Enough is Enough: The Key to Blogging Success

This year marks my 10-year “blogging” anniversary. Besides pinching myself everyday to make sure this is real, and that I am, in fact, getting paid to talk about and do what I love the most, I have also started thinking more about what I have to share and how I can translate my success into ideas & motivation for new bloggers who want to achieve their own success.

What did I come up with? How have I done it so long? What's the key to success and longevity as a blogger? Just one thing:


I was listening to Oprah radio in the car yesterday and heard Sinead O'Connor say the same thing, but better, so I'll paraphrase her and change the subject to blogging from creating music, but essentially:

The ONLY good reason to {blog} is because you'll die if you don't.

Yes, I do realize how corny and shallow that sounds (and maybe a bit extreme), but it's pretty true. And it's not only true for blogging, but as Sinead said, it's true for making music, designing software, curing cancer; any endeavor that requires you to take risks, be creative, think outside the box, and work very hard doing your “own thing.”

How do you channel your passion into your blog? Through your content.

And while content IS king, good content doesn't guarantee success. That's not enough. Content is not the only thing that will bring people to your blog, or keep them there. How you frame your content, how you promote it, and where you talk about it is also important. Ultimately, though, it's your content – and YOU as the creator of that content – that determines where your blog will take you.

In the beginning, focus on your content, and getting people engaged. Yes, your blog design is very important also – again, how you FRAME your content – but if you set up a minimal theme from the get-go, you won't have to worry much about it. Write, write, and write some more (or take photos if that's your thing). Focus on your niche, seek out other people with similar passions and share your content with them, but ALWAYS keep most of your attention on creating excellent content.

I hate to break it to you though: not everyone who starts a fashion blog will get very far – at least not in terms of monetizing or being able to do it long term.

Why not? Who knows, there could be a million factors.

But what I do know for sure is that if you start a fashion blog NOW because you just want to be a fashion blogger, get free shit, and make a lot of money, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

If you start a fashion blog now because you're obsessed with fashion history, lingerie, independent designers, eco-fashion, or WHATEVER you have a passion for, and you HAVE TO SHARE, you might succeed. You have to do it because you love it and it's what gets you out of bed in the morning.

That simple act of sharing your passion has to be ENOUGH for you before you will find success as a blogger.

It may have to be enough for years until you start to make enough money to make it your career in addition to your passion.

And again, I can't say this too much, but if it's not ENOUGH for you to just share your passion for fashion, or whatever your niche, then you're in the wrong business. I've said before, and I'll repeat as often as I have to: if I wasn't making one penny blogging I would still have to do it. That's when you know you've hit your sweet spot.

Do it for love, and the money will follow.

**Next time, what is your passion?

How have you found your success as a blogger? What keeps you going day after day?


[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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42 Responses

  1. Diane

    Absolutely agree with this. If you look at the most successful bloggers – Leandra from Man Repeller, Bryanboy, Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere, and Chiara from Blonde Salad – one thing they all have in common is passion. You can tell their blogs are integrated into their lifestyle. I will also say that without passion, you won’t have good ideas.


  2. Eve Gagnon

    What literally kills me is that the Internet world is full of people only wanting to get fame and money by doing what they’re doing. There is so much of them that those people that are good at and have passion for what they’re doing have a hard time getting somewhere and some will never be able to. And that makes me sad.

    In my opinion, each and everyone of us thinks about that moment where they would be able to live, travel and get free stuff for blogging. Don’t lie, you know you did (at least once or twice). It’s okay to admit it. The only problem are those that are driven by this wanting of fame and free stuff.

    I personally love to write and share my passion but as soon as school starts, I instantly lose so much time, which makes it really hard to blog a lot. But I still try to do as much as possible. But sometimes, it makes me really sad to invest a looooot of time to write that one post that I personally think is good and could help/interest people and then, no one sees it… because no one knows about my blog and I don’t know how I am supposed to get them to.

    I really do hope that everyone who deserves it will get far with their blogs .(I am not including myself in this amount of person – I cannot judge my own blog in that way.)


  3. Jeanine Marie

    I have been blogging off and on since 2006. Back then, it was just for fun. Now it has become a passion and I am trying to find ways to incorporate the things I love into my blog (like my photography) and I have a special place in my heart for Independent Designers. So I continue to try to find the right combination of subjects, affiliates, and designers to promote. I feel in my heart, I am on the right track.

    Jeanine Marie

  4. Mia

    Excellent article! Passion is the key to everything – if you have none, your blog or business will go absolutely nowhere. I also agree with your second “key” to success: doing it with love. Love what you do first, then wealth and success are sure to find you. Congrats on celebrating ten yrs of blogging!! Such an inspiration 🙂

  5. CynthiaCM

    To be honest, I don’t really care too much about making tons of money on my blog anymore. I make enough to sustain it (i.e. pay for hosting, domain name and freelance writers) through sponsored posts and if I get more money and/or brand ambassadorship opportunities, then that’s just bonus. My site is considered “lifestyle” and currently, I am trying to diversify my topics. I also want it to be a “thinking gal’s” site. For example, I might write about body image, but will try to NOT blab about what everyone else is writing about and will offer my own perspective instead (i.e. from a short, smaller-framed woman’s point of view). Same with ethnic diversity (you don’t often hear upper middle class, semi-conservative East Asian females. It usually comes from a more radical individual who has little knowledge of his or her heritage roots) and my views on sexism and other issues. I’ve also recently begun to recap a competitive reality show (Chopped Canada). I typically won’t write about reality TV (unless I’m criticizing), but it’s about food, not some Kardashian or chubby child pageant queen.



  6. Carla

    I really think that what differs bloggers today is the hability they have to show their passions. Its really easy to post some outfits but how much do you work to make this look attractive to others? What is your inspirations? And honestly I think there’s a lack of worry in being original and with the blog design. Even though minimalism is ok, if you want to grow today you need to think in what other people doesn’t do.

  7. Surjit&Jeet

    Such a great article to read. Agree with her not to run a blog just for sake of money and free clothes. Running my own blog for 2 years I can say Passion and persistence are two things you will need the most.

  8. Corinne

    I’m not going to lie here. Around 14 months ago one of my best friends started a blog and told me how some bloggers got free clothing and products from companies. So I started my own.

    It’s become a lot more, since then. I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t care about the views. But it’s not about money, it’s about being accepted.

    If you gave me the choice between more views/followers or more money, I’d pick the views/followers.

  9. Tiffy

    I agree with this article, I find so many fashion bloggers start and stop within a few months because they were expecting blogger fame. I do my blog for myself, if I help a few small companies on the way that’s cool. However, I don’t make a living off of my blog I do it for fun, meet people, and feel a part of the fashion community. I recently revamped the way I do things and now incorporate film into my posts. It’s time consuming but it’s what I love to do.

    • Diamond

      I would agree with you. When I started blogging a few years ago I stopped because I wanted instant gratification but I know now that it takes time. Now I blog to share my knowledge with and I feel that even if one person finds my blog to be helpful then I am happy with that. I’m constantly of ways to improve my blog and get my readers to engage with me. After readjusting my thinking I’ve learned and am still learning so much about blogging.

  10. Elisa

    Well if you don’t start from your passion then you won’t last very long! A few blogs survived from 2010 which is te year I’ve started mine. I have neglected it for a long time, not posting anytging for almost a year. I have been back at it full time for a year now and I think I’m definitely on the right track and finally found my voice. It’s not always easy, there’s not always enough money for he amount of work, but if you keep going back at it… Then it’s right for you!

  11. Elisa

    Well if you don’t start from your passion then you won’t last very long! A few blogs survived from 2010 which is te year I’ve started mine. I have neglected it for a long time, not posting anytging for almost a year. I have been back at it full time for a year now and I think I’m definitely on the right track and finally found my voice. It’s not always easy, there’s not always enough money for he amount of work, but if you keep going back at it… Then it’s right for you!

  12. Elisa

    Sorry for the typos and the double comment, i’m writing from my clumsy phone XD

  13. ahhhsoneo

    I, so far, have a small blog with a loyal readership. I don’t make a lot of money from it, and although I would like that to eventually change, at the end of the day that’s not why I blog. I blog because I love to write. I really enjoy writing, and I’m trying really hard to improve my photography as well. I blog even though I know a small number of people will read it. I blog because I like the topics I choose! I’ll keep at it for as long as I can.

  14. Lexie Rebing

    I agree with this so much! I think that everything we do in life has to be done with passion or not at all! If you do something you don’t love, even if you make a lot of money, you will never be truly successful because you won’t be a 100% happy! So yeah, I think that it applies to blogging as well, if you do something you love, you will do it right and you’ll be willing to work a lot on it, which eventually will turn out to be successful!


  15. Zuma A

    Oh, when I started my blog, I had no idea what I was getting into. I learned pretty quickly, though, how much work it takes to earn a reader’s attention! I hope, though, that passion, persistence, patience and good content will eventually reward me. I am so thankful to you for all the posts – they are so well written, very informative, and very real! xx

  16. Diamond

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that I am successful from blogging, I don’t make money off of it, or receive free things nor do I get much traffic, I know that that’s not what blogging is all about but I’ve had a few opportunities that have come from blogging. I see more opportunities coming my way as my blog grows. Spreading my knowledge to other woman even if it’s just reaching and helping one person out there is what continues to push me. I’m constantly thinking of new and innovative ways to make my blog better. I always ask for feedback from others. It’s that interaction that I am looking for from my blog which is how I would measure if my blog is successful or not and I am not quite there yet but I’m sure I will be.

    Diamond A.

  17. Jacqueline Jax

    What a terrific article, I really enjoyed it. I have often questioned my own intentions for blogging. After the first full year of finding my voice, developing my style and challenging my abilities, I realized it’s not only my fashion design that inspired my blogging, it was all the fantastic things that surround this form of creativity. Have a space where I share ideas, commentary, photos and develop my writing skills makes me happy. It truly has become a passion in a similar way that web builders need to create digital spaces and gofers live for the perfect swing. I enjoy it and it’s become a part of sharing what I love about fashion as well as what I have designed. The only thing left is to decide what to write about next. :0) Xoxox, http://www.JaxCouture.com http://www.BlondiBeach.com

  18. Abbe Elizabeth

    I definitely can’t go without my blogging. Once it’s been over a week since I’ve posted my family and boyfriend notice and I’m just itching to do something with my blog. But hey I love it, and I can’t stop thinking of ways to improve myself, which I think is what I thrive off of. Anyways congratulations on 10 years, and I cannot wait to see that next post!!


  19. Alex Ivanovs

    Want to be a blogger? Blog.
    Want to be successful? Blog.
    Want to run a business? Blog.
    Want to blog? Blog.

    Just remember to do it on regular basis – so that your readers are in the mindset of you always being there for them.

  20. Kelli Michelle

    I am a beginner blogger and I am very passionate about fashion …. But for some reason I get very distracted with life, then once I realize I’m distracted with life I get aggravated that I can’t focus on fashion as much as I’d like. What are some ways I can channel all my fashion ideas and energy into my blog daily. ?

  21. Loretta

    I started my blog first with the idea of satisfying my need to express my creativity through fashion. Secondly, with the idea that I would like to share my views on style, and to read others ideas and stories. I spent much time thinking about my vision but I find that everyday inspirations drive me the most. Planning is great but my best ideas happen by accident or organically….everyday passion if you will.

  22. Jessica @ Beautify My Life

    Great post as usual, Grechen. I’ve been blogging for about 5 years now. I don’t get a ton of traffic and I make pennies on it, but I keep going because it’s an escape for me. I’m a fulltime working mom who lives a pretty simple life, but blogging makes me feel like I have some connection to the glamorous worlds of fashion and beauty, even if I’m blogging in sweatpants after putting my son to bed.

    Because of my lifestyle, I’ll probably never be able to commit enough time to take my blog to the next level. But you know what? That’s okay.

  23. Monika Faulkner

    I have started – and maintained, at least for a time – a number of different hobbies over the years; everything from sewing, to jewellery making, to makeup artistry. Looking back now, I can see that they are all interests that share a common denominator: fashion. Add to this a bit of a shopping “addiction,” a frequent need to get “all dressed up” (even with no particular place to go!) and a love of writing that’s been with me since my school days (and rather neglected until recently)… and I think I may have found my nirvana right here, in the world of personal style blogging!!


  24. A Vintage Covered (Riris)

    I don’t know how to explain, but I love writing since I was elementary school (I write my diary). And I start to blogging since I’m in love with vintage style also Hijab (It’s a headscraves that I wear about 2 years). I just want to share, something that I love, like music, movie, hijab style, and fashion lately ( I learn so much since I write blog). I’m not a stylish girl and I don’t know much about fashion, but yess I love writing on my blog. I’m not really care with traffic or some pennies, but if they come to me, why not?? I just doing what I love, and it’s writing.

  25. Jess M.

    I definitely started my blog for my passion for style, trends, design and fashion, and especially my personal style. I’m not looking to create a career out of it (although that would be lovely), but the only thing I want to get out of it is feedback. The only thing other than passion that makes me want to write a new post everyday, is the fact that people are actually viewing my blog and giving me comments and feedback. If no one does, I lose interest. As long as I have a great community to share my passion with, I find myself to be successful. It totally inspires me, it is the people that keep my blog alive.

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  27. Lisa R

    While I am in agreement that passion is an integral part of being a blogger. Blogging because you have a passion for it tends to help make it successful, in my opinion. I read a lot of blogs, do some blogging and am attracted to those where the blogger reveals something of themselves, and the more the better. It is not to make money, but, that is not to say being successful is wrong. It isn’t. Choosing between being passionate and poor or passionate and doing well, I will choose the latter. Doing well can be a lot of readers, a lot of advertising, access to movers and shakers, whatever. I hope few, if any are out there blogging to fail. Passion and success can and do go together, don’t they? Perhaps success can be defined narrowly, just doing a good job. More retweets, more followers, more mentions in other blogs, more views on YouTube, more satisfaction. You decide.

  28. Onianwah

    The sheer at of sharing my thoughts, actions, passions and educating people with it is enough for me to go on year in, year out. I have never been paid to blog and I don’t even know if I ever will be. People keep asking when I will start making money from it and I just reply “dunno”, lol.
    That the whole world can come and see and share in my adventures is enough for me.

    Lagos, Nigeria

  29. Brooke

    I completely agree. I started my fashion blog just to share my passion for style that is feminine and ladylike, not for freebies.

  30. Anastasia

    What keeps me going is a desire to share something that interests\inspire me. My blog dedicated to y two major passion – travel and style. I usually write loooong posts though many says people don’t read long texts in blogs and come mainly to see images. Well, I don’t care about it, if I feel I have to share what I want, I will write as much as my inspiration lasts:)