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.
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.
3 Tips for Bonding with Blogging Influencers
Forget traditional influencer marketing. We want to go deeper.
Bloggers teach influencer marketing from a less genuine space sometimes. Imagine learning how to try to get someone to do something for you. Manipulation marketing. Fear-based marketing. Problems arise; spam folders become your landing spot. I observe a decent percentage of influencer marketing emails in my spam folder because fear-pitches get labeled as spam and become spam, 100% of the time.
What is the solution? Learn how to bond with blogging influencers.
I remember people who befriend me. I admire people who endorse me or promote me. I appreciate people who buy my course or eBooks. I love people who generously help me for months. Guess what? Bonding with established bloggers influences the influencers. I do stuff for dear blogging friends I do not do for anybody else. If a friend sends me a guest post and their writing is tight, I place it. Even if said post spans 1000 words or more – my minimum count is 600 – I place it without hesitating. Friends found my heart. Friends influenced me through kindness and generosity. I am largely putty in their blogging hands.
Instead of trying to manipulate a successful stranger, bond with a friend. Change your approach to influencer marketing. Make friends. Help without asking. In time, blogging bonds form organically. If you practice writing, the world becomes your oyster because influencers take you to new levels of success, without you even asking.
Follow these tips to bond with influencers.
1: Buy a Resource
The best way to bond with an influencer is to get inside their heads.
Influential bloggers had to influence influential bloggers on the way up to become influential. Invest in a resource like my influential blogger eBook to learn how influencers do it. Speak their language. Connect. Take their viewpoint. Learn how to be influential yourself.
When you discover how to be influential through my resource you in essence, learn how to influence, influencers, by bonding with these pros.
2: Spend a Few Months Giving Not Asking
Bloggers I remember, then befriend, spend at least a few months giving and not asking. Someone buys my course, publishes 10 comments on my blog, and retweets my posts 10 or 20 times during a 3 month period. These people pop up on my radar screen because they gave and asked for nothing. Bonds form. Friendships develop.
Retweet fellow bloggers. Help them. Feature fellow bloggers. Open your blog to guest posting. Guest post on other blogs. Comment genuinely on blogs. Buy products.
Ask for nothing, for at least 3-4 months. Allow friendships to form organically. Blogging friends help each other because blogging friends trust each other. Influential bloggers fall into this helping lot too, as you generously serve them, ask for nothing and polish your writing skills. I gained more endorsements from pros by being generous than through any other method. Help influential bloggers. Ask for nothing. Influential bloggers help you without you asking for a darn thing.
3: Never Rush the Process
Some blogger friend requested me on Facebook a few moments ago. I scanned my messages to see his business pitch in the “other” folder. He simply rushed the process of pitching an established blogger. I appreciate the friend request but pitching your business before generously helping me ensures I ignore all future messages. He rushed the process so I let him go.
Perhaps he smartens up and begins helping me generously without asking for anything. After a few months of helping me and asking for nothing, we bond. We become friends. From there, the opportunities are limitless. Even if I do not use his service, if he has skills and a reputable business model I can share his services with my readers.
Good things take some time. Never rush the bonding process.
Allow bonds to form organically to do influencer marketing right.
How Do Blogging and Fitness Relate?
I spend 3 hours daily honing my mental and physical fitness.
In truth, you can and will succeed online following simple fundamentals from a generous, detached energy. No need to be fit to go full time blogging. But if you feel bad because your body feels bad and your mind fears losing it all, have you succeeded? I do not believe so.
I wrote an eBook sharing my daily regimen to explain what many of you readers want to know: how do I do it all? I am no blogging god. I am just human. But I write and connect quite a bit. People wish to know how I wrote 100 plus eBooks in addition to all the other stuff I do while circling the globe. Well, blogging and fitness are 2 peas in a pod for me. Both play a big role if you desiring leveling up and feeling good predominantly as you enjoy the ride.
Blogging and Fitness
Let’s say you wake up on a Monday morning as a full time employee who blogs part time. Feeling terrible and dreading work, why write and publish a post? Too busy. Do it later. Put off the post until tonight. But you feel too tired that night. Repeat this cycle for 3 months. 90 days passed. Still no blog post. Why? You filled your mind with fear and pain. Manifesting as blogging loss, backburnering the post for 3 months indicates fear in mind. Why fear? 100% of the time, fear dominates minds of people who spend zero time on mental fitness, never meditating or doing deep yin yoga or observing their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time, these same folks dominated by their own fears never commit seriously to being physically fit through exercising.
Feel good by caring for your mind and body. Vibe higher than fears crippling most bloggers. Imagine the above scenario with one difference: you devote 1-2 hours daily exercising and raising your energy via mindset training. Devote 30 minutes to power walking and 30 minutes to deep yin yoga. On waking that Monday morning, either a blog post idea finds you and you write the post, or after a few uncomfortable moments and feelings, the idea flows to you and you write the post.
I cannot explain this process logically because it flows 100% emotionally, feelings-wise. Visualize yourself in moments you feel really good. All seems possible. Ideas flow to you. Opportunities flow to you. Why? Feeling good magnetizes you to freeing, success-promoting ideas. Being fit mentally and physically is the easiest way to feel good most of the time. Plus in those moments you feel bad mentally and physically, you face, feel and release the bad feelings, quickly, because you feel mentally and physically fit, predominantly.
Being fit naturally alerts you to the success-promoting idea of gratitude. Gratitude builds blogging success because seeing every penny of income, every blog comment and all interest in your blogging courses feels awesome to you. Feeling awesome inspires you to blog for years generously. Blogging generously for years makes you successful.
Corey at the Good Oil Marketing retweeted my blogging course recently. I feel grateful he spread the word for me considering he is a successful, high level marketer. I feel these feelings and build on my success because I feel grateful. I feel grateful because I trained my mind and body to feel good, through being fit daily, in order to tune into appreciation easily.
Be a successful blogger by being mentally and physically fit.
Why Doing this Works Better than Asking for Business Referrals
After I released my flagship eBook – How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging – I noticed something neat. My sales increased 12 fold the day I published a guest post for a highly successful blogger.
Seeing this spike clued me in to the quickest, easiest way to increase business: help people for free. Being generous improves skills, increases exposure and expands your business. Greater traffic and profits follow generous bloggers because helping people for free helps you be skilled and see, two qualities in every prospering blogger who reaps sweet blogging profits.
A large set of bloggers goes in another direction. Some ask for business referrals from trusted blogging buddies to drum up business. Feel free to take this route but know referral fishing is an ineffective way to drive profits because of two clear reasons:
- referral-seeking seems to be time-wasting
- referral-seeking rarely inspires trusted bloggers to take clear, business-building action, for you
I know 20 plus web developers. A few trusted blogging web developer buddies have reached out to me, seeking referrals. Two issues arise:
- the referral seeker has no idea if I know bloggers needing web development; non-targeted campaign
- I already know 20 plus developers, trusted buddies all, so I could never choose one to refer to someone if 20 seem qualified
Top Bloggers Become Ruthlessly Effective with their Time
Versus seeking referral business by asking blogging buddies if they know someone requiring your service, spend 20 minutes to write and publish a quality guest post for a blogger in your business niche. Instead of pitching 1 human, show off your web development skills for free, via a guest post, for 1,000 people. Do you see what I mean? Leverage. Do not ask for business. Serve for business. Although time needs pass and generosity needs inclusion in blogging business-building, helping for free is the quickest, simplest way to increase blogging business because you reach large, targeted audiences of clients with your attention and energy versus asking 1 person for business in non-targeted, ineffective fashion.
12 Times Daily Sales
I recall the day vividly, 5 years ago. I created and launched Blogging From Paradise. Before writing 100 plus eBooks, I wrote one. I did drive some sales through my blog but guest posting woke me up; why not leverage my presence and grow business by helping people for free, via different platforms? Eye-opener for me. Instead of asking, I gave. How easy? Giving freely is the easiest way to get freely. I observed a 12 times daily sales eBook increase for good reason that day: helping people generously through sites other than your blog is a simple way to grow your blogging business.
The simplest, direct, effective way to grow your business is to help people for free. Asking for referrals leads to a client or customer here and there, but full time bloggers are not in the “here and there” business as far as growing your venture. Pro bloggers drive steady profits through their blog by being generous on their blog and on other platforms.
Be helpful for free. Publish posts. Submit guest posts. Run a podcast. Broadcast live on Facebook. Help people for free to help people for pay. Versus untargeted referral-seeking, this is the effective way to grow your blogging business from a generous, genuine energy.
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