Blogging is a fulfilling career option and every now and then, a blogger needs to refocus, and refresh their outlook and understanding of how to build a brand name for themselves and find newer opportunities for a steady income.
Formerly a diarist, I turned to blogging in 2011 and started Pottsandpan and FirstFlush. I always considered myself to be a seasoned blogger yet recently after attending the IndiBlogger – The Communique Blogging Workshop I realized that I still had a lot to learn / unlearn / relearn!
Why attend a blogging workshop?
Writing is a way of life for me, so did I really need a blogging workshop for reaffirmation? No, I didn’t but these reasons made it imperative that I attend.
- I’m a writer!
Duh?! Yes, I realized that I was first and foremost a writer and only then a blogger. I write about relationships, marriage, parenting, motherhood, being a woman. Writing comes to me naturally but blogging is another story altogether. Since 2011 I have changed the WordPress theme of Pottsandpan only once (and that too, with a help of a dear friend) while FirstFlush continues to use the original format. Conclusion? The dashboards scare me! I needed help…
- Monetizing my blog
This year I finally made a commitment to myself that I would blog full-time. A regular job didn’t interest me anymore but I was definitely interested in a regular income. So, the only way forward was to invest in my understanding of how I could strategically and systematically do that.
This experiential workshop was both insightful and challenging.
What were the 5 key takeaways from the workshop?
1) WordPress is not rocket science.
Okay, so perhaps (for me) it still is and even with my new-found confidence I continue to struggle but the fear is gone. For someone who refused to even think, let alone explore the potential of a theme and its dashboard, I can now look at it (and at length) without shying away!
2) SEO isn’t the beast it is made out to be.
Yes! I’m technologically challenged so much like keeping the WordPress dashboard at bay, I always felt that I would never understand SEO. But the workshop helped hugely to deconstruct SEO and I was literally given a dummy’s guide as to how to make it work for me.
3) Readership support ensures content is king.
Writing is what I do and I know that I’m good at it. But now I’m equipped with the knowledge that I can enhance the content and its impact by giving it a fresh structural perspective and varying the format. Creating reader-friendly content is crucially important for sustainability in the long run.
4) Content is malleable
Apart from writing original content, I also write product reviews, promotional campaigns and ghostwrite. Most often my moralistic outlook prevented me from expanding the scope of the content to suit different platforms and audience needs. But there is a prevalent and acceptable concept of rehashing content and it goes beyond simple replication or saying the same things in a different way. It calls for a clear understanding of how to rework the content to contextually meet the requirements of different publications (offline and online).
5) Your blog name is your identity
As the workshop progressed, I was convinced that I needed to change the name of my blog (Pottsandpan). There’s a good story behind the name (isn’t there always!). Additionally, with good content, I assumed my work was done. But I forgot that my blog was navigating through the unfathomable abyss, the internet! So, to be heard, I had to start making some strategic changes.
6) Professional blogging is a mindset
I had all the right ingredients – I had my niche, I was passionate about it and I had a plan. But if I really wanted to make a career out of it, I not only had to work hard but work smarter. The choice was clear. So, here’s the sixth lesson – yes, the title does read 5 key learnings but we were told that rules can be broken and I’m a fast learner! Professional blogging requires a mindset change and long-term commitment as the process of learning and improving is never-ending.
Blogging is an exciting profession and this workshop expanded my mind to its innumerable opportunities. Today, I’m a happy blogger.
Like me, are you also keen to develop your blogging career? If, yes then check out the IndiBlogger – The Communique Blogging Workshop today!