The Ins and Outs of Blogging

WHAT IS A BLOG

A blog is a form of website by which the author/s post regular segments of commentary, description or multimedia materials.

WHY SHOULD JOURNALISTS BLOG

Journalists don’t have to blog; however, doing is comes highly recommended from not just a professional point of view, but a personal one as well.

Professional benefits:

  • You’ll increase your discoverability. Blogging increases your discoverability through the optimisation of search engines.
  • You’ll make money. Where you make $20/month or $20/year, it’s still pretty nice to have a hobby that pays you back.
  • You’ll provide customer service. Having a blog allows you to answer audience FAQs in depth. This can aid with the customer service section of your personal or organisation website.
  • You’ll build an audience. People are attracted to places that hold value to them. As you add content – and therefore items of value – you’ll find yourself gathering a myriad of audience members.
  • You’ll build your credibility. Starting and running a blog is the best way to build credibility, as it displays your creative and writing skills.

Personal benefits:

  • You’ll help aid good causes. Whether it’s campaigning against domestic violence or supporting the education of orphans, blogging can help you lend a helping hand to the causes you care about.
  • You’ll become a better writer. Writing is a skill that – like most others – improves with practice. Therefore, the more you blog, the better a writer you’ll become.
  • You’ll become a better thinker. Blogging requires you to think up ideas for your content and delve deeper into the matters of your life. This ability to think clearly and generate ideas helps develop your thinking muscles exponentially, and shapes you into a more dynamic thinker.
  • You’ll gain healthier life habits. Blogging requires time, dedication and commitment, It will encourage you to stick to a schedule and improve you skills in organisation.
  • You’ll develop an eye for meaningful things. Blogging requires you to choose the things that hold the most meaning for you – after all, you can’t write about every thought, every event or every person. Doing so will cause you to develop an eye for meaningful things.
  • You’ll meet new people. Whether through comments, emails or social media, you’ll form a relationship with the people helping you to succeed.
  • You’ll inspire others. Blogging not only changes your life, but it changes the life of the people who read your content. Others are bound to find inspiration in your writing.

HOW SHOULD JOURNALISTS MAINTAIN A BLOG

  1. Make sure to create content regularly. You can do this by either updating your blog on schedule or updating your blog when you have available content. It’s notable that uploading weekly increases visibility.
  2. Post self-promotions on social media. Self-promotion may seem daunting, but it’s the most efficient way of broadcasting your blog. It increases visibility, discoverability and interactivity, while also offering multiple pathways to your blog.
  3. Track what your audience wants. Free data-analysers such as Google Analytics can help you monitor online audience behaviours. Such information allows journalists to measure online traffic, conduct market research, observe behaviour patterns and monitor the effectiveness of a website.

CAN I MAKE MONEY OF BLOGGING:

The answer is, yes. It is possible to make a living off blogging – possibly even a very good one, at that. But there are several factors to consider before this can be taken as gospel.

Firstly, what type of blogger are you?

As shown above, there are five types of bloggers: the part-time professional, the hobbyist, the full-time professional, the corporate and the entrepreneur. These categories will differentiate whether or not you will earn money from blogging, and if so, it what form.

  1. The part-time professional. Part-time bloggers will blog to supplement income. They work seven to eight hours per week on their blog content and gain revenue from advertisements, affiliate sales and pay-per-click. Their job has an added element of safety, as blogging is not their only form of income.
    The hobbyist. Hobbyists often blog for fun and rarely earn an income off their blog content. If they do, it’s often just enough for one small cup of coffee.
  2. The full-time professional. Full-time bloggers will blog as a full-time job. They work 30 – 40 hours per week on their blog content and gain revenue from advertisements, affiliate sales and pay per click. 
  3. The corporate. Corporate bloggers will blog as part of their full-time job or full time for an organisation. They will not gain an income from the blog itself; rather, they will be paid per-post or given a salary from the given organisation they are blogging for. 
  4. The entrepreneur. Entrepreneur bloggers blog for a company they own. They will gain revenue from advertisements, affiliate sales and pay per click. However, blogging is not their only form of income, as they will often gain revenues from their business. Are you prepared to earn your income? Most of the millions of individuals who do currently blog don’t make enough money to make a substantial income. In fact, 63 per cent of bloggers make less than $100 per month – and most of those blogs were under two years old. Blogging isn’t going to earn you a high income straight away. It’s going to cost time, money and effort to create the blogging site; and even more to produce content on a regular basis. Unless you’re hired to blog for an organisation (which will bypass these issues for you), you have to be prepared to earn an income.

WHERE CAN I GET A BLOG

Free and inexpensive blogging sites include WordPress, Weebly and Blogger. If you’re willing to splash out a bit, then Squarespace, Posthaen and Ghost also come highly recommended.

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