There are many bloggers in the blogosphere who are doing pretty well with their blogs. Then, there are those who don’t seem to be going anywhere with their blog. Chances are, the bloggers who actually have something going for them have taken a very important step in reaching that success. Identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and making the best of each.
Identifying what you are good at when it comes to your blog is a very essential activity that will go a long way to improve your blogging flow. We are going to look at just how we can do this.
Identifying Your Strengths
To help identify your blogging strengths, you need to answer a couple of questions. I have compiled a short, but self-defining list of questions to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses blogging.
- When it comes to blogging and everything it includes (writing, promotion, maintenance, etc), what are you best at and what do you enjoy the most? What type of content or article types do you write well? What promotional technique(s) are you best at using? What ways of monetization works best for you?
- What advantages do you have over other blogs in the blogosphere? How many RSS subscribers do you have? How many Email subscribers do you have? What is your blog’s traffic ranking?
- What do you have more of that you can put into your blogging activities? Do you have time to blog? Do you have money to pay writers for your blog’s content? Do you have money to pay for your blog’s marketing?
- What do your blog’s readers commend you for when they leave a comment on your blog?
Finding the answers to the questions above will help you determine your strengths in blogging. You can write your answers on a piece of paper, or put them in a text document. A piece of paper will work for you because you can place it by your desk or anywhere around your home that you can review it. You must aim to provide absolutely honest answers to these questions.
After answering the questions, take a special note of anything you didn’t list in your answers. For example, if you answer that the promotional technique you are best at is social media marketing, then it means the other methods of marketing – guest blogging, search engine optimization and article marketing are some things you may want to work on improving. We will talk about weaknesses later on in this article.
Leveraging Your Strengths
Learning how to leverage your blogging strengths will help you make the most of your blogging activities. Leveraging gives you a big advantage over other blogs because you use your identified strengths to add more value to your blog.
To better understand leverage, let us look at the leverage China has over the manufacturing industry.
Many companies like Nike and Apple have set up manufacturing plants in China because China provides almost all of the resources (cheap labor, large labor market, cheap raw materials, etc.) needed to manufacture the products of these companies at an excellent price. Many retailers also purchase most of their items from Chinese wholesalers to sell them in their retail shop. China learned how to leverage their strengths (in this case, their resources) to their advantage and now they have taken over most global industries.
The following questions will help you find a way of leveraging your own blogging strengths to add more value to your blog.
- What do I want to achieve with my blog? How can I achieve my blogging goals using my strengths (expertise)?
- How can I get my blog’s visitors or email and RSS subscribers to promote my blog? Think of giving them something extra to motivate them to talk about your blog to others. You can host a contest with some stellar prizes. Preferably, give out a prize related to your niche.
- What other ways can I monetize my blog? You can think of selling products such as your own eBooks, plug-ins, website themes or services such as premium content (by paid subscriptions), writing or design services. These are just a few examples from me; don’t limit yourself to my ideas alone.
Leverage is all about adding options and improvements based on your strengths. You need to constantly aim at using your existing strengths to improve your blog. As the old adage goes, “use it or lose it.” You need to identify and use your strengths the best you can. Otherwise, you will lose that leverage on your strengths as a result of worrying too much about your weaknesses. Instead, work at using other alternatives to your weaknesses and aim at constant improvement in all areas of your blogging activities.
In your quest to leverage your strengths, remember to take your blog’s readers and visitors into consideration, especially when it comes to adding other monetization methods. You have to remember, without your community, your blog is nothing. So if you choose to throw banner ads all over the place, expect those ads to have a negative impact on your community.
Remember, that any change you make to your blog, someone may not like it. You can’t try to make everybody happy. Make choices you think will be most beneficial to your blog, and if someone doesn’t like it – it’s their loss for not supporting you trying to grow your blog.
Identifying Your Weaknesses
It is very important that you pick out your weaknesses in your blogging skill set. They are just as important to know as knowing your strengths – maybe even more important.
Do another self-analysis by answering the following questions below:
- What do your readers criticize you for?
- What are your worst traits when you are writing an article?
- What is the impact blogging has on your personal life?
- When it comes down to maintaining the technical aspects of your blog, what do you know?
- What holds you back when you really want to work on your blog?
- What are your competitors good at that you are not? (Of course, if you want your own uniqueness and not copy what they are doing, you don’t have to see this as a weakness)
Basically, your weaknesses are the things that affect your blogging career negatively. Write them on a piece of paper or note pad. Put them right under your list of strengths, because they are just as important to know as your strengths.
Once you know what you excel at and what holds you back, it’s time to work towards improving your weaknesses. Do you have enough resources ready to improve your blog? Can you invest some time and maybe money to improve on your blogging weaknesses? You need to ask yourself questions to find out if you are really ready for improvement.
Even if you have a nagging edge for improvement, it is not enough because sometimes the feeling will be there but there wouldn’t be much time or available resources to go ahead with improvement.
The three basic things you will need in order to make a sound improvement on your weaknesses are:
- Mindset for improvement - Be willing to improve and think positively about the things you are doing. You won’t improve if you think you cannot improve. You need to have a vision for constant improvement of your blog..
- Time -You need a lot of time in order to make improvement. You need it because you will be spending much of it on improving upon your weaknesses.
- Education & Training - By this, I don’t necessarily mean going to college and earning a diploma or degree. Reading blogs for blogging tips and joining paid tutorial sites that teach you how to improve at something are all forms of education.
I didn’t include money because sometimes, it is not important. You may need money to create resources when you lack them though. For example, you may need money to pay for education (that is, if you opt to pay for tips rather than find free sources of information), you may also need money to buy someone else’s time (hire a consultant who can help improve your weakness) if you don’t have any time of your own.
I will however advise that you work on improving your blog on your own. If you get stuck, get someone to take you through the process and work on it yourself by following the process. It is better to learn and master it yourself than to pay someone else to make it better and keep on paying him or her to maintain that improvement again and again.
Tackle weaknesses one at a time. You don’t have to burn yourself out by trying to make two, three or even 10 improvements at a time. You may not get anywhere if you try to improve in many areas all at the same time.
Tackle your greatest weakness first. List which weakness you will want to tackle first in order of priority and you will do just great.
You can skip one weakness and tackle the next one if you are getting frustrated. For example, if you are getting frustrated designing your blog, take time off from it and work on something you think you will have more tolerance for. However, you do need to come back later on and work on that design. You should also note that some things take more time than other to improve, patience is a virtue here.