I recently read an article online about at what point do you consider blogging as your full time job and it was the introductory paragraph that really got me thinking:
"Now that this whole blogging thing has become a viable career option for many, there are countless blog posts written about how to become a full time blogger, what made someone decide to quit their ~proper~ job and take the leap into blogging as their sole source of income. Of course this is when you can class blogging as your 'job', but in terms of shooting and editing pics, writing posts, creating content, curating your feed, scheduling tweets to promote your blog posts - all of these things are 'work', it's work you have to put into your blog. You need to set aside time in your day for the upkeep of your blog and social media profiles and for creating imagery and words to go onto these platforms. If blogging isn't your job, can you still call this work?"
I've been blogging since 2012, but I didn't seriously get into it until about 2015, and it wasn't until about 2016 that I really figured out my niche and how to blog consistently. But it came with a lot of work. There's a lot I'm still figuring out and honestly, if I didn't have a full time job, I can't imagine how far I could've gotten if I was able to make blogging my full time focus.
It's been really hard explaining to my some of my friends, family and co-workers why I take so many photos. For some of them I'm vain. For some they can't fathom that there are people around the world who actually care to read about my life. I'm always taking outfit photos, or photos of my food (and other people's food) and that takes up a lot of time. There are days when I spend every free moment I have creating content so that actually doesn't leave much time for socialising, yet in my groups of friends, I'm usually the one suggesting we go out and do something (and photographing it-because, well content). My whole life has become all about creating content for my blog. I think you get the point, right? Throughout this process, I've learned a few key elements of blogging that are absolutely non-negotiable.
I've learned how to attend events by myself because my friends aren't always interested in the events that I review for my blog. While doing this, I was forced to learn how to meet new people and strike up a conversation. At first it was nerve-wrecking and I was really bad at it. But after some time and practise, I don't dread networking any more. But networking comes in so many forms that it can really become exhausting. You've got to exchange contacts with people you meet at events, then follow up with them on social media so that they don't forget about you. And while we're talking about social media...
2. You have to be savvy in social media
I'm honestly considering quitting Instagram because my engagement on that platform has cut in half over a VERY short period, while engagement on other social media platforms like Google+, Pinterest and Facebook are on the rise. Social media engagement is a language within itself and if you don't learn it fast, your blog will suffer. You could have the prettiest content in the world, but if it isn't displayed just right, at the right time of day, on the right day, you might as well have not even taken the picture at all. There's a lot of logistics that goes into simply sharing a post with the world.
3. Not everyone will support you
I've mentioned this before. So you've started a blog and you think what you have to say is really interesting/important. Then you check the comments: 0, likes: 0, shares: 0. I can't tell you how many months I literally talked to empty internet space. There are many reasons your blog can fail but one of them is definitely lack of support. I'm sure you've seen those girls on Instagram who share a selfie and get over 1k likes, while your awesome high quality photo struggles at 30 likes. When blogging you have to be prepared for your audience to not like what you have to say sometimes, but don't let that stop you.
4. The tools are expensive
I just spent about $550 on a brand new cellphone that rivals the Samsung S9. There was nothing wrong with my old phone by the way. So why buy a new phone? Because I was embarrassed to share the photos I took with my cellphone. They weren't a vibrant quality and often terrible at low light photos (the phone was 2 years old). And it really wasn't practical to walk around with my expensive digital camera everywhere I went. So in order to compete with the other bloggers, I had to upgrade. Then there's all of the props I use in my food photography. It may seem harmless at first, but the more you get into it, the more you start to spend to build a high quality product (and the less space you have). And don't get me started on how expensive groceries are for recipes.
5. Organisation is key
If you are not an organised person, you can forget about being a blogger (so why am I here?) I would be too ashamed to show you my planner because I'm always leaving it at my work desk on weekends so over the weekend I can't remember a thing I had planned for the upcoming week. Then I end up swapping things around and all that really leads to is missed deadlines and hair pulling out! For example, I had a completely different post written down for today, but forgot what I said I was going to write about, and wrote about this instead. Isn't that cray? In blogging, you have to stay on top of your game. Always travel with business cards and always be ready with your elevator pitch.
So you see, blogging is a lot to handle by yourself. I've tried working with others but everyone really has to be on the same page or your product will suffer. If anyone were to ask me why I blog, my response is simply to connect with others. I LOOOOOOVE Pinterest (I mean who doesn't) and I'm easily inspired when reading my favourite blogs. So if someone can have that effect on me, why not be that for someone else?