The Secret Ingredient That Makes Your Blog Soar

Carol Tice

The Secret Ingredient That Makes Your Blog Soar. Makealivingwriting.comIn my free teleclass last week with Stanford Smith of Pushing Social, someone asked me how many hours a week I spend on writing my blog.

I said, “No way I’m telling you that!”

I spend a lot of hours on this blog. It’d be embarrassing to tell you how many.

Isn’t that weird, for a profit-focused freelance writer like me, who spends all her time teaching other writers to earn more, and not take crappy jobs?

What makes me do this crazy blog, anyway?

I thought about it over the weekend, and I realized there’s one thing all great bloggers have going for them. I believe you’re never going to build a successful blog without it.

The secret ingredient that makes blogs succeed

What is this elusive quality? I’m giving you a picture clue up above.

It’s the burning desire to make your blog great. In a word, it’s drive.

Are you driven to work on your blog? Here are a few telltale clues that you are a driven blogger:

  • You find yourself blowing off TV and slacking off the Farmville, because you just want to make one more little thing on your blog look better.
  • You find it hard to sleep at night as you think about all the amazing plans you have for growing your blog. You’re too excited to close your eyes!
  • You discover you’ve let a lot of trivial stuff go in your life — say, housecleaning — so you can focus on your blog.

If you’re passionate about building your blog, then you’re on the right track. You’re probably blogging about a topic you love — one where you won’t run out of post ideas. That’s essential to making your blog grow.

Nobody could make you put in all the time you need to build a successful blog. That desire has to come from within.

And me? I’ll say I never worked this hard writing for pay for somebody else.

But I’ve also never had so much fun.

I’ve met amazing people I never would have enountered otherwise. And when a reader tells me they followed a tip from this blog and got a better-paying client than they ever had before, I am over the moon.

There’s also nothing like the excitement of running downstairs, finding my husband, and telling him, “Honey — I paid myself!”



  1. TrafficColeman

    Passion is the fuel to your must be able to harness that powere to make it blogging..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • Carol Tice

      Right on, BSG!

  2. Tammi Kibler

    Spot on! I think you should blog about that thing in your life that everyone around you is tired of hearing you talk about. That is the subject on which you will always have something fresh to add and the passion to revisit day after day. That is the burning desire that will not be extinguished when the going gets tough.

    • Carol Tice

      Ha! I like your yardstick for finding the right topic.

      I was doing a consult with a blogger recently, who’d chosen a niche. Her posts in it weren’t what I expected. It turned out she really didn’t want to write on that niche at all, but on one slightly different but related to it. Once she started talking about that, MAN! She could hardly stop.

      I said, “THAT’S your blog topic.” She emailed me later to say she bought a new URL…now her blog is moving in the DRIVE direction! And it’s got a better chance of succeeding.

  3. Barbara McDowell Whitt

    Carol, while I’m not in it for the money (yet, anyway), I am committed to my blog’s success, and that to me is drive. After participating in the Webinar that you and Judy Dunn, who writes the Cats Eye Writer blog, conducted in March, I was driven to change my blog’s background to white, as you suggested in your critique of it. I signed up for the Webinar wanting to give my blog a more professional and less amateurish look. The white background causes me to like my blog so much more than I did before. Also, my daughter was able to get rid of the “next blog” and other buttons at the top of my Blogger blog for a cleaner look.

    • Carol Tice

      When you are just ecstatic over little design changes and how they make the blog more readable and enticing….you are a driven blogger!

      I find it so empowering, how easy it is to change our little blogging kingdoms.

  4. Katlin

    Carol, you are absolutely right. When I started blogging about my seven-county corner of Washington State in 2009, I bit off a LOT including a commitment to travel time and expenses. I’m not sure if we bloggers are inspired or crazy (or both) but drive is absolutely a key ingredient. Thanks for a great post!

    • Carol Tice

      My pleasure!

      Without that passion, once people get into blogging and see how much work it is, I think many tend to flame out pretty fast. You’ve got to get up psyched to do it, or you won’t keep on with it.

  5. Kiesha

    Hi Carol,
    You really hit the nail on the head with letting trivial things like “housecleaning” go… Ever since I’ve started blogging, I’ve discovered that I just don’t have the patience for television anymore – there are just too many exciting things brewing in the blogosphere and I don’t want to miss any of it. And while those nights when I just can’t free my mind are quite annoying, the writing I produce when I’m that energized with inspiration is usually some of my best work.
    I feel the same twinge of shame when I tally up the amount of time I spend on my blog, but really it’s not that shameful if I think about the fact that I’m enjoying every minute of it – so blogging really blurs the line between work and play for me. I have to be careful, of course, because it’s easy to get burned out, but I’m driven all right! I want to grow my blog into something amazing, and as much as I love to watch House on Monday nights, that show isn’t worth sacrificing the success of my blog.

    • Carol Tice

      No — YOU hit the nail on the head. “Blogging blurs the line between work and play”…definitely true for me, too.

      We have a saying around here about TV. “That TV show…it’s not going to sit shiva for you.” I’d rather connect with awesome people through my blog and build relationships…or just go out and meet local friends out in that fun 3-D world!

  6. Di Mace

    Oh god no! My secret is out…..I’m in love with my main squeeze called Bloggie. She’s gorgeous – or at least she is everytime I make small tweaks to her looks, she introduces me to new friends, she drives money to my business AND best of all…..she teaches me so many new tricks and things! What more could you ask for in an obsessive relationahsip? Hmmmm?

  7. Jennifer Nini

    Great post! I feel the same.. I have so many ideas for blog posts I often have to write them down otherwise I forget! I have a day job and I try to write and blog as often as I can outside of that – and I still try and keep up with my local writers group and contribute to smaller publications and blogs.. I don’t have a TV where I live which makes life a lot easier… but I wish there was more time in the day to write!

  8. Ahnalira-Connected Counsel

    Confessions of a ‘driven’ blogger… I write a constant stream of pithy one-liners on my Facebook page, then pick one of them on designated writing days to build out into an article.

    I ADORE feeling driven!

    Thanks so much for this article, Carol šŸ™‚

  9. Pinar Tarhan

    I know exactly how drive works, Carol:) I’ve been addicted to blogging ever since I started my (mainly) entertainment blog I get other gigs, and I have other blogs; but nothing has quite beaten my love for my first born (blog, that is:)) The reason is simple: I mostly write about movies, which have been a life-long passion. Not just watching, or writing about them either. I would love to study film-making oneday, and I write all my fiction in the screenplay format.

    So what I’m trying to say is, while I am trying to be as efficient and productive as I can as a writer, my blog always gets more time and favors from me;)

  10. Marya

    OMG. Driven is too small a word sometimes, lunacy sounds better!

    I think I might have spent well over …8 hours working on mine – just yesterday. I was up till 3 am. and here I am again. What can I say, I am not the one in control here ;).

    • Carol Tice

      Lunacy is the word for it sometimes. It’s definitely addictive!

  11. Pinar Tarhan

    @Marya: I also use the words addiction and lust to describe my relationship with blogging:)

  12. Leena Gonce

    Relying on your instanct is difficult for many of us. It will take years to build self-confidence. Its not the type of thing that simply just happens.

  13. Carole in the UK

    Oh my goodness, Carole.
    You sure can read minds or were you looking over my shoulder!! LOL

    Only two days ago, I was busy tweaking my blog AGAIN and I felt rather guilty at the amount of time I had spent moving just one widget on my Blog until it looked JUST RIGHT!!

    Just like the previous comment from Pinar, I have other blogs, but nothing beats the passion I have for my first blog – it’s my little baby and I cannot neglect it!

    Thanks for a great post and for letting me know I am not the only one with this ‘strange’ drive.



  1. - The Secret Ingredient to Make Your Blog Soar... In my free teleclass last week with Stanford Smith of Pushing Social,…
  2. How Much Will You Earn as a Freelance Writer? Take My Quiz and Find Out - [...] yourself a 2, 3, or 4 for an answer that falls between those two poles.Internal motivation. How driven are…
  3. Small Business Productivity Tips ā€” Small Business Writing Consultant - [...] and the final product will suffer. Your business endeavor should be something that you’re passionately driven to [...]
  4. 10 Questions That Reveal Your Chances of Freelance Writing Success - [...] points.Motivation. Successful freelance writers are internally motivated to work on their business. How driven are you to make a…
  5. How to Make Your Author Blog Stand out Among the Millions - [...] deeply passionate about writing and life. If I didnā€™t care much about either topic, Iā€™d be less driven to…

Related Posts

LinkedIn Round-Up

LinkedIn Round-Up

Successful freelancers use LinkedIn daily. After all, it's the only social media where it's socially acceptable to talk about work. In honor of our upcoming bootcamp, LinkedIn Profile Mastery, we wanted to give you a round-up of all our posts on the topic of LinkedIn....