The Life of a Professional Blogger

blogThe life of a professional blogger sounds ideal. You work from home, live in your pajama’s, set your own hours, all while earning a living.  That was the positive picture painted by a professional blogger during the recent Com 336 class. Tyler Johnson, a Buffalo State graduate, is a regular contributor to the website, pop on the pop.

The writer came well prepared to answer student’s questions and offered information and education into the good, bad and ugly of writing for a celebrity website.  The good includes interviews with the rich and famous such as television producer, Harvey Weinstein.

The bad: dreams of writing substantive stories that influence and reflect a community have given way to earning a living by highlighting the antics of such non-celebrity celebrities as the Kardashians.

The ugly (not really) or the business of the profession of blogging can be evaluated by looking at number of elements involved in the process.

Until recently, professional writers have limited venues for the publication their work. These included books, newspapers, magazines, and broadcast outlets. The competition for ink or air was and remains tough with only a limited number of talented dedicated authors making the grade. Now with the proliferation of the internet, writers of all varieties, levels of expertise, and interests have a place to express their thoughts and post their prose. Most websites offering advice to the would be professional blogger recommend writers offer solid content about their chosen subject and post often. Quantity seems more important than quality.

Successful posts require strategic thinking by the author. Readers seek information by using key words. When writers effectively use those key words either in headline or subject lines (called search engine optimization), they have a greater chance of being read. Increased traffic to the website to view the posts will please website owners and is good for business. More traffic equals more advertising revenue.  Com 336 professional blogger, Tyler Johnson, actively includes search words in his posts in an effort to drive readers to his site.

Bloggers can either supplement their day job or make a living writing for the internet. Aliventures says an author can earn from $20 to $100 per post depending on length and complexity of the article. Regular contributors can earn $40 – $50 an hour.

Pew Research offered some interesting insights into the blogging world in a study titled, “A portrait of the internet’s new storytellers.” While the survey did not address who and how many are earning a living with their blogs, the findings did include the following:

  • Most bloggers are under the age of 30.
  • Bloggers are evenly divided between men and women
  • 55% of bloggers use a pseudonym and 46% use their own name
  • 84% describe their blog as a hobby or personal journal
  • Only one-third of bloggers see blogging as a form of journalism.

Current blogging appears to reflect and build upon an earlier era when individuals kept daily journals to record their life and thoughts. People such as the Anne Frank and U.S. President Harry Truman offered significant insights into their life and times through their journals. Hopefully the proliferation of today’s millions of blogs will inform future generations.

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