For several years after college, I worked as a reporter. I worked for several local TV stations first and then for a financial aggregator site reporting on the stock market and companies’ quarterly reports. My official title was “one-man-band” reporter because I did it all. I shot, wrote, and edited all my own stories – all in three-inch heels.
I learned all about video cameras – how to white balance the shot, how to shoot my own stand up, the rule of three and the editing process – how to create voiceovers, how to use Adobe Photoshop, and of course how to use Adobe Premiere. Many reporters today are still “one-man band-ers” and I consider them some of the most talented people I know.
Bloggers are one-man-band shops, too. They write all their own content, take all their own photos, market their content, are basically experts in SEO and social media trends, and they do it all a very little budget.
They are entrepreneurs. They create something out of nothing and make it a success. I often read bloggers income reports not only to read about how they diversify their income but also just how much they make from blogging.
Take Melyssa Griffin, a blogger who helps other bloggers and creative entrepreneurs grow their income, while she grows her own too. She’s since stopped publishing income reports but in December 2016 she made $283,680 in one month. Her take-home pay ended up at just over $190,000. We can only imagine how much she makes today.
But if you look at Melyssa’s site it’s beautiful, professional and helpful. She provides a ton of free resources for bloggers to prove she knows what she’s talking about, alongside paid courses that make up a majority of her monthly income.
Of course, the majority of “successful” bloggers are making much less than Melyssa but making any money from a blog is still an incredible achievement. The reason they are able to make a success of it is that they possess all of the talents below, which is why companies should be scrambling to hire them.
1.) They are good writers.
I started my blog because I wanted a platform to write about my faith and home and garden topics. In the almost five years I’ve been blogging it’s opened doors to freelance at other publications. The blogging world also makes a great critic because great content gets passed around. But bloggers aren’t just present-the-facts and be done with it type of writers. They are natural storytellers too.
People like facts, but they like to read facts often in an engaging way. This is a tip that reporters and marketers have known for decades but that industries such as politics have only begun to implement in recent years.
2.) They are great photographers.
While pretty photos have gained popularity since social media has taken off it is now a requirement to sell a product or idea. I had no idea what a “flat lay” was until I wanted to take one myself. And if you’re not a blogger, you still might not know what that is.
Bloggers not only know how to turn their DSRL camera on, but how to manipulate light and space to create something beautiful.
I love the blog Happily the Hicks because her photos are natural, soft and pretty. It also goes without saying that most bloggers also know how to use the entire Adobe suite to edit their photos too. That lends itself to my next point…
3.) They are their own graphic designers.
While bloggers may not get into the kind of intricacies that full-time graphic designers would, they’ve had to learn the skill by necessity and they’ve done it well.
Whether it’s a graphic for Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest they know how to create the right size and shape that is required and rewarded by each individual social media platform. For instance, Facebook and Instagram prefer square photos, Twitter horizontal photos, and Pinterest vertical.
Bloggers know how to create beautiful eye-catching graphics and companies could benefit from their talent.
4.) They are social media experts.
I worked seven years in Congress working for two different members and then a House committee. Part of my job was running all their social media. One would think I had learned a lot about social media from that job, especially because they brought in “experts” to teach us the ropes. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
Often communication directors and press secretaries are restrained by politics, ethics rules, and the media, but more than that, there wasn’t (perhaps still isn’t) a group constantly keeping others updated no the latest trends and what really works.
In the blogging world, however, there is a huge network of bloggers ready to share the latest trend with the rest of the blogging world as soon as they hear it.
When I finally joined Facebook blogging groups I could not believe the depth of information they possessed that didn’t come up once in my five years of learning from the so-called professionals.
I’m continually amazed by how much companies will pay “social media experts” – we’re talking $70,000 and upward– just to run a couple of social media platforms. Bloggers not only understand the platforms but how to build genuine engagement and community.
5.) They understand SEO.
I mean really understand. Not just, “Sometimes I log into Google Analytics to see how the company’s website is performing.” They know the ins-and-outs of analytics and how to optimize content with their findings. Titles. Google rankings. Call to Actions. Meta descriptions. Alt Tags. They not only know what all these mean but how to work them to their blog’s and a company’s advantage to get seen.
6.) They are marketers.
Erika from Coming Up Roses has a leg up in that she went to Warton School of Business for marketing but she’s been applying every ounce of her knowledge to running a successful blog ever since and teaching others in the process with her course BossPitch.
Not all bloggers have a degree in marketing yet many are still making magic promoting their writing, website, or products. They know all about branding. They know how to pitch and strike a deal with companies. They know how to engage. And they know how to do it all on a small budget.
7.) They are videographers.
I mentioned that as a reporter I shot and edited all my own footage. Nowadays audiences require quickness and authenticity and that’s what bloggers have going for them, even if the quality is a bit lower. Vlogger Kristina Kuzmic creates viral parenting videos such as I’m Not Your Friend, Kid which currently has almost 1.2 million views.
They have also mastered Instagram stories and IGTV. We all know video is becoming more important, but bloggers have been using it to their benefit for years.
8.) They are natural team players.
Yes, social media is full of self-centered “influencers” but hidden behind them are many more bloggers who support, encourage, and equip their fellow writers in the field. I’ve been amazed at how many “blogging” friends I’ve made since I started and how much we want to help each other.
Many support each other and that’s the kind of employee any company should want.
9.) They are disciplined.
Disciplined. Self-motivated. Hustlers. These are words I would use to describe many bloggers I know and follow.
I spoke to Shay Shull, the blogger behind the successful food and lifestyle blog Mix and Match Mama on how she wrangles a large family and a blog. She told me that she also runs an insurance company on the side, so there’s that.
But what struck me was when she told me she gets up at 4 am every morning to work on her blog and business until her kids get up. Then it’s all family time until they go down for a nap at 12 pm, at which point she resumes her work again until they wake up.
She said to get what you need to get done in that period of time you have to be extremely organized and disciplined. Bloggers are naturally self-motivated workers and that’s a great quality to have in any employee.
10.) They produce.
Bloggers are natural creators and we already went over the fact that they can do it all. They live by their planner, editorial calendar and analytics. They get things done and can prove it.
They write, edit, take photos, implement the latest SEO tactics, publish, and promote it all themselves and in many companies, you have one person for each of these tasks. While bigger companies may still need a large team it should be a benefit to have someone who is able to wear all the hats.
All this being said, the Melyssa’s, the Shay’s, and the Erika’s of the world are so successful and love what they do that they are likely not interested in working for someone else.
This is when companies will want to search for smaller bloggers who have proven they can one-man-band a website with the best of them but maybe on a smaller scale. Chances are they’d love to take a great-paying job with a company who will appreciate all they have to offer.