Wait, did she say not to start a blog? That might seem like an odd title because why would someone tell you not to blog? Recently I’ve had several people reach out to me with questions about starting a blog, and it got me thinking. This month happens to mark my 5th official year of blogging. How did that happen??? And when I thought about it, I can’t even believe it’s been that long. I’m definitely no expert here, but I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.
Last week I decided to join on a “free” live chat video that was supposed to share ways to help with growth on your social platforms. Luckily I had it on in the background while changing diapers and feeding because I was so disappointed at the end when all they did was give these general suggestions that we’ve all heard before. That’s 30 minutes of my time I’m not able to get back, and all they did at the end was try to sell us on buying their extended course. And don’t get me started on the follow up emails every few hours telling me the deal of a lifetime was going to end. I have to admit, I’ve never paid for one of these so called courses so I don’t know how valuable they would be. I’m sure there have to be some pretty great ones out there that are worth it, so I don’t want to knock anyone that has these courses.
Who knows, maybe I’m the one doing it all wrong and not having courses to monetize this space more. There’s one thing I can always appreciate though, and that’s shared knowledge. A lot of what I’ve learned and evolved with blogging over the years has come from others sharing their experiences. I figured in honor of my 5th blogging year I would shed some light on recent thoughts of mine.
REASONS NOT TO START A BLOG:
Only Blogging For Money:
Yes, you can make money blogging but it’s not consistent. It all depends on what you’re booking for that month and also being aware of the payout terms in your contracts. Some can take upwards of 45-60 day payouts. There are some months you might clear $400 and others it’s $1,500. It’s so up and down. You also have to realize that you’re not getting things like vacation time, health benefits, or a 401k.
You Don’t Have The Time:
The number one thing I try to tell people when they ask me about starting a blog is that you’re going to have to put a lot of work into it. There’s just no way around it. It’s going to take hours on end if you want to produce quality content with thoughtful links, edited images, and a well written post. Unless you have a team of people working for you, which most successful bloggers do, you will be doing the leg work on your own. If you aren’t prepared to stay up long hours, take time away from your family, or let your housework take a back seat, I wouldn’t suggest it. I also want to take it a step further. There is a whole other set of work that comes after you even hit publish on a post. Sure it’s out there on the world wide web and hopefully someone will come across it, but, if you really want it to get exposure you’re going to need to share it to your other social channels such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Not to mention taking time to engage with other bloggers and really try to build your community.
You Don’t Have Thick Skin:
I also think this is another important factor to bring up because I think it gets sugarcoated a lot. Most of us know our personalities and what we can and can’t handle. And it’s ok if you’re someone that takes things to heart or gets upset easily. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if that’s the case, I wouldn’t encourage you to get into blogging. Specifically if you’re looking to make money from it. The reason I say all of this is because you’re going to have rejection. You’re going to have someone that has better pictures than you or a better writing style. You’re going to come across other bloggers that no matter what content they put out they can do no wrong by their followers. That’s just life. If you think that you could fall into the comparison trap or you aren’t prepared to have a brand say you aren’t what they’re looking for, then don’t do it. If it could potentially make you feel less of a person, then your time focused elsewhere is worth so much more.
Blogging Is On Its Way Out:
This is such a controversial topic and I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to bring this one up, but here we are. Mainly because I don’t even agree with it, to an extent. The reason why I can see partial truth to it is, when companies approach me for a campaign 9 times out of 10 they are only interested in having it on instagram. Typically companies will pay more for a blog post because they know there is a lot of time and effort that goes into producing the content. I also think that a lot of bloggers who started out back in the day when it was very different, less competition, and you came on here to use it as a scrapbook of fun moments with your family, have gotten burnt out and stepped away. There are still some that utilize it for that, which I love and are usually my favorite ones to read. The fact of the reality is that it’s a lot easier to post a picture on facebook or instagram and have a long caption that could essentially be a blog post.
You Can Get Burnt Out:
As I mentioned in my last point, you can get burnt out from blogging. Most people will tell you you need to be consistent with blogging, which is true. I’ve always felt my best place for posting has been 2-3 times a week. Sometimes that doesn’t always happen and that’s ok too. Your loyal readers will understand and most of the time additional traffic is driven through other sources such as Google or Pinterest where they’re just readers passing on by and might not even notice that you haven’t posted for the week. On the other hand, if you’re only prepared to post once a month or every now and then, I would suggest that it’s really great content that will keep consistent activity. When I shared last year my thoughts for blogging in the new year it was a turning point for me. I was at the point of almost feeling burnt out and contemplated stepping away. After having a different approach and going back to having fun with it, my numbers grew and I booked more campaigns than any other year.
REASONS TO BLOG:
Aside from all of the reasons I mentioned about not starting a blog there are also some amazing perks to giving this whole thing a whirl. Hands down establishing your blogging community is my all time favorite. Those loyal followers that support you, comment on your posts, and you even form friendships with from afar. Building a community takes time and doesn’t happen over night. It also starts with you. Reaching out to other bloggers, sharing and pinning their content, and commenting on their posts are all ways to start connecting.
Starting a blog opens you up to so many creative things. I always loved taking pictures and was that friend in high school and college that always wanted everyone to get together for pictures or would snap a bunch at parties or events. Now that I think about it, it went back even before high school. My best friend and I would get a bunch of disposable cameras (Yes, you read that right. There weren’t digital back then) and we would walk to Kmart to get them developed. Having a blog has allowed me to expand my creativity, learn a lot more about photography, and document so much about my growing family.
You Have A Voice:
Starting a blog gives you a platform for your voice. It all depends on how you want to use it. Are you going to create a niche specific blog or are you going to have a lifestyle concept where you share more of whatever comes to mind? It also seems that everyone and their sister nowadays has a blog, so using your voice to stand out against the rest is important. I always love reading blogs where it sounds like the person is talking to me and not reading an essay. After recently reviewing some behind the scenes data about my blog, I was surprised to see that only 32% of you are parents when I share so much about my family and kids on here. In a way it also made me happy. Even if you aren’t starting a family or don’t have kids, we can connect with each other and you still enjoy what I share.
One of the great things about blogging is that you can do it from anywhere. As long as you have your phone or a laptop the choice is yours. Some people prefer to blog at a traditional desk with all distractions away and others might do better sitting on the couch in front of the tv. That’s one of the beauties of it, you can do what works best for you.
Memories To Look Back On:
Another great thing about starting a blog is looking back at older posts and seeing how far you’ve come or how much you have grown as a blogger. While some of my early posts might be laughable, they’re all things that thought and effort have gone into. It’s also great for me personally to look back on memories of my family and kids.
As I mentioned before you can make money from blogging. How much you end up taking home is really up to you and the brands you are partnering with. I’ve had people ask me if I wouldn’t mind sharing how much I make off my posts, and my answer is always the same, it all depends. It depends what that specific company is looking for, is there an additional social share involved, pinnable image, etc. It all depends on the time and effort you need to put into things and really deciding if what they are offering is worth your time. Are they looking for my kids to be involved? If so, I always push for more because any campaign they are apart of that money goes into their college funds. And let’s be honest, it’s usually more work when they’re involved, too. The same also goes for affiliate links. Different retailers offer different percentages and some companies won’t pay you out until you’ve reached $100 worth of revenue. It is very possible, but again, those numbers are going to look different for everyone.
Allowing Yourself To Try Something New:
We’ve all heard it said before, you don’t know until you try. It’s so true. If blogging is something that’s been weighing on your heart and you want to give it a try, then go for it! Just know that success doesn’t always come over night, that hard work will be involved, and ultimately it’s all what you want to get out of it. Maybe you don’t care about making money or having the best images out there and just want to have fun. That’s all fine too. Everyone’s perspective of blogging is different and that’s what makes having the opportunity to hit publish on a post so exciting.
Whatever your journey is, I wish you all the best and above all else I hope that you have fun with it!