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How To Become A Professional Blogger

How To Become A Professional Blogger

Blogging is huge. Although there are many online jobs for college students but blogging is the one of the best. Over time it has evolved from something people do as a past time or hobby to a huge profession with massive benefits. In recent years, blogging has gained much traction and popularity. Wherever you look on the internet, there’s always someone ready to provide you with information and keep your eyes, mind and fingers engaged with a wide variety of topics and issues.

If you’re really into blogging or have a passion for writing and want to turn your talent into a profitable trade, here’s how to become a professional blogger.

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Uniqueness Is Key

Here’s the truth: BLOGS ARE EVERYWHERE. You can find at least 20 blogs about any topic today.  Sometimes, all you need to do is think of a probable domain name with the service you need, enter it into your web browser and BAM! You find yourself on a blog. If you’re planning to start a genre-specific blog, this shouldn’t discourage you but know this: you need (or rather, your blog needs) to be unique in order to set yourself apart from the hoy paloy of bloggers in your chosen field of specialization. There has to be something about your blog that makes it tick; something that always attracts traffic to your blog. Your uniqueness could be your user-friendly interface or the fact that your stories have witty footnotes or the colorful web design. Whatever it is, make sure you have a discernible difference from your counterparts.

Be Dedicated

No blogger has made it big without full commitment, especially not in this era where blogs keep springing up in heaps. There’s a general notion that blogging doesn’t take much work. A lot of people just think “All I have to do is search the internet, find out what’s trending, mooch off a few other bloggers and that’s it”. Get that paradigm out of your head. Blogging takes dedication. A lot of dedication. Regardless of whether you notice it or not , blogging is a lot of work. New topics and updates can show up anytime and in order not to be redundant, you have to be committed to getting information and getting it fast.

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Keep A Positive Mindset

Although blogging is an avenue for making easy money. In truth, it takes time before the money making starts. Because of this, you must keep a positive mindset. Push out the negative beliefs and, most importantly, take action. Many people give up before they’ve give blogging a fair chance. Keep in mind, many other bloggers have stood before in your shoes. They maintained a positive mindset and pushed through by taking action: researching their niche, analyzing competition, tracking their progress, etc. So, don’t be afraid to take action and stay positive even when times get tough.

Be Informed

As a blogger, you need to be informed. You need to have access to quick, accurate and reliable information. The reliability and accuracy of the information you provide builds your integrity and consistency and can go a long way in building your traffic. Whatever you need to do to be informed, do. One way of doing this is through networking. Or, if you prefer the lonewolf approach, surf the internet. You can also go the extra mile for information by having informants and/or unconventional sources. Just be informed and make sure that whatever means you choose are legitimate and not injurious to you, your source or your story.

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Be Creative

Readers hate boredom, so be creative. Don’t always start with the “straight-to-business” approach. There may be times when you have writer’s block, struggling to figure out what to draw, design or make next. You can sometimes go off script in-between your stories, give personal experiences, throw a few puns here and there, tell jokes, etc.

It’s important to remember stories don’t have to follow a particular pattern. This will make your posts less predictable. Embrace dynamism and just have fun. It’s an exciting way to get some joy out of what you do and also serves as an incentive for readers to visit your blog often.

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Listen

Lean to listen and appreciate the feedback from your audience. There’s a reason why blogs have comment sections. Take a few minutes to just go through the comments on your page; you can find helpful advice.

Whatever You Do, DON’T Plagiarize

Plagiarism is easy. All you need to do is open a few stories related to what you’re looking for, copy and paste, and you’ve got a story on your hands. The problem with this is the fact that your creativity and originality are hampered. Plus, readers these days are really smart; they’ll get your trick after a few tries, tell their friends about you and gradually, your blog will fold up. You should also be aware of laws about stuff like that. You get caught, your blog is done!

These tips should help you. Remember: blogging is work. You may not make it big immediately, but keep blogging and the rest will follow.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Tanvir Zafar

Software Engineer at GCUF

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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