I like to blog. I’m glad I have a blog. Under no circumstances, however, would I consider myself a professional blogger. Since it is the sixth day of NaBloPoMo, here are six reasons I still claim amateur blogging status.
1. I don’t post regularly. Like, at all. I gamely try posting every day…and then I get interrupted…and then my blog is silent for a month. Or more. Professional bloggers post at least somewhat regularly, even if it’s not daily.
2. I know very little about SEOs, good tags, or Google analytics. While this has very little to do with actual writing skill, knowing the best and most effective ways to get my blog seen, read, engaged, and shared would take me to a different level than my current “I’ll just write and maybe someone will stumble across it” method.
3. I haven’t found my niche. While I am striving to be authentically fully me and posting about any and all areas and interests in my life, it truthfully often feels a little disjointed. Adoption people aren’t necessarily interested in liturgy writing, and eco-conscious folks probably don’t care about my family life. I used to have two separate blogs, one personal, and one more “professional,” but that felt even more disjointed. However, I think the only way to find my niche is to keep writing and see what comes up often, what draws people, and what “works.” (See #1.) Until then, I will appear to be a hobby blogger, and not a professional.
4. I don’t get paid. I make not one dime from my blog–not even “in kind” payments like gifts or promotional items. In order to call myself a professional blogger, I think I’ll need to at least make a little income from my work, whether through ads, sponsored posts, or simply building my audience enough that someone wants to pay me to write (hey, a woman can dream).
5. I don’t network much with other bloggers. I’ve never been to a blogging conference (sorry, BlogHer). I am terrible about keeping up with other blogs, even the ones I dearly love and enjoy reading. I post on Twitter the same way I blog, in bursts and silences. Professionals network and connect with others in their field.
6. Connected to #5, I don’t keep up with continuing education. I don’t try and learn new trends in blogging, or read articles about writing tips or sit down and figure out the damn SEOs and how to use them. I don’t have a feed I check every day for news on which I could blog or watch TED talks on living your dreams. Professionals do not stay static, but continue to learn, explore, and hone their crafts.
I would love to become a professional blogger, in some form. Generally, however, that doesn’t happen by accident, but with intention and hard work. It will take discipline (that darn #1 again) and perseverance, and probably a decent amount of luck.
It looks like I have effectively made myself a to-do list. Heck, I might have even just made myself an outline for my 2015 blog goals. Take that, procrastination–I’m two months ahead of the game!