What does it take to be a pro blogger? Does a blogger need to earn a lot of money, get a million traffic, win an award, or become famous to be called a pro? If you maintain a blog, a type of website where an individual or a group publishes posts or information in a regular basis, you might ask how to become a professional or a pro blogger? We all want to be called professionals. And when we are called, we also want to maintain that professionalism. That is why as bloggers, we should not stop learning how to blog like a pro.
The following discussions are not meant to undermine some bloggers, but only to guide every blogger to improving their blogging experience. I also want this article to be my own watch list in keeping myself on the right track to my journey to blogging success. If you want to learn some light, here are 16 blogging tips to guide you to becoming a pro blogger.
1. Blog about the topic you’re expert at
Professional blogging means blogging about things that you are knowledgeable at, whether you earned that knowledge through formal education or through self-training and life experience. Don’t choose a topic just because it’s what’s hot now and it’s where the money goes. Pro bloggers create their own heat. They also don’t go for the money; it’s the money that comes to them.
2. Learn your blogging platform well
Are you using WordPress as your blogging software? If your blog is powered by WordPress, then you should know how to optimize it. A blogger can’t become pro if he doesn’t know how to leverage the thing that is powering his blog. Hence, do your best to learn and discover the features and magic of your blogging software, whether it’s WordPress or not.
3. Have a trustworthy about page
You need to earn the trust and confidence of your audience. Only professional ninjas hide their face to the public. If you want to be called as a pro blogger and not a pro ninja, then you should show your face and introduce yourself professionally to your blog’s readers and followers.
4. Set clear rules and policies on your blog
5. Get a professional blog design
A professional design doesn’t mean you need to always have a corporate design for your blog. It only means you need to match your design to your profession or blog’s niche. In other words, if you are blogging about business, then have a business theme or design. If you’re blogging for fashion, then make your design fashionable. Don’t make your personal development blog looks like a video game blog.
6. Create quality blog posts
A quality blog post means a post that answers your audience questions and solves their problems. They are contents that satisfy your blog’s users. To gain quality, you need to invest more patience, diligence and time in researching and ensuring that your posts will be useful to your visitors. Avoid writing blog posts that answer your own question and solve your own problem. Leave that kind of blog posts to famous celebrities like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.
7. Create original contents
People look for professionals to get special services. If your blog is a database of a copycat’s contents, then why should we call you a pro blogger? Pro bloggers are dedicated to providing information and contents that are exclusively coming from themselves. That is why you can also call them authoritative and specialized bloggers.
8. Be on time
Although you can be your own boss, you should also always fulfill your followers’ expectations. Don’t make your readers wait for too long in waiting for your next blog post. Keep your blog updated. If you will take a vacation and will not be able to update your site, be honest to tell your readers that you will take a break and will be coming back on a certain date. Professionals don’t disappoint their clients.
9. Interact with your readers and visitors
When you blog, set it to be public, and let it be indexed by search engines, you will have visitors. When you write, it will be read by readers. You’re not blogging to only be read by yourself, aren’t you? That is why don’t act like no one is reading, visiting, talking, and questioning your blog. Simply, don’t be snobbish. When visitors enter your home (your blog), welcome them. Talk to them, especially when they say hi and hello to you.
Some might say pro bloggers don’t need to socialize because they are already great bloggers and they don’t need any help from anyone. Well, socializing doesn’t only mean asking help from anyone, but it also involves helping others. Whether it is a group online or offline, professionals join professional groups or organizations not only to ask help, but also to offer help.
11. Be ethical and reputable
Pro bloggers uphold their integrity and they conform to the code of ethics. Although there is no formal code of ethics that governs bloggers, there are many codes that are related to blogging, such as the code of ethics for journalism, advertising and other related professions. Maintaining a good reputation is difficult, but this toughness is what distinguishes pro bloggers from other bloggers.
12. Be user-oriented
Professionalism in blogging is not measured by how much you earn from your blog. There are some bloggers who claim themselves as pro by displaying their paychecks from advertising companies or from other clients. These proofs should be presented to inspire people and not to exhibit as evidence of being a pro blogger. Even if a blogger earns a million if his blog is nothing but an advertising haven cluttered with banners and ads, we can’t consider him a pro. A blog maintained by a pro provides more value to its readers… not to advertisers.
13. Be humble and accountable
The pros became matured bloggers through their years of experience in blogging. In those years they have learned how to be humble, careful and responsible. That is why you will not observe the pros to have a big mouth – because they know how to keep their mouth shut. They aren’t boastful, they aren’t attackers, and they aren’t envious. They are just simple yet helpful.
14. Invest money
If you want to have a professional blog, you should learn how to sacrifice and invest some money. Provide value by giving the value of money. A top level domain name only costs around $10 per year. A basic web hosting can cost less than $10 a month. If you will leave free blogging, it may cost you $10 to $15 a month. If you can’t afford it but you can spend $16 a month in eating junk foods, then you are more a pro junk-food-eater than a pro blogger. Consider becoming aggressive. If you see a good future in blogging, don’t be afraid to invest.
15. Continue learning about blogging
Wisdom also distinguishes the pros from other bloggers. They are wise not to declare themselves persons who know everything. That is why they keep on learning and updating. The Internet and the social media are fast revolving. If you can’t innovate and adapt to rapid changes, you will become like the pro bloggers some years ago who now become outdated bloggers.
16. Be a master and a teacher
Professionals are called pro because they have mastery or have mastered what they do. They have attained it through patience, diligence, persistence and continuing practice. Because of their expertise, they have earned followers and students who want to listen and obtain knowledge and wisdom from them. They teach blogging and how to develop people’s lives through blogging. They are teachers of discipline, which they have earned when they were just learning how to be a pro blogger.
Pro bloggers were once amateur bloggers. So if you think you are not yet there to be considered a pro, don’t be discouraged. The pro status can be earned and can also be lost. It’s not really a race on who have earned it first. The real question is who will sustain it? Finally, I don’t even call myself a pro blogger because I believe it is not to be self proclaimed. We just need do our best to help our blog’s users, our readers, and other bloggers, and let them called us pro bloggers in their own sense.