[AD] I first started to blog back in 2010, 9 1/2 years ago. Back then I really didn’t know what I was letting myself in for and never dreamt it could be a career choice. I was employed as a civil servant and never dreamt I could replicate my good salary with a work from home job that fitted so much better with my life.
For a few years, I just plodding along blogging for fun never realising you could earn money. A few people approached me to do some collaboration work but being a civil servant I couldn’t earn from another source so turned everything down.
Fast forward to 2013 and life was suddenly very different. I have a number of chronic illnesses that I had been having issues with, mostly relating to a medication I was taking. I didn’t realise this at the time but I was having severe side effects that had resulted in me needing a number of operations. After 15 operations in the space of 12 months, I had reached the point where I couldn’t carry on with my employment.
When you decide to blog whether it is for fun, to earn some extra money or as a career you need to be able to write content, string a sentence together. Tools like Grammarly are excellent with spelling and correct grammar if this is something that you struggle with only remember to change it to UK English if you are British as The American’s and us spell so many words differently.
Once you have written your content you need to proofread your work. It is very easy to miss out words and also to actually read those words that you have missed out when proofreading!
Networking is one of the best blogging skills you can ever acquire. Networking really is essential both online and in person. I am lucky to be invited to blogger events and also review opportunities as part of my job. It is essential that you interact with others in order to promote your site but also to gain work.
Photography and Editing
An image is worth a thousand words and makes such a difference to a blog. A clear bright picture shared on social media can bring readers to your blog whereas a blurry photo won’t.
Photo editing skills is one of the must-have blogging skills you should acquire. I wouldn’t say I am a photography expert, I may have done GCSE Photography but that was 30 years ago BEFORE digital cameras and if I’m honest I can’t remember much about the technical side of photography.
I just use my phone, an iPhone 8 to take my photographs and then edit on my phone. I also have a couple of backdrops from Capture By Lucy which as amazing quality and value. I do add a simple filter for Instagram but that is simply picking the same filter every time and pressing the screen. The quality of the cameras on modern phones is ideal for blogging with the addition of a little editing which in my case it brightening up the shot.
It’s hard to believe that such a short time ago we all existed without social media in our lives! Facebook was only launched in 2003, twitter in 2006 and Instagram is the baby of the bunch having only been around a mere 9 years having only started in 2010. Now in 2019 it just seems to rule our lives and nothing we do is not sharing on one social media platform or another.
My presentation skills, where do I start? I went to university and got a Degree, a Post-Graduate degree and Masters. During this time I did many presentations. Professionally, I interviewed people in relation to compliance issues. I am perfectly capable of talking to people, one on one and in a group or standing up and giving a presentation to a group of people I have never met until somebody gets a camera out!
As well as the three above; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram there is also Youtube where a lot of bloggers post content as well as videos as part of Instagram Stories.
My mouth goes dry and I just CANNOT get my words out!
Don’t ask me why as I have no idea. The thought of making a Youtube video or doing an Instagram Story where I have to speak to the camera, whether I looking and the camera or hidden scares the living daylights out of me.I know it is ridiculous but I just can’t do it.
Everyone I discuss this with just says practice, practice, practice. I do but it doesn’t get any better. I have lost count of how many hours and I mean hours that I have sat holding my phone looking at the camera trying to record myself talking. I am at a loss as to why I am like this and perhaps a presentation skills course may be the answer.
Marketing can be linked to your Social Media as strictly speaking by posting on your Social Media channels you are marketing your content. However, you need to ‘get’ your brand seen. Not only on social media but also by brands if you want to do collaboration work.
Simply put, to develop your brand you need to look at all aspects of your blog and social media and streamline colours, formats, graphics in a way that makes you stand out from all the other bloggers in order to be noticed.
In order to market your brand by streamling the look of your blog and graphics, you will need to develop some basic graphic design skills by using for example CAnva. Although they have a wide variety of templates for you to use, these templates are available for use by everyone else who use Canva. I am by no means a graphic designer and have found it quite easy to design some graphics using my brand colours.
This is where your negotiation skills come in. You have to sell your self in order to negotiate a price you are happy to work for. I’m not going to preach you should be asking for X figure as a minimum because our circumstances are all different. Our circumstances can differ month by month even week by week. Just don’t sell yourself short but at the same time don’t go without food on the table because you won’t work for less than X.
As I said above, networking is an essential part of my job but as a blogger, there is a certain level of pressure to be on ALL social media platforms.
When a brand or PR company approach you to work on a collaboration they are wanting to pay you the minimum amount they can and you are wanting the highest amount you can get. Sometimes they will approach you asking for you to work for free and 99% of the time they have a budget.
What skills are essential to do your job?