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.
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?