For some, there will come a point in their blogging ventures when they would want to take everything up a notch and do pro blogging. Thanks to the #DigitalPro Bootcamp for Bloggers, wherein we had the first leg last February 5, we’re actually learning more of our craft and how to brand ourselves amongst the sea of professional bloggers.
I’ve got to admit though, I was once an amateur as well until I learned the ropes. I’ve had five rough years of blogging to my heart’s content before I realized that quality content actually means something my readers would want or need. It is true that we all had to start somewhere. Becoming a professional blogger is really more of a journey towards discovering loads about yourself and what you can offer. Along the way, these little steps that you take will eventually sum up and create a long-lasting brand that is uniquely yours.
It is true that we all had to start somewhere. Becoming a professional blogger is really more of a journey towards discovering loads about yourself and what you can offer. Along the way, these little steps that you take will eventually sum up and create a long-lasting brand that is uniquely yours.
Through this bootcamp organized by Cebu Blogging Community and facilitated by Sir Ruben Licera of eSTRATmedia.com, we learned the best practices and approach towards branding your blog and taking it to the next level. It is with great pleasure to share here what I’d learned at the end of our first leg which spanned in approximately four hours.
Pro Blogging: How branding really works
“There is no substitute for hard work.” True. Professional bloggers take the extra leap to become one. They take cautious actions to continuously improve their craft. Branding, in a sense, comes with the definition of how you carry yourself, how you represent your blog, and how consistent you actually do it. As such, they are deemed as authorities in their own niches because they took the time to build their brand.
Remember, professional bloggers are not paid per hour. They are paid based on their brand and how their reach as an influence has been maximized within a community.
Hobbyist vs. Professional
Like I’d said, we all had to start somewhere, but in the process, sooner or later you will realize that to be able to create an impact, you will have to emerge as one of the best. There are legions of amateur bloggers springing in every day, and they all have something to offer as well as you do. Now, the question is: What can you offer that others can’t?
Here, we distinguish the subtle yet interestingly what made professional bloggers different from hobbyists.
- Hobbyists are generalists while professionals are specialists.
- Hobbyists inform while professionals teach.
- Hobbyists yearn for traffic while professionals yearn for engagement.
- Hobbyists like to grow followers while professionals like to build a community.
- Hobbyists share a blog post while professionals share a common lifestyle.
- Hobbyists treat their blogs as journals while professionals treat it as business.
- Hobbyists are merely bloggers while professionals are thought-leaders.
Have you spotted the difference? I realized that while I made some efforts to form my brand, I’m still a mix of both – specifically in being a generalist. The lifestyle niche can be an excusable excuse for some bloggers who do not know what niche they want to specialize in, including me. However, the first step to building your brand really and start pro blogging is to define the niche where you want to grow and excel in.
The Psyche of a Pro Blogger
Most professional bloggers have already raked in some additional or even a sole income by monetizing their blogs. This bootcamp aims to transform our blogs one step at a time into becoming a sustainable source of (additional or sole) income. Simply put, we are slowly transforming our blogs into a business. It was an interesting thing for me to learn because I’d always wanted to take my blog into a whole new level for it to become the perfect resource for all kinds of people.
Truth be told, ads and sponsorships don’t really get you that much. But if you are the kind of blogger who provides value in his contents, amazingly, the opportunities will go beyond what you’ve imagined.
A successful blogger who has the right influence constitutes and follows this kind of formula, more commonly known as the Influence Cirle:
INFLUENCE = Credibility + Relevance + Trust
Your blog is a brand
As you start building your credibility, you gain the trust of people within your range of audience and they will eventually define your relevance. From now on, your blog is a brand – start thinking you’re one and be one. Basically, your blog is an extension of yourself and (if you have one) your business. This is why it is important to define first the niche that you’d like to be known about.
Your online presence is what will set you apart among thousands of blogs. When you begin to be purposeful in what you post, even on social media, then there is no doubt that you will become a significant part of the blogging scene. That is pro blogging.
Readers are selfish, period. If you can’t give them value (or if you are just wasting their time, harshly told) then the only way to go is to exit your page. With your chosen niche, create contents based on your targeted audience. You can’t please everyone, right? This is the best way to weed out which readers are specifically for you that really targets your niche. Remember, to become a professional blogger is to be a specialist.
Summarized altogether, to build a strong brand and achieve pro blogging, you must: 1) find your specific niche, 2) be professional, 3) offer values to your readers 4) maximize the formula of Influence Circle, and 5) use social media to effectively market your contents.
We are all in the journey of learning to become a pro. As we go along this bootcamp, I’ll be sharing more of the tips I’d learned about pro blogging, branding, and optimizing your reach as a blogger. For this, I’d like to thank Globe Prepaid and Global Hub Executive Suites for being our partner and making this possible as well!