by Darren Rowse

In this guest post, Neil Matthews from WPDude.com writes about the rise of the blogging service industry, and how bloggers can use their existing skills to enter this lucrative industry.

Blogging has moved away from a niche activity to such an extent that it has spawned it’s own service industry. There are numerous activities and companies supporting the blogger.

The market is huge, with hundreds of millions of blogs in existence and thousands more being created each day, there is an insatiable need for blogging skills, something the experienced blogger can use to their financial advantage.

I would like to present you the various sectors of the service industry and how you can use your existing skills to enter the industry.

Theme Development

If you have experience designing and modify the theme of your blog, you already have the skills to become a theme developer.

The routes available to you are to develop a premium theme such as Thesis and sell if from your own site. A second option would be to set yourself up as a service company selling bespoke theme design and development services.

People want individual blogs, not standard themed “Just another WordPress blog” blogs. For many Probloggers a target is to have their own bespoke theme built for them. This requires theme developers.

Plugin Development

Do you have computer development skills? If you do you can string together the code to write a plugin, there is place for you in the blogging service industry.

Plugin developers can make their money in two ways, much like bloggers, directly and indirectly.

The direct method is to write a plugin and charge for it. The majority of plugin in circulation are free, but there are a growing number out there which are for profit. They tend to be larger and more complex. The paid for plugins I have used include a mailing list and a membership site plugin.

The second method is to develop plugins, distribute and support them for free and use them as a showcase for your technical skills. This is excellent social proof that you have the ability to develop blogs and can lead to other development jobs.

Coaching & Consulting

As I mentioned there are millions of blogs, and many of these blogs owners needs support from blogging experts.

Well know bloggers such as Chris Garrett and Michael Martine offer consulting services to their clients on the back of their very successful blogs.

If you have the skills and know-how to coach people or companies on their blogging strategy/problems, then this is a route into the blogging service industry with a low barrier to entry. All you need is some social proof that you know what you are talking about and a website to inform potential clients of your wares. This is the sector I work in.

Copy Writing

Blogs have an insatiable thirst for content, they need to be fed with a continuous stream of words. Why not set yourself up as a blog copywriter.

Check out the PB jobs board for a small section of the work that is available. There are paid freelance writing gigs out there for good writers.

Create a portfolio of writing by developing posts on your own blog, cast the net out and guest post (for free) on other blogs and take this social proof to the market to prove you can write quality content

Books

A quick search for the word blog on Amazon, will return page after page of results on books about blogging. This is another sector of the industry which you could enter.

The skills you have learned developing content for your blog can be put towards a larger writing project. Can you take your blog posts and edit them together into a larger work? If you can develop a few hundred blogs posts, then you have the skills to string them together into a book length piece of work.

I understand that a couple of up and coming bloggers called Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett (no I’ve not heard of them either) did just that. They wrote a book on blogging called ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

The only thing I would say about writing about a dynamic medium like blogging is to make it timeless. The time to press for a book can make your manuscript out of date before it is in the hands of your readers. I have read a number of blogging books only to come away thinking that was yesterdays news and techniques.

Consider writing a book for your niche. Blogging for {INSERT NICHE HERE} books may be viable way to service the blogging industry.

Graphic Designers

If you are handy with Photoshop, there are a huge number of opportunities to service bloggers. We need logo design services, 125×125 banner ads, fancy RSS logos, even the latest tools such as Twitter need graphic designers to create home page backgrounds.

Whilst blogging is predominantly a text based medium, it still required a lot of imagery for the presentation layers of those millions of blogs.

Check out freelancing sites such as elance.com for graphic design gigs.

Other Bigger Services

There are other sides to the blogging service industry which is probably out of reach for most bloggers to enter but well worth a mention anyway and these are the large infrastructure services underpinning blogging. These include:

  • Syndication services e.g. Feedburner
  • Hosting - Deamhost,Godaddy to name just two
  • Advertising - Adsense and Chitika,
  • Blogging platforms- Blogger, Wordpress.com

If you have the benefit of a generous Angel Investor and the next big idea for bloggers, there is a large enough audience to enter the infrastructure side of the industry.

Conclusion

There is a brand new service industry out there servicing an abundance of blogs, getting a slice of this industry should be easy for people like us; the early to mid level adopters of blogging. Remember as the medium becomes more and more mainstream, there will be more and more blogs and more and more opportunities.

If you can establish yourself as the blogging expert in your niche, not just a blog writing expert in your niche there is money to be made from a fertile market.

Ibe Joseph C

A Nigerian entrepreneur who loves publishing and specializes in adsense, article writing and website designing.

www.josephmich.blogspot.com

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