Some Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers
Darren Rowse of ProBlogger has challenged his readers to come up with a list of the habits of highly effective bloggers
At first I thought that I didn’t qualify as I had only been blogging seriously for three months. When I thought about it however, I realised I was short changing myself a little. This birding blog started (in another format) nine months ago so I have a reasonable track record already. When I look at my stats I have developed something of a solid reader base with a growing number of hits each day. More and more links are being made and others are starting to ask me for advice! So here goes – for what it’s worth:
Some Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers
1. Effective Bloggers are Content Driven
Far too many blogs – millions of them – are full of drivel, angst and vitriol. Effective bloggers write consistently good content. They make the effort to write readable, interesting and often entertaining content. Their writing is such that it draws the reader back again and again; this builds a loyal readership and that builds consistent traffic. With this birding blog I am aim to share information about Australian Birds with those who are eager to learn about them.
2. Effective Bloggers are Passionate
Write what you are passionate about. I’m passionate about birding, and so are millions of others around the world who want to read about and learn about the beautiful birds we have here in Australia. If you are passionate about your chosen subject you have knowledge to share in abundance, and that makes it easier to find things to write about. Many writing courses and books give the sound advice of “write what you know.” If you know a subject well and you are passionate about it, this will show in your writing. Your writing will resonate an interest in your readers.
3. Effective Bloggers are Persistent
Most things worthwhile cannot be achieved overnight. Effective bloggers are in this for the long haul. They have a long-term view of blogging. I learnt about birds by studying field guides for hundreds of hours. I have spent countless days in the field studying the habits, actions, calls, colours and shapes of birds over a period of nearly thirty years – and I’m still learning. I have read many books, viewed videos and photos, been out birding with experts and attended meetings and conferences about birds. Blogging is no different; persistence is needed in learning all you can about the craft – and then applying what you have learnt.
4. Effective Bloggers are Goal Setters
It seems to me that many effective bloggers have firm goals in mind when they write. Most aim to write often – many do it daily. Most effective bloggers aim to communicate their slant on their subject with passion. Many effective bloggers aim to educate their readers on the nuances of their subject, bringing their unique perspective on the topic. Some just aim to entertain, or inspire, or inform or just have an unshakeable goal to touch the lives of others in a positive way. With this birding blog I always aim to share the delights of the natural world, opening people’s eyes to the amazing beauty out there.
5. Effective Bloggers Research their Subject
Yes – certainly write about what you know, but that is just a starting point. Effective writers know the value of thorough research before committing their thoughts and ideas to print. Bloggers should be no different. Do your research, read what other bloggers in your field are writing about, find blogs to link to, comment on the writings of other bloggers and read, read, read. Warning: read all you can, but don’t forget to write as well. The internet is a dangerous place for the unwary; there are literally millions of distractions lurking out there. I find that looking at the photographs of birds taken by other bloggers to be a terrible distraction from writing. Sometimes I have to take time out and just look at the photos. Sometimes the writing just has to wait!
6. Effective Bloggers are Responsive
An effective method of building a loyal readership and thus traffic to your site is to respond to the comments made by your readers. The flip side of this is that an effective blogger is one who goes out there in their chosen field and comments on the blogs of others, often bringing links back to their own site. This development of a community of readers is a powerful one. I have found this to be true amongst other birders, many of whom are more than willing to link back to my site.
7. Effective Bloggers are Ethical
I believe that the most effective bloggers have an ethical framework for their writing. There is so much garbage out in the blogosphere that it is quite depressing at times, so I don’t bother to read much of it. The other side of a very uneven coin is the growing force of ethical, trustworthy writers who are posting wonderfully entertaining, useful and inspiring pieces every day. Many posts in the birding world are very informative and some are truly beautiful works of art, including thousands of stunning photographs.
These are but a few thoughts on the subject; there must be many more. This post hasn’t turned out quite as I thought it would. So be it.
Back to birding.
That – after all – is what I know best!
I have elaborated on the habits of effective bloggers and writers on my writing blog here.
A summary of the contributions to Darren Rowse’s group writing project can be found here.Ã‚Â