This past year has taught me that there are things you get better at after blogging consistently. I had to actively learn some of these points while the rest are where I learned naturally after more experience.
1) Becoming a Better Writer
You become a better writer because you’re writing a lot. My love for writing was why I started my blog in the first place. In the beginning, I knew I had to write often. YouTubers have to film videos and bloggers have to write blog posts. I get that. I signed up for it. When you think of blogging, one of the first images that pop into your mind is probably writing.
What caught me off guard was that how long it takes to write ONE blog post and how often I needed to write. I spend at least 2 hours a day writing, 5 days a week. That’s a lot of words. And time! A good chunk of your time as a blogger will be dedicated to writing.
You naturally get better at writing after blogging consistently. I’m far from what you call a great writer, but I have come a long way since the beginning. One of my goals was to become a better writer so I’m happy that I’ve been improving. Practice does make perfect and it’s all thanks to my blog.
2) Writing Longer Blog Posts
When I first started blogging, I once read somewhere that a blog post has to have a minimum of 800 words. That was stuck into my head, so I ensured that every blog post had around at least that amount of words. I didn’t question this fact because I was a completely blank slate.
I wanted to follow blogging rules so I can get more traffic to my website. Isn’t that what every blogger’s goal is? To get more traffic? Writing a minimum of 800 words made sense. Words less than that meant that my blog post wasn’t going to be detailed and likely to have a high bounce rate. I’m trying to get readers to STAY on my blog, not leave sooner.
In fact, there were some blog post ideas that I passed on because I didn’t think I couldn’t write that much about a certain topic.
It was painful to write 800+ words at first. There were moments where I had to really rack my brain and ask myself, ‘what else is there to say?’ And got frustrated when I had absolutely nothing else to add.
Fast forward to one year later and it’s a completely different story. 800+ words no longer seem difficult. It’s easy to write 1200+ words per blog post. I ask myself, ‘what would readers want to know more about?’ and found myself having more things to talk about, which, of course, resulted in longer blog posts.
I have to actively cut down paragraphs of information and make sure the content I have in each post is relevant to my topic. In one year, I went from writing 800+ words to 1200+ words. Maybe one year from now, I’ll be used to writing 2000+ words posts.
Writing is essential for a blogger, but so is editing.
I don’t overthink when I’m writing. If there are better ways to convey what I want to say, I don’t pause on my keyboard thinking about the perfect way of saying it. I write it down as-is and can fix it later.
I try to write as much as I can in one day. If I find that I have nothing else to add, it’s a big indication that it’s time to stop writing. I take a breather so I can come back with a fresh mind tomorrow. This method always works. I almost always have something else to add the next day. Staring at the screen thinking what else to write about is not effective for me. I know I’ll waste my time because it’s rare that I can keep writing after I’ve hit that roadblock.
Or I’ll read what I wrote yesterday and suddenly, it doesn’t make sense. That’s why I need to have multiple rounds of editing and you get better at it quickly.
It also helps that I spend a week on each blog post. I’m not a last-minute person and will not write everything the night before so I can post the next day. I like to take my time and make sure that I have quality content.
My last round of editing includes reading my blog post out loud. When you read in your head, it’ll make sense but it’s during the times when I read out loud that I catch myself finding all sorts of grammar mistakes.
4) Thinking What Pictures to Put Up
I had a tough time deciding on what pictures to put for my blog posts especially when it came to personal development posts. Although I still struggle with this, I got better at understanding what image I want to use for my blog post.
When I’m writing, I have a general sense of what photo I want to use. I then go on unsplash.com to see if there are any similar photos to what I had in mind. I am flexible because Unsplash might not have the photo I want. I’ll browse the website to look for similar-looking ones.
Unsplash is my go-to website for pictures. There are many other websites you can go on to LEGALLY use their pictures but I only really use Unsplash and my own photos. My first preference is to use my own photos but if I don’t have any suitable ones, I go on Unsplash.
5) Include Internal and External Links
Thanks to SEO Jumpstart, a course that taught me how to properly apply SEO (search engine optimization) techniques, I now know to include internal and external links in every post.
I should have learned SEO from the start so that I could optimize each blog post from the start. It was annoying to go back to my old blog posts and add internal and external links, but it was worth it.
Internal links are links that connect you from one page on your website to another. If I’m writing a blog post about Vestiaire Collective, it would be good to include internal links such as a guide on Vestiaire Collective or why you should buy preloved luxury. It makes sense if you think about it. You want to link your juices and it’s another potential reason for readers to continue your website.
External links are important too. These are links that connect you to another website. However, you need to be selective of what websites you link to. SEO Clarity has a detailed article that talks about the differences between external links and internal links as well as why they are beneficial to your website.
It’s now a reflex to add multiple internal and external links in every blog post.
This is another skill that you get better at naturally as time went by. When I was writing 800+ word blog posts, it was difficult for me to add headings. How can I add headings when the text wasn’t even that long? Subheadings weren’t something I thought I needed unless I was writing long posts.
Adding subheadings help the readers because us humans digest information best when it’s chopped up into a more readable format. Many readers read blogs from their phones. No one wants to read a huge chunk of text on a small screen. You can easily lose readers like that. Subheadings help break down the information and help the reader find the information they want to know.
In addition, subheadings help with SEO. I like that adding subheadings aren’t difficult and if this can contribute to my website ranking higher on search engines and increase visibility, you bet I’m going to do it!
Okay, so I haven’t quite gone through all my old blog posts and add subheadings. It is one of the many things on my to-do list and something I will be working on soon.
Is there anything you’ve gotten better at since being a blogger? What are your thoughts on this list?