In under a decade, the concept of blogging has gone from a niche online community to a global phenomenon. Bloggers are now a part of mainstream popular culture and are featured everywhere from television adverts to broadsheet newspapers. Marketeers are now opting to pay for an Instagram post over an advert, and Zoella was the first blogger to have her very own waxwork made at Madam Tussaud’s London. It’s all positive stuff.
In other words, this blogging lark is pretty much everywhere these days. It doesn’t take long to set up a blog, and it’s even easier to brand yourself a blogger. But it does take a certain collection of skills to actually grow a credible blog that brands want to work with and readers want to return to time and time again. Unlike traditional journalism, top bloggers wear many hats in order to get their final content published.
In recent months, I’ve realised just how many layers and skills it takes to run a successful blog. It’s not just about being a good writer, or having an eye for photos. Blogging is now a competitive game, and to be the best, you need to nail every aspect. Here are the 6 job titles of every good blogger:
Above anything else a blogger needs to be able to write, and more importantly, they need to enjoy writing. Part of being a blogger is being able to effectively communicate the product, person, place or process you are talking about which starts with words. Part of being a wordsmith is also being meticulous about proof reading and editing posts. Bloggers need the literary finesse to string sentences together that will engage the reader right down to the bottom of their post.
Good photography has the power to transform a blog from average to spectacular, which means bloggers have to learn at least the basics of photography. Taking the right shots allow bloggers to enhance their storytelling through compelling images. The technical stuff can be taught, but deciding how to frame a photo and finding the perfect angle comes naturally. Along with the photo editing process, bloggers can spend hours at a time on achieving the perfect photo. Good bloggers are perfectionists about their imagery and only choose to feature their very best work. The best bloggers even become known for their distinctive photography style.
3. Social Media Manager
What’s the point of doing all that hard work on a blog if you’re not going to promote it? Social media is the single most powerful platform that bloggers can use to drive traffic to their blog, engage a new audience and increase their reach. The best bloggers seriously use social media to their advantage, and are on top of all the emerging trends and platforms. There’s no text book guide to being ‘good’ at social media, but bloggers take it in their stride and stay one step ahead of the pack.
4. Web Designer
Whilst bloggers may not be coding and designing the website themselves, picking the right design is a huge decision for bloggers. There are plenty of options when it comes to picking a design, from a ready made template to a completely custom-built design. Many other bloggers choose to evolve an existing theme and make it their own. What ever the approach, bloggers are constantly tweaking and improving the design and layout of their site. They have an eye for detail and a good understanding of website navigation and usability.
With an established blog comes a loyal community of readers. These readers see blogs as a trusted resource for knowledge and inspiration. This is when a blogger becomes an influencer – a very powerful thing to be. As an influencer, it’s the blogger’s responsibility to manage their community of readers by engaging and responding to them. It’s also the blogger’s responsibility to be transparent about what they are doing and how they are doing it. This is particularly relevant for travel blogging, which is where I specialise.
6. Head of Business Development
I’ve saved the most important ’til last! So here it is: to run a successful blog you have to know how to sell yourself and be a confident networker. You are in charge of the business development of your blog. Naturally, the bigger your blog becomes, the more people will approach you and ask to work with them. But top bloggers aren’t afraid to do the approaching. They will hand pick the brands they want to work with and strategically pitch what they can offer. If you don’t know your own worth, nobody else will.
As with most media industries, blogging is often all about ‘who you know’. The more contacts you have, the more opportunities will come along. Blogging can be a very insular and solitary activity, so it’s important for bloggers to get out there and meet new contacts face to face via event platforms such as Traverse. Particularly in London, there are lots of networking events available to bloggers, which is a great place to meet brands, PRs and fellow bloggers.
What did you think of my 6 job titles of a blogger? Can you relate to this post or has it taught you something new? I’d love you to leave me a comment in the box below and let me know what you think! X
Have you read The 10 Commandments of Travel Blogging yet?