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10 (+5) Requisites for Professional Bloggers

Daniel at Daily Blog Tips writes 10 Requisites for Professional Bloggers and has some useful things to say under the following headings:

1. Time
2. Expertise on a topic
3. Passion for the topic
4. Writing skills
5. Technical Knowledge
6. Blogging Knowledge
7. Web Design Skills
8. Business/Marketing Knowledge
9. Creativity and Innovative Ideas
10. Network of contacts

While I think all of these skills and abilities will be an asset to a Professional Blogger – my own strategy has always been to attempt to surround myself with people who are able to compensate for those that are lacking for me.

On the above list I would say that I’m lacking on 5 and 7 especially (and am borderline on a number of others).

Five more requisites that I’d add to the list:

11. Patience – too many bloggers give up too quickly. Building a successful blog takes time (not only in the way described by Daily Blog Tips but it takes sustained effort over many months and years).

12. Relational Abilities – extending upon ‘network of contacts’ listed above – I’d suggest you also need to know how to relate to people. This is true on a number of levels – from readers, to other bloggers, to those you engage to work for you, to parters. Knowing how to befriend, motivate, encourage an inspire others is key in most types of blogging. The other aspect of this is that I find many successful bloggers are not selfish about their relationships and often have a gift in being able to connect people with one another.

13. The Ability to Communicate – going beyond the ability to write well is the ability to communicate. Just as important as grammar and spelling is the ability to get a message through and persuade your readership. I know some great technical writers whose work is dry, uninteresting and uninspiring.

14. Information Gatherers – one of the characteristics that I’ve noticed lately about some of the successful bloggers that I interact with is that they have an insatiable desire (and great ability) to gather information. This probably relates to some types of blogs more than others.

15. Comfortability with Themselves - I’ll finish with one I strongly believe in. I see many bloggers attempting to make it big through imitating other bloggers or attempting to replicate what others are doing. While you can learn a lot from imitation – uniqueness and individuality is also important. Finding your own voice, style and rhythm is essential.

I’m sure there are many many more characteristics that would be great for a Pro blogger to have (in fact we did a group writing project a while back with 84 submissions on habits of effective bloggers which covers a lot of this too.

But what have Daniel and I missed from our lists that you’d add? There must be plenty more!

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Anthony says:

    That would be hard list to add to, as it seems pretty complete as it is. I don’t think just “communication skills” necessarily covers “good copywriting skills” which are a crucial part of blogging. Many people can talk much better than they can write!

  2. Darren, I completely agree that it is a good strategy to get friends that can compensate areas of weakness, or even outsource some of those areas to professionals.

    But even when you delegate or outsource something, say the blog maintainance or server administration, you need to have a basic understanding to be sure that the person will do a good work, and to help it out in the case of problems.

    If you compare a blog to a business entity you can say that the author is the CEO. Most CEOs are not experts on finance, marketing, logistics and human resources. They are experts on managing people, business strategy and leadership. Nonetheless most CEOs have a basic understanding of all the areas of their business, so that if one day they need to talk with the Director of Marketing or Finance they will not be clueless about what is going on.

    By the way your 5 points complement the list perfectly. Now I will need to post another article on my blog including your requisites :)

    Thanks!

  3. Nick Ellis says:

    Darren, I thought Daniel’s list was already perfect, but your five points complement it very well.

    ProBlogger and Daily Blog Tips are great resources for bloggers, and I’d like to thank both of you for making my life as a blogger easier.

  4. Kimber says:

    I agree about the partnering.
    I’m tech inept so I partner with people with skills.
    Very difficult to do everything in life ourselves

  5. Phishie Diaz says:

    I completely agree with the 10+5. I don’t really have anything to add, but I would like to kind of reinforce one of the topics you touched.

    “The will to help others.”

    A lot of bloggers start off with this great notion that all they need to do is write up some articles, put some adsense on them, and then let the money roll in. Well if none of your articles are helpful to people, I don’t think too many people are going to view your site. Sure, you could post a lot of entertaining stuff, but a lot of people are also using Google to search for things they need to figure out. So I guess this can kind of branch into what Daniel said about “Knowledge of a topic;” if you don’t know your topic, you can’t really be much help to anyone.

    Regards,

    Phishie

  6. Trent says:

    Patience is number one. It is easy to get frustrated when your usage isn’t growing very fast or only a small fraction of people became regular readers after a big spike or you’re not earning much money. It all takes time and patience.

  7. Jason Drohn says:

    It is a great list from both Daniel and Darren.

    My favorite would still have to be patience because that is the primary reason so many people quit blogging. It takes a strong will to continue to write when you know not that many people are reading :0)

  8. Good list. I´d also say that, after a few months of blogging, it seems to me like patience is the most important quality. Intertwined with that is also passion, the quality that keeps people going. I have also come to realise the large importance of copywriting and marketing skills for a successful blogger.

  9. infonote says:

    Related to patience is consistency. If you look at the major players they are all consistent.

  10. Bes Zain says:

    Good additions to an already nice list. I think your point of “Relational Abilities” is extremely important. If someone doesn’t know how to socialize with others online, one is most probably going to have the hardest time gaining any active listeners.

  11. Paul says:

    On a more practical note, I wonder how many bloggers can touch type? I damn wish I could as I’m sure it would save me hours every week!

  12. John says:

    #11 is for winners.

  13. Chris says:

    Just wanted to say I recently found this blog and I’m finding it full of great information and postings. Looking forward to reading it regularly.

  14. Listerate says:

    “15. Comfortability with Themselves”

    You surely mean “comfort with themselves”. Comfortability has a nice twang to it, though.

  15. Darren Rowse says:

    Daniel:

    “But even when you delegate or outsource something, say the blog maintainance or server administration, you need to have a basic understanding to be sure that the person will do a good work, and to help it out in the case of problems.”

    I think in an ideal world you’re right – but as I scan our 15 points I see a pretty high standard which I know I fall well short of.

    My understanding of servers and the technical side of blogging is next to non existent. I know a little basic html but that’s where it ends. Ask my tech team :-) For me it was about finding people that seem to know what they’re talking about and that I relate to – giving them a small job to see if what they do works, asking others what they think of what they did and then increasing the responsibility that I give them from there. This has worked for me really well.

    I guess all I’m trying to say is that while it’s a great list and someone with all those skills and abilities would have a head start – that its not essential to have them all.

    The most successful bloggers that I know don’t know it all – but they know what they don’t know and get others in who they trust and who know how to make things happen.

    Anyway – it’s a great list of things to aspire to be able to do and know.

  16. Darren Rowse says:

    Listerate – yes i probably did – but its fun to make up words ;-)

  17. Darren, I completely agree, in fact I fall short on the list by half the items and still I am moving forward as a blogger (slowly but forward!). Also, as you mentioned, the list is partially a guide to things we should try to develop along the way.

    Great discussion around that topic.

  18. J.D. says:

    That last one — comfort with oneself — is importance. As my site grows, I’m finding that I have a problem with stage-fright, which I’ve never encountered in 6 years of blogging (and 10 years of writing for the web). Where does it come from? I believe it’s because I have metrics to tell me how many readers are keeping tabs. If I thought I had a small number of readers, I could relax and be myself. Now I feel pressure to be somebody else, some imaginary somebody that others expect me to be. And I get stage-fright (aka writer’s block, I guess).

  19. Scott says:

    I’d add courage to the list. It takes a lot of guts to put your thoughts up in front of (potentially) millions of people. I see a lot of blogs where the author is obviously holding themselves back. Open, accessible writing takes courage as well as talent.

  20. Drew Staufer says:

    With the large amount of themes that are available today I have to say that I’m immediately turned off when I come across a blog of someone I respect and find that they just used a theme. Changing the header image doesn’t count as design skills. It’s the entire package that makes users choose one blogger over another.

  21. Kumiko says:

    Yes!! Yes!! Yes!!! I couldn’t agree more!!!

    You’ve hit your fingernail on the blog’s header with this one!

    So many times I get people e-mailing me and asking, “Plz tell me how I can make money online easily. Maybe $500/per week is enough. Thanks.”

    Now I know the answer! I’m just going to send them the link to this post and tell them to write again in a year if they’ve still got any questions!!

    Without a doubt #3(passion) and #9(creativity) are the biggest things to any site’s success (not just bloggers). I think #3 is also the biggest thing that is lacking in the blogosphere today.

    More power to ya!

    Kumiko
    xo

  22. jhay says:

    Hmm..I need to work on a lot of the things mentioned. *sighs*

    On the other hand, at least it is now clear on what areas a blogger must look upon and improve on.

  23. rjlight says:

    hmmm. Thanks Darren for you additions because the first list made me a bit discouraged–well, the technical knowledge and blogging knowledge I am both very weak in those areas. I am working on the blogging knowledge–well, trying to understand all of the terminology–but I am no web designer. I know that it sure seems that you don’t have to be much of a writer to be a successful blogger. There just seems to be so much link-bait out there. I keep telling myself to plug along and not worry about them….okay, blah, blah, blah I said enough..

  24. Chuck says:

    I agree completely about the idea of partnering up with others knowledgeable in your areas of weakness. Very few of us are so well-rounded that we can handle everything ourselves or have enough time to “do it all”. I’ve built a number of sites over the past 2-3 years with others doing the parts that they loved and I hated, while I handled the stuff they didn’t want to do. And, in fact, I had lunch today with a friend who is a writer (I can, but don’t prefer it) who is also a technophobe. We’re going to be launching a blog-based SERPs-juicing project (my concept and USP) with her writing skills and my ability to manage the technical aspects. She’d never venture into something like this on her own, as she’s fairly terrified of just about anything internet-related…while I don’t have the time to write and manage the content load. But, together…it’s an opportunity for both of us to make some nice money in between our other primary gigs. I believe partnerships are the wave of the future…at least for a lot of people. Good post.

  25. Well said. Number 15 is the most important bar none. It’s oddly, also the most important suggestion for a happy life. No one can love us unless we are ourselves. They can love but versions. Thanks for bringing it up

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