There’s such a buzz around blogging and how to make money out of it, but there’s way to little dialogue around the core skill a blogger should expand: writing. My goal is to bring this topic in the spotlight, so here I go.
For the last couple of months I dived into the blogging ecosystem as much as I could. I reached A-players to find out how they filter brand partnerships, I interviewed professional bloggers, I attended webinars about making a living out of it, I skimmed through lots of pages about how blogging can be a gateway.
From all the insights I gathered, I genuinely came to the conclusion that there’s too little debate about what defines a blogger in the first place: the love for expressing his ideas aka writing. I summed up a short list of reasons why this core skill entirely shapes your digital journey both in the short and the long run. Please bear in mind that anyone can do it as long as it’s a fit in terms of attitude and personality. Let’s dive in!
So if you don’t like writing, trying to become a famous blogger might not be the best career choice. Same goes with creating software—if you aren’t keen on doing a ton of both support and marketing once it launches, your efforts may be best spent elsewhere. (Paul Jarvis)
The outcome of success is your focus
At the end of the day, it comes down to how and where you invest your focus and energy. While a bunch of bloggers tweet heavily and create waves of self promo by sharing a tone of stuff, there are a few who prefer to direct their attention in crafting the next article.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the research around the topic, the process of editing, the effort of finding the perfect photos — they’re caught in the process of delivering consistent messages. At the end of the day, blogging is all about expressing ideas, thoughts, perspective, what follows is tactic.
Tip: Protect your focus and invest your resources in the DNA of your blog — your ideas. This is what will take you far or it will throw you in the dark corner of the Internet, where nobody actually cares about your www.
Pay attention on how you fill your day
Start monitoring what you do on a daily basis in terms of blogging activities and analyze your attempts with a critical eye. Be honest with yourself and try to find out if you’re in the game because you deeply believe it fits your inner-why.
Blogging is an entrepreneurial journey and this means you should feel comfortable with wearing many hats at the same time. However, writing will always be placed at the center of this universe, so make sure you embrace it.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you enjoy more talking with people on Twitter rather than writing per se, maybe you should reconsider your blogging attempt and try a different option (community builder, for instance).
Tip: See what dictates your day and be authentic about your preferences. If spending most of the time on crafting ideas and telling stories is not the main thing, maybe it’s time to redefine your path.
Bold ideas are beautifully packed
It’s quite hard to deliver efficient messages in general, but when it comes to written communication it’s even more challenging. If in a real-time dialogue you have the chance to complete your puzzle with non-verbal gestures, in the digital landscape you need to carefully fine-tune every single word.
It takes a lot of practice to achieve great results through your articles and to be consistent from start to finish, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be done. No matter the driving goal, you can make it happen and convince people to join your mailing list, to leave a comment or to share your piece of content.
Tip: Develop a habit of fiercely editing your articles every single time. Read them out loud and note the key messages to make sure that what you want to deliver is what people will actually receive. Pay huge attention to the aesthetic side of the story as well.
Great writing takes time
In my endeavor of understanding what makes a good blog, I noticed that there are people who publish two (sometimes even more) articles per day. This is a lot if you take into consideration that a top-notch piece of writing requires running through several stages.
At first, I thought that they are just very talented and hardworking guys and gals, but when I delved into those stories it became crystal clear that quantity came first. There was nothing to be truly touching or showcased in a fresh perspective, which made me feel that I’ve been cheated.
It’s true that practice makes perfect, but it’s also true that not every single draft should see the light of the day. The type of content your are feeding your audience with will influence the quality and the loyalty of your readers.
Tip: Before aiming to provide 3–5K words per day, make sure you write meaningful stuff for the audience you are addressing to. Numbers per se mean nothing, if they’re not supported by concrete results.
More writing and less self promo
As in any other industry, the blogging world makes no exception when it comes to marketing and promotional strategies. There are (way) too many bloggers who shout more often and louder than they write. Again, I wonder if those people would not be better PRs, promo ambassadors or even salespersons than bloggers.
Letting people know about your work is something you should definitely do, there’s no doubt about it. Yet, if this means you ignore or damage the writing process, then the poor results should no longer be a surprise.
Before conquering every social media channel to self promo about anything and everything at the same time, make sure you’ve already invested enough in shaping the central message. Let people remember you for the right reasons.
Tip: Trust takes time and a massive amount of consistent effort, so before showing off you should be confident that what you write is worthy of people’s attention. Otherwise, you will only be setting big expectations without actually delivering on that promise.
- Blogging is about expressing your ideas, which can be translated into having a strong passion for writing.
- Make sure you practice writing more than you brag about what you posted yesterday on Instagram.
- Develop habits to help you become a better writer, such as learning how you need to edit your stories.
- Learn from great storytellers what it takes to craft meaningful messages for your current audience by increasing your reading appetite.
- If you’re not in love with writing as a creative activity, maybe you can find different ways to contribute to the blogging playground (such as being a community builder instead of a blogger per se).
The world is full of blogging experts, and each one of them can have something meaningful to say at a specific moment. However, what they share comes from personal experience, so it could never apply to your scenario, even though there may be some similarities.
Experiment on your own, learn by doing and don’t stop wondering if writing is what keeps your wheels spinning in the long run. The answer will help you take the right decisions.