Blogging Insights #16 – Am I, Am I Not, Am I A Work in Progress Perhaps?

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Blogging Insights # 16 — A Good Blogger? – Prompt by Tanya of Salted Caramel

Questions

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What, in your opinion, are the characteristics or qualities of a good blogger?

This is an excellent question and one l feel we should ask ourselves seriously at one point or another during our ‘Journeys into Blogland’. It’s a question l ask myself weekly. “Am l a good blogger? Can l be a better blogger?” But then l ask myself other questions ….

  • Am l good blogger?
  • Do l have a good blog
  • What am l doing to improve it?

I am going to write a few answers here first before l progress into my observations along my own journey in the blogosphere and l am sorry if you are looking for a short content post … oops my bad!

1] Am l a good blogger?

l am a work in progress, l am not a bad blogger, but l have a ways to go and still a lot to learn!

2] Do l have a good blog?

Yes, l think so – but l am always working and tweaking it to improve it to make better content and choice for my readers.

3] What ‘am’ l doing to improve it?

Well, l am always learning, reading, researching, profiling demographs, understanding figures, studying the tick and tock of readers and l will also be addressing these topics in a series l am starting soon called “The Studio Workshop’.

Why have l mentioned this? Because one thing l have learned is to continually ‘self market and promote yourself and your blog. Someone once said that was ‘selfish’ and l told them that was a foolish thing to think and say especially in today’s market.

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What makes for a good or perhaps effective blogger? What traits and attributes do they possess? What is a good blogger anyway?

Is a good blogger – just that,  ‘Good?’ Are good bloggers therefore aiming to be effective? Are effectively good blogger’s aiming to be successful? Are you a blogger once you have achieved the status of being good, effective and successful? Is that the overall sign of a good blogger?

Maybe that’s the first question – what do you wish to be? “Good, Effective or Successful?”  It’s all very confusing if you think about it – because you can read one article, one comment, one response on this subject and each time whilst there may be a universal undercurrent of ‘what is’, a lot of it will contradict also?

I have written this before … despite blogging being around for sometime, personal blogging is younger than business blogging, but writing online is older than both – l was writing online 15 years ago in forums and online journals and not worrying about ‘blogging’ because l didn’t really grasp blogging when it was in its infancy … l understood forums though. I knew what made for a good forum writer. Back then l was involved in editorial and poltical propaganda for my industry and then we had to write effective content that delivered a message to readers.

So is not a good blogger working the same principals perhaps as a good writer? A good forum writer?

There are no hard and fast rules as to ‘what is’ anymore with blogging … countless articles, observations and posts for sure – but the very essence of writing to an audience and readers has changed exponentially since l have watched the growth since 2005 alone? I have watched changes in the styles since l started this blog just over 2 years ago.

We are in an age or a digital climate if you wish where upon online business is now huge, industry online is massive – things used to be very defined – brick and mortar stores were businesses, then online presence swept the board and if you were not in the right place you were gone as a business – so you had to react differently – proactively really because reactional in truth may have been too late for you.

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In the last five years alone online presence in business and personal management has changed significantly – now we have more definitions available to readers, writers, editors, content marketers and so on … you don’t need to specifically have a business blog anymore – now you can have a personal blog that is your business. You see the blogging industry is continually moving, evolving, changing direction and expanding – because more and more of everything is now online.

So with that information and availability of online content – what makes for a good blogger? Personally, my answers below may be slightly different to others and so they should be because we are all different and younique and so too should be our responses.

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Honesty and Truthfulness

I think too many writers and bloggers alike are not always truthful or honest and for me personally, l would prefer to be both about who l am and what l am doing and or not doing. I am not perfect, in fact l am far from it.

Being different, being you, being youniquely different!

I would rather be youniquely different to everyone else and not follow the ‘luvvies path of popularity’ or pleasing others. There is a difference to being community and people orientated over being people pleasers and l am not a people pleaser – l do things differently for a reason and that’s because l am different and proud to be so.

Prolific

I write, l write a lot every day, l produce posts frequently daily and l am always writing even when not online … writing with frequency helps to improve your online writing experiences. I am not a pedant with grammar and we have a lot of that in the world of blogging – don’t misunderstand, ‘grammar’ is important – but not everybody has perfect grammar and or grasp and their spelling may not be 100% spot on – it’s not the end of the world.

To become effective as a blogger you are going to need to become prolific as a writer or creator – if you are someone who doesn’t like looking at screens all day – mm, maybe blogging is not for you? Blogging takes, time, energy and commitment and planning. I don’t do things by half – an example sadly – l am not a short content writer – for some this is a brownie point against me in the whole ‘good blogger scale!’

I could have made this post a short content post – but it’s not – l think this question is a good question that needs to be explored in detail.

Having direction

This is l think and feel one of the hardest aspects of blogging and the blogging journey – it took me a good year from commencement of this blog to understand what my primary niche was and what my secondary fields were. Then a further year to bring them into fruition of content for readership. Direction is key to success as is identification and recognition of primary and if needed secondary paths.

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Continually learning, evolving and adapting

Being a blogger, writer or content creator is a lifelong learning curve – you are always learning new tips, new ways and new methods for adapting and adopting into your blog, your personality and your style. There is no one definitive way to do anything anymore – each fork at times can have multi-directions to take and to learn from.

Being a people watcher

You need to learn to not just read comments, but get to understand the writers behind the comments – both how they tick and how they tock. Watch your readership, watch your audience and watch on other blogs as well. Get to learn the blogger personalities equally as much as the reader personalities too.

Doggedly determined and hyperfocused

Understand that blogging requires perseverence and determination and that it is NOT a quick overnight game. That bloggers who are in it for the long haul are here to stay – they are hyperfocused on what they do, what they produce, what their direction is, what their aim is …. to be a good blogger – you are going to need these qualities. Effective and successful bloggers are persistent.

Being a dedicated strategist and forward planner

You have to have – once you know it – a master plan and then both stick to it and at it and go for it. Have a plan and follow it.

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Understanding self marketing and promotion

This isn’t rocketscience but don’t be afraid to say Boo to the Goose! Our market today unlike any previous time is now all ABOUT self promotion and self preservation of brand – business and personal. If you have got it ‘flaunt it!’ Don’t be afraid to self promote. I don’t mean sticking links onto another’s post or comment section … that’s not promotion that’s irksome suicide! l do mean in blog promoting what you are doing on your blog, letting readers know of your plans.

Being anti-procrastinators

As a blogger you have to self start and self motivate your enthusiasm … blogging can be a very alonesome journey at times – l don’t mean lonely – l do mean alonesome – if you are prone to procrastination – you’ll never get anything done … too many writers/bloggers fall into the well of ‘Ooh l don’t have anything to write about!’ My response to that is ‘Bollocks!’ There is always something to write about or respond to or become prompted by.

Possess the ability to self motivate and personalise your motivation and enthusiasms.

Similar to the previous point but not quite – this is purely concerning having the ability to motivate and include your community to your content. Do what you can to try and involve your readership with your content. It can be one of the hardest things to incorporate into your social community style.

Welcome cynicism, realism and pragmatism as writing buddies.

These might be some of the hardest attributes you have to learn, but l find that it does actually help to be cynical, realistic and pragmatic  – if you are one for wanting pixie dust blown up your bottom to feel good then maybe blogging is not for you. You need to wake up and smell the coffee! I find it helps enormously to not look at everything l read, see or come to understand as truthful and honest – that it helps to accept that blogging is a world filled with various personality types, various community types and so on … and if you look at everything as being golden – then you’ll get pissed on!

Wise up and become wiser!

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Becoming a rhino!

Simply put you need to develop a thicker skin and accept that there are people out there that are NOT going to like everything you do, everything you write and say or whatever and that is FINE, perfectly fine – it’s life – stop crying into your keyboard! Crack on and appeal to the readerships that DO LIKE what you do!

Constantly changing you and your blog for the betterment of the readership.

Does this really need explaining? It simply means – as a content creator you are continually looking for ways to improve the overall readership experience and your own online personality. Panic not – it is a natural phenomena that you’ll experience the more the blog and come to understand the tick and the tock of your readers.

Accepting you are a blogger who has responsibilities to your craft.

As a writer or content creator – you have to understand and accept that when you started your blog, you started on a journey into understanding not just your skills and attributes but more importantly – you as a ‘your’ personality.

That you started a blog for a reason if not several and one of them most assuredly was to have a deeper look at who you are – when you start blogging and you attract readers and commenters to your content  you also have a level of responsibility to them – to provide as much qualitable content as you are able to produce – that includes you are there to learn from them too.

So interact with them, engage with your community, engage with people as individuals as friends to be and as the friends they become to you and you to them. Respect them, readers can make and break you in the blink of an eye, don’t take them for granted but always – always praise them however you can. Involve them in what you do, who you are and celebrate them for who they are. Your readership.

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These are the points or attributes that l personally work with and towards. These l believe combined make for good, effective and successful blogging.

Am l a good blogger?

Maybe not, not yet  – but l am always working on it!

Thanks for reading everyone and my thanks to Dr Tanya for the question.

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12 thoughts on “Blogging Insights #16 – Am I, Am I Not, Am I A Work in Progress Perhaps?

  1. So well said. One of the hardest things is dealing with addiction views and comments. When we first started if we got one comment we would be in heaven. So flattered that anyone would take the time to read this rubbish. You gave each comment so much time. As the numbers start to increase then some days this takes more time than actually writing new posts. That’s one of the reasons I tend to stick to one post a day. I’m having a real think about going to 2 a day but need to work out if it’s manageable.

    1. Hey Gary, One of the biggest problems with blogging is of course – interaction and as a friend of mine has just said that we sadly live in a time when too many people simply hit like and don’t even read which is insultive to us as content writers. Now that’s hard enough, but part of the whole blogging scene.

      Commenting and responding to comments is incredibly time consuming – it must take you forever – you get more comments than l do – and at times much longer comments than l do, so for you to balance it all – kudos to you but l know it can be very hard.

  2. Rory, you know we all love you. 🙂 Keep up the good work. The hardest part for me as a blogger, is all the emails. It is a double edged sword. The more popular my blog becomes, the more email i get, and the harder and harder it is to keep up. it is beginning to take on a life all its own. It can be very overwhelming if you let it.

    1. Hey Jeanne, very, very much so – l had to switch off some of my notifications last year as l was getting close to 15k emails a week. Now l have the notifications set up in Gmail to literally filter through to ‘promotions’ – l can’t keep up with the email side to things and can only read direct from blog here.

      But it’s very stressful at times trying to keep up with everything.

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