A Little Ambitious, A Little Terrified

Dear YourSay,

I’m afraid I’m a little lost. As much as I want to do what I love as a career in the near future, I’m terrified.

Terrified of what my parents would say, how my life would be like if I choose that path. Blogging is the best platform for me to vent out my thoughts and feelings. I have had a lot of friends, new friends too, who supported my blog and kept asking for more. I inspire them and this is a very satisfying feeling. I cant help but want so much to pursue blogging as a career. It’s a tough road, and my goal now is that while I still have time (while I’m still in high school), it is to prove to my parents that I can be what I want to be.

YourSay, what are the steps I should take to be a successful blogger?

N.

 

Dear N,

 

I really recommend researching or reading up on Krista Goon, the co-founder of RedBox Studio in Penang. After completing her secondary and university education, she started out as a copywriter and eventually became a website content strategist. She also founded a womens’ entrepreneur group, started an international website campaigning against violence against women, and is a speaker and coach. If you need inspiration for focused, driven women in the online sphere, – she’s a great person to start with.

 

Lightning in a bottle is hard to come by, which is why your parents want to make sure that you have something stable to depend on like a degree/diploma if your blogging career doesn’t take off immediately.

 

You have to ask yourself why you want to be a blogger in the first place. If writing is your passion, would you consider working for an online publication as a writer or for an organisation that would need your writing and social media skills as a social media executive? Careers in the online sphere are expanding rapidly and you will learn so much about your dream job in a work environment. In that way you still get to fulfil your dream career of writing and being online as well as having a steady source of income.

 

That doesn’t mean that you have to shelve your passion, it just means that you have to work harder to do your research and planning on your dream career. At the end of the day, your parents just want to know that you have a plan and that it makes sense.

 

Your blog could make a great resume after you’ve finished university/college. (Yes, big emphasis on finishing your education first.)

 

Part of your research includes studying or asking successful bloggers in your niche what they did to get where they are today.

 

Other bloggers also write freelance for print magazines and newspapers. So you have to be open to the idea that there are different pathways to being able to do your dream job.

 

Imagine that you are writing a business proposal. Even writers have to pitch their novels to publishers which describes what their manuscripts are about. I don’t guarantee that it’s a fireproof formula to success, but it should help you focus and finetune what it is you want from your blog.

 

First, an INTRODUCTION: What kind of blogger are you? What is it about blogging that inspires you to write? What do you like to write about, and how many people outside of those who know you, enjoy what you write?

 

AIM: What is the purpose of your blog?

If you are an NGO, for example, it’s to inform, create awareness, gain a following, organise events, and raise money for whatever your NGO represents.

If you are a travel blogger, it’s also to inform, highlight the dos and donts of travelling, tell a story about your journey, etc.

 

CONTENT: Writing is a form of public service. Unless you’re selling a physical product, the product here is YOU. What can YOU give readers that they can’t find elsewhere? Can you maintain a constant flow of readers and HOW? Is the content of your blog interesting enough to be sustained over x number of years? What kind of readers is your blog meant for? Is your website easy to navigate?

 

THE MONEY PART? I’ve read in a lot of articles that you can’t make money blogging, if you’re doing it for the money. That being said, you can try this simple list on how to supplement your blog. Like any business, you have to go through a period of trial and error. See what works, what doesn’t, don’t get discouraged.

 

Sometimes if you want to be successful, you have to be willing to poke holes in your project. I like Nosa E Nosa’s 42 Reasons Why You Don’t Make Money From Blogging. It’s simple and straightforward.

 

BE READY FOR TRIAL AND ERROR AND CHALLENGES. Diamonds are formed from intense pressure. Don’t get crushed if things don’t work, it just means you need to try a different strategy. I think it’s smart that you’re starting to feel and flesh out what you want now while you’re in high school, but do your research, don’t be afraid to ask questions, don’t be afraid of criticisms or failure. But don’t forget to learn from them either.

 

If you do find in the middle of your research that you don’t want to pursue full-time blogging as a career path, that’s okay too.

 

YourSay

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