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.