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Added: September 24, 2021
Blogging is one of the most effective types of content marketing for businesses. According to data, companies that blog regularly end up receiving 97% more links to their website.
That is why businesses invest heavily in content marketing these days. According to a survey, marketers spend around 40% of their total marketing budget on content marketing.
With content marketing becoming an essential part of today’s business strategy, every company needs a professional blogger.
In this blog post, we’ll look at the definition of a professional blogger, the key skills that differentiate a novice writer from a professional blogger, and how professional bloggers can drive growth for any brand.
We’ll also share tips and techniques to get professional blogging right, and examples of successful professional bloggers.
What Does It Mean to Be a Professional Blogger?
A professional blogger is someone who has monetized their blog (generally with ads or affiliate marketing), has a strong content strategy, and is always looking for ways to grow their audience. Other professional bloggers may not monetize their own blogs but have enough skill and experience to write for companies and charge for the blogs they write.
Professional bloggers are individuals or small teams who blog for their living. They put the same amount of work into growing their blogs as someone would with any other full-time job.
On the other hand, an amateur blogger is someone who writes a blog for fun, does very little (if any) outreach, never monetizes their blog, and does not have a content strategy.
There are both pros and cons to being a professional blogger. The main advantage is that you can make money blogging, but the disadvantage is you have to work hard for it. Although blogging can give you financial freedom, it doesn’t necessarily mean earning six figures off your blog, at least not right away.
Popular professional bloggers do make a lot of money, and once you get to that stage, a six-figure annual income is not out of reach.
Professional bloggers can monetize their blogs through:
- Content subscriptions
- Affiliate links
- Online courses, coaching, or consulting
On the other hand, employed professional bloggers are more like content marketers. They can earn well too, and apart from good writing skills, they usually need to have knowledge of the following:
- Ad copywriting
- Email marketing
- Social media management
5 Essential Skills a Professional Blogger Must Master
To become a professional blogger, there are very few skills required, but they are all incredibly important.
We’re talking about:
- The ability to write effective content
- Marketing & networking aptitude
- Basic SEO understanding
- Audience analysis
Let’s look at these in a bit more detail.
#1. The ability to write effective content
This is a no-brainer. As a professional blogger, you want to attract audiences with your content.
You can only engage your audience if you yourself are engaged by what you’re writing. If the subject matter doesn’t interest you, then chances are your audience won’t find any value in it as well.
There are almost 600 million blogs on the internet. That’s a huge number to compete against. If your content doesn’t engage or captivate your audience, you won’t be able to make a living off blogging.
A professional blogger understands the relevance of the content they’re creating.
Proper research and reader-friendly blogs can increase your popularity and drive your blogging business.
#2. Marketing & networking aptitude
When you start a blog, either your own or for a company, you get an opportunity to build a community. This community is a way of increasing your credibility in the online space – they read your articles, leave comments, share, etc.
To build a community, it’s important to network. You can reach out to other professional bloggers, collaborate with them, and build relationships.
Once you start putting out consistent content, your network can help you promote your content. You also get opportunities to guest post and build your network.
Another advantage networking gives you is monetization. You can cross-post affiliate links on other blogs and earn commissions to monetize your blog.
A solid social media presence is also beneficial. A professional blogger with good social media reach always connects better with followers and is better at monetizing their blog through paid sponsorships and ads.
#3. Basic SEO understanding
When you choose a topic or market to write on, it’s critical that you conduct primary research. This research defines your content strategy, the tone of your blog, and the value your blog adds to reader’s lives.
SEO is arguably the most challenging aspect of growing your blog. As we mentioned earlier, you’re competing with almost 600 million blogs on the web. If you want visitors and site clicks, you have to make sure your blog ranks for the right keywords. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps with that.
On-page optimization refers to optimizing your website content so that search engine crawlers can easily understand what your article is all about. This will help them rank your website higher on their page results given how user-friendly your content is.
Investing in good SEO practices — such as keyword research, topic ranking, etc., — you get a deeper understanding of your audience. It also helps you stay on top of current trends in your niche, which is time well spent.
One point to note: SEO is a long-term strategy. You won’t see immediate results but working on SEO consistently will help you build a well-rounded content plan.
#4. Audience analysis
Every professional blogger needs an understanding of the audience they’re writing for. When you know your audience, you can ensure that you write content that is tailored to their needs and preferences.
You want to write content that resonates with your audience. The relatability factor is what drives reader loyalty and site visits. When you write for the audience, you base your content around a solution to a problem they’re facing.
Once you understand and define your target audience, it becomes easy to craft your content around a shared idea.
Other advantages of understanding your reader base are:
- They can share your content with other people who may also have an interest in that particular market. You can indirectly grow your reader base and get more visitors to your blog. If your blog is monetized, these views can also help drive revenue.
- You get a broader, more engaged audience base. If your readers relate to the content, they are more likely to leave comments and feedback. You can use this as a way of connecting with your readers and building loyalty.
Your audience’s attention spans are fleeting. A professional blog requires a lot of active work. One of the best ways of staying relevant is staying consistent. Being consistent with your content ensures that you build a greater recall in your audiences’ minds.
A more technical advantage to consistent blogging: improved search ranking.
Google loves content. Posting regularly means that Google will crawl your blog and arrange your ranking. Bloggers who blog only once in a while almost never get any of their content show up on the first page of the Google search results.
A low bounce rate and a longer average time spent on page per visitor will also help improve your search engine ranking.
Furthermore, blogging consistently is also how you can get better! Writing regularly will help you build a unique style of writing, and that connects better with readers over time.
Tips on How To Start A Professional Blog
The video below from a full-time professional blogger can help you figure out an initial road map for your blog.
As you can see, professional blogging isn’t all that easy, but it can be rewarding work. To get there quickly, keep these tips in mind:
- Define the objective of your blog. Have complete clarity on what kind of content and at what frequency you can dish out for your readers.
- Outline the routes you can take to become a professional blogger. You can be a personal blogger with an online diary, a niche blogger, an affiliate blogger, a freelance blogger, or a business blogger, but you can’t be all of them.
- Decide on the topics or niches to write on. Look for trending topics and keywords that will help you to relate to the audience and also monetize your blogs.
- Choose the right platform: you can start with a free platform and then move to a premium hosting service based on your requirements.
- Share and connect: a blog is successful when you reach a large audience and gain dedicated followers. This requires connecting and relationship-building with your readers. Social media can be an effective medium through which you can connect with your reader base.
3 Most Effective Blogging Techniques
Despite putting in a lot of effort and creating plenty of blogs, you can go wrong and end up attracting little to no traffic.
To make sure that does not happen, follow these three best practices in your professional blogging journey:
1. Choose the right topics
Choosing the right topic is very important for engaging the audience and increasing followers. You need to research trending topics and write insightful blogs. Successful blogs also have a longer lifespan.
Apart from choosing manually, there are various tools to choose trending topics as well.
2. Quality vs Quantity
After deciding what to write, it is very important to decide how much to write. These days, the most successful blogs are about 2,500 words long.
Longer articles are correlated with success, so it is better to write quality stuff in sufficient quantity for a target niche audience. You can also create shorter infographics that generate more interest on social media.
3. Rewriting old blog posts
Re-articulating old blogs and republishing them (with the same URL) is a good way to get more traffic and engage existing readers.
Republishing blog content can be an extremely effective strategy for driving traffic and building awareness because content can often get outdated over time.
How Professional Blogging Helps a Brand
A blog isn’t just for individuals or content creators. Professional blogging can help companies and businesses, as well.
Businesses can derive tons of benefits from having a good blog.
A blog can be a great source of generating inbound leads, increasing website traffic, and building a brand identity. Statistics indicate that 66% of B2B marketers who write blogs generate more leads than those who don’t.
Let’s look at how exactly professional blogging can help businesses:
1. Helps drive traffic to your website
We discussed this point above but it bears repeating: a blog improves your search engine ranking. Customers discover your blog either organically or through paid ads. A more long-term, sustainable way of attracting customers is by optimizing your blog for search.
Every blog post is another opportunity to get ranked on a search engine. The more optimized posts you have, the higher your chances of appearing in search results. This drives organic traffic to your website and increases your total website visits.
2. Works as a knowledge base
A blog is a great way to educate and engage customers. Blog posts are always accessible — ads and promotions are short-term.
Your blogs can become a repository of information for many people, and some of these can turn into your loyal customers later on. A well-maintained blog can help your business build a great brand image.
Additionally, you can revamp and optimize older blog posts, as well. Outdated content doesn’t rank well but you can revisit your old blogs and improve them based on the latest information.
3. Builds trust
Business blogs can help answer common questions that people have. Since blogs encourage discussions, they’re a great way to build trust and connect with a wide audience.
You want your blog to be a catalyst for a community — an active, engaged audience translates into good advocacy for your brand.
4. Offers value for customers
Your blog is there to inform, educate, and engage your potential customers. It doesn’t necessarily have to sell your product or service.
Generally, readers use blogs as a pit-stop on their purchase journey. Your blog gives your customers an idea of what they can expect from your business.
If the blog focuses on being informative without being too salesy, you can offer value to your existing and potential customers, who will in turn spread the good word about your brand and its authority on niche subjects.
Examples of Top Professional Bloggers & Their Earning Patterns
Now that we’ve discussed the ins and outs of professional blogging and effective blogging techniques, let’s take a look at writers who have successfully made a living out of professional blogging.
1. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from MakingSenseofCents.com makes around $125,000 a month from blogging alone. Her niche is personal finance. She relies on sponsored partnerships and affiliate marketing to drive her blog’s revenue.
2. Harsh Agarwal
Harsh Agarwal of ShoutMeLoud.com, with a monthly income of $40,000, makes the most of affiliate marketing, advertising, and selling products and services. His niche is blogging tips, online marketing, etc., and he’s a great example of how one can monetize their blog.
3. Matthew Woodward
Matthew Woodward of MatthewWoodward.co.uk earns approx. $26,000 per month. He uses affiliate marketing and Display Ads to monetize his blog. He blogs about internet marketing strategies, SEO, and related topics.
4. Marc Andre
Marc Andre of VitalDollar.com, who writes about money and finance, earns up to $25,000 from his blog every month. Affiliate marketing, Display Ads, and Amazon Associates Program make up his monetization strategies.
5. Neil Patel
Neil Patel of Ubersuggest is well-known in the world of blogging, and he has been listed among the Top 100 Technorati Bloggers. His business and marketing blog earns over a million dollars a year and is a good source of learning for a professional blogger.
Neil Patel relies on advertising and selling his ebooks as a means of income.
Being a professional blogger is more than just making money online. A professional blogger needs a whole range of skill sets to be successful at monetizing the blog.
With content marketing only on the rise, there are plenty of resources available for professional bloggers. Businesses, too, can benefit greatly from having professional bloggers onboard.
We hope that this blog helped you understand how you can become a professional blogger and make some decent income at it. You can also read insightful and engaging blogs on topics like Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation, Blogging, SEO, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) on Engagebay’s blog.
If you’d like to see how EngageBay’s free CRM can help you market and promote your blog effectively, check out EngageBay’s many features here.