Do you want to improve your game as a blogger?
I know, silly question.
Well, in that case, there’s some good news. Well, about 50 of them.
Fifty ways that will help you become a better blogger.
1. Set a schedule for release.
Keep in mind that it has to be realistic. If you only post once a week, fantastic. Once every other week, brilliant. Whatever you do, keep this promise. Consistency matters. A lot.
2. Write every day.
You don’t have to publish every single day, but make sure to write. The more you write. the stronger your creative “muscle” gets.
3. Use a time-based goal, rather than a word-count goal.
Aim to spend, let’s say, one hour writing every day, rather than forcing yourself to write 1,000 words or even 5,000. This way, you can more easily track your progress, and you get a real sense of how much your productivity increases.
4. If you’re struggling to write, don’t quit.
Rather, do some other type of work (editing, rewriting, formatting). There’s always something to do when it comes to blogging, such as checking out what your competition is doing right (or wrong.)
5. Read every day. Set a goal for this as well.
If you don’t read, you don’t acquire the tools you need to better yourself as a content creator, and you are oblivious to the conversation that goes on in the community. If you set a goal to read 10 articles every day, be sure to read 5 about your niche and 5 that aren’t related to your niche. That way you will be better able to connect seemingly unrelated dots and come up with a eureka moment.
6. Use procrastination to your advantage.
By scheduling your unfinished draft one week from the day you start to work on it. You force yourself to either publish an unfinished work or write, edit, and format your article within that time-frame.
7. Comment on a few articles every day.
Make sure to budget your time accordingly. But keep this in mind: commenting on other articles is the single best way to grow your blog’s audience.
8. Learn a new word every day.
Because it’s fun. It’s also useful.
On Building an Audience
9. Define your ideal reader. Get to know them.
You’ve probably heard this one a hundred times before. But it’s important.
If you want to stand out, you need to learn what keeps your readers up at night. What do they fear? What roadblocks are they facing? What do they desire?
When you know the answers to these questions, your content will be more compelling and you will gain traction faster.
10. Always add value.
If you want to stand out, set a new standard in your industry, and make
a living from the Internet, you need to always add value to your readers.
By providing people with clear, actionable steps. By inspiring them to take action, by showing them how to solve a problem. By entertaining them. By enabling them to connect with like-minded individuals.
Always ask yourself, “what is the reader getting out of this?”
11. Work on building your e-mail list.
Many argue that email marketing doesn’t work anymore.
But that’s just not true.
Email still the best marketing channel. It gives you the chance to reach people directly, to promote your content, to sell your products/services, to quickly switch platforms or change your blog’s domain name in the future (without having to worry about losing all your followers.)
12. Keep it human!
When it comes to building an audience, you need to realize that you have to show your readers that you’re an actual human being.
Sounds weird, doesn’t it?
But the truth is that 99.9% of readers will prefer a more conversational tone, will prefer to read about an empathetic tutorial on how to do something from someone who has failed in the past (and knows this and assures them that they can do it too) than read the arrogant musings of an “expert.”
Another thing to keep in mind is the way you interact with your readers.
Do you engage with them? Do you reply to comments? Do you address them directly?
Are you writing for your readers?
Are you talking with your readers? Are you talking at them?
Which of these define your style best? The teacher or the companion, the person who helps you go from point A to point B, who’s there for you to help you take the steps it takes?
P.S. We’ve designed a FREE deck of digital print-it-yourself of flashcards based on these tips.
Download them here.
On Content Creation
13. Wait 24–48 hours after you finish writing your first draft.
Then read, edit, read, edit, until you have something you’re proud of.
14. Before you publish your article, ask yourself these questions.
If you feel that there’s more you could do, then put your article aside and wait a few more days. Do a bit more research, write something else, watch TV, get your heart broken. You will return to your article and be able to do much more with it.
15. Ask fellow bloggers for feedback.
It will taste bitter at times, but it’s the medicine you need. You can’t improve without help.
16. Be bold.
Literally, by highlighting the most important insights and notions within your articles, and figuratively, by being bold enough to write about your truth, the truth that matters, the way you want to write it.
17. Be open, curious, present, and engaged.
Experiment and have fun. Write about the topics that excite you, that inspire you. Write a poem once in a while, or a short story. Try your hand at a lengthy essay on a topic that inspires you.
18. Punch the damn keys!
Yes, I mean it. Punch the keys. Feel the weight of each word as you type it on your computer. Feel the emotion behind each sentence as you write it into existence.
19. When you write, turn off the Internet.
And the TV. If that doesn’t work, throw your phone out the window and lock yourself in the bathroom. Write on a piece of toilet paper, if you have to. Yeah, I meant to say that you should limit distractions. That’s the idea.
20. Inspiration only finds you in the shower or when you place your head against the pillow.
Otherwise, do the work, no matter what.
The more you force yourself to do the work, even when you don’t feel inspired, the more inspired you will become.
Remember: you’re not actually producing a gold egg, you’re just exercising your creative muscle under less than ideal circumstances.
21. Don’t try so hard to be original.
Before you start thinking in a bad way, let me clarify what I mean by being “unoriginal.”
Many newbie bloggers think this way: “If I get into a competitive niche, I will never succeed. I need to find an original idea. Something no one has never thought to blog about.”
So they either get into a strange niche or combine topics in a way that no one would ever want to subscribe to their blog.
But here’s the thing:
These kinds of “original” ideas will only ensure you are competiting in a niche without readers.
At the same time, your creative output will suffer greatly because, let’s face it, great artists steal. Always.
22. See how your article looks like if you delete your first paragraph.
If it’s better, ask yourself if you can delete the next paragraph as well. Do this until you come up with the best introduction to your article.
23. Write down all your ideas.
All of them. You can use all sorts of tools for this, from Google’s Docs to writing down in your phone’s notes app, in a notepad, or even as drafts on your blog.
24. Read your article aloud to anyone who can stand it — including the house pets.
Sometimes it helps to read it backwards. In any case, it helps when you read your work out loud. Does it sound like you? Does it resemble the way you talk? If not, adjust accordingly.
25. Take care of your paragraphs.
As a rule of thumb, anything longer than 5 sentences is a bit of a problem.
26. Take extra care of your sentences.
Use simple sentences, avoid passive voice, limit your use of adjectives and adverbs. When it doubt, cut it out. If it doesn’t make sense anymore, put it back in.
27. Work on your headlines.
Write at least 3–4 different variations for the same article, decide on which one sounds best. The one you like most? That’s probably the clickbait. Discard it. Choose from your remaining headlines. If you have to choose between curiosity and benefit, choose to state the benefit more clearly. Curiosity often leads to clickbait headlines.
28. Take the time to develop a strategy for writing a blog post.
This is one of the most underrated aspects of blogging. Write down a few steps on what to do, how to do it, and why you should do it.
Something that looks like this:
29. Write on the scene.
If you want to write about a beach, get a picnic rug and go write by the sea.
30. A picture is worth a thousand words. The perfect picture is worth twice that.
The truth is that, yes, we write words, we tell stories, but we should also acknowledge the fact that we’re a (mostly) visual species. Take advantage of that. Take the extra time to choose the perfect images for your blog posts.
31. When in doubt, always ask your readers what is it that they’d like to read from you.
This is one of the most underrated tools: ask your readers. Directly. Via e-mail, in your blog posts, on social media. What would they like to read from you?
32. Listen to how people talk. Listen to what they talk about.
A lot of what I write is the by-product of conversations I overhear.
33. Go through your old articles.
Choose the best ideas, discard the rest.
This might also help you figure out your recurring themes, the most important ideas and topics you keep writing about. Analyze them, try to better understand the value proposition of those topics.
34. Do stuff.
I’m serious. Try new things, develop new hobbies and passions. Learn a new skill. Or a new language. Or even invent your own language. The more you actively and creatively step outside your comfort zone, the more inspired you will feel.
I can’t stress just how much of an impact it has. The endorphin rush, the serotonin, all of that will help boost your focus. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise, just get moving.
36. Consume art.
All kinds of art. It doesn’t matter. The idea is to feed your brain. A lot of my articles were inspired by song lyrics, TV shows, or even paintings.
37. Never underestimate the value of one.
Don’t chase followers, focus on making friends. Don’t try to please everyone, but rather just one reader. Write and network as if you are looking for a best friend.
38. Overnight success does not exist.
You have to show up and keep showing up for a long time. Otherwise, even if your first article goes viral, it won’t matter. Inner fortitude is developed by doing the work consistently for a long, long time.
39. Focus on personal development. It matters. A lot.
Believe it or not, your blog is a mirror reflection of you. Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of bad habits ruining my blog, my chance of properly monetizing my content and ideas, or my ability to grow my audience.
That’s why you must spend time building your character, your skills, and your work ethic.
P.S. We’ve got a blog for that as well:
It’s called the Polymathic Club.
40. Do not be afraid.
Of failure, of success, of what people think, of what they’ll say to you in a comment.
41. Know your why.
A strong enough why can overcome any how.
42. Do not fear perfection.
It does not exist. Forget this fairytale you tell yourself about the perfect article and focus on the 1% daily improvement.
43. The only way to win is to keep punching the keys when you want to give up.
That’s when everyone else gives up. Do you want to be successful or do you want to be like all the others who gave up?
44. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, to break some rules.
The act of writing a blog post is a creative one. Do not be afraid to sometimes think outside the box.
45. Remind yourself that you can only write an article one word at a time.
Be patient. It takes time to become a top blogger.
46. Your attitude is far more important than your aptitude.
Keep this in mind as you write your articles, respond to comments, or sell your products. It is your attitude towards blogging that matters far more than how good you are.
47. Be brave. Few ever are. Write about it, even if you think the world is going to hate you for it.
There are few bloggers out there who have the guts to share the truth, even if their fingers shake against the keyboard. Always write your truth. Always.
48. It’s better to have fun doing work that matters than it is to suffer in order to make money.
Don’t write about topics you couldn’t care less just to earn a bit of money. It won’t be much, and it won’t be worth it. Write about the stuff that sets your soul on fire.
49. They don’t care how much you know. They want to know how much you care.
The best advice when it comes to getting readers, keeping readers, and making readers fall in love with you.
50. The goal is to write.
There’s no other goal. The goal is to punch those keys. When you feel like it’s not worth it, remind yourself that. The goal is to write, to just place one word after another, and hope that for someone they’re the right words in the right order at the right time.
There’s an art to improvement, and it all has to do with the courage to pursue deliberate steps towards improvement.
That is all.
If you want to improve, you’ll find a way to become a better blogger. Or you’ll make one.
Becoming an artist of blogging requires hours and hours of deliberate practice.