If you’re serious about making money blogging, you’ll have to learn how to be an effective blogger. Easier said than done, I know. So in today’s post, I list down exactly what you need to do to be an effective blogger.
Bloggers are a dime a dozen, but effective bloggers are a rare breed.
An effective blogger is one who runs a blog smoothly and efficiently. More importantly, an effective blogger writes valuable content that informs, inspires, and persuades readers to take action.
If that sounds like the stuff of fiction, I assure you, it’s not. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to be an effective blogger, but it can be done.
Today’s article will be less about your blog and more about you as a blogger. Here are some tips on how to be an effective blogger.
Content is the most crucial aspect of a successful blog.
But content is not going to write itself; you’ll have to write it.
To be an effective blogger, you’ll need to write excellent content. That takes time and a great deal of practice.
Carve time out in your day to just write. It doesn’t have to always be for a blog post; just write something for at least 30 minutes per day. The more writing you do, the better you become at it.
Being a better writer will improve your blog posts, as well as all the writing you need to do when trying to monetize your blog: writing emails to your email list, writing copy for your landing page, and even writing your social media posts.
It will also help you immensely to keep a running list of ideas with you, whether in digital format like in your phone or laptop or in physical form like in a notebook. Train yourself to jot it down whenever an idea pops into your head, no matter how lame or ridiculous it sounds at first. Keeping up this habit will keep the dreaded “writer’s block” at bay.
Just because you write often doesn’t mean you have to be long-winded.
An effective blogger knows how to grab a reader’s attention and keep it long enough to convey a message with the least amount of words possible. This goes not just for the entire article but for paragraphs as well. No one wants to read drivel. Similarly, no one wants to read entire walls of text, no matter how useful every word is.
When you’re used to being concise, let it spill over to your other blogging activities. Keep your emails short and to the point. Train yourself to write short, punchy sales copy.
The less time you can spend writing on a single project, the more projects you can accomplish in the same amount of time. Plus, being a person of few words means that people are interested in what you have to say, because they know it’s going to be good.
Posting consistently doesn’t mean posting every day (but if you can, go for it!). It means creating a regular schedule for your blog posts and sticking to it. If you can only post twice a week, that’s fine. Set particular days for those posts (Mondays and Wednesdays, for example).
Not only does it set your readers’ expectations as to when to expect new content from you but it also drives you to keep writing even when you think you don’t have anything to write about. This is when that list of ideas will become really handy.
Another benefit of publishing regularly is that your blog will always contain fresh content, which will attract search engines. This makes your blog easier to find and more likely to rank higher in search results.
To be an effective blogger, people need to believe what you’re writing. You need to be credible. Here are some ways you can earn your readers’ trust.
Facts are true and remain true, no matter how you feel about them. By contrast, opinions can be based on facts or emotion and are therefore not always true for everyone.
There are opinions that are more valuable than others. You want your opinion to matter, and for your opinion to matter, you need to form fact-based opinions; that is, opinions that are supported by facts and not merely by your feelings.
For example, your opinion is that “babies and young toddlers shouldn’t watch TV.” When you explain why you formed that opinion, you don’t simply say “because it feels wrong.” Explain the facts that support your idea. For example, you can say “based on numerous scientific studies, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for babies before 18 months, and less than an hour of screen time for toddlers 2 and up.”
If you want to be credible, then you should only get your information from high-authority websites. An opinion not based on facts or one that is based on fake facts (or “alternative facts,” as they’re now apparently known) isn’t worth anything.
Being honest also means never plagiarizing other people’s work. In other words, unless you’re making it clear that you’re posting a direct quote and you’re attributing your source properly, never simply copy and paste information from other sites into your blog. That’s illegal and can have serious consequences for you and your blog if you get caught.
People won’t take you seriously if your blog posts are full of grammatical errors and typos. Know basic grammar and always proofread your work before you publish them.
A couple of books that many people recommend are The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, as well as On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King.
The best way to offer up fresh content is to read up on your niche every day. Of course, evergreen content is preferable, but sometimes even evergreen content can be outdated. Keeping yourself updated is the best way to make sure that you’re providing the most relevant, helpful content you can to your readers.
Aside from reading up on your niche, take the time to read books (physical or digital, whichever you prefer) or blogs about subjects other than your niche. Start reading books related to marketing, advertising, and other skills relevant to blogging and making money off it.
It sounds like a waste of time, but I assure you it’s not, as long as you choose really great books by credible authors. Reading books on subjects other than your blog topic will help you widen your perspective and have an alternative lens with which to view information on your niche. That way, you’re not just echoing other bloggers and influencers.
Another reason why reading books is so important is that you get to be exposed to other writers’ work. This will help you become a better writer in that you can take the bits and pieces of their writing that work and incorporate that in your own writing.
Your readers are what makes your blog successful. Make sure you know their time is valuable to them and that you appreciate them spending time reading your blog by acknowledging them. On every blog post, on every social media post, spark conversations with your readers and followers.
When your readers respond to your attempts to start conversations with them, always respond back. Every comment, every retweet, every Facebook share took time to do, and you want your audience to feel that you appreciate their time and effort in reaching out to you.
Do everything you can to keep the conversation a two-way one. As long as you care about what they have to say, they’ll care about what you have to say.
Aside from building relationships with your readers, take some time to build relationships with your fellow bloggers, especially those who went before you.
It helps when you see fellow bloggers as more than the competition; they’re valuable sources of knowledge. There’s so much you can learn by reading their blogs and commenting on them with real questions or real insights (i.e., not just to promote your own blog). With the knowledge you gain, you can serve up more value to your readers, and that’s always a good thing.
Play nice in the sandbox that is your niche. It’s big enough for everyone. Aside from commenting on their posts, consider sharing really valuable posts to your readers through your social media, to your email list, or even link to them in your post. Sooner or later, those bloggers would find out and may even return the favor and share your content with their readers.
This give and take only benefits everyone. When you share other bloggers’ valuable content, your readers gain valuable information and the other bloggers get more exposure. Same thing when they do it; their readers get a high-value post and you get more exposure. Everyone wins!
All the reading, honing your writing, and building relationships with your audience and your fellow bloggers you’ve been doing should equip you to provide value to everyone who reads your blog. This should be your primary goal with every post you publish.
To help you determine if your blog post is indeed valuable, the Content Marketing Institute came up with an easy-to-follow checklist. The details are explained in the actual printable checklist, but here’s a quick summary:
Note that the checklist is half a decade old, but it’s still very much relevant to today’s blogger and is a great checklist to save to your desktop or print out and keep near your computer where you can quickly consult it.
If you’re constantly providing value to your audience, they’ll come back to your blog for more, and this constantly returning traffic is what you’ll need to successfully monetize your blog.
It’s hard to connect with people who take themselves too seriously. Inject your personality in your writing, and maybe even slip a related anecdote or two. Your posts will be much more entertaining to read and your visitors will be more likely to remember the information you’re presenting if they’re entertained.
Going deeper than that, if you find no joy in what you’re doing, you won’t be effective no matter how hard you work. You’ll come to a point where you’re so burned out that you’ll want to quit your niche, or even quit blogging altogether. Don’t let it happen to you. It helps to genuinely have fun while blogging.
Before you go on your quest to be an effective blogger, allow me to first recap the guidelines in this post:
Let me leave you as well with one more thing to keep in mind.
Not everyone can be an effective blogger 100% of the time. We are human after all, and we will make mistakes, and that’s okay!
As long as you follow these guidelines, learn from your mistakes, and persist in spite of the difficulties you’ll encounter, you’ll learn to be an effective blogger.
Did any of my tips resonate with you? Do you think I missed anything? Let me know in the comments below!
JoAnne is your average, everyday, sane stay-at-home mom who believes in the power of the internet to make dreams come true. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolate, as well as all things internet marketing. She keeps up with the latest trends in blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and more.