Just under a year ago, I was still studying at university and thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. For the longest time, I considered a career as an auctioneer (you know, the people who bang the hammer and talk about old stuff really really quickly). Well, somehow, I ended up as a full-time blogger instead. Now, I create stuff on the internet and get to be my own boss (which is cool and daunting at the same time)! It’s safe to say that in the past few months, I’ve learned more about working online and content creation than I could ever have thought possible. Here are 8 skills you need as a blogger…
The biggest question people ask me when I tell them I’m a full-time blogger (besides from asking me how I earn any money!) is how I keep myself motivated when it’s just me working away on this little corner of the internet. The simple answer is that you need a whole load of self-discipline to get up every day and do stuff when it needs doing (even when the task at hand is incredibly boring). A better answer is that you should find people who truly support what you’re doing (hello, mum!) and build a team around you who you can call on for motivation when it’s most needed.
When you blog, particularly in the beginning, you’ll need to motivate yourself to do the work because no one else will. It can be hard to find motivation when it feels like no one is reading your blog, but it’s important to keep going nonetheless if it’s a subject you feel truly passionate about. After all, you’ll never know what could have been if you never even try…
#3 A passion for what you’re talking about!
Of all the skills you need as a blogger, a passion for what you’re talking about and a real interest in the subject you blog about is the most important. Notice how I wrote those last words in bold? It’s because a passion is really the most important skill you can have as a blogger. Without a passion and a love for what you’re doing, you’ll quickly lose motivation, patience and self-discipline!
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your blog be! You need to have the patience to improve your writing, hone your photography skills and the understanding that your ideal audience won’t find you straight away. Blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme, and patience is key. With this being said, there are ways to monetise your blog (they just take time and plenty of patience!)
#5 Remember that consistency is key
During my two short years of blogging, I’ve seen a whole load of blogs come and go. Many last a mere few months, others just a couple of weeks. The main problem that many people have is finding the time (and motivation- see point one) to blog. After your first couple of posts are received well, you’ll need to carry on creating content in order to maintain traffic and interest on your blog. Consistency is key, and without it you’ll find it hard to hone self-discipline skills and carve out your own space on the internet.
#6 Confidence in yourself/ your brand
I used to be so incredibly nervous about reaching out to brands I wanted to work with. But at the end of the day, the worst someone can say is ’no’ (and perhaps add a really rude comment!) One of my best friends once told me ‘If you don’t have confidence in yourself and your blog, then why should any brand have confidence in you and your work?’ The comment really stuck with me, and I hope it sticks with you too. Sometimes a little bit of tough love is just what you need!
#7 Ability to market yourself
In this ever-changing online world, one of the most important skills you need as a blogger is the ability to change and adapt with the times. Algorithms and audience interests are constantly changing, and you need (at least a small) ability to market yourself in order to truly stand out from the crowd.
#8 A willingness to learn from mistakes
When you’re honing a skill for the first time, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s only human to make errors and mess up from time to time. However, the important thing to take away from errors is not to shy away from your mistakes and try to skirt over them but to learn from them so that you improve for the next time around.
#BONUS Invest in the tools of the trade
Truth be told, in the beginning, I didn’t want to spend a single penny on my blog. However, in time I learnt that if you want to truly make something of blogging, then you’ll need to invest a small amount. This is especially true of little things like going for self-hosted from the get-go. If you’re just starting out, then I recommend Siteground Hosting. Once your blog is a little bigger, then you’ll want a more managed solution (an extra pair of hands, as it were). I use Performance Foundry.