So you want to be a blogger? Blogging is a wonderful tool that has opened amazing doors and opportunities for my family over the past few years. But for those of you that are new bloggers or considering starting a blog, I’m here today to share with you what no one tells you about blogging.
How do I know this stuff? Just a little background – first I’ve been blogging for the past 7 years. Was I always successful at it? No. But about 5 years ago I got my act together and decided to take it seriously. I put on my big girl panties, bought a nicer camera and spent hours upon hours simply learning. Since then I started Blog Elevated Conference and Community and help run Houston Bloggers, Texas Bloggers and DFW Bloggers.
Over the past few years I’ve been interviewed or asked several times about blogging and everyone seems to ask the same exact question, “how much money can you make as a blogger?”. It’s true, it seems to be what everyone that wants to start a blog wants to know. Part of me understands that it is because you want to know if it will be worth the time that you’re putting into it but there’s so much more that you need to know besides, “how much money can you make blogging?”.
If your motivation behind starting a blog is to simply earn $20,000 a year or if you’re currently about to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a course titled, “how to become a six figure blogger” than you might be wanting to be a blogger for the wrong reasons.
What No One Tells You About Blogging
1. Blogging is hard – So you want to make money blogging or run a successful blog? Are you willing to do the work? Being a blogger is not simply sitting behind a computer screen and banging at the keyboard for a few minutes a day.
Blogging is a job. If you only spend 5 – 10 minutes at your job a day, chances are that you’re going to lose that job. It’s not just attending fancy events and getting a lot of free swag that you might share on your blog because you have nothing else to talk about. Blogging means that you have to sit down and plan and implement. Not only do you need to plan what you’ll be blogging about (in precise details) but once you’ve done that you’ll need to SEO map your keywords, figure out your marketing strategy for your blog as a whole as well as individual posts, and learn the many paths that it takes to share your blog with the world. That doesn’t actually scratch the surface of what you do on a daily basis as a blogger or the skills you need to teach yourself such as photography and graphic design.
2. You have to be willing to constantly learn and change – There’s many jobs out there that once you have the basic skills mastered, you are set. You simply do the same processes day after day, occasionally changing as updates occur but following the same path for the most part.
Blogging is not like those jobs. Being a blogger means that you’re going to do the job of at least ten people. Not only are you going to do the jobs of a photographer, designer, writer, editor, marketer, strategist, content creator, webmaster and SEO expert, you’ll have other jobs depending what niche you are blogging about. You have to do all those jobs and do them really well because you are the owner and creator of your own blog. If you do any of those jobs poorly, it reflects back on you.
It’s a lot to learn and master. But the real kicker is that once you have it mastered, it will change. There’s so many moving parts behind a blog and the internet and social media change daily. How you learn to engage and market your blog on social media will not be the same in six months. Something will change and if you do not devote yourself to learning, trying and implementing, than you’ll be left behind.
If you want to be a blogger than you have to devote yourself to learning.
3. You will lose a part of your personal life – When you put your life out on the internet for people to read and follow, you willingly sacrifice some of your personal life. At times it’s crossed over into my family in ways that they may not welcome it. It’s something that you need to be aware of and plan on.
Even if you plan on writing under a pen name or keeping your location and kid’s names private, the privacy of that information is not guaranteed. All it takes is one real life personal friend leaving a comment on your Facebook page, using one of your kid’s real names, and that information is no longer private.
Before you willingly step into a very public arena, make sure you are up to it.
4. Developing a thick skin is mandatory – Some people live on the internet simply to harass and try to hurt others. It’s a very ugly truth to this modern world. If you want to live a public life than you need to know who you truly are on the inside and develop a thick skin to serve as your own protective layer.
People won’t always agree or like what your post is about. Some might respond in really negative ways while others might simply bash your words and the heart behind them. The big bloggers in this world all have hate sites dedicated to their blogs. The goal of those sites is simply to tear apart the blogger that has found success. You might not encounter a problem such as that but you will at sometime have someone leave hurtful comments or simply attack you because of who you are.
5. Blogging is amazing – Somewhere among all the hours I’ve spent developing this blog, I’ve been welcomed into a community of bloggers that make all the extremely long hours and thick skin worth it. I can count amazing bloggers that knock my socks off with their knowledge and passion as some of my closest friends.
I’ve been able to see behind the scenes at many wonderful places, have experiences for myself and my family that are extremely special and get to reach millions of people with this blog. That is mind blowing.
At the end of the day I’m able to go to sleep knowing that in some way, I’ve helped a ton of people that day. Maybe it’s just one person looking for instructions on how to make a Decomesh Wreath, or someone looking for advice for first year homeschoolers. Maybe this blog has given them great gift ideas for a loved one such as wire wrapped bracelets or the Bunn MCU coffee maker review. Or there’s my most popular post, which is not about crafting at all and most of the best wisdom can actually be found in the comments – What to do when your child is throwing up. Yes, the most popular post on this blog is about throw up – kinda ironic if you have a sick sense of humor.
But the main point is that I get to do something that few do – I get to come into your home every single day and share a story with you. Maybe that story will inspire, maybe it will make you want to throw your device across the room, or maybe it will help you heal in some way.
Without my blog, I wouldn’t be able to do that.
Blogging is amazing. It’s a gift.
So before you start asking, “how much money can I make”, first ask yourself what do you have to share with this world and are you willing to do the work that it takes to spread that message?
Do you still want to start a blog? You can do it! Check out this post on How To Start a Blog.
Cathy Lawdanski says
All true. Just started in December and I found out that there is so much more to it than I thought. Bought a better camera. Am learning photography. Need to take the time to find and edit better graphics. Need to get a handle on SEO. But – I love it! I can’t NOT do it. It’s my creative outlet & whether or not I ever get paid, it’s my job. Great post.