What Does a Blogger Even Do?
That's a great question. It's the one I basically get all of the time, and is also kind of annoying to me. Haha. Like I said, I do not sugar coat here. That question, though valid, is always annoying.
If you have ever gone to a blog, it has words on it. Someone wrote those words. I write the words on my blog, and would consider myself a writer. Short answer. Can't people use deductive reasoning here? Goodness.
However, I understand that blogging is not a common career, unless you do all the social media for a company, in which case, blogging is often part of the job duty. So I understand how when you ask someone what they do and they respond "I'm a blogger" it sounds sort of like they sit in their pajamas all day and write things while watching Netflix in the background. Okay, part of that is true... but I really don't watch Netflix EVERY day.
Trust me, I get it. I get how it sounds to people older than me. But whenever someone my age asks what I do, there is never a hint of confusion and they think it's the coolest thing ever. However, let me dive in and explain blogging as a career! Yaaayyyy!
Do you make money from blogging?
- Yes... over time. Blogging as a career doesn't happen overnight and sometimes doesn't even happen over a year. It takes time, patience, and consistency to see monetary results. We gain money from selling ad space, sponsorship, and freelance writing. Many bloggers have other jobs to compensate for the slow process, but others choose to live on a tighter budget in order to dedicate their time to blogging full-time.
Do you actually hang out in your pajamas all day?
- Yes. I don't wake up at 10 though. I actually wake my husband up so he can get ready for work. Once he's in the shower, I make coffee and start working before he's even out the door. But one of my goals in the new year is to shower before noon every day.
Besides writing, what could possibly occupy your time??
- Research on trending topics to stay relevant with my audience.
- Networking with other bloggers. Collaborating, emailing, reaching out via social media, constant, constant outreach. It's one of the important steps in gaining a following.
- Editing posts. Posts don't always get written in a day. Sometimes I need to let one rest in purgatory before my creative juices can come back. This means writing paragraph after paragraph, and deleting the entire thing and starting over.
- Editing photos. If you want to use original photos, they don't usually look good just downloaded off your iPhone. They need to be edited and that doesn't take 5 minutes. Especially if you're going to post a gallery of photos. The image above? I took several pictures, picked one, edited the colors, contrast, etc... then spent the time to put text on it, downloaded it, had to convert it to a jpeg, then had to make sure it looked good at the top of this page (placement, etc...). It's very time consuming, and easy to be lazy and have poor imagery. One of my goals this year is to have top notch photos (keep me accountable, people!)
- Upkeep on my website. Not only did I customize and build this website in about a week and a half, but I have to keep up with it. I make sure posts are showing up correctly - in the right categories, correct spelling, my links and buttons are working as they should, mobile looks correct, etc...
What are the perks of being a blogger?
- Flexibility. I have lunch when I get hungry. I can schedule appointments whenever I want. My vacation isn't limited to hours earned or a certain number of weeks. Which is soooo nice when people visit or when I'm trying to plan a trip. I can be involved in things during the day (volunteering, networking meetings, etc...). I can run errands when traffic isn't a cluster. The house stays clean and I can start dinner before Tom gets home from work. It's great.
- Decision making. I love love LOVE working with people, but not when they're making all my decisions for me. I love that I can network with others, but own my thang. In many ways I can be a loner, but writing for other people brings me so much joy. I like to say the things other people are too afraid to say. I can stand behind my words, and I encourage others to let their voice be heard too.
- Continued learning. I get to teach myself cool new skills and it rocks! I started dabbling in hand-lettering, I can take classes on Skillshare, I've learned basic coding skills, and I can take free classes offered in Atlanta during the day. Not to mention, I'm married to a UX Designer and whatever he learns, I get to learn too.
- Talking to my family during the day when they're home. Love that.
What stinks about blogging?
- Feeling isolated. I don't have co-workers, so I have to get creative and force myself to work outside of our apartment or I'll get terrible cabin fever. This is why I talk on the phone with family a lot. Sometimes I bounce ideas off of them... and if anything, they're great company.
- Accountability. It can be easier to push something off because I don't have to make a deadline for anyone but myself. Another thing that I'm working on in the new year!
- Holding to work hours. I'm working on keeping set work hours of 9-5. However, when you work and live in the same place, the lines get smudged and suddenly I can't put my work down until 10pm, or maybe I'll throw in the towel at 2pm. Cabin fever gets worse, because my husband comes home to unwind and I want to get OUT to unwind. Or when people know you work from home, they assume you're free every weekday whenever... which you could be... but it's important to keep a level of consistency and be able to say no sometimes. I'm working on the right balance, but it's tough.
Overall, blogging is about learning the right balance, constant learning and skill-honing, and lots and lots of hard work. Is it worth the challenge? Absolutely. Is it rewarding? You bet. It's a work of my own hands.
If you're thinking about blogging, if you'd like to guest blog for me, if you'd like to collaborate, or if you still don't get what a blogger does, contact me!