Gosh, we’ve all thought about writing professionally from time to time, and learning how to be a professional blogger sounds like a pretty good gig. Sometimes it really can be a great gig; and sometimes it is just a dud.
In truth, there is a lot to commend becoming a professional blogger. For starters, it is a job you can take anywhere. If you move a lot, or travel a lot, this may be a natural for you.
And it offers all the independence you could want. You can work your own hours, no matter what hours those are, even 3:00 am if you prefer.
And it will give you very valuable business skills.
So what makes a “great” blogger great, and a “so so” blogger just that?
Here’s the difference. The great bloggers have a few traits in common:
- They write snazzy articles;
- They change writing styles to fit the blog;
- They are very knowledgeable in a particular field;
- They know how to contact prospective blog owners.
There are a few more traits that are helpful, but these are the BIGGIES.
I once tried to hire a few writers for a large site I was managing. It was just more writing than I could keep up with. I contacted several writing sites, got samples from several writers, and hired one to write some articles. Those articles were absolute duds; I couldn’t even use them.
So I tried again. Same topics, different writer. Same result. In fact, the articles were almost identical. I did some investigating and discovered that all that these writers had done was search the internet for the topic, pull some sentences out of someone else’s work, and write some connecting lines. yuk.
If your writing is no better than that, don’t even think about learning to be a professional blogger. You will fail miserably, and justifiably so.
The Inside Scoop To Being A Successful Professional Blogger
There really is a secret to success, actually two secrets.
The first key is to specialize in a field. Know that field so well that you can write a fresh article all by yourself. Research is great, yes. But know to transpose ideas into your own style.
And THAT’s a lot harder than it sounds. An editor once told me, “I love the information. Now give me some attitude.” I didn’t know what she meant until I read her own articles. POV. Point of view. Perspective. Ideas. Even controversy is better than namsy-pansy.
The second secret is to choose a lucrative field. Do you truly think that an article on knitting will garner the same fees an article on hedge funds? (In case you don’t know, “hedge funds” are a very sophisticated investment vehicle on Wall Street.)
What Professional Bloggers Earn
As I was researching this article, the real shocker was when I discovered what professional bloggers earn. I think this is pretty accurate because I saw basically the same thing in several places:
That is scary. Two-thirds of professional bloggers earn LESS than $25 per piece, often as low as $5 or $10 per blog. A blog post can easily require two or more hours to research, write, edit, locate image, polish, and send off. And that isn’t even including time to negotiate the writing project in the first place. Since freelancers don’t earn any benefits, no sick time, no vacation, no holidays, well … this is just a low rate of pay.
In some countries this is a great rate of pay, but not in the US. For those in the US and similar countries, I have a suggestion. Yes, do become a professional blogger. Hone your skills. Learn about other blogs, how they operate, what works, what doesn’t work. Look at successful topics and how different blogs approach the same topic from different angles.
The Secret to YOUR Success
Then start a blog of your own.
Hey, you’ve got the skills. You are creative. You know how to write. You are comfortable on the internet. You know what works, and what doesn’t.
You’ve got every skill you need to be a huge success with your own site.
Creating your own site, and making it profitable, won’t happen over night, but it will happen. Keep your blogging gig until your site takes off, then sail off into the entrepreneurial sunset.
And if you don’t know where to start, START HERE.
I believe in SUCCESS. I believe in INDEPENDENCE. I believe that YOU CAN HAVE EVERYTHING IN LIFE YOU WANT. Just take one step, then keep on going. I’ll be right there with you, every step of the way.