On the surface, writing a blog and maintaining it may not seem like that hard of a job. You set up an account, pick a theme, write some posts and hit “publish”. Pretty much anyone can do it so long as they know how to use a computer and understand the basics of the Internet.
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However, there is a difference between just blogging and blogging well. If you want to do the latter, you’re going to have to learn a few additional skills to help you excel.
The good news is that the skills you need are not great and, even if you don’t have them at all, you can probably pick them up quickly with a few books and some practice.
Still, if you’re looking to move beyond merely hitting the send button and hoping for the best, here are a few skills you might want to pick up or improve on.
1. Writing Skills
This one seems fundamental but it is still often overlooked. Even if you’re a podcaster, a photographer or running a video blog, you’re going to have to write something, even if it is just descriptions.
You don’t need to be a poet in order to write a blog but you need to be able to write clearly, concisely and in a manner that doesn’t sound awkward or forced. Search engines strongly favor well-written content (because people spend more time on pages with it) and the easier your content is to read, the more people will enjoy and the more visitors you’ll have. It’s that simple.
If you struggle with this, it might be worth your time to pick up a few books on writing or even taking a short writing course. A little bit of time invested here can go a long way to helping your blog.
2. HTML & CSS Skills
Sure, every major blogging platform comes with themes that you can just click to install and use, but what happens if you want to make it unique or fix something that’s broken? If you don’t know at least a little bit of HTML, you may be in big trouble.
Knowing the basics of HTML and CSS is the difference between having a site that looks like everyone else’s and having something that is truly unique. You don’t need to change much code to make a very big difference but you do have to know what to change.
If you’re weak in this area, pick up a few basic HTML books and practice with them. Also, you may want to learn the basics of PHP if you’re using a platform that’s based on it, such as WordPress, so you can fix minor problems with plugins and themes.
3. People Skills
Blogging may seem to be a solitary activity but you have to deal with other people all day long. Though the interactions may not be face to face, instead being via email, comments and social media, the rules for how to treat others doesn’t really change.
If you treat people good and trust those who are trustworthy, you’ll probably have no trouble with you people skills, However, if you are struggling in this area, it is really about practice more than anything. Though being shy is understandable, getting out there and talking to people is crucial.
Besides, if you can comfortably talk with and work with strangers face-to-face, working with them online should be easy.
4. Image Editing Skills
For most bloggers, the primary medium is text, but, at some point, you are going to want or need to work with an image as well. Whether it’s a logo you’re adding to your site, images you are inserting into your posts or just a new avatar for Twitter, you will likely find yourself manipulating images.
As such, it’s important to understand the basics of image editing including how to crop, resize, correct, reformat and do other simple changes to an image. It doesn’t require a Photoshop wizard to be able to run a blog, but if you can do the basic changes yourself, life does get a lot easier.
If you’re weak on your photo editing skills, the easiest way to learn is usually to just download a photo editing program, such as Paint.net, and practice or read through the provided tutorials. For the most part, this is something best learned by doing though there are great books available as well.
5. Social Networking Skills
Though I am loathe to agree with the army of social media and social networking “experts” who add me on Twitter every day, they are right that a blogger, or any business for that matter, needs some basic social networking skills. To be clear, this shouldn’t be an obsession but learning how to use Twitter and Facebook as well as other relevant services can be a major help to your site.
Part of social networking is the aforementioned people skills but it also plays a role in promotion and encouraging others to spread around your site as well.
Once again, the quickest way to learn if you need some help is to simply dive in but, with a simple search, you’ll find that there are literally thousands of tutorials and guides on this topic. There is no shortage of information out there.
You’ll note one of the skills I didn’t mention is computer skills. The reason is that it should be assumed. If you’re on the Internet and running a blog, you have a certain amount of computer knowledge already and the additional skills you need are more specialized (and mostly listed above). You don’t need to know how to work on a computer of replace a hard drive to be a good blogger, but knowing how to use one well helps, obviously.
In the end, the skills you need to be a good blogger are not that great or numerous. Though there are some not on this list, these are some of the big ones you definitely will need or want. If you don’t have them, it may be time to brush up on them and, if you do, there is always room to improve.
After all, one should never stop learning, especially when it comes to the skills at the core of something they love. You can always take things to the next level through practice and education and there is almost never any harm in doing it.
Are You Chasing the Flavor of the Month?
My first fundamental of successful blogging focuses you on being present.
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All of our power resides in the moment.
None of our power resides in the future or past because neither exists.
Time is illusion.
Only Now is real.
Look at that brilliant featured image. I snapped it from the front porch during our trip to Fiji. Sweet things happen when you are in the moment, focusing all power on the present.
This marks my 796th blog post on Blogging Tips. I feel grateful to Zac for the opportunity to serve you. Plus I feel grateful for all success that flowed to me through these guest posts.
How in the heck did I write and publish nearly 800 guest posts on one blog?
I am in the moment, mostly. I am present. Plus I never, never, ever chase the flavor of the month.
Bruce Lee and Blogging
Being patient, persistent and present helps you tap into immense powers, including the power of being creative *and* prolific. See my 800 blog posts on Blogging Tips as evidence of such power. Toss in my 2,008 articles (between posts and pages) on Blogging From Paradise and you understand: focusing on one core task, or core purpose, in the present, leads to amazing things.
Bruce Lee spoke of fearing not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but he did fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times. He embodied this mindset in his genius, Renaissance Man type ways.
Lee’s wisdom and physical prowess are both timeless because he understood and lived this great truth: do 1 thing so frequently, with a focused energy, being in the moment, that you do it incredibly well. He understood the truth of how I live my life: where your attention and energy goes, grows.
The Flavor of the Month
Most bloggers struggle because they practice 10,000 kicks once, chasing hot niches, running after trends, and choosing to blog today, and podcast tomorrow, because everybody runs a podcast these days. Wait a second; live video reigns supreme? Time to become a live video expert. Meanwhile, as you jump from niche to niche, and from blogging to podcasting to live videos, I just wrote and published 800 posts on Blogging Tips alone. Plus I wrote and published 1,000 more guest posts on other blogs.
While most bloggers chase hot trends, profitable niches and the latest game changing opportunity, guys like Alonzo and I thrive by doing one thing alone so we do it incredibly well.
Success is yours, but success is not an overnight or week-long endeavor.
Stop chasing hot niches. Visualize your dreams in detail. Focus on your blogging wins. Invest in coaching and courses from top bloggers. Surround yourself with positive vibes and positive people.
Write, publish and connect with top bloggers by helping top bloggers.
Success Finds Specialists
I took a nap this afternoon. A calm, peaceful breeze kisses my face right now as I write and enjoy the day.
Imagine if you could work from home every day? Visualize that fun and freedom.
Specialists are the only folks who work from home full time. People who do 1 thing persistently, practicing this skill, so they become super skilled in a single, specialized niche.
I gave all of my professional energy to being a blogger for the past 10 years. I became really skilled at blogging because I never chased the flavor of the month.
Avoid program hopping, niche hopping and all forms of flavor-chasing.
Do one thing. Do it well.
What Is the Incredibly Easiest Way to Drive Blog Traffic?
Drive traffic to other blogs.
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Give what you want.
Help people get what they want and people help you get what you want.
I have found this to be the easiest way to drive traffic to my blog because friends I made through cross-promotion promote me around the clock, 24-7, 365. Easy peasy.
I checked my Twitter a few moments ago. During the past 3 hours I noticed 11 mentions, engagements and retweets collectively. 3 hours, 11 engagements, more blog traffic.
I drive a heavy amount of traffic to my blog by driving a heavy amount of traffic to fellow bloggers who drive a heavy amount of traffic to Blogging From Paradise every day, all day long.
The more you give, the more you get.
The hardest way to drive blog traffic is to try to do it solo. Imagine publishing one post and hitting social share buttons. Even if I do a fine job writing the post, gaining traction solo is tough because successful bloggers know: 1000 is better than 1. 1000 blogging buddies promoting you 24-7, 365 beats you promoting yourself or you trying to write and publish 5 to 10 or more posts daily.
I used to publish 60 posts daily between 2 blogs. Short videos and short posts created the bulk of the content. I had a difficult time succeeding because you can only do so much solo. I published 60 posts in a cyber cave. Nobody listened to me because I did not listen to anybody. But making friends by driving traffic to other blogs made blogging easier and easier for me.
My blogging buddies – who appreciate me promoting them – freely:
- link to me on their blogs
- retweet my posts
- share my posts on Facebook
- share my posts on LinkedIn
- send my blog posts to their email list
That my friends is a lot of traffic flowing to my blog easily, freely and exponentially.
Every time a blogging buddy promotes you to their tribe you gain exposure to one more large, targeted audience. Imagine when you gain exposure in front of 10, 50, 100 and 1,000 or more audiences daily? This is serious traffic! Plus it is easy traffic because your prime duties of reading posts and tapping social share buttons, or, linking to fellow bloggers on your blog, are quite easy.
How to Drive Traffic to other Blogs
I spent a fair chunk of today driving traffic to other blogs.
I promoted some of my blog posts linking to my blogging buddies. I also retweeted and Facebook shared posts from other bloggers.
Each share lays the foundation for new blogging friendships and fortifies old blogging friendships. Every time I promote Donna Merrill or Alonzo Pichardo, we bond more deeply. Easy way to keep friendships strong and to grow your blog traffic exponentially.
You Will Run out of Time Solo But You Never Run out of Friends
Eventually, I ran out of time each day trying to do it all by myself. No human is super human. No human can be in a billion places at once, by their own steam.
But you never run out of friends if you are generous. During a reasonable lifetime, no blogger will befriend all 7 billion humans. You will however keep meeting friends every day if you drive traffic to other blogs every day.
As more folks befriend you, more folks promote you. What an easy way to increase traffic to your blog. Your ever expanding friend network does much of the legwork for you and also drives traffic to your blog:
- when you sleep
- when you travel
- when you spend time offline with family and friends
Sounds sweet, right?
Drive traffic to your blog easily.
What Are 2 Powerful Qualities of Top Bloggers?
John Chow and Bigfoot.
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No correlation exists save this post. Although John is super tall. I met him in person during Affiliate Summit East.
Both JC and Bigfoot taught me 2 incredibly powerful qualities of top bloggers.
John taught me how to think abundantly.
Bigfoot taught me to be open-minded and to think for myself.
A while back I recall reading a post on John’s blog.
He explained how being an Amazon Associate creates a steady passive income stream.
For an example, he showed how linking to a product your audience finds useful – in the proper context – leads to blogging profits. At the time, I admired his strategy but could not get why you’d link to an affiliate product for a measly $2 commission. But of course, John thinks like, feels like and is a multi millionaire so he thinks of acquiring increasing wealth versus thinking of how little he makes on certain commissions.
$2 adds to the John Chow millions. Plus, even if JC began blogging yesterday, at zero, he thought like a millionaire well before becoming a millionaire, so he would have made his first $2 on his way to millions.
These days, I think, feel and act abundantly. I celebrate every penny I make online because where your attention and energy goes, grows. Top bloggers think abundantly. If you think, feel and act abundantly, at year’s end, the $2 commission per sale yields $500,to $1000, to $5000 per a single income stream because the more you celebrate money and feel rich, the more money you make.
Top bloggers think: money. Open 5, 10, 15 or more income streams. Seize every opportunity to prosper. $2, there, and 100 sales later, you made $200. Top bloggers think abundance – versus lack – and make money.
Be Open Minded and Think for Yourself
As you know, I love studying the creature Bigfoot.
Most humans are closed-minded and follow the herd, being lazy thinkers, and simply agreed with the herd; naturally, these folks believe Bigfoot is a myth.
A handful of YouTube videos of Bigfoot scientifically breakdown:
- the size of these creatures: 7-10 foot tall, up to 5 feet wide, and 500-900 pounds
- the physiology of these creatures; compliant gate, 90% knee flexion, absence of neck, hulking trap muscles, heavy brow ridge
- the sounds these creatures make; clearly not within our current animal kingdom
If you are open-minded and think for yourself, you clearly see a huge, primate-type creature with some human-like qualities appears in these videos. Truth reveals itself to clear, deeper thinks.
But if you are closed-minded and agree with the herd, you become blind to the truth and see a guy in a suit, or hoax, in these handful of legit Sasquatch videos.
Like the small group of humans who know Sasquatch exist, top bloggers are both open-minded and do their own thinking. Successful bloggers open up to new strategies and new income streams. Plus these top folks never agree with the herd just because most people think a certain way; these pros think critically, for themselves.
I think incredibly deeply about blogging, and mindset, and see parallels no blogger on earth sees, save me. Why? I am open-minded and do my own thinking, for myself, never being swayed by the general public and its poisonous, limiting skepticism.
You almost have to be insane *not* to believe in Bigfoot after scientific video breakdowns and tens of thousands of credible eye-witnesses prove these encounters are with large primates, not humans in suits. Even a 300 pound, pro bodybuilder would look like a 5 year old trying to fit in his dad’s suit if he tried to wear a suit with dimensions for a 9 foot tall, 800 pound being.
In the same breath, you really need to be out there, if you are so closed-minded and agreeing with the poor masses, that you are blind to the truth of abundance around you, as a blogger.
Open your mind.
Think for yourself.
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