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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Jamal is a young freelance web designer, web developer, writer, and blogger based in Atlanta, Ga. His work can be found at his online identity Five Alarm Interactive(FAI). He is a college student and philosophical poet by day, and passionate professional by night. You can keep up with him on Twitter @5alarmint.
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