Some bloggers hate the term ‘professional blogger’ other bloggers like me don’t really have an opinion on it. For me the term means I earn my living being a blogger online.
When I started my blog 6 years ago I had no idea what it would grow into, nor how it would become so deeply seated into my family it is like another child that I grow and nurture. Not only is it an online diary of sorts but it’s also become my therapy.
I have lived the last 6 years of my life online, sharing the good, the bad and the middling. I have worked with some amazing brands from Mark Warner, Britax to Coca Cola and we have been on some amazing once in a life time experiences and its all because of what I do here on this blog.
Obviously I am not going to sit here and say how wonderful it all is without mentioning the darker side to living your life online. First up there are the online trolls, we have all seen them in action and so far I have managed to avoid the ones that attack you in the open the whole but every time I log on I half expect some vile comment to pop up because that’s what can happen, any day any time. However I wasn’t quite so lucky when someone ripped off a PR in my name for a high value product and I think we all learnt a valuable lesson from that about double checking who people are when they get in touch.
Also getting noticed by readers and even prospective companies that might want to work with bloggers is a minefield. Its damn hard work, you need to grow you website and following before you even get half a glance from anyone and that can take years.
Over the last 2 years I have seen new bloggers come and go and I have seen many become disheartened with blogging and I have to say it really is an emotional rollercoaster that you have no idea about when you first start out. You work long hours trying to juggle family life around home life and for me that has included working full-time with no childcare for the last 2 years, however I am still just as passionate about my blog as I was the day I started it.
So for any new bloggers out there here are some my top tips to long-term blogging and making it your job:
- Pick a website name that dissent involve ‘Mummy’ having a website without tying you down to one set genre means if in 5 years you are no longer writing about that topic you can evolve into something more relevant for you without having to start again. Also try to make it unique and if you are not sure if there are any other blogs out there with that name .. Google it!
- It is not going to happen overnight. Starting a blog and expecting review items or money to land in your lap because you started a blog 3 months ago and spent 3 hours a day on it is not going to get you the mega site views often needed to convince the much sought after brand they might want to work with you – When I started I was working on my blog practically 7 days a week for hours and hours and it still took 2-3 years to even get a sniff of anything.
- Trying to trick Google with writing nothing but guest posts on other people blogs in order to boost your (DA) Domain Authority is spammy. Google will notice when your site starts gaining back links at a rapid rate of knots and yet there is barely any content on there. The best way to build your sites strength and increase its views is to write content on your own site that is unique, informative and engaging.
- Remember your time is not free. Some bloggers are what I would class as hobby bloggers and that’s not by any means a negative but to me it means it’s not their full-time job and so they earn no money what so ever from blogging or their social media channels. But if you are making blogging your income you need to make sure you know your own worth. That includes taking the time out to keep good records of income and expenditure and when pricing up for jobs to ensure you know how to charge to include the admin side of being self-employed.
- If you are wanting to earn money from your online presence, from blogging, youtube to Instagram the most important piece of advice I can give is claim a space in your house as your own. Everyone’s home set up is different and I have been lucky to have a spare room that I have finally taken over as an office. Having a set space, even if it’s a little desk in the corner of a family room means you will be much more productive.
- Don’t be drawn into having to buy special ‘blogging’ items. A good quality camera is a must (although that’s something I saved for over time) A laptop or computer is also really helpful although these days many bloggers work one their tablets or phones too. You will also need some general stationary that you might find on an online stationery supplier website like files for accounts, paper and ink. ‘Blogging Planners’ are not essential and nothing you can’t do yourself with a pen and paper.
- My final piece of advice is if you are looking to become an online professional blogger, vlogger or influencer you need to make sure you set your self up as self-employed as soon as possible and along with keeping good records of income and expenditure you need to find yourself a great accountant. Mine has been amazing and I no longer stress about my accounts or sorting my own tax, he checks my records, invoices and receipts and then submits everything for me.
I can’t believe just how much the online world has changed just in the 6 years since I started blogging and now having the office space to be able to shut out the family noise and work it is priceless. Now to kit out my new office with all the pretties along with the essentials so I can really get to work.