What’s a blogger? Oh, no one reads articles anymore. Don’t you want a “real” job? I’ve heard it all and yet here I am writing another article for all of you to read. Do I feel guilty that I’m not “working”? No, Blogging is a very real, and very intense job that requires a lot of energy to do a lot of different things. If you want to be a blogger and get an honest idea of what that looks like at year two, or if you are a blogger looking for validation that this is a real job this job is also for you.
I’ve been dealing with the “Don’t you want a Real Job?” question since I was little. It started with my parents when I told them I wanted to be an artist and writer. I loved drawing as my first form of expression and when I was able to learn how to write (even with horrible spelling) I knew that writing was something I loved. Being homeschooled and not really allowed to play with other kids, righting was my escape. I remember one summer I wrote a 250 page, single-spaced story. Granted it was a HORRIBLE fanfic, but I was never scared of essays when I started public school in 8th grade.
I tried corporate jobs and honestly, it was just not my thing. I would find myself on breaks writing down ideas for books or making a menu. After watching Sex in the City and Carrie Bradshaw wring on her little computer, I was hooked. That was the life I wanted.
So here I am. I’ve been a fulltime blogger for two years now and I want to give you the skinny on what that’s been like.
1.) BLOGGING IS A JOB!: I might be sitting in my office with my TV on, I might be doing a craft. I might be cooking, but I am not being lazy. I’m usually taking pictures of what I’m making, writing the article to go with it, editing the pictures I took or planning my next article. That’s not including any videos I make, items I craft for my store, giveaways, and EVERYTHING I do on Instagram to promote my blog. Even when I was doing an article once a week that’s 52 posts in a year! So far this year I’ve been posting Monday, Wednesday, and Friday which means 156 articles. I am constantly creating. That takes an immense amount of energy and sometimes I am exhausted.
2.) Your Friends, Your Family, and Your Dog May Not Get It (and that’s okay): Again, I’ve had all of these (minus the dog because I don’t have one yet) ask me if I was happy as a blogger. I’ve had questions about doing all this stuff on my own. I’ve had questions about missing office life (um…I definitely don’t miss that). This is okay. If this is something that gives you creative freedom, if it makes you happy then it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. For me, office clothes, commuting, office politics, and my own lack of creative outlet where all problems.
While I like to be social online, I’m not a huge fan of going out with a group of friends. So working from home by myself isn’t really a horrible thing for me. I also LOVE the freedom it allows me to have control over the process and my home at the same time and that’s not something I will ever be ashamed of. My suggestion for dealing with this is to write down why you love being a blogger and stick it around where you work. It’s easy to feel discouraged and let those comments get to you, but remember, if this is what YOU LOVE, then it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
3.) You Won’t Make Money Right Away: Now this is an unfortunate truth. Whoever said that making a blog would make you fast money, was lying. I’ll be honest in saying I’ve spent more money on my blog than I’ve made back. I’ve yet to meet anyone who said “Oh yeah, I started a blog and instantly made money”. Especially if you’re doing something with a broad niche like me with my lifestyle blog. It might be easier if you have a specific thing you write about like being a food blogger, or a mommy blogger, but lifestyle can be so broad that it’s hard to focus on any one thing. Instagram helps a lot in attracting attention to you and your blog, and adding products to sell (like for me it’s Mala necklaces and Pyrographed spoons), will help, but after two years I am still trying to this lucrative.
4.) You Will Deal with Pressure, Rejection, and Exhaustion: I have Google Analytics hooked up to my blog and I have to be careful that I check it only when I’m in a positive mood. Sometimes if my viewership numbers are low, I can feel less motivated. There is pressure to hit deadlines and to manage that I created a content calendar in a simple office document to keep track of when and what I post and what I have to work on and where it is in the process. Lastly, you will feel exhaustion. It’s hard to balance life, and all the work this takes.
It’s important that you take this process slowly in the beginning and make it a point to not just set the hours you’ll be working, but the times in which you’ll be resting or doing life things otherwise you run the risk of getting overwhelmed.
5.) You Will Need to Make Your Posts a Priority: Posting infrequently erodes the trust that your followers have in you. Your strong followers or “Core Group” will look forward to those moments in their day when they can look at a new post, and when there’s nothing there, it can cause them to not be so interested or worse, forget about you. So if you commit to posting once a week on a Wednesday (which was my original posting time) then you need to stick to that. If you up your posts (like I did) to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then be sure to keep to that. I even try to write the majority of my posts a MONTH in advance and then automate them, so if something dramatic happens in my life, I know that a post will be published regardless.
6.) Automation Will Be Your Very Best Friend: I use Mailchimp to send mailers to people on my mailing list. I use Facebook to schedule Facebook posts. I’m always on the lookout to find a better system to automate everything. Automation will help you have a life outside of your posts. Seriously, I use to do them all by hand, and forgetting to write a post and scrambling to find something or bang out a sad little post is NOT FUN. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of automation and scheduling.
7.) You Will Have to be Self Motivated: Even with normal jobs you’re going to have days where you don’t want to go in. There will be days where there is laundry and dishes calling your name, or COVID might ruin half of your posts for the year (like it did me lol) and you’re going to have to find a way to sit down and write, or edit pictures. It’s so important to write about things you love for this reason. If you hate cooking, but you decided to do a cooking blog those tough days are going to be twice as hard. Make sure to celebrate your little wins, and take time to rest.
After two years I learned so much from my blog. I’ve learned to make the things I love a priority and to celebrate having a voice and the ability to talk about the things that make me happy. I hope that this has in some ways give you an honest look at the blogging life, but I also hope that it’s given you a fun challenge. If you have a blog or want to discuss blogging more, drop me a line in the comments below. Also if you’d like to be notified of future posts, please be sure to SIGN UP HERE. If your passion is to blog, nothing you’ve read here is going to stop you and I would honestly hate if it did. Being a content creator is incredibly hard work, but also incredibly rewarding. Chase your dreams! -Heather Astaneh