Why a Blogger Must Be A Jack of All Trades

This Blogging malarky is a full-on job, eh? I sometimes wonder if non-blogging folk realise just how many different roles I take on just to make this blog tick over. Blogging is so much more than just writing daily (ok, it might be for some). Blogging in it’s simplest form can just be a plain white template with a daily piece of writing or the occasional image. But let’s be honest, blogs have moved far beyond that now. Blogging is a media form in its own right and being a Blogger requires a very wide skill set.

Other forms of media might have staff covering a range of roles. Newspapers, magazines, even pro-websites have a team of staff to cover the design, copy, photography, PR, admin and finance. But for a lone Blogger all of these roles fall to just one person.

To be a success, either financially or reputationally (is that even a word? no? well, it should be!) a Blogger needs to be a jack of all trades. They need to be adaptable and they need to learn quickly to stay at the top of their game. A Blogger must have quite a wide range of skills. A Blogger needs to be a PR, Marketeer, Designer, Photographer, Writer, Social Media Expert, Niche Expert, Nifty Networker, Coder, Website Builder and sometimes a Video Editor, Podcaster or Public Speaker. There are so many aspects to Blogging that being able to assume a number of skills is key. They must be expert at time-management, be super-organised, creative and thoughtful. They must be quirky or funny or interesting. They need an inviting writing style or eye-catching photography. They must be good at finding all the cool stuff. They must be able to communicate.

This is not a moan or complaint. On the contrary, I have spent my whole life feeling like a ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’. At school I was competent at pretty much all subjects (excluding PE, that was just not my bag) and did well in all of my tests and GCSE’s without having to try too hard. Some said I had a bit of a ‘sponge-brain’ at school, I was able to just absorb the information that I needed to whilst keeping up a conversation at the back of the classroom. Of course, I had to work a little harder at University but I did choose a joint-honours degree so that I could study two subjects – Anthropology and Media. I’m just interested in a lot of STUFF.

I did well at school and university. I have worked since I was 13/14 years old and have plenty of work experience. I have travelled well. I have read relatively well. And I have had a number of hobbies and interests over the years. But I have never felt like I was the best at anything. Doing well is ok, but it’s not the best is it? Nobody would ever think ‘oh, Elizabeth is the best at …’ I just didn’t excel at one thing. And for a long time this got me down. I wanted to be really good at something. Anything. I just wanted there to be a thing that was me, that I was the best at.

Then I found blogging. And no, I’m not the best at it. I don’t necessarily excel at it either. But I do feel I can be good at it and this is precisely because blogging requires you to be a ‘Jack of All Trades’. This is something I can do. I can be good, or at least ok, at many things.

I didn’t come to blogging with all the necessary skills. I was never going to be an overnight sensation. I was never going to be top blog. But I did always feel that I could make my mark. So I have slowly but surely been learning as much as I can and developing those necessary skills to become a decent Blogger. Because a Blogger must be a Jack of All Trades. I am both a Blogger and a Jack of all trades, so I think this might be something I can be good at.

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What do you think is the most important skill a Blogger must have?

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13 Comments

  1. Sally | Queenie and the Dew blog
    4 April 2013 / 9:55 am

    I really enjoyed reading this post, and I don’t think bloggers give themselves enough credit for everything they do. Before recently I would never have considered putting my blog on my CV or my Linked In profile, but I’ve since realised that the skills are integral to my career (in publishing) and certainly demonstrates our diversity! x

    • 4 April 2013 / 10:16 pm

      Totally, share your blog with pride!

  2. 4 April 2013 / 2:10 pm

    I’m definitely the same – maybe there’s something about blogging which attracts the eager-to-learn? The only thing I just can’t get my head around is the tech-y side – I am very glad that I could pay someone wonderful and talented to design my blog and put it into place because try as I might I just cannot do that part! I do like that blogging challenges me, and it’s definitely helped me career-wise, I’m always encouraging friends to give it a go! xx

    • 5 April 2013 / 6:26 pm

      I’m so pleased to hear blogging has helped you career-wise. And I think it’s always important to delegate what you can if you are able to.

  3. 4 April 2013 / 5:05 pm

    I definitely believe Bloggers need marketing skills. You can be the best writer there is, understand the intracies of creating an attractive blog, and have blogging posts that are interesting and engaging, but if people do not know you are out there – you won’t have the traffic. If you do not have the traffic – it is difficult to attract the financial components such as advertising.

    • 5 April 2013 / 6:28 pm

      Exactly, marketing is a vital part of blogging.

  4. 4 April 2013 / 6:07 pm

    a heartfelt desire and passion, that you can articulate and share, and a conviction that what you can and want to share has a place out there in the world 🙂

    • 5 April 2013 / 6:29 pm

      I love this comment! Absolutely, being passionate is key.

  5. Emily Jayne
    4 April 2013 / 7:50 pm

    Ha ha I love the “I’m just interested in a lot of STUFF” – that’s so me too!

    I think the jack of all trades thing is one of my favourite things about being a blogger. I’m a bit of a natural procrastinator and love switching up what I’m doing, so it’s great that if I don’t feel like writing I can take some photographs, if I don’t feel like that I can do some tweeting – there’s so much to do that there is always something I feel like doing, but it still actively contributes to my blog.

    • 5 April 2013 / 6:44 pm

      That’s a great point, one of the joys of blogging is the variety of activities it involves. love it.

  6. 9 April 2013 / 2:10 pm

    Haha I actually got a ‘jack of all trades’ when I graduated university because being a designer is pretty similar, you have a lot of roles to fill and they all come under that one title. I actually loved that about my degree, so I’m not really surprised that I love it about blogging too.

    Great post 🙂

  7. 12 April 2013 / 6:36 pm

    I like this post a lot. And your blog so you clearly are getting something right!

  8. 22 April 2013 / 9:00 am

    Going to get my husband to read this because even though he sees me working hard sometimes he xabt fathom my blog as being more than a hobby. Get experience writing he tells me constantly, hello I produce and edit copy every week I think the most important skills you need as a blogger is organisation and dedication. The blog is your personal outlet and there is no wrong way to do it but it takes dedication to continue blogging when there are a million and one other things that take up your time.

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