A blog is a regularly updated webpage that is usually written in a conversation or informal style. A blog features diary-type commentary and links to articles on other websites. Blogging involves regularly updating and adding new material to a blog. Vlogging (video-blogging) is videoing yourself talking rather than writing!
How to get into blogging – 6 steps
1.Discover your passion
Starting blogging or vlogging means you will give up a lot of your free time. It also means you will be doing it for nothing. There is no money in blogging, not at first and not for most. Discover a topic that is going to keep your interest ignited – your passion will shine through and attract readers or watchers. The only way to keep coming up with ideas for new posts is to be truly passionate about your topic. Think - Zoella wouldn’t be half as fun to watch if she seemed bored or unsure about what she was saying!
2.Discover your format
Blogging isn’t just writing. Blogging can be done in audio (podcats), video blogs (vlogs) we already mentioned or if you are very artistic you can illustrate your ideas.
3. Choose your platform
There are many great free blogging platforms. Here are some of your options
4. Start blogging/vlogging
Write and record away. You will learn as you go. The best way to learn is to do.
Read blogs, books, newspapers, magazines, social media sites and watch vlogs. You can’t be an effective content-creator unless you are a ravenous content-consumer especially in the area that interests you! Say sports is your thing - what are other people doing in this area? Most great authors/writers/bloggers have a thirst for knowledge. It’s a great way to get ideas and avoid writer’s block (when you get stuck for things to write/talk about).
6. Join the virtual community
Share content, leave comments and join the discussion. When starting from scratch, you will have to “get known” before someone cares enough to visit your blog, read your posts and leave a comment.
- Find other blogs in your niche (this also helps you 'know your market'. This means having an understanding of what people want to listen and read about.
- Find LinkedIn and Facebook groups relating to your blog-topic
Leave comments and lots of them. Your comments lead other readers to your blog. Build up a network! When you leave a comment, share it on facebook and twitter. Let everyone know about this awesome post / blog you’ve discovered. Share the love and the love will come back to you. Soon other bloggers will be sharing your content. Warning: Karma online is the same as Karma in real life – leave negative comments – you will get them back. Leave positive, thoughtful feedback and it will come back to you. Be as active and positive as possible.
What skills do you need to become a professional blogger?
A flair for writing - Develop this through practice, reading and take creative writing courses.
Familiarity with basic computer programming
Familiarity with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Graphic Designing skills
Routine and discipline
You will need to write and publish posts frequently and regularly. To do this you will need to write a timetable and stick to it.
You won’t become a blogging sensation overnight. Nor will you make money overnight, if ever. Therefore you have be patient and be in it for the love of blogging.
Blogging takes up as much time as a full time job. You will need to read, research, teach yourself new skills, keep up to date with trends and knowledge. You will also need to write, post, find appropriate images and videos and market yourself. You will have to work exceptionally hard, especially if you are blogging part time. Maintaining a job and a regular blog is not easy. Putting in the hours daily is what you will have to do if you want to succeed in blogging.
How can you develop these skills?
Self-taught – lots of internet research, reading books and practice.
Take a relevant degree course such as:
Take evening classes such as creative writing and web design.
How much money can you make from blogging?
If you want to make big money and fast, then blogging probably isn’t for you. It takes years to start making money from a blog and even then it is small amounts of pocket money, not enough to live off. The number of people who do blogging as a full time job is very small. The bottom line is – making a living from blogging won’t come quickly or easily. Should that put you off blogging? No! The best thing to do is have blogging as a side gig, a hobby or a part-time job. And if you manage to build up endless followers and make millions – fab, hand in your notice at your 9 – 5. Until then, you have to be realistic. Good luck and happy blogging.
Further information and advice
Get ideas for your blog : www.blogmetrics.org
Find out more about how to become a blogger - www.becomeablogger.com
Watch free videos on how to become a blogger - www.becomeablogger.com/freevideos
National council for the training of journalists - www.nctj.com
Written by Jen Neal
Edited Miranda Glavin
Copyright Elev8Careers 2015