With the rapid rise in social media culture, blogging has taken on a role that far surpasses what it started with i.e. a creative outlet to your thoughts and ideas. Today, blogging is the best way to inspire an audience, learn new skills, and most importantly build your online brand image. Undoubtedly, more and more people want to join the blogosphere and are jumping on the ‘blogging’ bandwagon. And, if you haven’t already, it is high time that you get one kick-started for yourself!
Now that we have taken the first step towards starting a blog, the most important thoughts that must be running through your mind must be ‘What skills do I need to become a blogger?’ OR ‘How do I get started?’
Through this article, we try to help you find the right answers to these very pertinent questions.
Let us start with the skills that one requires to become a successful blogger, especially if you want to ‘make money’ through your blogs.
Content Writing Skill
Remember – Content is the KING!
The best and only way to get your blog make a mark is through content that brings value to your target audience. While you may have the flair for writing (of course an indispensable skill for any blogger!), what would make your blog stand out is the style of writing. Your content needs to be engaging, unique, and something that adds value or helps the audience in some way.
So, you must understand the basic content presentation requirements such as simple, lucid writing (minimal use of jargon), a conversational and friendly tone, and blog length (Remember: Articles that are 2000+ words usually find themselves topping the Google page ranking).
Moreover, your choice of topics or blog theme is a vital determinant of the success of your blog. It is hence important that you write on areas in which you have good knowledge or real interest to ensure a convincing dialogue through your writing.
The difference between a normal blogger and a successful, professional blogger is their ability to connect with their audience. The ability to understand the emotional triggers of an audience is a quintessential skill that any blogger must learn and master to become successful at blogging.
A quick and effective way to learn this art is through investing time to study the behavior patterns of your target audience. Survey their interests, needs, preferences, and awareness level to tweak your language and content communication to create something that stays on their minds.
Remember that blogging is about continual personalization. The interactions that happen through your blog indeed may help you stay attuned to your readers’ preferences and interests helping you to keep enhancing your content and making it stay connected with your audience.
Social Networking Skills
Now that the content part is addressed, the next important attribute that is crucial to your blog’s success is the art of networking. Networking is a key factor that will help garner larger traffic for your blog site in a shorter period. One of the best ways to enhance your networking skill is through social media channels like Twitter and Facebook (and LinkedIn, if you are doing this to boost your business presence). Subscribe to blogging communities and influencers in your key area of interest and engage with people.
Add links to your blog on your social media channels to gain readers through these channels. Since you are connected with like-minded people through these channels, it helps bring traffic, turn visitors into readers who in turn influence others in their network to join.
Blogging is nothing but digital two-way communication. Proper and regular interactions with your readers through regular and satisfactory responses to their comments reader’s comments is the key to keeping your audience hooked to your content. This skill is also important to carve out a strong relationship with your audience and thus, increase the traffic to your blog.
Another use of your interpersonal skill that may bring traffic and grow the popularity of your blog is interactions with other bloggers. Posting interview and their insights on topics to your blog would help attract their readership to your blogs as well.
One skill that not many will tell you about is persistence. If you want your blog site to do well, persistence is the key. Discipline yourself to have an active presence – post comments and queries regularly (3 times a week could be a good number to start with!). Be persistent in following up with audience responses as well and ensure constant blogger outreach. The idea behind this is to keep your audience engaged, improve your blogging skills, and build connections – all at the same time.
One of the key factors that contribute to the success of a blogger is the ability to sell. Being able to promote yourself and your blog’s content is a surefire way to drive more traffic to your blogsite. So, one needs to perfect their art of marketing their blog to the audiences. Some simple ways that can help you excel in this art include:
- Learn to read: Read on consumer psychology, marketing, and business skills as these will help you to understand and reach out to your audience in a better way.
- Project yourself as an expert through your connections with key influencers in your niche. Promote them, share links, and try to gather testimonials from them. This would showcase your expertise and go a long way in marketing your blog.
- Sound genuine and not like you are trying too hard to sell something!
- If something doesn’t sell well, don’t give up. Try and analyze the reason why the content may not have appealed to the readers and take corrective action.
Visuals speak volumes (and much better than words). In the world of blogging and social media, this truer than ever. Images and visuals tend to go viral in a matter of minutes. Undoubtedly, it becomes essential that you supplement your content with suitable visuals to better your search rankings and increase traffic on your blog site. So, it goes unsaid that a basic level of photo-editing skills in terms of resizing, cropping, enhancing, etc., would be a valuable skill for a blogger looking to add the visual element to their website.
Basic Technical Skills
Don’t panic! No one is expecting you to be a tech guru. All you need is basic technical knowhow to take care of small technical aspects without having to look outside for help. Some knowledge of elements like tagging, HTML/CSS changes, can help you manage small issues yourself while also allowing you to reap the benefits of the several features and functionalities that you may add to your website.
Now that we are ready with the necessary skillsets for a blogger, the next milestone is kick-starting your blog.
The first step here is to identify a platform that you would use for your blogging. There are several blogging platforms to choose from such as Blogger, Tumblr, Typepad, and Joomla. But the most widely used platform for beginners remains to be the self-hosted WordPress.org platform. Take you to pick and get the ball rolling!
Next, pick a name for your blog. Be imaginative and chose a name that describes your niche well. Once you have chosen the name, get it registered on the platform of choice, and get your blog site hosted.
Chose a theme and customize it to make your blog more personalized. While at it, do not forget to add some essential blogging plugins that may help you capture reader statistics and help you track readership for your blogsite.
Once this groundwork is in place, all you have to do is add a compelling piece of content and publishing the same. Share your blog with people on your network through your social media platforms and promote the blog further to increase its viewership.
Lastly, once you have a considerable readership strength, choose the best option to monetize your blog.
Let’s get you started!