Over the past decade or so, changes in tech have opened up all sorts of careers and job roles that wouldn’t have previously even existed. Careers advisers in schools and other educational institutes are now being faced with people who aspire to follow alternative careers that are still establishing themselves. I recently spoke at a school in Downtown LA and while some students said they were interested in more traditional careers like a doctor or a police officer, others were more interested in becoming entrepreneurs.
You see, technology has given rise to a generation of kids who want to become social media influencers, video game designers, and bloggers. These aspirations, of course, have also carried through to those of us who are actually entering the working field or are already in the midst of the working world and considering a change of career.
If you asked me when I was in college, i'd probably never have even fathomed that I'd be blogging, speaking, and posting on social media to earn a living.
Read on for more info on blogging as a career.
So, You're a "Blogger"
Now, if someone asks what field of work you’re looking at going into and you reply “blogging”, don’t be all too surprised if you are met with raised eyebrows and an overruling sense of skepticism. Generally, people consider blogging something that you do in your spare time. A hobby of sorts. That's how blogging started for me.
I can remember some of my friends looking at me with the side eye, at the mere thought of someone making a living and paying their bills by writing blog posts. But, nowadays, the reality is that you can actually make a more than comfortable living off the back of a successful blog.
So, How do You Make Money?
So, we are all well aware that you can set up a blog for free. There are various platforms out there which offer free blog sites where you can post whatever you please to your heart’s content. But how do you turn this into money? The most common way of earning money from your blog is to monetize your page by placing advertisements on your site. If you have a large following and your blog generates a lot of traffic as more and more people visit to read your posts, companies will want to place their products and links to their page around your post. Take a look at Google AdSense. This will take your readership into account and put you in touch with companies who want these same people’s attention.
Another way to make cash is to sell your own digital products on your page. This could include merchandise, e-books, online courses or workshops, and apps, plugins, or themes. As people make their way onto your page, you can offer these goods alongside your free, entertaining posts.
More Readers, More Benefits
As you can see, to make a success (and the money that comes hand in hand with success) of your blog, you need a large readership. So how do you go about this? Many bloggers mistakenly think that they will draw in hundreds or thousands of readers simply from writing and posting and are disappointed when they only amass a few followers over the months or even years. It’s important that you remember that your readership won’t necessarily come to you.
There are around 150 million blogs on the internet, and this number is only set to increase. You need to actively draw in readers. Otherwise, how are they meant to even know you exist, nevermind find you?
Luckily, there are a few different ways to get your blog name out there. First, consider writing guest posts on blogs that already have large readerships. A guest post is essentially a post that you write, and someone else uses on their page. Make sure that your name lies in the field entitled “author” and try to slip a link to your own blog in the piece. If someone likes what you have to say, they’re likely to follow the link and subscribe to your feed.
For more information on how to make a success of this, take a look at Guest Blogging Tips - How To Get Your Guest Posts Published. Another way to direct traffic to your site is to spread across as many platforms as possible. While you should only publish your own posts on your site (besides guest blogging), you should give people a taste of what you’re all about with snippets on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. People are more likely to notice you on these largely visual feeds and will get a taste for more, making their way to your blog to read more.
Get Your Brand Together
Now, considering there are 150 million blogs out there, you want to make sure you stand out as a professional rather than falling amongs the ranks of personal blogs? Well, there are a few things that you can try out. First, you want to establish yourself as a brand of sorts. Even if you’re writing under your own name, you want to make yourself a household name with consistent expectations. When people head to your blog, you want them to know exactly what they’re going to get.
So, the first step towards branding yourself is to consider buying your own domain name. Now, if you have a very common name, it’s extremely unlikely that you’re going to be able to secure it followed by “dot com”. You might have to come up with something a little more creative or incorporate dashes and numbers. Second, invest in a good theme or layout. It should be consistent with your style, easy to navigate, and easy to read. Next, try to get your pieces published in other publications. It’s always beneficial to be able to associate your name with highly successful, professional brands.
Now, you shouldn’t assume that you can become a successful blogger overnight. In fact, the venture could take months or even years to perfect. You may have to blog alongside another job so that you can support yourself while you build up a readership, develop yourself as a brand, and start earning serious money from your venture. But the patience will be more than worth it.
Just remember to stay professional, consistent, and dedicated to making your blog the best that it can be.
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