Are You a Professional Blogger?

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Are You a Professional Blogger?

are you a professional blogger

 

Are you a professional blogger?

I’ve read a lot recently about the idea of being a “professional” blogger. Most of it quite snarky, to be honest. In true British fashion, we don’t like for people to get above their station – especially people who are doing the same as we’re doing.

I have “professional blogger” in my email signature, and on my LinkedIn profile. I earn part of my living from blogging, either on my own sites or those of other people. Other bloggers make more money than me; others make less; others make no money from their blogs. Does that mean eiter of us is any more or less of a professional blogger than the other?

Being a blogger is not like being a doctor; there is no clear line in the sand, where you’ve either passed an exam and become a pro, or you haven’t. It’s a lot more subjective than that. Being a “professional” blogger has more to do with whether you conduct yourself in a professional manner and behave professionally – not just with PRs and brands, but with your fellow bloggers, your peers.

There is a lot of snarkiness out there; people saying you shouldn’t be doing this, should be doing that, can’t do this, mustn’t call yourself that. Who are they to say? Who is anyone to say what you or I can say, or do, or call ourselves? If you’ve not experienced it, that probably just means it’s not caught up with you yet.

When we put ourselves “out there” by writing about ourselves and our lives, we do unfortunately end up also “out there” for others to judge us, and to impose their own ideas and beliefs upon us. We all judge each other by our photos on Facebook, our blog headers, our work with brands. I am no exception; I have been known to turn my nose up at my peers before now. But when I stopped to think about it, I realised: hang on, the Internet is big enough for all of us. There is enough space. And since I do not aim my blog posts at other bloggers, it’s not like any of them is my competition. And really, I don’t care what any other bloggers do; it doesn’t affect me. Yes, there are bloggers out there with whom I don’t necessarily get on. I’ve had a couple of fallings out with people too. But the Internet is a big place, and we can all just do what we do without having to argue over whether we’re doing it right. The beautiful thing about blogging is that there are no rules. Nobody can tell you what you can or can’t do.

I give out plenty of advice about blogging and social media, but ultimately it’s all my own opinion, and my own experience: things that have worked for me, or things that I do or do not like. I can’t tell you that you definitely should or should not do this or that, because at the end of the day I don’t know. It’s not like baking a cake, where if you add sawdust it will most definitely turn out tasting horrible; with blogging if you add sawdust your blog just has more of a DIY bent this week. Maybe your readers will like that; maybe they won’t. One thing I do know for sure though: Someone who does not read your blog and is not your target audience cannot tell you whether that is a good idea. All they can tell you is whether they like it, and since they’re not who you aim your blog at any way, do you care whether they like it?

Some of us refer to our children by name; others use nicknames or initials. Some of us talk in detail about our personal lives; others only use wide brushstrokes to refer to our lives. Some of us poke fun and are humorous in what we post; others are more emotional or serious or political. Which of us is right? All of us. We are all right. Even the ones who spend their time poking fun at their fellow bloggers, being snarky about what we do.

There will always be people out there snarking at what you do. That says more about them than about you. When someone is that unhappy with every single little thing around them, you will never make them like what you’re doing, because they don’t like themselves.

It is easy to sit at a computer and write a passive aggressive, snide diatribe about other people and what they should or shouldn’t be doing. It takes precious little in the way of talent to poke fun at others rather than address our own issues. Doing those things does not make someone qualified to decide what others may or may not say or do.

If you want to call yourself a professional blogger, call yourself a professional blogger. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, just because they are scared, or don’t want to do the same.

 

 

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By | 2016-02-15T11:29:00+00:00 December 11th, 2015|Blogging|6 Comments

About the Author:

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Vicky is a social media and blogging trainer who offers workshops and one-to-one coaching in Salisbury as well as online training and webinars. You can read her personal blog at SingleMotherAhoy.com.

6 Comments

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    Mrs Tubbs December 11, 2015 at 10:34 am - Reply

    It’s up to everyone what they call themselves but to me, the phrase “professional blogger” implies that the person makes some or all of their income via blogging. As I don’t do that, I consider myself a hobby blogger.

    I don’t see the word professional relating to conduct in this context. Ideally, every blogger should be behave well and act with integrity. But as this isn’t an ideal world, they don’t. But as the only person’s behaviour I can control is my own, the most important thing is that I do the right thing. As long as I’m doing that and my corner of the Internet is a welcoming and safe space, then I’m cool with that.

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    Hannah Atkinson December 11, 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    I do agree with this. When a profession (see what I did there?!) can also be a hobby, I think that there’s nothing wrong with showing that you take it seriously and in my mind, I assume a professional blogger earns at least part of their living, from blogging. Some bloggers can be very unprofessional and simply want to blag freebies and see it as the goal whereas some hobby bloggers like myself, try to (!) act professionally where brands are involved. I’d not describe myself as a professional blogger as my blog is non profit but I would describe myself to brands as priding myself in working to create a professional relationship. If they are offering a product or service as payment for a review, I want them to know that I will conduct myself professionally and take deadlines seriously and that my opinion will be expressed in a professional way. I guess, that’s what you have said!

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    Wave to Mummy December 11, 2015 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    I am at two minds. In a way I think professional blogger is a bit of an oxymoron. You aren’t a professional copywriter, a professional designer or even a professional doctor. I guess I would rather have for profit blogger, if you earn your income from blogging. But like you say, call yourself whatever floats your boat, internet is big enough for us all 🙂 I earn some income from my blog and mostly call myself as just blogger, and if it comes to it, I say my blog is a for profit blog.

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    Lisa Barry December 11, 2015 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    I’m new to blogging and intend to make it a key part of my income in due course. I have just changed my description to professional blogger because I believe If you want to be something you should act like you already are. 🙂

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    Solveig December 19, 2015 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Oh this is great.
    I see myself as a writer, a teacher and a blogger. All professionally of course. I treat my blog like a job, but what is wrong with liking your job? I don’t make any money through my writing (yet) that’s for 2016. I still have to be a bit less shy when it comes to my blogger status.

  6. Avatar
    Michael Noker December 26, 2015 at 1:08 am - Reply

    I’m far from earning most of my income from my blog or any other online work, although it’s steadily growing as I get better at what I do. So I consider this a hobby – or more, a creative project for myself. But the nice thing is that we’re all bloggers, and we all experience similar frustrations and challenges and spend a similar amount of time trying to find creative ways to overcome those hurdles and build our presence. That’s what I like most about being a blogger – connecting with other people all over the world who have similar goals to me, but try to achieve them in so many different, wonderfully creative ways.

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