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The Greatest Blogging Skill

Posted By Darren Rowse 24th of March 2008 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

The following guest post was submitted by Easton Ellsworth from Visionary Blogging.

Spiral StaircaseWhat is the greatest blogging skill?

It’s not the ability to produce excellent blog content.

It’s not the ability to build a strong blog community.

It’s not the ability to monetize every page view, click and pixel.

It’s not even the ability to improve your content or your community or your monetization or anything else.

The greatest blogging skill is:


Meta-improvement is the improvement of improvement.

It’s not just self-improvement. It’s self-self-improvement-improvement.

In other words: Becoming a better blogger faster and faster.

Why Meta-Improvement?

Picture 3 runners in a race. All start at the same speed.

Runner #1 never changes speed. Flat line. No improvement.
Runner #2 speeds up at a constant rate. Upward slope. Improvement.
Runner #3 speeds up at a constantly increasing rate. Upward curve. Meta-improvement.

Guess who wins?

3 Keys to Blogger Meta-Improvement

Self-Awareness. (See Metacognition.) Consider your personal efforts to improve your blogging skills. What’s your routine? Do you madly surf the intertubes for tasty blogging tips on how to boost any skill about which you’re momentarily feeling insecure? Or is there more of a method to your madness? Begin now to think about how you think about how to improve.

Focus. This meta stuff can be overwhelming. Take it one step at a time. Each week or month, consider your blogging skills one by one: content creation, design, community building, monetization, email ninja-ness, etc. Pick the one that you need to improve most urgently in order to meet your blogging goals. And keep that sucker in your sights until it’s licked.

Relentlessness. Never give up trying to become a faster improver. Lather, rinse, repeat. How quickly do you apply the blogging wisdom that you discover? How easily do you let your skills relapse?

The Blogger Meta-Improvement Motto

“I will do my best to improve more today than I improved yesterday.”

Meta-improvement is hard. It’s much harder than improvement alone. But it’s also worth the struggle. Your struggle is its oxygen.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Dive beneath the surface and you’ll find a never-ending series of layers: meta-meta-improvement, meta-meta-meta-improvement, etc.

Your mind can probably only wrap itself around that first submarine layer. But take the dive; it’s well worth it.

May this help you begin to see yourself in a new way and become a better blogger – faster.

Photo: Upward spiral by gerriet

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. ok you mean accelerating improvement. you will come to a point that your improvement becomes exponential.

  2. @Aaron: Thanks man.
    @Luke: You can start real slow and speed up from there.
    @Jay: Exactly. I chose “meta” because it seemed to fit, but there may be a better name for the idea.

  3. I really, REALLY liked reading this…
    I’ve been taken steps to improve daily…researching, reading, trying new things. Inviting guest bloggers/opinions…
    What would really get me going is calendaring my writing week. I write blogs and save them as drafts and I’ll admit some have fallen by the wayside.
    But reading this made me think about all the things I could improve rather quickly.

  4. RB, I’m glad you enjoyed it. This is not a fully-baked idea; I would love others’ help in developing it. But we can’t deny that regular introspection and self-measurement tend to lead to faster improvement.

  5. I have been blogging since mid December, and have been applying these principles of my own volition. I am 65 years old with the rare, incurable Myasthenia Gravis, and have taken my life with MG and my road to remission through IVIG treatments online through my blog. My mind is working constantly to improve my presentation in all areas, considering the type of audience I attract. I am constantly searching other blogs and information to see what might apply to me. Due to my disease, everything I might like to employ is not possible, but I am trying. My StatCounter began Jan 9th, and is nearing 2000, with my own url filtered out.

    Metacognition has been part of my life for a long time, or I would not have been able to expose myself publicly as I have done.

    Thanks for this article. I will be rereading it for utilization.

  6. Thanks for sharing your story, Billie. I’m fascinated by the power of effective metacognition.

  7. Wow…Thanks for the reminder that I still have so much to learn. I’ll be back. ;)

  8. Yes, I’m very interested in improving my writing as I blog. If anyone wants to be a blog buddy with me and share ways to improve our improvement ;) let me know!


  9. Hi Darren,

    I’m with Silky on this one.

    This post is much different to something you would write, and I wonder about the wisdom of including posts from others like Easton who use such hyperbolic language.

    No offence Easton, but I think there is a philosophical gulf between the “upward-ever-upward” tone you bring to blogging and the understated, solid concepts Darren brings to the craft.

    As a blogger I have much to learn, which is why I visited ProBlogger (after some time away) this morning. But I have to say I was disappointed to see the path ProBlogger appears to be on with this post.


  10. Anne, I’m always around. You’re always welcome at my blog.

    Richard, I apologize. My concept clearly needs some concrete examples and actionable exercises to ground its loftiness. Thank you for motivating me to make the argument much more compelling.

  11. Thanks for taking my criticism so graciously Easton.
    I think it’s humility, grace and clear-mindedness amidst the general “self-help psycho-babble” available on the net that I’ve come to respect about ProBlogger over time.
    Your response has done much to restore my faith in Darren’s site.

  12. You’re welcome, Richard!

  13. Thanks for this post. It gave me a new way for me to think of improvement. There’s so much potential to improve! One could be overwhelmed, but the idea of focusing on one thing at a time is timely. An increasingly accelerating rate! What a concept! Better get going myself…

  14. Ken, it’s dizzying, huh? The trick is is just to try.

  15. “Is is” … I need to eat breakfast.

  16. […] then you are obsessing over stats. I remember a post a while back here on ProBlogger on how to be a “Meta” blogger. Some people hated the post, but I took it to heart and the advice has rung true on many […]

  17. thanx that a great post

  18. I agree with the author.

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