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Oct30
Business Blog Help: Pro Blogging Test
Leslie Taylor at Fast Company says that your blog can help you launch a career.  Leslie is right - it can.  Blogging offers tremendous potential.  While I agree with Tony Hung at The Blog Herald and Deep Jive Interests that Leslie's article should have included more information about the challenges of blogging with a career-oriented purpose in mind, I am glad that Leslie shares several inspiring examples of folks who have made blogging work for them.

As a full-time blog network editor, I know how hard it is to earn a lot of money blogging.  I know that Darren (or Darren) or Jason or Jeremy or a host of others would tell you from personal experience that it's possible to make a full-time living via blog publishing.  But I also know that they would probably tell you that it's not easy for all people in all circumstances to do.

So how are you supposed to know whether you could become a professional blogger or use blogging to jumpstart your career?  Here are five questions - a quick quiz, if you will:

Stack of Gold Coins.jpg1. How many hours a week can you set aside for blogging? ___ (Enter a number from 0 to 168)

2. How well can you write? ___ (0 to 10 scale; 0 = totally illiterate; 10 = Shakespeare, Hemingway and Steinbeck combined)

3. How fast can you work? ___ (0 to 10 scale; 0 = snail riding a turtle's back; 10 = speed of light)

4. How well can you focus? (0 to 10 scale; 0 = what was the question again?; 10 = focus is my middle name)

5. How fast are your computer and Web connection? (0 to 10 scale; 0 = molasses dripping down a snail on a turtle's back; 10 = puts light speed to shame)

Add up all your answers.  If you score 40 or above, you've got hope!  (208 means come talk to me right away - there's a job opening for you!)

My point is simply this: The more time you have, the better.  The better you can write, the better.  The faster you can work ... etc.

What do you think?  Is blogging full-time easier or harder than people make it out to be?  What are the factors that make getting a blogging job (or using blogging to get a job) easier or harder?  I know we have quite a few pro bloggers in this audience and I would love to hear what you think.


9 Comments/Trackbacks




Let me just add to what I said above - in my opinion, the most important factor is #2 - how well you can write. But I guess along with that, it's also how fast you can work (#3).

Easton, surprisingly I disagree with you about how well you can write. Though I certainly think writing ability helps. Style might more more difference. But I also think the content, makes the most difference, and if its relevant to the audience. There's one doctor blogger up in Canada who is writing about her expereinces with implementing an electronic medical record. Boring stuff, but when you just read her explain the successes and difficulties she and her staff are having with the system. Not only is the blog compelling reading for any doctor who wants to take the plunge with emr, but it makes a great story for everyone else. The doctor writes well, but I think its more about her willingness to reveal herself, and what's happening that makes the blog compelling.

Blogs can be as effective a tool for launching individual careers as they are for helping small businesses. If you want to promote yourself as a consultant or business professional then what better way than to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise through your articles.

If your blog does become really popular then maybe you could consider blogging full time. But I would only ever recommend this as being your secondary objective behind starting your blog in the first place.

Easton,

1) I've been surgically attached to my computer, so time is not an issue.

2) It's not enough to write well, the key is to write well across the board.

3) As far as speed, it goes along with focus.

4) Computer speed is fixable.

Carolyn

John, great answer and it expanded my take on this. You're absolutely right - it's not just how "well" you can write, it's also (and perhaps especially) how much knowledge you can share that's helpful and relevant and even unique - something readers can't get elsewhere.

Your description of that medical blog reminds me of one of our blogs - GrowYourFunds.com - written by Larry Stay, who must be one of the smartest investing minds alive. His content is incredible - in fact, it goes waaay over my head a lot of times - so it doesn't matter to me what his writing voice is like (although he does write well too). So I would say that that the more valuable the knowledge that you're able to share, the less critical it is to have a polished or poetic tone or voice.

Matt, taking blogging cautiously is a wise thing - I think you would agree that quitting one's day job in order to START a blog and try to make a full-time go of it is - shall we say - a BAD idea. On the other hand, if you start a blog and it really takes off in popularity (and maybe revenue?), then eventually you might be wise to consider spending more time on it than your current job allows. I totally agree with your point about self-promotion - that can be done very easily with a blog (although of course your content hopefully doesn't scream "SELF-PROMOTION," but rather "Here's useful info; I hope you enjoy it").

Thanks, guys - you got this motormouth runnin'!

Anyone else care to share their views/thoughts?

Glad you stopped by, Carolyn!

True - computer speed is fixable. Lack of writing skills is too, but takes more time.

(grumbles about own computer slowness and recent Web connection pronlems)

My answer to the above questions is contingent on how much you pay! :-)

Larry's blog sounds like a great example, I will have to check that out.

Paul, Paul, Paul ... tsk tsk ... :)

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