7 Habits Of Highly Effective Bloggers

I’ve had writers block of late, and Darren has got me out of it by asking to participate in a group writing project on the habits of highly effective bloggers. I’ve often looked at blogs or bloggers and envied their readership, traffic, writing style or blog design and wondered what it takes to get to that point. Everyone’s story of how they got there is different, but they definitely share some sort of common factor. These factors or habits are what make them succeed and really stand out amongst the rest.

After thinking really hard about it, these are my 7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers.

  1. Be humble, yet confident – You should never have to tell people your work or blog is awesome, others will be able to tell you, and the rest of the web, themselves. Being humble enough to realise that, yes you’re awesome, but yes there are also others out there that can better your efforts.
    Notables: Bryan Veloso, Veerle Pieters
  2. Use technology efficiently – From the blogging platform you use, to your RSS feeds, effective bloggers know what works for them, and what doesn’t. Also, being able to adjust to the ever changing environment which is the internet, is key to blogging success.
    Notables: WordPress, Feedburner, Text-link Ads, Podcasting
  3. Express your personality in your writing – Being able to write a 1 sentence comment to full-length articles, being able to express yourself is one of the fundamentals of writing. Since you’re not having a one-on-one conversion on your blog, but being able to write your posts as if you are, really gets a person listening.
    Notables: Mike Davidson, Kyle Neath, Scrivs at OreoCEO
  4. Re-invent yourself, yet stick to your roots – The internet is an ever changing environment, and what works 1 month, is lame the next. But being able to change the direction of your blog subtly can influence others. As new technology emerges, and your interests change, being able to get others to follow suit really makes one stand out.
  5. Giving back – The age old saying of “give and you shall receive” will forever stand true. Always remember who got you to the position you are now in and giving back in some form of another can only benefit you. Whether it is a WordPress theme, or free advice on a niche topic, give and you shall receive.
    Notables: Sifr, Chaotic Soul, Problogger.net
  6. Honesty – Admit your failures when they do arise, but also tell others about your successes and how you managed to accomplish them. Everyone is human after all, and honesty does show a lot about your character.
    Notables: Paul Scrivens, Yaro Starak, Bare-naked app
  7. Don’t be afraid – to take chances, to write a “rant” post or to stick your neck out and make a bold statement about something. But always have you facts straight, and stick to your story. If you are proven to be wrong, follow step 6 and admit you’re wrong. But never be afraid to try something different.

I could probably write a book about this post, and then sell it and retire at the age of 23. Oh, but wait, someone beat me to it… Well then I’ll write a post after this one, just about the 8th habit… =)

Bling bling from Silicon Valley

I’ve always wanted to get my hands on some serious schwag from the tech companies in the states. Badges, stickers, t-shirts, USB pens etc. The only stuff I’ve ever managed to collect was from Microsoft’s Dev days and their Visual Studio 2005 launch – which were both awesome – the amount of money Microsoft spend on marketing is really scary! Anyway, as I was saying, to get your hands on these things, you either go off to Google’s Store or have loads of cash to go and attend SXSW in Texas every year.

ValleySchwagBut now there is another way! Valleyschwag has opened up and will send you some really awesome schwag from silicon valley every month. Best of all is they deliver to SA! The price is also not that bad aswell, considering you’ll be getting a t-shirt every month. $23.95 per month, including shipping. Thats around R144.

I’m considering signing up for a month to see if the hype is all worth it. (A guy actually is selling a valleyschwag bag minus the t-shirt on e-bay. Wierd.)

BTW, check out their blog for a couple of hints on what to expect in a schwag bag.

Jason, what’s up with this new design?

Well, all of it! My previous design was put together very quickly, as I really wanted to start blogging. As a capable designer (well I think I am!) there was no way I was going with a free template. So the lime green design was born. It couldn’t display images very well, hated blockquotes and completely forgot about lists. But it worked. It got me a couple of hits a day, and I was happy to be blogging.

After being one of the first people to read and comment on Adam Howell’s post on this idea of a standards based reboot, I immediately knew I wanted to reboot my blog along with the many others that expressed their interest in the idea. Although I missed a whole 2 reboots before actually signing up, the Spring Reboot on the 1st of May seemed like a deadline I might be able to meet. I missed it by a day.

So what’s new and cool, you say

Half the code I used the last time around, was more hand coded links, lists of categories etc. I never delved into the WordPress API much, as I didn’t have time to. This time around, almost everything is generated from template tags. Pages, categories, featured posts. Knowledge is power mate.

Along with pages comes my very first About me, Archives and Contact me pages. I’ve never had any of these before, so these are a first for me. =) (Not that exciting hey?)

One thing that is still in development is my footer. Footers these days seem to be the norm – or the “in-thing”, so purely by peer pressure I’ve created one. I’ll be listing the latest things I’m doing, from books I’m reading, to web projects I’m working on, to sites I’ve visited. It will give you a little more insight into where my interests in life and the web lie.

So where to now?

Not sure really. More regular posting, that’s a definite. WordPress 2.x is so awesome, it almost makes you want to write! So look out for more posts on marketing, web design, web 2.0, me, the internet, sport etc… etc… etc…

See you around.

I’m a day late…

and I’m sorry. Being a public holiday in South Africa really didn’t help my cause as well, since my dial-up at home seemed to really bum out on me yesterday.

Anyway, the wait is over! Ive rebooted this blog, so for any people that read my blog via a feed reader, please pop round and have a look. I’ve redesigned this blog along with hundreds of other designers as part of Spring’s CSS Reboot. Let me know what you think! Also, one other favour – please go and vote for it over at CSS Reboot – link to my reboot here. =)

I’ll give some more detail about the reboot, changes here and so forth, soon. =)

Rebooting this blog

Just a quick note that the 1st of May is around the corner, and along with that comes a re-designed / re-aligned blog! There are still a number of tweaks and design issues that I have to cross before I’ll be ready, but everything should be ironed out by the 1st. Well I hope so!

More info on my progress can be found here.

There are going to be some really awesome redesigned sites on the 1st of May at CSSreboot, so get on over there on the 1st and have a look.