7 Proven Ways to Becoming a Better Blogger
Whether you want to increase your site traffic, monetize your blog or sell products, I’ll tell you now that it’s not going to be easy at first but with time you’ll reach pro blogger status - only if you’re ready and willing to put in the work.
If you’re talking about making mistakes when it comes to blogging, I’ve been there. So far I’ve launched a handful of personal blogs in 8 years – quitting at some point and starting all over again because I underestimated this industry.
Blogging takes time as there are a lot of things involved. You need good practices in place and this post will show you the steps you need to take to become a better blogger no matter what your niche is.
What’s your why?
Quality research is key
Understand the power of great visuals
Be willing to learn
Organization is key
Consistency, positivity and patience
1 | What’s your why?
This is one question every beginner blogger must ask themselves. What are you planning to achieve by blogging? Do you want to turn it into a business in the future? Write quality content that will attract brands/sponsors? Or leave your full-time job and make money from it so you can spend time with family or do what you love. Whatever it is, you need to know why you started a blog in the first place.
When you know what you want to achieve, it’s easier to make plans and take steps to get there.
2 | Plan! Plan! Plan!
If you want to be successful at anything, and not just blogging, you need to plan. Planning is the process of preparing action steps in other to achieve a goal. When you plan, you avoid unnecessary errors that may have ended in a crisis.
To become a better blogger, you should be proactive rather than reactive especially when it comes to content. Your content should be planned out weeks in advance and not when the mood strikes. A great blogger plans out content at least one month in advance. Granted, there will be changes and trends you want to write about but you can have a list with your blog post ideas written down somewhere.
I plan my content at least two weeks in advance with an editorial calendar (didn’t say I was a great blogger). Not every detail is included but it gives me an idea on what topics I’ll be blogging about. For the actual content (research, writing, photography), I do that a week before to give me enough time to create quality content, because people can tell when you’re half-assing and that’s not helping anybody, including yourself.
Think ahead – are there any upcoming events or holidays you’d like to plan your content around? For example, November is ideal for blogging about Christmas gift buying guides.
Next step is to decide how many posts you can handle in a week. Most people are comfortable with 2-3 blog posts but some others can only handle one. The more you post, the higher your traffic but know what you’re capable of handling before you decide so you can stick to it and be consistent.
Now that you have topics ready and what your posting schedule will look like, start organizing your thoughts and ideas for each post. Write them down somewhere so you don’t forget. Start with an introduction, then add some important points and finish with a conclusion. It doesn’t have to be perfect because it’s kind of your first draft.
3 | Quality research is key
“Trust, Authority and Influence are all traits of successful content that establishes brands and content creators as real thought leaders. Every piece of content you publish should seek to achieve this trifecta.” - Ben Sailer.
If your goal is to be seen as a thought leader, you need to know how to carry out good research. Most blog topics you can think of have been written before but what will make you stand out is the amount of useful information you get from doing a lot of research on that topic.
Not sure where to begin your research? Google is always a good start. Type in your topic and see what other bloggers have written about it. What are the things they covered in their post? What did they miss out that you can include in yours? If they cited somewhere, visit that link and see if they omitted some information. Don’t ever copy people – your content must always be original and should aim at providing information or solving a problem.
Quora is another place to find out more about your topic. Type it in the search box and get some intelligent responses that may be useful content for your readers. Use a Keyword tool site to know what keywords people associate with your topic, search for those keywords on social media to get more information.
With the information you have, add what you already know about the topic and begin to create content packed with useful information that people will appreciate.
4 | Understand the power of great visuals
A good blog post is not just about text but a combination of text, images, video, infographic and even slides. People love a good photo (why do you think Instagram is very popular?) plus images make your blog posts more appealing – when you’re using the right ones.
To make quality images for you blog, you need the proper tools for that. Let me be brutally honest with you - your phone camera won’t cut it! If you really want to attract people to your blog, your images have to be good quality and must be relevant to your topic.
Buzzsumo conducted a study and found out that articles with an image after every 75-100 words got double the amount of shares compared to those with fewer images. You can choose to do your own photography or hire a pro to help you.
Here are some tools I’d recommend to create better images:
Camera and accessories: You need a camera if you want to create quality photos for your blog and it doesn’t have to be the most expensive. Even the basic Canon Rebel series cameras take amazing photos. I use my Canon T4i camera with a 50mm f/1.8 lens for my photography but If I need a different camera or lens, I usually go to my favorite camera store to rent them.
Editing software: After you have taken your photos, they have to be edited to look more professional and also match your brand. I love using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to edit my photos. Adobe has different plans you can choose from but they also offer a 7-day trial so you can try both and see which program suits your needs better.
Graphics will create a more lasting impression for your readers than your written content because it draws them in and they’ll want to share your posts on their social media. According to Smart Blogger, visual information is processed 60,000 times more than written information which is one reason to include them in your blog content.
The main places I use graphics are for my featured images or on Pinterest (look out for a post on how you can use Pinterest to grow your blog traffic) and Canva is my go to.
5 | The learning never ends
New things happen everyday and to become a better blogger, you need to always be on top of them. Having your ideas is not enough – there are other people who are more knowledgeable than you and you must always be ready to learn something new.
I won’t call myself a photography, style or home decor expert – far from it- because I’m still learning and practicing. I usually read books, blogs or take advantage of online courses like Lynda, Udemy and Creative Live to increase my knowledge and improve my skills.
Are there any bloggers you look up to in your niche? You can also reach out to them with any questions you have. If possible, find a mentor because it’ll really help you in your blogging journey.
No matter what, make it a goal to learn something new everyday. The amount of information out there is endless so take good advantage of them.
6 | Organization is key
Most people don’t know that being a blogger means you have to wear many hats – editor, photographer, assistant, CEO and that’s just scratching the surface. The blogger life can be a bit overwhelming and that’s why you need some sort of order in your routine.
If you have a day job, try to schedule your blogging activities around it. You can use your lunch break to write posts or go out to take photos. If you blog full time, make sure you don’t spend all day blogging. Set a time to work on your blog and a time to do other important stuff not related to blogging for balance.
To plan when I want to write my blog posts, I use Asana. After creating a task for example, I set a deadline date, attached files if I need to and include sub tasks. That way, I always know what I’m supposed to work on next and I don’t get overwhelmed.
7 | Consistency, positivity and patience
Becoming a better blogger requires a certain level of consistency. Don’t start a blog, gain loyal readers and then all of a sudden stop posting. Find out how many posts you can handle in a week and stick to it unfailingly.
I’m guilty of comparing my blog to established blogs but I remind myself that blogs like The Every Girl, Style By Emily Henderson, and Apartment Therapy did not happen overnight because a ton of work was involved. They all started from scratch and built these amazing online resources for their audiences.
Some people won’t understand what you do and they won’t support you but that’s okay, you’re not doing it to please anyone. You’ll make so many mistakes along the way, learn from them. With time, if you keep being positive and persistent, you’ll begin to see results.
In a few sentences, share what your blog is about in the comments below!
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