10 ways to be a more professional blogger
Being a blogger can be a full-time job in itself! I'm often asked how I juggle a full-time career all while maintaining a blog and pursuing other creative projects on the side, the truth is, I'm still figuring all of that out! Learning how to prioritize and say no is really difficult but if there's one thing I've learned from the past (almost) three years of blogging, it's that no matter what creative or professional venture you pursue, you have to remain professional in any and everything you do. Professionalism in blogging should not be overlooked, in fact, it should be mandatory as you approach collaborations, networking and displaying your content.
I have decided to compile a list of my Top 10 ways to be (and appear as) a more professional blogger based on my personal learnings as I juggle my career and creative outlet (West Coast Aesthetic) but want to remain professional in both worlds.
1. Update your resume. I added my blog to my resume once it was established and a complete interpretation of who I am as both a blogger and creative. Believe it or not, my blog has helped land me my last two jobs as it set me apart from other candidates and is an excellent talking point in interviews since it's a creative outlet that allows me to showcase my unique content, my writing abilities and various ways I have been able to professionally collaborate with brands and individuals. Being a blogger can most certainly develop your skill set and is one worth putting on display for employers.
2. Create a separate email address and update your email signature. I made sure to create a unique email address designated for my blog so I could host all of my photoshoot, collaboration and blog-related emails in one place rather than have them get bogged down in my personal email address account. This has helped me tremendously with staying organized! I also made sure to update my email signature on both my personal and blogger email addresses to showcase that I'm the "Blogger behind West Coast Aesthetic" along with my other career information. You can keep your email signature short and sweet but its a great way to look professional as you send emails from either account.
3. Add a website disclaimer and blog post disclaimers. I added a website disclaimer to the bottom of my blog site that states:
THE IMAGES AND CONTENT EXPRESSED ON WEST COAST AESTHETIC ARE MY OWN AND DO NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OR OPINIONS OF MY EMPLOYER. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FEATURE IMAGERY OR CONTENT, PLEASE CONTACT ME AT WESTCOASTAESTHETIC@GMAIL.COM
A website disclaimer showcases true transparency to your followers and employer that all thoughts and opinions on your blog are genuine and do not represent any other entity's thoughts or feelings. I also add disclaimers to individual blog posts where I collaborate with a brand or individual to state that all content/thoughts/feelings/reviews are my own because having 100% integrity as a blogger is important to me and I want to be as transparent and honest with my followers and readers as possible.
4. Send an email out of office when you're out of town. Sometimes life gets in the way and it can delay your blogging process. Also, sometimes it's great to take a break from blogging life if you need to refocus at work or in other parts of your life. I've been trying to get better at setting up an email out of the office message that will be sent to anyone who tries to reach out to me so they are aware if there is a delay in response and when they anticipate hearing back from me. This not only makes you appear more professional but it holds you accountable for responding at a later date and to keep the focus on why you are taking a break in the first place.
5. Design business cards. There's just something so professional, personal and helpful about designing a business card designated for your blog to hand out to those you network with or meet along the way in life! It's an excellent way to display your branding, social media handles, email address and blog website in a succinct, stylish and professional way.
6. Design a professional blogger media kit PDF. When brands ask to view your blogger media kit, I highly recommend instead of sending out a typed out email you take the time to design a branded blogger media kit PDF to send as an email attachment. It doesn't need to be lengthy - in fact, I'd stick to no more than two pages for a media kit (*ALSO - let me know if you'd like me to do a separate post on how to go about creating a personal blogger media kit!) Not only will this make you stand out as a blogger but it is an easy way to showcase your content and blog information in a branded way.
7. Network with other bloggers in your community. Networking is key if you are a blogger! Sign up for local blogger events, follow local blog social channels and hashtags in the area to learn more about meet-ups, collaborations and events! Meeting up with other bloggers in your community can lead to life-long friendships and creative partnerships!
8. Send a professional proposal email to brands you want to collaborate with. If you are reaching out to a brand spend time writing out a proposal email that is professional to the brand about why you are hoping to collaborate with them and what you can contribute. I'd also recommend attaching your blogger media kit to the email so they have all your blog information on hand. Be specific about your intentions with a collaboration, state why you want to collaborate with them and what you can bring to the table that is unique or creative to showcase on your blog or social channels.
9. Brand your blog identity so it is recognizable, professional and a resemblance of your blog. As I've mentioned before in previous posts, professionally branding your blog identity and website is crucial to come across as professional in the blogging world. Whether you want to take the time to design a blog logo or website or work with a professional designer to help you come up with a successful interpretation of your blog - looking professional and unique in this truly over-saturated blogging world is a MUST.
10. Stay updated on blogging best practices. Blogging best practices are constantly changing or being challenged. Stay up to date with best blogging practices and conduct by following Facebook forums that discuss these topics, research blogging best practices that are relevant to your type of blog and do your research for how to remain professional when producing content and putting it on display for the world to see. There's so much that goes into the world of blogging so staying up to date is crucial to be a successful and genuine blogger.
What are your tips for remaining professional while blogging!?