Actually I don’t think Chris Garrett sucks. In fact, I was just telling Deb today that while I browse other blogs about blogging daily, his is the one I usually stop at and read. That said, Chris has an excellent post up – Why I Sucked at SXSW So You Don’t Have to (ha). Now, maybe he did suck there, or maybe not (I’m guessing not) but this is an excellent post to read if you ever attend writing events or conferences; plus you can see a cute picture of Deb in said post 🙂
Also I was struck by how nicely across the board these tips are – even if you don’t attend an event EVER his tips make total sense if you’re a blogger for hire. If you follow his tips, it’ll be easier to find work, keep work, and make a living as a blogger.
1. Know Why You Are Going – ok, I’ll admit this one is not as across the board. But it pays to know why you want to blog for a living. If you have no clue, if you’re in it for fast money, fame, or glory; well, I’m sorry. Have a better reason. Blog for good pay, blog to promote your own career, blog because you have something to say, blog because you can’t imagine doing anything else.
2. Get Your Head in the Game – Many bloggers do have their head in this blogging game, if you don’t, those other bloggers will score blogging gigs you should be getting. Learn the ropes, figure out a game plan, and once you get gigs make sure to excel.
3. Enjoy Yourself, But Not to Excess – Blogging is fun. The networking is fun, the browsing for topics and new products is fun, Skype is way too much fun if you have cool friends, heck, even work chats can even be fun. However, if you don’t turn off skype and Twitter once in a while, if you only focus on making cool images in your editor, and so on, you won’t get work. Some parts of blogging are not terribly fun – applying for gigs, writing about topics you aren’t keen on, answering email, but it’s all part of the deal. Enjoy yourself but keep your cool and don’t forget the big picture.
4. Socialize, Don’t Stalk – I see a lot of stalking going on in the blog world. Being close to bloggers you perceive as successful can be useful. You can learn new things, connect with employers and even make new friends, but there’s a difference between following someone on Twitter nicely or asking questions vs. being a pain or worse being a totally lame troll stalker who leaves annoying comments at popular blogs because you think it’ll gain you attention. It will, but not the kind of attention you want.
5. Be Where the Action Is – If your goal is to work as a blogger there are a few places that run high on the action – freelance job boards, your own email (as you apply for gigs) and some social networking sites – if you’re networking not purely socializing. It may look like Skype, Facebook, and writers forums are action packed (they kind of are) but this isn’t the type of action that will score you gigs. To make a living as a blogger you need to focus on actions that support this goal not hinder it.
Check out Why I Sucked at SXSW So You Don’t Have to and see other ways you can avoid suckage. What do you think? Do you use the tips above to score blogging gigs?