Let me start off with an assumption: We all want to be good bloggers, right?
But we don’t get a lot of direct opinions about how good we actually are. Your friends and family will tell you you’re great. Haters will tell you that you suck. But it’s not like these opinions reflect the actual situation.
The negative voices are always more vocal than the positive ones, and your friends, well, they just don’t have the guts to say anything bad.
How you can find out if you’re really a good blogger? To start, let’s explain what it means to be a good blogger.
Who is a good blogger?
Being a good blogger is not the same as being a good writer. Writing is a single activity-you take an idea and write an article around it. Blogging involves many more elements. Bloggers have to:
- Network with other bloggers.
- Master the art of online promotion, marketing and social media.
- Do brand building.
- Attract new followers and subscribers.
- Have some business sense and be able to turn pro at some point.
- Learn how to make things happen.
- Manage their work, time and much more.
Taking all this into account, here are seven signs you’re not a good blogger:
1. You don’t publish regularly.
This is really basic, but some people still forget that publishing regularly is a blogger’s main task. If you don’t publish regularly, people will lose track of what’s going on with your blog, or even forget about you completely. That’s not good for business.
If at some point you get distracted and don’t publish a post for a while, just return to your everyday blogging like nothing ever happened.
Whatever you do, don’t publish a “sorry I’ve been away” post. The reason is simple: Some people won’t even notice you were gone unless you tell them.
2. You don’t manage your time properly.
Time management may sound like something only people loaded with an extreme amount of work need, but it’s not the case. Whatever your career, you can always use a time management system to make you more effective.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of tasks a blogger needs to do on a daily basis, and if you try to keep them all in your head, you’ll inevitably forget some.
I encourage you to check out a methodology called “Getting Things Done,” then try different online tools to make you more effective. Here are a few you can try: Remember The Milk, Teambox, Google Calendar and Dropbox.
3. You have no blogging friends.
Bloggers who try to make things happen on their own have a much harder time achieving success. Building a network of contacts and using it for various purposes is a much better approach. Here are some of the possible benefits:
- You can email your blogging friends to notify them of your new post.
- You can take part in joint ventures.
- You can promote each other on different occasions.
- Your network can help you get guest-posting spots on other blogs.
- You can host guest posts from people in your network.
- You can promote each other’s products as affiliates.
Building a network is a great practice in any industry—blogging included.
4. No one contacts you with freelance writing opportunities.
If you’re a good blogger, chances are some people will notice and reach out to you with new opportunities. The most obvious opportunity for a blogger is a freelance writing project of some kind. If you’re inside a fairly popular niche, you should get offers like that every now and then.
If you don’t, maybe you’re not as good as you think.
You can help the situation a little by providing an easy-to-use contact form or other clear way for people to get a hold of you. It still amazes me that some bloggers have absolutely no contact information on their sites, or that they bury it so deep it’s like it’s not there at all.
5. You don’t know what search engine optimization is.
Good blogging has a lot to do with search engine optimization (SEO). Good bloggers accept this and try to make the most out of it. Bad bloggers think SEO isn’t relevant and that content is the only king. There’s no point providing great content if you’re not going to do anything to promote it in search engines.
Every post you publish should include some form of SEO, even if it’s just some simple keyword research and good subheads. Remember that Google is the biggest online traffic provider. You can earn a lot of traffic and recognition if you decide to play the game.
6. You don’t know what your most popular articles are.
Know your audience and be aware of what’s happening on your blog. If you don’t know what your most popular content is, how are you going to create more of it?
Every blogger should aim to publish posts that have the biggest chance of going viral. To get your blog up to date, install a plugin like WordPress Popular Posts and include a Google Analytics embed code in your blog. This will give you all the information you need.
Check your stats every week or month, and note which articles become the most popular. Create your publishing schedule for the next months to include more articles similar to the popular ones in some way (topic, style, etc.).
7. You have no plan for your blog’s immediate future.
Bad bloggers always run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Remember, you’re a long-term blogger (at least, that’s my assumption). You need to have a plan for your blog, or your success will be a lot less predictable.
Things worth including in your plan are:
- Your publishing schedule.
- New keywords.
- A list of blogs where you want to guest post.
- A list of products you want to create.
- A list of products you want to promote as an affiliate.
- A list of joint venture projects and their execution schedules.
- A goal your blog should achieve in one year’s time.
Of course, this is just an example, and you’re free to include whatever else you find suitable.
What are other signs of bad bloggers?
Karol Krol is a freelance writer and blogger. A version of this article originally appeared on JeffBullas.com.