Abbreviated excerpt from Born to Blog by Mark Schafer and Stanford Smith.

After four years of patient and consistent blogging about issues in his industry, biotech, Raman Minhas felt that he was spinning his wheels.

“I had built up a blog readership over that period of about 1,000 readers,” the U.K.-based physician said. “And I was getting around 300 hits per month, but after all those years of blogging, I hit a wall. There was no organic growth of my readership, and no real reader feedback, no matter how hard I worked. After four years, I was disenchanted with blogging. Without any positive feedback, the blogging process became wearisome and I came to dread the ‘time of the month’ to write.

“With a clarification of my niche, my focus became much clearer and I was reenergized. I found I could write more easily, and many more topics came to mind. Writing finally became enjoyable! Through the medtech theme, I was also able to connect to my interests in entrepreneurship and value investing. This was such a breakthrough. Slowly, the page hits began to grow—perhaps readers gauged more passion and a renewed sense of energy in my content? And the blog was starting to get NOTICED. I was invited to present at an industry networking event on the use of blogging in our industry. This was a small audience (around 60) but highly relevant. It was a milestone for me!

“Slowly I was finding my blogging ‘voice,’ and with this positive feedback, my confidence grew. I decided I needed to work on being more consistent and that I needed to grow my engaged network of readers. As my blogging changed, my audience changed too. I was now getting picked up by important medtech CEOs and investors. I decided that to grow the blog I needed to write at least weekly. This felt daunting.

“Here was another barrier I faced. Would I have the time to keep this up? Would I have enough to write about? I decided that I needed to make the time and this needed to be central to my business. My wife and I decided together that I was going to go for it, and I learned to make the time and started posting weekly, without much trouble, as it turned out.

“Consistency definitely helped. I could see the page views and readership grow! I also spent time systematically building my target audience on Twitter, using the advice in the book The Tao of Twitter. These people seemed to love my content. In a short period of time I tripled the number of page views on my blog, and it’s still growing! I was energized!

Raman’s story is not unusual—in fact, it’s rather typical. There really are very few overnight successes in the blogging business. So let’s dissect and explore some of the traits we learned from his experience.

  • Tenacity
  • Focus on Your Passion
  • Flexibility
  • Consistency
  • Courage

[Note to readers: this is a snapshot of what is included in this section]