Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
How can I become a better blogger? It is a question I hear at least weekly when talking with clients and preparing content strategies; it is also a common refrain I read online in the various forums in which I participate. There is no one size fits all answer and there is no magic bullet that will turn you from ho-hum into rock star blogger in the blink of a cursor.
There are steps you can take to amp up your efforts and help you become known as either an expert in your niche or as a go-to voice of experience. Having a plan, whether it’s a blogging business plan, or a method for when and how you will update your social media pages or even which social media platforms make the most sense for you, if you don’t have a plan you will likely keep spinning your wheels.
To gain experience at blogging consistency counts as does practice, practice, practice. Here are some of my tips to becoming a better blogger – not all of them are quick to implement, but if you’re serious about your craft and want to become a “better” blogger for whatever reasons, here are some steps to implement today:
- Know your audience. If you don’t know who you’re writing to you won’t know whether your information is relevant to them. Knowing your audience is crucial if you’re using your blog as a way to work with brands in the BlogPaws programs or if you’re growing a pet (or other) business in which you’re looking for clients. If you’re putting together a business plan for your blogging one of the first things you need to know is who your target market is. If you don’t know that, you need to take time to uncover that first.
- Pretty pictures draw readers in and break up the text. It is a well known fact that social media posts with photos have more engagement. Make certain your images match the tone of the article. If you’re blogging about washing dogs, it doesn’t make sense to have a photo of birds in a cage. Blog readers subscribe to the adage,“A picture says a thousand words.” There are ways to become a better photographer and that will help you capture images for your blog posts.
- Share the love. Link to outside sources in your blog posts. If you find a blog you love and if you’re writing a complementary post, link out to that blog. Outbound links enhance your SEO, your credibility and if you show link love to another blog they may just return the favor.
- Share your posts. When it comes to blogs, it isn’t always a matter of, “if you write it, they will come.” When you consider the millions of blog posts that go live on a daily basis, you have heavy competition. One of the ways your posts will be found is if you are actively promoting them. How? Through your social media platforms. While you don’t want all of your social media updates to be, “Hey read the latest blog post I’ve written,” you certainly want to let those who follow you know you have written a post. Use an intriguing line or fact from your post then link back to it. If you can ask a question or prompt discussion that leads a reader back to your blog, then you have done your job!
- Be consistent. Imagine if a reader comes to your blog because you’re posting every single day. They love it! They love you! Then, the next week they come back and you haven’t posted in a couple of days; they check back in another week and notice that you’ve only posted one blog post. They may be wondering if you’re giving up the blog, if you’re closing the business, or myriad other thoughts. Remember, with the staggering amount of competition for your readers’ time and attention, he or she will find a blog that is similar to the one you were posting and will turn to it for their content because you are no longer supplying the information they were seeking. If you have an audience, cultivate and feed them!
- Continual learning. Just because you’re a good blogger today and you have readers doesn’t mean you can stop learning and stop perfecting your craft. Imagine if you jumped on the bandwagon when MySpace came into existence, and you stayed there… you never migrated over to Facebook or Twitter, you would be behind the curve, right? Attending blogging conferences, networking with other bloggers (both inside and outside of your area of expertise), and being a constant learner will help you become, and stay, a better blogger.
Better blogging and being a better blogger also includes proofreading and editing your posts before they go live. Researching your facts. Writing headlines that draw them in and providing content that keeps them there.
What do you think makes someone a “better blogger?”