Obviously I like blogging (why else would I have this blog) but as some of you might know I am also a shooting trainer and compete in practical shooting competitions.
So, why not compare the two things I love, I thought. Not only will you learn a fact or two about shooting (trust me it’s interesting), but also remind yourself of the most important things when it comes to blogging. I think you might even be surprised how similar these two are.
So here is what I came up with.
Planning is important in practical shooting. To achieve great results you must plan your training and especially plan how will you shoot a certain stage.
Planning is one of the most important things when it comes to creating a successful blog. You have to have a plan before you launch your blog.
You should make a list of things you want to blog about, how you want to promote your blog, what tools will you use, how will you make money with it (if that is the goal), how will you build a list, what do you want to achieve with your blog.
You also need to plan some specific things like keywords. Instead of researching one by one at the time you are writing a post, here is what you can do: make a blueprint of your blog. I did it for one of my websites and never lost focus on it.
Research literally hundreds of keywords and plan how will you use them. Click the image on the right to see a very basic example.
If you make a plan of your blog, you will always have an idea what post you need to write and add to the blog to make it as informative on the topic as it can be.
Find a trainer (coach)
Because of the complexity of the sport, you need to have a trainer to learn practical shooting.
When you start to blog you have to learn from someone. You would hire the best possible coach to teach you how to shoot, wouldn’t you? Well, the same in blogging, you must learn from the best.
The good thing is that you actually won’t have to pay them to train you. Just look at all the free info best bloggers give away. Don’t know where to start – read my rounds ups, filled with useful information.
Learn the basics first
If you don’t learn the very basics of practical shooting and weapons, you will never be a top shooter. You can not build upon weak foundation.
Shooting basics – You cannot start blogging from the middle. You need to learn the basics. Read as much as you can to learn how to write posts, how to format them (you can often see bad formatted posts even on “bigger” blogs), what are the most important things to put in your sidebar, etc.
Don’t learn about “how to make millions using your newsletter” if your blog doesn’t even have one.
Weapons basics – You must learn basics of HTML and CSS. And I guess PHP. You need to know how to use the basic tools.
You need some training and then some more of it, to win a match
To win shooting competitions, you have to train. And train. And do some more training.
To have a great blog you must write. And write some more. Then read a lot. And write some more. It is all training.
English is not my native language and you can see that by the way I say stuff. Sometimes I know I am making a mistake while writing, but I don’t know how to do it better. But I read a lot in English and I can see small improvements every day.
I don’t want to link to some blogs, but I have read some posts that are written in such a bad English that I had no idea what they were saying. So train by writing and reading.
Equipment makes difference
In practical shooting competitions equipment is the thing that will make a champ stand out from a beginner. Good equipment is what you need to win. No training can make you a champ with bad guns and equipment.
If you want to have a winner blog you have to use the best guns out there.
- Buy a great theme, or learn CSS and customize a free theme.
- Use great plugins that will not slow down your blog.
- Update your WordPress and plugins to get the max out of them.
- Buy the tools if you need them to make your blog better and user friendlier.
It is very important to focus on a stage before you start shooting. No focus, no hits, no medals.
Focus is very important in blogging. To write better blog posts you need to write without interruptions. Stop surfing the net and reading other people’s posts. Write your post and then do what ever you want. Focus!
Precision is a must to win a shooting competition.
You must be precise in your posts.
You have an idea about a post. That idea is your temporary headline. Write about the headline. Make sure that every sentence is related to the headline. Even make every sentence in every post have something to do with your blog main topic. I read some posts that had nothing to do with the title. Or with anything else.
I saw some on great blogs too, written by guest bloggers. I understand making it easy on you by accepting guest posts but the only way you should do it is if the post is better than yours!
Speed is one of the pillars of practical shooting! Fast shooters win.
A fast blogger can be a winner.
Be the first one (or one of) to write about a topic. You page will be one of the first ones found by search engines, people will refer to you when they write about the same thing and those that don’t blog will link to you to help their friends with the info.
Make it short and simple
Simple, short tactics win a competition. To win a stage at a competition you will choose the simplest and the fastest tactics you can.
Make it simple. If you can explain something in 400 words don’t write 1.500. There is nothing worse than reading a long post just to realize that it is full of empty words and it could have been said in less words.
Maintain a certain level of performance
In a competition with 20 stages, you can win 10 of them and end as a 30th competitor overall. Why? Because you shot the other 10 stages worse than other 200 competitors. But you can shoot all 20 as a 2nd, 3rd or 4th shooter and win overall.
Keep a certain level. If you write one awesome post and then you write three lousy ones, it won’t help you much. But if you always write good posts (not even the best out there) your blog will bring people back to new posts.
After a while, you will start writing better and all of your posts will pick up the quality. So you blog will overall be better.
Winners are needed by the industry
If you win competitions, sponsors will start approaching you, thus you will make money. All of us shooters love buying the equipment champions use, because they recommend it.
If your blog is good and is getting better, people will want to advertise on your blog. They will start contacting you, asking about it. If you recommend products, people will buy because everyone wants to use the stuff a winner is using.
You can compete with the champs but it takes a lot to beat them
Even as a beginner, you can compete with the World Champion (that is the system of our competitions). But will you win?
When you start a blog, there are always those that are at the top for the same thing you are writing about. Will you win? If you apply the same principles as a practical shooter you can (just read from the beginning again).
It needs a lot of work and experience but you can do it. You can’t give up if you want to be the champ. You can’t be mediocre. You must learn from them and use their best tips to make your blog better.
You need to be social
You meet a lot of people as a shooting competitor. You can always use those relationships to promote your business. Also, if you are friendly, companies will prefer you as a promoter and not some moody champ (so you make more money).
If there is one place you will meet a bunch of people it is the blogging community and social media. You will build relationships and eventually use all those connections to promote your business.
Also, the friendlier you are, more people will start communicating with you. This can be a sign to an advertiser, since you are more likely to promote and sell their product compared to a moody blogger.
If you are not sure how to become friendlier and more approachable read what not to do when it comes to social media like Twitter – Top 10 ways to lose Twitter followers.
You must travel to become better
If you are serious about competing you will travel a lot to shoot as many matches as possible. Experience is important to become more confident while competing.
If you are serious about blogging, you will visit as many good quality blogs as possible, to read all those great posts. Not only will you become more confident but you will learn from all those posts and start blogging better.
Why do you enter a shooting competition? You could just go to a range and shoot for fun. But you want to win, to feel good about yourself and show you are the best.
Why are you into blogging? You could just write a diary in the privacy of your room. But you want to have a great blog, to see people coming and reading and eventually have the best blog out there.
That’s all for this list. This is how I see the connection between my favorite sport and blogging.
Here are some questions for you:
- Did you like the analogy?
- If you saw the video, did you like the sport?
- Would you add something to this list? Or delete something?
- Did you think practical shooting could be so similar to blogging?
I hope to hear from you and would appreciate if you would share this post with your friends ;)
This post is inspired by two things:
1. Me wanting to pull you into my favorite sport by showing you how it is no different than blogging
2. Tristan’s post about killer analogies. I had to try this one and I hope it worked. I used most of the tips he suggested, and if something didn’t turn out right it is not his fault :)
Don’t forget to share the post!