Characteristics of an Effective Blogger (and Writer)

On his blog about writing and blogging, with the bizarre name of “Why My Blog Stinks” Steve Remington has submitted an excellent article in the group writing project “The Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers” run by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.

Many of the contributors listed habits that lead to effective blogging. Steve instead has concentrated on the characteristics of the blogger, as distinct from the habits. While aimed at bloggers, this posting also applies to all writers. I’d like to comment on just several that he wrote about.

Good Communicator
Effective bloggers need to be able to convey their message. If you can’t understand a thing from what a blogger wrote then you will probably give up on them. You need to communicate the best you can to your readers. Good communication also comes in the form of contacting other bloggers. You can learn to become a better communicator and this will help convey your messages and it will help you deal with other people around you.

Being a good communicator seems to be a given. It often amazes me, however, how many people who are in the area of communication, whether spoken or written, who seem to lack the fundamentals of good communication.

Keep things understandable.

If the reader cannot understand your blog, novel, short story, poem or whatever, you have lost that reader. This is particularly so in our modern “instant” world; the web generation wants instant information. They are not going to hang around reading 500 words of a garbled introduction. Poor spelling and grammar just adds to the hurry to depart from that mess. Click.

Like to Write
It is difficult to be an effective blogger if you simply don’t like writing. I like writing and if I didn’t, well, I probably wouldn’t be a blogger.

If you like what you do it will show. If you enjoy being a teacher, your students will know. If you love being a doctor, builder, saleswomen or whatever, your clients will know. It shows. It oozes from everything you say and do, your attitude, your speech and your mannerisms.

If you love being a writer, it will show. And you can’t be an effective blogger without loving to write, and love to write heaps. And every day. On all sorts of things.

Like Researching
This is the same as writing. If you don’t like it, then your blog will probably suffer. Part of blogging is researching things. You need to research not only for content, but also to scan your competitors. What are they up to? You also should be researching what your readers are doing. Where are they coming from? Learning the habits of both your competitors and your readers will help you decide what needs to be done to your blog. To determine what to do is actually part of your intuitive skills.

I love the research stage. It takes you on all kinds of interesting journeys. It’s part of the learning process. But a word to the weak: there are so many interesting distractions out there, especially on the internet, that can divert you from your intended path. Remember to get back to writing. Listen to someone who has often strayed from the True Path. Oh, the Perils of Broadband!


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