Do you feel like you are ready to take your blogging more seriously and maybe start earning some form of income from your writing? Are you ready to be recognised as a professional blogger and wondering how to go about it?
Currently in my fourth year of blogging, I have gone through just writing my thoughts on whatever popped into my head to writing on things that interest me and to a more defined area of lifestyle. Through these stages which I choose to call the different shades of blogging I have learnt through mentorship, self-research and hands on practicing of tips provided by industry leaders. Each shade gave me insight on the tools I needed and essential skills I had to develop. The following are simple yet essential tools and skills (hard and soft) that will boost you to being a power blogger.
1. A Business Card.
During a semi-formal interview by a client with another blogger to engage our blogging services, the client after asking a series of questions proceeded to ask for our business cards. I handed out mine smoothly whilst the other blogger remarked on not having one and proceeded to tear out a piece of paper with a number on. Unprofessional. Invest in a business card even if its just your name and Twitter handle. Make it memorable as well. It shows professionalism on your part and a sign of branding investment in your writing. Never underestimate the power of a business card.
2. Read The Right Stuff
I read Dale Carnegie ‘How to win friends and influence society in the Digital Age’ for almost three months and its been a powerful resource. It totally changed my mindset on how to use social media to connect with people without losing the social touch. The book gives simple guidelines on connecting with your readers whilst learning to become influential outside of Facebook and the other tools. To take your blogging to another level requires an investment into reading from industry leaders on communication in the digital age, content marketing, social media strategies etc.
3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
You need to pack out of your comfort zone if you plan to interview people for your blog. Learn how to become confident with public speaking and interviewing celebrities or personalities. This is a soft skill you must develop especially if you are the shy type but the one with an interest in interviewing personalities. I have learnt to develop this skill over time and it has boosted my face-to-face interviews I have held with personalities like Ebo Whyte. I got a lot of help by reading Larry King’s ‘How to Talk To Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere’.
His humorous style of writing and narrating his early experiences on radio and TV were brilliant tips! Its a must read!
4. Whats Your Gadget?
Blogging and technology are like Bonnie and Clyde-inseparable. Invest in an iPad or any tablet because there will be a time when a client would want to see your work and instead of a website link which you promise to email later, you can show your site right there in the meeting. This communicates to the client that you are a blogger on the go and very much in-tune with live events. And do make sure you protect these gadgets! I recently tried out a tempered glass screen protector from Apparafix for my iPhone to save me the cost of replacement. Always put on your Find My iPhone and Find My iPad!
5. Improve on Your Content
The reason why you have many of your friends coming to your blog is because of the uniqueness of your content. How I used to write a year ago is very much different compared to now. Follow social media gurus like Mike Seltzner of Social Media Examiner for amazing tips on content marketing, blog improvement and everything to lead you through the social media jungle. I listen to their podcast on iTunes whilst sitting in crazy 5pm traffic and always wowed by the tips shared by their panellists. Can your content get more interesting than it already is?
6. Get Visual. Like Really Visual.
The world is growing more visual by the day and in 2015 its going to explode according to Forbes. Invest in a great camera, not necessarily an expensive DSLR but more of an entry level camera like the T2i or T3i. Like its said everywhere, ‘ A picture is worth a thousand words!’ this is very true for your blog as well. Unless its a more textual theme then you can stick to that but having a blog focusing on fashion, entertainment, food, etc requires high quality photos and videos! Go on YouTube if you can to promote your blog and get new visitors to your site.
7. Image Tools
Canva.com , Pixabay and Getty Images are my go-to source for quality images and free text to create fun graphics, charts, infographics, etc. They are easy to get around with and backing up to my previous point on going visual these are the right tools to help you do just that.
I could go on and on but I am going to end here with my Lucky 7 essentials that every blogger needs to optimise their blogging and move from ‘just ok’ to super blogger! What has worked for you as a blogger? What would you like to see improve about your blogging? Ask away!