We’ve come a long way from the days of the online diary, when people exclusively used the blog to document their daily lives, opinions, and the like. Now, a growing number of blogs are being used as platforms for professional growth or as part of business promotions. More often than not, the main preoccupation of many bloggers today is to earn some money – either directly through blogging, or through the exposure they get from it.
And, given the sheer number of free blogging platforms available to us now (WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and the like), it looks like ANYONE can blog…
Anyone CAN blog, but there’s a catch
A blog involves more than just having a means of blogging. After all, being an effective communicator these days isn’t limited to knowing how to use technology like social media apps and high-end VoIP service. You need other skills and qualities to ensure that you’re ideal for the blogging life – especially if you want to become a blogger so you can earn money.
Among other things, you need to make sure that blogging is right for you, because it takes a whole lot of dedication for you to build a decent following for your blog. You need to REALLY love going through the kinds of things that a blogger goes through – writer’s block, anxiety over low web traffic, flame wars, and the like. You need to know how to sustain your blogging habits as consistently as possible for the sake of the readers (even if you don’t have regular readers yet).
Most importantly, you need to put effort into becoming the best writer you can be.
Good writing actually makes a difference
Over the last year or so, some of Google’s tweaks to its search algorithms basically changed the game for people who use content to promote themselves online.
Panda and Penguin added a complexity to search protocols that made RELEVANCE a more important factor than it had ever been before. It’s not enough to just use keywords in your blog; now you have to make sure that everything you put on your blogs and sites are useful as well as entertaining. More often than not, that’s helped along by excellent writing skills – which includes knowing how to organize your information AND which words can best get your points across. Letting your personality shine through also helps, but if readers find it difficult to understand you, then they’ll navigate away from the site.
Google (the only search engine that matters right now) can see that and use that as a basis to lower your rankings, which in turn will affect your success as a blogger. This is why, in a way, people can honestly say that some bloggers really CAN’T blog successfully.
It doesn’t mean you can’t work towards it
Do you remember that bit in the Pixar movie “Ratatouille”, where food critic Anton Ego is contemplating the phrase “anyone can cook”? If you can remember, his conclusion was that it meant that “not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist can come from anywhere”. This was all in response to the realization that one of the best chefs of that age (at least, in his opinion) was a rodent who spent the majority of his life working on becoming a great cook.
Not all of us can be the best blogger ever, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t all work at it. Anyone CAN blog – but only if he’s willing to put his very best efforts into it.
So the real question here is: can YOU blog?