Imagine you have been given a chance to write about your day, about your thoughts and feelings and for all that you get paid in return. Seems exciting and easy right? Well, that’s what exactly the fuss about professional bloggers is. For those who have a habit of maintaining a personal journal or those who follow the “dear diary” tradition, professional blogging as a career can be one of your options. Who doesn’t like earning money while sitting at home in a cozy bed with a cup of tea, delivering targets as and when they feel like it? If you love writing and want a career in the same field, blogging can be a very good platform to begin with.
A professional blogger is an individual who writes blogs for a living and has gained some expertise in the field of writing. Blogging as a professional career doesn’t require any specific degree or course but it does require excellent writing skills. Although this particular profession doesn’t have any specific time restrictions, as a Professional Blogger, you must adhere to the set targets. Let’s dig a little deeper into the work life and job description of a professional blogger.
Why become a blogger?
As a Blogger, you will have to write different articles, prose, poetry, essays, and other textual material or create videos focusing on diverse topics ranging from finance, food, and travel to consumer products, cars, and movies following your interests in specific fields. Your written articles or videos will be published online on Websites, Webpages or mobile / Web applications. Video Bloggers are also called ‘Vloggers’.
You may work independently to maintain your personal Website or you may work for any company. You may also find work with content-related agencies that employ bloggers to write for their clients. This field demands the ability to conduct extensive exploration and investigation about several topics that you may not be aware of initially.
You should have good research and writing skills although you do not need any formal education or certification to become a professional Blogger. You will need to work for long hours and type for extended periods to generate written textual matter keeping in mind the target audience and the latest trends, without losing your creativity.
Since your work will mostly be published online, you may need to know how to grow your search traffic (increase the chance of people discovering your writing first while searching on a particular topic online). This strategy is more commonly known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) today. You may need to attend SEO courses in order to know more about this.
The best thing about being a professional blogger is that you can set your own targets and work accordingly. As a professional blogger, you get to decide your area of interest and create a platform that can then be further promoted for viewer traffic on which your earnings highly depend. With the growing pace of digitalization, blogs have become a great platform to start earning and this is entirely based on two things- good content and viewership traffic.
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Popular specialization in blogging career
- Professional Bloggers are full-time employees with various companies who want company-related information or general information to be relayed to stakeholders (interested parties like clients, investors, competitors, general public etc.) through written textual materials (blogs) on their company Websites.
- Freelance bloggers get hired by companies or entrepreneurs to write on specific topics. This is usually flexible hiring for a certain period of time and for definite work-related projects only on a freelance basis. They usually work from home or their personal studio office. This way they can gather a number of clients and develop their personal business networks too.
- Personal Bloggers select their own subjects and write independently. Business owners also write blogs about their businesses to reach a wider audience (business bloggers). Personal Bloggers build their own Websites with help from online services like GoDaddy, HostGator, Bluehost etc. They select the kind of advertisements they want to display on their Websites so that when readers visit their pages, they might see and click on those advertisements. Personal Bloggers get paid through these advertisements. They select advertisements using services like Google AdSense, Infolinks, Chitika, and Media.net
- Vloggers shoot videos following their interests in specific fields and post them online. The topics may be finance, food and travel or consumer products, cars and movies. The videos can be related to anything like music, dance, politics, news, beauty/self-care, comedy, parody, film reviews, mobiles/gadget reviews, car reviews or the ‘how-to’ categories like how to build something or how to cook something or how to do something etc.
- Microbloggers post short messages (with or without associated pictures, images or videos) or only images and videos on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Dailybooth, Posterous, Instagram, Pinterest, 12 Seconds or similar social networks and microblogs. Most companies today look for Microbloggers or content writers for posting regular updates (company-related information) on their social networks or official Websites. Microblogging is becoming extremely popular these days as less time is spent for developing content and consuming it, blogs can be posted more frequently (being less time consuming), urgent and time-sensitive posts can be shared easier, communication with the followers is much more direct as compared to bigger and longer posts.
What does a blogger do?
A professional blogger is responsible for writing, editing and promoting the content of a personal blog or for a corporate organization. The core responsibilities of a blogger is to research for each post, pitch in unique and creative ideas, write in an engaging way, adding related pictures and tables and other relevant data.
As a blogger, you will be involved in the following key roles and responsibilities:-
- Receiving assignments or evaluating tips or leads to create story ideas.
- Choosing subject matter and suitable forms to express concepts and ideas, or to narrate events or stories.
- Conducting research on a subject’s background information to obtain authentic detail and factual information providing accurate and complete information, using sources like diaries, online resources, books, newspaper accounts or other material.
- Developing factors such as context, themes, framework, sub-sections, and textual design to create the required material.
- Writing nonfiction or fiction prose, such as short stories, biographies, novels, articles, critical or descriptive reports, and essays.
- Writing narrative, lyrical, dramatic, or other kinds of poetry to be published.
- Following appropriate procedures to obtain your copyrights for finished work.
- Attending product launches and publicity events, or conducting public readings.
How to become a blogger – eligibility criteria
Structured and formal education is not necessary to become a Blogger. However, it is advisable to complete at least a graduation to become a Blogger as you will have to conduct extensive research on varied topics according to your work requirements for reproducing the gathered information in your own words.
While continuing with your education, you can attend training lessons related to blogging offered by several private educational establishments, digital marketing, and allied companies, training wings of privately owned businesses, etc. across the country.
At the beginning, you must start writing your own blogging website using tools such as WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, Wix, etc. or microblogging sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Dailybooth, Posterous, Instagram, Pinterest, 12 Seconds. If you can gather a large number of followers, you may start earning through your own blog. You earn simply by using Google ads on your blog. But to earn sufficient money, you need to have a large number of followers or a large number of subscribers to your vlog. Apart from that, various companies may hire you on a freelance basis to write their blogs. Some examples are:
- Writing agencies
- Media / Entertainment
- IT-Software / Software Services
- Internet / E-commerce
- Advertising / PR / MR / Event Management
- Education / Teaching / Training
- Banking / Financial Services / Broking
- Travel / Hotels / Restaurants / Airlines / Railways
- Strategy / Management Consulting Firms
- KPO / Research / Analytics
- NGO / Social Services / Regulators / Industry Associations
Salary of a blogger
If you are working as a freelancer, you may get about 80 paise per word at the beginning of your career. Depending upon the quality of your work over a period of time, you may start getting about Rs. 1 – 2 per word. Senior freelancers may charge even Rs. 4 per word. Your monthly earning will depend upon how much work you can take. It’s difficult to get work initially. You will need 2-3 years to get work regularly. Once you start getting work regularly, you may earn anything between Rs. 25,000 – 75,000 or even more a month. It’s not impossible to earn more than a lakh a month too.
If you have your own blog, you have to build a very large base of followers. When that happens, say, you have a follower base of 50,000, you may activate a Google advert on your blog and start earning money from it. This will take time but when you reach a great number of followers, it will not be impossible to earn Rs. 50,000 – 1,00,000 or much more per month on average.
The same is true for vlogging on Youtube. Depending on the number of unique viewers or subscribers on your channel, Youtube may show ads and you can start earning money. The quality of your videos will matter a lot. If you can hit something like 50,000 – 100,000 subscribers or views, you can earn decent money. It’s not impossible to earn Rs. 50,000 – 2,00,000 or even more per month from Youtube.
Similarly, you can make money from microblogging sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Dailybooth, Posterous, Instagram, Pinterest, and 12 Seconds.
Career progression in blogging profession
Career progress in this career is about garnering more and more followers to your blogs or subscribers to your video blogs. The more you garner, the more fame you have and the more money you have. Reputed professional bloggers earn in millions.
What does industry trends say – future prospects
The road ahead for this pathway looks bright. India is the 2nd largest global online market behind China. The number of Internet users in India is reportedly going to reach a hefty 630 million by the end of 2019. Such a massive online audience is definitely profitable for Indian Bloggers who depend on organic reach (unpaid distribution) through social media, Google or other search engines. This number has reported an annual growth rate of around 18%. Out of the total user base, 87% are regular users accessing the Internet daily. More than 40% of these regular users are from rural India which validates the tremendous Internet penetration in the country through faster networks, cheap data plans, and easier accessibility.
The urban growth rate of Internet users is around only 7% whereas the rural one is around 35%. Indian Bloggers can easily adopt this profession as digital consumption has peaked recently in the country. Active social media penetration (through mobile phones) has reached 21%. The average time per week spent by users across rural India is almost 437 minutes on online written material, digital advertisements, news, chat applications, entertainment, and social media.
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