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How To Become A Professional Blogger: Part 4 – Keeping The Job

by Sean P. Aune | November 29, 2010November 29, 2010 4:00 pm PDT

You’ve hunted for the job, and you’ve applied for it, now how do you keep it once you’ve gotten it?

Just like any job, you have to give blogging your best try, and make sure you live up to our duties.  If you don’t, you can quickly find yourself losing the job you worked so hard to get.  So, how do you go about all of this?  Just like anything else to do with blogging, it isn’t quite like other jobs, so lets take a look at some things you can do.

Time Management

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Anytime you work on your own schedule, which most blogs allow you to do, you run the risk of really messing up your time management.  “Oh, I have until tonight to get those done, think I’ll go watch some TV.”  Next thing you know, you’ve passed out on your couch and you only have an hour to get three articles done.

Set a schedule and stick to it.

It also helps that you make an actual workspace away from distractions.  No TVs, no pets (yeah, I break that part all the time … as I type this with a cat laying in my lap), make it a true work area and not some makeshift spot at the kitchen table.  Go to that place at a set time, do your work, then go on with the rest of the day.  If you aren’t distracted you’d be amazed how fast the work can actually go.

Continue To Practice Your Writing Skills

I don’t care how good you think your writing skills are, there is always room for improvement.  I still make mistakes all the time, and that’s why I’ve bought multiple books on grammar, punctuation and so on.  This is one of my major jobs in life now, and its incumbent upon me to make sure I’m constantly bettering the job I can do.  If you aren’t showing any growth, why should someone keep hoping you will?

Don’t Be Afraid To Admit You’re Overwhelmed

Look, the old saying about biting off more than you can chew always seems to happen in blogging.  At first you’re all enthusiastic, and you think you could write ten posts a day!

Don’t kid yourself.  You might be able to do it for a week, but after a month you’ll be ready to throw yourself off a cliff.

The best thing to do is to just simply talk to your editor and say that you think you overestimated your ability to do that many pieces.  Most of them will work with you and help you find a healthy balance.  It’s a better solution than you quitting from burnout because that would mean a hunt for a new writer, and that’s not anything anyone enjoys.

Build Up Emergency Posts

If your blog allows you to do non-timely pieces, such as “How To” or list type posts, it never hurts to build up a backlog of posts to be used in emergencies.  Blogs rely on you to get in X amount of pieces on a schedule, but what happens if a child falls sick, or you have some form of emergency?  Does the blog go without content, costing them money and page views?  In larger operations such as newspapers these sort of things wouldn’t be a problem, but most blogs are only a few people, and if one misses their posts, it’s obvious to the readers.

A good rule of thumb is to have about a week’s worth of “evergreen” posts on hand.  I’m great at doing this for my paying jobs, but on my personal blog … ha.  At my current employer, TechnoBuffalo, however, I have a good arsenal of posts built up in case I should fall sick or something else comes up where I simply can’t write some day.  As most blogs pay on publication, you are doing this technically for free at the time you write them, but they could pay off big down the road in helping you keep your job.

Remember, This Is A Job

It never ceases to amaze me how many people get the job of a blogger, and then act like it’s a joke.  This is a job, you have duties, do them.  Just because you aren’t face-to-face in most instances doesn’t mean you can slack off and then get snippy with your boss when they call you on it.  (I have seen this happen)  If a blog has hired you, it is a business, and like any other business it is paying you to do a job.  Do it.

Going Forward

I know I originally said this would be a five part series, but a reader e-mailed me a good question about getting yourself known in the early days, so come back next week for Part 5: Increasing Your Visibility.

And, if there is any interest in me continuing this as a weekly series, let me know.  I’m not opposed to it.

This series originally appeared on SeanPAune.com and is reprinted here by permission.


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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