How hard is it to blog? |We Got the FUNK

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How hard is it to blog?

Blogging is hard, realities of blogging, Is blogging hard

That question above I get a lot.  I think most people who write blogs regularly and are starting to see an increase in traffic, item reviews and dare I say a bit of money, get this a lot.  People are curious and want to get in on the action in some cases.  I myself have had this same question...except I had been blogging for 2 years already.

If you truly want to get in on all the reviews and money that is to be had (ha!) then Expect:
  • To put in between 20-40 hours a week.
  • To not sleep much because this is close to a full time job, that you are doing outside your real full-time job (yes even SAHM)! 
  • To be let down and feel alone sometimes because you are not doing as well as your blog friends and you just cannot figure it out. 
  • To be told "I am sorry but you just do not meet our requirements" over and over and over again.  
  • More "no's" for product review pitches then approvals. 
  • To LOVE IT.
From what I read the average person who starts a blog will do so for about 3 months before they stop. Some will go a bit longer but then real life comes into play and those people disappear after building a good following and starting to make those connections.  Blogging is hard.  It is hard on the writer, their family and their friends.

As a writer, I am constantly stressing about having enough time to write a quality article that people want to read.  Now in the beginning I didn't care if people read it or not, I just got my thoughts out and enjoyed that I had an outlet and occasionally maybe a person would visit and comment.  I started my blog to chronicle my life and my kids life's and to keep on things that I would never have time to scrapbook.  Now EVERY THING I DO, from the simple play date with friends, to a craft project, to cooking, I am all the sudden taking photos and figuring out how to best promote these.  It is a bit insane to me and a bit obsessive, but hey, I want to make it big right?

I will tell you that 90% of what I prepare for, does not even get posted.  I have to constantly remind myself that I started this blog for me and that brands and reviews do not dictate the content here.  However, every single "big time" blogger knows that the previous statement can be completely and totally false...especially when money becomes a player.

When I learned that I could make some money doing this, I was amazed.  I had no clue that I could even make a dollar or that people were making entire incomes off of this?!?  You know how much money I have made in the last 3 years?  $60.00.  Yeah that is it.  I have friends making a good chunk of money and they work with these amazing media companies and get opportunities that I can only dream of and some of them have actually had to hire other people to write and edit their posts because they cannot balance it all anymore.

I however, still do not have the "pageview" requirements for these companies and many of my friends got in with these companies when their requirements were much lower.  It is difficult to really do well in this industry when you are just starting out.  Pretty much every niche is filled with 300,000 other people that have the same ideas as you and are also trying to get in with those media companies.

Blogging is hard.  It is hard because it is not just simply writing a post and having thousands flock to it (literally only 2 of my 700+ posts have ever had over 1000 people read it), but it involves:
  • Writing quality content that people WANT to read because it has something to offer them.  Do this at least 5 times a week and make it all very interesting!
  • Fantastic, bright photos that are edited and Pinterest worthy.  Buy a DSLR, some photo editing software and spend the rest of your life editing. 
  • Promotion on EVERY SINGLE social media site you can imagine every single day sometimes 3x a day. Twitter, Facebook, LinkdIn, Tumbler, Stumble Upon, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, etc. 
  • Interact with your readers on those sites (try to balance that and your family and life duties)
  • Build your social media following to 5,000-25,000 and consistently engage these readers.
  • Build a huge RSS feed following, because after all those are your loyal readers. 
  • Learn Google Analytics and be prepared to share this with all media companies to then be told that ALL your hard work, sleepless nights and time away from your family was not good enough.
  • Learn SEO, cry, cry, cry because it is so damn frustrating.
  • Create a blogging family (this one is crucial) that you can trust (many people you just cannot) and support the hell out of them.  My little crew is awesome but small for many many reasons. 
  • Be ready to be a jack of all trades.
I am not trying to discourage anyone.  Many people can do this.  I just want to be realistic with everyone.  If you truly want to make money and have people read your blog then that short bullet pointed list is just the start.  No one told me all this stuff, I had to learn and research and bounce ideas off my little blogging family. It has taken time and I am not even close to where I want to be.  Be realistic with your goals and your time. If you just need an outlet then by all means create a blog, but if you are looking to really make your blog work for you, then be aware that it will take you working your ass off for that to happen. 


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21 comments:

  1. I love this post. Blogging is tough work but so rewarding for me. I am glad you are sticking to it because you are good at it! ;)

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  2. I love your honesty! Blogging has crossed my mind, but after reading this, I'm sure I would be in that 3 month category. Keep up your hard work! I love reading your blog because it is so honest - it shows the good and tough sides of parenting and your words make me feel like I could do it one day :) Plus, your family is adorable :)

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  3. Amen! So many people have no clue what it really takes! Great article with so many points that hit home!

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  4. It boils down to if you really love it, you'll be ok. If you don't, get out now before you waste all your time! Thanks for the post!

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  5. Great article Laura - like Jyl said, not many people realize what goes into blogging. Love this!

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  6. I used to work only the weekend shift (Thursday, Friday Saturday) but each day was 12 hours. Long days for sure, but it gave me plenty of time on my days off to blog. Now I am working the night shift (as of last week), 5 days a week and I haven't found a good time to blog yet. After work I am tired and not awake enough to post stuff, plus its not a good time to promote my posts because everyone is asleep. Before work I have a few hours but I can never get done as much as I want for my blog. I don't think some people realize how many hours it takes to maintain a blog!

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  7. You're right! It's been rough. I never intended when I started out to do this professionally. Have only really been following that path for the last year. Sometimes I struggle with it still because I'm not an SEO expert and I just can't find the time to SHARE EVERYWHERE! Ugh...but I have had some great opportunities thrown my way, made some money (though not consistently yet) and met some great new people because of it, so there's that. :)

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  8. It is very hard, and for us it is the content.. to have to come up with fresh content daily is very difficult to do. I would say i put in about 60 hours a week, and my team another 40, that is how dedicated we are..

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  9. I love this post! I really is spot on about blogging. I think a lot of people jump on the bandwagon because it looks easy, but it really is so much more time consuming than it looks because there is so much that goes on behind the scenes. I've been blogging for 3 years and I have a 16 month old now. It's getting hard to find the time and the results are slow moving!

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  10. I love this post! I really is spot on about blogging. I think a lot of people jump on the bandwagon because it looks easy, but it really is so much more time consuming than it looks because there is so much that goes on behind the scenes. I've been blogging for 3 years and I have a 16 month old now. It's getting hard to find the time and the results are slow moving!

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  11. LOVE these tips and everything you said is SO true!! There is SO much work that goes into blogging, but I love it ALL!

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  12. Spot on! Another good thing to add is that bloggers need to get out of the 'competition' mentality, make friends with your blogging peers, I am a Lifestyle Blogger and not a parent, I say that because although I was a Special Ed teacher and I am an Aunt and Godmother I have to turn down a TON of parenting pitches I receive, I immediately pass those to parenting bloggers that I know. Mostly all were met at local events or at blogging conferences! A lot of parenting bloggers that get too much beauty stuff (or male bloggers I know) will forward those on to me because I have a knack for informative beauty reviews. We all have a unique perspective. And the money will come if the passion is there.

    It's important to start out with a business mindset. to research. Then work on crafting quality content.

    That $60 you made? It may have taken forever, but I will bet you value that money more than any other you made because there was no boss or middle man, just direct compensation to YOU for YOUR effort!

    STICK WITH IT!!!

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

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  13. This is fantastic! I wish I had read this when I first started blogging. I've been at it for a little more than a year. I've made $30. BUT it's so exciting to see my little blog growing! Worth the effort for sure.

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  14. This is an awesome article. I love how you lay it all out without being mean about it. Quite a few of my friends are now jumping on the blog bandwagon, and I can't help but be a bit amused... I've been blogging off and on for 4+ years, and have been very careful about my expectations. I'm using it as a portfolio/more about me site for my art rather than trying to make money from blogging proper... so I am not sad that I'm not making money, and I am pretty realistic about what I can do and what I can't. However, my real-life friends don't see that. It seems like they're expecting to go big right away. Who knows, maybe they'll write something amazing and go viral right away, and that'd be awesome for them, but there's a lot of people competing for attention out there.

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  15. I think most people can't and shouldn't make money off of their blogs. I have a blog, and I don't want to make money off of it. I think all the advice you give is good. This is an industry that is saturated. People who want to make it should be prepared to put in a lot of hours.

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  16. Love this! Very encouraging post. I'm currently working on building my blogging outreach and network of bloggers. It's very time consuming, but I hope all the long hours pay off in one way or another. Keep it up! :)

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  17. I love this post and totally needed it right now! I love blogging, but I was a bit obsessed with it for awhile, but now I have found a good balance so it doesn't suck up ALL my time! :)

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  18. This is why most people who start blogs to make an income and think it's going to be easy fail so quickly. You only get what you put in. Now that being said, I have been a sporadic blogger for the past year or so and I've made a nice little chunk of change, so I think a good deal of it is also how you portray yourself and a whole lotta luck!

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  19. This is such a great post, Laura!! You've really hit the nail on the head and I relate to every word of this!! So good to know that I'm not alone. <3

    xoxo,
    Dena @ livelovesimple.com

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  20. Just stopped by from The Blogging Collective - LOVED reading this post! Definitely as a newbie blogger I am finding the challenges of "breaking in" to the scene, being turned down (or plain ignored) by brand and product requests, and was overwhelmed by the time commitment at first. But I love that you've committed to it and focus on your blog being for you! Great job!

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  21. This is great advice. I have been blogging professionally since 2006 and made great money dishing on celebs. that network was amazing. Then Panda hit. I transitioned to blogging about Parenting shortly after as I had just had two babies in 22 months! Though my blog is 3 years old, I have only been consistent with it this summer as I had so much going on before. With that being said - perhaps I took too long off or just don't quite have it nailed yet, but I am struggling to find a group of supporters to join. It is difficult! But I keep on keeping on cause it is in my blood and I absolutely love it. I have to have faith that it will work out:) So to all you newbies, keep your head up!

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