More Than Writing: 5 Skills All Bloggers Should Learn
You’re a blogger – so write. It seems like writing is that simple and straight forward, but it truly isn’t. For a post to reach a website, it must go through a ton of research, editing, search engine prep, and even a few images sometimes to doll it up. The basis of a good article is to hold the reader’s interest.
If your writing is perfect grammatically, but not in personality, it will be a failed feat to try and make it successful. Medical literature and legal papers have great grammar, but no personality – which is why a majority of you all don’t read them for fun. Today, we will look at five skills that bloggers should ensure they have to make their career and website a success.
CSS and HTML
I put this skill at the top of the list for many reasons. While it’s quite easy of a skill to pick up, it is the hardest on the list (that’s a good thing). Additionally, it reaps the most rewards. HTML is known as a markup language. It’s even in its acronym – Hypertext Markup Language. This means that it’s used mostly to modify something (text or a document) rather than deep programming. This opens doors into designing and even learning coding languages in the future like Objective-C and Python.
Ultimately now, as a blogger, this is pertinent now in allowing you to customize and orient your blog or even its posts to your liking, rather than depending on what WordPress gives you in the “Visual” tab. Start by going to the “Text” tab, alternating between the “Visual” tab, and play around with how what you do in the “Visual” tab correlates to the “Text” tab which is in HTML. This is the best way to learn by doing – before going much deeper into the language. Later on, having these skills can open up jobs as a Managing Editor or even in design.
SEO means Search Engine Optimization. This is what goes behind how your post appears in Google or Yahoo. It involves both what you tag as well as your word choice in your articles. The more the word choice in your article is related to the subject being searched, the more it will appear to a relevant audience.
The easiest way, and the route that I go when writing through WordPress, is to use the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. This plugin is the most popular, and I have found it on every WordPress blog I’ve written for. You are able to view the snippet view of your article (what is seen in the search engine), as well as the ability to designate a keyword that is the focus of your article, and even how strong your actual article is for SEO.
As a blogger, you may enjoy having a photo or two accompany your post to add a bit of color to the post. Google is usually the way to go for most bloggers to find photos that are allowable for non-commercial use. However, when a specific can be hard to come by, you may find yourself at a lost. Usually, this ends in you finding a second photo option that wasn’t what you intended.
But what if you had the skills to take the photos yourself? Growing your photography skills can be useful in blogging because it allows you to make the posts you publish more of your own. You are able to make the direction and intended outcome of the photo used. Additionally, in the long run, you can make use of your skills to make extra money selling your photos to royalty free websites like Shutterstock,
A Strong Personality
You became a blogger so you won’t have to communicate with people face-to-face, right? I’m only kidding, but one thing that is true is that you wouldn’t have thought that your strong personality (or lack thereof) would be relevant in your writing. Quite the contrary. Ensuring that you have a strong personality, at least in what you are writing, will translate to your audience and they will be able to connect with you and find you more approachable.
Great Research Skills
Being well verse in what your blog or article is about is the reason you are writing it in the first place, hopefully. The experience or interest that you have in the subject may make you feel as if research is unnecessary. However, that isn’t completely the truth. In many cases, research isn’t just a fact finding mission to qualify what you already know. It can be a way to get a second view or opinion on a subject you are writing about, opening your eyes on the topic and making your post even more dynamic.
But using just Google is for amateurs. To get opinions from real people, forums and websites like Quora are the way professional bloggers get first hand knowledge when researching a topic. Growing your research skills can allow you to become a more accurate and dynamic blogger.
The five skills above may not seem like “skills” per se. How can a good personality and a passion be considered a skill? They are skills in that they are aspects of yourself that can be discovered and be used as an asset in blogging. You may begin blogging as an introvert, but if you find in yourself the confidence you hold or at least allow it to be penetrated in writing, your readers will notice. Let us know in the comments below what skills have been the most pertinent in your career as a blogger – besides good writing skills.