It’s fast becoming the career du jour for many people who are continually uninspired in their jobs. Blogging is a career choice that brings a lot of freedom, creativity, and when done right, finances, but there are a number of obstacles that many aspiring bloggers greatly underestimate, not just in relation to the topic of creation, but the little things as well. Even your internet connection can cause issues with your working day, so it’s worth bearing in mind some of the common obstacles that bloggers can potentially overlook when it comes to creating their ideal career:
Specialise in One Area
One of the most common things you will see on blogs is a variety of subjects. This is absolutely fine in theory, but if you want to make a solid living in anything, you’ve got to become a master of a specific subject. You want people to come to you as the authority on a specific topic. This doesn’t just benefit you because people will come to you, but it also provides benefits in terms of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
SEO is something that encompasses so many different rules that bloggers must comply with in order to have their work rank higher, and becoming an authority on your topic will ensure that you are not just gradually becoming the oracle on a specific topic, but it also means you will be working with the search engine algorithms.
Professionally speaking, it makes logical sense to be an authority on a subject, and if you can identify something that you are passionate about, it doesn’t matter that there are other bloggers already doing this one thing. But this is where your unique voice becomes part of your overall appeal. You can certainly have a number of different topics on your website, but if you want to have dedicated followers and regular traffic, you may want to drill down into one specific niche.
Once your blog is established you may even be able to introduce more topics depending on your audience.
Recognise Your Voice
As we’ve already said, if you want to appeal to people, it doesn’t necessarily matter what subject you specialise in, but it’s how you put yourself across. It is pivotal to your followers that you define a unique selling point, and this is why being yourself is the most important USP of all because it helps people to identify you.
Blogging is only one part of content creation, and of course, there are other ways to get your content out there, such as videos. Whether you are looking to create video blogs, written blogs, or even audio content, understanding your tone of voice and finding your voice is an essential part of defining who you are so you can market this. This is something that many artistic people have to go through. For example, stand-up comedians need to find their voice to identify which subjects they are best talking about to elicit the laughter response.
Your tone of voice is already there in who you are, and it’s about making sure that you remember to be true to yourself. Because we can spend a lot of time trying to be a better writer and using an abundance of writing tools to help us, but it’s about making sure that you don’t lose sight of who you are in the process. If you want to be a professional blogger and work with other people and mimic their tones of voice, this is when having an understanding of how to mimic other people’s tones of voice and let it become your own is essential, but if you are purely going for blogging by yourself, you can’t neglect who you are.
But how do you uncover your tone of voice?
One of the best ways to practice your tone of voice is, very simply, to start creating blogs about the things you’re passionate about but also not editing yourself. Writers can stare at a blank page or screen and type something and instantly delete it. Writing is always rewriting, and you have to start with an authentic tone of voice. The best way to do this is to get a speech-to-text app and speak into your phone and let it type the words for you. If it doesn’t necessarily flow, you can add punctuation here and there or tidy it up, but the act of being in the moment and spitting out your thoughts is not just critical to understanding the things that are more innate within you, but they will also force you to become more in tune with your instincts. It’s almost like performing the first few times you start speaking into a dictaphone, and after a while, you may come to enjoy it, and it will certainly save a lot of stress on your wrists!
Learn From the Other Bloggers Out There
You might feel like you’ve got to go in all guns blazing, but blogging is not an industry that’s necessarily cutthroat in its nature. There are many bloggers who are more than welcome in because there are people who run their own websites, but they also work full-time jobs. If you are someone who wants to make blogging your career, you’ve got to understand what these people have done to make a success of themselves.
Lots of bloggers likely struggled at the very beginning and persevered to become the success they are today. It’s about making sure that you look at other bloggers and see how they go about their business. The great thing about many bloggers is that they document every part of their life, and you should take the opportunity to study them and look at how you could do things better or more uniquely. Lots of full-time bloggers have been within the industry for years and, therefore, have already made plenty of money, so paying attention to what they do can help you understand the ins and outs of the industry. For example:
- Are they monetizing their blog because they’re not getting as much engagement through their blog posts?
- Are they supplementing their written content with video or audio?
- Are they also working full-time as copywriters in other fields?
Because blogging can feel incredibly personal, it’s easy to not venture further afield, but you should get inspiration from others. There are many blogger conventions that you could go to and recognise that blogging is a full-time career for many, but if you are not opting to learn from others, your career might be very short-lived!
Understand the Diverse Nature of the Job
In order to make blogging a sustainable career choice, you’ve got to not just be skilled in blogging itself, but you’ve got to know:
- How to monetize your blog.
- How to design your website in the right way.
- Search Engine Optimisation tactics to rank higher.
- A variety of other technical skills, and so much more.
Many people go into blogging with a wholly romantic notion in their minds that they are able to sit at a computer all day, every day, and put the world to rights, but the reality is that the blogosphere has as much to do with carefully placed Instagram posts, videos, and marketing as it is to do with churning out your innermost thoughts at three o’clock in the morning.
There are some bloggers who have built a career on blogging itself, but these are the people who have learned the value of being a copywriter within other marketing fields. Ultimately, writing blog posts is one subsection of a number of marketing tactics. There is that debate between art and commerce, especially when speaking of bloggers. If you think that you want to create a blog that is welcoming and is a place with unique information, you’ve got to decide whether you’re going to play the game or not.
Search Engine Optimisation is something that becomes quite a surprise to bloggers because they soon realise that in order to get their posts to rank higher, they’ve got to cover a number of fundamental SEO rules. While this can be incredibly overwhelming, the reality is that if you are creating great content that serves the subject matter and links back to a subject that you specialise in, this should go a long way to creating unique content that appeals to people and, therefore, will rank well. But there are a number of other SEO techniques that people use, such as:
- Optimising the website for mobile.
- Ensuring the website layout is not too cramped.
- Having other websites, i.e., other bloggers, link back to you to vouch for your site.
- And so much more.
Blogging is an incredibly diverse job, and those who want to make a living doing it have to diversify. There is a lot to learn, and it’s not just about the written word. This is where many beginner bloggers fall flat because they don’t realise how much effort goes into creating a blog, not just so those words can get out there after you’ve hit “publish,” but so you can make it a sustainable career choice.
With more people than ever attempting to build their careers as a blogger, there is more competition than ever, but it’s important to have a plan and ensure you go into it with your eyes open.
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