8 Truths About Blogging

8 Truths About Blogging

I’ve been blogging for around 18 months now, and i’ve definitely learned a lot since publishing my first blog post. Blogging has opened many new doors, and I discover and experience something new pretty much every week. I love being able to share my experiences and inspire my readers, whether it’s to try a new recipe, travel to a new place, or even start a blog themselves. But blogging isn’t all fun and games – and it isn’t just about taking pretty pictures and looking good on social media. Blogging is time-consuming (for me, it’s pretty much like having another full-time job), and I think there are a lot of misconceptions about the industry and what us bloggers do.

So, I wanted to write a post explaining a few truths about blogging and exactly how much work goes into running into a blog. Whether you’re a non-blogger wondering what’s really involved in the whole blog thing (apart from the fun stuff you see on Instagram), or a newbie blogger wanting to learn more about what to expect, here are a few truths about blogging that may surprise you!

1) It’s so time-consuming!

What used to be a lazy Sunday with nothing to do but chill out, is now a Sunday spent writing blog posts for the week, editing photos, working on Pinterest, reading other blogs, scheduling social media, replying to comments, writing emails, and everything else. Running a blog is so time-consuming and you’re constantly thinking about ways to make it better. One tiny tweak (that no one will even notice) can sometimes take you 3 hours, and no matter how much work you’ve done, there’s always more to do. In the past 2 weeks, I think i’ve been to bed before 2am twice – and a big reason for that is because i’ve been staying up working on my blog. There are a lot of perks, but a LOT of time goes into it too.

2) There’s no such thing as ‘free’ stuff

If I got a pound or dollar for every time someone has said, “Blogging looks great, you just get free stuff all the time!” i’d be, well, probably much richer than I am now.

There’s a whole process that’s involved in creating the perfect blog post and tons of work that goes on behind the scenes. I can’t deny that blogging has a lot of perks, but, contrary to popular belief, the perks of blogging are rarely ever free. ‘Free’ implies that you’re getting something without having to pay for it. We may not have to pay for the clothes or hotels with actual money, but we do have to pay for it in time, which is just as valuable.

For example, you might see a blogger staying at a hotel for the weekend. It may look like all they’re doing is chilling at the spa in a fluffy robe, but for most people, that ‘free’ hotel stay generally looks something like this:

Pre-trip: Develop a blog post/trip idea, research hotels you’d like to blog about and find the right person to contact, perfect your pitch, reach out, probably get rejected a couple of times, get accepted, organize the stay and decide when you’re going to go. 

On the trip: Check into the hotel, go to your room, leave your suitcases out in the hallway, take 20+ photos of the room to get 3/4 perfect shots, post to social media that you’ve arrived, explore the area and do a few fun activities, take photographs of what you’re doing, note down key things like what you’re doing and how/where you can do it, post to social media again, photograph the hotel, perhaps talk to the chef and try out the menu, sample the spa or health centre, go out for dinner in the evening and if that’s complimentary, take photos of that too. The next day, post to social media about what you’re getting up to, take a photo of your breakfast, check out, then maybe make a few final notes. Oh and in all of the photographing and note-taking, you’ve got to enjoy it too!

Post-trip: Collaborate your notes, conduct additional research about your hotel or destination, sift through 200+ photos from the weekend and narrow it down to 5-15 shots for the blog post(s), edit the photos, spend 1-3 hours writing the post(s), upload all the photos, edit the post, post it, promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and any other platform you use, optimize the images for social media, then go to Hootsuite and schedule the post for the following week. You’ve also got to deliver everything what you’ve promised to your partner, so you can’t just write any old rubbish – it’s got to be high quality & something that your readers will enjoy.

Jeesh! All of that for one blog post. And of course, you may have other work going on that you have to juggle too. I’m not complaining at all because I love what I do, but there’s definitely a lot that more than you think that goes into creating just one post, so it’s rarely ever ‘free’!

3) Bloggers wear many hats

As a blogger, you are a writer, stylist, make-up artist, web developer, photographer, videographer, editor, and marketer (among other things) all in one. I’ve learned so much through blogging over the last 18 months, but there’s always something else to learn and something new to master, so you’ve got to stay on the ball. My plan for this summer is to work on my YouTube channel and start vlogging. This is an area that’s completely new to me so I’m spending a lot of my time researching video editing, what makes a good video, what to vlog about, and studying other successful vloggers for best practices. 

4) There are thousands millions of bloggers trying to make it

We’ve all heard of Sincerely Jules, The Blonde Salad, Nomadic Matt, and the other huge bloggers who have ‘made it’. These guys make thousands of dollars for posting a picture on Instagram or writing a blog post, and of course, that’s pretty cool. But that’s only a very very small percentage of the tens of millions of other bloggers out there who are trying to make their mark. Blogging is a hard industry, so if growing your blog is on the agenda, you’ve got to constantly stay on top of things and find innovative ways to stand out from the incredibly saturated market. 

5) Blogging is a business, as well as a passion

A lot of people get peed off when they find out that bloggers sometimes get paid for writing a post or promoting a product. But for many people, including myself, I do see blogging as a business as well as a passion. Most blogs start out as a hobby, but then when you’re putting SO many hours into your blog and you’re offering value to brands, I think it’s okay to receive compensation for it. Besides, we’ve all got rent/bills to pay and unfortunately, landlords tend not to accept outfits as a form of payment!

Personally, i’ll always disclose on my blog if the post is sponsored by a brand (FYI, sponsored generally means paid), and I make it a rule to never promote a product or experience that I wouldn’t ordinarily buy or be interested myself, whether i’m getting paid for it or not. That does sometimes mean turning down brands, which I never like doing, but you have to be true to your branding and what you believe in. 

Of course, not everything is sponsored and all bloggers start from the (unpaid) bottom. My agenda isn’t just to make money, but if a brand can support my post idea then it does help, especially if I would otherwise incur the cost myself. Sometimes brands might not offer financial compensation, but the benefits (such as exposure on their social media channels, the opportunity to work with a great brand, receiving products you’re interested in, or the chance to experience something fun) might be equally as valuable. 

6) Your office is wherever you want it to be

One of my favourite things about having a blog is that my office is wherever I want it to be! It’s often my sofa – and i’m often wearing my pyjamas – but other than that it can be a coffee shop, a patio, the park, an airport, or wherever else you can find Wi-Fi. Having a blog means you work for yourself, but it also means you have to motivate yourself to stick to a consistent posting schedule, and try not to fall behind when life gets busy (which i’m really bad at)!

7) Social media is integral to your blog

…which is why many bloggers are so active and post so much! Essentially, social media is one of your blog’s biggest support systems (other than the readers). When you see a blogger posting to Instagram twice a day, it’s not because they love themselves and they want to spam you with their life (I promise). Being active on social media helps you to get your blog out there and deliver value to your readers, establish your brand, connect with new people, and essentially, grow your blog.

When you grow your follower base, you reach more people, which increases your traffic and engagement, which makes you more desirable to work with because you have a larger audience, which leads to more opportunities and experiences. Whether you see your blog as a hobby or business, and whether your blog receives 10 views a month or 10,000, every single reader and follower counts. Consistent posting is key too, which is why tools like Hootsuite and Later are great as they help you to schedule posts in advance so they automatically post for you. 

8) Your support means everything

Whenever I get a ‘like’ or a share or a message from someone saying they’ve read my blog post, I get this warm and fuzzy feeling inside and it instantly makes what I’m doing all worth it. Blogs are a creative outlet for the blogger, but they’re also for the reader. I always try my best to create content that you guys will enjoy, resonate with, and hopefully learn from. By reading my blog, whether it’s once a week or once in your lifetime, you’re helping me to progress and allowing me to keep doing what i’m doing, so thank you! Your support truly means everything, and I hope you enjoy what you see & read 🙂

What would you love non-bloggers or newbies to know about blogging? Let me know in the comment box below! 

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8 Truths About Blogging: Things Bloggers Wish Non-Bloggers Knew!

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25 Comments

  1. November 14, 2016 / 11:03 am

    I just started my blog RedMomma and I completely agree with all 8 truths. Thanks for sharing.

    • Go Live Explore
      Author
      November 14, 2016 / 4:28 pm

      Glad you can resonate Kayla. Good luck with your blog!

  2. June 28, 2016 / 11:20 am

    This is sooo true. I am blogging now for 10 months and it really is hard work and definitely time-consuming. Aside from that it’s not that easy to get interaction on your blog. But anyway, it is fun most of the time and I will keep going! 😉 Greets from Germany! Sarah

    • Go Live Explore
      Author
      June 29, 2016 / 9:00 am

      Hey Sarah! Yes I completely agree, it definitely involves a lot of work – any free time I have is spent on my blog, it’s exhausting sometimes! All very good fun though of course 🙂 Keep on going and it will continue to grow – you’re doing amazing so far girl! xx

  3. June 8, 2016 / 11:04 am

    The amount of time that goes into blogging is ridiculous! I never knew what it really takes until I started juggling my blog, my job, my child, and all of the other normal life stuff day to day. I love it and wouldn’t change my packed schedule but what makes it harder is when people don’t get it. If people ask what I do for work and I through my blog out there I’m stared at like I’m crazy. My mother-in-law thinks there’s something wrong with my generation for wanting to share information online but I’m so passionate about it. Whenever I’m planning a vacation or looking for new makeup/outfit/whatever tips I have always turned to other blogs!

  4. June 7, 2016 / 8:40 pm

    Love this! These are all so true.

    xoxo, Jenny

  5. June 7, 2016 / 7:00 pm

    Love this! Definitely agree with the one about nothing being free! Even when companies send you free products, there’s so much time and energy that goes into doing the product review and post that it really isn’t beneficial to do it for free. Great post!

  6. June 7, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    Blogging is time consuming and there are so many of us trying to make it. Those the ones that stuck out to me the most.

  7. June 7, 2016 / 11:10 am

    Love this! I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that it is easy! So much goes into each post and no one realizes it until they question why it’s not working!

  8. June 1, 2016 / 10:04 am

    This is such a great post boo! I would definitely recommend this as a read for anyone thinking of starting a blog. Monetizing your lifestyle literally translates into your entire life being a job 🙂 At least it’s easy to love what you do when you can chose your passions and priorities yourself xx

    Thanks for the share!!
    http://www.prettyweirdbombshell.com

    • Go Live Explore
      Author
      June 1, 2016 / 10:27 am

      Thank you gorgeous girl, you’re such a sweetie! And I totally agree, your life really does become your job. It’s important to develop boundaries as well & take time away from it all, otherwise it can drive you a bit mad constantly being connected. Let’s plan another date soon xx

  9. May 31, 2016 / 9:20 am

    You nailed every single one of these. Some of this has changed with the popularity of blogging especially the social media aspect which has increased 100 fold since I first blogged back in 2009.

    • Go Live Explore
      Author
      June 1, 2016 / 10:29 am

      Thanks Rebecca! Yeah I imagine it’s changed so much since back then, there are so many channels to deal with now it’s a little mind bloggling! Thank you for stopping by xx

  10. May 30, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    I really do love sleep, but if I’m in bed before midnight it is rare! I pinned and stumbled- I know that sharing is the best too:)

    • Go Live Explore
      Author
      May 30, 2016 / 9:45 pm

      I know right! I went to bed at 10:30 the other night and it was absolute heaven, although you have 5 kids to care for AND a blog so I take my hat off to you. I can hardly complain! Thanks for sharing Cathy, I really appreciate it 🙂 x

  11. May 30, 2016 / 11:07 am

    Interesting take on how blogging is a business. Blogging used to be an outlet for genuine, creative means, without concern of competition. In this present day, however, I see a lot of individuals who are simply motivated by the following and fortune behind it. Great to see someone staying authentic despite the trend!

    • Go Live Explore
      Author
      May 30, 2016 / 11:52 am

      Hi Krystele, thanks for reading! You’re definitely right, there are those who are motivated by the following and fortune, but there are still many out there who use blogging as a creative outlet but also benefit from it financially.

      Personally, my primary goal is to inspire people and offer value – whether that’s in the form of recipes or travel advice – rather than simply make money. Equally though, if my passion can sometimes support paying my rent and allow me to continue putting the time in and keep doing what I love, then i’m all for it.

      I think the business outlook is more necessary when you start working with brands and companies. Not just in terms of financial compensation, but also in terms of your value. Many bloggers nowadays offer incredible benefits to brands in terms of exposure, and work their ass off doing it, but not all brands appreciate that and bloggers can easily get taken advantage of. Blogger/brand collaborations is still relatively new ground and you’re right, blogging is changing drastically. I think that’s also why it’s important to disclose when you are getting paid for something, so your readers know the full score, and to remain true to your values and what you believe in!

  12. May 30, 2016 / 10:49 am

    You’re right – it is hard work. And time isn’t free. But so rewarding.

    • Go Live Explore
      Author
      May 30, 2016 / 12:45 pm

      You’re right, it is SO rewarding. I love being able to help or inspire people, even if it’s in the most minuscule way.

  13. May 30, 2016 / 9:15 am

    SO true. I was just talking to a group of people and they are so surprised at how much time I spend promoting the blog.

    • Go Live Explore
      Author
      May 30, 2016 / 12:49 pm

      Yeah I never realized how much was involved before I started a blog myself. When you put so much effort into your blog/writing a post you obviously want people to read it, but growing your blog outside of your immediate friendship circles takes a lot of effort! Thanks for reading hun! x

  14. Samantha
    May 30, 2016 / 8:45 am

    Love this Hun! Great read xo.

    • Go Live Explore
      Author
      May 30, 2016 / 12:46 pm

      Thanks for reading Samantha, i’m glad you liked it!! xx

  15. May 29, 2016 / 3:18 pm

    I always read things for “newbie” bloggers, and then I realize, I am far past that stage now! I agree 100% with all of t his!

    • Go Live Explore
      Author
      May 30, 2016 / 10:39 am

      Yeah you definitely look like you’re past the newbie stage – your blog is awesome!! Those salted caramel cookies look so delish I want to try them! 😀

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