I knew I was Going to Succeed! Creating a Successful Blog

When I first started Bucket List Publications a year ago, I knew that it was going to be a Bucket List Publications Logosuccess! I am driven; I am passionate; I am a dreamer and I do everything in my power to make those dreams come true. Life is worth living, after all, and I’m making it happen. You have to believe that you’ll succeed.

When I started blogging, I heard people say that it would be impossible to break into the field and be successful. Why would I even waste my time? Why would I want to be another “blogger”?

Well… this is what I have to say to all of those skeptics:

8,432,439 page views speak for themselves! 36,111 followers agree! Because of blogging, I’ve been able to skydive, bungee jump, para-glide, pilot an airplane and a helicopter, go whale-watching, fly in a biplane, tour Nevada, California, Mexico, South Carolina, Alaska, North Carolina, and the Grand Canyon, swim with dolphins and beluga whales, and fly a jetpack. Blogging also introduced me to friends from around the globe and allowed me to share my passion for travel and adventure with millions. The more unrealistic I was with my dreams, goals, and imagination, the more I was able to achieve. My results have ignited even more drive from within and not even the sky is the limit from here.

Hard work, determination, and consistent effort will help you achieve your blogging goals, but drive alone doesn’t make a blog successful. There is more to blogging than creating posts and wanting them to be seen.  In my post, 7 Great Ways to Improve Your Alexa Ranking, I shared tips to increase blog rankings. 430 likes and 197 comments told me that other bloggers are searching for ways to improve their rankings as well. Below is the second addition to Improving Your Alexa Ranking, but this time is has a general focus of Creating a Successful Blog. We can all achieve success, but it’s nice to have a few tips along the way.

1. Create a Facebook Fan Page

If you have more than one blog, each of these should have a different Fan Page. This Bucket List Publications Facebook Fan Pagemakes it easier for potential readers to find you and discover your site. I utilize the Bucket List Publications Fan Page daily. By adding visuals, quotes, posts, and insight into the blog, it is an additional way to connect with readers. Be careful in naming your fan page because once you have more than 300 followers, the name can’t be changed. I’ve learned my lesson on that one.

2. Start a Trend on Twitter

One of the main highlights of this social media channel is that it offers the most current events, the trendiest topics, and the latest “ins”. This gives you an excuse to be the “talk of the town” by simply using a keyword that relates to your blog. For example, if you are into adventure, you can post tweets with hashtags like #BestSkydivingPhotos, #TheFacesOfAdventure, or #Top5Adventures. Any of these can become a trend, especially if you are using the hot topic that most of your followers are talking about. But remember that adding a hashtag to your tweets is not the basis for a Trending Topic. Instead of the number of tweets, Twitter’s algorithms count the number of people who use the hashtag or the term. This is why starting a “trend” is not as easy as it looks. However, if you are keen on targeting your followers’ interests, then you just might succeed through it.

3. Pinterest

It is currently one of the newest ways to share photos online. Basically, images are pinned to different themed boards which include a link to the original source. If the theme of your blog relies heavily on visual material like fashion, food, travel, arts, and adventure you may have an easier chance of fitting in. Don’t forget to feature a Pinterest plug-in on your pages so that readers can easily “Pin” your content on their boards.

I just started to use Pintesert, but I’m hooked. For an example of a Pinterest page, you can click here.


4. Showcase Social Media Icons

It should not be difficult for your readers to share, like, repost, or tweet about your post. Show these buttons as prominently as possible on the page.

Social Media Icons

5. Get Your Name Out There

You’re a complete nobody when you first start out.  It’s great having ‘Mom follow along’ but in order to create a successful blog you need a solid readership.  In the initial stages, one of the easiest ways to attract this for your site is to become a fully immersed in the blogging community.  Commenting, tweeting, stumbling, and promoting the work of others is the name of the game.  It’s all about being a ‘team player’ and hoping that others eventually reciprocate.  The blogging community is, for the most part, full of incredible people willing to help one another out.

6. Embed Videos from YouTube

This is an effective way to diversify your posts. Instead of just lengthy texts or the usual horde of images, you can embed one of your YouTube videos into the article. This increases the number of views for that particular media and it will also generate links to your site. That is, if you include a link in the video description.

I included a video in my Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Manta post and it became one of the most popular posts this month.

7. HubSpot Marketing Grader

A free site that grades your blog and offers suggestions for improvement in three categories:

Top of the Funnel: Creating, optimizing, and promoting content are keys to filling the top of your sales and marketing funnel with more website traffic and leads. The good news is that companies who create, optimize and promote their blogs get 55% more traffic and 70% more leads than those who don’t.

Middle of the Funnel: The middle of the funnel is all about converting the traffic you get into prospects and leads and then nurturing your leads and prospects in order to make it more likely that they will become customers. You do this by using landing pages, blogs, conversion forms, email marketing and social media.

Analytics Measuring your successes (and failures) is the only way to know what marketing activities are working for you. If you can’t measure how many visits, leads and customers your different campaigns generate, you need to reevaluate how you’re measuring your activities.

Final Thoughts

Part of your obligation as a blogger is to give your readers compelling posts and to devote time to social media for interactions. These are the stepping stones toward thriving in the blogosphere and standing out as one of the best writers.

***Sites that Measure/Rank Your Blog***
1. http://marketing.grader.com/
2. http://klout.com/#/LesleyMCarter
3. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/lesleycarter.wordpress.com#

Social Media Suggestions:
1. http://www.facebook.com/BucketListPublicationsMagazine
2. https://twitter.com/LesleyMCarter
3. http://pinterest.com/bucketlistpub

Do you have others? Please feel free to share them below.

What tips worked for you? What things helped you remain focused? Are you an authority in the industry? We’d love to read your suggestions. We are a community and we can grow in success together.

199 thoughts on “I knew I was Going to Succeed! Creating a Successful Blog

  1. Lesley, your story is truly inspiring and the number of your followers reflects the belief & passion ypu have for what you do. Thanks for sharing, I hope one of these days I can match your success, that’d be a great day 🙂 am looking forward to seeing you achieve your next big goal, you rock 😉


  2. Congratulations on all of your very awesome and amazing achievements! You have every right to be proud of yourself and relish in what you have done. Keep it up and don’t stop.


  3. Greta post, very informative. I went back and read your earlier post, 7 Great Ways…. I’ve tried some of the suggestions in terms of social media and getting to know the blogging community. I will have to see how the other tips work for getting my blog out there. Your dedication to and passion for blogging are inspiring.


  4. Wow..good info to know. That’s incredible you had that much success in a year. We’re going on a year and half and can’t even compare to that. We’ve even done 5 of the 7 things you said. We must be missing something!


  5. Thanks for the tip about HubSpot Marketing Grader, and thanks for this post. My blog is still pretty new, and I’m always looking for new ways of getting the word out about it. Hearing how much success you’ve had is inspiring!


  6. Great info, thanks! And congratulations on your success. Although I’ve just ‘discovered’ your blog recently, I really enjoy it. So I completely understand why you’ve got all those hits and likes and comments. A suggestion to your followers from me? Depending on what you’re blogging about, you can also publish it on LinkedIn. Thanks again, Lesley. Looking forward to many more of your posts.


  7. Thank you for the advice Lesley! You are such an inspiration, your beliefs and your attitude towards life in general are just amazing. I cannot believe everything you have achieved in just a year, you’ve made me really take a good hard look at where I am and where it is I want to be. I only hope I can gain half the determination and perseverance that you have.


  8. Hi! I’ve read many post on “creating a successful blog”, but this one really stands out, because it’s real and comes from someone, who actually did it and didn’t just write about it!

    It was helpful, thanks!


  9. I would add: if you want the large numbers for your blog, make sure to never say a word of criticism about America and or Israel. That is, unless, you have written about 25 books on the subject.

    Work done from the compassion of the heart – from seeing suffering, oppression, war, hunger (Africa is okay to talk about but not hunger in Gaza), land theft, etc., is not very popular because it’s “not fun”, however, I salute all the unsung Heros and Sheros who on a daily basis give their time in service to those less fortunate for no compensation to themselves.

    This is a material world and we all need to have an income and so I do appreciate your helpfull tips on blogging for those who want to make their income from blogging.


  10. Congrats on your year-long blogging adventure. I don’t know how anyone could ever doubt you. I was a believer from the beginning. Always inspiring, always fun, always adventurous. Thanks for the tips 🙂


  11. Congratulations on your success! You really inspired me to blog more since you’re the first one to like one of my posts and I was really happy! Thank you! You really did a great job and became an inspiration to most of us. Keep it up! 🙂


  12. Lesley, thank you for all the wonderful suggestions and for sharing them. Your blogs are always interesting and fun to read. I have used the YouTube video suggestion and created a Facebook page. I’ll admit I have not as much time to even write like I want since training for a new job. I appreciate the inspiration and hard work you’ve continued to achieve!


  13. Very good information, I find that even when I put music videos that aren’t even mine, I get more traffic, so this is something that I can definitely recommend as well!


  14. Thanks for the tips. I do feel better about what I have been doing as a newbie blogger now. I did facebook pages for both my blogs. I’m on twitter and slowly getting to know how to utilize it for my benefit. I do have pinterest page, but haven’t done anything with my blogs on it, but that is going to change now. At least I do know I am heading in the right direction! Thanks again.



  15. Right on! Don’t let them tell you that you can’t! or is that never let them see you sweat? I don’t know, probably doesn’t apply to all your challenges.

    When I was in high school I told everyone (students, teachers, counselors) that I wanted to be a magician. I did that successfully full-time for 25 years. Now I want to be a writer. And every writer will tells me how hard it is. I guess they haven’t tried to be a magician first. 🙂

    Just have a bunch of kids screaming at you and asking for a balloon. Then you’ll never be afraid of rejection.


    • You totally understand where I’m coming from, although I don’t want to be a magician 😉

      It’s about being confident and going after what you want.

      I wish you a lifetime of success and happiness,



  16. Congratulations and thank you so much for these suggestions! With the long weekend, I am so excited to work on my blog! You have been so helpful!


  17. I just started my blog in July. I’m proud of my topics and how with each blog, I get more and more followers. I only have 8 followers right now but I’m determined to get that number up. Good on you for writing your blog even though people weren’t all that supportive at the beginning. I strongly believe that if you follow your passion, you will succeed. Thank you for all the helpful hints. Good luck on achieving your goals. I still need to read more of your blog.



  18. This is great …I just joined pinterest and am excited to really play with it. Thank you also for reading my blog and all your likes and support! You have a great blog…thanks for not listening to the Debbie Downers but following your dreams instead!


  19. Thanks for your thoughts. I am going to present to my readers this month of September a “Build A Better Blog Platform: 30 Day Challenge” with a post a day sharing tips and explaining how to build a better blog and you bet that I am sharing this article somewhere in this coming month.

    I encourage your readers to follow along with me this month for my challenge at:


  20. You are so inspirational Lesley! People were negative when I started my blog just over a year ago … no one keeps going, who will read it, etc … but I’m still here. Nowhere near as successful as you but I’ve had great fun, met some great people and I love doing it. Keep being successful Lesley!


  21. Just this week I was considering taking my blog to the next level and thinking..where should I start? Then I saw your post. You read my mind Leslie. Thanks for a great article!


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