Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a Blogger

Posted in Blogging, Web Design2 years ago • Written by 16 Comments

For the most part, being a professional blogger is a freelance position. It doesn’t matter how many different blog sites you are loyal to, even if it is your own, a blogger still has the option to have work published anywhere they feel. Unless you’re a corporate blogger who signed a contract with your company of employment stating you would not do so, but then again that technically might make you more of a copywriter. Moving on, being a full-time or part-time blogger means you’re freelancing on some level. As the typical freelancer asked themselves many questions before taking the big leap, you would think the same would go for bloggers.

In the same fashion as any other occupation, there are certain skill requirements that must be met. Almost every industry blog site has published an article about how blogging can improve your career, and then proceeds to convince the majority of readers that being a blogger is the way to go for them. However these articles, for the most part, are all missing one key aspect to them. Somewhere before, or after, informing the readers about the benefits of being a blogger, there needs to be time to reflect on why one shouldn’t be one.

Not too long ago I had an article published questioning the current state of the blogging industry. In it, one of my main concerns was the quality of work currently filling up most blog pages. That is where this article comes into play. Below you will find a set of questions that need to be addressed before taking on the role of a blogger.

Do You Write Well?


*Image Credit: jjpacres

There is nothing more embarrassing, or hurtful to your career, than having an article published that is structured badly and filled with grammatical errors. Automatically you’re going to have people eager to criticize every little grammatical mistake you make in your articles, that’s just something you have to come to expect as a blogger. Imagine finding an article that interests you and then realize that it is not written well enough for the actual message to be clear. It’s understandable why readers of articles like this voice their frustrations in the comments.

Don’t think that because in school you always got top grades and/or awards for your writing that the praise you received then will automatically translate over to your blogging career. A good writing style and ability level for a blogger allows for any topic to be written in an easy to understand and follow article.  This is not something that comes easily if it is not your natural style of writing.

Are You Going to do the Research?


*Image Credit: UGA College of Ag

Although being a top writer in school may not have much to do with your blogging career, how you went about researching your essays and papers does. For the most part, the average blogger gets started by writing about topics they already know a lot about. This allows them to showcase their knowledge, and is an easy stepping stone on the path to their new occupation. Once the topics they know about dry up so to speak, what then?

This happens a lot in the blogging world sadly. It is a regular occurrence to see a blogger write pretty good articles at first based off the knowledge they already have, but after they start digging into topics outside of that they kinda flop. This is starting to happen more often because there are a lot of bloggers who are not putting in the proper amount of time in the research phase of their writing process.

Do You Care about Your Readers?


*Image Credit: familymwr

Personally, I’m always asking myself and wondering how my readers will react to anything I write that gets published. Questions like “Are they going to understand my reason for writing this?”, “Could I have given that little bit of extra effort to make better?”, “Did I spend enough time on it?” or any number of  other questions. To be a good, well received blogger, you need to ask yourself these types of questions somewhere in the back of your mind. Even the bloggers who claim they only write to please themselves, somewhere along the line will start to if they are building a fan base for their work.

As a blogger your job is to provide quality content FOR your readers.

Do You Enjoy Blogging?


*Image Credit: kiki follettosa

Being a blogger takes up an awful amount of time if you’re doing it right, whether you’re being paid for it or not. The level of joy you have in your chosen topics, and blogging in general, will clearly show in everything you write. If you’re interested in your topic, you’ll probably write a good article. However if you’re is uninterested in the topic you’re writing about, and enjoyment is not a factor, then its going to be harder to produce quality content on a consistent basis.

Are You Going to Give Readers What They Want, Or Need?


*Image Credit: United Way of the Lower Mainland

For the most part, the majority of people who find themselves blogging come from career backgrounds with their daily work always leading towards pleasing someone whether it’s a supervisor, client, board director, or the end-user. It doesn’t really matter who, in the end their job is to do something that pleases someone else.

Blogging is a lot like this, because the one way a blog site can come up in the ranks fast, and keep a consistent strong readership, is to create content that they feel readers want. This of course will get you a ton of sharing of your articles, but will you be doing the community of readers who come to your articles proper justice?

A good blogger should always remember that people don’t always get the best results from receiving what they want. It’s more vital to instead get what one needs.

Why?


*Image Credit: B Rosen

This is a simple question, yet puzzling. Before embarking on this occupational journey you should ask yourself why? Whatever reason it may be, you need to be 100% sure of yourself. If you’re only looking for the possible internet fame associated with the job, then maybe you should just max out your potential in something you’re already doing. If you just want a nice and easy way to make a little extra money, you should ask yourself the previous questions again. Probably missed something important.

In Conclusion

Being a blogger is one of those areas where your interest level in what you do shows very easily, and your reputation rests with your worst article sometimes. It’s not easy, there is not a set amount of hours or days you will be working, and you’re not going to become some overnight sensation. This is a hard job to do, but the rewards greatly outweigh that if you’re really interested in blogging.

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I code, write, and stuff at Five Alarm Interactive. Tweet me: @5alarmint.

16 Comments Best Comments First
  • Saad Benryane

    Sunday, January 29th, 2012 22:34

    2

    Thanks for this article I actually just published my first blog post today to crown my new portfolio! The moment I opened feedly I saw this. It actually confirmed my envy of blogging. Although not my first experience, it got me to “reset” my commitment to blogging!

    0
    • Pirduan

      Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 01:26

      12

      Congrats on your first blog

      0
  • Roman

    Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 02:17

    6

    I think every blogger has more than one blog and one of them is the only for giving people what you want. If you really have something to say and this is your specific topic then you will write articles as easy as you speak, because it’s yours. Another side is blogging for gaining money. This job can be a little harder then everyone thinks.

    0
    • Jamal

      Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 17:46

      8

      True Roman. This article was associated with the blogging profession, not the hobbyist. A hobbyist blogger can begin anytime they wish, no need to question oneself before hand.

      0
    • Jamal

      Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 17:44

      7

      That’s true Roman, this article was geared towards blogging as a paid profession. The blogger who does it for no intent on financial gain, and just for the fun of it, has no questions to ask before hand.

      0
  • kenneth

    Sunday, January 29th, 2012 18:51

    1

    Thanks for the post. It really resonates with me because my buddies and I just started a new online project and we’re having hard time (at least it looks so) to get into the mood of regular writing in your blog.

    You really need to invest a whole lot of time in your blog before you can see ANY result. In the very beginning, it may even look like it’s hopeless, but in fact it’s not.

    And one more thing. In order to be a success, you need to specifically define what you mean a success. And you must be super specific about it. For instance, you can define it as 30 000 unique visits a day on your blog, or $3000 income from your blog activity in a year. That would really help a lot. I recently attended a master class of one Canadian dude and he emphasized that specificity in setting goals makes wonders. What do you think?

    0
    • Jamal

      Friday, February 17th, 2012 00:40

      16

      Kenneth, that’s great that you and your friends started a new project and are blogging. Well, I’m the type of person that as soon as I meet one of my goals the first thought that comes into my mind is how can I outdo what I just did. I have never been the type of person to live in the moment, or feed into my own hype. So I think as long as you use goals as milestones, and always are aiming toward a greater ultimate goal that is way way ahead, then its they’re good to have.

      0
  • Candace

    Sunday, January 29th, 2012 19:25

    4

    You did a good job with your overview of blogging and what it takes to be successful. I agree completely with you.

    0
  • William

    Monday, January 30th, 2012 19:27

    5

    Could not agree more. You should really prepare yourself for a hell of a lot of work (research), especially if you’re not a natural born SEO wizard. It really is a vast area, and takes countless hours of work to make right. Not to mention, of course, your background research on topics you write about. I wouldn’t be, though, too concerned about writing skills in the beginning – you get better over time, and further more, nobody is reading your blog in the beginning, so you have a lot of time to practice ;)

    0
  • Andy

    Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 12:53

    9

    Not agree.. if u go for drill down and calculate all these… u can’t write…

    0
    • Jamal

      Friday, February 10th, 2012 17:23

      15

      Andy, that is not true. Maybe you should read through it one more time. You should have a better understanding then.

      0
  • Aivaras

    Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 14:29

    10

    Relly informative and helpful article, especially for those, who are willing to start blogging. Great tips!

    0
  • Pirduan

    Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 01:25

    11

    A very useful and important tips for wannabe as well as those already blogging. It really forced me to reflect on my blogging experiences. Thanks Jamal for the highlights.

    0
    • Jamal

      Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 16:06

      14

      Thanks for liking it, and taking the time to comment Pirduan.

      0
  • Ashish

    Sunday, January 29th, 2012 18:51

    3

    I satisfy all the above conditions, so I am good to start blogging, right?

    -1
    • Pirduan

      Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 01:29

      13

      Just start and watch out for the pointers Jamal mentioned and you should be ok. Don’t kill your passion. When you reach those writer-block, step back awhile and reflect. I normally do that and Jamal’s article is really helpful.

      +1
  • Pirduan

    Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 01:25

    11

    A very useful and important tips for wannabe as well as those already blogging. It really forced me to reflect on my blogging experiences. Thanks Jamal for the highlights.

    0
    • Jamal

      Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 16:06

      14

      Thanks for liking it, and taking the time to comment Pirduan.

      0
  • Aivaras

    Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 14:29

    10

    Relly informative and helpful article, especially for those, who are willing to start blogging. Great tips!

    0
  • Andy

    Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 12:53

    9

    Not agree.. if u go for drill down and calculate all these… u can’t write…

    0
    • Jamal

      Friday, February 10th, 2012 17:23

      15

      Andy, that is not true. Maybe you should read through it one more time. You should have a better understanding then.

      0
  • Roman

    Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 02:17

    6

    I think every blogger has more than one blog and one of them is the only for giving people what you want. If you really have something to say and this is your specific topic then you will write articles as easy as you speak, because it’s yours. Another side is blogging for gaining money. This job can be a little harder then everyone thinks.

    0
    • Jamal

      Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 17:44

      7

      That’s true Roman, this article was geared towards blogging as a paid profession. The blogger who does it for no intent on financial gain, and just for the fun of it, has no questions to ask before hand.

      0
    • Jamal

      Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 17:46

      8

      True Roman. This article was associated with the blogging profession, not the hobbyist. A hobbyist blogger can begin anytime they wish, no need to question oneself before hand.

      0
  • William

    Monday, January 30th, 2012 19:27

    5

    Could not agree more. You should really prepare yourself for a hell of a lot of work (research), especially if you’re not a natural born SEO wizard. It really is a vast area, and takes countless hours of work to make right. Not to mention, of course, your background research on topics you write about. I wouldn’t be, though, too concerned about writing skills in the beginning – you get better over time, and further more, nobody is reading your blog in the beginning, so you have a lot of time to practice ;)

    0
  • Candace

    Sunday, January 29th, 2012 19:25

    4

    You did a good job with your overview of blogging and what it takes to be successful. I agree completely with you.

    0
  • Ashish

    Sunday, January 29th, 2012 18:51

    3

    I satisfy all the above conditions, so I am good to start blogging, right?

    -1
    • Pirduan

      Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 01:29

      13

      Just start and watch out for the pointers Jamal mentioned and you should be ok. Don’t kill your passion. When you reach those writer-block, step back awhile and reflect. I normally do that and Jamal’s article is really helpful.

      +1
  • Saad Benryane

    Sunday, January 29th, 2012 22:34

    2

    Thanks for this article I actually just published my first blog post today to crown my new portfolio! The moment I opened feedly I saw this. It actually confirmed my envy of blogging. Although not my first experience, it got me to “reset” my commitment to blogging!

    0
    • Pirduan

      Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 01:26

      12

      Congrats on your first blog

      0
  • kenneth

    Sunday, January 29th, 2012 18:51

    1

    Thanks for the post. It really resonates with me because my buddies and I just started a new online project and we’re having hard time (at least it looks so) to get into the mood of regular writing in your blog.

    You really need to invest a whole lot of time in your blog before you can see ANY result. In the very beginning, it may even look like it’s hopeless, but in fact it’s not.

    And one more thing. In order to be a success, you need to specifically define what you mean a success. And you must be super specific about it. For instance, you can define it as 30 000 unique visits a day on your blog, or $3000 income from your blog activity in a year. That would really help a lot. I recently attended a master class of one Canadian dude and he emphasized that specificity in setting goals makes wonders. What do you think?

    0
    • Jamal

      Friday, February 17th, 2012 00:40

      16

      Kenneth, that’s great that you and your friends started a new project and are blogging. Well, I’m the type of person that as soon as I meet one of my goals the first thought that comes into my mind is how can I outdo what I just did. I have never been the type of person to live in the moment, or feed into my own hype. So I think as long as you use goals as milestones, and always are aiming toward a greater ultimate goal that is way way ahead, then its they’re good to have.

      0

Comments are closed.

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