I got a question emailed to me today from a reader requesting precisely what he had to learn about in order to be an effective blogger.
Well that is not the simplest question to answer in a easy email because there is SO MUCH which goes into becoming a blogger that a lot of don’t realise. Instead, I thought it’d make a fantastic topic for a pole.
“What do I need to learn how to be a successful blogger?” Is a matter that I believe many aspiring bloggers would like to have the answer to when first starting out, I understand I was eager to know before I started my very first site.
Whilst some topics are evident that you want to learn about others are not so before you come to need them further later on.
This specific question got me thinking a bit about what you especially need to learn about sooner rather than later. I came up with 12 things that each and every blogger actually NEEDS to know about when starting out on the internet.
Obviously this listing could have been much more, but I tried to keep it relatively brief so as to not overwhelm some newbies. Learn about these and you’ll have a fantastic solid base to build a successful site upon.
- SEO, SEO, SEO
SEO, as it is properly know — Search Engine Optimization — is still a topic you have to find out about. I chose to place this first on the list as I feel that it is the main thing any blogger or website owner should learn about (I can’t stress that enough).
What is Search Engine Optimization? Well essentially, it’s the term given to executing and understanding the way by which search engines to help benefit your website. The huge majority of website visitors that a site receives will come from the search engines, so by making the most of these you can make sure that lots of people find your website.
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
On-page SEO refers to the techniques that you can use ON your website to boost traffic and internet positions (such as; keyword placement, utilizing Alt tags, meta tag descriptions, etc.), whereas Off-page SEO describes the techniques utilized, you guessed it, OFF your site (such as; social media, guest blogging, connection baiting, etc.).
Both are very important, but I would certainly place more emphasis on learning On-page SEO techniques.
This can help you to know how the World Wide Web works and, even more importantly, how you can generate content and structure your site to produce the utmost effect online.
If you just take something from this entire list, make sure your set time aside to learn about SEO. It WILL help you in the long term!
- Blog Writing
Nobody is now a blogger without initially knowing how to write. Whilst this might seem very obvious, there’s a ton more than writing than merely stringing several paragraphs together.
Writing is something which certainly develops over time. Just consider when you learned how to write as a 3-4 year old and compare it with the way you write today.
Well the same can be said that when you start out blogging. All of us know how to compose, but there is a major difference between writing every now and then, and writing 1000+ words many times a week (possibly even daily).
Your first blog articles will probably require a good time to write, however they will be nowhere near as good as the ones you compose a calendar year, two years, ten years down the line.
You need to be prepared to know your craft, grow as a writer and discover your voice/writing style. The only means to do so is to write on a regular basis, so get stuck inside.
In addition, you have to be certain you brush up on your grammar and spelling. Too frequently I see articles littered with errors.
People do detect them and they may have a larger effect on your audience than you would imagine. You’re publishing articles under your name so take pride in your work and attempt to create them as great as you can.
- Content Production
Yes, both writing and content creation are two quite different matters. You could be an exceptional author, but that does not automatically mean you can create good quality content for your website.
Quality website content wants to, but not only attract readers, but also engage them also. You need to learn how to build posts that entice people to keep reading at the end of the article, to leave comments and also to click on your different pages.
Again, that includes practice and you’ll get better at it as time passes.
Content production really covers a whole host of different areas, for example;
- On-page SEO (yes that again!) ,
- Creating engaging names,
- Engaging introductions,
- Internal linking,
- External linking,
- Call to actions,
To learn more about content creation, have a look at our in-depth manual to creating quality blog articles.
- Concentrate On a Topic That You Like
There is one thing that all successful blogs have in common — they’re run just like a standard enterprise.
Blogging is a business, so you need to treat it just like this. If you want to produce a successful website then you need to approach it in a professional manner.
That means taking time to research the niche topic that you wish to concentrate on and not just jump in 2 footed since you like it.
If you can find a difference in the market which nobody is yet covering, or alternatively find something that is already being sprayed and do it better, then you might be onto a winner.
Understanding your target market/target audience is also very significant. If you understand who you’re aiming for, or what kinds of individuals are actually visiting your site, you can better tailor your articles to suit them.
- Domain Name, Hosting & WordPress
If you wish to start a blog on the internet, you will have to, sooner or later, find out how to set one up. Lots of new bloggers find this procedure daunting, but if you really find out what goes into setting up a site on the internet you will discover it isn’t that awful. In fact it’s fairly straight forward.
Basically all you need is things;
- Domain name (i.e. www.YourDomainName.com)
- Internet hosting (where your website files are stored online)
- WordPress (the framework which you build your site on)
I’m not going to really go into detail about those matters in this post because it is possible to find more information in our Domain Name Registration, Beginners Guide To Web Hosting and Getting Started With WordPress guides.
- HTML & CSS
Now here is a subject that many people dread learning when starting out. Thankfully, most bloggers just require a basic comprehension of HTML and CSS to receive them in their way.
The huge majority of your time will be spent editing and creating your website in WordPress, but occasionally you may want to edit little pieces of code here and there. This is the point where a basic understanding of HTML & CSS comes from.
Check out this wonderful site which you could see to learn more about HTML & CSS.
- Social Media
We’re all comfortable with social media as all of us use it daily to chat with our friends and loved ones. Despite that, would you actually know how social media functions? You could be nodding, however I very much doubt you do.
Social media is dead easy to understand when you are employing it yourself. Perhaps you simply use one or two networks (i.e. Twitter and Facebook) and just often communicate using a couple of people regularly. Things change, but when you approach social media for your website. Not only do you will need to be acquainted with additional networks (i.e. Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, etc.), but you want to know how each works differently.
You also should realise that social websites are better at different things. Twitter, as an instance, is good for talking to people directly, whereas Google+ is much best for sharing videos and images with people.
Again, this might appear obvious but it has enormous implications for the way you utilize them to your company.
- Social Media Marketing
Social media is a great way to socialize with existing fans of your website. Social media marketing though is fantastic for finding new lovers and also helping to spread the word about your site around the globe.
You Will Have to learn about;
- The marketing principles & regulations of each social networking,
- #Hashtag tendencies that you can tap into,
- Groups/pages/communities Which You Can combine,
- Advertising policies,
- Establishing dedicated webpages for your blog,
- URL shorteners,
There are literally billions of individuals using social media daily. You just have to learn to tap into a very small fraction of this so as to build a community around your site.
Yes, networking and I’m not speaking about social networking this moment. There is a famous phrase –“It’s not everything you know, but who you know matters.” That’s particularly important for bloggers to remember.
Blogging, is one great big community as there are so many bloggers right now in the world. Not only is it that built up of regular subscribers, but also by other bloggers too.
You need to get out there and start making links with other site owners. This will not just apply to other bloggers on your niche, but bloggers who operate websites in different businesses also.
Why is this significant? Not only is it good to learn from one another, but you can help promote each other’s sites. Why would you need to promote other people’s sites however? Well because you may tap into one another’s audience of course.
I’ve met some great bloggers online from around the world through conducting this site, a few of that I now work with on different projects. I have been able to find out so much from them and get assistance when I needed it. After all, it is great to know individuals who are in a similar position to you.
- Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools
A few incredibly important tools to know about are Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. Both of these greatly enable you to know how your site is performing and may identify areas in which you can improve. Only by understanding this can your website grow and grow over time.
Again, I’m not going to really go into detail about these tools in this article, as there is far too much to pay.
Photoshop, or the equal image manipulator (such as GIMP or Paint.NET) is also a vital instrument for you to use and learn about. Every website and website needs pictures and images, so having the ability to edit them properly is vitally important.
WordPress permits you to upload and edit images within your website itself, but that’s extremely limited. Whilst it may take somewhat more, it is a lot more advisable to edit your images before you upload them to your site.
Not only does this mean you can keep picture file sizes down, but doing so helps keep your website running fast. Site speed is vitally important, thus making the attempt to maximize your pictures in Photoshop ahead is well worth the effort.
Lastly, I want to pay branding because it is often a subject that many new blogs don’t perform properly. In order to make a thriving site, you have to create a brand identity which people are going to have the ability to recognise.
This can be as straightforward as designing a symbol or employing exactly the same pallet of colors across your whole site. Whatever it is, it needs to be distinctive so that it helps you stand out from the audience.
It’s likewise important that you utilize the identical branding for your website everywhere. Be sure you use the same logo/colours/tag line on your website, social media profiles, emails, newsletters, etc.. Everywhere that people are able to find you.
That way, folks will begin to notice you more online and you will begin to build up a community of readers.