Do you want to leave the amateur blogger status and become a professional blogger?
Having thousands of visitors flood into your blog because they cannot get enough of the amazing content you feed them with every day.
To make money from Adsense and affiliate marketing?
To have real people engage and interact with your posts in the comment section and not just you sending replies to yourself?
If you’re reading this – there’s a pretty good chance you’ve wanted to become a blogger at a point in your life. There’s a good chance you even started blogging but, like plenty before you, couldn’t sustain it.
As an amateur blogger, there are so many things you want to have instantly like a loyal following, making money from your blog, etc. Oftentimes, you forget (and this is a universal thing here) the most important thing they teach in Blogging 101.
It’s to put in great content first!
* * * * * *
John is watching the Bartender as he pours him a drink in the pub with dim light.
Few people ever come to this pub.
“You know, Jim (for that was the bartender’s name), how come nobody ever reads my blog?”
“Same reason people hardly come by here”, Jim says.
“We are trapped in a parallel universe with limited engagement?”
“No, we are amateurs”
* * * * *
Some of your favorite blogs that you wake up every day to read generally have one thing in common.
They create content that keeps you glued to your screen!
Nobody ever comes back to a blog to check out an advertisement they saw there – or come back for affiliate links – but they will come back for great content.
If you are an amateur blogger, there are certain mistakes you will make and it will not be because you are different, or you can never be a professional blogger, it will be simply because you are an amateur.
Below, I will show you some of the mistakes you are making or have made as an amateur blogger and the things you should be doing instead to carve a successful career from blogging.
What you might find difficult to understand is that your favorite bloggers went through this same learning curve. They were once amateurs like you. But they did the hard part and persevered and are now reaping the rewards.
You can do the same.
No pressure, but you can do the same. Let’s show you how.
The 8 Things Every Amateur Blogger Needs To Do
Here’s the list of 8 things every amateur blogger needs to do to become professional.
1. Place Emphasis On Building Your Writing First
You have to understand that your content is what makes you stand out.
This right here is the biggest reason many people never make it to the elite level in blogging.
There’s not enough effort to write and create better content. By identifying your writing system, you can perfect your skills in line with your blog goals.
So what should be your writing system on a blog?
It’s pretty easy, subjective, and down to three things: niche, target words-per-day, imitation
(i) Niche: People start up a blog, most times, without even knowing the demographic they are writing for. They just open a blog and write random things without any direction. This is a mistake.
You need to know who your content is for and develop your writing skills to match that community.
This ought to go without saying, but here’s a reminder nonetheless:
Writing has a set of universal rules and regulations that govern it but to achieve a level of skill in a specific niche, you simply need to learn its way of writing.
If you are an amateur football blogger, there are certain methods that you can write to make your content sound like a real football conversation. Also, precise vocabulary and phrases will help you to achieve that.
Since writing as a whole can be vast and overwhelming, by focusing on the writing style of a particular niche, you can arrive at a top level of writing in a short period.
(ii) Target words per day: Nothing like a traditional to-do list to remind you of the important things you have to sort out for the day. By setting targets of how many words you can write every day, you will improve your writing simply by consistency.
Since there’s no pressure, you can start as small as you want and then increase your target as you improve on your writing.
Furthermore, when you are consistent in writing every day, you will soon discover your blogging time. This is the point when you are more inspired to write than at any other time.
Most bloggers have one. Blogging time is the most productive period of the day and it is important to maximize that time as much as you can.
(iii) Imitation: One of the best ways to improve writing in a niche is by studying the works of accomplished bloggers in that niche. Study their creative process and uniquely use a similar style on your blog. To become accustomed to the writing style of a person or group of people, you must read a lot of their content first.
So to be a great blogger, you must, first, read. Sounds cliché.
2. Self-Host Your Website
Have you tried to discover a world where you control your servers?
If you would like to take your blogging to the next level, you must self-host your website (and this is not up for debate)
What is a self-hosted website?
A self-hosted website is one that allows you to gain access to your website servers and files.
It’s a website that operates with your own set of rules. The benefits of having a self-hosted website are infinite but here are few of them:
Your very own Domain name:
It’s a huge letdown.
Having a self-hosted website eliminates all of these and gives you a proper domain name of your choice with a classic and professional “.com or .org” ending to follow it.
Control your website:
By operating a self-hosted blog, you can monitor, customize, and optimize your blog in any way you please. Your themes, and plugins are expressive and full of options.
You can view the analytics of your blog performance on a grander scale. Not to mention that the storage capacity of a self-hosted website is determined by you – so you can have as much storage as you want to protect your files.
Monetizing and Advertising:
On a self-hosted website, you can control the full extent to which you can maximize advertising on your blog through mediums like affiliate links.
As you can see, the benefits of a self-hosted blog are pretty great.
As a starter, it’s not a bad idea, to begin with, free-hosted websites like WordPress.com, blogpost.com, etc.
But if you become comfortable and simply lose interest in taking the step forward and self-hosting your blog, you won’t take the needed leap in your blogging career.
Finally, if you think self-hosting is scary because of all the tech stuff, you can have platforms take care of that for you. WordPress is one great place to self-host your website and you get to be the king still.
3. Start E-mail Marketing Early
You may not see the importance now, but in time, you will.
Another top amateur move is to ignore having a working e-mail strategy.
One of the best ways to utilize your blog and retain unique visitors is by creating an email sign-up form that will be present on every page and post to build an email list.
Visitors who come to your blog for the first time can sign up with simple information like name and email and voila, they are trapped forever in your blogging world of awesomeness.
Yes, don’t stop spamming (kidding, don’t spam) them with regular emails of the new posts you have put up on your site.
As an amateur blogger, you simply may not understand the horror of losing a unique visitor. No, it’s unacceptable! And the best way to keep them coming is through your email marketing.
If you are also operating a blog that advertises products, you must be skilled in email follow-ups. It’s the best way to show your readers the new products available and why it is important to have to buy them.
4. Be Willing To Invest
There’s a lot of work involved in blogging, from building your blog to growing it by building white hat backlinks through guest posting and other means and most importantly by writing and uploading high-quality content regularly.
Trying to do everything yourself can be painstaking and overwhelming, you really do not need to put yourself through such torture.
Numerous times in this article, focusing on writing content has been emphasized. This is because it’s a no-brainer! You simply must have great content.
There are so many ways to fill your blog with top-level posts and improving your writing is one of them, but you have to admit when you are not in the position to write content for your blog and look for alternative routes.
Attention! Huge spoiler alert incoming:
Ever wondered how top bloggers come up with an impressive number of great content every day to satisfy the cravings of their huge following? It’s by investing in freelance writers.
Another mistake amateur bloggers make is in their reluctance to invest in outsourcing some of their blogging needs and that includes but is not limited to hiring writers to help create quality content for their blogs.
You have to understand that, sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you may not be good enough as a writer.
Or you simply do not have the time to write for many hours every day. I know. Saving the world and all the other things you are doing makes it hard to sit down and write.
However, you can always have freelancers write your blog posts for you in the most professional way you can think of.
You are happy and your readers are happy. That’s a win-win right there.
In a world where so many top organizations and blogs put out more content than ever before, there’s a thriving market in the freelance industry.
This makes it tricky to find legitimate and professional writers who won’t mess up deliveries and disappoint you with below-par writing.
This is where Fiverr reigns supreme. Aside from the fact that Fiverr’s aggregation is undefeated, it has a strict policy on screening freelancers in a wide range of categories to follow its rules.
The best writers with fantastic reviews on Fiverr didn’t just come about by mere happenstance, they are people who have spent years quietly behind their computers – writing fantastic articles for bloggers and organizations. The reviews are a testament to how good a writer is.
You can search for specific qualities you require in a writer and you’ll find them on Fiverr.
Upwork is another amazing freelance site, just like Fiverr, where you will find the most professional freelancers around.
So if you simply do not have the time to write posts on your blog, or you are not that good as a writer yet, you can always invest in freelancers to do the job for you. Humanity has moved on.
5. Have A User-Friendly And Attractive Website
If your website features are dull and have bland themes with disturbing pop-ups everywhere, lots of readers will find it annoying.
One of the keys to having a self-hosted website is that you can control the beauty and interface of your blog. It’s insane to think you have the power to have a unique theme that will make readers fall in love with your blog and choose to ignore it.
There are lots of good options for you when investing in a good theme. One is the amazing Thrive themes.
What makes Thrive so unique is that it is the complete package! Eight thrive themes plugins exist on WordPress to optimize your website experience. The Thrive Architect page builder is one of them and it’s my fave.
The thrive theme is also a great deal when it comes to pricing as it will offer you a lot more for less. It also comes with features that make it great for bloggers who hope to monetize their blogs.
6. Use social media to your advantage
Irrespective of the type of blog you run, social media will always be one of the top platforms that’ll help you get to the top of the blogging ladder.
Great content is not enough to get the job done. Sometimes, all it takes is for your target audience to see a tweet, a pin on Pinterest, an Instagram story, a video on Snapchat, Tiktok, or a Facebook post to get them to love your work.
It’s that simple!
Moreover, more visitors will come trooping in if you can get top influencers to repost your top-notch content.
But like other points on this list, you have to be ready to put in the work and think of a brilliant social media strategy, especially if your blog advertises products.
Getting a social media handler or a social media management tool are great idea.
7. Work on your site’s SEO strategy
A rookie move that many amateur bloggers make is to leave their work to fight for the top spot on search engines. Your guess on what will happen if you do this is as good as ours: it usually won’t end well.
As we mentioned earlier, your content can give you a competitive advantage and propel you from being an amateur blogger to a pro. But if you want to improve your amateur blog’s traffic and popularity, then you’ll have to work on your SEO strategy.
This includes, but is not limited to, doing the following things:
- Looking for and using the right keywords to match your blog’s content
- Researching what your competition is doing right and following suit
- Backlinking to authoritative sites but not that of your competitors
- Using the right title tags and meta description
Remember that you want to become a professional blogger and not an SEO expert. You can outsource the task and focus on what you want to be great at. But what you should not do is leave your blog to rot in the fifth result page!
8. Be consistent
Staying true to the work and fun involved in blogging is another thing you should do if you want to shed off your amateur blogger skin.
Without persevering and being consistent, how else do you want your audience to be loyal to your brand?
Only a handful of things we’ve listed above will work if you aren’t committed to the process. So, if you want to leave the amateur blogger level, then you must go all-in.
People don’t become great bloggers overnight. They undergo a journey of perseverance, consistency, commitment, and sheer will. As an amateur blogger, you must learn a lot about that.
So one last tip.
All of the things we talked about above will only have a good effect if you have the passion for it.
Too many people go into blogging without a passion for it. They just do it to seem cool.
Well, from where we are sitting, we have no idea how, you as an amateur blogger, will navigate this blogging journey of patience, commitment, consistency, and hard work without having passion as the foundation. Good luck trying that.
But if you have a passion for blogging and you are ready to take that step, then the above will make your journey easier.
Welcome, this is the crude interlude.