Blogging is mainstream. Hundreds of thousands of bloggers have built a full-time job around it. So, if you want to blog your life, and build your own blogging career, you can too. You’re your own boss; you work the hours you choose. Moreover, you can write about (almost) anything you like.
A blogging career can be the ultimate freedom. But… while new bloggers start out with high hopes, those dreams can come crashing down. You can avoid that. Be clear-eyed about blogging. Know what it is, and what it isn’t. Also, be clear-eyed about yourself. In your first year or two, you need to be confident in the face of nay-sayers, who are often your nearest and dearest. Tune them out.
I started blogging long before it was fashionable; 15 years ago. My first few blogs died on the vine. In those days, technology was a nightmare. Then tools like Typepad and WordPress emerged and blogging became much easier.
How to Get Started.
Here’s some wonderful advice. Blogging As A Business: How I Turned My Blog Into My Career suggests:
… my advice would be to just stay true to yourself. Write about something you’re passionate and knowledgeable about, whether that’s beauty or babies or goldfish. Don’t get bogged down in the technical stuff at the start and enjoy yourself with it.
So, what are you passionate about? You may or may not be able to make money from your passions and lifestyle, you won’t know unless you try. Blog your life. You can blog about following your dreams, traveling the world, raising babies, or meeting any of life’s many challenges. Some bloggers even create popular blogs about getting out of debt. These kinds of blogs are popular because people can relate to them.
If you haven’t run a blog before, give yourself time to learn, grow, and make mistakes. Yes, some bloggers seem to have a magic touch. They create a blog, and they’re an overnight success. When you dig deeper however, there’s always a reason for the “overnight” success. Most blogs take time to find an audience, and become established.
Experiment. If you get a crazy-wonderful idea for a blog, start the blog. Don’t ask 50 of your closest friends for their opinions. They don’t know whether your weird idea will be successful. No one knows – it’s all in the execution.
Go with your instincts. Start a blog on a free service like Blogger, WordPress.com, or Tumblr, so you’re not spending money. You can always move the blog later if it turns out to be a huge success.
How to Get Paid.
There are endless ways to make money from a blog.
Tip: don’t post AdSense ads if you’re blogging about a popular topic. There are too many other blogs chasing that income.
Look for alternative revenue sources. The blogger at My Career as a Professional Blogger for example, writes sponsored content:
So along with writing about my passions: my family, food, films and the constant juggle that is freelance life with kids, I also post a lot of self written sponsored content for brands I genuinely love including Evian, Hobbs, Ebay, John Lewis, Waitrose, Very, Zalando, Fairy and many, many more.
Be aware that before anyone will sponsor a post on your blog, your blog needs to be established, and have an audience.
Becoming established, and getting that audience, happens with time, patience, and care. I’ve said that any blog will repay the time and attention you give it many times over. Trust yourself. If you’re enthusiastic about your topic, you will get an audience.
What’s happening in your life that you could turn into a blog? If you face challenges, other people face similar challenges. Blog about whatever is happening, while keeping a FOCUS in mind.
Tip: Give Your Blog a Focus.
Remember the Julie/Julia Project? Julie Powell started a blog: Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. The blog became a book, and a movie.
The blog’s focus contributed to its success. Consider the in-built suspense. Would Julie Powell make it through an entire year, and a cookbook? When she started her blog, foodie blogs weren’t as popular as they are today. If Ms Powell hadn’t had real goals – 524 recipes – she wouldn’t have won a following as fast as she did.
Here’s another example of a focused blog, 300 Sandwiches:
My boyfriend E is obsessed with two things: Star Wars and sandwiches. During a Sunday lunchtime viewing of “Return of the Jedi” he told me: “you are 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!” … And so, I got cooking …
A cute idea, and it doesn’t matter if it’s apocryphal or not.
Sorry about the food-blog examples. There are many other examples of blogs which have a definite focus, so see if you can develop one of your own, once you decide on a general topic for your blog.
Finally, and most importantly of all: please, have fun. Not only will you be more creative, but you’ll give your blog its best chance for success.
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