I plan to really dig deep as well as take advantage of all of the incredible examples like yourself to learn from…thanks!

  46. jessica @fourgenerationsoneroof

    Great tips Melissa! I remember when I started blogging 2.5 years ago, your blog was one of my first finds :) You are a true inspiration :)

  47. Angela

    Thank you for sharing from your experience. I started blogging in 2009, with the intention of it only to be a way for me to journal our everyday life. Now, I love blogging and I want to grow my blog into something more. Writing fits into my day well, even with my 3 small children and I love photography. I just struggle to narrow down my topics. I always wish I had a blogging mentor, but I don’t know anyone in “real life” who blogs successfully. It’s a tough thing for me to figure out, but I’m not about to give up!

  48. Cybele @ BlahBlah

    What a wonderful thought provoking post. Your point about the five year plan is such a good one because it’s quite a challenge to think about where we would like to be by then, but it’s so important. Time for me to put my thinking cap on x

  49. Jamie

    This is such an inspirational post! Thank you for this!! I’ve been a subscriber to your blog for quite some time. This is such great advice.

  50. Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama

    This is fantastic, thank you. The part that really resonated with me is the foundation building part…I spend a lot of my time focusing on the vision not necessarily the present.

  51. Ali

    Thank you for writing a post that inspires bloggers to find their voice. I’ve seen so many “how to blog” posts that talk about all the strategies to gaining followers. I don’t think we need more popular blogs in the world, we need more quality content.

  52. Patty

    What a fantastic post. I’ve been blogging for 4 years now and I still love it. In the last few months since a back injury I have thought of quitting but instead I am heading in a new direction, a new style, with the same voice I began with. It’s an exciting direction.

  53. lina

    I’m so glad I stumbbled upon this article! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this it came at the right time. I’ve just started blogging full time begenning of this year and lately I’ve been feeling overwhlemed and not sure what to do next to stand out! So this is perfect :) Thanks again!

  54. Nicole @ The Pixel Boutique

    Thank you for sharing such encouraging words! I’ve been blogging (and designing blogs) since 2009 and its so easy to hit the dry patches and get discouraged. You are so right that you need to embrace the fact that you will grow and change as a blogger. Slow and steady (and good content…;)). You’re blog is beautiful…keep it up! :)

  55. Cassandra Monroe | a lifestyle blog

    This post was SO helpful!! I’ve only been blogging for about six months (but I only count 4 really because I wasn’t updating as I was readjusting to being home after my military deployment) and everything I read here is really helping me kick start my blog. I’ve already hired a designer- I’m just waiting for the product now. And I’ve been thinking about adding more of my military experiences into my blog. I’m a very unique person and your post inspired me to let that shine! Thank you!

  56. Fizzy Party

    Great post! I can relate to so much of what you said. Especially about staying true to yourself and not just following everyone else. I’m a party blogger and sometimes I find myself drifting over to what all the other party bloggers are doing. Even if it’s a direction I wouldn’t really go into. But I see how well people respond to it and start to follow the herd. Than I remember why I love being different from them and go back to being an individual even if that means less followers. I know the ones that do follow me really like what I have to offer. I’m pinning this so I can refer back to it from time to time.

  57. Theresa Rayner

    This post really struck a cord with me. I just read it twice, the first time through and the second time stopping to take notes. I found your comment about not sacrificing quality or authenticity for numbers to be the most helpful. I am trying to create a food blog website centered around the idea of taking time when you cook, and in a world full of cheap, easy, and quick recipes this isn’t popular. But I believe whole heartedly that to live our best lives, we need to slow down and enjoy the things we love. Your post gives me courage to stick to my unique philosophy. Thank you for the wisdom and insight into blogging. As a novice blogger, I really respect and appreciate it.

  58. Jessi Hosper

    This post is phenomenal. Very well written and SO inspiring which is so important. Thanks for all of your tips. I started a blog about 5 months ago and it’s so a work in progress. I can’t believe how much work goes into the entire process. You’ve inspired me to continue to ‘try’ although some days can be more encouraging than others. I especially loved your quote “It’s been said that we tend to over-estimate what we can accomplish in a year or two and under-estimate what we can do in five years.” There is nothing better than a good quote.

    Thanks again!

  59. Linda

    I want to start a food blog, but I am overwhelmed by where to start. Any suggestions? Also, when you started your blog did you get a business license or did you get the license later?


  60. laura@lulasbasket

    Hey Melissa,
    I just started my blog a couple of weeks ago. I have wanted to create one for a couple of years now so this year for my birthday I purchased a domain, platform & put the pedal to the metal! It was the nudge I needed to finally do this. It is great & I love writing. I have frequented your blog & others for sometime now & I never really noticed how important it is to post, comment & give feedback. Since I have been blogging now I have almost made it my intention to do this on the blogs that I visit. Do you have any tips on how to engage in more discussion with your readers?
    Thanks so much, Laura

  61. Sally

    Dear Melissa,

    thank You sooo much for sharing with us your tips for our Blog. I’m very new in “the business” and I appreciate every single advice!
    Be blessed
    With love, Sally

  62. Alice Lin

    Hi Melissa,

    Thanks so much for this great post! Blogging is definitely an art, and striving to be unique will bring you far :) I know that I’ll be using some of your tips as food for thought.

  63. Amy - Bead Bash

    What a fantastic post with some really valuable advice. I set my blog up as a way to help market a business I set up when I lived in Ireland. I wound up the business when I had my son and moved back to Scotland. I neglected it as I got to grips with motherhood but now my blog is still going.

    I would like to eventually turn blogging into a business but I have decided I am in no rush to achieve this. My priority is my toddler and so I only post once a week as I find it so time consuming just to create, edit and promote even one post. I figure if I keep plugging away and make sure I create my own content then once I have more time on my hands I can ramp it up a bit and treat it as more of a business than a hobby.

    I am going to bookmark this and go back and read it when I am feeling down about my blog.

    Thank You, Amy

  64. Faith

    I am glad I stumbled upon this article! It gives me things to ponder about. Thank you!

  65. diane @smartmoneysimplelife

    Wow… This article is a perfect example of how thoughtful and authentic content brings new readers no matter how long ago it was first published.

    I have been giving a lot of thought to the long term plans for my blog as a business so finding this article was serendipity in action!

    Thank you sharing your wisdom so freely.


  66. Elle Ay Esse

    I am seriously in love with that navy and gold planner!

    Planning ahead, and planning correctly is probably the number one “open” secret to being a successful blogger. Having (and sticking to!) a plan makes blogging seem to be a real job and most people do very well with structred schedules. Bonus that it helps keep readers in the loop!

    Thanks for sharing this!

    – E

  67. Elise Xavier

    You know, this is all excellent advice but I have to say that the most important is what you said about perseverance. It really is a marathon and not a sprint. I don’t believe people give enough time to blogging, even when they’re really serious about it being a potential career.

    This is a wonderful article, and a lot better than many of the “successful blogging” articles you’d see online. Thank you so much for sharing your story :)

  68. jenny

    This blog post was the most encouraging and empowering I have ever read. Thank you


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