People think that blogging is an easy lifepath to go down. I believe this is because they assume that bloggers do nothing all day other than writing about their favorite things. Alright, that’s partly true. One of the joys of running a blog is that you get to write about things you love, which just makes your work a lot easier. However, to claim that bloggers only do this is just straight up false. People don’t seem to respect all the effort and skills that are needed to run a blog. I guarantee that anyone who disses a blogger would never be able to set up and run their own successful blog. If they tried, they’d see how hard it is!
To run a blog, you need a few things – one of which is a great blogging topic or a theme for your blog. Along with this, you need to be in possession of so many other skills as well. Not all creative writers are good bloggers, and you’ll see why when I run through the essential blogging skills you need. The blogging landscape is very competitive in 2018, if you want to be a success, then you need to master everything on the list below:
I know, I said that not all creative writers make good bloggers, but you can’t hide from the fact that writing skills are an absolute necessity. If you don’t know how to write and be creative with your writing, then you may as well not bother starting a blog. There’s no point as people just won’t read your content because it sounds like it was written by a five-year-old! Having good writing skills means you’ve got the ability to draw people along with the words you put on a page. You keep the intrigued and entertained, they desperately want to continue reading each sentence until the very end.
Likewise, you need the ability to produce hundreds of blog posts every year that are similar to one another yet wholly different. They should all follow the same writing style – and may be based on the same topic – yet everyone should feel like they’re reading a new post and not just consuming the same information over and over again. There are some great blogging tools you can use to improve your writing by teaching you new words and how to broaden your vocabulary.
Most people don’t realize that bloggers are basically full-time marketers as well. A blog doesn’t just get traffic from out of nowhere. You have to earn it and put your blog in the spotlight. This means learning about all the basics of digital marketing to ensure your posts get seen by as many people as possible. The focus of your attention will be SEO. This basically refers to how well your blog is set up for search engines. In essence, a blog with good SEO will rank higher than one with lousy SEO. Even if the writing on one blog is superior to the other. A high ranking spot means it’s more likely people will click on your website and view your blog post. This is how you get a lot of visitors and turn them into regular readers. It goes without saying that the most successful blogs are often the ones with the most traffic.
Alongside your SEO skills – which will teach you how to structure your blog and title everything, etc. – You need social media marketing skills as well. Use your social media accounts to share blog posts with all your followers. No doubt you have loyal friends and family to call upon who will help share things for you. This leads to more traffic, more readers, and more success. You should also try and be active on social media, particularly Twitter & Instagram, to try and gain more followers on there. This means that every post you share will be seen by more and more people as your follower count rises. It’s almost impossible to run a blog while learning about every detail of digital marketing. Instead, put all of your focus on SEO and social media.
Nobody likes working with spreadsheets. And one of the reasons you decided to pursue a career as a blogger was probably to get out of doing spreadsheet work in an office all day long. The good news is that this won’t form the basis of your daily work. But mastering the art of Excel will certainly help your blog progress.
There are many things you can use your spreadsheet skills for, one of which is to create a list of keywords that will come in handy when marketing your blog. Some people use spreadsheets to manage their content production as well. You set up a sheet that basically displays your schedule and helps you stay on track. All you really need is a bit of Excel training to understand the core principles of spreadsheets, and you’re good to go. There’s no real need to learn all the advanced technical elements like creating formulas, etc. Although having said that, some bloggers use spreadsheets to keep track of any payments they receive for writing content. And it helps them add everything up.
No matter what you do in life, it’s always beneficial to know people who can help you out. A business owner will network with other people to gain industry contacts. A student will try and network with others so they have people around them that can help them get started with their career. Therefore, a blogger needs to have networking skills so they can form a web of contacts to help them out. Get involved in blogging communities. And you could become friends with other bloggers who’ll help share your stuff if you share theirs. Not only that, but you should try and find friends with specific skills to become part of your network. For example, if you know a graphic designer, then this will help you create custom images for your posts. Or even help set you up with a logo for your blog.
Of course, you could also get contacts within the advertising world. Meaning you may find brands looking to use your blog to promote their products in exchange for money. At the end of the day, the better your networking skills are, the more successful your blog can become.
Finally, it really helps if you have some basic computer coding skills under your belt as well. The key term there is ‘basic’ – you don’t need to be some absolute coding genius. By understanding the very beginner levels of CSS or HTML coding, it allows you to customize your blog in new and exciting ways. This helps you structure your posts way more effectively, meaning you see additional SEO benefits as well. There’s no need to go on a long computer coding course here. You can learn most of the important stuff by reading articles or watching videos like the one embedded above this point!
With these six essential skills, you’ll have the ability to run a very successful blog. My advice for any wannabe bloggers out there is to run through this list and tick everything off when you’ve mastered it. Blogging is way more advanced than most people think, but it can be a gratifying way of living your life. If you make a career out of blogging, then it could well be your dream job.
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