Ok, it’s been more than 6 months since I started blogging. This was something completely new and overwhelming for me (and while I can’t afford blogging too often here, I am a frequent contributer at SEJ). And now after some time passed, I can look back to define best tactics that helped me a bunch.
It is essential to note that all of these tactics are very personal – meaning that’s what helped me when I was starting. It is in no way universally true for everyone but still can be much help for those who struggle to understand how to succeed.
1. Turn your weak points into the strong ones. I’ve briefly mentioned a few times that I blog in a foreign language. Yep, English is a foreign language to me; Russian is my native one. But I run the US-based business and am thus forced to blog and communicate in English. What does it mean for me? Writing a blog post takes me much more time than it would have taken a native speaker because I need to think thoroughly over each word and phrase. Thus I can’t afford writing long articles full of thoughts and considerations. I write short laconic posts trying to compensate this by providing actionable advice, useful screenshots, tables and lists. This has become my selling point.
2. Organize yourself, your work process and your resources. When you regularly blog and try to constantly grow your knowledge, you daily come across plenty of new links and useful thoughts. If you fail to organize this wealth of material, you will soon end up wasting plenty of time trying to remember where you saw this post or heard that news. I have in detail described my method of organization in one of my SEOmoz/ Youmoz posts. Of course, I don’t encourage you to copy this tactic. Make up your own that will suit you personally. This can be Excel tables, mind mapping, or whatever you prefer. The main thing is that organization is the key to effective working and achieving success in what you are doing.
Image source: Keep it simple and stupid and rtrs_lg
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I never knew English wasn’t your first language! You do very well!
How long have you spoken/written English?
Very thoughtful post, Ann – good way to reflect back on your blogging time.
@Chad – long enough, I guess more than 15 years overall.
@Mark – thank you!
I am assuming you are in the USA.
Did you move from Russia? Or from one of the many countries that speak Russian?
I love how English isn’t your first language but you manage to effortlessly drop the word “laconic” into your post.
As always – great job.
I’m inspired by the way you’ve managed to make a name for yourself in such a short-time!
Gr8 post 🙂 I think its also very essential to be ‘consistent’ in blogging. A blogger really need to ‘make the time’ and put some ‘real effort’ in blogging.
For some people it comes naturally, but for the rest its a big challenge.
I really liked your youmoz article on keeping track of things. Personally I use a Tumblr to keep track of my stuffs. I started using tumblr last month and so far it has given me excellent results. I have a Tumblr Button in my FF Menu…so whenever I come across anything on the web, I’ll record the link along with my comments in my tumblr with just one click.
I am also starting to use mindmaps, however I haven’t really found the best online mindmapping system yet. I hv used mindmeister ..and didn’t really like it.
What mindmapping tools do you use?
Ann – from a native Englishman I would never have noticed that English was your second language! Hat tip 🙂
English Guy In Charlotte NC
Thanks for another great post. Since you don’t post “fluff” or “filler” articles I look forward to what you have to say when you do post. Keep up the good work on whatever schedule works for you.
This is very informative post, from my point of view, blogging is a art. For me English is a foreign language, as a result i used to take more time while writing any article to post on my blog.
I’m a beginer in blogging and I find it very hard to organise what i read in my research,I’m quite a unorganised person, but thank you for sharing your method, I’ll try it. I hope it will work for me too. Cheers!
Great post. I also read your articles at SEJ and have been pretty impressed. In addition to command over language, I had an old professor that said, you learn all these languages and then run out of things to say! Some bloggers including myself have had days like that once in a while. (LOL) Anyway, keep up the great work. Thank you.
I hope what your professor said won’t happen to me, or if it does, that won’t last for a long time 🙂
Great post Ann!
Being a new blogger in the SEO industry I can certainly relate to what you went through. At first I was overwhelmed by the idea (what could I contribute to a field of experts?) but then I just decided to have a little fun with it and so far the results have been good.
By the way, you’ve got an amazing writing style for someone who had to learn English as a second language. Take care,
thanks for share
we can use this post in our language? (including referer to your site)
Your English is exceptional!
I am amazed that English is not your first language.
Thanks for the pointers. I’ll have my guest post for you shortly. 😉
Excellent post Ann. English is not my first language.
You are so right about writing long posts. Its such a big struggle to get the composition right.
You see, this just reconfirms it to me that I should get my mom to blog. She’s been wanting to get started for quite a while now and your point about turning weak points into strong ones is something I can really share with her as well.