There’s something you realize after you’ve been blogging for a while, there is WAY more to blogging than just, well…blogging! Blogging takes a lot of skills you might not have thought of or even heard of before! It seems like there is always something new to learn (probably because there IS) and there is always something else to do other than simply writing that post. While you don’t have to become a pro in any of these blogging related skills, improving your knowledge in each area can only benefit you and your blog. Here are 5 skills you need to have as a blogger beyond blogging.
Being familiar with social media networks, how to use them and in particular how to use them to benefit your blog is one of the most beneficial skills you can have. Social media is not only a huge source of traffic for your blog but it’s a great way to interact and network with other bloggers, your fans & readers as well as sponsors or other business opportunities. Learning the ins and outs of social management also will help you manage your time wisely and not fall into the time-sink trap of wasting your entire day chatting on Twitter.
SEO is another key skills for bloggers. While it may seem difficult and hard to grasp the main concepts are actually pretty easy. SEO helps people who use search engines (aka everyone on the internet) find content they are looking for (your content!). Spending a little effort learning the basics of SEO can really help drive lots of traffic, steadily over time to your blog. While the finer points of SEO and SEM change often and can be quite involved there are easy steps you can take like using keywords in your blog posts (which you probably do anyway). Writing a blog post about chocolate cakes? Well you probably use that term quite a few times in that post naturally, take a few moments to re-read your blog post and make sure you mention it (in a way that is natural – not every single sentence) throughout your blog post, related terms like “from scratch homemade chocolate cake” should also appear in your blog post and of course your title should have your main keyword (chocolate cake) in it as well.
You don’t have to be a designer, but if you learn how to make images that look good for your blog posts your blog will only benefit! You know how important awesome visuals can be to your readers, especially if the only glimpse they get of your blog is fleetingly on their favorite social media network. Catch their eye with professional looking graphics and photos. There are many awesome resources out there (for free no less!) that can help you really turn your blog’s images into something special.
How do you find new readers? How do you find sponsors? Networking! Bloggers love to support other bloggers, they know that it’s a great way to not only share content they think is awesome but help their own blogs reach new readers. There are lots of ways you can network, from chatting on social media to emailing blogs you like to joining blogger groups. It’s a great way to share your content, get support and learn new things.
Blogging is a part of marketing. In fact businesses use it in their marketing plans, they give it the fancy term of “content marketing”. Businesses have realized that readers trust bloggers, that’s why they are willing to pay you to blog about their business and review their products. They know your readers and fans trust what you say, and you have influence over them. What you say about their product can cause people to buy their product (or not if it’s negative). While your blog might play a role in others marketing you also have to pay attention to your own blog’s marketing. Your efforts on social media, your efforts reaching out to other bloggers are all marketing. You market yourself as an expert in your field (yes, crochet definitely counts! I mean, I certainly don’t know how to do it!) and your blog as a place to go to get valuable, useful and entertaining information.
There is way more to blogging than simply sitting down and writing post after post. We all know how much work goes into it. You might nto even have realized it, but your work crosses many fields and goes beyond “just” blogging. You’re a designer, a brand, a marketer, a SEO, a social media guru and so much more! Give your self some credit blogger, you are doing it all and learning as you go. You don’t have to master all of these skills, but knowing the basics will get you far and help your blog grow.