Every profession has its own set of basic necessities. Carpenters need woodworking tools. Rocket scientists need to really know how to use numbers. Bloggers need the Internet for a place to publish their brilliant prose.
But, you need much more than that. If you’re just getting started down the road to becoming a successful blogger, make sure that you meet the following requirements.
First and foremost, bloggers are writers. As such, touch screen keyboards do not work as well as standard keyboards. Unless you use the hunt-and-peck method of typing — and you’re somehow fast and accurate —the ability to feel real keys is essential.
These days, most other physical equipment has been replaced with online alternatives. Shelves full of research books have been replaced by a wealth of information available on the Internet. You still need a phone, but landlines increasingly have been replaced by phones connected to the internet. Many people count solely on their cellular connections.
Finally, be aware that the need to fax has not gone away. If you write for clients. you’re bound to, at the very least, need to send and receive signed contracts. You don’t need a fax machine, though. You can handle this task online in a number of ways, including through email fax services.
There’s no escaping the need a blogger has for some form of Word Processing software, which typically comes with its own writing assistance, such as spelling checkers, grammar checkers, and even a thesaurus. You can also find a host of low-cost or free online writing tools that often provide robust writing assistance.
Since blogging is Internet-based, most bloggers need web publishing tools. If you have your own website, you’ll need to find a web host, which helps you to obtain a website address and probably provides the instructions and tools that you need to get things generally up and running.
Of course, you also need a tool to actually get your content on the screens of your audience. Perhaps the most popular tool is WordPress, which offers reasonably-priced web hosting alternatives. Whether you use their paid services or not, it’s free word processing-like interface is probably the most widely-recognized tool used by bloggers to easily format and publish blog content.
#3. An Audience
Every writer’s content is produced for an audience. Every journal writer has an audience of one, but bloggers expect their work to be followed by many people. As such, you can’t perform your craft and find appropriate readers until you first get to know your potential audience.
Your readers may be just like you; however, it’s more likely that a wide range of people might be interested in your words of wisdom. Whether your blog is intended to sell a product or service, explain how things work, or just share your personal insights, your goal is to identify every possible person who might become a loyal follower.
These people might have the interests of rural versus urban people. They may be beginners in your subject matter or experts who want to gain advanced knowledge. They may come from a variety of age groups, or even from many different countries. This information drives everything from the topics you write to the structure and vocabulary that you use, so it’s important to get it right.
If you write for clients, they might voluntarily identify the intended readership, but don’t count on it. Even though they know the intended audience, they may not think to describe your readers until you ask some pointed questions. So, regardless of the type or purpose of your blog posts, always assume full responsibility for this important step.
Particularly if you’re a paid blogger, you cannot afford to run out of ideas. This is why most professional bloggers maintain content calendars, which ensure that a list of ideas is always available.
How do you come up with the ideas to populate that calendar? Naturally, you’re likely to find countless idea sources by reading reputable Internet articles related to your subject matter — as long as you gain inspiration without copying content. But, don’t stop with obvious idea sources.
Reviewed with an open mind, general new reports can be full of inspiration. You might be a business writer who sees an article about a community that bans puppy mills. This one article might generate ideas about the future of commercial pet businesses or even about how that one community’s economic profile might be affected by the new law.
Your ideas can come from anywhere if you train your mind to be vigilant. Conversations with friends can be a rich source. You might even find that TV commercials suddenly become more interesting when they generate fodder for a future blog post.
#5. Editorial Assistance
Professional authors know that their work is more about editing than writing the first draft. They also know that they will miss many of their own errors, regardless of how many times they review the prose. In other words, self-editing only takes you so far.
The editorial capacity in your own brain does not always accurately see the words in front of it; it tends to forgive your errors. Spelling and grammar checkers provide some assistance. While they help find obvious mistakes, however, they do not provide the comprehensive assistance that you need.
Before you publish your writing for the world to see, find someone with an eagle eye whom you trust to review it. If you write for clients, they typically edit with a helpful, laser-like focus. If you don’t have this luxury, solicit help from friends and family.
Of course, developing an attitude that lets you accept edits to your golden words requires a thick skin. Until you learn to recognize the value of editing, your writing career may have limited success.
A Methodology Will Develop Over Time
If you intend blogging to become a full-time job, you will need to develop the efficiency to take each blog post quickly from idea to final published piece. Mastery of the above requirements naturally leads to the development of a methodology that shaves time and effort off of the content development process.
There are countless ways to do this, from developing macros and style sheets that speed the time taken for repetitive writing activities to filling enough detail and research links into each topic idea to jump-start the eventual writing. By carefully observing activities that slow you down or affect the accuracy of your content, your mind will help you find creative ways to resolve them.
Recognize that creativity extends beyond your prose to the procedures used to create it. Internalizing that one concept could help you to become the world’s most famous blogger!