Blogging takes work. That doesn’t mean that it’s laborious, but there are some keys like discipline, planning, writing, editing, attention-to-presentation and promoting that are involved in maintaining a blog.
There’s a reason some people contemplate starting a blog and then feel a bit overwhelmed by the how-to of it all. No need to be overwhelmed, but more so aware of the homework and housework that goes on behind the screen.
Take exercise for example. When we think about all the work, sweat and time it takes to get and stay fit, it can be a little…intimidating. But when we focus on the benefits and consider how being healthier and more toned can enhance our quality of life, reduce the risk of potential conditions and upgrade our physical health, it makes the idea of working-out more appealing (even if it takes a nudge or two to get started, and another few to stay consistent.)
Even if you’re a (consistent) hobby blogger, you’re very likely picking up and polishing skills that can serve you beyond your blog. How do I know? Well, when an entrepreneurial magazine was looking for an Associate Editor, my blogging background and associated skills overrode all the other info on my resume even though I’ve worked in 2 (music) libraries.
Turned out that they weren’t yet ready resource-wise, to take on the project on a consistent basis (grateful still), but I worked on their e-magazine for a term, having content planning meetings with the Editor, contacting and coordinating writers, doing interviews and articles, and proofreading content.
When first asked about any experience that could directly contribute to their project, I had replied, “not formally…but…I’ve been blogging from March 2013, and have coordinated 20 blog and podcast guests from 6 destinations?” And yes, the question mark was intentional.
I invited them to check out this site where they could see evidence of not only my writing and editing but also interview style, attention to precision with transcribing and coordinating content – and consistency.
So, let’s get to those 5 skills you learn (or already have) the better you blog. They’re parts of the engine that keep your hobby or business blog moving and can work together as a service-set to help others if you’re thinking of a way to earn some extra income.
You ever started a morning workout feeling lethargic and puffy-eyed but finished it refreshed and energized? Well, blogging can be like that on some days. For those times when inspiration has temporarily left the building, commitment to writing and posting wins.
- what to write
- who you’re writing to and for
- when to post
- where to share
- how to keep track of content
All items on your checklist as a blogger and things that help you become a better writer. Yes, there are probably gonna be times when you log on, write a post and click publish on a day that wasn’t scheduled or about a topic that wasn’t on your list, but chances are, you actually have a list of blog post ideas.
Listing blog post ideas (in bulk) in your notebook or Spreadsheet is like making sure your car has gas in preparation for your next trip.
3. Coordinating content
Whether it’s pitching, scheduling, recording and editing interviews or logging your blog posts and related content in an Editorial Calendar (Spreadsheet or in an app like Trello), you’re managing content.
From primary school days, neat handwriting, heading up (adding a clear title to work) and handing in clean notebooks were important. In blogging, an eye for presentation makes a big difference. With all the pretty templates WordPress offers (or SquareSpace if that’s what you use), many bloggers spend nuff’ time auditioning designs and fonts to find the best one/s for their blog.
You don’t need to have top graphic design skills, but since good visual content can add value by inspiring someone to read, many bloggers include tastefully-placed photos in their posts, make use of the sidebar/footer areas and customize their blogs.
Chances are when you write or type out a blog post, you read and re-read it a few times, and if you’re like me, you repeat that after publishing jussst to be sure. You’re sharpening your editing eyes when you do this.
As fans of writing, fonts, templates and bullet lists, it might be hard to imagine that a lot of the tasks many of us bloggers enjoy or just do automatically (like planning, posting, proofreading and publishing), seem totally tedious but essential to someone else.
You might be surprised at how some of the skills you use to map and maintain your blog (and maybe take for granted?), are valued by leading businesses and organizations as key content skills.
If you’re working from home while posting online, you’re also showing potential employers and big-ticket content clients you might be thinking of approaching, that you can work well and consistently without (constant) supervision or external motivation. That’s always nice to know.
Need to show samples of your writing ability a.s.a.p.? Your blog is a reference for that too.
Oh, and as a consistent blogger, you (ideally) also have some hands-on knowledge of tech, SEO and analytics in that you can navigate your way around the backend of a blog or website, with decent finesse and make use of the best keywords to increase its visibility while monitoring daily activity.
So which skill can you sharpen today to help boost your blog and serve your readers better, or which one will you refine and offer as a service to earn some extra income?
‘5 Key Skills You Learn The Better You Blog’ first appeared on ‘Joy within’ blog
Speaking of serving readers better, is there a related topic you’d like me to write about or share more on?