Last Updated on June 21, 2021 by scottkandh
Running a blog is no easy task and there are a number of skills and programs that you need in your corner if you want to bring your blog to the top in blogging. This post highlights 20 necessary skills and/or programs that will help your blog.
- Blog Content Master Calendar
Dependent on the nature of your blog you can plan on averaging at least one blog per week if you’re in your first week of blogging and then gradually increase. Having a blog content master calendar so that you can plan your blog posts ahead of time will give you peace of mind so that you don’t have to sit down in front of your computer and say to yourself what am I going to write about? All you’ll need to do is to open up your master calendar and peek for the next upcoming blog topic. I wrote a blog post called: How to make a year’s worth of posts for your blog post headlines that describes how to set up your master calendar.
To be perfectly honest this is one skill that I’m trying to perfect. One of the blogs that I’ve lately fallen in love with is called Simplifying DIY Design written by a content creator who is a professional graphic designer. I discovered her blog purely by accident. I was looking at some of my pins and wanted to see which ones were performing well so I wrote a post called: What kind of pins get huge Pinterest impressions and her pin was among these. If you are a content creator I highly encourage you to check out blog and/or Pinterest boards. Her pins are phenomenal. Anyhow, I digress so let me return back to branding.
This post Making a color palette to make your blog distinguishable describes the reason why it’s important to brand your website and also provides you with the steps to make a color palette for your blog.
Canva is a great program to make your pins and it’s recognized by a lot of bloggers as their go-to program to create their pins. Once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to knock out a pin in a matter of minutes. The viral pins will take longer.
- Content, Content, Content
Blogtober, National Blog Posting Month, Blogmas, etc. – One of the most important skills to have a blogger is to have good content. It’s the cornerstone of ensuring traffic to your blog. I participated in a Blogtober Challenge Grow your Blog’s web traffic in October 2020. The goal is to write one blog per day, every day, with no exceptions. What I didn’t know is that Blogtober is my #1 Pinterest board with the largest amount of Pinterest impressions. It’s nearly at 100,000 Pinterest impressions. Some other regular blogging events are mentioned at the top of this topic. If you are starting a blog I would highly suggest that you shoot for at least 60 good blog posts for your blog.
With the use of ConvertKit you’ll be able to make a Landing page for your blog. This blog post – How to Make a Tripwire for your Blog goes more into detail than just make a landing page but it will give you the premise for making a landing page. Making a tripwire is a little more involved but well worth the effort if you want to give it a try.
- Easy Digital Downloads
This plug-in is essential for you to make a Tripwire. A tripwire is a process created by bloggers to entice people to buy one of your other products while they are still looking at your freebie offers and might be enticed to buy something from you. Check out this post, A checklist to make a Tripwire for your blog that makes it easier for you to set up your first Tripwire and begin to start making money on your blog.
7. Easy Table of Contents
This is an especially useful program that all you need to do is to load the plug-in and then for all intents and purposes your done. The only remaining thing to do is to add headings in your posts and pages. Once you publish the post or page the table of contents will be added automatically to the post/page (you won’t be able to see it in the edit mode). This will allow your users to quickly drop down to the subject that they would like to see and adds links to your headings.
Facebook is a social media program for you to help get the word out on your blog. There are a lot of Facebook Groups that will permit you to publish your posts; however, you’ll need to look closely at the rules when you join to see what they will or won’t allow. A majority of the Facebook Groups don’t permit self-promotion, but there are one or two sparingly Groups that aren’t that strict.
9. Finding your Blog’s Niche
One of the first things you need to do when you set up your blog is to determine what is your niche. A niche is the expertise of the subject that you are going to be blogging on for your posts. My niche for example is Pinterest and I’ve narrowed down the focus to SEO for your blog, growing your blog, starting a blog, or monetizing your blog.
10. Goal Setting
Develop a commitment to setting goals and objectives with SMARTER goals by shooting for the moon. These are ways to successfully reach your goals, and highlight the importance of setting goals not as expectations but as possibilities. For an explanation on SMARTER Goals, refer to my blog post: SMART Goals examples.
If you want people to think that you are a professional blogger, this free online program is a lifesaver. Not only does it provide information on spelling mistakes it also notices punctuation errors. This is a must-have utility if you’re a blogger. I rely heavily on this program to double-check my punctuation.
Infographics are a great way for you to extract key information from your blog post and they substantially increase your blog traffic. An infographic is much like a normal Pinterest pin but due to the fact that it normally contains more information (in the form of graphics and text) the size is larger than a normal pin. If you would like to learn how to make an Infographic in 5 Steps you can visit this guide (in the link, highlighted to the left).
13. Pinterest Group Boards
What I would suggest to you is pin information from various Pinterest Group Boards into your Pinterest board. When you’re viewing the pins, take a look to see if it’s being followed, and follow the pin if it’s within your niche. This grows your Pinterest boards as well as letting other people know that your repinning their pins too.
Readability is paramount, if your post is hard to read, people won’t spend a lot of time on your site and it will affect your bounce rate and your Google ranking. There are a lot of ways to improve your readability that I mention in my post SEO Checklists for WordPress blogs.
15. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It takes about 3 months for your SEO to kick in. Therefore, you should start learning about SEO as soon as possible. I’ve made it relatively easy for you to master SEO in my post SEO Checklists for WordPress blogs.
16. Super RSS Reader
An RSS Reader makes it easy for other people to see your blog posts once they are fed into an RSS reader program and can grow the traffic for your blog. To set up your RSS reader, visit my blog post: 11 easy ways to build backlinks and 7 useful ways to improve comments on your blog and navigate down to 1.9.8. Set up an RSS Feed for your blog.
Tailwind is a great program that will allow you to put pins on your Pinterest board while you sleep (providing that you’ve scheduled them). I use this program to forecast my pins about a week in advance. The main thing to remember is to follow the Smart Guide built within Tailwind and if it suggest that you are going outside of the Pinterest established guidelines, tailor back your suggested number of pins so that you don’t get flagged for spam. To learn the basics of Tailwind with it’s new Communities check out my post Ultimate Guide for using the improved Tailwind.
18. Website Design
This is probably where you are going to spend most of your time unless you’re a professional web designer. For those of us like myself that are amateur website designers, it’s a never-ending process to get educated so that you can improve your blog. If you are contemplating starting a blog and would like some extra encouragement I would suggest that you partake in the same course that I got my induction into the Blogging Community at the 30 Day Blog Challenge.
This program (plug-in actually) is useful because it allows you and your visitors to see that you are keeping up on the continuity for your blog posts so that they are current and up to date. In the blogging world, there’s always a lot of updates to programs. So once in a while, you will want to give a facelift to some of your older blog posts or revamp them entirely.
20. Yoast SEO Premium – I saved my favorite plug-in for last. The Yoast SEO has been a tremendous lifesaver by making SEO so much easier to use. I’ve made it relatively easy for you to master SEO in my post SEO Checklists for WordPress blogs. There you’ll find the link to Yoast SEO. One of the newest things that they’ve just developed at Yoast is an internal suggestion on how long it will take to read the post. I haven’t tried it yet, because I just downloaded the new version so I’m going to try and remember to incorporate that new feature into this new post. My anticipated guess is that it will tell you how long it will take to read the post.
I might have missed an item or two that is of interest to you, if that’s the case, please be sure to check my post, Blogtober Day 27 – 50 Free Tips and Tricks for Bloggers – it’s a glossary for Bloggers.
I hope that you have enjoyed this post and that you’re able to take away something from it or one of the related posts. Please be sure to drop a comment if you find something that I didn’t already mention to help other bloggers.