Give Your Blog a Complete Makeover – 18 Action Steps to a path of Blogging Success

This post is not for the scanners, for the skimmers or for the faint hearted. 3423 no-fluff words, equivalent to 5 standard length posts, don’t say you weren’t warned.

It has taken me 6 months to write this. I learnt it all by spending countless hours glued to my screen – till my eyes had almost become square, and I had begun hallucinating. 🙂

Yes, this post has taken a while to write – almost a whole year. Only because I never, ever write about things that I have never experienced before. If I have not been there – done that, I would not write about it. So in order for me to say anything at all, I have spent many hours learning, writing, working sweat and tears to come up with a concise guide that can transform your blog – if you let it.

Sit back, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and dig in. Hope to enjoy 3000+ words of everything that I have learnt in my blogging life.

1. Rethink Your Purpose

Why did you start your blog?

  • Was it to air your thoughts about topics of interest, share your passions, express your ideas? Through blogging, you wanted to explore further in your areas of interest?
  • Did you want to connect with like-minded individuals, share and communicate with them?

These are the two main reasons people take up blogging, yours might not be any different and that’s fine.

Just be aware that people blog for many other reasons as well; to become an authority on a subject, transition from a hobby into career, become a professional writer and make money from your blog are all valid reasons.

Do realize that your purpose changes if you want to monetize your blog in future, because you are no longer blogging for pleasure.

Know what you want from blogging from the start and focus on that aspect. Eric T: Internet Duct Tape

In this post we are going to assume that you are blogging for pleasure, first and foremost. This is for you, the Hobby Blogger.

There are many blogs that are catering to the needs of professional blogs in terms of talking about content and marketing, we are going to go about it a little differently here. Its a bit of a touchy feely post as well, although you will find plenty of practical tips to keep you going.

Tip #1: Describe where do you want your blog to be in the next 6 months
Tip #2: How many subscribers do you want in the next 3 months? in one year?
Tip #3: Define what your blog’s success mean to you.

2. See if You Fit a Blogger’s Profile

If blogging is so much fun, why doesn’t everybody do it. Because it is bloody hard work and initially, like setting up any business, you do not see any results for a while. Most people give up before seeing any at all, only the ones who are truly made for this stick it out.

Three qualities are a must if you want to succeed as a blogger.


Blog from your heart. Deborah Peterson: Life in the Fast Lane

You must write on subjects on which you are passionate. If you are not passionate, it will come out and you’ll lose respect and along with it, readers. Victor Argeda: DIY Life

Life Long Learning

Blogging is a learning process. Gary Lee: An Internet marketing Web Site

Blogs can be an excellent self study tool. Peter Rojas: Engadget

Be prepared to commit a lot of time and energy to blogging. Richard MacManus: Read/WriteWeb


Success doesn’t happen overnight. Scott McNulty: the Unofficial Apple Weblog

No matter how little (or how much) progress you are making, just keep working. Things will change. Roberston: Download Squad

3. Do I need a Niche as well?

Yes you do. Unless you are a big celebrity, you will have problems attracting any kind of audience to your blog, especially if you are writing about everything under the sun.

Although you might be writing about a variety of things, its best them to narrow them down to a few categories so that people visiting your blog can see what kind of posts to expect from you. Even if you are not blogging for money.

Choose a niche topic you are passionate about and know about. Richard MacManus: Read/WriteWeb

Choose a general broad category to write about. It could be lifestyle, food, health, writing, sport – anything really, as long as you have a underyling common theme that attracts a specific kind of reader.

Put yourself in your reader’s place before you write. Ask yourself what a reader will find interesting about your topic. Write down the answers and use them as a guide when you are writing the post. Mark F: BoingBoing.net

Tip #1: Having trouble thinking what excites you the most? Make a list of 25 posts you could easily do on your blog. Do you see an common ground? Its extremely hard to attract any audiences if you are writing a personal blog unless they are related to you by birth – or have been forced into it.
Tip #2 Describe your blog in a single sentence. Do the elevator pitch.
Tip# 3 What do you want your bloggers to say about you? Write it down as a branding exercise.

The competition among bloggers is so strong, the best option for new bloggers is to find a niche. Steve Rubel: Micro Persuasion.

4. Define Your Ideal Reader

What sort of readers do you expect to attract to your blog? Why should they subscribe?

Answer these questions.

  • What’s the number one reason they visit your blog?
  • What’s keep them up at night? What problem of theirs can you solve?
  • What are they passionate about?
  • What’s their emotional age?

Tip: Define yourself – often your ideal reader will have a lot in common with you.

5. What’s in a Name?

Apparently everything! Think very carefully about your blog name.

Every blog name ideally needs to do two things. It should tell the visitor what the blog is all about, and also be short and memorable.

I know, you are itching to tell me all the exceptions to the rule and there are some, but better to be creative in your content rather than your blog title, as well as post headlines. I will talk about this in a minute.

Tip: Check out as many blog titles as you can. Make a list of your favourites. Brainstorm many and shortlist. Bounce off family and friends to see which ones are particularly favoured by others.

6. Subscribe to other Blogs

Think of your blog as a party. You must go to others first before people will come to yours.

Sometimes its easier to go where people are than to get them to come to you. Steve Rubel: Micro Persuasion.

Start looking for blogs that interest you and subscribe to them. I think many people think bookmarking will do, trust me, it doesn’t. You forget about your bookmarks and don’t visit on a regular basis. Its hard work and waste of time to check blogs regularly to see if there is any new content – why not make the blogger happy and subscribe?

If nothing else – its good karma!

Tip: Subscribe to as many blogs as you like. Every month go through them and get rid of any that no longer interests you

7. Start Building Relationships with other Bloggers

Yes – now! This is crucial, and a lesson learnt the hard way.

Doesn’t matter if your blog is tiny, it doesn’t even matter that you are not a blogger – yet. Start making friends and having allies on your side.

Nothing drastic – comment on their posts when you have something to add, retweet them, share on facebook. That’s what I do. Unless you are a social media junkie. In that case, you can go on and do whatever it is that people do on google+, stumbleupon, delicious, digg, linkedin etc etc.

Tip: Make sure you also have all these sharing buttons after your posts so that people can share easily.

To attract readers, you must participate in blogosphere in your area of interest. Read and comment on other blogs and use social networking tools like twitter. Steve Garfield: S G video blog

To bring readers to your blog, go to other blogs and engage in discussions. Don’t just leave quickie comments so you can post your blog url. Dave Taylor: The Intuitive Life Business Blog

8. Make a Good First Impression

Every time a visitor lands on your blog – they have about 3-5 seconds to form an opinion about it. And you want it to be a highly favourable one.

Content was king once, now meet the new king – design. People would click away in a second if they don’t like you on the first glance.

Have a design that fits in with your message. Is it going to be a busy, busy, happening blog? Maybe darker colours would suit. How about a calm, inspiring one? Maybe soothing colours will do. Send the right message through your theme.

A simplistic design is usually better than a complicated design. Try to make your page as close to pure content as possible and avoid overwhelming your readers with too much content at once. Frank Warren: PostSecret

Tip #1: If you really want people to focus on your content, have a clean look to your blog so that people are not distracted with other things. Keep it simple, get rid of all the clutter.

Tip #2: Have a very user friendly theme. Have the subscribe button high up on your sidebar so people can find it quickly and easily, alongside with links to popular posts and categories.

Tip #3: Don’t forget to have a contact me page where people can see it easily.

9. Step into Limelight

Are you a faceless blog?

Big mistake.

People who come to your blog like to see who you are, what ticks you, they want to know the human behind the blog. Tell people who you are and they will tell you their stories. Write a kick a$$ about me page.

Unless you have a reason, don’t hide your identity in blogs. You’re more likely to receive a better reception as yourself. Mary Jo Foley: All About Microsoft.

Tip: Don’t start from the day you were born, instead highlight how you, being you, can solve yuor readers’ problems. The page is still equally about them as much as it is about you.

10. Write like an A list Blogger

I never get this A list B list stuff. But it sure sounds much better than saying a blogger who is insanely successful. And there is one main reason for their success -their content.

First and foremost, write to help your readers, write to solve their problems, inspire them or entertain them. The most important word in a blog is not “I” but “You”. Write with a you-attitude.

Learn to Write like the Big Guys

Educate yourself on how you can produce web worthy content. Blogwriting is a genre in its own right. Learn to do it well.

Good writing is important to blogging success. Kristin Darguzas: Parentdish

Blogging is an ongoing learning process. If you are looking to come across well and attract an audience, it’s up to you to improve your writing style. Gina Trapani: Lifehacker

High quality writing and editing will attract and keep readers, as will surprising them. Brian Lam:Gizmodo

Tip #1: Start your post with a story or an anecdote of some kind. Take this lead further to go into your post and really give information that would be highly useful to the reader. Make it practical and doable. End with call to action, what do you want your reader to do? Comment, share, subscribe? Ask!

Tip #2: Pick images carefully. Faces work well. Never use an image if it doesn’t make sense. Flicker is a good place to start. Look for photos under Creative Commons License.

Illustrations in post increase the appeal of a blog’s page. Phillip Lenssen: Google Blogoscoped.

Tip #3: Keep a journal of post ideas. Bookmark posts that bring on aha moments.


Short paragraphs, white space, headings, bullet points, bold – that is all I need to make my posts easy on the eyes. Especially when people are reading on screen, and have attention spans that are worse than that of a toddler.


Remember that crafting effective, mind blowing headlines takes lot of practice. Its an area of mine that I have to work really hard on. Go slow.

Headlines should make you curious, show that there is a solution coming in the post so you feel like you have to look.

Write a descriptive headline for every post. Many readers won’t stop to read a post that is not clearly described. Mark F: BoingBoing.net

Clean sensible titles makes it easy for your readers to scan content and more likely to return.  Phillip Lenssen: Google Blogoscoped.

Tip #1: Look at popular magazines for ideas on which headlines work. (Search through Amazon for front covers, you don’t have to purchase them). Keep a list of ones that really stand out.
Tip #2: Watch out for writing hyped headlines, that always lead to disappointment and effect your credibility.

Tip #3: Make a separate email account. Subscribe to any blog that catches your interest. Every now and then, go through your inbox to see which headlines catch your eye. Take notes.

Have a Voice

Be a thought leader. Show off your personality.

An important role of bloggers is to raise questions and encourage others to provide answers in group setting. David Rothman: Teleread

Create a tone for your blog and be consistent using it. Scott McNulty: the Unofficial Apple Weblog

Have an Opinion

Stir the pot. Be opinionated, be different. Everything that needs to be said has already been said. Offer fresh perspectives on an old topic.

The major challenge for bloggers today is to find fresh, original material that is simply not an echo of what other blogs are doing. Victor Argeda: DIY Life

Instead of imitating other bloggers, be yourself. If you are tempted to steal someone’s post, link to them instead. Mary Jo Foley: All About Microsoft.

Blog posts should inspire readers to comment. Without that, your blog can become boring. Gary Lee: An Internet marketing Web Site

11. Connect with Your Readers

There is only one reason people come to your blog – for YOU. They come to find out what you have to say on a particular topic. They won’t come if there is no sense of connection among you two.

Make your posts a bit personal. Yes, people do follow blogs to help solve their problems, but mostly they follow people, for the general interest in the topic and for blogger’s insights and experiences. Don’t rob them of this.

If your readers have the opportunity to get to know you more, they will comment more. Eric T: Internet Duct Tape

Use a relaxed and personable style rather than trying to copy a news style. Ken Fisher: Ars Tehcnica

Don’t write anything in a blog that you wouldn’t normally say to someone face to face. Scott McNulty: the Unofficial Apple Weblog

Tip: Reply to as many comments as you can, initially to every one of them. Ask them to leave comments.

Soliciting reader feedback can generate new ideas for posts. Kristin Darguzas: Parentdish

Treat comments from others will respect and they will reciprocate in future comments. Frank Warren: PostSecret

12. Post Regularly

Notice I didn’t say daily or even thrice a week.

In the beginning, not many people are going to be looking at your blog anyway, spend time in educating yourslef by reading other blogs.

A slow start allows you to make the inevitable mistakes when few people are looking. Peter Rojas: Engadget

Can’t write everyday? Write when you’re inspired, and write more when you need. Set up the extra material to post at later dates. From the reader’s perspective it will look as if you are posting regularly. Dave Taylor: The Intuitive Life Business Blog

If you make posting a regular event, people are more likely to return. Frank Warren: PostSecret

Tip #1. Initially 70% of your time should be spent on education, guest posting and networking (commenting etc). 30% on writing content for your own blog.

Much later, the division can shift when people start noticing your content.

Tip #2: Keep a journal of post ideas to reger to when you are running on empty.

Before starting a blog, be sure you have more than one thing to say; create a list of half dozen or more ideas. Rebecca Lieb: ClickZ

13. Point of Difference?

What makes you unique in your niche? Why should someone come to your blog? Do you have a “hook” that would keep your readers coming back for more?

Tip: Come up with your broad niche. Define your cutting idea. Infuse this with your personality and voice. This is your POD

14. Promote it

No matter how good your content is, nobody’s going to read it if they can’t find it in the first place. The easiest way to start is by promoting it on social media such as facebook and twitter.

Another strategy can be to comment on selective blogs.

Guest post on other blogs to bring traffic to your blog. I have had great success with guest posting, and it can be the most effective strategy to bring traffic if done properly. In your pitch, show that you are a regular reader, pitch your idea as how it will help the blogger’s audience, link to your work samples and be gracious.
Like I said, I only post about something AFTER I have done it myself, a post on guest posting has been long time coming. Keep an eye out for a detailed guide which will answer all your guest posting questions – even the embarrassing ones. 🙂

15. Demystify The T word – Traffic. SEO, Links and the Like …

SEO takes some time to learn about, and I still am a beginner. Because I suck at it, here are some thoughts from people who do know what they are talking about. See what gels with you.

Good content beats SEO. Robert Scoble: Scobleizer

Rather than focusing on increasing traffic, let content guide your blog. Phillip Lenssen: Google Blogoscoped.

If what you write interests people, search engines will naturally follow, leading more people to you. Eric T: Internet Duct Tape

Setting up titles that appeal to both search engines and humans is all the SEO that most blogs need. Brad Hill: Weblogs, Inc.

Links from other blogs are more valuable than SEO, because these links give you the effect of SEO. Robert Scoble: Scobleizer

If you are a better networker, you will get more links. Robert Scoble: Scobleizer

Always link to sources of information in your posts. This encourages others to link back. Mark F: BoingBoing.net

Focus heavily on building an audience can be detrimental to a blog’s content. Robert Scoble: Scobleizer

SEO is not the ultimate answer to generating traffic. Those have the best writing and work hardest are usually the most successful. Peter Rojas: Engadget

16. Keep Yourself Motivated

Celebrate small wins

I always do.

Tip: Did you get a facebook like or share, a tweet, or a comment today? Did you get a personal email, new subscriber? These are huge reasons to celebrate. Count your blessings when things are slow.

Growth does not happen quickly. John Neff: Autoblog

Take a Break

Blogging is hard work. It takes countless hours and bucketloads of energy, not to mention a thick skin.

Sometimes all you need is to get away. Take a step back, focus on other important things in your life. Remember why you started blogging – because it was so much fun. Shift your mindset, take a new start.

Working from home can be difficult because you are always at work. Kristin Darguzas: Parentdish

It is important to take time away from blogging: otherwise you will your limit your perspective. Mary Jo Foley: All About Microsoft.

Help other (new) Bloggers

As you start to notice little successes, don’t forget how it was like when you were an insignificant newbie. All we need is a helping hand – do extend one when you get an opportunity.

The best way to share about a subject is to share what you learn as you learn it. Eric T: Internet Duct Tape

17. Have fun along the way

Remember blogging is a journey and like all journeys, half the fun is along the ride. So enjoy it.

If you do something for the love of the subject, success usually follows. Scott McNulty: the Unofficial Apple Weblog

18. Follow Writing Happiness

Aww – couldn’t resist this one. 🙂 Spread the word about this post.

If you have enjoyed reading it, share it.

Any insights? Disagree with something? Need to add something? Leave a comment, I reply to all. 🙂

Are you my ideal reader

Have you taken my 3-minute Client Attraction Quiz? Check it out now, it’s awesome! :) 


  1. Gautam Doddamani Says :
    Posted on August 26, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    all the points are valid. especially the 16th one…motivation has proved to be very powerful for me. 🙂

    • marya
      Posted on August 27, 2011 at 1:47 am

      I am glad you agree Gautam. And yes, nothing matters if you lost your motivation to go on. Thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

  2. Praveen Rajarao Says :
    Posted on August 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I really like the “Take A Break” point :-). I have something similar which I called as a “5 Point Makeover” for your blog, though it is more technical details regarding how to make some quick tweaks to improve the design. Take a look and let me know what you think – http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com/5-point-makeover/

    • marya
      Posted on August 27, 2011 at 1:49 am

      Yes, taking a break is essential to any project isn’t it? Often, it gives you a chance to really take a close look at what is going on. Often things that weren’t as obvious before come to light. And everyone can do with a recharge of batteries … thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  3. Vishnu Says :
    Posted on August 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Solid tips. Is this a future ebook:) I think these are tips not only for blog makeovers but general blogging tips in general and very helpful for people like myself – new or about to be bloggers.

    I like the idea of writing about 25 posts which excites you – I’m doing this before my blog launches so I’m getting an idea of topics I like to write about.

    • marya
      Posted on August 27, 2011 at 1:50 am

      Future ebook? heheheh ..more like a book deal based on my a regular gal’s blogging journey, especially when she didnt know a soul online when she started and also suck at networking bigtime. Any takers? 🙂

  4. Eva
    Posted on August 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Marya ( found you from the A-list)
    Great post; so many valuable ideas for people to work with. I’m sure that I could make use or all of them 🙂

    • marya
      Posted on August 27, 2011 at 1:50 am

      Cheers Ava. I have learnt a lot from A list guys. Good to have you drop by. Have a good day! 🙂

  5. Catherine Says :
    Posted on August 27, 2011 at 12:26 am

    As usual, these are very helpful and practice points. Thank you for taking the time write this post. I’m impressed it took you a year! Its a slow learning curve to writing a good blog with so much to consider. Posts such as this keep reminding me to stay focused and keep going. I recently told myself to be content with the therapy of writing and not to focus too much on how many would read. I think that will come in time. We can’t do it all right out of the starting gate.

    • marya
      Posted on August 27, 2011 at 1:54 am

      Catherine, good to see you. It took me almost a year in the sense that this a snapshot of everything I have learnt during my blogging journey – so far. I couldn’t have written this post any sooner. Yes, many months of keeping notes, learning from the A listers has resulted in this ‘pillar’ post. Fingers crossed. Hope everything is well at your end. 🙂

  6. Tho Huynh Says :
    Posted on August 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I definitely love #15.

    Nowadays, SEO does be important, but the more important is how your content is. Because at last, search engines will try their hard to show to best content on their results’ page

    • marya
      Posted on August 28, 2011 at 5:18 am

      I am glad you agree, many people don’t. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  7. Mehmudah Says :
    Posted on August 27, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Hey Marya,

    Love how you put your posts together. Have been really caught up but I still take the time to read your work. Here’s wishing more success to you.


    • marya
      Posted on August 28, 2011 at 5:20 am

      Thanks very much Mehmudah, your words always mean a lot to me. I hope everything is going well for you too. Cheers

  8. Eddie Gear Says :
    Posted on August 28, 2011 at 3:47 am

    marya, Got the post printed out with the titles alone and its on my dashboard right now. I certainly need to revisit these things soon. I have subscribed and should be a regular reader here.

    • marya
      Posted on August 28, 2011 at 5:20 am

      That was the biggest compliment that definitely made my day today, thank you! 🙂 Looking forward to getting to know you better. Cheers

  9. TCDavis Says :
    Posted on August 28, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Great post, Daniel. Very helpful! I’m going to pass it along to my WordPress clients.

    • marya
      Posted on August 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      I am thinking you discovered this via Daniel? In that case thanks Danieil from my side as well. Cheers, Marya

  10. Barbara Sheman Says :
    Posted on August 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Marya, I found you on A-list. Thank you so much for these 18 tips–especially the ones that say it takes a long time and you should read and leave comments on other blogs–so here I am! I’ll try to be patient and keep at it. You’ve really inspired me!

    • marya
      Posted on August 29, 2011 at 11:32 am

      Hi Barbara, yes it does take a long time and tons of hard work to succeed at blogging. (And remember to define what success means to you as a blogger). Heard people saying how they skyrocketed their susbcribers from few hundred to a few thousand in few short months? Always take that with a grain of salt. There are couple of reasons for quick successes – number one being, they know people online who promote them. So you might actually start networking with people for a year and then launch your blog and achieve the same result within few short months too – assuming you are doing everything else right as well. SInce I don’t know many ‘influencers’, am not very good at networking, I will have to take the hard road I guess. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, and welcome. 🙂

  11. Adeline Says :
    Posted on August 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I love and so agree with #11. SEO is important, but it should not come to a point that the post is so dry and lacks that personal touch.

    • marya
      Posted on August 31, 2011 at 5:23 am

      I know there are many people who write their post with all the keywords ready to sprinkled generously in their titles, meta tags and so on. I don’t do this, mostly because I just can’t, also because I don’t know how to do it successfully. I just concentrate on my writing, a little bit of promotion and making friends with other bloggers. I think that’s what a blogger should be doing. Thank you.

  12. Rachel Lavern Says :
    Posted on August 31, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Whew. This may have been the longest post I have ever read. Have you thought about re-purposing it into an e-book?

    I knew what I wanted from blogging at the start and that desire has not changed. I just want to add another dimension to it. I now want to monetize it LOL.

    • marya
      Posted on August 31, 2011 at 5:27 am

      Ahh the ebook… yes, I would definitely consider it but it would have to be even more detailed as here I have just jotted the information and not explained it as such. This might be confusing for some people who don’t yet understand all the blogging lingo. But yes, it is a long one, more of a post to be bookemarked to be revisited again as required. Many thanks, and all the best for monetizing your blog, let me know how you go … 🙂

  13. Kelly
    Posted on September 2, 2011 at 9:08 am

    These are awesome tips, especially useful for a blogger who is just starting out. The one thing that I am really struggling with at this point is the fact that I do not want to disclose my identity when I start. Putting a picture is our of question. I understand what you are saying but I want to remain anonymous and protect my privacy. Do you really think that I will have problems getting readers for my blog?

    • marya
      Posted on September 3, 2011 at 3:26 am

      Hi Kelly, you can certainly do that however it would just make it really hard for people to connect with you. They need to know a bit about you first before they can do that. Its ok to not reveal yourself completely, you don’t have to divulge all your secrets, just say bits about you which are relevant to your blog. Hope this helps. 🙂

  14. J.D. Meier Says :
    Posted on September 4, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Very well done and I like how you turned insight into action.

    Lifelong learner is definitely one of my values, and blogging helps me live that in a continuous way.

    • marya
      Posted on September 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      Thank you. Lifelong learning is definitely the way to go if one wants to be successful as a blogger. Glad I was able to be of some help. Cheers

  15. Cliff Says :
    Posted on September 6, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Now I’m truly inspired on engaging and improving my own blog! These are all timeless tips and advice that I will definitely keep in mind.

  16. Zoe Says :
    Posted on September 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Found you through problogger and am glad I did. Very helpful info! I have a ways to go, but hope to keep learning from you. Thanks!

    • marya
      Posted on September 9, 2011 at 7:56 am

      Hi Zoe. Good to have you here and I am happy to have helped out with anything. Hope to see you soon. Cheers 🙂

  17. Give Your Blog a Complete Makeover – 18 Action Steps to a path of Blogging Success | Resourceful at work | Scoop.it Says :
    Posted on September 8, 2011 at 6:06 am

    […] Give Your Blog a Complete Makeover – 18 Action Steps to a path of Blogging Success personal development for bloggers… Source: writinghappiness.com […]

  18. Andrew Groat Says :
    Posted on September 9, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Just read your post on dailyblogtips.com. You’re a very talented writer – there’s much much more to your articles than most posts I read (i.e. 3423 words :-P)

    Anyways great work, looking forward to reading more when I have some time.


    • marya
      Posted on September 9, 2011 at 7:59 am

      Hi Andrew. Thanks so much, you just made my day, mate. Glad to have you over and hope to speak soon. Cheers 🙂

  19. froipen
    Posted on September 10, 2011 at 11:33 am

    did it take you years to be this good? how many years have you been doing blogs? How I wish I can be like you.I am just new here and still testing the waters.

  20. Maia Says :
    Posted on September 10, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Thank you for the post Marya. It’s very helpful for me as a new blogger, I’m still working on everything at the moment. I am currently using Google blogger, but I’m finding out that wordpress seems to be more popular site for blogs. Do you know if there is a way to transfer the blog together with my followers to wordpress?
    Thank you for your great blog!


    • marya
      Posted on September 12, 2011 at 11:12 am

      Hi Maia. If there is a way, I am not aware of it but its very unlikely. I am glad that I started on wordpress, nobody told me to but it just appealed to me a bit more than blogger. I actually lost about half of my subscribers when I moved to my own self hosted wordpress.org site. Myadvice would be to do it sooner rather than later. Hope this helps. 🙂

      • Maia Says :
        Posted on September 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm

        Hello Marya,

        thank you for your reply. I did manage to import the blog from blogger to wordpress as they have an ‘import’ function which is great and saved me lots of time.

        I’m surprised that you lost half of your subscribers, that’s doesn’t sound very good 🙁

        I have been trying to set up my wordpress site and was wondering how to put my profile page on the side of my main page like you have on this blog?

        I haven’t been able to find any guide for it.

        Thank you!


  21. Julie-Anne Geddes
    Posted on September 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Thank your for those tips. The 3000 plus words are succinct and work for my brain! Will subscribe to your blog.

    • marya
      Posted on September 12, 2011 at 11:12 am

      Thank you Julie, I am glad you enjoyed reading them. Welcome aboard and looking forward to knowing you a bit more. 🙂 Cheers

  22. Ana | Web Traffic Says :
    Posted on September 11, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    You are absolutely right, Marya – this post is not a quick read and needs due attention and particularly implementation.


    PS Adding your blog to my new CommentLuv enabled blog list!

    • marya
      Posted on September 12, 2011 at 11:14 am

      Hi Ana. Thanks for your kind words, I really appreciate them. Its also fantastic to know that you will be adding my blog to your list, lovely to be in good company. Talk soon. 🙂

  23. Edward Culligan Says :
    Posted on September 15, 2011 at 3:56 am

    I took me so long to figure out about the quality of content meaning the world for my blog. I would write and write and finally I realized it was too boring for the reader. I am now revamping every page of my website just to change my image and rebuild my blog.

    • marya
      Posted on September 15, 2011 at 11:48 am

      Cheers for your input, I am glad if my post was of some help to you. Thank you.

  24. Weekly favorites (Sep 5-11) | Adventures in Freelance Translation Says :
    Posted on September 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    […] Give Your Blog a Complete Makeover – 18 Action Steps to a path of Blogging Success Why you have a broken blog and how to fix it Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a Freelancer Five marketing questions every soloist should ask Freelancers: Fix Your Communication Errors Now Learning the Art of Asking Questions Are freelancers workaholics? Mail, boxes, etc. […]

  25. chandrashekhar Says :
    Posted on September 30, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Simply fabulous I must say. Marya, you’ve written this so eloquently that any new blogger would be thankful to you, I am.

    • marya
      Posted on September 30, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Thanks very much. Anything in particular that resonated with you Chandra?

  26. chandrashekhar Says :
    Posted on September 30, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Yes, quite much. Your approach to writing such a blog for one. The step-by-step guides resembled a Mom teaching her toddler his first steps. Your hand has assurance that matches with her compassion. I am sure in your early stages as a blogger, you too must have experienced the uncertainty every new blogger feels. Tell you something? I am on wordpress since the past 6 days and have posted 3 interesting blogs; all my own, original thoughts. I have also visited quite many blogs and left some comments but none of them have visited my blog as yet. Or if they have, no comments have been posted. Patience you will say and I will say okay. Hope my blog gets some comments soon. (Sorry, this was quite a long reply, thanks for reading)

    • marya
      Posted on October 3, 2011 at 3:19 am

      When I started my personal blog, I too was waiting forever to get comments. And it was a long wait too I might add. I used to get so frustrated and struggled to find a place where new or hibby bloggers could come together. Like I said somewhere, none of the blogs I follow now met that need for me.
      As for comments, might I suggest something? Assuming you are going over to relevant blogs and posting comments, the best thing as a new bloggers you can do is to educate yourself about all things blogging. That takes heaps of time as well. I don’t know if you are guest posting now, but loo into that as well. Keep me posted on how it goes. Many thank for your thoughts.

      • chandra
        Posted on October 4, 2011 at 5:27 am

        Thanks for your valuable reply Marya, I appreciate. You are right. I must educate my self and keep finding newer ways to blog. Besides blogging, I am looking for an avenue to generate some money for my family. I am a copywriter working for an advertising agency. But my salary is only just enough to keep the home fires burning. And an occasional luxury for my near ones; my wife and two children. The other day I read about how the founder of Amazon and now Kindle; Jeffrey P. Bezos and how he started Amazon and flourished over a period of time. I truly wish to start something as innovative. Marya, I am enjoying my interaction with you.

  27. The Ultimate 15 point Checklist to Make Your Writing Come Alive | Write to Done Says :
    Posted on October 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    […] Marya is a communicator of ideas, exploring the human face of blogging. She offers quirky insights into personal development for bloggers. Catch more of her posts at Writing Happiness. For practical tips and inspiration, read Give Your Blog a Complete Makeoever – 18 Action Steps to the Path of Blogging Success. […]

  28. Freelancer Diary Says :
    Posted on October 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Brilliant list! Really…the point about design and about me page are often dismissed by bloggers as it is not where the ‘content’ is! Still, always good to remember what people look at first.

    • marya
      Posted on October 6, 2011 at 3:03 am

      Hi .So does that mean that you are going to reveal your identity on your about me page as well? 🙂

      • Neeraj Sachdeva Says :
        Posted on October 6, 2011 at 3:30 am

        Oh yes, I don’t hold back. If I post something online, I am accountable for the content. Obviously, I am a little circumspect of giving out my home address and credit card number, but everything else is already out there, in bits and pieces, on Google and Facebook. So why not offer a neat version myself! Less chances of a scandal 😉

        • marya
          Posted on October 6, 2011 at 3:53 am

          Your comment alone tells me a lot about what kind of a person and in turn a blogger you might be. As a blogger, you willl attract a lot of readers who like you and unfortunately lose some who prefer factual articles devoid of any real emotion and perspective. I much prefer bloggers such as yourself. 🙂

          • Neeraj Sachdeva Says :
            Posted on October 6, 2011 at 4:03 am

            Thank you. What you described is a fine line I am trying to tread carefully. When I read the first few articles on my blog, I realized they were too opinionated, born out of the fun of writing rather than facts and pure information. But I realized it doesn’t sound as professional, so trying to readdress the balance by being more helpful than fun. Though I personally prefer the latter…shh! 🙂

  29. Rana Says :
    Posted on October 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    A fantastic, valuable and appealling article indeed Marya. Thank you for such wonderful content. Although I’m a new blogger, I feel like I’ve been a writer all my life; it’s something in my blood. Your advice and tips are very useful and I feel that I’ve found an answer to all my questions.

    • marya
      Posted on October 8, 2011 at 1:45 am

      Hi Rana, good to have you on board. Anything in particular that you felt struck a chord with you with the start of your blogging journey?
      Thanks for dropping by and hope you stay. 🙂

      • Rana Says :
        Posted on October 8, 2011 at 7:11 pm

        Yeah, the part about subscribing to other blogs and commenting on their work helps you increase readership. Also the niche topic is very useful. I’m hoping to write a book compiled from my blog and choosing a niche should help to direct my writing towards a specific goal.
        Thanks again,

  30. Avadhut Says :
    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Hi Marya,

    This is a comprehensive list and I liked all the points, especially the ones about keeping the reader in mind and how you are helping the reader.

    About Niche, yes I am keeping a broad niche for my blog and will be focusing on reader.

    Thanks a lot!

    • marya
      Posted on October 12, 2011 at 11:13 pm

      Hi Avadhut, welcome to my blog. 🙂
      I had a quick peek at yours and it looks great. I love the title, what a catchy one and so memorable too. Excellent job mate.
      I think keeping a broad niche is an excellent idea although it really helps if you have a standout POD – point of difference. How are you different when it comes to so many finance blogs? If you have that sorted out – and I can’t comment on that because its a little out of my league – you are good. (Is it career buliding in finance?)
      I love your writing style too – gotta love clarity and conciseness!
      Now to your other comment ..

  31. Avadhut l FinanceWalk Says :
    Posted on October 13, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Yes, your observation is correct. This blog is about a combination of FINANCE and CAREER both. How? The purpose of the blog is simple :

    *To help people earn and manage finances in every walk of life.*

    I plan to do this by researching, analysing and writing on different career options available. This will cover skills required, opportunities, pros and cons of the career and resources for more details.

    Let me tell you Marya, I liked the way you responded to my comments and I really appreciate it.

    Thanks 🙂

    • marya
      Posted on October 14, 2011 at 5:40 am

      Thanks very much Avadhut. It is my pleasure. 🙂

      I also saw your response to my comment over at probloggers . cool! Do you understand Urdu/Hindi?

  32. Avadhut Says :
    Posted on October 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Yes,Marya. I understand Hindi 🙂

  33. Raz| success 4all Says :
    Posted on October 22, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Marya,I find this very informative.My favorite is helping other bloggers especially newbies whose blogs are still ‘cold and lonely’ .I think it pays to help others establish themselves after all contribute to the same cause–making information available to users.

    • marya
      Posted on October 24, 2011 at 7:25 am

      That is precisely the reason why I have started this blog. Glad to know you approve. Thanks.

  34. Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D Says :
    Posted on November 1, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Okay, I’m going to need a big batch of popcorn and a notepad and pencil for this one.

    There’s a lot of info there – and I appreciate the time you took to write it.

    I’m a new follower.
    Very glad to have found your blog.

    • marya
      Posted on November 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      Hi Dana. 🙂

      Wow .. you have got a busy, ‘happening’ blog. I had a quick look and I must say I was really impressed with your header, it tells me what to expect from your blog at a glance and that is really good thing to accomplish. I also love the little smiling photo of you on the side. I used to have mine up in the same spot but with the new theme, I can’t figure it out – yet.

      I am happy you found me as well. 🙂 Glad to have you on board and looking forward to getting to know you better. Cheers 🙂

  35. Shashi
    Posted on November 4, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Good Day Marya
    One Word: Marvellous
    Read a lot of blogposts by you and couldn’t resist commenting on this one. Probably, the best advice I read since I wanted to start a blog.
    And my goal is to keep a note of how i did what i wanted to. Blog? Hopefully it will guide a wanna be marketeer.


    • Shashi
      Posted on November 4, 2011 at 11:47 pm

      “Stupefied” The DP was taken when i was so so young. where’d it come from? I m gonna check google and maybe change, never thought it would still be there.

    • marya
      Posted on November 5, 2011 at 10:32 pm

      Thanks Shashi for your kind comment. Best of luck for your marketing career too. 🙂

  36. Guulo Says :
    Posted on November 21, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Thank you for the great tips! Glad to have found this blog! 🙂

    • marya
      Posted on November 22, 2011 at 4:34 am

      Welcome! Great to have you on board. 🙂

  37. Starting A Blog in 2012? Avoid These 7 New Blogger Blunders | Diet solutions Says :
    Posted on December 27, 2011 at 1:25 am

    […] and writers. Catch more of her posts at Writing Happiness. For practical tips and inspiration, read Give Your Blog a Complete Makeoever – 18 Action Steps to the Path of Blogging Success. Follow her […]

  38. Starting A Blog in 2012? Avoid These 7 New Blogger Blunders | EcTutorial - An Easy Way To Learn Anything Online Says :
    Posted on December 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    […] and writers. Catch more of her posts at Writing Happiness. For practical tips and inspiration, read Give Your Blog a Complete Makeoever – 18 Action Steps to the Path of Blogging Success. Follow her […]

  39. Are You Too Scared to Write? Stop Thinking and Just do it | EcTutorial - An Easy Way To Learn Anything Online Says :
    Posted on January 4, 2012 at 1:42 am

    […] and writers. Catch more of her posts at Writing Happiness. For practical tips and inspiration, read Give Your Blog a Complete Makeoever – 18 Action Steps to the Path of Blogging Success. Follow her […]

  40. How to Really Blog: The 43 Things That Bloggers Do Says :
    Posted on May 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    […] and writers. Catch more of her posts at Writing Happiness. For practical tips and inspiration, read Give Your Blog a Complete Makeoever – 18 Action Steps to the Path of Blogging Success. Follow her […]

  41. How to Really Blog: The 43 Things That Bloggers Do | Breaking News Says :
    Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:05 am

    […] and writers. Catch more of her posts at Writing Happiness. For practical tips and inspiration, read Give Your Blog a Complete Makeoever – 18 Action Steps to the Path of Blogging Success. Follow her […]

  42. Amal KHTIRA Says :
    Posted on July 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Hi Marya,

    I genuinely loved your post, It’s really worth the time and effort you made to write it, and I think you’ve mentionned solutions for most problems bloggers face.
    I will share it in Twitter so that bloggers, especially beginners can take advantage of the precious ideas it contains.

    Thank you very much!

    • marya
      Posted on July 23, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      You are very welcome Amal. Nice to meet you! Marya

  43. Stacie Walker Says :
    Posted on April 16, 2013 at 1:42 am


    It may have taken you six months to complete this post but it was definitely well worth it:) Excellent piece of work. You are straight to the point with providing the right amount of value to creating a better blog. I will share this post on Twitter.

    Chat with you later.


    Stacie Walker

  44. Lucille Ossai Says :
    Posted on June 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Again another informative post Marya. It’s no wonder I am such a fan and have singing your praises and advising people to follow you on Twitter.

    I especially like #18 🙂

    I think one of the most important points made is that blogging is a continuous learning journey. I also agree that focus should really be on producing original and high-quality content.

    My figures may be modest but I also try to celebrate the ‘small’ wins.

    And you are right – blogging IS hard work, soaks up a great portion of your time but absolutely worth it when you are passionate about it.

  45. Gwen Bortner Says :
    Posted on June 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Lots of good information here, especially as I revamp one blog and consider starting another as I begin a new business venture.

    Thinking about the purpose, the passion, the reader are all really excellent reminders. So glad I have found you and you are part of my regular feeds!

    Thanks for taking the time, doing the research, writing the post and sharing it.

  46. Flora Morris Brown Says :
    Posted on August 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Marya,

    This post is indeed loaded with gold. My favorite is #7 because building relationships is what propels us forward in our blogging and personal lives.

    I enjoy visiting and commenting on other blogs, but also sharing good content with my followers and interacting with the blogger outside of the blog.

    Thanks for the tremendous investment of time and energy you spent on this blog. You can tell from the comments that we’re all grateful.

  47. August Says :
    Posted on October 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Our blog is quite new and am fascinated about trying all of these. Thank you.

  48. Dennis Dalia Says :
    Posted on October 4, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Hello Marya, I found your blog through Problogger a few days ago. Get 500 subscribers e-course. I have been reading some of your post and love your writing style. Great job on writing this post.
    I do appreciate you taking the time to put out quality content. How to give your blog a makeover, an awesome post all together about blogging.
    I’m looking forward to learning more from you. Thanks Dennis.

    • Marya Jan Says :
      Posted on October 6, 2013 at 7:21 am

      Thanks, Dennis. Appreciate your kind words. If you’ve got anything specific in mind that you would like me to cover on the blog, just shoot me an email.