You must have heard already about blogging as part of a successful content marketing initiative. You might have started one but struggling to keep going due to multiple issues such as lack of creative talents to write and express ideas and knowledge, or lack of dedicated time or resource to fulfill this task.
While blogging is an integral part of a well-rounded content marketing campaign, the quality and depth of what you post is also weighted heavily. Considering there are plenty of competing pages around, it is a constant challenge to get quality of your blogs stand out of the pack and gain authority.
Without such quality, in other words if our content is full of fluff, unnecessary, redundant text, it might likely not crack the top results. Equally important is that the article might not gain attention (and opportunity as reference or linking) for lack of substance.
But for now let us focus on how to sustain blogging and what traits are needed to run a successful one.
1. They are observant and curious.
Without speaking their mind, bloggers simply have to write their thoughts. But this begins with being curious about things. For a blogger who is a Seinfeld fan, he or she could write about why bathroom cubicles are not extended all across the floor, why bringing Pepsi to a party is not a good idea, or why a marriage can be a prison.
Successful bloggers are keen observers and try to answer questions others might normally dismiss as beyond their capabilities. They never seem to run out of ideas and things that fascinate them. They don’t even have to rely on their list of topics to write. Once they capture the attention of readers with related experience and engage with them through comments or social media, there springs another opportunity to enhance that blog post or inspire to create a new one.
2. They are determined.
Blogging can be just a hobby which can be crossed out of one’s routine in favor of another one. But soon as a blogger sees the value of what he or she is writing — his list of hacks helped extend the mileage of someone’s car, her simple tweak in a dessert recipe helped save time — that moment inspires him or her to continue as new topics come to mind.
So even when nobody seems to be reading a blog, as Google Analytics reports show, the trait of determination overcomes the initial frustration, knowing that someday, that highly informative post will reach its intended audience. It’s an investment that brings delayed gratification.
3. They are patient.
Similar to determination, patience is a virtue that aspiring bloggers should embrace. It is understandable that as one starts this arduous trail of writing creatively to connect with readers, apparent lack of interest and reception is evident. As easy as it is to set up a blog platform these days, it’s also very easy to give up and say, “this is just not for me.”
Even with stellar approach on marketing and promotion, the early stages of blog development may not yield enough traction and decent pool of loyal followers. While there is no defined milestone in published blog posts — 15th, 40th or 99th — that indicate a turnaround, you should be able to track some progress. An increase in impressions on Google Search Console, increase in social media or email subscribers or visitors starting to trickle in based on Google Analytics reports validate the claim that your blog is heading at the right direction.
Sounds cliche but success in blogging isn’t a sprint race but more like marathon, with which patience and perseverance is paramount.
4. They can articulate ideas well.
It’s a given that bloggers have enough knowledge to share but it’s also essential to be able to translate that into a something relatable to the audience. Bloggers have that flair to create common, everyday scenarios to illustrate their point. Since they likely know the demographic makeup of their readers, sharing them stories that reflect their interests and characteristic make their blog posts engaging without going overboard.
5. They are humble.
Bloggers, like everyone else, are human beings too, who make mistakes. The good thing about blogs is that, unlike newspapers and printed media, you can easily update a half-baked information with one that has a more reliable one.
These bloggers are smart but humble enough to accept other people’s comments or snide remarks and use them to improve their craft. They let their writing speak more of their ability than the act of shameless self-promotion.
However, if we make a mistake and simply brush it off while flashing an updated photo caption, information in a sentence or delete an entire paragraph without being transparent about the altered content, you might lose that integrity, something that can be mediated with a sincere apology.
6. They are generous.
Blogging, unlike the more formal journalism work which is critiqued for facts and reliable sources, talks more about personal thoughts and opinions, even if they are against the mainstream.
Given this nature of blogging, one might be tempted to take someone’s quote, statistics or research as his or her own by not citing sources. While blogging itself entails generosity of time to write, edit and refine a post, not to mention the nugget of information being shared, it’s also about being generous to those subjects of your inspiration: a Bible verse, an obscure but powerful mathematical formula, or an insight from Harvard Business Review.
7. They have self-confidence.
In a way, blogging is like making a speech. You write your content as you deliver a speech — pretty much a one-way communication. But once the article is published or speech is finished, it’s subject to questions, affirmations and other forms of reaction.
“I beg to disagree,” a comment might quip, explaining at length how you got your piece wrong. In a sign of healthy online discussion, you reply in support of your blog post without threatening to remove the comment or going off-topic. That’s because you are confident about your post and that you can defend it properly.
If you observe that a competitor’s blog posts are shallow or lack supporting evidence, you might as well gain confidence and say “I can do better than that in my blog.”
8. They can take criticism.
Soon as you develop more content, your blog could gain more traffic, but the number of “critics” who may be composed of detractors, insecure competitors or those who generally oppose the blogger’s ideas, might also increase.
Criticisms can be constructive which help improve the quality of blog posts or make the blogger a better person or destructive criticism which destroys a person’s integrity and reputation or just for the thrill of trolling.
A successful blogger can distinguish between the two and makes appropriate judgment. Others bend and break to the pressure and quit.
9. They are creative.
Successful bloggers are rarely one-dimensional. They bring out creativity in many ways: writing style, generating humor and gets readers a dose entertainment that keep them coming back for more.
Sometimes they defy the very meaning of blogging, perhaps doing a video blog, presenting a that allow people to engage further.
10. They are passionate.
If you haven’t noticed yet, the best description one can describe about the first nine traits is that one who has them has passion. Undaunted by challenges, unfazed by established competition or unwavering against possible criticisms while striving to get better.
As said, it is easy to setup a blog but it’s equally easy to give up. More than just writing skills, the above qualities are just as important to create a successful blog, no matter how you define it.