So You Want to Be a Professional Blogger

by Joshua Linam of Lookbooks

 

Life as a professional blogger can truly be everything it sounds – cushy, glamorous and super fun. Though it’s not always a 24-hour party. Kathryn Finney of The Budget Fashionista says:

 

There’s no magic, instant way to become a professional blogger. I blogged for 2 years before TBF started to really take off. But with hard work and persistence you can make your blog a success.”

 

Some arrive at professional blogging owing to a strong passion for writing while others simply love the lifestyle. For Carmen Yuen of La Carmina, blogging was her creative outlet. And it became a gateway into other creative endeavors:

 

I grew up in Vancouver with no media/entertainment connections whatsoever, so my blog let me break into tight-knit industries such as TV hosting. Every day, I’m amazed at the opportunities that arrive in my inbox; my adventures keep getting weirder, and I love it.”


The following are eight simple steps you must know to succeed as a professional blogger. Commit them to memory and revisit them often!

 

1. Find Your Voice, Identify Your Niche

The first step in climbing the metaphorical pro blogger mountain starts with the basic meat of your blog – content. You need to find your voice!

 

Aim to be original and strive to always be you. What do you like? What do you dislike? What could you talk about for 72 hours straight armed with only a laptop and a venti soy latte?

 

Once your define your voice, stick to it. Strange as it may sound, never say anything you wouldn’t say. Now that you’ve identified your voice you can pinpoint your audience. Who are you speaking to? Always remember – you’re writing for them.

 

2. Stay Consistent

One of the single biggest killers of readership – not posting for several days, weeks or heaven forbid, months. Missing a post is like planning out a romantic evening with a special someone and failing to show. It can shake your readers’ trust to the core.

 

3. Research, Read

As a professional blogger, you must be in the know. (This is your career for goodness sakes!) Find other blogs you like and respect; read them daily. Check out what’s new at IFB, ProBlogger, Mashable and Tech Crunch on a consistent basis. These will keep you current and expand your creative thinking for your blog.

 

4. Make Connections

Legitimate blogger connections accelerate your brand as a blogger. Make friends with as many fellow bloggers as is humanly possible and then a few more. If a new blogger friend happens to live nearby, go for coffee and learn more about his or her blog. Also, attend blogger networking events whenever possible. Consider signing up for a blogger conference one time or more a year, such as the IFB Blogger Conference.

 

5. Learn SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) thrusts your blog to the top of the search engine heap. Buy Aaron Wall’s SEO Book, a $79 treasure that’ll equip you with the tools you need to see your blog dominate the search engine listings.

 

6. Monetize Your Blog

While tapping away on your keyboard writing game-changing style posts can provide you a warm fuzzy feeling inside, it doesn’t pay the bills. Don’t forget that you’re a professional. You can start with Google AdSense. Once you’ve built out your brand, try recruiting sponsorship. It takes time, but if you’re pumping out quality content and your readership continues to bud you may find the monetization you need to succeed.

 

7. Master Media Training

When your blog grows to the elite ranks, you’ll find your inbox flooded with media opportunities. You’ll need to be able to swim in the ocean of media. To learn how to dominate in interviews and TV spots, enroll in a media training class that suits your needs.

 

8. Ride the Wave, Never Forget Your Passion

Any blogger who says he or she doesn’t have a bad day is lying! The important thing is to always remain positive and remain dependably consistent. When a hard spell hits, remember your passion for blogging. Remember the exciting first days when you started your blog. Good times are ahead.

 

 

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25 Responses

  1. featherfactor

    I largely agree with this except for the SEO portion – I don’t think one has to pay $79 to learn SEO, and search engines are changing their algorithms all the time to thwart the more sophisticated SEO methods. I think just title/tag well and one will largely be fine. In the end I believe content is king. Great post though with many useful tips 🙂

    Reply
  2. Messages

    U can learn easily learn SEO trough google search or if u still need a clear explanation about it then try youtube search.. I learnt trough the same way from my home without investing a penny 😛

    Reply
  3. Alexandra

    well, I don’t like the SEO stuff and the conference attending. Not because I don’t want to , but because I don’t have were to. If someone knows stuff about fashion conferences in Bucharest, please let me know!

    Reply
  4. vanessa

    This is really helpful information. It does get hard sometimes to juggle a full time job, and a full time blog. Especially when you are just starting out. I would love to hear advice on that as well. Maybe planning strategies or something?

    Reply
  5. Priscilla

    Wow This could really help! Wouldn’t it be a dream to be a professional blogger? I work fulltime and besides that I make the time to post on my blog every other day. I try to respond to my readers as much as I possibly can but I am in time debt a lot of times unfortunately… but.. I am so excited about bloggen and I love it so much so I will probally never stop blogging because I love it so much!!!

    xxx Pris

    Reply
  6. Tali

    Thanks you for a very helpful post. i did bookmark some links mentioned here.
    It’s especially important to me, as I roughly have 2 full – time jobs – It’ing and blogging.

    Reply
  7. Amanda

    Very helpful. Thank you for the advice! Some days its really hard to keep your head when you’re first starting out!

    Reply
  8. Raj

    Thank you so much for sharing these tips. As someone that is just starting out in the blog world it is nice to know how to set myself up in the beginning.

    Reply
  9. Vogue & Vintage

    This is very useful, and some of this stuff I have been looking into. I still can’t properly monetize my blog, and goggle ad sense is like a puzzle to figure out. We need an intro on how to properly read these reports because there a little confusing! Other than that great and informative post as always!

    Reply
  10. Susan

    Thanks for not approving my comment.. guess you guys like to support frauds who need a TRANSLATOR to show people around a country they are supposed to “specialize” in.
    Please don’t use “Share your view” to headline your comment box when you are obviously biased.

    Reply
  11. Tymbre Armstead

    Very helpful, I am still trying to gain as much info as possible for my blog. And appreciate when professional bloggers share their experience to help out us aspiring!!

    Reply
  12. SJP

    Great advice regardless of if you want to go pro – knowledge of your subject and organising your time effectively are essentials for any blogger (though often tricky to stick to in my case!) x

    Reply
  13. Lelia

    I have a full time job, and am starting my own clothing line, and try to post 5 times a week, so finding the time to build a readership and find sponsors and advertisers is a little mind boggling, but I love blogging and hopefully it will help pay the bills sometime soon. Thanks for posts like this. It makes getting paid for blogging seem more doable.

    Reply
  14. stella

    this is so clear and helpful. something that goes with #8, when riding the wave, it has been SO important for me to learn how to stay inspired; take a moment, do something i loved as a kid, and this way I can recharge to get back in the game. love the article!

    Reply
  15. lexi

    This was definitely helpful! Juggling the full-time job/full-time blog can get tough but I find that I actually miss my blog when I’m away from it!

    Reply