Note: Darren Rowse is a great blogger from problogger.net and John Chow from johnchow.com.
In the book of Exodus, God asked Moses “What is in your hand?”. He then made miracles out of Moses’ simple wooden stick. To be a great blogger, you also need to ask this question “What is in my hand?” and make miracles out of it.
You are what you are. You cannot do what you cannot do. You cannot have what you cannot have. These are the basic principles in being a great blogger. Often we want to be someone else, to be the same as our blogger’s idol whoever they are (hopefully, me?). You can and should learn from others but you need to appreciate what you have and use it to the fullest. A wooden stick could create miracles and so do your own “wooden stick”.
What is in your hand?
- Your Passion.
Find out what topic you are passionate about the most. If you love staying healthy, then you should probably create a blog with a health niche. If you love teaching your dogs tricks and really good at it, open up a dog training blog. When you are passionate about what you are writing, it shows. Your posts cannot lie (or maybe it can, for a while) but when you do what you are most passionate about, your posts will shine by themselves.
- Your Writing Style.
Each blogger has his/her own writing style and there is no requirement in the blogosphere to follow a certain standard of writing. Some bloggers write professionally, some bloggers write personally, some bloggers write with swearing words, some bloggers write with humor, etc. Surprisingly, I did find a popular blog with lots of swearing words in the post (surprised me!). So find your own writing style and don’t be discouraged if it’s different than the other great bloggers out there. This is of course, different than a writing skill. Writing good articles takes time and lots of practice AND you have to be better at it.
- Your Personality.
If you love throwing a joke on a day to day conversation and people laugh at your joke, then there’s a good chance that your blog readers will, too. It is your strength and you shouldn’t hide it from your readers. Show it on your posts but of course, don’t overdo it. Just be natural and be yourself. Show the bright side of your personality.
- Your Knowledge.
You know what you know. Although knowledge can be obtained through seminars, tutorials, or articles, some knowledge can only be obtained through experience. For example, I never learnt (academically) on how to write good reviews. However, I’ve got lots of positive feedback from my readers and the vendors about my review posts. I guess I just know how to properly use a product and tell the good/bad things about them to others through life experiences. I never realized this potential before and I’m grateful that I have it.
- Your Time.
Not everyone has the spare time to write great blog posts every day. There are times to rest and there are times of inspiration. If you have a family or other commitments in life, you cannot do what other bloggers can do. Don’t force it. Even if you can, one day you’ll be exhausted and burnt out. Your great blog might die in just a matter of minutes (out of depression). Write at your own time and don’t look at others. Squeeze as much as you can but know your priority in life.
- Your Friends.
Your friends are the biggest “assets” in blogging (I put a quote because I hate calling you an asset to my blog :)). They are the ones who get the word out there. No matter how good your post is, there is no point if no one else knows about it. You can write a Digg-Frontpage-Worthy post but ended up with a Zero Dugg. Your friends are also there to encourage and help you in times of need. There were times when my blogger friends thanked me for the helpful articles they were reading and it helped me to stay on course. There were also times where my blog was in trouble and they were there to help and gave advice. You cannot buy other great bloggers’ friends, but you can appreciate who you have now. Okay, although technically you can buy Twitter’s Followers, they can never become your true friends that you got through genuine friendship.
- Your Traffic.
You’ve got your own traffic sources. Although it’s good to see other bloggers’ traffic to motivate you, often we get discouraged easily (or become jealous). I feel this every time I see a few bloggers sharing their search engines traffic on this blog (Yes, you know who you are). Analyze, appreciate, and improve your own traffic sources. Of course, if you are motivated by other bloggers’ traffic sources, that’s good for you and I encourage you to expand your traffic sources.
You cannot be a Darren Rowse. You cannot be a John Chow. Just be yourself and become a unique great blogger of your own! Good luck!
PS: Know a blogger who might be encouraged by this post? Please help sharing it :)