One of the biggest questions that we get asked is “how do I become a professional blogger?”
And let’s face it… who wouldn’t want to blog for a living?
You get to do what you love, write about it, and get paid magical internet money while you get to do all kinds of crazy stuff and put it up on your blog, right?
You have to realize that while blogging as a career is absolutely a very attainable, it’s a TON of work. You get paid like a doctor, because you work as many hours as one.
That being said, with a lot of hard work, more research than a graduate student, and a few tips from your favorite blogger,(That’s right, move over Pioneer Woman, I’ve been upgraded) there’s no reason that you can’t become a full time blogger making more than enough cash to live comfortably with all your bills paid, and enough money left over to have some fun with.
How to Become a Full Time Blogger
Keep Working At It – Don’t expect your new blog to take off and become wildly popular overnight, it takes time and passion. It is not unheard of for new bloggers to blog for 3 to 4 years before they really get into the swing of things, and it’s not uncommon to earn little to no money early on in that process. This could mean a long time of working long hours at a full time job and then coming home to work long hours blogging. Keep working at it and don’t get discouraged if things don’t take off right away.
Little Tip: The simplest way to ensure that you don’t get worn down and discouraged from a lack of immediate success is to choose a topic that you have a strong legitimate interest in, something that you would have been doing in your spare time anyway.
Stay Organized – Staying organized can help you keep to a consistent schedule, both for blogging and for your life. One of the toughest parts of being a professional blogger, especially when starting out, is learning how to keep your life in balance without neglecting any part of it. Luckily, there are some truly excellent tools out there to help us keep organized, many of which are available for free. One of the best suites of organizational tools available is Google Drive. It offers us the ability to store our Files, Photos, and Calendar all in one place with a suite of tools that can help you do everything from share your posts with your team to keeping track of your Blogging expenses in Google Spreadsheets.
Little Tip: Keeping a consistent schedule for posts gives your readers a set time to be on the lookout for new content, and when you have a group of people all looking forward to the same thing they will bond over it.
Blogging Is A Full Time Job – It’s very easy to fall into thinking that blogging is going to be a relaxing job where you can work a few hours a week to write an article and you can do whatever you want with the rest of your time, but the truth is that blogging is often a more than 40 hour per week job,
even especially when it’s the only thing that you do. Keeping up with a blog is a high stress activity, and while it may only take a couple hours per week to write the article, creating the project or recipe, shooting the photos, re-doing things when you don’t like the way they came out, and development of the blogs design and technical aspects are going to consume a considerable amount of your time. Get ready to do some pretty serious work to keep up with everything that needs to be kept up with to run a full time blog, but keep in mind that all that hard work pays off when your blog hits it big and you are getting paid to do what you love.
Little Tip: Do some research before you start to see what parts of blogging are going consume the most time, and then look around for ways to automate those items. A repetitive task that has been automated can free up a ton of time that you can use on other aspects of the site.
Think About Monetization – You want to think about ways for your blog to start making you money right from the start. There are a ton of ways to turn your blog into your paycheck, and the time to start implementing one is before you have built up a huge readership. Simple things like signing up for Google Ad Sense early, or choosing which affiliate networks you want to be a part of can help you shape the design and content of your blog to something that is more conducive to your favored method of making money.
Little Tip: Different methods work well with different audiences. Do your research and find out what methods are most effective in your niche, and what type of content makes the best use of these methods to maximize your payout as early as possible.
Numbers Aren’t Everything – Having a large following is an excellent way to keep tabs on just how popular your blog is, but remember that just having numbers isn’t the most important thing. Having loyalty in your followers is far more important. Followers who come back to your blog as often as you post is what you are going for. Keep your content genuine, and interact with your readers. If they leave you a comment, reply. This can quickly get you bogged down with social media, but trust me, all the hard work here will build you a community of loyal readers, which is far more important than having a large group of disengaged followers.
Little Tip: Don’t be afraid to network with other bloggers in your niche to help drive a sense of community, and build up your readership at the same time.
Recycle and reuse – Finding ways to turn everyday activities into posts is the name of the game when it comes to blogging. When you are making dinner, take some time to write down the recipe and snap some nice photos. Now dinner is a new blog post. Doing some traveling? Get some gorgeous shots of your destination to write up a quick travel post. Start thinking about various things in your life that can be turned into blog posts, and you will find that the more you orient your life around your blog, the more your blog will give back to your life.
Little Tip: Take trips to places like the thrift store when you need new furniture, and rather than looking for a piece that will fit into your decor as is, try to find something you can turn into a project. This is a great way to improve your home and get a nice blog article at the same time.
Just Do It: At the end of the day, looking forward into the world of professional blogging and finding out that it could mean a lot more work than you were expecting, or that it is not as immediate as you once thought is enough to make many people reconsider their new career choice, but you shouldn’t let your fears stop you from doing it. While there is a lot of hard work involved, the payout will be incredibly real when you find yourself doing what you love for a living.
Little Tip: With research and careful planning, many hurdles of blogging can be circumvented before you even reach them. A little forward thinking and planning goes a long way.