Have you voted for your favourite blogger yet? (from Singapore Blog Awards 2014)
Yes, it is time yet again for the Singapore Blog Awards. Organised by Omy.sg, this annual competition cum celebration of what's new, hot and happening in the blogging scene is in its 7th year running, with over $30,000 worth of prizes to be won.
This year's awards has a total of nine Editors'/Judges' Choice categories and three new Followers categories. Other than the old favourites like Best Family blog, Best Food blog, and Best Photography blog, a Best New Blog award category has been created to acknowledge newbie bloggers who started their blogs in the past year.
Once again, I'm honoured to be a judge for the awards. I'm glad to see that there is still enthusiasm in this digital art form and heartened to note how the awards has expanded its categories to include other social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.
While I would hardly consider myself a blogging "expert", I have noticed a couple of traits unique to successful bloggers after many years of judging the awards. See if you can emulate some of these qualities and who knows, you may be the next blog awards winner!
1) They are Obsessive-Compulsive
Good bloggers do not merely produce stuff like a production line. Rather, they are obsessive-compulsive, making it a point to consistently produce quality content. This may mean skilfully maneuvering themselves to capture the best photos, grab good soundbites, or record snazzy videos during events.
Successful bloggers are also meticulous to a fault. They fuss and fret over headlines that "hit you in the gut", select, crop and adjust their photographs ad nauseum, and spend hours polishing every word, phrase and sentence till near perfection.
2) They are Weird and Quirky
OK, maybe not that weird, but certainly quirky. After all, which ordinary human would automatically whip out his smartphone to snap his breakfast/lunch/dinner, spend his weekends writing on a keyboard, or sacrifice sleep to complete a blog post?
Beyond such "irrational" behaviours, good bloggers are also known for their unusual monikers. They exhibit extreme interest in a specific subject matter (food, fashion, sports, business or gossip), and a peculiar propensity to document every damn thing (and then some) during an event.
3) They are Gritty and Determined
Blogging isn't easy. Not least when you have to balance a full-time job, parenting duties, or schoolwork. Unless you are Xiaxue, Lady Iron Chef or mrbrown, chances are that full-time blogging, YouTubing or podcasting ain't going to be a viable full time option for you (even then, these social media luminaries do sweat buckets to be where they are today).
Producing quality content requires lots of grit and resilience. In other words, gallons of blood, sweat and tears. While attending those glitzy parties look fun, those droolsome blog posts do require quite a bit of effort. Often those digital works of art are crafted when everyone else is either fast asleep or partying like crazy.
4) They value Relationships
Most successful bloggers are influencers with their own networks of supporters. They know that a blog, YouTube channel, Facebook page, or Twitter account is only as impactful as the community of readers, fans, and followers supporting it.
While the "guru" class of bloggers may no longer need to work the street, many social content producers make it a point to attend events and functions in order to network with like-minded others. They also participate in get togethers and find ways to activate their fans. By doing so, they are able to expand their circles of influence beyond their immediate friends, family members and neighbours.
5) They Teach and Share
Trust, respect and likability are the social currencies of the digital age. To build goodwill, successful bloggers are often generous with their knowledge, time and effort. In a world flooded with competing channels and content, people are only going to follow you if you provide utility and value.
Beyond creating and sharing useful content, successful bloggers appreciate the power of reciprocity. They know that growing one's community requires one to participate and contribute in other communities. By doing so, they strengthen the magic circles which they are a part of.
6) They Learn and Experiment
Finally, successful bloggers are insatiably curious about the world around them. They keep themselves updated with what's new and hot in their respective domains. This means that they either read up on it, meet others, sign up for courses, or attend events to keep abreast of the latest developments in their field.
Beyond continual learning, successful bloggers also make it a point to constantly hone and improve their craft. Standing still is not an option. Every post, video, photo or tweet is an opportunity to find out and test what works and what doesn't. In the long run, blogging success isn't just a destination but a life long journey.
What else can we learn from successful bloggers?
PS - If you haven't already voted for your favourite blogs, do hurry! Entries close on 31 July so you only have a few more days to do so!
Labels: bloggers, blogging, content marketing, copywriting, digital media, influencer, publishers, social media, user generated content