The Difference Between Amateur Blogs and Professional Blogs
9% of bloggers make between $1,000-$9,999 a month. While many dream of entering this earnings bracket, it's easy to get stuck in the world of amateur blogs. That's because there are some important steps that are needed for blogging success.
Not sure where to start? Read on for more tips on going from amateur to full-time blogger.
The Difference Between Amateur Blogs and Professional Blogs
It seems like these days everyone has their own blog on a wide variety of subjects. However, you want to dive into the emotional side of taking your amateur blog and raising it to a high-end commercial blog level.
While a major element of successful blogging is time, there are various branding, styling, and marketing aspects that can dictate the success of a blog.
Whether you're looking to turn your blog into a side hustle or full-time gig, read on to learn more about the important tips that can make your blog a success.
A Target Niche
There is no end to the number of blogs currently running online. Due to this fact, it can be difficult to stand out among the crowd.
An easy way to avoid this problem is by carving out a niche market from the get-go. For example, instead of having a healthy food blog, you may decide to have a vegan food blog with a focus on Asian and International cuisine.
The more defined you can be within your market, the easier it will be to stand out as an original voice.
Many bloggers operate under the misconception that in order to write about a certain subject they have to be an expert on it. However, it doesn't matter if you're an industry expert or novice.
What your audience is really looking for is a unique voice and back story. Your audience wants to connect, and feel that they truly know you on a deeper level.
For example, sticking with the example of Asian cuisine, perhaps you have no experience in preparing Asian cuisine but married into an Asian family and are deciding to pursue the cuisine type in an effort to connect with your husband.
Maybe you even throw in a funny story on when you botched a favorite family dish.
Readers want to find someone with a touch of experience and plenty of character.
A Professional Look
Research has shown that a majority of website visitors will leave the website if they find it unattractive. To avoid this it's important to make your website both beautiful and user-friendly.
The good news is you don't have to be a master web designer in order to create a beautiful blog. There are a number of web design platforms that come with pre-created templates that are ready to go.
As the success of your blog grows and you're able to bring in some extra money, you may consider hiring a web designer to upgrade the site.
However, to get started an elegant template site should do the trick.
Even the most beautiful meal can look gray and dull without the use of a proper camera and some basic Photoshop skills.
Again, this doesn't mean you need to be an expert, it just means that you need to know enough to ensure that your photos look good.
A simple visit to Pinterest or other photography related blogs should give you the information you need to create stellar photos.
You also don't need to invest in an expensive camera. The cameras found on today's smartphones can easily compete with some of the higher end, professional grade cameras currently on the market.
With the help of a handy iPhone, the right apps, and a great design eye, you will be able to create stunning photos that can compete with any popular blog.
Saying Just Enough
If you have visited blogs in the past, chances are you'll find that some blogs have a tendency to overshare ( i.e. you know the children's names, ages and shoe sizes). Yeah, people don't need to know that much.
Then there are some blogs that really don't share anything personal.We believe the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.
This means you can get away with not sharing intimate childhood memories while still sharing the fact that a recipe’s inspiration came from your son's recent birthday party.
Try to allow at least 5 -10% of your blog post to be based on real-life anecdotal stories.
By the time your audience reads through a few blogs they should feel like they are a good friend catching up with you over coffee.
A Great Content Grab
You'll find there are recurring themes in each of the successful blogs you visit. You enter the website and not long after you've gotten there a familiar pop up appears on your screen with some cool offering.
This pop-up usually offers some kind of valuable content in the form of a list or a guide that you will receive in exchange for your email address.
This type of email grab is extremely popular on blogs due to their high rate of success. Not only does the content grab push the person to give their email address, but it then trains them to head directly to their email account to look for your email.
This marks the beginning of a habit.
Also, it's important to remember that there's a much higher retention rate for those who opt to receive something than those who feel like they're being spammed by email messages.
The stronger your list the better your following. More on that next.
A Strong Email Campaign
There are a number of people that are operating under the false belief that email marketing is dead. However, it continues to be one of the most successful marketing tools that can be used.
Successful bloggers understand that their audience has a life. Which is why they have a consistent email campaign to keep their blog on the forefront of their audience's memory.
A valuable email campaign does not have to be loaded with content. After all, that's what your blog is there for.
Instead, it should read more like a short letter penned by a dear friend. Obviously, within that letter, there will be a link pointing the reader to your most recent blog post.
Not only is this a great way to reach out to your audience from time to time, but it's also another opportunity to forge a relationship with them.
A Steady Social Media Flow
Successful bloggers understand the value of social media and leave no platform untouched. From Facebook to Twitter, and even Pinterest, the most engaging bloggers are those that know which type of content their audience responds to.
Social media is also a valuable tool as it gives your readers the opportunity to share your content. Enter word-of-mouth advertising.
Some bloggers even create closed Facebook groups for their audience. This creates a feeling of exclusivity that audiences love.
Monetizing Your Blog
Successful blog owners also know that they have to be direct in their attempts to monetize their blogs.
Fortunately, there is more than one way to earn income off of your blog content. Read on to learn more about earning a solid income for all of your hard work.
Remember we said that later on, you may want to go back and hire a web designer? Having extra advertising space is a great reason to do just that.
Once you can prove that you have consistent traffic coming to your website, you can start to show these results to potential advertisers who will pay you to run their ads on your website. Remember, advertisers love to see those results!
There are also third-party services that will connect you to those looking for advertising and genres similar to yours.
Who doesn't love free stuff? As a successful blogger, these are just one of the many perks you have to look forward to. Different companies may contact you to represent them by including their product in a recipe or simply mentioning it on your blog.
While many of the sponsorships are done simply for trade or free products, some also compensate with good old cash.
Once you've grown a solid following there are other websites that could benefit from such exposure. This means you can get paid to write blogs that are featured on other people's websites. Which is the big goal here right?
Typically this requires that you direct your audience to the other website to make it worth their while. However, you will find that guest posting can become another lucrative source of income.
The Help You Need to Boot Your Blog Business
With the right marketing effort, amateur blogs can become money making machines. However, marketing often comes with a stark learning curve that can be difficult to overcome.