Part 05: Skills a Blogger Should Have
The reality is that there are some great bloggers out there. There are also some who just don’t fully understand what is required to be a great blogger. In fact, many of the website/blogs you will see are built and written in completely the wrong way, or for the wrong reasons.
You will also find that according to all the latest research that around 95-98% of the website/blogs online never make a single penny.
That is a frightening and worrying statistic. Building a successful website/blog that will make you money is not a simple task, but neither is it over complicated either. A successful website will always come down to the skills that a blogger actually has and uses.
In this article I am going to discuss what skills and attributes a good blogger should have, and how they can use those skills, to create and build a successful website/blog.
The Basic Skill Set of a Good Blogger
We shall begin with those very basic and fundamental skills as without these, there is very little chance of being able to develop a great asset for your online business.
Just before we look at those it is important to know that a website by itself is NOT an online business. It is also not a 9-5 job with a monthly pay packet. Not every single person should start an online business or build a website. Some people just do not have the correct blogger style of skills.
There are only a few basic skills but all of these are very important.
- You should have knowledge and a real interest in your website/blog topic
- You should be willing to research your market
- You will need endurance, motivation and self-discipline
- Motivation to interact with other people
- Be prepared to invest in your business
We shall have a closer look at each of those so as to fully understand what is required.
When building up a website/blog the one thing that will help make it successful is interesting, useful and compelling content. This needs to be written and uploaded to your website on a regular and consistent basis. To be able to do this you really need to have a genuine interest in what you are writing about.
It is possible to build a website/blog about something we have no real interest in. However there is a huge risk that the initial enthusiasm of setting this website up will quickly disappear, as you will get bored with the subject matter. This is probably the single biggest mistake made by people who are new to Internet Marketing.
In this case study, you will notice that I am writing a website about my love of coffee and in particluar how to grind coffee. You can find it at theperfectgrind.co.uk.
I am a coffee addict and I love learning about the many different types of coffee, how to roast beans, grind them and then make the brew. It is a subject that I really enjoy and could literally write a book about.
On the other hand were I to build a blog around shopping, then I know I could never muster up the enthusiasm to write articles about something that I have no interest in.
The “FUEL” for your website is your content. You will hear phrases such as “Content is King” and it really is. If you have existing knowledge, a real interest and passion for your subject then writing becomes a very easy thing to do. Without this genuine interest writing becomes a dull and very boring, time-consuming chore.
2. Researching Your Market or Niche
Now having an interest in your market is important as I have explained above. However there is always more to learn and you need to also understand the intentions of the potential visitors to your website/blog.
That is where good market research can really add a lot of value to your website. Your market research should help paint a picture of those people who will be visiting your website and what their interests are.
The vast majority of Internet Marketers fail to include this step and it is a huge mistake. It is not the most exciting thing in the world to do, but it is certainly one of the most profitable things that you can do. By doing this you can quickly pick up on current trends, understand what potential visitors to your website may be looking for, and get a full understanding of the market that you are in.
Markets change all of the time and you need to stay on top of your own chosen market. If visitors do not find what they are looking for on your website then they will go somewhere else. Initially researching a market only takes around 1-2 hours. It is time well spent. To keep this updated then only takes around 30 minutes a week.
Those are three terms that could quickly and easily be glossed over. To do so would be a very big mistake. Internet Marketing as a blogger is in fact a very lonely place and an uncomfortable place for many people. Please allow me to explain exactly why that is the case.
It is all about the way our minds have been conditioned and why you need to change that mindset. As children we are taught at school. We turn up at a specific time, we are taught information and we learn. That is repeated from when we are aged 4 and all the way up to aged 16. If we then go on to further education then a very similar method is taught. We are then rewarded with examination results and awards.
We may then go to work in what is called a 9-5 job. Once again we are trained to do a certain job and at the end of the month we recieve wages or a salary from an employer. The bottom line is that our minds become conditioned to the fact that we do something and are then paid for doing that skill.
So there you are sitting in front of a PC or a laptop and you are going to build a website/blog about a topic that you have an interest in. No-one is going to show you what to do, there is no pay packet and you will not get into trouble if you just sit there
The only person that can make this happen is you. No-one is going to say you have done a great job or a poor job. No-one is going to hold you accountable for not writing your articles and uploading them. No-one actually cares whether you succeed or fail.
Only you can research your market, write the articles, upload them and pull all of this together.
To do that requires a huge amount of self-discipline, self-motivation and the endurance to keep going. Now most people at the beginning have enough enthusiasm to get up and running. They can get past the technical hurdles of domain names and hosting. They can get the first few pieces of content up there as well.
The reality is that a website with around 10-15 pages of good content will make nothing at all in terms of financial reward. The question is can you keep going?
Do you have the discipline and motivation to keep writing and the faith to know that it will work? A website/blog with 50-100 pages will do a great deal better than one with 10-20 pages of content. That takes time, dedication, hard work and persistence.
Writing a good article can take about one hour of your time. So writing 50 articles can take 50 hours. To get that done really does take strong discipline and a lot of self-motivation. It may sound easy to do but it is not.
It is a simple fact that most people are quite useless at being their own boss. That task is just never as easy as it seems. It is not how we are conditioned. We can always find a reason not to do something and justify it simply because you are your own manager.
4. Interaction with Other People
When you start to get some really good content on your website/blog then it is very useful to interact with your readers. If they take the time to leave comments on your blog, then you should of course reply to those and be as helpful as you can.
It is also really useful to be able to reach out to other bloggers in markets similar to yourself. Now they could well be your competition as well, but it does no harm to watch what they do. The ideal interaction is with bloggers in the same market who already have successful blogs.
So for example in my case, I could reach out to other people who blog about coffee, but are perhaps not based in the UK. I could interview them and get their insight and publish that. Likewise I could return the favour for them. That way we both benefit without competing with each other.
People are often afraid to do this as they may get rejected. Most other bloggers do understand though and are more than willing to interact, so this is worth strong consideration.
Some new people panic a lot when they see the word investment as they think about spending money. Investment is not just about spending a little money; it is mainly about investing your time.
If you want to build an online business then you will want to own that business. The costs of owning a website are low. In essence all that is required is a domain name and a hosting service.
A domain name costs around £7 a year and hosting costs about £4 a month. So you can be set up for less than £100 a year. That is a small investment to start building a solid online business.
This is the real investment that you should consider. You will need to figure out how much time you have, or are willing to spend to make this work? Each individual person’s available time is different so what I can do is to show you how long this will take to set up and manage one website.
The initial website set-up takes around 3-4 hours. That includes buying the domain and hosting and setting that up. It also includes installing a platform where you can write all your content. This is known as a “Content Management System.”
Once that is completed it is all about adding content to your website/blog. The average page or article will take about an hour of your time. So for example a 50 page website will take around 54 hours to complete.
In conclusion you should of course like to write and to do so with your own opinion. You do not need to be an award winning writer but your grammar and spelling should be good. You also do not need to be a world leading expert either. If you have a passion or interest in something, it will always show in your writing.
Your website/blog should represent your own views and a little of your own personality and style. Having a genuine interest in your topic helps a lot and by doing market research will make for great content for your website/blog.
After that it is all about believing that what you are doing will work and will eventually earn you money. That requires a lot of endurance, motivation and self-discipline. It also takes a small amount of money and a good deal of time.
These are the basic skills a blogger should have and the most important ones. There are other skills that can be learned so you should be always thinking of educating yourself and developing your skill sets.
Master these basic skills though and you can create and build a great website/blog.