5 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger

All bloggers have room for improvement. Obviously, those who are new to blogging will typically have more to learn than those who have several years of experience, but we can all benefit by improving in these 5 areas.

1. Know What Your Readers Really Want.

Successful blogs satisfy their readers. In order to do so, you’ll first need to know specifically what it is that your readers want from you. You should have a good idea of what subjects and topics they would like to see you cover, as well as how frequently they would like new content to be added. Each audience will also prefer certain writing styles or types of posts.

Of course, not all of your readers will want the same things. Hopefully you’ll find that the majority of readers share opinions on several of these issues. But how do you find out what they want from you? The best way is to simply ask them. You can do this by using polls, asking for comments, or by emailing readers to ask for their opinions. Additionally, you can pay attention to which blog posts draw the most traffic, receive the most comments, or have the best success with social media.

Even if you have an established blog you will want to pay attention to what your readers want, as their needs and wants may change over time.

2. Create High-Quality, Original Content.

Once you know what your readers want, it’s up to you to give it to them. Content is what really makes a blog attractive and it is what keeps readers coming back. Unfortunately, consistently developing quality content is easier said than done. This is just one reason why it’s usually best to blog about a subject that you really enjoy, because the time-consuming activities will be much less fun if you aren’t passionate about your subject.

For most people, creating great blog posts requires brainstorming. In many cases, coming up with a unique idea is more difficult than writing the post once you have the idea. Don’t underestimate the importance of having original content that will set you apart from other blogs in your niche.

For more information, see The Blogger’s Guide to Creating Better Content.


3. Expand Your Network.

Networking with other bloggers is one of the most important activities, and a strong network can drastically improve your success (and you can help others as well). If you’ve been blogging for any length of time you have probably made some connections with other bloggers in your niche.

Networking is important for several reasons; including the advice and guidance you can receive, linking opportunities, partnership opportunities, guest blogging, etc.

If networking is not a part of your daily or weekly schedule, make sure you start designating some time. You can get started by commenting on other blogs, visiting forums, using social media, or just send an email and introduce yourself to another blogger.

4. Set Goals and Track Your Results.

Most people are aware of the value of setting goals, but many of us probably struggle to consistently set measurable and attainable goals and follow up on them. Tracking your success is just as important as setting the goal. Goals can help to challenge and motivate you and they can keep you focused when you are tempted to not put in the time and effort.

5. Continually Improve Your Knowledge and Experience.

The most successful bloggers are always striving to learn knew things that can help them to improve. There’s a lot of competition out there, and if you are not improving someone else probably is.

Be willing to try new ways to grow your blog, you may be surprised by the results. As you gain experience throughout the months and years you will learn what works best for you.

In order to continually produce quality content, you’ll also have to be continually learning. This can be one of the frustrations of blogging, or it can be something that you really enjoy. Again, this is more realistic if you have chosen a subject that you are passionate about.

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14 Responses

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  • Sumesh, November 30, 2007

    #1 and 3 is really crucial, and I am only beginning to do them. I am doubtful about #4 though. Meeting goals is difficult unless one knows the ins and outs of the niche well. In that case, the blogger is bound to succeed, irrespective of goals or no goals.

  • Matthew Griffin, November 30, 2007

    The one that can be the most difficult but is probably the most important is #5. When you’re already working hard to make your blog successful, it’s easy to push reading time to the bottom of the list. Don’t! “A Leader has to be a Reader.”, someone once told me. It’s absolutely true.

  • Dustin Brewer, November 30, 2007

    Great article with some excellent tips on being a better blogger. I particularly like the idea of knowing what your visitors want. The best way I have found to track this is by paying attention to the length of time that your visitors typically spend on your site and if they go to another post. I continually track time’s on site and pages per a visit to try and determine what the visitors like the best.

    I also try and pay attention to which referrals or search strings generate the most and least amount of time on site. This is one of the big ones also (i use clicky and google analytics).

  • Wayne Liew, November 30, 2007

    How I know what my readers really want? I know we can look from our stats but as you said, sometimes the traffic is high because of successful marketing methods and not the quality of our contents.

    I agree that as a blogger, we must improve and polish our knowledge so that it is up to date and is ample enough for future elaborations in our articles. Reading blogs from other niches and also offline reading can be a great way to accomplish this point.

    Nice post, thumbs up!

  • laptop recovery, November 30, 2007

    Good post. Thanks for all the tips and advices. help me a lot.

  • Vandelay Design, November 30, 2007

    Hi Sumesh,
    Thanks for reading and for your feedback. As far as goals go, I have to completely disagree with you (unless it’s just a personal blog). Any business needs goals in order to have direction.

    Dustin,
    Interesting points. I’ll have to take a look at those stats for myself. Thanks.

    Wayne,
    The best way to know what they want is to ask. You can also tell be what types of posts draw the best responses, when your subscriber count jumps, etc.

  • harleyblues, December 1, 2007

    Great blogging tips as I am a new blogger and will keep this is mind!~ I stumbled you btw!
    ta
    hb~

  • Vandelay Design, December 2, 2007

    Harleyblues,
    Thanks for reading. I’m glad the article was helpful for you.

  • Mathew, December 6, 2007

    Nice post… Thanks for your good advice and tips, it could really help me a lot me.. Keep it up!

    Cheers!

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