The world of blogging is growing exponentially every day. More and more blogs are sprouting up in every corner of the internet in a desperate attempt to stake a claim in this modern age gold rush. The key to your success as a blogger is going to rely on a couple key factors. Namely, standing out among the crowd and networking with other bloggers.
The following is a continuation of my previous blog post entitled 10 Quick Tips to Boost Your Blogging Skills. Though my first take on this subject focused more on technical and material subjects of blogging, this will focus on the more abstract and conceptual ideas geared towards making you a better blogger.
1. Never Blog for the Sake of Blogging
Let me explain this one, as it is possibly the most important tip I can give to any new blogger. When you start out blogging you may feel obliged to post content, to fill your blog up with new stuff as fast as possible. This is a deadly mistake! Never blog for the sake of blogging. You have to be patient, and realize that content is king! It’s not how much content your blog has that determines your success, it’s how much value is packed within those posts. When you blog just for the sake of blogging you end up with what is called fluff. Fluff is there to take up space, nothing more. Fluff will kill your blog.
I included this somewhat on the last list as well, and there is a good reason for this. This is the single most damaging thing I have seen among new bloggers. You should never feel pressured or obliged to fill your new blog up with content! Let the ideas come, let the words flow naturally and realize that writer’s block will come up all the time. But you cannot break it down with fluff!
2. Don’t get Obsessive over the Wrong Things
In order to be a successful blogger you have to be obsessive, you have to be a bit of a perfectionist. But being obsessive in the wrong areas is counterproductive. An ex fellow blogger of mine used to get caught up in the most obsessive of details. He would spend hours picking out the right color for his bottom left sidebar widget. He would spend days picking out a new theme only to discard it later. He would obsess over his avatar and his headings. This is an easy thing to get caught up in, I mean your blog is your baby! And we all would like our baby to look it’s best.
Heck I am guilty of this, in fact every successful blogger at one point in their career found themselves obsessing over meaningless details. Yes you want your blog to be comprehensible, neat and unique but you cannot obsess over these things! Obsess over your content, the value you put into your work and the overall feel to your blog; I promise you the rewards are much greater.
3. Content Regurgitation is Not Okay!
Let’s say your were just at some awesome blog reading a post that blew your mind away. It is not okay to twist the words up and slap that same post onto your blog, even if you rewrite the entire thing and add your own type of spin on it. This should be avoided; not because of copyright laws, not because the author of the original post is going to hunt you down, not because it’s morally wrong – this should be avoided because it doesn’t help grow your blogging skills.
Blogging is all about finding the writer within yourself and bringing that writer to the surface each and every time your blog. You want all of your posts to be %100 original and to come from deep within you. Sure regurgitating some grade A content might get you some search engine traffic and a couple extra clicks on the old adsense account but I promise you it will not get you any loyal readers or subscribers. The passion just isn’t there. Which brings me to my next point.
4. Be Passionate about Your Subject
Standing out among the crowd is one of the most important things you can do. If your blog is just another business opportunity lead capture hunk of junk it will fall into the crowd and be lost forever. The key to standing out is passion.
The key here is choosing a blogging topic that you will actually be passionate about, because blogging is a long haul job. Ask yourself, can I see myself blogging about this same subject 12 or 16 months from now? If the answer is no then choose another topic. 3 things you might want to ask yourself when choosing a topic are as follows.
- Is this something that genuinely interests me or am I doing this just to make some extra cash?
- Will people actually read this? Is there a marketable demand out there for my topic?
- How thick is the competition for my topic and is it going to work for me or against me?
Take time to outline your thoughts and see what really interests you. Research this topic to find out the demand (you can do this for free with any of Google’s research tools). Dig into your topic to find out the main competitors and the blogs:readers ratio. Researching your topic before coming out firing is going to determine whether or not passion will develop and in turn whether or not your blog will sink or swim.
Keep your doors opened
5. Don’t Shut the Door on Opportunity
This is more meticulous than conceptual but important none the less to networking and connecting with other bloggers. Glance at your blog. Is it easy to get in touch with you? Can a reader find you on social media from your blog? Is all your contact information presented in an easy to digest manner?
A future business partner or blogging friend might be trying to get in touch with you and if it’s difficult to reach you or finding your contact info isn’t user friendly, then you’re simply shutting the door on opportunity.
6. Tend to Your Baby!
Your blog is your baby and you can’t just give it what it needs then set it free to go make you money. You have to tend it to it constantly. And by “tending” I don’t mean simply posting on a regular basis (though that is important too). I mean you have to be there in every sense of the word.
Ben Lang is a perfect example. If you dig through his posts you’ll notice for example he is always replying to reader comments. Always interacting with the readers of his blog and continually growing his blog and himself as a blogger. This is essential as it all ties in with networking and connecting with other bloggers.
7. Give Without Expecting Anything in Return
Not everything you do is going to be acknowledged right away. Not everyone who comes to your blog is going to make you money or buy your affiliate product. But that doesn’t mean one reader is more important than the next, or that one blog post is more rewarding than the other just because it makes you more money.
The best way to stand out among the crowd and connect with like minded bloggers is to give give give give give! Don’t hesitate for a second to give props to an awesome blogger. Don’t think twice about linking to a blog that has helped you out. The vast majority of bloggers out there are one man teams only looking out for them selves.
8. Patience, Persistence, Perseverance
Blogging is tough. And most people who get into it have a zealous enthusiasm that guides them for a week or so and then dies out. Realize that the most rewarding aspects of blogging may not come right away, in fact they might be months or even years down the road. But patience, persistence and perseverance will see to it that you reach these rewards.
Blogging is not immediate, especially when it comes to making money from your blog. It’s not like an MLM company where you focus on the here and now, signing up leads and getting commissions. Successful blogger know the journey is tough and full of pitfalls. But successful bloggers also know that these pitfalls are in our heads and can only be overcome by our own stamina.
Next to passion, the most important thing you can do when blogging is to keep that initial zealous enthusiasm that got you into blogging in the first place, and make it last through the thick and thin along your journey.
9. Write for Your Readers, Not for Everyone
When you start blogging you want to write for your targeted readers, and not for the world. Remember that not everyone is going to be agreeing with what you have to say. Also remember that those who think the exact opposite of what you think are not your targeted audience. You have to accept that fact that you cannot please the world; if you try to do this your words will become compromised, gray, boring and will blend in with the crowd.
Keep the controversy, never sacrifice your thoughts in an effort to please both sides. State what you came to state and then let yourself be judged! If you’re writing in such a way to not piss anyone off or in an effort to get everyone out there on the net to like and agree with you, well then you’re just sitting on the fence – and as a blogging mentor of mine once said, there’s money on both sides of the fence but none for those who sit on it.
10. Never Stop Learning
Blogging is not a destination, it’s a journey. I know that sounds like a lame cliche but it’s true. You are not going to reach some pinnacle of achievement with blogging; you’re always going to be growing and learning new things. Thus never think for one second that you are on a journey to success, the journey is success.
Even the most popular and successful bloggers are continually learning and honing their skill from other bloggers and other resources. You can learn something new from the blogging gurus and from the blogging numskulls. You can learn new things from sages and from fools.