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Blogging for pleasure is how many blogging professionals started their careers. Yes, blogging can be a career.
Many top tier bloggers start blogging as a hobby simply sharing something they believe in. In the process, they discovered there was a demand for their information. That reader interest resulted in their hobby blog morphing into a career.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘career’ as “a profession for which one trains, and which is undertaken as a permanent calling”.
For many bloggers who first started blogging for pleasure, it was on-the-job training. With persistence, practice, and participating actively on blogger forums and other websites where they could develop the skill of blogging, their blogging hobby became a career. Blogging eventually replaced their regular job.
Can you earn a living through blogging? Absolutely, and more.
Bloggers do this by monetizing their blog. Examples of how bloggers might monetize their blog is through marketing their products or services, membership opportunities, affiliate marketing, ad placement, and many other ways.
In this article, we will be discussing blogging for pleasure with an eye to, perhaps, you becoming a professional blogger.
If you are simply sharing information about a hobby and not interested in building followers, then commitment, in this case, means working on your blog when opportunity arises.
However, if you want more than a notepad to publish your stuff, then there are a few blogging commitments you will have to make.
These include publishing posts at least twice a week. Twice is minimum. More often is better.
I treat my blog like a business. For anyone who wants to be successful, goals are essential. I use a goal setting and goal management software for high achievers to keep me on track.
By-the-way, I generally don’t post on weekends. I may set time aside to do some research or check out other areas of interest. But this time, I reserve for family. This doesn’t mean there is no family time during the week. As a blogger, I have control over weekdays as well. But for me, blogging is a career. Yes, I initially started blogging for pleasure.
I’m often asked, “How do you come up with ideas to blog about?”
When I first started, it was all me. Sounds a little big headed. I don’t mean it in that sense.
It was all me because I had no followers. I didn’t know who my readers were. In fact, in the early days, other than a few friends and family, there were no readers.
Eventually I started getting some followers. They asked questions. Some commented about words or references that were unclear. Others asked for more detail.
I started answering their questions. A key lesson I learned was to not hold back the secret sauce. If I had the answer, I shared it. If I didn’t, I found it. The more I did that, the more questions and ideas surfaced for blog posts.
Here is another important lesson I learned about how to get ideas for posts. Always finish your blog post with a call-to-action.
A call-to-action can be an invite to subscribe to your newsletter, buy a product or some other monetization strategy. It can also be asking for comments, questions, and ideas for follow up posts.
By-the-way, later in this post, I mention people who have jobs where they are on commission or get a portion of each sale ought to have a blog. Even if it is a one pager about who they are, what they do, and a call-to-action for referrals, that would be a great way to increase their income. And, just imagine if they posted a couple of times a week about their product or service. How much more business would they get?
Many bloggers write as if they are communicating with a room full of people. They forget that it is not a roomful of people reading their blog. It is only one person. One set of eyeballs.
Whether blogging for pleasure or blogging as a professional, write as if you are having a conversation with someone sitting beside you.
Ensure your words are neither above nor below the person you are speaking to. This is another reason why it is important to know your audience. Just as in a face-to-face conversation, your communication style needs to match the reader.
When preparing a post, I place emphasis on making it easy to read. As much as possible, I write short, simple sentences. And, I purposefully chose to use short paragraphs, sub-headings, and images.
You might get away with a free blog site if blogging for pleasure.
I say might get away with it as chances of growing a large following are much more difficult. Even scarier, free blog hosting means you don’t own it. This translates to you having very little control for future growth.
Other deterrents to serious blogging on a free hosted blog provider include restrictions on branding, SEO, monetization, and performance.
If you want to be taken seriously as a professional blogger or to even brand what it is you do, you need your own blog hosting, domain name, and email address that ends in the blog domain name.
In case you are just getting started as a blogger, here is a spoiler alert – hosting your own blog is not expensive.
The question is really a no brainer. Of course, you could. Here’s great news, at less than $7.00 per month you can get:
* Domain name,
* Email addresses associated with the domain name,
* Content Manager Platform (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others),
* Support 24/7 365 days/year,
* 99.9% Uptime,
* Tutorials, and more.
Here’s another question.
Let’s say you are looking for lawn care. Would it be easier to find a review on someone who has an email address like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org?
Or let’s say you are looking for a hair salon. Which of these looks more professional, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org?
Get the picture.
You cannot do this on a free hosted blog site. So, does $7/month seem outrageous?
Not at all.
One lawn care contract or even getting one new customer for a perm would more than pay for your investment.
And get this, let’s say you are in a job where you get paid commission or a portion of each sale. If you want the people you served to keep coming back to you, then you really ought to have a personal webpage and email address. Yep, you can do that for less than $7.00 US per month.
A call-to-action is part of your branding. To be effective, you need each of the above. The good news is it won’t break the bank.
Whether blogging for pleasure or looking for a career change, implementing each of the 4 dynamite tactics to grow your blog will propel you much faster to success.