Here is how I become a better blogger. Keep blogging, respect readers, read, build authority, learn marketing, write with an outline
If you are a blogger and follow other bloggers in the blogging niche on being a better blogger, then you already know who Neil Patel, Darren Rowse, or Brian Dean is.
Moreover, somewhere in the back of your mind, you also dream of being like them as well. At least I do.
My journey as a blogger is fascinating. I like to blog, but I love programming as well. So I am always more of a freelancer than a blogger. However, over time, I enjoy blogging, as well.
So let me share everything I have learned being a freelancer and a blogger on how to become a better blogger. The outline will be pretty the same as what you may have already read on numerous articles on Darren Rowse’s blog or books about blogging. However, I like to highlight points that have helped me become a better blogger in due course of time.
Why Blog in the First Place?
I think every freelancer should blog, and every blogger should consider freelancing.
The reason why I think everyone should blog is – it allows you to connect.
As a blogger, one can evolve as an individual in whatever you may be writing about.
Let me share with you an example of blogging and sharing my views on investing at shabbir.in.
It helps me so much better at investing in myself. As an example, when my blog reader asks me questions on specific topics, I read about it and then write a detailed article on it. I have built a comprehensive glossary out of it, but more importantly, there are so many things that I learned in the process to make me a better investor.
I can say the same thing about writing on freelancing and blogging for BizTips as well.
Even in this article, I am writing to help you become a better blogger. However, as I read and re-read other bloggers, it is, in turn, making me a better blogger for sure.
When we start as a blogger, we want to be making money blogging but take blogging as a journey. Take it as a marathon, not a sprint. It won’t deliver quick results or money. But it will generate long term connections for you. Besides, a blog is an excellent tool to create brand awareness from scratch.
I am sure now you are confident why I think every freelancer should blog. It will help them become a better freelancer. You don’t need to blog about freelancing, but one can blog about anything one is doing.
How to Become a Better Blogger?
Having said why you should blog, now let me share some key ways that I think can help anyone become a better blogger.
Keep The Blogger in You Alive
Prepare yourself to take on this beautiful journey of being a blogger for a long time.
You won’t become a better blogger overnight.
Moreover, there is little to lose, but there is a lot more to gain.
And there is only one way to become better at things – Just keep doing it. Smaller things make a substantial difference and gradually adds up to big. Start writing what’s on your mind.
Don’t think about what others will think. No one cares what you have published in your first post on your blog.
Moreover, it is your blog, and if you think there is a lot more you can add to your article later, you can always add. Additionally, if you think some of your articles don’t fit into your blog, feel free to remove them.
The critical aspect is to keep blogging. Additionally, it will improve your writing skills. That’s a bonus point.
As an example, I had so many articles in the past that had so many grammatical errors. Now when I am using Grammarly, I know I need to correct them, and I am regularly doing it.
Do whatever it takes to blog daily. I don’t mean you should publish daily but blog and write daily. It is tough to feel motivated about blogging when you and your mom are the only readers. However, every blogger has to go through it, and that is what differentiates the wannabe blogger and a pro blogger.
Learn to tell Stories
A blogger must be a storyteller. In the context of blogging, storytelling is the art of conveying your thoughts. You talk about real-life experiences with your audience.
However, people do like this approach, and they instantly correlate with it. Images, engaging words, phrases, and videos elevate the magnitude of the story.
In short, stories allow readers to establish an immediate connection.
The vital attributes of a successful blogger are to take his/her readers from one point to the other. If you come across a blog post that interests you to the core, then the blog post has a compelling story in it.
Some key points I like to highlight:
- Stay focused on the topic and try to write in short sentences and small paragraphs. Don’t be scared to share your views on anything, no matter how odd it looks to you.
- Write unique, exciting, and engaging content you love to write about using your perspective with honesty and passion.
- Try blogging consistently and regularly about relevant and up to date subjects in your blog niche.
- Interact with readers and also readers of your competitors.
- Write informally with lots of fun elements. Make it look like you are answering an email from a friend.
- Proofread, again and again, many times your articles for misspellings.
Finally, give credit where due. Like in this article, I gave credit to Darren Rowse of Problogger. Blogging isn’t about links and SEO, but more so about community & respect.
Respect Your Readers
The average attention span of a reader is less than that of a goldfish – close to 8 seconds or less. It means you have less than seven seconds to convince your reader.
So when you managed to grab the attention of a reader, make sure you also give them the focus.
Let’s be honest. Blogging isn’t easy. Writing, editing, and publishing content when no one is reading can be nerve-racking. There will be times when you will be in a self-doubt mode. Things won’t work as planned.
Your readers will help you stay focused.
- Respect your readers, and don’t ignore them. If they have some suggestions to offer, listen to it and work on it. If you cannot work on it, at least listen to it and tell them why you cannot work on it now but will consider it later.
- Don’t blog what you think people want to read. Blog what you genuinely believe in. Be passionate, and stay true to yourself.
- Be helpful, informative to your reader, even if that means blogging less!
- Learn how to give first to your reader.
- Don’t Rely on the fact myth that good content will find readers. Try getting readers to your blog from your circle on Facebook, on Twitter. Ask everyone you know to read, comment, and share.
- Make your blog worth reading after your last preview asks yourself why anybody would read this article. And add an image that combines the feel of your piece.
- Excite and entice, encourage the reader to get involved and think. “Don’t bore your readers with speeches and preachings.”
In the digital world, people are scanning more than reading. So, After the title, the next best thing people read is the opening lines. Compel them to read along and build a readership.
Build an Authority
More and more people are working from home and trying to become better bloggers. If you aspire to blog, now may be the right time to start a blog.
It’s a slow-bo thing. You need to gradually build the authority and take things to the next level. I do believe that consistency plays a significant role here.
- Be severe and passionate about the topic you want to blog on. If you aren’t 100% excited, change now.
- Don’t be ‘Yet Another Blogger’; there are millions; try to be unique. Brand yourself and make your authority felt in your blog.
- Blogging is a great way to present your thoughts and ideas – be open, honest, and original in what you write.
- Readers want to know you, not just what you know. About, Picture, contact info… i.e., Be available to interact and help.
- If you are still not using WordPress for blogging, you need to up your technical know-how.
- Think about blogging when you are not blogging. i.e., When you are in coffee shops or at other places. Topic ideas don’t come up after you sit to write.
- Note down the thought before it evaporates. I have another email where I email the topic ideas.
- Don’t Be a stats freak. If your blog is new, don’t log in to check your stats daily as they won’t add too much value. Moreover, you want to build an authority blog, and the authoritativeness of a blog isn’t available within the stats.
Finally, if you want to build an authority blog, don’t start with a sell-out in mind because then you are focused on the destination (selling out) than on the blogging journey.
When you learn marketing, you will automatically become a better blogger.
As an example, when you want your readers to read your article, you will write engaging content and to the point. Often new bloggers get it wrong when they read that the article should be detailed.
There is a difference between proper research-based detail article and an article filled with fluff to make it longer. Be concise when it comes to writing.
Follow the Pareto principle of writing and marketing. Spend 20% of the time writing new content and 80% of the time promoting and marketing it.
- Mastering your post title is an art. You should select your title in a manner that it entices users as well as contains the search terms. Read Advertising Headlines that Make You Rich
- Remember, the quality will always supersede quantity. Write posts you want to read and enjoy reading, or else don’t write.
- Leave relevant & interesting comments on other blogs that can entice discussions.
- Write for people and not for search engines, and search engines will follow you.
- Don’t forget your focus keywords when you are in the middle of your post. It is part of SEO for a WordPress blog.
- Organize the content in categories which is helpful to users and easy to navigate.
- Follow your competitor and see what questions are being asked in the comments and try to answer them as blog articles.
- Go one step forward and grab questions from Quora and Reddit as well to answer them as articles on your blog.
Don’t concentrate only on Social Media or SEO only but create an email marketing strategy for your blog from Day 1.
Read Books and other Bloggers
I see writing and blogging as a process to empty the brain.
Reading rejuvenates the brain with more ideas.
For an individual to be a better blogger, reading is necessary. Read other bloggers in and out of your industry. It will fetch you more ideas and help you to outline an article the way authority bloggers do in the niche. It is one of the most important traits every blogger needs to have.
I read and follow many bloggers and even analyze and adapt to their style of writing and conveying the message.
Unless and until you read, you won’t know how successful people write. Failing to do this will evade your blogging dream overtime.
Write with an Outline
Before you plan to blog on a topic, develop an outline.
Keep in mind, drafting a structure helps understand how the post may help the potential reader.
It will contain the sub-topics that you want to explain along with the sub-sub level of topics included in each of those subtopics. So on and so forth.
Here is an example of the outline that I prefer for BizTips. If the topic is “Blogging in Pre and Post 2021 (Topic as H1),” here is how I will outline it.
The first thing I will do is Google the topic and read everything I can.
- How Has Blogging Evolved? (Sub Topic as H2)
- Will Blogging Work Beyond 2021? (Sub Topic as H2)
- Blogging Post 2021 (Sub Topic as H2)
- #1 Change (H3)
- #2 Change (H3)
- #3 Change (H3)
- #4 Change (H3)
- #5 Change (H3)
- Conclusion/Ending Thoughts/Summary (H2)
Once your outline is ready, it is relatively easy to write because your list of changes that are on the topic helps you write the article fast.
You can see the outline in my article How to Overcome Writer’s Block.
- What is Writer’s Block? (Sub-topic)
- What causes Writer’s Block? (Sub-topic)
- Fear of Failure
- How to Overcome Writer’s Block? (Sub-topic)
- Eliminate Distractions
- Change the Place or Environment
- Write at a Different Time
- Just write, Don’t publish
- Write Structurally in Bullet Points
- Read, Read, Read
- Let the First Drafts be Imperfect
- Edit Instead of Write
- Have Topic Ideas Handy
- Stop Being on Social Media
- Bookmark Topics
- Ask Readers
- Read an Inspiring Story
- Writing need not Always Be Digital.
- Do Something Else
- You won’t overcome writer’s block by (Sub-topic)
When I have an outline of sub-topics along with the points for the sub-topic, it becomes relatively easy to compose a detailed article and yet remain concise without any unwanted fluff to make it useful to the readers.
Modern-day blogging is all about sharing your thoughts, ideas, and experiences. People love to connect with the unique perspective of the blogger.
Read, write, scrap, grind, delete, hush, hustle, and publish is what you need to do every day.
Invest your time in reading good stuff (in Mark Manson style “good shit”). Forget about pleasing the search engines and critics. They aren’t under your control.
The only thing under your control is to write. Hence, write daily, and eventually, your readers will find you. Like I did.