On the face of it, blogging seems like a straightforward thing to do. All you need to start a blog is a website and some ideas. Anyone can do it, and this is partially true. However, all bloggers should open themselves up to new ideas and skills. If you want to run a successful blog, then you’ll have to learn how to re-evaluate, adapt and be open to constantly learning new things. Some of you may be lucky enough to have some of these skills already, but many bloggers start off with hardly any of them. And that is totally ok. Blogging really is a learn as you go kind of business.
Here are a few of the essential skills you should master as a blogger:
Your blog will never make it out of the gate without gaining even a simple grasp of digital marketing.
“If you are wondering what digital marketing is… it’s is advertising delivered through digital channels. Channels such as social media, mobile applications, email, web applications, search engines, websites, or any new digital channel.
For a one man band like blogging, that is a lot to juggle, am I right?
Most bloggers start out with social media. They more than likely already use many of the platforms for personal use so they have at least some knowledge on how to leverage it. Plus, as a newbie, social media can be a source of quick, free, easy traffic. And that is great in the beginning when you are trying to keep motivated with forward momentum.
But many bloggers get stuck right there: using only social media, like Pinterest, to promote their blogs. What happens is that they end up constantly chasing numbers as they try to keep that initial momentum going. Eventually they realize that this strategy can be a huge time suck and start to look for a more sustainable approach to digital marketing.
You have probably heard that the key to longevity and making money blogging is getting ranked on Google. The bonus is that people that find your blog through organic searches usually stay longer and are in the right mindset to receive your content and products. However, the thing that most bloggers don’t want to hear is that Search Engine Optimization takes longer to master but it is so worth it.
Learning and understanding the ins and outs of SEO is vital for bloggers. It helps you improve your search ranking and gain more targeted traffic. You’ll find countless resources online, like other blogs and You-Tube, to help you grasp the basics of SEO. But it may take you a very long time to truly develop this skill. To save yourself oodles of time, it is cost effective to take a digital marketing ebook or course. If you are a total newbie to SEO, I recommend starting with this.
Most bloggers don’t realize they need at least some advanced finance skills when running a blog. Having a detailed understanding of finance will help you keep all of your accounts in order and separate from your personal ones. This ensures you pay enough tax on your income, you manage your books correctly, and you budget properly so that you don’t overspend on your blog. (Yes, I am talking to you, course hoarder!)
And while most bloggers don’t hesitate to buy resources on how to blog successfully, they miss the boat on developing well rounded business skills. I would say that financial knowledge is well worth investing in. The bonus is that money smarts are transferable to other areas of your life.
You can take basic bookkeeping courses on the internet, and there are even more advanced CFA courses online. If you have a background in finance, then it can benefit you to learn more and gain more qualifications. At the end of the day, this can also act as a safety net if your blog falls through. If your blog doesn’t work out, you have set yourself up so that you can get another job easily with your advanced skills.
You can’t be a blogger if you don’t have a firm grasp on your creative writing skills. The keyword here is creative. Anyone can write, but do you have the creativity to write numerous articles and still retain your audience? It’s a skill that can be learned, but most bloggers will naturally be at least a bit creative. Without creative writing skills, your blog will turn stale, fast. Nobody wants to read the same old stuff over and over again.
You must learn how to captivate your audience with your voice and take them on a journey, from problem and struggle to solution. By the time they finish your posts, they should feel like they’re in a different place than they were before they started reading.
Learning how to be more diverse with your blog topics, while still aligning them with the theme of your blog will help you create a community of fans that will come back over and over again. You can find creative writing courses online, at your local library and college. But honestly, this skill is often developed through practice! Stephen King still consistently writes at least 1,500 words a day. Make a commitment to yourself to write. Every single day.
Bloggers should always be seeking out new knowledge and looking to develop their skill sets. For me, the above three skills are an excellent starting point.
Learn how to market your blog, and you’ll gain more traffic.
Learn how to take control of your finances, and you’ll get control of your money.
And finally, learn how to be creative, and you will keep people on your blog for longer while ensuring your audience returns.