successful blogger

That’s what the f—k you do!—To become a Successful…

I have to work harder to become a successful blogger.

I just know that if I work hard enough, can become a successful dividend investing blog.

But to be honest, I’m on the fucking cusp!

I’m beginning to have the drive required to make things work. I’m willing to make sacrifices because of how important my long term ambitions are. And my goals are reaching the point of superseding all passive activities. It’s becoming an obsession.

The best part, though, are the underlying reasons why blogging is becoming an obsession.

It’s not for any superficial or escapism orientated reasons. It’s just because I enjoy the work involved.

I now understand how much hard work it takes to become a successful blogger.

Admittedly, it can be frustrating because I don’t always have enough time or energy to complete every task that I need to do.

After reaching a high point in August, blog traffic is down slightly in September, which ticks me off.

However, it inspired me to write this post and there were still a few bright spots.

Blog traffic and followers on Pinterest increased, and Google Adsense income increased for the second straight month.

Candidly, I’ve considered publishing a monthly income report on this blog before. But to put it bluntly, the blog doesn’t generate enough money YET to make it an interesting enough report. It would be extremely boring and inconsistent AF right now!

Though, I could see myself publishing a blog income report one day in the future, as I’ve already published blog income numbers before in the past.

With that said, I’m beginning to understand the potential of the business side of blogging.

Blogging every day could be a reality if I put in the work and stick to my strengths.

To be more specific with my plans:

successful blogger
That's what the f—k you do!—To become a Successful Blogger Click To Tweet

Spend considerable time repurposing older content

Some of the earlier blog posts published are solid pieces of content. I just need to improve the images for share-ability on Pinterest. It’ll also provide additional content to share on Pinterest. Further, I need to join more group boards and post more consistently.

Properly index site map in Google Search Console

It’ll take some time to figure out or decide to pay for a tool.

However, I reckon that it’s worth the effort if it improves Google search results.

Furthermore, I intend to go through Search Analytics to find additional information on the search terms I’m ranking for. Once I study that in more detail, I’ll have a better understanding of what to blog about, and I’ll be able to use the information to optimize better.

Do the stuff you don’t want to do

Google Search Console also informs you about any site errors that may be occurring.

After running a quick analysis, I was able to find out that I need to correct a number of broken links.

To be honest, I don’t really want to go back and find all those links – I’d much rather publish a new blog post.

But going back and correcting those broken links will improve my rankings in Google, which could lead to full-time blogging faster.

Balance business and art

I’ve written about it over and over during the course of my life. I’m in a continuous struggle of trying to fine tune the balance between business and art.

There’s a side that is screaming for creativity, and there’s a side that wants to achieve financial security.

There’s a side that wants nothing more besides writing. But the business side worries about never actually achieving the time to write.

Is it possible that I’m actually doing an injustice to my creative side by putting too much of an emphasis on reaching freedom?

I am muting who I really am? Or is the combination of my interests in investing and writing who I really am?

The thought recently crossed my mind that I only care about finance and frugality because I don’t yet have enough time to do what I really want.

Take accountability

Another recurring theme that I have been noticing in podcasts is accountability.

It’s also been a recurring thought in my own life as of late.

Even though you’re not supposed to focus on the past, I’ve recently been able to look myself in the mirror and realize all of my mistakes.

Being able to look at your own mistakes is a humbling experience that leads to you working harder.

Ask for feedback and be open to criticism

Frankly, I’ll take criticism from anybody – I don’t care what anyone thinks. And I’m open to considering it because someone else might be more correct.

The other reason why I’m open to criticism is because I’m grounded and understand my own values.

As I was watching the Cavs introduction interview with Dwayne Wade the other day, I couldn’t help but notice how level headed he seems compared to the majority of NBA players.

Once you know your why, criticism is just an opportunity to work harder.

Make an effort to sell

Although I’ve been successful in roles that have required it, I’m not a natural salesman.

In a perfect company, I would be the part of a marketing team that is accompanied by a public ‘face’ person and sales minded marketer. Ideally, I would contribute to online marketing by handling the blogging, website writing and updating, and perhaps some social media accounts (Twitter and Pinterest).

That being said, I don’t have a marketing team for this blog, so I need to personally improve.

Based on the amount of effort I put in, I am curious to know what I could earn if I sought out freelance work.

What if I searched for specific hashtags all day, and what if I e-mailed as many businesses for work as I could find?

What if I continued to apply for freelance writing jobs on Problogger?

Imagine if I created a sell sheet and approached as many businesses as possible about sponsored links and posts?

Write more content

Most important of all, I need to publish more content.

If there’s anything that I’ve learned about blogging, it’s that content is most important.

When you reach the point where you want to be successful with a blog, you may begin to consider using services like Hootsuite and Tailwind to schedule content.

Once you reach that stage, you quickly begin to notice how much content you need in order to not sound repetitive with your message.

This post in particular represents my 200th blog post published on this site, which I’m quite proud of.

However, in order to share content consistently, I need to publish at least 1,000 pieces of content.

Moreover, I need to publish as many value providing, story telling articles about my message (FI via dividend investing and blogging) as I possibly can.

Concluding thoughts

“That’s what the f—k you do” – LeBron to Kyrie #FlashbackFriday

A post shared by House of Highlights (@houseofhighlights) on

To conclude, my intention for this post was to hold myself accountable and be honest about some of the things I need to work harder on.

Although the above list features important steps for any blogger, it may not be the most important steps for your blog right now.

On the other hand, there should only be one main takeaway from this blogpost—work harder!

That’s what the fuck you do!

Questions for the readers: What do you need to do to be successful with blogging? Are you putting in enough work?

  • MrDoublingDollars

    Damn right. You want to be successful? Then put in the hard work to get there. I know you have what it takes, it is an inevitability – so long as you persist. You do not stop! Go get it.
    MrDoublingDollars recently posted…Presenting My $10/Day Side-Hustle Challenge!My Profile


      Thanks for commenting, Mr Doubling Dollars! I thought this would be a post that you would agree with based off how hard you work. I don’t know anyone else that is side hustlin’ harder than you. And I agree 100%! When you want something bad enough, you never stop! Thanks for the support! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  • Jay

    Interesting post Graham, and thanks for sharing your insights on what’s working for your. I’m always curious to learn more about how others are growing their web presence and site traffic. And it sounds like as long as you keep it up it’s only a matter of time until you reach your goals.
    Jay recently posted…Free Trend Following Trade Ideas For October 2017 (Part 1)My Profile


      Thanks for commenting, Jay! I always enjoy getting insight on what’s working for other bloggers too. I think it comes down to finding your individual strengths, and then doubling down and focussing on those strengths even more. I’ve still got a long way to go on the path to FI, but it’s beginning to become more clear how I want to spend my time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Gabe A @ The Shiny Dollar

    Damn good post! Inspires me to keep going and just f—ing do it!


      Thanks for the kind words, Gabe! Glad you to hear that you enjoyed the post and I’m even more happy that it inspired you. Thanks for taking the time to comment! Keep up the hard work!

  • Oana

    I think you are doing just fine. I’ve found your blog few weeks ago, and I like your story and your writing style, very original.
    Keep in mind that people are also busy, can’t read blogs everyday. It’s more about quality, than quantity:).


      Hi Oana,

      Thanks for commenting! I really appreciate the feedback about the story and writing style. You make a great point about quality over quantity too. There is such a thing as posting too often. I think 2 to 3 posts per week is most ideal.

      I’m really glad to hear you found the blog a few weeks ago and decided to come back! Have a great week! 🙂

  • Mr Defined Sight

    Great post and thanks for the motivation! I love the title of the post, talk about an eye catcher haha. I’m really curious to know what you find in regards to Google search improvement. I’m looking at that stuff too on my blog. And of course, I always enjoy the NBA reference. Take care buddy!


      Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad it helped motivate you, Mr. Defined Sight! And I guess I was going for an eye catching title haha. I have been listening to a lot of the Problogger podcast lately and it’s been helping me with ideas. It’s still going to take some time for me to get around to the Google search console stuff. But I have a week off coming up in November and am hoping to get a lot done on the blog. The NBA season is almost here! Have a great week man! 🙂


    This is my first time on your blog and I will definitely come back:) I started my own a month ago and I can’t believe the amount of work that is required, and I haven’t done anything I really wanted to do yet!


      Hi Caroline,

      Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the blog enough to come back! Congrats on recently starting your own blog too. I will be sure to check it out. And blogging is a never ending pile of work. But fortunately it’s enjoyable work. Hopefully all our hard work will pay off. Best of luck with your blog! 🌞


    I’ve got plenty of work to do as well, and it’s not pretty or exciting. I need to repurpose my older content and make it more SEO friendly. As well as learning and thinking of how to implement AdSense. Just 2 things off the top of my head.
    Just to echo what someone mentioned earlier, you have a very original writing style Graham and your posts are very unique. I am sure you will be very successful someday 🙂

    On a side note, didn’t know you were a fan of the NBA. Season’s starting soon, can’t wait! recently posted…3 Bite Sized Investment Lessons That Should Have Been Taught In SchoolMy Profile


      Thanks for reading and commenting, Terence! I don’t look forward to editing/repurposing older content either. Although it’s technically an easy way to instantly have more content to share, it’s not as fun as writing a new post.

      Also, thank you so much for your kind words about my writing style! I really appreciate that. I never feel like I get to spend the time on writing and editing I would like to. Hopefully one day I’ll get more time so I can continue to improve.

      And I’m a big time NBA fan. I’m really excited for this season with all the movement that has gone on in the offseason. Thanks again for the support! Good luck with implementing Adsense and repurposing older content! 🙂

  • Mr. ATM

    Graham nice post and wish you the best with blogging. I think you are doing great, I looked at your Feb income numbers and they look awesome. I think it would be awesome if you do share your blogging income updates monthly as it would be very motivational to other bloggers who like to grow their income.

    I struggle with spending too much time or energy in blogging as it is something I do only as a hobby or to pass time. Though, I’m starting to like it more mainly because of the networking and engagement I get with other bloggers like yourself.

    I would say, you are on the right track given you have the passion for blogging and willing to put hard work into it. As they say both passion and hard work can overcome any challenges, so keep at it!


      Hi Mr. ATM,

      Thanks for the kinds words and support! Although the February numbers were impressive, I’ve only really had a few good months. I also published my blog income after 1 year in the January report. Other than those 2 months, there is a lot of inconsistency when it comes to income. There is a small amount of Adsense income, but not much else. I’ve received more offers, but either the price was too low, I didn’t feel comfortable with the offerer, or I didn’t think the sponsored post fit in well enough with the blog. I also think the progress I was making came to a bit of a halt when I went back to work. The blog went through a bit of a transition from being about “eluding the 9 to 5” to now pursuing FI. To be honest, I actually want to write about the experience. With that said, I am beginning to receive more interest and inquires again. If blog income starts to pick up or reaches any level of consistency, I will most likely publish income reports. I also might publish another annual income report at the end of this year.

      I can definitely understand where you’re coming from with spending too much time on blogging. There is a lot of work involved and I never originally planned to pursue it like this. I guess it just seems like it could eventually be a possibility if I put in enough work, and I enjoy the work involved. Comparatively to any other career path, I don’t think there’s anything else I’d rather do besides write the blog posts out of my head. And like you said, it’s enjoyable to engage and network with like-minded bloggers such as yourself.

      Regardless of the monetary outcome of blogging, I will still continue to blog because I enjoy it. If I never become a successful blogger, I will still become a successful dividend investor, and I’ll still blog on the side. That said, the business side of blogger is starting to make more sense and I’m enjoying the process.

      Hope my reply wasn’t too long lol Thanks again for the support! Hope you’re having a great week!

  • Dividend Daze

    Just like dividends, blogging is a long term game. It takes a while to get going initially but then it gets easier. Helps if you enjoy it. You have made a lot of progress with your blog. Your social media game is way ahead of time right now. I have also tried to start into pinterest even though it is not built up at all. So I am trying to also go through old posts and updated the images and help the SEO. Not sure what you are using now, but heard switching to HTTPS from HTTP will help your google rating. Just keep doing what you are doing and improving, the rest will come in time. Keep up the good work!
    Dividend Daze recently posted…Portfolio Optimization 2017My Profile


      Thanks for reading and commenting, Dividend Daze! Blogging and dividend investing are definitely relatable in terms of the long term game. And it certainly helps if you enjoy it. I’m also starting to realize that it takes time to find your blogging voice. I attempted a lot of different styles and wrote about a lot of different topics during the first year. There are some bloggers that figure it out right away, but it has taken time to find the most natural blogging topics to write about. Now, it feels like mantra is more connected and I am merely writing about exactly what I’m doing. That’s why you have to have perseverance.

      Regarding my social game, it has helped to narrow down the social networks to Twitter and Pinterest. They seem to work best for me. Although, I’m only just starting to scratch the surface of Pinterest. I need to do the same and update images and optimize older content. I recently read that https vs http tip as well, which is another thing I must look into. Keep up the great work on your end too!

  • Thoughts on Blogging - "Chase one rabbit" - The Tireless Worker

    […] is not for everyone. It is not easy and it will take a lot of time and effort to really be a successful blogger. But the process is very rewarding and if you are on the fence about it, my suggestion is to give […]

  • Alexis

    I also need to work on repurposing my old content. I’ve been putting it off since I have so many posts from the past few years!


      Thanks for reading and commenting, Alexis! And ughh..I know exactly what you mean. I’ve got approximately 200 posts published and more than half of them need to be updated. It’s a lot of work, but it would probably be worth it. Have a great week! 🙂

  • Ease Finances

    Great tips for someone trying to start his own blog like myself! It can definitely get overwhelming thinking about all the different things I “should be doing” but I think finding a better balance of business and art is something that could really help me out. Thanks for sharing!


      Hi Ease Finances,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! I’m happy to hear that you found some value from the tips! And I can definitely understand how blogging can become overwhelming, especially if you’re working a full-time job and have a lot you want to accomplish. There’s just never enough time. The balance of business and art helps, though. It’s important to keep it fun and stay creative while not getting burnt out. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  • timeinthemarket

    It’s for sure all about putting in the hours and doing the work. I really need to get to the social media thing eventually as I’m sorely lacking in that area. I have the main ones but I rarely ever use them and a part of that is due to the lack of pictures. I do have to spend some time going back to some old posts from my blogger days and reformat them/add more pictures too and that’ll be something to do during winter when it’s too cold to go outside anyway!
    timeinthemarket recently posted…October 2017 dividend updateMy Profile


      Hi TITM,

      Thanks for reading and commenting! The winter is a great time to stay in doors and get extra work done on the blog. If you’re looking for an App that is great for creating blog images, check out Canva. Even though I wrote this post about putting in the hours in September, I didn’t get as much accomplished in October as I would’ve liked to. Fortunately, I’m off work all next week!! I’m going to spend the majority of the week catching up on the blog. Regarding social media, I try to stick to the networks that are the most natural and enjoyable to use. Have a great day!

  • timeinthemarket

    It totally takes a lot of time and effort to get those views up but if you enjoy it, it’s not really work now is it?!

    I haven’t added ads to my blog yet simply because I don’t know if it’s worth monetizing at this point. I’m not getting a ton of views and not sure what kind of dollars I would make this early in the game. I’m focused on just adding content and writing for now although I might toss ads on there for a month in the new year just to see what kind of income that generates.
    timeinthemarket recently posted…Is the stock market overvalued?My Profile


      Hi Timeinthemarket,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! It’s true that the effort feels less like work when you enjoy it. If I had already reached financial independence through dividend investing, I would take the page view challenge a lot more seriously.

      And I can understand where you’re coming from in regards to ads. In the early going, it makes sense to forgo monetization because there are still so many variables to determine – how often do you want to blog, what topic is best for you, what monetization method is best etc. I think it makes sense to focus on building more content. In my case, I’m starting to focus on the dividend business and more unique content instead of the recurring posts each month.

      Hope your week is going well!

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