11 Steps to become a pro blogger - turn your blogging into profit

11 Steps to Become a Pro Blogger

If you had of asked me a year ago what it was I would have been doing a year later, I certainly would not have expected the answer to be blogging. Somewhere along the way, not too long ago, blogging became my number one hobby and income source. And while the life of a ‘writer’ sounds glamorous and exciting, it’s actually a lot of hard work also. I am personally not all the way there yet but wanted to share some tips on how to become a pro blogger.

There is much more to blogging than just writing if you want to become a pro blogger. As much as we would love it to be a matter of writing good content and traffic magically coming our way, this is not the case. You need to get yourself out there and build your following, otherwise those precious readers will not know where to find you.

Blogging also needs consistency and dedication. You may write great articles that your readers adore, but if your posts are sporadic and inconsistent in frequency or themes, you will lose their attention fast. This means working out right from the beginning what you want to write about, how often and who your ideal audience is so even before you launch, there is a lot to decide.

However I have found some great processes that have helped me turn blogging from hobby to profit on my way to become a pro blogger.

6 Ways To Help You Become a Pro Blogger

1. Niche

If you have entered the world of blogging, you will hear the world niche thrown around a lot. For most successful bloggers who manage to turn their blogging from hobby to profit, they tend to have a specific niche or topic for their blog. This can be anything from food, travel, parenting and beyond, with more unique niche blogs having a unique edge. For example, there may be thousands of food blogs, but a food blog that focus on recipes for allergies is more specific.

That’s not to say you can’t cover multiple complementary topics and still be successful. This blog is an example of that – with a mix of lifestyle topics from organisation to food, DIY to parenting and a few things in between. However I also have a slightly more niche blog focused on family travel.

2. Quality Content

This one is essential. If your readers do not feel you are giving them quality information or entertaining reading material, they are unlikely to be repeat visitors. Write the type of content you would find value in if you were reading it. Your readers are number one so don’t create quick, unreliable or poorly written posts just to fill your blog. You are better off writing one excellent post a week instead of 5 mediocre posts.

3. Consistency

Blogging is time consuming and even more so if you have ambitions to become a pro blogger. Decide early on how much time you can commit and how many posts you are able to produce on average each week. There will be times that life gets in the way, however if you aim to create 3 posts a week, make sure you are averaging 2-4 every week. If this is too much, drop it back to what you can manage but keep the frequency consistent.

[Tweet “There is much more to blogging than just writing if you want to become a pro blogger.”]

4. Planning

This is a huge one. The moment I started working ahead and planning my future content was the turning point for me in terms of earning blog profit. Having an idea what you will be writing about at least a few days ahead of time will help you stay on track and avoid that dreaded writer’s’ block. Personally I like to plan at least a month ahead with room to move. This means if things do go wrong, I am likely already ahead of schedule.

The best tool for me in planning is using an editorial calendar and I actually utilise two options – CoSchedule which is a wordpress plug-in that allows drop and drag calendar changes and a great visual for your content, and my own blogging spreadsheet with a full year editorial calendar with keywords and link tracking as well. Projection helps stay on track!

5. Blog Platform

All of this means little if your blog looks unprofessional. If you want to become a pro blogger, you need to look like a pro blogger. As they say, fake it til you make it! The best starting point is a self-hosted blog, with WordPress.org being the most popular choice, followed by Blogger. I have included some popular hosting suggestions on my Resources page.

6. Engagement

If you want others to come read your blog, you need to be engaging beyond your blog also. This means visiting and commenting on other blogs or joining relevant community pages, such as Facebook groups. Social media is also a fantastic way of increasing engagement with your readers. People need to know where to find you.

7. Branding

You want to be recognisable in the massive ocean of fellow bloggers. This means having some branding for your blog. It needs to suit your blog theme and be utilised across all your media platforms, from your blog, your email list and all your social media accounts, as well as any related offline products like business cards. This is everything from colours, a logo and even having a matching photo in your bio and social media profile pictures. A strong brand builds confidence.

8. Get Social

It’s one thing to have a social media account for your blog, but are you using it properly? Having a social media strategy is far more than posting an occasional cute cat picture to Facebook or sharing your blog posts in excess. In fact, those are good strategies for going the opposite direction to pro blogging. Pinterest has plenty of great articles pinned relating to social media strategy which is all about growing your following through quality engagement. Share relevant content – not just your own. If you plan to use Instagram, decide on a style of photos you want to post and have some consistency. Connect with others in your niche. This is a huge area to learn but even getting the basics sorted can make a big difference. (And the occasional cat photo is okay if it suits your niche).

9. Automate

You will soon learn that blogging requires a lot of time, not just writing the post but maintaining social media, building your engagement with others and keeping everything up to date. This is where automation can make a huge difference.

There are many tools available these days to help you automate processes. Most blog platforms will allow you to automate your blog posts at a designated time, however there are also many tools for scheduling social media also. This is everything from scheduled posts to Twitter and Facebook, to automated pinning to Pinterest, all to help you build your audience but also save you time by doing it in bulk rather than on the go.

Check out my Resources page for some suggestions.

10. Email Marketing

An email list is the bloggers best friend for building traffic, engaging directly with readers and selling any potential products they have created. While your social media accounts can be shut down at any minute without warning, or a change in the way they work can alter how much traffic they bring in, an email list is your own to do as you please with. It is a powerful tool and recommended by most pro bloggers as an essential empire building resource. It can be a tough one to master though if you aren’t sure what to send your readers, but a good starting point is giving them extra bonuses such as free opt ins and behind the scenes information, as well as a few links to send them back to your blog for content they may have missed.

11. Diversify Income Streams

Most of these tips have been about building your profile and following on your way to become a pro blogger, however none of this magically brings the income. There are many options for creating income as a blogger or website owner, and some choose to use just one, while others use many. This can be anything from hosting ads on your site that earn per view, or being paid to feature products or services in a sponsored post. You may use affiliate links, to refer sales to other sites and earn a small commission for each purchase, or sell products and services you have developed, such as e-books, e-courses and printables.

The best method for you to become a pro blogger in terms of earning actual income is to diversify your income streams by using more than one of these options. This means if something suddenly changes and that particular income stream disappears, you won’t be left completely out of pocket if you are earning from another method as well.

In the past 6 months I have been able to generate a part time income from blogging. There is still plenty to learn and this income can be up and down at times, however it shows that it is possible to become a pro blogger, with hard work and determination, plus a whole lot of learning.

If you could earn an income from doing something you love, what would it be?

26 thoughts on “11 Steps to Become a Pro Blogger”

  1. Thanks for the great blog post. I need to get on top of my blogging schedule tools and also refine my niche a little further.

    1. The refined niche is something I can work on more too. So many cool topics out there but we will get there!

  2. Bronnie - Maid In Australia

    Great post. I still haven’t decided on whether I want to monetise my blog as it’s very much a hobby, and my life is very unpredictable. But it’s something that’s worth thinking about!

    1. It wasn’t something I thought about in the many years of blogging before I launched this blog but it’s amazing what path we can take when the timing suits.

  3. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid

    What a great post and it’s full of top tips! I love blogging but it’s a lot of time and dedication for not much financial reward. For me,it’s a labour of love, but if I could make some moolah I wouldn’t say no!

    1. I don’t think anyone realises how time consuming it is until they get right into it & oh boy, I would love to know the hours I put in. Or maybe I don’t. It would be a little depressing. Lucky we love it ;)

  4. CoSchedule is a huge time saver! The one feature I want them to add is remembering my social sharing times though – that would save me even more time.

    1. It can be a bit tedious adding the social share times for each post. I would love the option to schedule one media at a time but in bulk across multiple dates with a simple list format. So much quicker but I still love coschedule. Maybe we should make suggestions. They are open to feedback :)

  5. Kylie Purtell - A Study in Contradictions

    Photography. To be paid to take photos of anything is my dream and it’s finally starting to come true!

    Great post and great tips. I was too unorganised to make much money from blogging, but I think that has a bit to do with passion too. I have a passion for blogging, but it’s different to my passion for photography. My passion for blogging centres around my life and telling my stories, whereas my passion for photography involves wanting to help create everlasting memories for others and I think that’s why I’m so driven to do it.

    1. How exciting that your passion is becoming profitable. I love photography too but am not always good at it. Especially food photography. My recipe posts show that food blogging is out of reach haha fingers crossed you keep seeing growth with your photography as a business x

  6. Raychael aka Mystery Case

    Great post, full of wonderful tips. I’m more than a bit blogged down at the moment and over inspired. I’m not sure I will ever be a pro blogger and I think my no niche doing things differently approach may need a huge rethink.

    1. You’re doing great though Raycheal. The challenges so far coming out of the Facebook group are great and really out of the box. Sometimes variety works in our favour. I know what you mean by over inspired though. So many ideas.. Not enough hours!

  7. Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy

    A great post Holly and for beginner bloggers, the fact that it takes time and hard work is something that’s really important. I’ve seen time and time again new bloggers wanting to ‘make it’ over night by posting a few good blog posts. Although my main income is not from blogging, blogging got me to where I am as a digital editor and it took a lot of hard work and risks. Congrats on the new eBook too, that’s fantastic.

    1. Thanks Eva. Blogging can be a great stepping stone. Few people see a full time income from it and I would be a lot worse off if not for freelance work as well. Definitely not an all your eggs in one basket money maker and overnight success… Well if only :)

  8. Great post! I’m bookmarking to read again in full a little later…there is so much info out there that it can be overwhelming!

    1. Thanks Jess. You’re not wrong. My Pinterest blog & business board is huge and growing but so much info to go back and absorb as I need it. We are all still learning :)

  9. Thanks Holly and congrats on on what you have achieved. Thanks for your tips and resources too. It’s a great post

  10. Thank you for the reminder that blogging makes me money in so many different ways. I’m ready to dive in deep again!

  11. Glad to help. Regular brain storms are huge for me keeping on track. Plus I’m always adding new topics as they come to me at random times during the day. Feels great knowing there is inspiration if suffering some writers block :)

  12. Maria @ Pastels & Macarons

    Such handy tips. I’ve implemented a lot of these and hope that they will pay off traffic wise. I really enjoyed reading this post and pinning this to my blogging board for future reference. :) x

  13. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for posting such a nice post, Indeed it was an eye-opening post for budding blogger like me.Thank You!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *