“How do I find a job as a paid blogger?” “Do you really make enough money to live off of?” “Isn’t paid blogging for people who are already working in an industry?” “Are you a blogger for hire?” I cannot tell you how often I have heard these questions, and yet people rarely believe my answers. Yes, you can get paid to blog. Yes, you can make enough money to live off of. Yes, you can do it without having any credibility in an industry.
The downside? It takes time to build up a blogging career, just like any other kind. The upside is that the process is different than it is with most career climbing processes. The trick is not to bulk up your resume, but to build a personal brand within your chosen industry so that you gain a little circle of regular clients.
Doing this has an additional benefit: with a personal bloggers’ brand, you can start creating your own blog and building it into an authority in itself. Which will lead to better jobs, for better pay, with most visibility that adds to your brand, and launches your personal blog and brand even higher. Which leads to better jobs, better pay… you see what I am getting at?
How To Build Your Personal Bloggers’ Brand
Really, any way in which you show yourself online is going to help you along the way. But there are a few ways you can start improving your image and brand right away, that have proven to be effective again and again.
Establish a social presence
Social networking is misused a great deal for bland link sharing and pointless status updates that do nothing for anyone. You should use it as a more targeted tool, really getting in there and speaking to people, taking part in conversations, sharing content, and just building a network.
Cultivating a social presence takes time and consistent effort, so the sooner you get started, the better. The chosen platform is up to you, but Twitter is great if you want access to both influencers and random strangers, and Facebook is better suited for longer content, such as using it as its own blog.
Some bloggers have started using the social platform rather than a traditional site, but the downside is you are not just sharing your content, you are giving Facebook ownership of it. Be careful how you share there.
Start finding blogging opportunities
Guest blogging is not the way to build links but it brings natural links (through other bloggers citing you and including you into their weekly roundus) and it is definitely a great way to build authority.
There are so many websites out there that are looking for guest bloggers, and many are looking for consistent bloggers to help represent their brand. The pay is decent, and it is a steady form of income. You might think this lessens your ability to build a personal brand, but it actually lends itself to the process quite nicely.
By aligning yourself with established websites or names, you are essentially showing that you have authority. That will pass on with your personal work, or any other jobs you take in the future. It bulks up your credibility.
Start establishing what your skills are
Do not cast too wide a skill net! This is one of the biggest mistakes bloggers make, thinking that if they try and be an expert on everything in their industry, they will be sure to find success in one of them. But people don’t remember those who are just experts on the industry as a whole.
They remember people who are really well established in a handful of niches within that industry, that can offer an innovative perspective or unique insight. Start establishing your skills, and show that no one else can offer advice on those skills in the way that you can. Before long, you will become well known for those skills.
Delegate for those things you aren’t so good at. If you aren’t very good at technical content, but you want to occasionally feature technical or how to articles on your own blog, don’t try to do it yourself. Instead, invest in hiring someone else to do it.
This links you with others who are in your industry, while offering a connection on your site to a skill you aren’t so good in. You maintain your narrow field of expertise, while taking advantage of the skills of another. That offers your readers the best of both worlds, and increases the chances of them returning. Personal brands are built on the loyalty of the people they target.
Never act timid
Starting out, you would think the best thing to do is ask more experienced people for help, right? Wrong. Plenty of people are happy to help out the newbie, but the problem is that they will then think of you as the newbie! You aren’t going to build a brand that way, you are supposed to be an expert! Of course, you probably aren’t. But most of them aren’t, either. You will quickly learn that no one knows what they are doing, no matter what the industry. Most are just ambling along, trying things and keeping what works, and discarding what doesn’t.
You are not going to be much different. So skip the newbie steps and dive in, feet first. Pretend to be an expert until you are. By the time people catch on that your earlier attempts might not have been so well informed, you will have developed the skills you need to prove you are, in fact, an authority. That is, if people ever catch on; if you do it right, they won’t.
Building a personal brand is among the most important things you can do for yourself, and for your career. These steps will help you do it, but in the end it all comes down to your consistent work, perseverance, and time. The sooner you get started the better, so don’t delay…start building your person brand now, so you can start seeing the benefits sooner.
Trust me, I’m an expert… now.