Last week, I went over some of the soft skills I found essential for bloggers.
This week, I wanted to dive in a little deeper and visit some of the most important hard skills I’ve seen across every major influencer I’ve met. I think most people look at blogging as a no-brainer, narcissistic hobby, but it requires keen entrepreneurial skills just like any small business.
If you’re looking to take your blog to the next level, here are the most important hard skills every blogger needs to be successful.
Although many big bloggers have a moved away from writing long, valuable content, writing is still very much essential to blogging. Writing is how you engage with others, share your story, and deliver your voice. You don’t need to be a best-selling author, but you need to have substance and add value. This might sound like bad news to those of you dread writing; however, consider it a challenge and find resources to help you improve.
If you’re not a great writer, maybe it means hiring someone else to write in which case you better be a badass editor. No one knows your voice better than yourself. You should be able to tweak anything to sound more and more like your.
All mega-bloggers are watching their analytics in terms of the following:
– What’s driving people to my blog?
– Which content has been read the most?
– What’s not performing?
– What channels are my biggest source of traffic?
– Where is there opportunity for growth?
All successful bloggers are able to evaluate the effectiveness of their content. They use analytics to set goals, identify performance, and test new strategies for driving traffic, increasing engagement, reducing bounce, etc. We cover this info in our Content Strategy for Bloggers course on Azalle. I highly recommend you learn this skill now!
Top influencers don’t rely on SEO alone, but they know enough about SEO to optimize their content for search engines. That requires you to learn keywords, common image-naming conventions, and writing exciting titles that generate clicks. SEO matters because when someone finds your content through a Google search, they’re more likely to be converted into a loyal follower and stick around on your website when compared to referred traffic.
One thing I’ve also seen running across mega-bloggers is the ability to sell – whether it’s making a product look enticing enough to convert followers into buyers or selling a lifestyle in such an alluring way that they convert by-passers into die-hard fans. They know how to connect and engage with others, promote their content, and gain exposure. As natural as it my look or feel, believe that there is much strategy behind it!
One of a blogger’s most-prized possessions is their network – industry contacts, other bloggers, and brand reps – it’s a huge part of how they get jobs. So, it’s no wonder bloggers become master networkers. The more you get around people, the better you become at presenting yourself and having meaningful conversations. I’ve learned that networking is a skill you learn overtime by putting yourself in situations that require you to speak to people. Even if you’re an introvert, there are always ways to network that won’t make you feel displaced. Learn this skill early on and you’ll be set.