Have you considered taking a blogging or SEO course online? Are you wondering whether such a course is useful for you or whether you have the necessary skills to succeed at blogging?
If you have, then this blog post is for you. We will discuss what you can achieve through blogging, the recent trends in blogging including why blogging is still popular, and finally, we will explain the necessary skills needed to transition from a budding blogger into a professional one.
You should keep in mind that you do not need to have all the necessary skills right away. Through a little bit of reading and research, you can get up to speed enough to start a blog and keep improving over time. That said, taking blogging and SEO course will probably get you to your goal of becoming a blogger faster than any other strategy that you will choose to use. With that said, let’s jump right into what you need to know.
What you can achieve through blogging
Although the blogosphere continues to evolve year after year, some of the main reasons why people continue to the blog include the following.
- To express individuality/identity and to share interests or passions
- To improve writing skills
- To make money through profitable ventures
- To build an online portfolio or to get a job
- To grow business exposure/market a business
- To support a cause/make a difference/draw attention/garner support/build awareness
- To share knowledge/become an industry authority/gain influence
- To get feedback
- To build an amateur/professional network
Figure 1: Why do people blog?
Recent Blogging Trends
The blogosphere has existed right from the beginning of the internet, since then blogging has gone through several iterations. As such, it is not difficult to see why blogging is crowded today. The good news for you is that blogging is definitely not saturated, and the popularity of blogs will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
People grow new interests all the time which means more followers, niches, and methods continue to sprout each day. This is why it is crucial to keep tabs on the trends and what people are yearning for.
Some of the common blogging trends today include the following.
- Blogger audience continues to grow. Over half of the 4 billion people online today, read blogs.
- Over half of all internet users use a mobile device, and they use it to read blogs. Also, the average mobile user spends about three and a half hours on a mobile device.
- WordPress is the favorite CMS (content management system) among bloggers, and 71% of its users publish their blogs in English. However, over 120 other languages are used on WordPress
- 45% of bloggers who earn more than $50,000 p.a., sell their own services or products. Compared to low-income earners, these high-income earners are 3.7 times more likely to publish interviews, 4.5 times more likely to post videos, 5 times more likely to have a podcast and 5.8 times more likely to post a case study
- Successful bloggers publish long-form articles that are about 2,400 words long.
- High-quality content is rated as the most critical factor for success among bloggers. That said, the most successful bloggers also promote their content
Skills Required to Start a Blog
Some of the most useful skills to have as a blogger include the following:
Content writing skills
To become a fantastic blogger, you must provide massive value to your audience. The best way to deliver enormous value is to:
- Write engaging content that your audience is interested in
- To write unique and helpful content
- Use a conversational and friendly tone
- Publish blogs that are over 2,000 words in length (blogs with over 2,000 words rank highly on Google).
These skills only come through practice, a basic understanding of presentation, understanding the topics you write about, being passionate about what you write and more practice. You can also learn how to be a fantastic content writer by reading and studying blogs written by other people.
Figure 2: Blogging checklist
Writing excellent content or even ‘perfect’ content is not enough if no one ever gets to know that your blog exists. This is where SEO comes in. SEO (search engine optimization) is the art and science of developing and adjusting website code and content using techniques that increase the chances of audiences visiting the website through a search engine results page (SERP). Necessarily, when a search engine user types in specific keywords, they should be led to your site.
SEO skills can be challenging to master on your own. As such, for most bloggers, SEO training is quite useful. SEO skills will allow you to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your blog through organic search results.
Figure 3: Different SEO tactics
Define your audience and understand their emotional triggers
One of the essential blogging skills is directing your content to targeted people. Doing so not only makes your content more engaging by narrowing your scope to particular areas of their interest, but it also allows you to better understand what appeals to those audiences.
The following ideas will help you to appreciate and define your target audience:
- Identify what you have to offer whether it’s a product, service or idea so that you can identify the people that will be interested in your offer.
- Understand your competition so that you can easily define your unique value proposition
- Understand your audience demographics and find out how they like to consume content and where they do so (e.g., mobile devices, computers, specific social media platforms, etc.)
- Conduct surveys and communicate with your audience to learn what they want
Marketing and selling skills
Building a loyal readership is not just about writing content that appeals to them. You must also promote the content and let them know why they should read your content. Some of the things that you could do to improve your marketing and selling skills include:
- Read vastly about sales, marketing, and psychology
- Network with influencers in your particular niche and find ways to promote your content as well as their content. If an influencer mentions you, your blog will become even more popular.
- Learn to take rejection in stride and instead analyze what you could do to make things better
One of the few skills that are crucial and yet overlooked by a lot of bloggers is the art of negotiation. As a blogger, you will need to negotiate with all sorts of people including your audience, other influencers, suppliers, competitors, etc. Some of the way’s negotiation skills can help you include:
- Having your blog posts published on the best websites
- Get better deals with suppliers, affiliates, influencers, etc.
- Build strong rapport with influencers in your niche
- Build authority in your niche by networking with peers
To improve your negotiation skills, you must:
- Learn to talk less and listen more. This way you will understand what motivates others as well as their challenges and pain points that you can address.
- Learn to present yourself better by showcasing your skills, expertise, and results
- Learn to ask for more than what you deserve
Figure 4: Skills and tips for better negotiation
The skills listed above are the most crucial skills that you will need to become a successful blogger. Obviously, the more the skills you have and the sharper the skills you possess, the more impact you will have as a blogger.