Building a Long-Term Blogging Business: Essential Blogging Skills Every Blogger Should Have (Part 4)

Building a Long-Term Blogging Business 4Blogging is not for everyone. It requires hard work, especially if you try to avoid black hat and other cheesy techniques. That may surprise you, especially when you read it in a blog about business blogging and making money blogging.

You may be surprised how many people think it is possible to start from scratch and make 1,000 dollars tomorrow. It is one of the biggest myths of online business.

Starting a business, including blogging business, is not easy.

Some Statistics (Boring but Important)

But it’s true. More than nine percent (no exact number, but the majority of people) who try to generate serious income from their blogs fail. It is just how business works. About the same percentage of small businesses fail in the first five years, according to U.S. Small Business Administration, although they have changed it to 50 percent in newer document.

Don’t believe me? In April 2007, David Sifry wrote in a report on The State of the Blogsphere that the size of the blogosphere was 70 million blogs. People who make a living from that should be really low.

Many people start a blog to send backlinks to their site or feed it with random content generated from RSS feed and software, so the percentage of successful blogs is even lower.

What Do You Need to Success with Your Blogging Business?

Blogging requires skills. Not only on the topic you blog about, but also on various activities related to blogging.

A blog makes it easy for anyone to get text, image, audio and video content on the Web, but that’s just a small amount of tasks involved in building a successful blog.

Bloggers need to be Internet savvy. If you are seriously lack of skills in using and learning various web applications, you will find this much more challenging.

A Short List of Internet Skills You Need to Have Under Your Belt

I don’t mean that you should be able to run your own web server or develop your own blog software. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel or do it yourself while you can pay for the services (like web hosting) inexpensively.

While you don’t need to be a technical geek, you should at least have a decent understanding of a variety of web technologies.

Which of the following are important for you depend highly on your strategy and monetization model:

  • Blog software like Blogger, WordPress or Movable Type: how to post, edit content, setup RSS feed and tracking, use pings, trackbacks, tags and administer blog software.
  • Basic HTML to format your blog posts, include images in the body content, etc.
  • Email, instant messaging or other communication tools.
  • At least the foundation of search engine optimization. You need to be able to conduct keyword research, create optimized pages and blog content structure.
  • Social media: social networking, social bookmarking, etc. This is required if you want to promote your blog and network with other bloggers, create a group, etc.
  • How to install tracking code, widgets, and so on.
  • Traffic statistics and conversion metrics. You need to know which content is the most popular, which pages rank in search engines for what keywords, etc.
  • RSS news readers to subscribe to blogs and other tracking services. Monitoring the blogosphere, news and other sources to understand what others are talking about you and your business.
  • Contextual advertising and ads management (if you choose to sell ads on your own.)
  • Troubleshooting skills. Knowing what went wrong and use problem-solving techniques to locate the issue. You also need this skill if you want to ask for help online.
  • and others that I may overlook.

Of course, you have to be able to handle all of these and still have a life.

Other Necessary Blogging Skills

Besides being Internet savvy, every exceptional blogger should have be able to:

  • Process information quickly. Stay on top of news and information by email or RSS feeds.
  • Writing with personality.
  • Communicate with other bloggers.
  • Interact with your audience and be responsive.
  • Be transparent.
  • Disagree with others respectfully.

Skellie has a list of 101 essential blogging tips.

A Word or Two on Outsourcing

You may be able to outsource most of the tasks that are not your cup of tea, but some of these are not effective unless you do them alone.

For example, if you outsource your communication via Twitter to a staff, they may not be able to represent you personally. This may be possible, but you need to choose the right person and train them extensively.

This is not for most people, especially when they are starting out. Moreover, you want to know the process personally to be able to teach others how to do it.

(Read the Full Series)

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