Blogging is hard. And time-consuming. And really not for the faint of heart. But…it is so much fun. I started blogging not really interested in traffic or monetizing or anything aside from just working on my own project at my own pace. I am now a little over a year into my blogging adventure and I love the sense of freedom and accomplishment I get but I have also found that it is very fulfilling to have something that is mine and only mine. Aannd the thought of expanding has been jumping around in the back of my mind.
So I, of course, have been reading and watching videos and educating myself. Probably over-educating myself because at points I have been wildly overwhelmed and on the verge of quitting all together. So I had to put this into perspective for myself and hopefully it helps someone else as well. Here’s what I have learned:
Blogging takes time.
It is incredible how easy it is to get lost in social media. Blogging is so intertwined with social media that it is inevitable that you will spend more time than you realized reading about blogging. You also spend time researching other blogs. Following your favorite blogs, networking, commenting, engaging, etc. Not to mention that it takes (at a bare minimum) an hour to put together a post with captivating content, engaging images and decent SEO. Not a small time commitment.
Blogging takes organization.
As mentioned above, blogging takes a significant amount of time. I don’t know about you, but time is a precious commodity in my world. I have all sorts of commitments and I pick and chose who gets the time very carefully. So when I am planning out my days and weeks, I want to make sure one area of my world isn’t taking over. Blogging can easily do that. This is a work in progress still…I am by no stretch an expert in this. Just know that it is a thing.
You don’t have to have any technical skills…but it helps.
I manage a business in my full time job, so I feel pretty knowledgeable when it comes to working on a computer. But when it comes to working on the internet, I have no freaking clue. I have learned SO much in the year I have been working my blog but there have been points where I have been ready to toss my laptop across the room because I can’t figure out how to format something on my website of because I realize months later that I made a rookie mistake that needs to be fixed. I will tell you, I have spent some quality time looking up YouTube tutorials to learn things I didn’t even know were things before I started my blog.
You can be shy and introverted but you may need to get over yourself a little.
Strangely enough, blogging is a social endeavor. You wouldn’t think that, right? I thought it was just me, cut and dry. No sir! To be successful, you have to reach out to other bloggers and build a network of people you can lean on and who are willing to mentor you. The best learning comes from those who are already doing it, right? I’m not overly social and so this is sometimes a struggle for me but I’m making strides!
If you build it, they will come…if you work social media the right way.
To make money on a blog, you have to have people visiting your website. The way to do that is through social media….as many social media platforms as you can master. One mastered platform is going to be more valuable than 3 that are half-committed. Before I started my blog I had several social media accounts but they were so haphazard and disorganized. I have since spent some time cleaning up those accounts and making them more streamlined and user-friendly.
There is a LOT to learn.
I pretty much hit on this one above but there is A TON of information available. Sometimes sorting through the valuable info and figuring out what is a waste of time is going to take some of your time up but the more you learn, the easier that becomes. Always be on the lookout for new info.
There is a LOT to continue to learn.
Blogging is a techie business. Technology is a fast-paced, changing industry. The second you think you have a firm grip on some concepts, they are going to change on you. Not only that, but the more you learn and master, the better your business will become. Better business=more money. Win!
Traffic doesn’t equal success…or does it?
This one all depends on your definition of success. If your blogging goal is just to write and offer an escape for your thoughts, you are already a success! If you have a decent blog but are looking at monetizing it, traffic = success. There is a whole spectrum here but unless you blog acts like a journal, and some do, then you need to focus up a LOT on the traffic getting to your website. Cause that’s the money, honey.
It will be easy to give up if you want to.
At first, I thought “I got this”. I thought blogging was going to be a cake walk. But then I got into it and my thought turned to “What did I get myself into?”. It would be easy to close up shop and walk away. All you have to do it shut off the computer. I have been there a couple times. Work got really stressful for a minute and I nearly packed in my blog permanently. I’m so glad that I didn’t do that, though, because guess what? When things calmed down for me, there was the blog waiting.
To read more about my blogging journey, CLICK HERE.