On Becoming a Good Blogger

Day 91 - 365 Days - 31 Mar 08: BUSY

This is a follow-up to my previous entry, The Good Blogger. With the said entry, Lei and Kim, shared their thoughts about what makes a good blogger. And, to summarise and paraphrase what they had to say, these are some traits of good bloggers:

1) A good blogger posts weblog entries regularly. 3-5x a week is a good number, according to Lei. Probably once a week is the minimum.

2) A good blogger should have a distinct voice/personality. You can tell if that person is just copying something or just recycling content. While aggregated blogs are okay in some cases, blogs that show that the blogger is a real person help to distinguish one blog from millions of others. This brings us to item #3.

3) A good blogger should be conversational. "I know I’ve found a good blogger when I feel like I just had a conversation with that person from reading a post," wrote Kim.

4) A good blogger should have good content. Thought-provoking, entertaining, funny, intense, informational, inspirational, deep... Whatever the style or the subject matter, good content is bound to touch and to reach out to the right audience.

5) A good blogger takes the time to respond to comments. (or emails, messages, etc.) While this may not always be feasible on an individual basis, especially for bigger blogs, it's always good to acknowledge your readers in some way. Individual responses make it personal. But, if that's not possible, a "mass response" via another blog entry or comment can show your readers that you do pay attention --- and that you do read and appreciate their comments.

6) A good blogger knows how to come up with great subject lines. With masses of information swirling around us, a good subject helps to get things to stand and to be noticed.

Great input from Lei and Kim! There might be more traits that you can think of. If you do have something to add, leave a comment here.

I, for one, would like to add just a few things (for now). Read more...

7) A good blogger takes time to pay attention to spelling and grammar rules. The writing doesn’t have to be perfect and typo-free all the time. Even experts and professionals make mistakes. But, if a blogger doesn’t try to do a better job at expressing themselves in writing, somehow the message gets lost in the muddle of writings that LooK likE thIS alL tHe tIMe… or LIKE THIS… or… ah you get the picture.

8) A good blogger learns how to be brave. Blogging can be very scary business. It’s terrifying to “put yourself out there.� Even if you’re not writing about personal stuff, words are very personal things. Someone can criticise what you write, disagree with your views, or simply say that you’re just a nutter on the loose with a blog. If you’re being real, then these things can hurt sometimes. And, even if no one’s slagging you… the constant need to do what you need to do as a blogger needs bravery too.

9) A good blogger is tenacious/resilient. There are a lot of challenges in the blogosphere: how to learn the technology, how to “work the web�, how to find - and keep - readers, how to get listed in search engines and directories, how to keep up with news, how to come up with content… That’s why bloggers need to develop tenacity/resilience.

10) A good blogger practices blogging ethics/etiquette. Accept mistakes and own up to them, don’t copy-paste complete blog entries and articles in to your own blogs (that’s stealing), among other things.

11) A good blogger knows how to maintain good relationships online. It’s more than just responding to comments and emails. It’s more than just linking, cross-linking, promoting and cross-promoting fellow bloggers. It’s about knowing when to assert yourself and when to back down. It’s about following up on your word and keeping your promises. It’s about not snubbing “the little people� just because you feel that you won’t get anything from them. It’s about respect and responsibility.

12) A good blogger knows how to have fun. Smile. Laugh. Take a break. Relax. And, if you have to… walk away from blogging every once in a while.

About the Author Shai Coggins

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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