If you want to make money as a blogger then you need to be able to exude confidence about your work. A confident blogger is able to write with authority about his subject which means that people are going to take what he says more seriously and be more interested in reading it (and telling others to read it). A confident blogger will be able to sell herself as a blogger to people she wants to sponsor her work, advertise on her blog or pay her to write posts on their sites. And a confident blogger will have what it takes to encourage people they don’t know well to check out their blog.
Here are some basic tips for exuding more confidence as a blogger:
• Don’t diminish what you do. The biggest mistake that bloggers make is to diminish their work by talking about it as if it doesn’t matter. You’re at a party and someone asks you what you do. You say, “I write” or “I blog”. They say “oh, about what?” You give a lame answer that doesn’t really describe your work. You’ve just lost a potential reader. Plus you’ve exhibited the fact that you don’t take your own work seriously. Be proud of what you do. Be comfortable explaining it to others. Hand them your business card which has a link to your URL and encourage them to check you out. If you feel good about your blog, others will too.
• Bid a professional rate when applying for blogging jobs. If you don’t just blog for yourself but also apply for blogging jobs then you want to make sure that you’re not taking on low-paying work. This will trap you at the bottom rung of the blogging ladder where you won’t really love what you do and you’ll start to feel bad about blogging.
• Create a professional bio for your “about the author” page. It’s easy to write a bio that says you’re a part-time blogger who likes cooking and knitting. Don’t do it. Your bio should be a professional description of who you are as a blogger. It should include information about the blogs that you’ve worked on, your other writing experience and any experience you have in the industry about which you are writing. If you want to include your interests so that your readers feel closer to you, do it in a short sentence or two at the end of the professional bio.
• List your accomplishments somewhere on your blog. This may be in your bio or it may be as a post but somewhere there should be a place where people can see the achievements that you’ve made in blogging. This may include reaching a milestone number of RSS feed subscribers, creating your first WordPress theme or getting your first comment from a Problogger on a post. Keep it up to date and print out a copy to hang at your desk so you can remember these great things as well.
• Write a list of what you know as a blogger. This also gets posted at your desk and makes you feel and act more confident. You know what keywords are. You know how to install WordPress plugins. You know a lot so remind yourself of that and start acting like it’s true!
• Network with professionals in the field. You feel more confident when your work is getting recognized by other bloggers who your respect. Get out there online and start networking so that can happen.
• Put together a blogger’s media kit. You should have a basic press release. You should have a complete blogger’s bio. You should have a page of information for advertisers about why they would want to support you. This can be used as a business tool but is also a great little package to make yourself feel more professional about your blogging.
• Make a business plan. You don’t have to get in-depth about this but you should create a basic business plan to define what you want to do with your blog over the next few years. This will serve as a foundation for creating a blog that you can really feel confident about.
• Become an expert in your subject. The real key to feeling confident in blogging is that you know what you’re talking about. You should always be reading up on your topic and immersing yourself in it any way that you can. This will create a natural confidence that will shine through in your communication with others – both on the blog and when you’re discussing the blog out in the real world.
Just think for a minute about which blog post you are more likely to read – the one that says “I’ve been immersed in this topic for ten years and know what I’m talking about so I’m going to tell you” or the blog that says “I don’t really know much about this but I think you should do what I say”. Likewise, think about which person’s blog you’re most likely to search for – the person at a party who answers “what do you do?” with “oh, I write stuff” or the person who says, “I blog about Topic X and provide information about A, B and C”. You will naturally be drawn to the more confident person. If you want to succeed in blogging, that’s the person that you need to be.
Question of the Day: What’s the biggest clue to you that a blogger isn’t confident in their work?