15 reasons why blogging is like a practical shooting competition and why you must shoot

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Practical shooting bloggingObviously 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

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.

blog blueprint idea

Click to enlarge

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.

Focus

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

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

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.

The feeling

blogging like practical shooting

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:

  1. Did you like the analogy?
  2. If you saw the video, did you like the sport?
  3. Would you add something to this list? Or delete something?
  4. 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!

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Comments

  1. What a great reference between blogging and shooting. Actually, i think blogging could probably be related to nearly everything, sport, i did a post on a camping trip; and probably heaps of other things too.

    It really comes down to how much you are willing to work and how long you can maintain that performance throughout the struggle.

    • Brankica says:

      I guess you can relate anything to everything if you bite into it hard enough.
      This is probably the most detailed post I have ever written and it took me the most time ever to write it.

      • Ha. That’s a great comparison and another way of looking at blogging :)

        I guess most aspiring bloggers just skip the basics wanting to go straight to the next level, that’s insane.

        P.S. How long it took you to research and write this post? I always like to find and talk with fellow bloggers who put in the required time, effort and energy into creating awesome posts like this one.

        • Brankica says:

          I wrote it a long time ago, but it only took me the time I needed to type, didn’t really do any research. I mean I am a shooter and a blogger, it was easy to compare it :)

  2. Hi Brankica,

    Again another very thorough and well crafted post. The shooting training and good discipline shows up in your post.

    To me this post must be social bookmarked, read and reread again because there’re so many good things in it. I understand why you may get angry at people who don’t show respect at your effort and hard work.

    I think you’ve just laid down the blueprint to blogging success according to Brankica, with a twist, that’s because you could have said the same without the analogy, but then it would have been a bland post. The analogy makes your post more interesting and fun to read.

    I think your advice on planning at the beginning and selecting your keywords in advance is really important, because then Google knows what your blog is about and helps you get better search result ranking.

    I really like you pointing to start at the basics. My analogy to that is: there no point in telling someone to bake a cake when they don’t know how to break an egg yet. And then they complain it’s too hard to bake a cake. It’s because they’ve skipped over learning the elementary things. I see that as a problem for people who only look for information on the Internet. The Internet isn’t organised in elementary to advance level way.

    That’s why it’s important to have a step by step orderly blueprint and a mentor to guide you along the way in a systematic way.

    I would add, don’t hesitate to ask for concrete help (as oppose to just advice). E.g. how to load a photo on my post, how to install a plugin or upgrade a plugin.

    Get technical support and don’t try to do or figure everything yourself and remain stuck at a roadblock.

    Join a group of like minded bloggers and work as a team (see Brankica’s previous post).

    Also do ask other bloggers to give feedback about your blog, like: is there any element missing on my blog? What are the essential pluggins I need? What do you think about the colour, layout, font size of my blog? etc

    Ben Wan
    P.S. I haven’t watched the video.

    • Brankica says:

      Wow, Ben, thanks for an amazing comment.

      I must admit, that although I know all these basic tips I did not apply them all on this blog. But that is why there is always room for improvement.

      I love that I have a few of you I can count on to tell me their opinions on my blog, I had trouble when I first started, could not find a new set of blogging eyes to help.

      Getting angry part (Ben and I had a chat on Twitter about people not reading the post and still commenting on it) is normal I guess, I am just asking those who don’t read not to comment.

      I don’t even expect everyone to read every word, but at least to know what the post is about. I think I get more mad to see a lousy comment from a “real” blogger than a person that just started blogging.

      You are right about asking for help. I often do that. I am never ashamed to ask and I often send e-mails to experienced bloggers to ask about some things. Same thing I did as a shooter.

  3. Hi Brankica

    You have really come out of the blogs ready to win this competition :-) Love the analogy and you have expressed it all so well.

    I can see you rising up the ranks of bloggers whom we all want to visit. I look forward to your posts and learn something when I come on over here. That’s what brings us back for more :-)

    Thanks for sharing Brankica. Enjoyed the read. And I am definitely interested in the tribe.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Brankica says:

      Thank you so much.

      Here is what worries me :) I planned to blog about my travels as well since I think people might get some interesting travel tips from me. But with people that are reading the blog at the moment, I am not sure how the travel posts will go. They are not as nearly as popular as the “blogging” ones.

      And it’s all about pleasing the readers!

      I learned so much online for the last year or so that I feel I can help a lot when it comes to beginners.

  4. WOW, not only was this interesting to read in terms of better blogging, it was interesting to learn about practical shooting! I don’t know the first thing about it. :P

    I’ve never shot anything in my life, except maybe a NERF water gun back in the 90′s haha.

    Analogy posts are the best, and you did an amazing job on this one, really I’m blown away by all the incredible info here and the way you laid it all out. :)

    I’m trying to pick a favourite point, but I love them all. I do really like how you ended it with “the feeling.” It really comes straight down to that, doesn’t it?

    SOOPER good Brankica! Loved it!

    • Brankica says:

      I am so blushing :)
      I just thought of kinda introducing myself better to all of you, my friend bloggers, that come and read my ramblings.

      So what better than do pull you in while telling you about my favorite thing in the world :)

      I hope one day to actually meet some of you so maybe there will be a chance of me taking you to a shooting range and showing you what real fun is, lol.

      But, as you said, the bottom line is, it all comes down to the feeling. We all do what makes us feel great. Even if you start a blog hoping you will make money, you still have to enjoy it to make it work.

      Thanks for a great comment and keep them coming.

  5. This was very interesting Brankica. I know nothing about shooting so I learned a lot there. I also really like how you tied everything into blogging so well. So many of us (me included) just sit down and start writing, thinking about it later or after the post is completed. Your tips, when applied, will really help someone become a better blogger. Plus, you had some great resources there that I’m definitely checking out. So awesome post, thanks so much for sharing!
    -Scott

    • Brankica says:

      Thank you Scott, glad you liked it.

      As said in some previous comments I wanted to present myself in different light and also do something different.

      I also had to try Tristan’s tips and see how it would work out for me, I had no idea I would find 15 similarities.

  6. Yeah! Nicely done, Brankica!! I’m glad you used what I outlined in my analogies post :D

    This really was a great post. I especially liked the “Winners are needed by the industry.” It’s so true! And if SOMEONE has to win, it might as well be you, right?

    Regarding learning css and php… Sigh. Yes. This is where I’m at now. I’m working on my CSS.

    And that’s very cool, btw, about your gold medals!

    Post thoroughly enjoyed and retweeted.

    • Brankica says:

      Thanks, Tristan, for teaching me how to do this. I actually had so much fun writing this post but I gotta tell you, it wasn’t easy :)

      We all love being winners and that is what makes money, so, like you said, why not me!

      I am about to start learning PHP to handle this WordPress thing (have no idea about it). HTML and CSS were kinda easy for me, meaning I got it after a normal amount of time :) but PHP scares me.

      Don’t miss on Lisa Irby’s videos for some CSS tips, she has some great ones.

      And thanks for commenting, of course!

  7. Hi Brankica,

    I actually took a break and planned out the next two years for my blog before starting to post again. Now, my plan changes almost daily, but to your point, it has enabled me to stay much more focused.

    Also, I like that you mention the need for learning (a tiny bit) about coding. Especially css. It makes life so much easier (though, to be fair, it is not as straight forward as just learning it as browsers do not all implement these the same way – I am talking to you, IE!).

    Also – the need to be social is CRITICAL in blogging, in my opinion.

    Love it! Thanks for the thoughts!

    • Brankica says:

      Hey Mark, thank for stopping by :)

      Having a plan helps a looooot (not that I have one for this blog yet).

      I must say that although I am writing about the right stuff to do, I don’t follow them all. Hence I miss out on things. I need to say that any time I actually implemented a tip I learned (and try to teach others) I had success. So I should start working more on listening to myself, lol.

      Coding is a great thing to help you make your blog (website) so much better. You can live without it, but if someone wants to be at the top, he/she will eventually have to learn some of it.

      I won’t even start about being social :) We all know how important that is in everyday life, so why wouldn’t it be in blogging, right?

  8. blogging is all about passion, if you have passion and a clear goal in your mind that you have to achieve this, then no one can stop you from doing this.
    Plan your blog and then start working on it and give your soul to make it happen with a success

    • Brankica says:

      It’s all about passion. I believe that is the ingredient that decides if your gonna make it or fail.

  9. great analogy, did not think commonality could be found between the two but you did it!

  10. I love the analogy and thanks to you, I get to know more about the shooting sport as well. It’s a whole new perspective to understand more about blogging and no worries, it’s okay to brag once in a while (great job on the medal, regardless when is that) :-)

    I watched the video, very surprising as I thought I’ll be seeing someone with a rifle, standing steadily for a static target. An eye opener, really. Hope to see a video of you in action, next time? All the best!

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker

    • Brankica says:

      That is what most people thing when they hear about shooting competitions. The beauty of the sport is the action.
      For what ever reason I never have videos of me shooting, but I will make some next time :)

  11. Fran Aslam says:

    Hi Brankica:
    Great post here. Yes bloggig is like an educational game. I agree with you.
    As you said it does need planning. it is in your hands to change the plan as needed, but because your way is all straight and you do not have to think evey time what to do.

    So, how is the tribe hunting going? Let me know, I am just a blog away.

    Take care.

    fran a

    • Brankica says:

      I am writing an update on the tribe in comments on the post. I will let people see who they like and we will take it from there.

  12. Wow, this post was long enough to be written by me! lol I especially loved #9 because you called yourself out then put it back in again.

    I think #8 is interesting as well. I tend to write fast, but I don’t know that I reach news faster than everyone else most of the time. The one time I did I wrote the shortest post I’d ever written and that post got more views than any other post for the longest time, most of them pretty soon after I wrote it.

    Great stuff here. I don’t do shooting, so I’ll have to relate to something I actually do, which is the post I’m linked to below. ;-)

    • Brankica says:

      The post you link to is a great one :)

      I noticed that sometimes it is really great to be first, because I got my first Google traffic by doing a review of a new Rockmelt browser.

      I called myself out in number 9 but I can be found guilty of not following more of my own observations. Still, I am learning and I will get better and lower the rate of the “not applied blogging tips”.

  13. What an awesome analogy with shooting competition.

    Really awesome post brankica. It seems there are so many people who’re good in creating analogies.

    Thanks for sharing. Awesome work..!

  14. I do absolutely love your analogy, Brankica, and glad to see your are (successfully) trying out new things.

    It amazes me how many bloggers skip half of these steps, when the truth is no blog will properly function without a limb.

    I still can’t get over the fact that you are a shooter… So dainty and tough! :)

    Ana

    • Brankica says:

      Thanks for commenting, Ana, I appreciate you stopping by :)

      I think that the biggest mistakes people make when blogging, shooting or what ever they do, is skipping the basics. You don’t build a house in the swamp, you find firm ground, build a foundation and then you can be sure the house will stand.

      Lol, being a shooter is easier than blogging, trust me!

  15. Hi Brankica,

    I so agree with your analogy, although I would probably use the game of golf instead of shooting competitions. Both take of lot of work, training, passion, and developing your skills. One thing I love about golf, a golf ball never lies. It always tells you exactly what you did to it. If you compare that to your blog, I guess your results are pretty much what you put into it. Thanks for encouraging us to focus and use well known methods and structures.

    Lou Barba

    • Brankica says:

      It is never too late to write a golf/blogging post, is it?

      Like a golf ball, a bullet never lies, so I guess you have just added a #16 to my list. A person can’t fake it forever.

      Thanks for the comment!

  16. Wow a shooter Brankica!! You’re a damn rockstar! LOVED this analogy and you laid it out perfectly. Well done.

    Lisa

  17. Congratulations on Gold Brankica! Your course was a lot nicer than any PPC I ever got to shoot. It’s come a long way.

    Anywhooooo, thanks for showing that discipline is not a dirty word. Your analogy is excellent. Your application of the principles of PPC to blogging was well done and accurate. It’s easy to see you’re a winner, you can apply discipline to all aspects of your life.

    I could only think of adding ‘Don’t let yourself be intimidated by the big guys’. At my very first PPC match I was placed on the range next to a Master. My shot sequencing was so squirrelly that he asked the Range Master to have me moved to another position. I don’t know that it may a hill of difference in his score, but it sure blew my confidence. And my score.

    We can truly only compete against ourselves. Our showing then will be a result of how well we believe that.

    Great post Brankica! Like I said, you’re a winner!

    • Brankica says:

      Thanks Gibson. I guess I forgot to add that part about being intimidated because I never am :)
      I always shoot for the top, what ever I do, so how better to get there but learn from them and using their tips to win.

  18. I love making novel connections. also love it when novel connections are made for me lol, so I really enjoyed reading the parallels between sooting and blogging. So as far as Im concerned, attempt at killer analogies worked 100% congrats :-)

  19. natalienrnbsnocn says:

    Very well done. It’s nice to read blogs that use creative teaching to bring home the points.

  20. Hey I think its cool the shooting and blogging reference! I don’t shoot, but I know practice will get you somewhere in life, seriously!

    Blog about stuff you are passionate about and your will never work a day in you life :) . I am not a pro blogger but do run a seo business so I can relate :)

    I like your style keep up the good work. I know kind of a meaningless response on my part, but I guess it is better than “nice post”…lol

  21. Hi Brankica,
    Phew ! That’s a lot to digest. Contained in your advisory is what makes the difference between winners and losers, regardless of sport or business. No wonder you’re a trainer. I liked reading Geoff’s reference to the intimidation. Shooting, like martial arts, would strengthen your mindset – it’s not for wimps.

    Why not add a post here and there about travelling ? The variety of content would add flavour, and I’d certainly know more about the subject than blogging.

    Julia

  22. Pete Carr says:

    Hi Brankica,
    What a great reference to blogging. When I first read the title I was intrigued. What has shooting got to do with blogging. Well you have certainly answered that for me.
    Like shooting, blogging and any business requires planning and goals, without them you will get lost very quickly.
    Really enjoyed your article. By the way you would never know that is English is not your native tongue.
    Pete

    • Brankica says:

      Hey Pete, so nice to see you here! Thanks for commenting and the nice words about my English. Not only I am blushing but I will have to start writing even better, I can’t allow all the great comments to change into “I hate your English”, lol.

  23. Pete Carr says:

    Brankica, your written English is better than most people I know (including me)and I am English. Truly amazing grasp of my language. Thank you.
    Pete

  24. Yeah, but that’s all the steps if you want to be a ‘successful’ blogger…..

    I don’t think I followed any of them except being social. I truly did expect to be invisible and just have the opportunity to write until I could develop some type of bloggers voice.

    Granted, I have people stop by and comment and I’m very thankful for that. But I know I have a ways to go before I’m considered a blogger in the truest sense and people actually want to mention me or invite me for a guest post. I’ll know when I get there and if I would have followed these guidelines I might have been there already.

    I’m happy with what I’ve achieved but I know there is still much work to be done and that is why it’s a journey and not a destination, huh?

    Glad to see posts like this pop back up. Everything moves so fast you hope whatever you wrote two months ago is still appropriate.

    Hola ma’am (that’s Spanish for hello, you won’t need the translator…..:)

    • Brankica says:

      Lol, Bill, you have better community than most bloggers I know, that consider themselves “real bloggers”. I think you are on a right road and your journey is going it the right direction :)

  25. I love comparison posts! It’s not quite shooting – but I do Ashtanga yoga every day. I wrote a post about how my yoga practice has informed my freelance writing business. I think there is always something to learn from the activities and experiences that inspire us the most. Great post Brankica!