I remember when I first started writing online, oh some 6 years ago. Big dreams, fluffy as marshmallows, I thought I’d be the No. 1 professional blogger for hire in no time. Everyone would beg for me to guest post on their sites, and I’d roll in the dough. Little did I realize where my web writing path would lead me. Turns out becoming a professional blogger isn’t all free lollipops and cupcakes. It takes a lot of hard work, and even when you are getting paid and making your living, chances are you’ll still be a nobody ghostwriter. So how do you know what to look for when hiring a pro blogger? Here’s a cheat sheet.
In order to go pro with blogging, you have to actually blog. Oh the horror! In general, anyone who claims to be a pro blogger will have their own blog. For most people this could be a blog about any asinine topic. Not the case for an expert. Those bloggers will have blogs where they sell their wares, so to speak. They will post their blogging portfolio, along with regularly updated posts on how to blog as a pro. Blogging is their business.
Act the Part
You have to show your blogging skills in the form of blogging. But writing a blog post isn’t as simple as throwing together a few hundred words on a topic:
- Your blog needs to be the typical blog post length, which varies depending on what type of blog site you are writing on, but is often 500 to 750 words.
- A blog has to include search engine optimization tools aka keywords with the correct keyword density.
- You need to add titles, headlines, subheads and captions appropriately with SEO in mind.
- Most blog posts require a professional image or graphic that has to come with usage rights.
- You must have internal links that encourages readers to dig deeper into your content.
- You need external links to highlight the sources used for credible content.
SEO remains the biggest draw for web crawlers, aka Googlebot, that are trying to categorize your blog, so that is a biggie. The thing is, what was good for SEO in 2009 is old news. You need a blogger who keeps up with the times and has invested in their training, which brings us to the next requirement.
So, while you can’t get a BA in Blogging, yet, you can take training courses and read up on the skills of blogging. In fact this is how a basic blogger goes pro, by elevating their skill set to the expert level. One of the best resources for certifiable training for content writers and web marketers, skills that go hand in hand with blogging, is HubSpot. At the HubSpot Academy you can take courses or read guides, such as:
- Smart content
As for their certified courses they offer Introduction to Blogging that allows bloggers to prove their dedication to their craft. As someone on the hiring end, you can use these guides to help you determine what type of writer you need to hire.
Miranda B works as a professional writer with blogging in her tool box for those clients in need of a post or two.