A few weeks back I shared a post on Five Ways To Take Your Blog From A Hobby To A Game Changer. One of the steps I mentioned was to be professional in your approach to blogging, and today I'm going to explore that step in more depth and outline what being professional with your blog can look like. So many of us blog with bigger goals, intentions, and aims guiding us along the way and being professional doesn't have to take the fun out of blogging but it can make it a much more serious and purposeful process. This post is for you if:
You want to start taking your blog more seriously: Whether you have some big dreams and ambitions for your online space, or you're just feeling ready to shape up your blog, this post can hopefully help to guide you in the right direction.
You want to feel more professional with your blogging process: If you want to feel more confident with your process and step things up with your online presence, this is the post for you. If you're hoping to transition your blog from a hobby to a game changer and you're craving a more professional process, these next eight steps will hopefully help you along the way.
1. Be purposeful
If you're stepping things up with your blog and hoping to make it more of a professional outlet, knowing your purpose is a must. Purpose keeps us focused, it motivates us even when times get tough, and ultimately guides everything that we do. Being intentional with every decision that we make and making decisions that are aligned with our values keeps on the right track and gives us enough space to evolve and grow along the way.
If you're creating a blog and hoping to capture the time and attention of your ideal readers, you need to know exactly why they should let your online presence into their life. What is your blog's purpose? What message and/or ideas are you trying to share with the world every day? Why does your blog exist? Why do you pour so much time into it each week? Staying in tune with your blog's overall purpose helps you to stay intentional and focused along the way.
Further reading: Finding Your Blogging Purpose & Building A Manifesto
2. Work to an editorial calendar
If you want to feel clear and focused with your blog, working alongside an editorial content plan can make all the difference. If I've learned anything throughout my time blogging it's that we are more than just our latest blog posts. All of our content works together alongside each other to share our brands message, tell our story, and it's most powerful when it is aligned with our overall purpose and intentions. Posting without structure can leave us with watered down content, whereas an editorial calendar can really help us to have some serious impact and reach with the content we share.
Further reading: Building An Editorial Calendar From Scratch
3. Create content in advance
We've all been there the night before scrambling to get a post ready for the next day, and in my experience it's hard for that post to be as good as it can be without having enough time to be edited and perfected. Creating content in advance is not only a great way to free up our time to focus on other blog related tasks, but it also gives us enough space to proof-read, edit, and tweak each post before it goes live. If we're being purposeful with our blogs, it means each post has to be purposeful too and giving ourselves enough time to create means that we can avoid posting any filler content that doesn't do our blog justice.
Further reading: How To Be Your Own Copy Editor
4. Take social media seriously
A blog is way more than just a website these days, our online presence can also depend on our social media platforms to help us connect, engage, and communicate with our audience. Having a strong social media presence on at least one platform is a great way to stay present throughout the day, share more of ourselves and our work, and ultimately make deeper and more meaningful connections with the community we're in.
Being professional on social media is a must if you're starting to take your blog seriously, as it's a huge reflection on your brand. It's up to you to define what professional means to you, and at its heart I think social media should always be fun, but it's important to know where we draw the line and how we want our brand to be portrayed around the web.
5. A professional store front
First impressions are key online, and if you're starting to dream big with your online presence and you want to take practical steps forward on turning your blog into a game changer, treating your website as your brand's store front is a must. Developing our own consistent visual style, intentionally building our websites in a way that works for our blogs, and investing our time and/or money into having a professional looking brand are great ways to put our best foot forward online.
6. Intentional income streams
For many, taking your blog from a hobby to a game changer includes opening up income streams and getting serious about monetising your online presence. This is a topic that comes up time and time again with my coaching clients and fellow bloggers and my advice is always the same - there is no shame in monetising your blog, but make sure you do it in an intentional way that is aligned with your overall purpose and goals.
We all want to feel confident and comfortable in the ways we make money online, and being professional means also being authentic and intentional with our approach to generating an income. If we don't feel good about the ways we make money, neither will our readers and community, and somewhere down the line bad monetising decisions will be the ones we regret the most. Taking that step into treating your blog more seriously and opening up income streams is an exciting one, and for anyone about to take that leap my best advice is to build a plan beforehand of what you really want your income streams to look like.
7. Invest in your blog
You can invest in your blog with both time and money. The more we put into our digital spaces, the more we will get out of them. The more time we invest in our process, our content, and our community, the more likely we are to develop a strong and consistent online presence that has some serious impact and reach. The more we invest in our website, our learning, and our brand, the more we will feel confident and professional in our process and online presence.
Ways I've personally invested in my blog include: my content management system, web tools & apps, custom domain hosting, computer software and equipment, and eBooks & eCourses.
8. Streamline your process
When you're being professional with your blog there tends to be tons of tasks each week if you want to stay on top of your online space. As most of us are wearing all the hats ourselves, automating where we can helps keep things as streamlined as possible. From scheduling your social media, to having a clear and focused process for creating and sharing content, streamlining things where we can really can help along the way. We want to be able to spend the most of our time and energy doing the work that matters to us, whether that's creating content, products, or engaging with our community, so developing a clear and concise process can really help to make all the difference.
How about you? What does being professional with your blog look like to you?
How We Can Work Together
I work with bloggers & creatives to help them feel focused and find confidence in their blogging process. Whether you want to increase your impact and reach, connect with your ideal readers, launch your blog from scratch, or transition your online presence into a business, I'm here to help you make it happen. Find out more here.
This months Spotlight Advertiser
Four of this months sidebar advertisers