How I Became a Career Blogger

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It was the end of the century and I was avoiding a lecture in taxation law. Little did I know that my mission to find the university’s computer labs would lead me to becoming a career blogger a decade later.

Let’s face it, no amount of coffee kept me awake when I studied accounting.

Before me a few pods of computers were available. I was looking into acquiring one at home for personal use, so I could do my assignments more easily. However, rather than focusing on my studies, I began searching the web and discovered Yahoo! GeoCities.

While today GeoCities is described as a webhosting site, I have a different recollection. To me it was a magical online world. It was here that I created my first digital residence.

GeoCities required little knowledge of coding but I quickly convinced myself to do an Adult TAFE course in HTML 4.

Not long after, I purchased my first dot com.

Copious amounts of coffee required for an addicted hobbyist or career blogger.

From addicted hobbyist to career blogger

For the first ten years of the 21st century, I drank copious amounts of coffee and played around with building websites.

I thought I knew enough about building them to do it professionally but the technology improved quickly and full-blown content management systems (CMS) grew in popularity.

I built a website on Fictional World Building and managed a couple of hobby websites for text-based roleplay games. Though I didn’t realise it, these hobby websites were probably my first blogging adventures.

Working on these sites allowed me to gain a sound knowledge of webhosting, domain registration and porting, cPanel, FTP and several different CMSs.

Over the next few years, I played around with various scripts and CMS including PHP Nuke. Because of my knowledge of HTML, it gave me the confidence to look at other languages and file types including PHP and CSS.

I felt confident enough to customise and hack scripts and taught myself some blogging basics.

My interest in website coding and management did not go unnoticed and at work I was put in charge of updating the business’ website.

Then, shortly after 2010 when I landed a role in human resources, I began looking into a CMS for policy, training and culture management. Though I chose a different CMS for this project, I discovered and fell in love with self-managed WordPress.

Screenshot of my HubPages writer's home account where I make a passive income.

HubPages and the start of a passive income

Around 2011-2012, I also discovered HubPages. In the space of several weeks, I wrote several articles for HubPages. Then, I promptly forgot about it. My idea of what this publishing platform was meant for was a little skewed and I had no ambitions.

When I received my first payment from HubPages about 12 months later, my interest in it was renewed. I researched the type of articles that HubPages wanted and set about writing a few more.

Since then, I have produced a couple of dozen articles for Hubpages, which didn’t necessarily align with their expectations. The payments have continued and I receive on average two payments every year.

It was also instrumental in receiving my first payment direct from Adsense, but a self-hosted blog also contributed.

While HubPages is a promising place to make a passive income from blog or article writing, I often feel the energy to produce something significant is better spent on other endeavours.

Room with a view. My study where I will soon embark on more education

Back to the drawing board with my education

If anything came from HubPages, it was a desire to become a better writer. So, I enlisted in a Master of Arts (Writing). This was a research based Masters which covered different genres of writing including Writing for the Web, Journalism and Script Writing, Real Life Writing and many other topics that I found to be enlightening.

During my Masters, I continued I took on work for three months as an Internet Ads Assessor. It was the most laborious work I have done and is better suited to a robot. However, it gave me an insight into how online advertising and search engines worked.

Afterwards, I began seeking out work as a Freelance Writer. I did not want to sell my soul to job boards and the like, so instead I went direct to creative agencies to look for work. I also set up my own website and an online shop where I sold my writing services directly to small businesses and creative entrepreneurs such as artists.

For the last 6 years, thereabouts, I’ve been freelancing, mostly as a career blogger for small businesses but also project managing newsletters, writing social media posts and other writing projects.

I’ve become so busy, that I don’t have time for holidays, family and the type of writing that I enjoy the most: creating writing.

Currently, I’m looking to go back to education once more, this time to add a Graduate Diploma in Psychology to the list of my achievements. In the meantime, I’d like to share with the online blogging community how I became a successful career blogger.

From Executive assistant and bookkeeper to a career blogger.

What you can learn from me as a career blogger

This list is not limited, or in any particular order, but these are some of the topics that I can help you with.

  • Setting up your blog for the type of blogging you want to do.
  • The different types of blogging including niches, styles, formats and tools.
  • Writing for the web.
  • Communicating with clients.
  • Running a freelance business.
  • Making a passive income.
  • Setting up as a legitimate sole trader.
  • Why you need to belong to a strong community of blog writers.
  • Why SEO is important.
  • Why the right images are crucial to your writing.
  • Respecting other creators.
  • Learning other skills and abilities such as social media.
  • Understanding basic online marketing.
  • Generating ideas.
  • Researching topics.
  • Interviewing.
  • How to use WordPress and other apps.
  • Editing your blog.
  • Analytics and how to use them to produce better blogs.
  • Having fun blogging.
  • Finding (and keeping) your audience.

Most of all though, I want to bring together a community of bloggers and creators who can help each other, share their experience, and collaborate on projects that are important to them.

Blogging can be a lonely profession, but it doesn’t have to be. We can learn and support each other and build a robust community. Together we can make every facet of what we do and give visible. Blogging is more than just writing words on a page.

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