Blogging: From a Hobby to a Profession in 5 Simple Steps
Learn From Yonit Tzuk, Chief Blogger at Million Eyez, a WordPress plugin that connects photographers and bloggers around the world
Ever thought about blogging on WordPress as a profession? Now, you can stop thinking about it and do it in 5 simple steps. Yonit has been leading blogging workshops all around Israel, studying an MA in Communications, and basis her research paper on how to become a professional blogger. Not only has she done it with her own blog, helped others do the same, but she is also leading the international blogging effort at Million Eyez, because she believes in that special connection between photographers and bloggers.
First thing Yonit told me was that “bloggers love storytelling”, and that their secret to success is creating an audience who believe in the same values. For her today it’s connecting creatives on one platform. Million Eyez brings together photographers, with professional, authentic images, and bloggers, who are looking to enrich their posts with pertinent photographs. It’s a concept that harnesses creativity from bloggers, photographers and readers, as they too can contribute to the post. But, how did Yonit become part of something bigger than any individual, and embrace her position as a Milion Eyez evangelist.
Yonit’s story beings with the premature birth of her first born, Tamar, who had to be held in the ICN for a scary 10 days. Alone, and helpless Yonit decided to share her feelings with an audience by starting a blog. She found that her blog was becoming more popular, and she continued to write about her daily struggles. Inspired by her followers she decided to pursue her academic path, and enrolled in a Communications MA program, only to find that this brought her closer to her readers. She interviewed bloggers she admired, and discovered that there was one thing they all had in common, and that was a 5 step process that took them from blogging hobbyists to professionals.
Blogging as economic empowerment
She calls it “blogging as economic empowerment: a five step model”. This is a theory she has worked on with her mentor Dr. Idit Manosevich. It’s a process that takes us from having an incentive to reach more information to being established bloggers in our area of expertise, and using our skills to earn money.
Here is how the concept works, and you might find yourself in any of the stages.
#Stage 1 – The hobby
When we encounter problems in our hobby, we tend to go online and look for information. Most of us don’t realize, but being introduced to a new world of information is often the beginning of us becoming bloggers. We are inspired by the people who share our interests.
#Stage 2 – Engaging in an online community
Discovering that you are not the only one out there with this problem can be empowering. This encourages you to expose your art and creativity, and to share it with the rest of the community. Getting positive feedback from the community strengthens the bond to the community, and ultimately leads to the start of a new blog.
#Stage 3 – Young blog
Having a young blog is the natural next stage, this means blogging regularly and sharing your own ideas. It’s all about sharing ideas, tips and photos. You are now giving back to the community that inspired you.
#Stage 4 – Established blog in the community
Developing your own blog readership will empower you further and move you to the fourth stage, having an established blog widely recognized in the community.
#Stage 5 – Blog that supports small businesses
The growing number of readers along with their ongoing positive feedback, makes the blogger realize the economic value that can be produced. This is the fifth stage. Blog starts supporting small businesses, where the blog serves as a platform for offering written services at a cost.
Following this simple model can get you to a professional blogging level and help you establish a money making business, but the most important thing can’t be taught and that is having a passion for that dynamic and creative environment. Yonit advised me.
Your readers are your best friends, so don’t change who you are.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and open, because your readers will be able to identify with you and that’s the key to hooking someone in.
Today, Yonit is busy at Million Eyez, so you can be sure to bump into her at a number of WordCamps, starting at WordCamp Bilbao, where she will be a speaker and you can hear her talk more about her 5 step model. I urge you to attend this talk, as she takes a creative art, and shows her listeners how to make it profitable. Something most of us struggle with.
In the meantime, have a look at Million Eyez, and enhance your blog with stunning images before you go pro.