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If you’re thinking of making a living at blogging, you first have to understand the types of job opportunities that are available to you and then consider the types of skills that will be required.
For example, if you plan on working for a marketing agency that helps to set up blogs for companies, then you will also need to know a bit about marketing. If you’re planning on a career in media or journalism, then it’s also important to know the basics of how media organizations run and what type of content they are creating as part of the 24/7 news cycle. With that in mind, here are three of the core skills that you need to make a living at blogging…
Writing and storytelling
It’s important to be able to convey your thoughts quickly and concisely. Most blog entries are between 500 and 2000 words, so you need to focus on honing your skills for that type of short-form storytelling. If you’re still in college, now is the time to start a blog as a hobby so that you have something to show a recruiter or employer. Think of it as your blogging portfolio.
Every blogger today has to be a technologist as much as a writer, and that means you need to know the basics of coding. This will help you understand how software works and how blog content travels on the web. At the core of any blogging platform is the content management system (CMS), and sooner or later, you will need to dig around in that CMS and make things happen. Maybe you need to change some HTML tags on the content to make it display properly. Maybe you need to change some of the templates to customize it for your client. You may even be able to code your own killer app for the blogging world!
Multimedia and design
It’s no longer enough just to craft some great words and publish them. Every blogger today now needs to know about multimedia (especially video), and how visuals can really change the way content is viewed and perceived. Unless you want to be reliant on stock image photography, learning to create your own shoots (dreamy atmospheric shots for your travel blog!) and apply all kinds of filters and effects are key. And, if you’re thinking about getting into vlogging (video blogging), then it’s important to learn how to handle a smartphone camera and tell compelling stories while on air.
You’ve probably heard people mention “soft skills” before. They are things like knowing how to manage people, how to build relationships, and something known as “emotional intelligence.” Sooner or later, you’re going to want to publish something, and you’re going to need to get people onboard with your idea. Or, you might publish something that ruffles a few feathers, and you will need to know how to smooth things out.
Given the rapid pace of technology, don’t get too attached to any platform. Try out as many different types of media as possible, experiment with new forms of storytelling on social media, and learn to recognize what makes a great story. By doing so, you’ll be setting the important foundations for a future career in blogging.