These tips for writers who want to blog full-time are based on my experience transitioning from full-time freelance writer to full-time blogger (but I’ll accept magazine assignments when assigned!). Here’s what I’ve learned so far…
Got guts? Blog away, fellow scribes. Read Ruth Soukup’s How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul for a detailed description about how to improve your productivity, learning to work smarter not harder, and take concrete steps to transform your blog into a business. You’ll also learn how to increase your blog traffic and build solid platform through field-tested strategies.
Before my blogging tips, here’s a quip from Sylvia Plath: “Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise,” she said. “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” If you tend to doubt yourself as a writer and blogger, read Learning to Write Without Fear and Trembling.
Tips for Writers Who Want to Blog Full-Time
If you already have a blog but no traffic, read Grow, Little Blog! Blogging Tips From the Most Popular Blogs.
Make sure you’re behind yourself
I was reluctant to delve into blogging full-time, and I think it’s partly because it’s not as prestigious as magazine writing. When I say I freelance for magazines such as Reader’s Digest, Health, MSN Health, and Woman’s Day, people get it. They understand what I do, and they’re impressed. The last time I told someone I’m a blogger, she asked if people go to my blog to see my picture. Granted, she’s almost 80 years old – but even for younger people, the respect level isn’t the same. Anyone can blog, but not everyone can get paid $2 a word to write articles for print magazines. I haven’t been behind my own self…and that has negatively impacted my progress.
No matter what writing genre you choose, fellow scribes…you have to get behind your own self.
I’m becoming a full-time blogger the same way I became a full-time freelance writer: I started part-time, began to realize that the more time and energy I spent, the more I earned – and so I started to work full-time hours. Few people can afford to quit their day jobs and blog or write full-time…but we can all find a few minutes a day to chase our dreams!
Be prepared to put in a lot of time
I just added my Ask a Question button to all four of my blogs – and it took almost four hours! I couldn’t believe it; it was my own fault for forgetting a simple – but key – step. If you’re a writer who wants to blog full-time, be prepared to spend hours on programming and blog details that should be simple but aren’t – and it’ll drive you crazy! But it’s just part of running an online business.
Dedicate a specific part of every day to blogging
Successful bloggers need to stick to their schedule, whether it’s an hour before work or four hours before bedtime. If you want to blog full-time, you need to stick to your schedule.
Pick a sustainable blog topic
A friend of mine blogged for a few months, then deleted the whole thing because she couldn’t think of anything else to say.
I love my Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals blog because it’s so general – I can blog about lending money to friends one day, and surviving a breakup the next! My other two Quips and Tips blogs are more specific, but still general enough that I can find lots to write about. If you’re a writer who wants to blog full-time, find a general – but not too general – topic that you will enjoy for years to come.
Focus on all aspects of your blog
A successful blog – one that actually earns you money – isn’t just about adding regular content. It’s about making sure the RSS Feed works, your pages load correctly, your readers can comment easily, and your advertising is effective but not garish. I spend just as much time tweaking my blog layout, plugins, and old posts as I do writing new articles…and I think this type of maintenance is almost as important.
Experiment with ads and affiliate programs
I’ve created four blogs now (the Quips and Tips series, and See Jane Soar – see the boxes on the right) – and each blog has different types of advertising. To learn what I’ve learned, read How to Make Money Blogging for Writers.
Don’t box yourself in
To earn a consistent living as a writer and blogger, consider developing multiple channels of online income, in addition to your blog. I personally wouldn’t blog for other websites or work for the other online possibilities – other than Suite101. I love writing for that ezine because it’s taught me so much about web writing. Plus, I earn several hundred dollars a month there. Here’s my 10 Reasons to Write for Suite101.
Fellow scribes, do you have any tips for writers who want to blog full-time – or any questions? I welcome your comments below!
May you write long and hard every day of your life. When you’re not writing, may you be living big and beautifully!