Guest post by Ashotosh Garg | November 23rd, 2020
As a freelance blogger, you have to function as a one-man-army; you need to be skilled at all functions ranging from content creation, networking, marketing etc. In this volatile and uncertain world, you have to constantly update your skills in order to compete with the large pool of other bloggers out there. When pitching yourself, you have to ensure that you set yourself apart from anyone else in the field. Constantly improving and adding to your skill set will ensure that you are always ahead of the curve. You must always be aware of the following three things: where you stand, where you want to be and how to fulfill that gap. If you are constantly aware of these points, you will always find yourself learning and improving. In this blog, we show you a few strategies as to how you can regularly learn and improve your skills as a blogger.
● Attend professional workshops and conferences
Professional events are an excellent way to learn the secrets of the industry as they are often hosted by experts, large organisations, industry stalwarts who have invaluable insights to share that they have learned from experience. In conferences, you can interact with these experts and know about their journey, what they did right (or wrong) and what path has led them to where they are today. Workshops are fun and effective in case you want to learn a new technical skill or improve on an existing one. Here, you have the advantage of peer learning, live feedback and learning the application of what you learn. The networking opportunities are also immense, as many people from the same field usually attend the same kinds of workshops.
● Attain formal education/certifications
We all know that there is no substitute to attaining proper education and learning from the
basics in any field. It is like knowing the tricks before you even enter the playing field. However, keep in mind that these are high investment methods, in terms of money and time. If you choose these methods, your qualifications and/or certifications show that you are a committed individual and also boosts reliability. You must also realise that enrolling in courses or programmes just for the sake of it will not do a significant benefit to you. Identify programmes that are relevant to your field, that you are interested in. Along with earning credit, especially these professional development courses will help you gain the relevant skills and needed knowledge for your particular field. Now, with most courses available online, people have easy access to them. With famous institutes and universities also offering courses online, it has become convenient, inexpensive and flexible to
add great credits to your blog profiles. With numerous choices available online, it gets difficult to choose from. You need to evaluate these choices well, check various parameters like the reviews, syllabus, ratings, and instructor bios. These things matter a lot when you are operating in such a competitive environment.
● Optimize the online resources
With changing times and digitization overtaking the traditional approaches, people are changing their methods and techniques. Being a blogger you can improve your writing skills through online classes instead of local workshops. With more exposure, it gives you the opportunity to learn through experts from all over the world. There are hundreds of topics and available, you can become an authority in your niche by enhancing your knowledge in that. It promotes the continuous learning process mostly without any physical barriers. Apart from the online classes, there are other wide ranges of information, tools, and resources available. With easy access, they provide you with educational value, as well as lets you broaden your scope by enabling you to learn skills beyond just writing for your blog. As a professional blogger, you can learn SEO and analytics, photo editing, marketing, and basic coding by attending certain online workshops and educational webinars, taking online courses, following some blogs/social media of field experts or through keeping a tab on news websites or online forums. You can leverage features like enabling notifications, subscribing to newsletters or bookmarking particular links of certain websites/blogs to stay updated of latest happenings in your niche and to follow the current trends.
● Build an online network
As a blogger, you want to work on building long-term relationships with your viewers. Hunting for new prospects and leads requires a lot of energy, resources and time. Therefore, building and maintaining relationships with your list of views is crucial and a priority. Having repeated readers ensures steady views for posts. Use social media to promote your blog. For example, on LinkedIn, you can connect with people thriving in the same niche. Using social media, you can leverage its advantages to increase the reader base of your blog. With an ample amount of options available, choose the one that suits your blog content and you the best. You can use these channels to network with industry experts and also to stay connected with current readers. Along with increasing your online credibility, it will also help reach the potential readers for your blog. Staying consistent with your content and active in various groups like on Facebook can help you establish yourself as an authority. This will also help you get ideas for content creation of your blog.
● Work on your writing skills
Being a blogger, your success mainly depends on your writing skills. The readers come back to your blog to read the content that you are publishing. Hence, it is of prime importance to sharpen your writing skills. To start with, you will have to develop a habit of writing, such that it feels like a part of your routine, and starts coming naturally to you. Get your basics clear, know the grammar rules and writing tips. To become a great writer, it is recommended to become an avid reader, you will get new ideas, and know of more writing styles and words. Another essential skill to work on for a blogger is your research skills. As a professional, you should be aware of the right places to seek for relevant information related to your niche. Knowing the topic thoroughly before writing and delivering quality content is of utmost importance. Use note-taking tools to pen down strong points. You do not want to miss out on any ideas or valid points. You want to become a pro in understanding what the readers are seeking for in terms of content.
● Look for mentorship
One of the best ways to improve is by spending time with someone who is an expert and has been through the journey from being a newcomer in the trade to being a veteran. Having a mentor can be extremely helpful, especially in the field of blogging. A mentor can provide you with valuable insights which can only be gained via experience. Along with that, she/he will provide you with constant support and encouragement. They can constantly review your work and point out the changes which you need to bring in your workings. A great place to look for mentors is at conferences, events, workshops etc. These are usually attended by industry experts who are highly knowledgeable. Don’t feel shy or awkward to reach out to them for help. You’ll be surprised to see how a lot of senior members of the industry are really happy to provide guidance to freshers. However, don’t expect them to spoon feed you. They will be there to guide you but it is you who has to learn and apply. With updating your skills, you will be able to increase traffic to your blog and establish a solid audience base. Dedication, consistency and practise is important in blogging. Apart from the above mentioned points, it is essential to look for ways to develop specific skills. Select any tactic you want and be informed and consistent with your niche. Remember to move forward in the journey, it is necessary to make investment in enhancing your skills and knowledge today. However, upskilling is a waste, unless you do not go and apply your learnings to achieve your blogging goals.
Ashutosh works as a Product Manager at Refrens.com – India’s most powerful platform for
freelancer’s finances and growth. He has helped some renowned technology companies with their product. You can follow Refrens.com on Twitter, LinkedIn.