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One Essential Characteristic of a Pro Blogger [Not Your Everyday Blog Writing Advice]

Each week, my Content manager Georgina turns away around 20 or so posts for publication at ProBlogger. She tells me that maybe 5-10% of those are of a publishable standard, but they just don’t fit our audience or purpose. The rest aren’t pro-level pieces.

Learning

Image courtesy stock.xchng user Valsilvae

Forget for a moment that these are guest posts—which are supposed to be bloggers’ best content.

Instead, I want to think about what that means for the average blogger, toiling away on their blog day in, day out, trying to reach and captivate their audience.

What is “pro blogging”?

Pro blogging isn’t just about making money through a blog. You don’t need to write a word to do that. But I think most of us would expect pro bloggers to be able to write reasonably well.

Why?

Because Pro bloggers need to be consummate communicators. Whether they hire others to write for their blogs, or use video, audio, or images rather than text, clear expression is a hallmark of any pro blogger.

Clarity doesn’t just mean error-free writing. It means:

  • content that touches readers, showing you empathize with them
  • relevant, helpful content
  • consistent information, in terms of frequency, tone, etc.
  • content that delivers what it promises, and has integrity.

A blogger might use writing for a range of purposes, too:

  • to attract readers, and keep them coming back
  • to promote their blog or sell something
  • to approach potential collaboraters
  • to build relationships and networks
  • to make money directly (e.g. through an information product).

There’s plenty of great quality advice about writing and content marketing online. Writing tips abound.

This week, we want to present a few different takes on writing for your blog. Over the next four days we’ll publish some posts that focus on some nitty-gritty aspects of writing—ideas that go a bit deeper than usual.

Writing to make money

Our first post will look at writing product reviews that deliver real value. Among other things, the post explores the challenges bloggers face in exposing the negative aspects of a product they’re reviewing and may want to encourage readers to buy (if they’re an affiliate for it).

Handling that tension is exactly the kind of thing that pro bloggers work to master. This post will show how showing the full picture supports authority, and can actually encourage more sales than a purely glowing review.

Writing to improve

One great thing about blogging is that everything we do is practice—each post we publish should be an improvement on the last one.

Looking to leaders for advice on writing is an excellent way to develop your skills. Our second post will reveal the thoughts of some of the world’s greatest writers, and provide starting points to help you apply that advice in your own posts.

Writing to build your profile

When bloggers think about content marketing, we often ponder the question of content reuse. If you do it right, it can be an efficient way to get the most out of the time you spend writing—it can boost your visibility, your publishing schedule, and your available time.

Our third post this week explains how freelance writers can best reuse their freelance content on their own blogs. This isn’t a straightforward topic, and this post highlights the potential advantages and pitfalls so that if you’re a freelancer, you know where to start looking into content reuse.

Writing to experiment

For many bloggers, after high-school or college essays, and workplace emails, blogging is the first focused writing they’ve done.

We’ve all heard the advice that if you want to be a great writer, you need to be a big reader. But the final post in our series shows that to be a better blog writer, you need to be a better writer, period. It prompts us to look beyond blog posts for opportunities to write, and topics to write on. It shows that through experimentation, we can learn skills out of context that we can bring back and apply to our blogs.

Are you up to the challenge?

The advice we’ll cover this week goes beyond the everyday. It assumes you’re already serious about being good writer, and are facing the challenges of becoming a great writer. There’s no hype in these posts, and no write-your-way-to-a-million-dollar-income-in-five-minutes advice. They’re posts that aim to provide a different perspective on post writing.

Where are you at as a writer? Are you ready to challenge yourself to become better? Or do you think you’ve reached your limits, either in terms of potential, or interest in writing? Share your perspective with us in the comments.

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. Ehsan Ullah says:

    This is gonna be a great series because, I think this is a biggest problem bloggers are facing. They aren’t able to convince their readers with their writing. I have spent months in learning a good writing skills to be able to engage with my readers, now I think I can make my readers love my writing.

  2. Amy says:

    I’m up to the challenge! I’m very much looking forward to these upcoming posts, Darren, thanks!

  3. Perry says:

    I started blogging without the goal of improving myself but slowly it has helped me develop not only as a writer but as a person, so I enjoy every minute I spend writing now.

  4. No one is perfect in anything they do. So to be honest if you aim for a pro thinking yourselves as a beginner its sure we would become pro one day. And as you rightly mentioned reading has improved a lot of writing skills in me. Thanks for the post. Good one.

  5. Richard Ng says:

    Wow! I am looking forward to the posts… I have started blogging about one and half year ago, as English is not my primary language, I am definitely still learning in terms of the writing skill and technique…

    My writing aspiration is to reach a stage whereby my work can be published as a physical book.

    Cheers!

  6. Every blogger should assume he is a lecturer standing at the top of a class in front of a large crowd of students eager to learn from him.So it of important that he(the blogger)always prepare to feed the class with quality and educational information.
    Take for an example Darren,we came from different part of the world to read your post each day, why do you think we came here? To learn one or two things that will be of help to we up coming bloggers.
    As you rightly said every latest post should be an improvement on the previous one,am trying to achieve this, though is not as easy as A B C.Thanks..

  7. Derek says:

    I created a blog just out of a hobby but i’m slowly leaning towards turning it into something else that might triple my earnings someday. (I always stay positive)

    Sad thing is 1 month ago I got a Google Penalty and i’m still working on removing stuff, tweaking stuff and going to improve in other area’s i’m not good at. Thinking I will be following the next seriers of blog posts from problogger for sure. I am looking for all the tips I can get to tape into my pro-thinking part of my brain that is turned off. lol

  8. se7en says:

    Really looking forward to these posts!!! I think the jump from blogger to pro-blogger has to be, among other things, a confidence jump. There is a mental “crossing of the rubicon” from average blogger… to pro-blogger, the line from thinking you are a beginner with so much to learn to one where you are are experienced and have so much to share. Often times folks take that leap before they are quite ready… 90-95% of your hopeful contributors!!! I feel you are throwing down the gauntlet to potential contributors to raise their game and then, of course, you are providing the tools!!! I love it, thank-you!!!

  9. Claudia says:

    Last Friday I published my 25th post :) I’m more or less comfortable now when I press the publish button, but I can safely say I’m still learning. Every few weeks I throw in a “Blogging impressions” post to review my experiences and share tips with other bloggers. I happened to read the following somewhere that I feel is very much to the point: “Treat it as your job, until it becomes your job”. Blogging is not my job, but I’ve decided I want to write well and improve my skills by writing on a regular basis. Looking forward to this project!

  10. I’m always writing to improve myself and my content. I love blogging, I love writing, I love connecting. What I love most is that whenever I think I’ve hit the wall to learning, that wall comes tumbling down and I learn a lot more.

    Looking forward to this week!

  11. I am up for the challenge!

  12. Deborah says:

    Looking forward to this series as I’ve been grappling with ‘What do I want from blogging?’ recently.

  13. Sue says:

    I think there is something to be said that you need to be a good writer. I try my best to improve every day. Looking forward to the next post.

  14. Caylie Price says:

    I am seriously looking forward to this series, particularly the reviews post. Sometimes there aren’t many negatives but added extras that would have made the product or service even better again. The reviews post will help me as I set up my resources pages and write a review of each item.

  15. Daniel says:

    Outstanding post and choice of topic, Darren.

    That’s an interesting question to begin with! Asking when(and how)someone makes the transition from Blogger to Pro Blogger, may not always be all that clearly definable…

    I think people make ” big steps” from time to time in various areas of their blogging …and this over a period of time then fuses together, to lift their status further along the path from Blogger towards Pro Blogger….

    Then, at a particular point in their growth, through trial and error and learning from all of this, they attain(earn) the Pro-blogger title……

  16. Steve Faber says:

    Approximately 6 years and 2,000 blog posts later, I’m still a work in progress, always looking for new insight. Awaiting your future posts… as usual.

    Write about your passions
    Write with humor (or humour, for those of you down under)
    Engage your audience
    Solve their problems
    and of course….Have Fun.

  17. Jim Mc Combs says:

    This should be a wonderful series Darren that I will be following faithfully. As a complete novice who only started blogging about a month ago after joining Empower Network I have everything to learn

  18. Joseph says:

    Your readers should understand what you mean on your blog posts. Blogging should be straight to the point. I love reading tips like this because i easily understand what blogging really means for bloggers.

  19. stargaterich says:

    English is not my first language so it takes me quite awhile to put up a good post in my blog. Anyway, a lot depends what you want out from blogging. Power and A-list bloggers no doubt sets very high standard in terms of the quality of the content. Anyway, a very good post with valuable tips. A very good check list that I plan to use moving forward to improve my blogging skills.

  20. Lucy says:

    One of the best post I have come across recently about writing or should I say blogging. Writing for a blog is a continuous process and you have to learn at every step to become a pro at blogging. The various facets of writing that you have mentioned here are true to the fact and they all differ from each other. Blogging can be a good platform for writers to improve their creativity and sharpen their skills. I am definitely looking forward to your future posts.

  21. Robert says:

    Looking forward to this series. Just this past week I was thinking about why every professional should blog. Some of the points you mentioned came to mind. Can’t wait to see what all you share.

  22. Ali zia says:

    I am excited for up coming posts blogging is the best platform to enhance your writing skills and after that you ‘ll be able to write a good content

  23. Kristina says:

    The point made that bloggers often give good reviews because they don’t want to write a negative one, was a great point. I do write honest reviews but I will admit to sugar coating any negativity just because I dont want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I realize now that I am not really doing anyone any favors. This brought a new perspective to my writing and I appreciate it! I look forward to the rest of the series!

  24. Clarkmartin says:

    Great psot. I agree with you. I wish to voice my respect for your generosity giving support to people that really need assistance with this subject matter. Your very own dedication to getting the message all-around has been amazingly important and have in most cases allowed many people just like me to attain their dreams. This important help and advice denotes a great deal a person like me and still more to my office colleagues. Many thanks

  25. James Hughes says:

    Treat your blog like a pro and you will get pro results.

    That is my small but effective contribution.

    Thanks guys

    James Hughes

  26. Santosh says:

    Many marketers fail to understand the fundamental role of a blogger. Marketers oftentimes get caught up in a campaign idea that they know “readers are just going to love.” However, marketers.

  27. Dear Darren.

    Thank you for this post. As a fellow blog owner, who is just starting out with blogging, it is great to have posts and blogs like yours to look up to. Blogging can be a great way to make money online, but first and foremost you need to take good care of your readers, and you are a very good example of doing that with this blog. Thank you for that.

    As for this post, I like your way of explaining the different ways of writing a blog post, with different focus that is. I haven’t done any blog posts for product reviews yet, but I might in the future. The part I liked most about this post is the “writing to improve” take on blogging. This is a way of writing I am going to implement to my blog writing, because I never really had that focus, but I think it can help my blog grow.

    Thank you again for this post, and keep the good content coming! I’ll be sure to check back for more good content.

    Regards
    Andreas Jacobsen

  28. Ron Tester says:

    Starting a new blog from scratch and looking forward to learning and using your to make my blog great! Thank you for your service to the blogging community.

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  31. Shiful Alam says:

    I do write to improve myself. Yeah, my content quality is improving day by day. Whatever we believe, reading is a must to improve the quality of writing. Thanks for the plan. Will look forward to reading the series.