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21 Quick Actions You Can Do Today to Set Your Blog Up for Massive Success

21 Quick Actions You Can Do Today to Set Your Blog Up for Massive Success

You can read all the blogging advice in the world, but none of it matters unless you take action.

To set your blog up to be a massive success, you have to ruthlessly focus your efforts on things that work, and stop spending precious time on things that don’t.

Today I’m going to make it easier for you to take the action you need to take to make your blog better. All you have to do is set aside 10 or 15 or 60 minutes to tackle one of the 21 simple steps below.

The more you complete, the more progress you’ll make.

You’ve probably already completed some of these, but I guarantee you haven’t done all of them. If you have completed all of ‘em, please tell me in the comments. Better yet, share one of your own extra tips.

Action #1: Start Building an Email List (20-30 minutes)

Why this is important: If you aren’t building an email list, you’re missing out on the most powerful and consistent way to drive repeat visitors and customers to your website or blog. With an email list, you become less and less dependent on external sources of traffic, and gain more ability to interact with your blog’s audience.

Start building an email list in 20 minutes:

  1. Sign up for an email marketing account with AWeber or MailChimp.
  2. Create a sign-up form for your email list. Use these instructions for AWeber or MailChimp.
  3. Put your sign-up form on your blog, both in the sidebar and on your about page.
  4. (optional) Offer a free giveaway for people who subscribe to your list. Offering a workbook or an ebook or video series (or even a whole toolbox of resources) can drive many more signups than not offering something.

Don’t wait to start your email list. The sooner you do this, the faster your list and your blog will grow.

When you have an email list, you can create forms and ask people to sign up for email updates like this: enter your email below to get updates from us:

Subscribe for free updates

That took me 30 seconds to add to this post and now I’ll get more email subscribers. ;)

Action #2: Start a Post Ideas Journal (10 Minutes)

The best ideas for blog posts don’t always come while you’re sitting down to write. Try keeping a simple journal of blog post ideas so you don’t miss out on the best opportunities.

You can write this in a Google Doc, an old-fashioned notebook or by starting a quick draft in WordPress for each idea.

It doesn’t matter how you do it, the point is just to keep a running list to work from.

Action #3: Add Facebook “Like” Buttons (15 to 20 minutes)

People who visit your site represent a massive marketing opportunity. If your visitors like what you’ve published, some of them will share your content with their friends, but usually only if you make it easy.

Over 500 million people are on Facebook, making it the biggest social network in the world. Chances are, a lot of your readers are on Facebook. Give them an easy way to share your great content by including Facebook “like” buttons on your posts. You could get a ton of traffic from Facebook. Here’s how.

Add Facebook like buttons to your posts in 20 minutes:

  1. Head over to the Facebook Like Button configuration page.
  2. Configure your Like Buttons as you wish. The page will show you how they’ll look on the fly as you make changes.
  3. Copy the code Facebook provides.
  4. Paste the code into your blog posts, anywhere you want the button to appear.
  5. (optional) If you’re up for the challenge (or if you have a tech person), you can add the Like Button to all of your posts, either at the beginning or end of each post, or both. This will require editing some PHP files for your WordPress theme, and the specific instructions depend on which theme or platform you’re using. Here are sample instructions for the Thesis theme.

Action #4: Add Twitter Retweet Buttons (15 to 20 minutes)

Twitter is another huge potential source of traffic for your blog. This site receives hundreds of visitors every month from Twitter, and it takes very little time to gain those benefits.

The method for adding a retweet button to your blog is pretty much the same as adding Like Buttons above. First you’ll need to head over to the Twitter Retweet Button configuration page. You’ll want to copy the code provided for your configured button and paste it into your posts (or optionally add it to every post by modifying your theme files).

Action #5: Make a List of Every Blogger in Your Niche (30 minutes)

Whatever you blog about, chances are there are other people who blog on the same topic. Your job is to become friends with as many of your fellow bloggers as possible.

Why would you want to become friends with your “competition?”

It’s simple. In every niche I’ve studied, the bloggers who succeed fastest are the ones who band together and help each other out, instead of trying to protect turf. Don’t think of other bloggers in your space as competitors, they’re actually your best chance of making your blog a massive success.

The strategy is simple: make a list of everyone who blogs on similar topics to you. Don’t just include a-listers. Include your peers and up-and-comers as well. Now prioritize the list based on who you think you’d naturally hit it off with.

If you blog in a huge niche, this doesn’t really need to include everyone who blogs on the topic. If you blog in a tiny niche, you might want to expand a little beyond your space.

Making the list is the first step. Next comes the real work. Make it your goal to reach out and create genuine relationships with as many people on the list as possible.

Special resource: start with these tips on how to connect with people online.

Action #6: Add Social Proof to Your Blog (15 minutes)

Social proof is a powerful influencer. When people see that other people are doing something, they’re more likely to do that thing themselves. If they see lots of people are subscribed to your blog, they’ll be more likely to subscribe as well.

You have to be careful though. Social proof only works when the numbers are impressive. Showing new visitors that 23 people are subscribed to your site probably won’t drive new subscribers. In fact, it might actually repel people (social proof works both ways).

If your blog is established, you might be able to show RSS or email subscriber numbers, or monthly readers. If your blog is new, you might want to show Twitter follower numbers (Twitter followers tend to be easier to come by), Facebook fan page subscribers or something else that looks more impressive. You might also simply need to wait until you have something with enough momentum to display.

How to add social proof to your site in 15 minutes:

  1. Decide on which form of social proof to display(use whichever seems more impressive – avoid numbers less than 500 or 1,000). For most people, displaying RSS subscribers or Twitter followers is a good option.
  2. To add an RSS subscriber count, you’ll want to use either Feedburner or some other service that keeps track of your subscriber count. In your Feedburner account, look for the FeedCount link under the “Publicize” tab.
  3. To add a Twitter follower count, TwitterCounter is the standard choice. Start by configuring your widget here.
  4. Once you have your Twitter or RSS widget configured, you need to copy the code provided and put it somewhere on your site. An easy place to put your widget is the sidebar of your blog. Just add a new text widget and paste the code in there.

Action #7: Refine and Explain Your Blog’s Unique Selling Proposition (30 minutes)

Why this is important: to attract and retain visitors to your blog, you have to answer the question “why should I read your blog instead of the hundreds (or thousands) of other choices out there?”

To answer that question, you need a point of difference or unique selling proposition. Your blog needs to be different in some way from other blogs in your space.

If you haven’t thought about this before, start with this guide to finding your unique selling proposition. It shouldn’t be hard to identify several ways your site is or could be different.

Once you’ve identified your “special sauce,” you need to communicate it to your visitors. Do this either through your tagline, in your sidebar, in your about page or within your blog posts. You’ll probably want to explain your USP in several of those places, and remind your visitors regularly.

Action #8: Learn SEO Basics (60 minutes)

Why this is important: Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of those things that takes an hour to learn and a lifetime to master. By just learning the basics, you can set yourself up to take advantage of a ton of opportunities over the coming months and years for your blog.


Action #9: Implement a Call to Action (5 minutes)

The best way to get visitors to take a particular action is to explicitly ask them to. This is known as a call to action.

Want more email subscribers? Ask people to subscribe.

Want more retweets of your post? Ask people to retweet.

Try this in your next post. Ask your readers to do something you want them to do. If your content is good and you’ve provided genuine value, some of your readers will be happy to help you out. Just ask politely and try different tactics to see what works best for your audience.

Once you dial in your call to action technique, make a habit of using a call to action whenever you want your visitors to take action.

Action #10: Show People Your Best Stuff (15 minutes)

When someone comes to your site, you need to put your best foot forward. The easiest way to do this is to link to some of your best posts in your sidebar or within a special “start here” page that you link to from your main navigation menu.

How you determine which posts are your best is up to you. You could show your most linked to posts, your most commented posts, your most viewed posts or something else. You could hand pick the posts you think best represent what your blog is all about.

If you want to show popular posts, you can use a widget to do the work. There are several good ones in the WordPress plugin directory. If you’ve never installed a plugin before, it’s pretty easy, but you might want to read the instructions first.

Action #11: Take Down the Ads (5 minutes)

When your blog is new, one of the worst things you can do is to plaster advertisements all over the place. If your blog is small, those ads won’t earn you more than a few bucks, but could be costing you big. You’ll turn off readers and stunt your growth during your critical formative months.

Is it really worth limiting your growth potential over a few bucks?

Once your site is bigger, you can start to introduce advertisements if you really want to in a tasteful and relevant way. Better yet, use a more effective way of earning income from your blog like affiliate marketing or consulting or developing your own products.

For now, take down the ads and focus on growth.

Action #12: Develop a Facebook Fan Page (60 minutes)

I already mentioned above that Facebook has 500 million registered users. In addition to adding “like” buttons to your posts, you should also consider setting up a Facebook fan page for your site.

Our Facebook page is a top 10 referring site here. I’ve done very little to publicize the fan page and it doesn’t take much time to maintain.

I’m not an expert on Facebook pages by any means, but luckily my friend Pat Flynn from the Smart Passive Income blog has written an excellent Blogger’s Guide to Facebook.

Pat’s guide has just about everything you need to know about how bloggers can use Facebook. If you’re in a hurry and just want to learn how to set up your fan page, start with his 6-minute video on how to set up a page.

Even if you don’t plan to completely build out your Facebook fan page now, set one up sooner than later so readers who prefer connecting via Facebook can. At a minimum you can simply add an entry any time you write a new blog posts. Eventually you can expand the page to build community and interact with your members in a deeper way.

Action #13: Commit to Updating Your Outposts Regularly (10 minutes daily minimum)

Why this is important: outposts are an important concept in blogging. Your blog is your central platform, but outposts like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. can help you find and interact with new readers where they already hang out.

The key to making the best use of outposts is to get in the habit of updating them regularly. If you have multiple outposts you might want to focus on just one at first until you get the hang of making regular updates. You need to make regular updates to show your visitors you’re committed to the platform and that you’ll be providing additional value there.

How to commit to updating your outpost regularly:

  1. Set a reminder on your calendar at first to update your outpost every day.
  2. Study examples of other blogs (preferably in your space) which have a thriving outpost. Observe the types of content they post, how they interact with members, and the frequency of posts.
  3. Make sure you don’t just treat your outpost as a glorified RSS feed (where you post only links to your recent blog posts). If you want your external community to thrive, you need to provide extra value.

Action #14: Try a New Content Format (90 minutes)

If you’re only writing similarly formatted blog posts, you might be missing out on some big opportunities. For example, maybe your audience prefers video over written content. Maybe you’re better at producing audio content than you are as a writer. Maybe you should be writing quick inspirational Seth Godin style posts instead of your usual standard 800 word posts.

Whatever format you’ve been using for blog posts, here is my challenge for you: get out of your comfort zone and try something completely new.

Choose from a format on the following list that you’ve never tried before:

  • Video
  • Audio
  • E-Books
  • Workbooks
  • 2000 words or more
  • 400 words or less
  • Interviews

It doesn’t matter what you choose, the point is to get used to trying different content types. You need to find out whether your audience responds better to something you haven’t tried, or if you’re better at producing certain types you haven’t tried before.

Start with one new type now, and come back here later to try additional new types.

Action #15: Check Your Mindset

Why are you blogging? There are lots of valid reasons for blogging, but there’s one reason that has to be at the top of your list if you want to build a massive success.

You have to want to help or entertain people (or both).

If you don’t help or entertain, why should someone read your site? Your blog needs to solve problems, address needs, fulfill desires and enlighten or inspire. Whatever personal reasons you have for blogging need to take a back seat to delivering value to your target audience.

How to check your mindset in 10 minutes:

  1. Write down all the goals you have for your blog (money, fame, recognition, and anything else that comes to mind).
  2. Write down why you chose this particular topic to blog about.
  3. Write down why you are uniquely qualified to blog on your topic.
  4. Now check your answers. If one of your goals isn’t to help your readers, you should reevaluate your motivations and topic. If you didn’t choose your topic because you really care about it, you should reevaluate your motivations and topic. If you aren’t specially qualified to blog about your topic, you should reevaluate your motivations and topic.

Action #16: Write a Rant

Why this is important: common views yield common results. If you want to grow faster than everyone else in your space, you need unique views and bold opinions. When you feel strongly about something, you’ll make an impression on and form stronger relationships with your readers.

How to write a constructive rant in 60 minutes:

  1. The key here is to write a constructive rant, not just any rant. You want to write about something that could be improved or thought of in a better way.
  2. Think about the topic you blog about. What bothers you about the conventional wisdom? What do you think everyone is thinking but no one is saying?
  3. Make sure this is something you’re actually passionate about, don’t just choose a view counter to common opinion simply because it’s different. You want your passion to show in the post.
  4. Write your post in a stream of consciousness to begin with. Just let it flow. Edit after your first draft instead of while you’re writing to let the emotion come through.
  5. Watch the reaction to your post. If it isn’t well received, don’t be discouraged. Try another topic next time.

Bonus example: I wrote a rant earlier this year about why typical online marketing advice is worthless (or worse). That post became a mantra of sorts here and helped me to refine my unique selling proposition.

Action #17: Interview Someone Influential (90 minutes, including prep)

When you’re just starting out, you don’t need to have all the answers. Your visitors don’t expect you to, and you need to give yourself time to find your voice and form your opinions.

During the early stages, it can help to think of yourself as a facilitator instead of as an expert. Your job is to bring great information to your audience instead of creating all of it yourself.

Interviewing someone influential in your niche can be a great way to bring useful content to your audience. Interviewing an expert also helps by associating you with the expert in the minds of your readers. It also helps you create a relationship with the interviewee and potentially to borrow the interviewee’s audience if he or she links to your interview.

Here’s a special post about how to use interviews to grow your audience. Check out Rise to the Top, Mixergy and BlogcastFM for examples of blogs that have been built entirely using interviews.

Action #18: Set Aside Weekly Content Planning Time (30 minutes weekly)

Shooting from the hip doesn’t always produce the best content. A little planning can help you produce much better content, and more importantly, much more consistent content.

How to plan your content for maximum results:

  1. Block out 30 minutes on your calendar each week. I like to do this on Monday, but the day doesn’t really matter.
  2. During this time, review and update your post ideas journal from above.
  3. Keep a running list of post types you that have been effective for you in the past. For example, I keep post categories like “interviews,” “ask the readers,” “monthly reports,” “writing epic shit” and so on. Look back at previously successful posts for ideas for new posts.
  4. Make a tentative plan for posts you’ll write over the coming week and month. This isn’t set in stone, but it will help you each time you sit down to write if you have ideas ready.

Action #19: Ask for an Outside Point of View (60 minutes)

When you get close to a project for a long time, it becomes hard to see things as other people see them. To become a successful blogger, you’ll need plenty of help from friends and colleagues along the way to help you see things through fresh eyes.

Try asking a friend, colleague or consultant for a quick critique on a blog post, your about page, your design, your branding or anything else you suspect might need to be refreshed or revised. The ultimate goal is to make a habit of doing this whenever you feel stuck or stale.

The bonus to this action is that it gives you an excuse to reach out to a fellow blogger and form a stronger bond. Offer to help by returning the critique service whenever your colleague needs it.

If you want a thorough review, try enlisting a professional service like a design review from Reese.

Action #20: Ask Your Readers

Building community around your blog is a great way to make your readers feel appreciated and committed to your success.

Your posts don’t have to be the only things that deliver value at your site. The comments can also be a great place for extending the value of your content and encouraging your visitors to interact. Those interactions can lead to other opportunities for your readers outside of your site.

Comments can also be a great way for you to learn about opportunities for new content and products.

If you want more comments for your site, you need to do a few things. First, write about topics that have multiple possible right answers. Second, write in a way that leaves the door open to discussion (don’t force your readers to agree or disagree with you, it stifles comments). Third, and most importantly, you need to ask for your readers’ opinions.

I like to do this with formal “ask the readers” segments here about once a month. You can run a series like that at your own blog, or simply ask your readers for comments at the end of your posts.

Either way, just make sure you ask.

Action #21: Get Some Accountability (60 minutes)

A big part of building a successful blog is staying motivated and staying committed to your blog long enough to see success.

One of the best ways to ensure you stay motivated is to become accountable to others. When you know other people are expecting certain things from you,

How to get some accountability for your blog:

  • Decide where you’d like to be held accountable. There are three possibilities I recommend: a formal mastermind group, a blogging forum or your own blog.
  • To join a formal mastermind group, you’ll need to find two or three other people to participate, or find an existing group that needs a new member.
  • To use a blogging forum for accountability, you’ll need to find a suitable forum. Within our flagship learning platform,, we have forums where people are holding themselves accountable.
  • To use your own blog for accountability, you’ll just need to announce your goals on a regular basis in a special blog post series (see my monthly reports for an example of this, or Scott Dinsmore’s annual goal setting post)
  • Whatever you decide, the principles are the same: regularly announce your goals for a set timeframe (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly is best). With each announcement you should also review your performance during the prior period.

You can of course try to hold yourself accountable privately, but public accountability is much more effective at driving action. It’s easier to opt out when you don’t have people waiting to hear your results.

The key to making many of the actions above work for you is consistency. Many of them need to become habit before you’ll experience maximum benefits, but taking the recommended actions above will get you started.

You don’t have to do everything on this list, just pick the ones that you think will work best for you.

The key is to take action. Try something above and let me know how it works for you. Most items above only take 30 minutes or less.

What would you add to this list? Let’s hear it in the comments.

If you liked this post, please share it on Facebook or Twitter below.

Thanks to Adam Baker for the inspiration for this post’s format. I borrowed the structure and title from his killer post titled 24 Quick Actions You Can Do Today That Can Change Your Financial Life Forever.

photo by Gueоrgui

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  • Joe Barlow


    This just might be your finest post yet, and that’s saying something.

    I learned a tremendous amount from reading this. Unfortunately, I am at the office of one of my corporate clients right now, and Facebook/Twitter are blocked from this location. I will therefore share this post when I get home.

    Question: I’ve been thinking of doing the mastermind thing for a while now, but unfortuantely, I can’t seem to find any bloggers in my area with whom I can network. The few other bloggers I’ve found are very casual with their writing, and not really interested in developing their audience.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to locate/create a mastermind group where none seem to exist? Do you know of a website that has a virtual mastermind group?

    With admiration as always,

    • Corbett

      Wow, best post ever? It might at least be my longest post ever ;)

      So regarding mastermind groups, I’ve been involved in a couple of groups where we aren’t all in the same location. We just talk on Skype as a group once a week. This works very well, and it opens up your possibilities to a wider group of people.

      To find people, I have generally just reached out to bloggers I admire to get to know them. If it seems like a good fit, ask some of them if they’d like to join your group. Start with one and grow the group as you find new candidates.

    • Vijay

      I too agree with Joe. This is the finest post covering almost everything to be a successful online entrepreneur.

      I would like to add few more points in this list:
      1) Watch out successful bloggers in your niche and follow their strategy of success. Find what works for them and try to implement on your blog. Don’t just copy them blindly but tweak their strategy your way and success is yours!!!!

      • Izy

        Clever comment! I need to find people with more blogs like mine :)

    • Trent Dyrsmid

      Hi Joe,

      I’m also very interested in masterminding. My blog’s traffic has really increased in the last 2 months, plus I’ve just launched a new membership site, so if you think we have a fit, please get in touch.


    • Adam | The Permit Test Questions Man

      Joe and Trent,

      I’m definitely interested in a mastermind group as well if you guys are still wanting to get one started.

      Trent – I’ve emailed you using your contact form. (Subscribed to your RSS too. Good content!)
      Joe – You have a good thing started on your site as well but I couldn’t find a contact form.

      At any rate, you guys let me know if you have an interest.


      Adam [at the site]

      • Adam | The Permit Test Questions Man

        How rude of me to forget the whole reason I responded…


        Great post man! You’ve inspired me to action on a few new tasks.


    • Hanne Arts

      As you said Corbett, the post might be long indeed, yet every word of it adds to the message, which is very powerful and truly helpful.
      I really learned a lot from this, thanks a lot.


  • wilson

    wow what a list, I’m gonna have to bookmark this one because I definitely won’t be able to do them all in one sitting at this moment.

    I agree that the biggest step is to take action. I’ve seen results from doing some of these already and I must say that they worked for me.

    • Corbett

      Cheers Wilson, thanks for stopping by.

  • TrafficColeman

    All of these things will gain you lots of exposure..but its now all about being consistence.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Jeff

    Nice post Corbett. I like how you break down each of these important actions and the ETA on how long it will take to complete each step is a really nice touch. You definitely GIVE in this post. Thank you!


    • Corbett

      You’re welcome ;)

  • Kristi Hines

    Now that is in-depth. Here I was just expecting a list, but you actually give several pointers for most of the item. So it’s really a lot more than just 21! Great job!

    • Corbett

      I get bored with lists, so I needed something else to challenge me. Actually, I was following the formula that worked last week for Baker at Man Vs. Debt (link at the end of this post).

  • Ash @ The Middle Finger Project

    Dude, I commend you for your thoroughness. Your posts are always so well-researched and organized – hell yeah, C-money.

    • Chris C. Ducker

      Couldn’t agree more…!

      Ash – I’m coming for you!!! That interview is gonna happen soon, I promise! How’s that drilling…….?!!!


    • Corbett

      “C-money” – I like that. It has a certain ring to it.

  • Lach

    Fantastic resource Corbett. I copied the entire post into my planner so I can do one action per day. I suspect some of them will take longer than suggested (usually takes me hours to write a post or think about my mission) but great ideas nonetheless. Cheers.

    • Corbett

      Let me know how far I was off on the times, I would be curious to know (and happy to correct some if I’m way off).

  • Alex

    Wow Corbett,

    I started taking notes and got as far as wanting to say how #5 was a good one for me and worked really well, and continues to work, and also how #10 is really important and actually it is because of your starting point that I was inspired to do the same – and then I got lost in the massive depth of knowledge and insight that this post provided.

    I think you need to add this to your ‘New Here, Start with These’ posts – because it is EPIC.

    Write Epic Shit indeed Corbett ;)

    • Chris C. Ducker

      Yeah, baby!

      I love the epic-ness that Corbett unleashes… It’s awesome.


      • Rob Cubbon

        Epic-ness, indeed, great title too! He’s right on most of the timings although it’s amazing how 10 minutes can turn into an hour sometimes. :)

    • Corbett

      Oh cool, I’m glad some of these have worked for you already Alex. I agree, #5 (making a list of bloggers in your niche) is really important. Relationships are the best way to grow your blog, hands down.

  • Lijin Lakshmanan

    Awesome post, One stop solutions :)

  • Susan Webster Adams

    Thanks for all the tips! Great blog post. Very valuable and helpful.

    Now to get to work….

  • Momekh

    Just reading your 18 months ebook. And then this. Dude, you’re on fire.
    And I hope you don’t find the damned fire extinguisher.


    • Corbett

      Thanks Momekh, I wouldn’t mind being on fire for a few years, that would be nice. Thanks for reading!

  • Mike Crimmins

    Seriously, great, great post!

    I couldn’t stop myself from taking a break at my day job, to take action on some of these tips right now. The rest, I’ll start working on as soon as I get home from work!

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Corbett

      Just don’t get me in trouble with your boss ;)

  • David William

    I just did a post about using Tumblr as a means to store blog ideas or bits of inspiration. A lot of times these little ideas aren’t good enough for a full blown post, but it can be the spark you need when you’re itching for creativity.

    Thanks for the good list. I’m saving this one too!

    • Corbett

      That’s a great idea David. You can also judge the reaction to your short ideas to figure out which ones to explore. Thanks!

    • Rebecca

      Nice idea, David! Coincidentally, I’ve been toying with the idea of turning my Tumblr (currently collecting dust) into a true “side blog” for those little ideas that aren’t quite meaty enough to make a “real’ blog post, but too good to let slide… sort of a combo of Corbett’s #13 (Update Outposts) and #14 (New Content Format) items?
      Thanks for this great list, Corbett – just the kick I needed this month.

  • Alberto

    I know that this comment is totally useless but I must say
    Fortunately I already implemented or am implementing the things you describing, but the quantity and the quality of this post are absolutely excellent!

    • Corbett

      Cool well, let us know how the implementation works out for you Alberto. Best of luck!

  • Chris Stott

    Wow Corbett this is an epic post. The is a great reference point for bloggers/traffic builders new and old.

    As you said “The key is to take action.” The fact is thought that many people may know this stuff, but how many actually act on it. 99% don’t follow through. I urge everyone to be the 1% who puts this stuff in to action and reaps the rewards.

    • Corbett

      Absolutely Chris, you’re totally right. It’s a decision you have to make to join the 1%. Hopefully this post will nudge some people that direction.

    • Chris Stott

      By the way, just a pre-warn I think Mail Chimp’s terms mean you can’t (technically) push affiliate products via your list. Just something to consider…

      • Corbett

        Great point Chris. That’s one of the reasons I switched from MailChimp to AWeber recently.

  • Sarah Russell

    Great stuff, Corbett!!!

    Some of these have been on my mind a lot lately – #12, #13 and #14 especially. I’m definitely guilty about not putting enough effort into social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter, so hopefully this will be a good kick in the pants for me.

    Thanks for sharing :)

    • Corbett

      I can definitely be worth it Sarah. If you’re pressed for time I recommend really focusing on just one platform. You’ll get more benefits than if you spread yourself thin.

  • Christian

    This is an awesome post, Corbett! It’s great to see how you surpass yourself again and again! Hats off!

    • Corbett

      Thanks Christian!

  • Holly

    You are AWESOME! Thank you. I love what you do. Keep saying how it is….honesty resonates.

    • Corbett

      Thanks Holly, I appreciate it.

  • Jim Abercromby


    For sure this is your most practical post yet and I needed to read it and see these steps again, I am doing most of these already but it still is taking some time. I can’t get caught in the ‘traffic’ portion of it but ‘traffic creep’ is always there.

    I just need to focus the words, theres been a rant festering for the last 3 days and I am gonna blast it.

    Anyway take care bro.

    • Corbett

      Awesome, blast it Jim! Let me know how it goes.

  • Dino Dogan

    I really like the “try a different format” recommendation. Not only is it fun but -for me- it breaks up the monotony of text, text, text. Why not text, video, podcast? It just makes sense :-)

    • Corbett

      Hey Dino, making things fun for yourself is part of the battle. Good luck!

  • Diego, Consultor SEO


    Very useful list, thanks. I specially like the article because you provide an step by step work-flow with explanations and links to carefully selected solutions to accomplish the task.

    Let me suggest an additional explanation or new article about how to take the most of FeedBurner.

    Why both?. I mean FeedBurner and the suggested mailing list services?.

    Is it not confusing to deal with two different lists?. Any recommendation?

    Is it possible (and advisable) to connect both subscription methodologies?.

    What is your recommended methodology to start from scratch: Should we consider to start with FeedBurner and move to Aweber or MailChimp at a later time?.

    All the best,

    • Corbett

      Hey Diego, great questions. I choose to offer RSS through Feedburner and email updates via AWeber. I did start with the Feedburner email subscription option at my other blog, but found it wasn’t flexible enough for what I wanted to do (for example, the “traffic toolbox” concept I offer here). The important thing is that you offer email subscriptions and start building your list. How you do it depends on what you hope to achieve.

      Great idea for a post. I’ll put it in the ideas journal ;)

  • Juha Liikala

    Corbett, you’re always full of surprises.. a “home run post”, yet again. You should write a book on traffic building, not just an eBook – A BOOK.

    By the way, have you experimented with Feedblitz or any other alternative to Feedburner? If so, what kind of experiences have you had? There seem to be a lot of good buzz going on about the prior and given that I haven’t been completely satisfied (quite the opposite actually..) with Feedburner, I’d love to hear your thoughts on some of the alternatives.

    Here’s a post idea for you (if you have a post like this already, please regard this and give me a hint where to find it ;): How to Really engage with your blog’s audience through your RSS feed. That would be an interesting read!

    Thanks for the great tips in this one. Great stuff – as always.

    • Corbett

      Hey Juha, thanks for the vote of confidence. A book might be fun someday.

      Regarding FeedBlitz and other Feedburner alternatives, I haven’t tried any of them. I know Feedburner has some issues, but none of them have been big enough for me to try other services.

      Thanks for the post idea as well. I’ll have to think about that one. Cheers!

  • Benny

    Comprehensive and well written! I don’t have much else to add to your list but to go out and take action.

    • Corbett

      Cool Benny, I hope they’re helpful.

  • Cara Stein

    In every niche I’ve studied, the bloggers who succeed fastest are the ones who band together and help each other out, instead of trying to protect turf. Don’t think of other bloggers in your space as competitors, they’re actually your best chance of making your blog a massive success.

    This is a great point! When I was first starting out, I’d get really jealous when I discovered somebody who was already doing something very similar to what I wanted to do. For example, Jen Gresham of Everyday Bright and Stacy Curnow of Midwife for your Life both made me mad with jealousy. But I started talking to them, and they’re both super nice. To my total surprise, they’ve both ended up sending me a lot traffic. Jen gives a great perspective on this in her post Dare to be Similar on Everyday Bright. That’s what made me stop seeing similar blogs as stomping on my attempted purple cow and start seeing them as potential allies. Much better!

    • Corbett

      Awesome Cara, kudos for figuring out the right way to look at similar blogs. Thanks for backing me up on that point too ;)

  • Cara Stein

    Hey man, just wanted to let you know, the link for Pat Flynn’s facebook pages tutorial is an outdated video. I think this one is the latest:

    • Corbett

      Hey Cara, thanks for the note. You’re right that the video is outdated, but the link you provided is about landing pages, not the Facebook fan page itself. Anyway, I updated the link above. Here’s the correct video from Pat:

      Thanks for letting me know!

      • Cara Stein

        Oh, you’re right! That’s step 2. :)

        Thanks for this post, by the way. I’ve been meaning to build a facebook page for my blog for months–this was the ass-kick I needed.

        In fact, writing that just reminded me: you’re the guy who wrote the big “get off your ass and do it already!” post that triggered me to start writing my blog in the first place! (This one: ) I don’t think I ever thanked you for that. That was a life-changer for me! From the bottom of my heart, Corbett, thank you.

  • Nasrul Hanis

    Nice one.. and what more important is – they’re quick to be done!

    Yeah.. uniqueness is a kind of resource for your site and mailing list is a tool which let them to be with your site after you impressed them with your uniqueness. What we need now is to read the list and start to optimize the time that we have!

    Thanks for inspiring!

    • Corbett

      Thanks for reading Nasrul. I hope the action items work magic for you.

  • Richelle

    Great “how to’s” Corbett! Can’t wait to dive in. Thanks for all your hard work.

    • Corbett

      Cheers, thanks Richelle!

  • Drew C David

    Tip #22: Print out these suggestions and place them in your blogging workspace!

    Thanks Corbett! The suggestions are detailed and the estimated times help remind me that each step is within reach. (Also, a big thanks to @adamsinger for suggesting this post) looking forward to exploring your other thoughts/suggestions!

    • Corbett

      Thanks Drew, that’s a good one ;) And yes, thanks Adam Singer for sharing the link. He’s such a great guy to follow.

  • Kameel Vohra

    This is a great guide! Thanks for the tips.

  • Funny Mick

    Thanks there are some really good pointers in here for new bloggers, I have been going around 3 months now and a lot of the stuff I already do but some of the suggestions on here sound really useful and hopefully they will bring more traffic to my site.

  • Cindy King

    Hi Corbett, I’ve found that having an accountability partner is great! Not only for consistent blogging, but also to get you to understand yourself better and work on those deeper levels.

    • Corbett

      Yes Cindy, I feel the same way. In fact, getting an accountability partner (or small mastermind group) might be the most important item on the list, because it will help you achieve all the other items.

  • Mandi

    Thanks so much for that informative post. You gave so many more unique suggestions than I’ve seen in the past – the rant seems like it could be done tactfully, but insightfully, and the planning times and accountability/forum writing is brilliant.
    Lists like these seem like common sense sometimes, but hearing the reinforcement and the encouragement is so helpful when you’re just starting out like me. Thank you so much! @allinspections & can surely benefit from this.

  • Dean Saliba

    I think you have written a great article here, and I am pleased to discover that I do over 15 of the methods you listed. :)

    • Corbett

      Awesome Dean, you’re well on your way then ;)

  • Behang

    It takes time to read the whole post, but it is definitely worth it. I like the way you prioritize the actions. Great job.

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  • susann akers

    The one thing I have discovered over the last couple of years that most people seem to have nothing different to say about building an online presence. I have just finished reading this post and I am inspired and will go home now and make a start on this list. I am lucky if I get 40 page views per day. reading this post has renewed my flagging vigour

    • Corbett

      Hey susann, 40 views per day is nothing to sneeze at! We all start somewhere. Hope this list helps!

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  • Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    Good stuff as always C!

  • Chadrack

    Great post, great post, great post Corbett! I’m glad that I’m doing some of these for now. I definitely will be implementing most very soon especially like the one about making a list of all those in my niche and interviewing someone influencial. Thanks for the post

    • Corbett

      Cool Chadrack, let me know how the interview and relationship building goes for ya!

  • Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe

    Question, Corbett: it sounds like you prefer Like button to FB share button. Any particular reason?

    You do hit the nail in the head with social proof (among other things, of course:) – too many bloggers are still simply not listening.

    No one wants to pay attention to a dead blog!

    Rethinking your content angle is also a biggy. If what you are doing now is not working, why do you keep doing it? Love your advice on that.


  • Brad Harmon @ Big Feet Marketing

    You had me after the first two sentences, Corbett. Taking that advice to heart and acting on it would make a world of difference for most bloggers. Then you get to the actual post, and WOW! This is a must read for any blogger.

    There are still some items on this list that I could benefit from reexamining myself, and I have yet to do #16 or #17. Definitely a post worth bookmarking and refer back to time and time again.

    • Corbett

      Oh cool, #16 (writing a rant) and #17 (interviewing someone influential) are two of the really fun items on the list. Let me know how they work out for you!

  • Kamal Patel

    Aha..Great Tips…Really Like It..
    I used some things from this list…and now going to do some of i miss.
    Thanks Again..!!

  • Suzanne

    Great list. Makes me realize the actions I am not taking and really need to start doing. In particular, new types of posts I haven’t done before like video and 2000 word posts. Lots of work but well worth it!

    • Corbett

      Lots of work indeed, although I find that above average effort in blogging usually pays off with above average results.

  • Derek Potocki @ Smart Goals

    Great and comprehensive list Corbett. Yes, I have the same question as Ana: Share vs Like button? What’s better and why? I’ve been using Share on my site.
    Greetings and thank you for this post.

    • Corbett

      Hey Derek, like I mentioned to Ana above, the two buttons have merged as far as I understand. Check out the link in my reply to Ana above for more details.

  • Laura Jane

    I love how you started your post with “none of it matters unless you take action.” That is so true!! As I read through the post, I often thought, “I know I should do that, but I haven’t gotten around to it.” Knowing what to do or having an idea is only half of it – you have to do it.

    • Corbett

      Then go do it Laura! I want a full report ;)

  • Tho Huynh

    Hi Corbett
    This is one of the greastest tips I’ve ever read in the blogosphere. It’s HUGE and contains lots of informations :)

    To me, Action #3 is the best. More and more people prefer to “like” than to share a specific link to their friends. This will surefire boost up your traffic and raise people’s awareness of your website :) BTW, I think it takes only 3 minutes to complete that task

    Go to WordPress Dashboard -> Plugin -> Add new -> Search for Facebook Like -> Install -> Here we go :)

    • Corbett

      Absolutely Tho, you definitely need easy ways for your readers to share your great content. Don’t forget that it always starts with great content though. Cheers!

  • Nea | Self Improvement Saga

    Hi Corbett. You have some awesome tips that I wish I’d known in the beginning stages of starting my blog. Boy could it have saved me some frustration.

    • Corbett

      Hopefully I’ll at least help some other people who are in that position now.

      What are you working on that I might be able to help with in an upcoming post?

  • Lisa

    New here but very glad I came. Your post is most helpful and I will use what I have learned. Thanks

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  • Lena

    Thanks for the great information. I don’t understand the difference between adding a retweet button if you have a twitter button. Is there a major difference or a reason why I should use on over the other?

    • Corbett

      You only need one of the buttons, they serve the same purpose. I found that the TweetMeme button is more accurate and less prone to delays and outages (when it comes to tweet counts). The counts are important as social proof. Otherwise both buttons do the same thing.

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  • Carey Suante

    Really good tips. Thank you!

    It’s really timely as well coz I’m just starting my blog.

  • Harshit Singhal

    Wonderful post Corbett. Full of insightful tips. You’ve explained everything in detail, so that should definitely help any newbie blogger.

  • Tiptopcat

    Hi there,
    Found your site while browsing and am happy to report that I managed to get my Facebook fan page set up. I am a little bit technically challenged so it too a while but Pat’s videos were a great help.
    Just need to figure out how to link my blog to the page so that it posts automatically whenever I update.


    • Corbett

      I prefer actually not to automate the posting to Facebook. I think the personal touch of adding a note to each post is important to getting click-through and engagement. It only takes a second.

  • Amy

    This is such great information–unfortunately, I seem to be tech challenged. I really want to use the Like button option, but can’t get it to work. The code shows on the post, not the button. Not sure what I did wrong or where to fix it. Any suggestions?

    • Corbett

      Hey Amy, if you’re in WordPress, try switching from the “Visual” view of your edit post screen to the “HTML” view. Paste your code in there.

      • Amy

        Thanks for your reply Corbett–I use blogger and have been following different this past week, nothing has worked. I’ll keep trying.

  • Debbie Baker Burns

    This is the best and most useful article I’ve read on blogging recently! I will be tweeting and sharing this on my Facebook page. Thank YOU!

    • Corbett

      Fantastic, thanks Debbie!

  • cal @ passivepennies

    Hi there , i found your site through pat flynns blog . Awesome information . Thank you very much and bookmarked !

  • patrick

    Absolutely great post! Thanks for all the action steps. I’m sure that I’m missing a few that I could implement from this post. Very good for getting some refreshing ideas.

  • Madeline

    I am going to go through the items on this post one by one. This is just what I needed. Thank you!

  • Deondra

    Wow, this is great. Very specific and tangible insights! I can’t wait to start my blog now.
    Thanks a million!

  • Stephan

    Pure… Epic… Shit…

    Nothing else needs to be said.

  • teatree

    Action #5 is so true – it’s as important to socially network online as it is off line. But sadly, this is one area I’m not good at.

  • David Stillwagon

    Terrific list! definitely worth bookmarking.

  • The Stand up Comedy Center

    Wow. This is what I’m going to do.

  • Clare

    I’m new to your website and this is a pretty impressive first post to read. I’ve already checked off some of the items you mention but there is still more I can do. Right now I’m off to see what tips you have for connecting with other bloggers in my niche.

  • Tony

    Wow! Great post! You have made me look at my website in a completely different manner. It’s definitely time for a re-evaluation. I will be putting many of these suggestions/tips to use in the near future. Thanks again!

    P.S This is the first post I have read on your blog, and It will keep my coming back for more

    • Corbett

      Cool Tony, I hope the tips help. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Faheem

    One of the great posts I have ever read. Although I was directed to this post by Pat (passiveincomeblog) but really great work.

  • Jia Jun

    This is really awesome Corbett.
    Ya, indeed the format, structure and title does affect and make a post go viral. Understand it, and it’s a big hit for our blog. :D
    Anyway, gonna apply these tips especially those I’m yet to build like e-mail list. Yet to start because not really know what to write and how people people would subscribe for it.
    Will research deeper on that. :D
    Thanks again for the awesome post Corbett. :D

  • Brandon

    Hey hey Corbett

    Thanks for writing this post man! I picked up several nice tips to implement. I just started a new blog recently and one of these I want to implement is the Rant post. Also working on a testing series on triggers. Planning on doing some real life experiments on social triggers that influence and revealing my stats and results.
    Should be fun!

    Going to slowly add these in man.


  • Ian Belanger | Network Marketing Success

    Hey Corbett,

    Excellent list! I personally have done about half of the things you suggested here.

    My favorites are #16,19 and 20. I have been thinking about writing a post asking my readers what they would like to see on my blog, but it had slipped my mind until I read your post today. Thanks for the reminder.

    One question; I know that there are plugin’s out there that do some of the things you suggest, like adding retweet and FB like buttons to each post. Is there a reason you don’t suggest these plugins, instead of trying to install with code?

    I know that too many plugins can slow down your page-load speeds, maybe that’s it. Just wondering.

    Thanks for sharing Corbett and have a great day!

    PS This was my first visit and I will surely be back in the future.


  • Momekh

    So epic that it did not force me to think, it forced me to take action.
    So I sat down one fine afternoon (of today!), and ticked off ALL 21 Quick Actions. One Sitting. I wrote a post about it While I was taking the actions.

    Thank you for providing the inspiration, Mr Barr. And good luck with the Hustle! :)

    I would really appreciate your feedback on my attempt. Merci.

    • Momekh

      I did all of these, in one go, While writing a post about it. Forgot to post a link to it in the previous comment… and Monsieur Corbett, how ’bout that for a delayed ‘quick’ action? :/ :)

  • Chris Green

    Hey Corbett…

    I know you are into accountability, so I made a quick video to prove I had completed the first 4 tasks on the list above (maybe others could do the same?)

    Here it is:

    • Chris Green

      Here’s part 2 of going through the points above:

      • Corbett

        Thanks Chris, this really cool. Great way to work through the items.

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  • 51 website design

    how do we know when to put ads on our sites tho?

  • Kevin Velasco

    I’ve been putting off Aweber for about a month now. Today, when I saw that building an e-mail list was #1 on your list, I signed up. Thanks for getting my lazy ass to finally set that up!

  • Darren Sproat

    I’ve been putting off Aweber for some time now but I am seeing it as several blogger’s #1 means of building/promoting their brand. This is a great post and provides plenty of inspiration in itself…
    Darren Sproat

  • Amy Putkonen

    Wow. Phenomenal post. Its easy to see why you are popular!! This is great stuff. I will be sure and try some of these…maybe even post this on my wall by my computer!

  • Paul Wright

    Thanks for the very long article, I had better leave now or else my wife will kick my butt for spending too long on my computer. Anyway back to reverence, I have just started a new blog and think this list is great so I will be back tomorrow to see what I can add to my new blog to make it great. I have my second blog post ready so tomorrow I will give it one last check then publish. All the best

  • TomL

    This was very helpful, I bookmarked it and getting ready to go through it one by one. I still enjoy creating static sites (not a wordpress convert) but most of this still applies.

  • Athif

    Great post Corbett. Brilliant.


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  • Craig Kelley

    Excellent post of effective action items! Love it.

    The biggest hurdle for most people is getting started. Having clear direction like you posted helps tremendously.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Marty Green

    Wow I just found this post now. Lot’s of stuff I have to work on and this post gives me some great things to think about that I hadn’t considered.

    You also have given me new ideas too like interviewing people and writing a RANT! Never considered that before.

    Thanks for the great post

  • Jacques Desjardins

    Great post. My own business blog is only less than half of what you listed here. I’m going to use the list as a primer to get the blog up to speed starting with point #5. Thanks!

  • Hpnotik Qrew

    This is really a phenomenal article about getting your blog on track the right way. Thanks for such a stunning walk-through.

    Im happy I stumbled on you guys website. you explain everything so clear and simple in advance.


  • Ana | Traffic Generation

    Alex Whalley mentioned this post somewhere and I had to come and see it.

    Definitely one of the most actionable posts I’ve read in a while, Corbett – definitely what the blogosphere needs more of these days: more action and less talk.

    Of all the points you mentioned, I believe the USP is where most bloggers need to start. Most of the “fresh off the boat” bloggers definitely lack in that department.

    They work on their traffic, network, socialize, but then fail to retain that traffic because they are not even sure themselves what they are all about.


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  • KayDee

    I am printing this post and using it as my to-do list.
    I think when I am done I will have a much better blog. Right now I know it needs lots of work!
    Thanks for a great resource.
    (and FYI, I did click on the FaceBook like button when asked!)

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  • Nate @ Strayblogger


    Awesome tips… The ideas-for-posts journal is money… Once I started writing down ideas in a Google docs spreadsheet, I’ve gotten way ahead and now have topics to write about for months.

    Running out of content ideas is what stops most bloggers, so it’s a great way to prevent that- and for some reason writing down ideas gives you a lot more ideas.

  • sheila

    A lot to chew on, thank you!

  • Jamie Northrup

    I just printed this, along with the post you based it on (24 actions for financial life), I really liked both posts, and gonna keep them handy, I only had time to read the first 4 actions or so on each, but loved what I’ve seen so far.

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  • Dekorasyon

    E-mail subscribers sure is a good idea, even better if you offer ‘subscribers only’ feature. Though there are minuses to these, such as some people may want to keep their anonymity and might not want to give out their e-mail, and some might be thinking of getting spammed if the site is not well-known by them.

    I don’t agree with this, asking them, would be the wrong for me. Instead of asking, I would try offering them something. Things like “If you become our subscriber …”

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  • Amit

    All the points are valid, specially “Commit to Updating Your Outposts Regularly”. this is mostly overlooked by almost all the bloggers…

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  • Animal videos

    Great post, i’ve been abit slow on the mailing list point which is numero uno on your list. Aweber seems to be getting good reviews – i’m gonna give it a try. I believe mailchimp has limit on the no of subscribers on its free account??

    • Corbett Barr

      Yes, there are limits on the free account with MailChimp.

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  • Sharon Prosperity

    I am new to blogging and spend time every day learning something new. You have given me so many great ideas. I plan on implementing at least one of these ideas each day until I get the hang of this. Thanks for such a great post!

  • David Veldt

    Excellent post. I just heard you today on a podcast from Pat Flynn and you guys mentioned this article – glad I checked it out and you’ve gained a new reader.

    • Corbett Barr

      Welcome David! Thanks for commenting. Glad to have you stop by.

  • Angela

    Incredible info. This post was included in A-List Blog Marketing’s: 10 Posts Every Serious Blogger Should Read. I’m re-vamping my blog and have just made tons of notes. Will be checking out the additional resources you recommended. Thank you!

  • Emma

    Hi Corbett. I love this post and have come back to it a few times now to implements a few new things at a time (slow and stead wins the race …). I have probably nailed about 13 of them and am planning to focus on 5 and 14 next … I also have a develeoper doing some tweaking of my site which will cover 2-3 other points.

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  • Patrick

    Such a great post.
    My written english isn’t the best but i try to get better.
    Love this article. A lot of these points i have done but there are some new points i never thought before.

    Thank you,

  • Ocha

    It is always good to hear and read things we know we should do but don’t always complete the list as you mentioned. I like the ideas of a post journal. I have started one a time or two but never kept it going. Reading this just may change that.

  • Bojan

    Wow Wow Wow! You really meant it when you said “write epic shit”. There are so many actionable and concrete steps that you laid out that there are no excuses anymore. Thanks!

  • Alan | Life’s Too Good

    Hey Corbett,

    I just re-visited this post (and almost certainly will again) to make sure I was either doing or on track for the majority of the points above. I use sharebar for my like & tweet buttons because I actually prefer these to be out of the way of the content. I flip between switching these on and off as I sometimes think people are tired of seeing like buttomns everywhere (somehow I think this more for like buttons than for tweet buttons).

    In terms of social proof, for a new blog I have OK numbers on my homepage so I think it’s OK but mostly 0’s on other pages with the odd 1s & 2s. I kind of like the idea that people who visit the homepage for the first time will get some social proof from the tweets and likes (77 & 123 at the moment) but not sure if it’s a bad idea to have this due to other pages having very low scores.

    Would your advice be to remove this then? i.e. are 0’s that damaging?

    I may take a look at the coding option you mention above. I also use shareaholics widget but the like & tweet buttons on that come out in really strange positions which looks awkward and amateurish (in my view)

    oh – and thanks for the above post!!

  • Glenn

    Great post!

    Plenty of good ideas here to help the newbie blogger,

    Thanks so much for sharing.


  • Tom Pinit

    Wow, great compilation Corbett! I am definitely bookmarking this one, as a relatively new blogger and digger deeper into social media. I am finding Buffer to be a huge help in terms of maintaining my Twitter outpost, both to get the word out about my own blog posts and to share valuable information with others.

  • Justin McClelland

    Awesome tips. Like many others, I’m bookmarking this post as well. I’ve been reminded by this to seek out a mastermind group.

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  • Katee

    These are great.

    Will keep begin to implement and begin using many of them strategically this year!

    So many seem so basic but so vital. Making lists of email, blog topics, interviewing experts, etc…

    Thank You + Happy New Year!

  • Rhonda @ Silly Mummy

    Thanks a lot for this post. Noobs like me need long and strong lists like this in order to survive the big jungle of bloggers. I have noted down your tips and have already improved my blog while reading the list! With the ranting, you’ve inspired me and I’m off to draft a post about one thing that annoys me the most in my everyday life! Thanks again and good job.

  • Astro Gremlin

    Corbett, checking out your “best of” list from 2011. This is definitely an epic post. Congratulations and looking for more great material in 2012!

  • Stephanie

    Wow! This was SO helpful! Thank you for posting this, I love this article and it is getting bookmarked right now.

  • Joshgun Karimov

    21 Enemies of a lazy blogger… may be this name would go with this terrific post…bravo!

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  • Doug

    Thanks for sharing this resource Corbett. Excellent detailed breakdown to help stay focused. Even though I’ve been at this blogging thing for some time in one form or another, it really helps to ensure time is well spent.

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  • Anshul

    Great tips Corbett. I think I am already about 20 things from that list. Now I need to get more interviews to my subscribers:)

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  • Janus

    Hi Corbett,

    Thanks for sharing this truly useful, great resource. This is exactly what I’m looking for!

    Your action step #1, build an email list, is convincing (“Don’t wait to start your email list. The sooner you do this, the faster your list and your blog will grow.”).

    I always think that I will wait until my traffic reaches certain level before building a list. And when you spelled out the steps I realize that it actually can be done pretty quickly in 20 minutes (I’ve already had the free offer ready).

    Other than that, I think one of the most important things I took from this post is to get out of the comfort zone and try different content formats (steps 14, 16, and 17). It’s challenging but I believe it will get results.

    Thanks again for the GREAT work!

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  • Clara

    Thanks so much for your helpful links. I struggle with social media so anything to do with Facebook is good for me. I’m still wondering how to put the facepil widget on my blog.

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  • Karma Lodro Senge of

    Yet another great post mate! Ever since I found your site a few days ago, I can’t seem to get off of it. Reading everything I can find on here. Thanks

  • Igbalaye Olayemi

    Awesome post. This is a great tips for newbies planning to start blogging and I think I have also seen some useful points that will help me in creating my new blog. Thank you for the post.

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  • Sara Mazenko

    Hi Corbett,

    Just saw this post from your twitter feed. Fantastic as usual! I can’t thank you enough for figuring this out (blogging) and being so adept and willing to share what you know. Selfless to the core!


    • Corbett Barr

      Thanks Sara! It’s not all for charity though, I do also support myself by sharing what I know :)

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  • wilson

    Informative article.I believe interviewing an expert is one of the best way to get a blog started and can even create an information product since they are already in the field in quite a number of years.

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  • Sergio Felix

    Hey Corbett,

    I just went through this post (twice) and I jotted down a few key points, actually nine actions.

    I’m 100% sure I’m not going to be able to address all of them in just two days but I will also write these down on a white board next to my monitors as well so I make sure I can complete them as soon as possible.

    Thanks for the great actionable list man, me gusta!


  • Michelle Sears

    Great list Corbett. You’ve not only inspired me to use the action steps above but also to write my own webpages with list. I enjoy reading them and obviously so do others:)

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  • RottenWord

    Awesome post. I’m really new to blogging and I can safely say that I learned a lot by reading this. Thanks.

  • Twila

    Great list of clear ideas. I can tell now that this will be a post that I will reference often.

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  • Olga

    This post turned out to be of much use and ispiration for me. I didn’t shut my laptop down for 3 days in order not to lose the ideas I had while going through these 21 points. I’ve already implemented some stuff and have about 5 more points under development.

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  • Clare J Fitzgerald

    Great post Corbett. Thanks!

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  • kyle

    This is an awesome list that gives bloggers an actionable list to get going on. I just started my blog and I’ve spent hours and hours of reading about what to do for my blog and it becomes very hard to know when you have enough info to get started. These are easily digested tasks with a concrete time limit on them takes the sense of ambiguity out of the task and makes it something you can really tackle. Thanks so much!

  • Charlotte Klein

    I Learned So Much From Your Site. Saved Me a Lot Of Guess Work. Thank You.

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  • Tony Smith


    Wow! What a great post!

    I’m currently building out my site, and I’m definitely going to use this as a point of reference, as I continue to build it out.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Warm Regards,

    Tony Smith

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  • Sibo

    Hey Corbett,

    I am glad I found you from Pat Flynn’s blog through the HD interview he had with you. Thank you for the valid information you are sharing here. I am thinking to register your course when you start offering it next time. I am reading your posts for good stuffs during the mean time.


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  • Valer

    really nice article. i especially like how you set a time frame for every task.

  • Chris @ Stumble Forward

    Wow Corbett that is is some epic $h|*! That is some serious content there and I haven’t even read the comments yet. I do have to admit though when you ask you’re visitors to do something they defiantly will do it. I’ve only done a few of the things on this list but I’m printing this article out to share with others and use as a check list to get things going. Thanks for all the great info.

  • Srinivas Venkataraman

    Though the quality of content is very important, it alone will certainly take long time to bring necessary results.

    This Quick action tip is extremely good to put that right impetus to succeed. Thanks for this Corbett.

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  • Mike

    Epic post, great advice for newbies like myself. I’m planning to start blogging hard in 2013 using the tip you’ve given. Pure gold, thanks for the post.

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  • Gary Lee

    I wish this post had been around when I first started trying to blog way back in the day. I still see people trying to get blogs off the ground that are weighed down by a ridiculous amount of obnoxious ads.

    I just started carrying around a small notebook for ideas the other day, and I’m really shocked at how many topics were slipping through my fingers when I didn’t bother to write them down. That is really going to help me out.

  • Gaurav Vichare

    Thanks corbett. I learned many things from this post. first thing is take down ads .

  • Marcy Ort

    Thank you! I know I am WAYYY behind the game here, but for me this is very timely. I love following a wormhole and coming out with a gem. I have been blogging for a little over a year off and on, more of a personal journey than anything, and now that I have found my voice am ready to recreate my blog. I will definitely be following the advice here!

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  • Life Tips

    Very insightful post. You summarized the core steps to building a killer blog. I’ll be sure to implement many of these in my blog redesign.

    Thanks Corbett!

  • Anne Bodee-Galivan

    Great advice! I already have a website devoted to helping homeschoolers. It’s more of a “ministry” than a business, so a lot of what you say doesn’t apply HOWEVER, I will be launching a coaching business this year and will be implementing many of the strategies outlined above. In fact, an online class I’m taking re: building a dynamic coaching, consulting or freelancing business discusses many of these same topics.

    I did want to say that on my homeschooling site, I just use the “AddThis” plug-in that offers opportunities for people to share my posts on a variety of platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, but also networks like LinkedIn and Pinterest. I wouldn’t want to have to worry about coding for each one. I do have the coding for a Facebook “Like” button in my sidebar, but that is for the purpose of people following my site on Facebook, not “liking” an individual post. I thought it might be helpful to differentiate this.

    Also, adding a “Related Posts” plug-in is a great tool as well.

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  • Leona Laurie

    Great post, and a great testament to the power of archives, since I just saw this for the first time in my Twitter feed today!

  • Charles Yarbrough

    All of them are great, I just am not too keen on email lists. I know there all the rave but in my experience not sending emails tend to give you more respect.

    I would also mention strip it down, too much junk will turn new visitors off in a quickness.

    Great post!

  • Cody Stevenson

    Great stuff Corbett! Going to start implementing this first thing in the AM.


  • Michael Vera

    Here’s a link to the Mail Chimp pricing for those curious:

    Thanks for this awesome post. I’m am totally new to blogging, web design, the whole 9 yards. I’m about to graduate high school next month, and I’m so glad I came across this blog. Actually Pat Flynn recommended it to me, and I’ve already seen ThinkTraffic videos on youtube.


  • Dan

    Awesome post, Corbett. Thank you for all the great tips!

    My tool for Action #2 is Evernote. I use it to keep adding to my list of blog post ideas and I access it from my phone, tablet and computer.

  • Julian Greene

    Don’t bother to go to my website, it’s only a domain name right now, but I came into Think Traffic at the perfect time. I’ve had plenty o’ failed blogs. I want to do this one right. Last week (thanks to Corbett’s blog) I accomplished Action #5. Today I did #15. I’m going to keep this article, use it to plan, and then keep reviewing my goals and implementing the other actions along the way. I’m so glad you found me! ;-)

    Thank you immensely!

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  • Christopher

    I am taking my google adsense ads down now until I have a bigger following and sticking to it. I also am taking the action to put it the Facebook Like button to all my posts. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  • Zack


    First, thanks. This is a GREAT resource for me. I have a WordPress site right now, and I’m just starting to delve into driving traffic organically.

    I have a question about Action #13 – Commit to Updating Your Outposts Regularly. What is an outpost, and how do I update it? Will this become very clear for me as I engage Facebook and/or Twitter (not involved much on either yet).


    • Caleb Wojcik

      Hey Zack,

      By outposts we just mean your blog and social media platforms.


  • Jessica

    Great stuff Corbett, I’m looking at following tips 7, 10, 16, 17, 18. Brilliant ideas

  • rakesh kumar

    point no #21 responsibility is the best point among all the listed point, if you are not able to set guidelines for yourself, i am sure you are not going to land anywhere in near future. That is the killer point you mentioned in this list.

    Another point i would like to ask you i am gethering email list based on jetpack, how this email list is different with email list collected by mailchimp or aweber network.

    Great work my dear friend, Keep it up

  • Megan

    Hey Corbett,
    Lovin’ this, how about web design must-haves? On that note, can there be a search bar feature on the site, for more browsing goodness?

  • Coral

    Great information. Just started blogging this month and found so many resources right here. Thank you!

  • Kelby J. Barker

    Just started a nee website a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say that if I could throw together a “getting started the right way” guide it would be one part Corbett Barr, one part Patt Flynn. Thanks for what has to be the ultimate actionable list on getting traffic from the get go. I’m still small, but I have no doubt that completing your list will give me the infrastructure I need for success.

    Thanks for an excellent post!

  • Leighton

    Hey Corbett,

    Thanks for compiling this detailed list–it’s a lot of great suggestions in an easily-actionable format. A few specific things I’m taking away from this are to refine and make sure I’m effectively communicating my USP, and to invest time in making a list of other bloggers in my niche. Since I’m looking for my blogging peers–other up-and-comers–any suggestions on the best way to find these less well-known blogs? Thanks again for the great post!

    All the best,

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  • Mark Eichenlaub

    Lots of great tips Corbett!

  • Mike

    Folks, this is one awesome timeless post!!! Great tips that will hopefully make my blog more popular!!

  • Nazrul Islam

    Awesome Post and human readable really…Lot of tings I learn today…I wish I regular come to you for reading others blogs…Thanks to PatFlynn! Because from his blog I found you man…Good day…

    I am coming in blogging within a few days…coming with a new type of discussions…

    Nazrul !

  • Sophie

    SUPER good blogging tips.

  • Clayton

    This was really great. You reminded me of a few small things that I could do better. I swapped showing my facebook followers to showing twitter as I have a huge difference between the two. And I really like the idea of the start here page, makes a huge difference.

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  • Barbara | Motherluxe

    The first suggestion I followed was to take down some of my ads. I read some conflicting advice elsewhere that suggested monetizing from the beginning, but can see how it may turn some readers off.

    I’m very passionate about my niche and wouldn’t want readers feeling differently because of ads. I did leave a few up, though placed them in more appropriate locations.

    I also took down my facebook social plugin and reader subscription count, as those numbers aren’t working to my advantage quite yet. I’m going to add a popular posts widget, and add facebook like buttons to all those posts.

    Thanks for the tips! Can’t wait to implement more of them!!

  • Ana

    I love this article! It’s been such a push to stay focus and motivated. Thank you so much!

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  • Justin

    Great article Corbett, I have a couple of blogs and advertise on each of them and still make sales but you could be right, if i was to focus on just writing great contend with less advertising i will probably help in the long term

  • Michael – OutMaturity

    OK, this was one that I had to print out and use! Of course, it has some 49 pages, but luckily before I killed some trees I was able to catch it and just print the post, at some 9 pages!

    Amazing stuff, I am hooked on your site!



  • Michael St Louis

    Hey Corbett really great post. Even though I’ve never been into reading blogging on how to be blogging, both as a personal tendency and the fact that some big bloggers I follow suggested the same–even those bloggers pointed towards your site. I subscribed and am really liking the content.

    Only problem is I’ve discovered so much lately, that I don’t know if I have the time to make good use of it. Sometimes I feel too old, even though I know I’m not. Probably just impatience I guess. Anyway great post and look forward to reading more.

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  • Ashraf

    Wow, what a great post Corbett. You are very organized, I love how you allocated your time.

  • steve

    Just found your blog and it’s super badass!

    Anyway i’m planning on creating a blog where i review fitness ebooks and products tracking my progress (making money from affiliate marketing im in high school and just looking for some extra money) i would appreciate your opinion on my idea and if it seems profitable or if i should abandon it…. thanks a lot

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  • Del LoDuca

    Nice work on your post here.
    I’ll add a little something to your post.

    I believe the best way to learn something related to making money is to find someone who is succeeding at what you want to do and do what he/she does.


  • Monique

    Another great post! I learned a lot and took notes! Now I’ve got some ideas to take back to my own website!

  • Adrian

    Checking this out 2 years on and it still looks fresh to me!
    I’ve just signed up to thinktraffic after hearing it mentioned on a podcast and I’m really impressed with what I see so far. Actually, I’m sitting with about 10 tabs open to all the other posts you mentioned lol, think that’s my day stuffed!

    Thanks Corbett

  • Sofie @ Wonderful Wanderings

    I might get a couple of times, but I’m going to try to work through this one step at a time:)
    Building an email list is advice I’ve read about so many times. I’ve set up a mailchimp account and yet I wonder: what do I send people? I don’t feel like creating an extra newsletter so I was wondering if it’s possible to set up my list in such a way that subscribers can get my post updates through it. Meaning: it would replace the email subscription function that’s now working through feedburner. Or is this a no go?
    Would love to hear your thoughts on this!

  • Ann

    HI Corbett,

    I have only just stumbled upon this – 2 years too late! I have been blogging for more than 6 years “just because” while keeping it private, and only recently decided to do something more to it. I’m doing a revamp/migration to a new platform while still continuing to blog on the current on. And in consideration of your advice on “becoming friends with fellow bloggers”, would it be better to wait till the new site is up or start now? Really appreciate any thoughts on this.

    Thank you for such actionable and useful post. This is very inspiring. :)

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  • Dee

    Thanks for this informative list! I’m a new subscriber here and so far the posts and emails have been extremely helpful and easy for a new blogger like me. You really have a great writing quality that breaks things down so simply and I appreciate what your website has to offer!

  • Dwayne Graves

    This is great information in 1 place. Building a list and building relationships with other bloggers are areas that I have room for improvement.

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  • Muhammad

    Hey Corbett you missed the most important point; enjoy a coffee break 15 minutes, just kidding; all the points are awesome but most of them imply as if you are talking to a machine but putting exact count of minutes. I think it depends upon the activeness and expertise of a person how much time he consume while doing a blogging chore. Yes an expert like you can do these things in minutes as pointed out againt each chore. I am sure if I follow all these tips I won’t have to worry about achieving my blogging goals.

  • Jewell

    I found this list extremely informative and helpful. Many of the things I had done. Although making a list of Bloggers in my niche is a bit challenging. It will be a work in progress. I did do a list 6 or 7 items on the list that I did not have done. My favorite was writing drafts of post ideas I have. I had not thought of that and cranked out about 10 ideas. Thanks for the advice.
    I did not put my website cause I did not want you thinking I was here only to get traffic.

  • Dana

    I started my new style blog (after blogging on another site for a couple years, then taking a break). It’s about two months old now and as expected, traffic is slow (a good day is about 50 visits). I say “as expected” because fashion is an extremely saturated area of the blogging world now. After some big successes in fashion blogging, everyone wants “in” now.
    I’m a personal stylist, and feel like blogging on a regular basis keeps my knowledge fresh, in addition to putting my name out there. I know that for the blog to be successful, I need to think hard about #15 (Check Your Mindset) and figure out how to differentiate my blog from the others (#7).
    For today, I went with #11 (Take Down the Ads). I had affiliate ads in my sidebar, like a lot of fashion bloggers do, but I went with your advice and axed them. I still plan to use affiliate marketing via products I use in my style boards, etc., in a discreet and tasteful way. I also have a disclaimer on my site (on its own page) explaining that I sometimes use affiliate links and how they work, to give readers full disclosure.
    I have all the social media things going already, except for the mail subscription, which I think is a good idea, but I’m trying to figure out how it would work for me. Would I use it simply for readers to receive post updates, or to broadcast additional “subscribers-only” content? Not sure exactly how it would work, but I do want to use it without adding too much more work to my already time-consuming blogging schedule.
    Thank you so much for this post! I’m looking forward to receiving more tips from you.

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  • Robbin Kleinpenning

    Thanks for sharing guys.

    I’ve noticed one thing: Tweetmeme isn’t around anymore so you should delete that link I gues.

    Keep up the amazing content and podcasts!

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  • Satrap Darabi

    Now thats epic shit. I just came over from SteamLoft and I am glad I did. Thanks. Corbett

  • Kulwant Nagi

    Killer Stuff.

    I read it twice just to see if you missed anything.. :P

    But you very smart, just covered everything in this EPIC piece.

  • Denis Marsili

    Awesome tips! Great post! Thanks!

  • bing pan

    I followed your idea step by step , and don’t want to miss anything.

  • RUBY

    Thank you so much, I learn a lot from it.

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