Professional Blogging - Are You Ready To Go Pro? - You Baby Me Mummy

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Professional Blogging – Are You Ready To Go Pro?

Thousands of people start blogs every day and blogging for a living is the dream for many of these people.  If you have been blogging for a while, you might be working with brands and earning some income from your blog.  So how do you know when it is time to pack in the 9 to 5 and go pro, become a professional blogger?  It seems lots of people have an issue with the title ‘Professional Blogger’, I find this odd, as those same people probably wouldn’t have an issue with the term Professional Footballer.  It is the same thing, you are earning the majority of your income from blogging, as opposed to others who aren’t.  You are not better or worse than people who aren’t professional, it is just a word.

Are you ready to take to leap and start blogging professionally

So how do you know when you are ready to go pro?

  • You have a strong, confident voice – When people start blogging, they are finding their feet and so they might blog in different styles until they find out what feel right to them.  After a while this voice becomes more consistent and stronger as a result.
  • You have a community around your blog – Do you have regular commentators on your blog?  People who often retweet and interact with you. If so this means you have built a level of trust with your audience, which will be appealing to brands.  In some cases a bloggers audience is more engaged than a magazines audience.
  • Brands contact you – At a certain point in your blogging career, brands and PR companies will start contacting you. For me, this happened as soon as I went self hosted.
  • You want a more flexible blog theme – Are you frustrated with your theme?  Do you long to alter your blog layout more than your current premade theme allows?
  • You have been blogging for a couple of years –  As the majority of blog as scrapped within a year, if you have stuck around for 2 years, this sends out a signal to brands that you are in it for the long haul.
  • You have a decent following – Following isn’t everything; better to have a small engaged audience, than a bigger one, that you can’t influence.  However, there is no denying that some brands will only work with bloggers who have a certain level of following.
  • Readers ask you for advice /feedback – Do your readers ask you for advice/feedback? If so, then they are considering you to be an influencer.
  • Earnings – You already make some income from your blog and believe this is scalable.

If the answer to these question is yes and blogging for a living is something that drives you everyday, then you maybe ready to take the plunge.  When you do you will need to keep these points in mind.

What you will need to succeed

  • Focus/determination – Why do you blog?  To make it as a pro blogger you will need a clear reason, plenty of drive and a plan.
  • Strong voice – People won’t want the read wishy-washy posts.  You don’t have to be controversial if that’s not your thing, however, you need to have a strong personal voice. This helps readers to feel as if they know you and then they can identify with you.
  • Be an authority – What are you good at?  What could you teach others?  If you are a great photographer then write about that with authority and confidence.
  • Strong brand identity – Is your brand instantly recognisable?  Have you got the same images/artwork on all your networks?
  • Develop a routine – Any freelance lifestyle has a multitude of positives, together with some negatives.  For some it can be hard to get motivated and for others it is difficult to clock off. Neither are great for you or your blog, so having boundaries and a routine is vital.
  • Hardwork and a touch of obsession – I really believe that no-one becomes a full-time pro blogger without working really hard to get there.  Countless late nights and days with very little in the way of breaks are a way of life on the road to becoming a pro blogger.  I also believe that to continuously produce high quality posts each day, you need to be a bit obsessed with you blog.
  • Be vulnerable & authentic – The successful blogs are the one written by people who others can identify with and that are real.  I believe that sooner or later people see through fakeness and so it is important to be yourself.  Show you’re a real human being just like them, not superwoman (man), a normal person working hard at something they love.

Are you a professional blogger?  If not would you ever be tempted to take the plunge?

 

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Showing 93 comments
  • Baby Toddler Me
    Reply

    Hi Aby, great post as usual! And yes, I’m definitely ready to take the plunge! I’m really inspired by successful bloggers like you, and many of the other lovely ones out there. My challenge is time, as I’ve just had my third child who’s 12 weeks old! But I’m determined to give it my best shot!

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Wow good luck, I am sure you will be amazing. You will certainly have your hands full x

      • Lisa
        Reply

        What websites are great to start blogging with. I’m trying to start a blog too.. Love yous

  • Joy
    Reply

    lol at the ” you are not superman” but it’s so true I love the blogs that are honest they make me feel safe.’I know that sounds weird but they make me feel like its ok to be you.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      As they should. It takes all sorts to make the world go round x

  • Seychellesmama
    Reply

    Great post 🙂 lots of really great points, as always! X

  • Katie
    Reply

    Great post Aby, I am a ‘professional blogger’ and have been earning money from my blog since it was a few months old but have been earning a full time income since about 2 years ago, and it’s growing all the time. I am one of those people who doesn’t like the term ‘pro blogger’ for the exact same reason you don’t mind it. I was a marketing account manager in my previous role, but I didn’t call myself a ‘professional account manager’- that was a given, it was my job, of course I was a professional and doing the best job I could. That’s why I feel like it’s a silly name, we are all professional, these blogs for the most part are our CV’s and our spaces to show off our skill, it’s a given.

    But that’s just me! And I totally see how it works when it’s in relation to a professional footballer as you do call them that! Such helpful tips. x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Yes I agree that a lot of bloggers work professionally when maybe they don’t earn their income from it. Some jobs don’t need the distinction as you can’t be a non professional account manager, for example. Or a non professional Doctor. In blogging many people are happy to do it as a hobby and not be professional. This is why I have no issue with the term as it simply tells people that is the persons job in an industry where it is possible to be either pro or non pro xx

      • Katie
        Reply

        That’s so true and a really good point! I guess you can’t be a hobby doctor haha and if you could that would be a worry! 😉 I don’t actually have a huge issue with it, I have made myself sound like I hate the term- it doesn’t bother me at all, I just don’t ever call myself it when I’m talking to people, but then I don’t really know what I call myself. Just that blogging is my job I guess! xx

  • Toni
    Reply

    A great post Aby, I don’t feel like a Pro Blogger even though I’m self employed & blogging has crept up to being over 50% of my income. I want to keep building on this & FEEL like a Pro, Britmums was a real eye opener for me. Onwards & upwards 🙂

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Well done huni, remember if you say it is, then it is 🙂 Hope you feel it soon x

  • Katie / Pouting In Heels
    Reply

    A brilliant post Aby! (Again!) And great advice for people here, who want to take their blogs to that next level. I’m a hundred per cent with you too on your last point – vulnerability and keeping it real is what it’s all about – however sadly, it’s astonishing how many people forget this. Also with you on the professional blogger title too, as you say it’s not about saying your blog is better than anyone else’s, rather that we do this for a living. Super read. Well done lovely XXX

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Oh thank you honey, such a lovely comment. I can’t bear fakeness and think that people identify with ‘realness’ xxx

  • Mummy Fever
    Reply

    Fab post Aby – would love to do this and I guess am already making my way through your helpful hints and tips. I think sometimes I get put off when i see blogs that i feel are a bit fake or perhaps lack a touch of reality but seem to have a huge following. That confuses me because to me the fakeness is clear. I love your honest, practical approach. Thank you once again xxxx

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks so much that is very lovely of you to say. I could never be fake it is just not in me and it is a characteristic that I really don’t like in others. I guess we should just look to our own blogs and make them the best they can be, not worry about the fakers xx (don’t be put off!)

  • Isabella
    Reply

    Great post, Aby! I’m far from being a pro blogger, mainly because I have a full-time job that I love and so little time, but I won’t deny that I do think about what the blog could become if I had the time and could put in the hours to grow it. And while it’s not my time (yet) to go pro, I am eternally inspired by bloggers such as yourself who have managed to make this leap in a relatively short space of time through their determination and hard work. I have both attributes, so maybe one day, my blog can become something more. Who knows. But in the meantime, I love reading success stories like yours and your blog! x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Aw thanks so much for your lovely comment, that means a lot. I am sure you could make your blog your job, but if you love your ‘normal’ job then it is just down to preference x

  • Amber
    Reply

    This is brilliant, Aby. I feel like I’m sooo nearly there now with ‘professional’ blogging; I’m in the final for two major blogging awards, people do pay me to write occasionally, my social influence is growing. I just need to make that last leap over the threshold now.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Amazing achievements, I am sure you will be just fine honey x

  • Amanda
    Reply

    Oh the term sends shivers down my spine. I think for me I consider myself to be a full time blogger, and that’s how I earn my living, but pro blogger to me somehow slants it in a way I’m not comfortable with. Hmm, food for thought for me…

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I don’t get that at all; to me it is just a word. However, it doesn’t matterwhat we call it really, I was just giving my point of view in as much as it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. x

  • Michelle
    Reply

    You’re so right when it’s just a word! I consider myself a professional blogger as it’s my job now! Just like I’m a professional website designer 😀 It’s my profession! My blog now makes up 90% of my income, as I wind down the website design side of me. I’ve been doing that for 10 years, but it’s time for a change! xx

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I don’t get the issue at all, but it doesn’t really matter what we call it I suppose 🙂 So glad your wonderful blog is doing well for you huni xx

  • Lisa (mummascribbles)
    Reply

    Such a great post as usual – I think I may print this one out! I have just started making a few pennies from my blog so am nowhere near being a pro blogger and I have a full time job which likes to get in the way? That said, I would love to be so i’ll keep working hard at it! #brillblogposts

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks lovely lady, glad you enjoyed it x

  • Silly Mummy
    Reply

    This is interesting & informative. Nowhere near this stage yet, but would eventually like to be a professional blogger or writer of some kind. #thelist

  • Talya
    Reply

    Great post Aby! It’s something I’m toying with at the moment so really useful to read – thanks for sharing! #TheList

  • Mumma McD
    Reply

    Great advice Aby! I’d like to ‘go pro’ at some point but have a long way to go!

  • Zoe Meunier
    Reply

    Thanks for this great advice! Think I’m a long, long way off, but good to keep this in mind for the future!

  • Haidee
    Reply

    Ah, one of these days! It is certainly what I would like to aspire to! #TheList

  • Mum in Brum
    Reply

    Really inspiring and insightful. I would love to say that I’m ready to take the plunge, but I just don’t seem to be able to find the time right now! I’m hoping that things may change in a few months and I’ll be able to commit a little more – I can definitely relate to being obsessed – blogging is a way of life, not just hobby xx

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I am so glad you enjoyed it. Good luck for the future, I hope you can make the leap xx

  • zoe dunn
    Reply

    another brilliant post! You should consider putting these into a book. You are always my “go to” blog when I’m trying to do something on my own blog and need some help/guidance/inspiration etc and I’ll bet I’m not alone in that. keep up the brilliant work #thelist

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Aw thanks so much. The book is on my list! x

  • Let kids be kids
    Reply

    Great post and useful tips. Thanks you for sharing x

  • Natalie
    Reply

    What a fab post, pretty good timing for me too as I’ve started to wonder about getting in to blogging ‘properly’. The routine is something I struggle with though, mainly because I’m a SAHM and my OH works random, long hours and we can’t really afford childcare so it’s all around him, but I’m working on it!

  • Random Musings
    Reply

    I would love to make a full time living from blogging one day. I am quite disciplined with my routine and schedule but I think I would need to build a larger following first. I’ve only been blogging since April though so I will just have to be patient! Thanks for hosting #TheList 🙂
    Debbie
    http://www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com

  • Leandra
    Reply

    Not even close, but I soooooo badly want it. I can’t give up my job because I would never earn what I do working but maybe one day…. Hoping to ramp up a gear after the summer to get a taster of what it’s like 😉

    Another wonderful blog clubmpost Aby xx #thelist

  • Mum's Hideout
    Reply

    I’ve a long way to go, still finding my voice and style, but would love to go pro one day. I’m going to bookmark this post so I can keep coming back to it!

  • mummy tries
    Reply

    Awesome post Aby! I’m really hoping to make the elusive jump at some point soon xc

  • Reply

    Such great advice as always Aby. I think I’m at a bit of a turning point with my blog. I love it and am always thinking about what I want to do with it next. However, it’s not earning me money at the moment, so some days I wonder should I be putting so much time into it? I started blogging because I love to write. However it would be nice to earn from it as well. There’s plenty of things I know I could be doing to bring in some money but I have to decide if that’s right for me at the moment. Decisions decisions! #thelist

  • Rachel Kowalski
    Reply

    These posts are so helpful. It has really helped to give me a bit of direction as I have been struggling to fit everything in lately. I really want to make a go of blogging but sometimes struggle with fitting it around my job and Sam #TheList x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I am really glad they are helpful x

  • Mrs Puddleducky
    Reply

    One day, I hope this will be me, I would love it so much. I enjoy blogging so much I only wish I could do more. I can’t believe I didn’t start sooner, but I’ve started and I won’t give up! Roll on many more blogging years! X

  • Nikki Frank-Hamilton
    Reply

    Love this, if you are making money-in my book-you’re a Pro, if not you are a blogger. If you’re not making money do you want to be called a hobbiest? I think not. Even if you’re making pennies, you’re working at it and you are a pro, you don’t have to necessarily introduce yourself as such, but you need to feel the difference in your head and in your heart! Go get ’em Aby!

  • Sophie
    Reply

    Great tips. I am no where near pro, and I am not sure I want to be. Just love the writing and reading! Lovely post though and so handy! 🙂 #thelist

  • Claire
    Reply

    Great tips, thank!. I’ve got loads of work to do on my blog but I love writing and I find it keeps me sane and takes me out of my ‘baby bubble’ every now and then xxx

  • John Adams
    Reply

    Glad you mentioned the length of time you need to have a blog going. I am occasionally asked for advice on going pro and the thing I say is “nothing will happen immediately, you have to build a massive digital footprint”. I’ll also never understand the issue people have with the phrase pro-blogger. Probably stems largely from jealousy from people who can’t understand how you do it! #TheList

  • Lisa
    Reply

    A great post Aby! I would love to be a blogger all day, I am really struggling with working full time and keeping up but I am determined to keep going. I am even flirting with the idea of going self hosted so I can add plug ins – get me! Thanks for sharing lovely xx

  • Mummy here and there
    Reply

    Some great points, thanks for sharing

  • Jenny
    Reply

    Great post Aby and advice as always. I am a little hesitant to use the word “pro” as I have always earned money through my blog from the very beginning and it’s my fulltime job but when you start calling yourself a pro? I would never know… I still think I am just starting out and growing all the time. I think I am actually scare of the term pro blogger. hahaha I am just a blogger for a living and for hobby I suppose. 🙂 Guess don’t want to call myself pro and fail at it. Food for thought though babes. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I think if something is your job then you are a pro. It doesn’t mean you are better than anyone else, just that in an occupation where people can be hobby/amateur or professional, you are professional. x

  • Lizzie Roles
    Reply

    Lovely Aby your post is spot on as usual. I’m not a pro blogger ‘yet’ but hope to move that way in the future. I’m so happy to have gone self hosted & had my blog redesigned. It’s not the best blog out there but i love that it’s mine & authentically my voice. My audience is building all the time & having interactions social media & in real life with fab people like you is the highlight of blogging for me. Hopefully the brands & PR’s will come flocking soon 🙂 Love Lizzie xo

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Ah thank you my love! Glad you liked it. You are fabulous, don’t forget that xx

  • HonestMum
    Reply

    Fab post Aby, I, like you, like and embrace the term pro-blogger along with referring to blogging as my job, as that’s what it is. I see it as celebratory and empowering. I’m also a screenwriter with a TV series in development but my income is 99.9% from blogging. I do also think there are many ways to be a blogger and pro, many I follow don’t show vulnerability like The Londoner whom I love, such an escapist read and I follow tonnes of food and fashion blogs that offer me a gorgeous glimpse into their passions. I believe blogging is similar to filmmaking (I’m also a filmmaker), it is emotion on screen but that can be translated in whatever genre and what feels right to the writer. What makes people different and unique is their voice and I read different blogs for different reasons and believer there is a place for all. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks, yes definately there is a place for everyone and their unique voice. I just think people should be truthful and ‘real’ in their posts if that makes sense. If you are fake then I believe readers may not identify with you in the same way as they will others.

  • Hello Beautiful Bear
    Reply

    Great post, as usual ;D

    I’d love to ‘go pro’ one day, I’m just a newbie now but your posts are so inspiring, maybe one day, we’ll see…

    X X

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Ah thank you, such a lovely thing to say xx

  • suzanne3childrenandit
    Reply

    A very helpful post as always Aby. I’ve can tick all the boxes in the first section, just don’t have enough drive or motivation for it! I think you got my share 😉

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Ha ha, not sure about that 🙂 x

  • Reply

    This is really interesting. I don’t have any ambition to go ‘pro’ but I do have ambitions for my blog…one of which as you know includes design! I’m interested in your point about brands contacting you when you went self hosted…what do you think the correlation is there? Just timing or because going self hosted gave you freedom to design your site more how you’d like it. Or perhaps a marker of serious intent? I’m definitely feeling limited by free template but not sure what to do about it! Thank you for hosting #thelist

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I think they realise that you can only earn money when you are self hosted (unless you are on blogger), lots of brands need you to have your own domain not the free wordpress one for this reason. It also gives a signal that you are more serious x

  • Su
    Reply

    Thank you so much for this post. I just started last month and feels already behind with everything. How do you do it? I really want to go pro but time is of the essence to every little things I do. But I am not going to give up yet and these pointers will help me get there! Thank you. 🙂 from #brillblogposts

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      My pleasure, always happy to help. How I do it? I work a lot of hours and probably don’t really switch off. But I love it so it’s all good x

  • Adorngirl
    Reply

    Great post! I have been blogging for five years, and I am always learning, so true about the amount of work and drive to be full time.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks, glad you like it x

  • Mummiddlingthrough
    Reply

    it’d be aMazing to believe my blog could become a proper paid job! I wonder Aby, were you always good at the design side or did you outsource? It’s something I’m certainly struggling with, but it’s early days. XMMT

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I did have my old header illustrated but I did the latest redesign myself. I hope it’s o.k, I have had good feedback about it. x

  • Rosie
    Reply

    Great post and as always choc full of useful tips. Thanks for being such an inspiration! x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Ah thanks, not sure about that, but always happy to help x

  • Mackenzie Glanville
    Reply

    Really great advice, I love how you are so direct and honest with your advice. Blogging is great, but takes a lot of commitment, i really admire you

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Aww thanks Mac. I am just me, can’t be fake or someone else. Just write as I would speak to you and I just hope the tips help people x

  • Michelle
    Reply

    Great post! Love your advice. Maybe someday, I will be a pro blogger!

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      SO glad it is helpful x

  • Tom Briggs
    Reply

    After almost five years of blogging, I’m finally taking the plunge and trying to go pro. I’m doing freelance work to supplement the income (I’m a journo/copywriter by day) but most of the work I’ve got so far is because I’m a dad blogger – I must be doing something right!

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      You are totally doing lots right Sir! 🙂 Good luck! I am sure it will be seamless! x

  • Tanya serrant
    Reply

    My blog is only two weeks old. I’m a complete newbie. I love reading all the hints and tips offered by others.
    Maybe one day I will be a pro, but enjoying the journey so far.

    Such a great post. Thanks

    Http:// ladytans.blogspot.com

  • Min
    Reply

    I’ve been blogging for years and had several different blogs, as well as a few setbacks. I’m starting to realise how much work is needed to make blogging more than just a hobby, but I must admit I am also a bit scared of the exposure and putting so much of myself out there in the public domain. I found this post really helpful as a reminder that it is possible to make it work.

  • Jules
    Reply

    Thanks, I found this helpful as a rookie blogger! The honesty point is really reassuring, as my family have been a bit wary and have told me I’m ‘too open for the internet’. Nice to know that I’m not doing it all wrong!

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I think you must be yourself and be truthful with what you share, but you don’t have to share everything x

  • Emma T
    Reply

    I’m not too bothered by the phrase either way although I just say I’m a blogger. I’d probably just say full time although in the hours I put in mine is just as much as my full time job with ough it being anything more than a hobby. I don’t think I’d ever earn as much as my full time job and I don’t think I could compete in going after all the pitches etc to do so. Plus my OH wouldn’t be supportive of it. I don’t know if there’s any problems bloggers who only do nofollow posts either? It sounds like they all do do follow which I wouldn’t want to do.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I guess it depends on whether they are link building or building brand awareness. Most people I deal with want follow links. x

  • tracey - thenaughtyfortydiaries
    Reply

    Great post, with a lot of good points to work towards. I would love to go pro one day. Thank you for sharing, Tracey x

  • Kate Tunstall
    Reply

    Hey Aby!

    Well, apart from the missing salutation, this post was written for me!

    This past week has been amazing, I’ve had a couple of personal triumphs and inadvertently found myself an incredible mentor (someone you may know!). And I have decided to push to change my biz model to go pro instead.

    Thanks for the inspiring post, just what I needed for some motivation. (Although in fairness, I was already motivated – I am that Obsessive you mentioned…)

    Have a fab weekend!
    Kate x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Hi, I am so glad you liked this post and that it is helpful for you. Oh your mentor sounds interesting. Have a great week x

  • Miss Rose
    Reply

    Great post! It’s nice to read tips from someone who is having success with their blog. I started a mummy/beauty blog late last year, more so I could practice my writing and get more comfortable sharing my thoughts. I’ve actually ended up writing more mummy/life posts. I try to be honest and just be myself, but it is very scary sharing your thoughts with people you don’t know. I’m hoping it will get easier the more I write. Also hoping to build a following and connect with other bloggers this year, with so many people out there it is hard to stand out. It definitely motivates me to see bloggers like you and others who are doing well!

  • Stewart Harding
    Reply

    This is a great article. Thank you for sharing this with me on Twitter. 🙂

  • Mycitymylondon
    Reply

    Who can I contact to sort out my broken links on my website? I’m not sure why I’m not getting good traffic

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      You can sort them out yourself, but running a check. You could try to find someone to do them for you, but I don’t know anyone. There is a plugin that checks for broken links but it slows your site down

  • absolutely prabulous
    Reply

    So I’ve seen this come up every now and then on Twitter and finally clicked as I guess I wasn’t ready to answer the question before! Interestingly, I’ve been able to answer yes to nearly every single one of these…yet why I do still not feel ready?! Helpful stuff as always xx

  • Phil Rothwell
    Reply

    Nice article. I definitely fall into the “finding my voice” category. But it’s nice to know how things could develop with some determination and hard work. Thanks.

  • David
    Reply

    I’ll be celebrating a year as a blogger this week and I’ve given myself another twelve months to take the plunge and do this full time. It’s so inspiring to see people who have been there and done it. Most people think I have lost my mind when I tell them this is what I’ll be doing for a living some day, but they only make me more determined!

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