Are you thinking about starting a blog? Or wondering what it’s like to have one? I’m only 5 months in, and this is what I think about blogging and 5 things I didn’t know before I started.
My blog began the end of January. I had been planning to start Trips with a Tot for a long time. I have blogged before, years ago when I was in university, though it wasn’t serious. I say it wasn’t serious because I just thought of it as a diary, I didn’t put much time into it and it was just for sharing some make up reviews and beauty blogging things. Compared to Trips with a Tot which I put a LOT of time and effort into.
I’ve been around on social media for about 15 years.. I’ve always been involved online, and even did my university dissertation on social media (specifically twitter). I’m not an expert on social media or blogging whatsoever; I am as new as new can be and learning along the way.
These are 5 things that, since starting my blog I have come to realise. I thought it would be interesting for others to find out, from someone who just started, what blogging is really like.
1. At the start, people can be negative.
Haters going to hate, so the saying goes. When I started trips with a tot, I was surprised that so many people were negative about it.
Someone told me that blogging is for people who have too much time on their hands. I had people get annoyed, saying my content was replicated and I wasn’t fresh; I was wasting my time. People getting frustrated about me promoting my blog posts… and friends who I thought would be supportive not caring at all.
Lesson learnt? A lot of people don’t care about your blog. They don’t realise how big of a deal it is, how much time and effort it takes, and not everyone is going to support you straight away. Proving people wrong takes a lot of effort.
A few months down the line and I’ve received nothing but good feedback and a loyal audience who I appreciate so much. There is a stigma towards bloggers but you just have to look past it.
2. Blogging is only so you can get free stuff.
Whether people wish to monetise their blog is their choice, but what people don’t realise about bloggers is that the majority of us don’t get a penny. There is a general assumption that to make some cash as a blogger all you need to do is create a blog, write a post, and let the money roll in.
This isn’t true at all.
Like most bloggers, I have yet to make even 1p from my blog; yet I have already spent over £100 on it. And most importantly, not everyone blogs for career or for income; blogging is a hobby, a creative outlet, and for some people; not about making money at all.
I think bloggers who have turned their passion into a career and monetise their blogs are role models for online enterprenurs. We live in a digital world and we also live in a world where jobs don’t get handed to you. Anyone who makes their own money from their own content and passion whether it is from writing, photography, art work or providing a service should be treated with respect for hard work.
Full time bloggers spend hours and hours online and offline working mostly for free before they even begin to make pocket money.
And those that do make money? Fantastic! Money doesn’t grow on trees. As well as this, blogging offers good opportunities for a wide range of people, especially parents and carers who can’t afford child care or to return back to work.
Bloggers definitely don’t receive freebies through their letterboxes every day and live a life of luxury. Blogging is hard work, time consuming and tiring. There is a big difference between earning an income and blogging for freebies.
3. Blogging is really hard work… “A bloggers work is never done!”
I have always worked in hospitality and at one point worked 2 jobs, having shifts back to back. I earnt good money. However, I still had days off, I switched off after my shift was over, and my life was separate to my job.
In blogging, it doesn’t really work like that. Social media never sleeps, and to be a successful blogger; social media is where most of your time goes. For most bloggers, blogging is their life, and the shift doesn’t have a finish time.
It takes hours, days, weeks and months to create good content, an audience, and a social media following. There is planning, drafting, editing and writing to do. You have to learn and practice SEO, photography, filming, domains, graphic design, HTML, social media marketing daily, research, send emails… this is just to name a few.
With my blog, a blog post needs to be planned (which usually means going somewhere, which costs money), written up, if there is a video that needs editing and uploading, same goes with photos. Then there are thumbnails, back links, SEO and images to caption, alt text and sort out. The blog post gets promoted, which takes hours and days across multiple social media platforms. There is networking, editing old posts and multitasking across different projects.
Bloggers study optimal posting times for their audiences, the science of hash tags, tweet in their sleep, and all whilst planning the next post.
Besides actual blogging; there is social media to catch up on and use daily, scheduling platforms to learn and use, networking with other bloggers and your audience, reading blogs and getting inspired, participating in blog link ups, competitions, interviews and guest posts, twitter chats, blog conferences… the list goes on.
Blogging is not simple, not easy, not quick and takes time. Which leads me to number 4…
4. Blogging brings out the best of you, your creativity, your knowledge and personality.
Blogging boosts self esteem, it improves confidence, encourages creativity and creates a sense of community.
People blog for all sorts of reasons, about all different topics and niches, but it all comes down to one very important thing: passion.
Bloggers are bursting with creativity, ideas and inspiration. Bloggers want to encourage others to get involved in blogging and welcome everyone into the blogging community. There is such a strong sense of support amongst all bloggers on social media and in real life. Bloggers want to share their ideas, help others, create, dream, make friends, build communities and never stop learning.
Before I started blogging I didn’t know if I was going to network or make blog friends… to be honest, it all sounded a bit scary and I assumed was only for “big bloggers”. I was so wrong! Everyone I have met has been nothing but supportive.
Twitter chats have always been a very favourite part to blogging for me; hosts run blog chats through hashtags which usually last an hour. They are a great way to meet other bloggers and have fun. For me, blog chats help me relax and de-stress especially if I’m feeling bombarded with blog projects.
One of my first twitter blog chats was #JRTVChat, hosted by John Sennett who has been nothing but friendly and supportive since day 1. He is a role model to many in the blogging world and is an inspiration. He dedicates so much of his time to helping others; from volunteering to supporting bloggers. Check out his blog to see what he’s upto!
For many, blogging has really helped them find their passion and brought many benefits to them, and others.
5. Blogging is so fun and full of opportunities.
Blogging is very rewarding! All the time it takes is so worth it. It is a great feeling to create, to help others, and to make friends. It makes my absolute day when someone sends me a message telling me they love my blog or spot me out and about. I’m so glad my blog is useful!
Bloggers are some of the most determined, friendly and creative people I know. It is a pleasure to be involved in the blogging community. And blogging is so fun for a lot of reasons. Blogs can be a platform for many opportunities, inspire life choices and motivate others.
Many people use blogging to help build a career, start a business, do community work, have fun and use their creativity. Blogging is a great way to get involved in your local communities and support small businesses.
Whether bloggers are fortunate enough to earn money or not; there are so many great opportunities for working with other bloggers, small businesses, independent shops, brands, charities, creative designers, the media, journalism and so much more. The hard work pays off when you realise how appreciated your content and brand is; whilst being cheered on by a supportive community.
I really do think blogging has an important role in our culture and lives. I would love to see blogging being taken more seriously, blogs being appreciated, people supportive of those wanting to start or with years of experience.
My journey has only just started, but I’m so glad I did it. I’ve never felt more inspired and creative than now!
Do you have any interest in blogging? Perhaps you are a blogger; what are your thoughts?
I would love to hear what you think!