‘What does a Blogger even do?’
A loaded question I get asked a million times every week. Mostly it comes from genuine interest and people who want to know. Other times it’s said with slight scorn as if I am making it up as I go along (which I totally am by the way!) I’ve only been blogging for a year which still makes me a newbie. But I’ve always enjoyed writing. I always kept diaries and even had five penpals (at a time when you actually had to write long letters and airmail them, eagerly awaiting returns weeks later, the internet really was a blessing for the youth of today!)
I still enjoy writing fiction with the everlasting dream of one day having a novel published – like every other aspiring writer! Blogging has been the perfect platform for me to unleash all my pent up writing energy. I love it with a passion I didn’t know I had but I also didn’t know quite how much work it was going to be.
Blogging has been around in some shape for almost 20 years now. But it’s only in the last 5-10 years that it really took off and there are estimated to be well over 440 million blogs out there – the figures don’t take into account all of them; this is as close as I could find out. There are a number of hosting platforms available when you start out, with Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr being the premier league. It’s pretty easy to start a blog for free and I’m sure anyone could do it – as I’ve been told lots. I am rubbish at all the technical stuff and really need to take some courses to up my game! But building and maintaining a good blog takes a lot of hard work and passion.
‘I might start a blog’
Hear it all the time. Well go on then nothings stopping you! Believe it or not there’s suprisingly not a lot of competition between bloggers. I’ve found the community to be really welcoming and helpful which suprised me. I thought it would be every man for themselves. I’m now part of a few great blogging networks and everyone is amazing at offering advice and helping each other progress themselves.
Initially to start a blog you need an idea of what you want to write about.
You see the key to a succesful blog is original and useful content. You can’t go nicking other bloggers ideas or copying their styles – that really would get you blackballed from blogging circles. There are two schools of thought on the writing. I love good writing. Grammar, spelling and style mean a lot to me so I enjoy reading well written pieces, and try my hardest to make my pieces as good as they can be – my brother is always keen to point out any mistakes for me! Others worry less about the actual writing and for them it’s all about the content. However you write; you have to judge your readership.
On to the readers. You have to find your niche and stick within the realms of it. If I suddenly threw out a piece on make up contouring or plumbing then my readers would be like, what? Readers are the holy grail in this business. Some bloggers are happy enough with the numbers but others like me prefer the engagement. To have a well enagaged followship is incredible and you can really feel like you are connecting to lots of different people.
A run down of what my time is spent doing
– Writing interesting content (hopefully!)
– Creating or sourcing images to compliment the piece (hubby just loves when I NEED a certain picture and he’s made to help me find one!)
– Establishing my online profile, which means being on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Facebook and my blog pages …all…the…time!
– Keeping up with changes to formats, blog maintentance such as upgrading my site and managing the plug in buttons and links.
– Guest posting on other blogs
– Reviewing products suited to the blog and writing feedback. Then making sure to Tweet, Instagram and link to the company about the review.
– Tracking stats on google analytics to keep an eye on where traffic is coming from
– Collaborating with other bloggers for posts and joining linkies which is where you post one of your pieces then have to comment and share other bloggers posts to get your posts seen by different audiences
– Reply to comments on the blog
-Reply to emails and comments across other social media
– Read other blogs and share content when appropriate to my readers
– Catch up on current affairs and news that is relevant and can be used as ideas for new posts
– Manage my social media – Twitter can take over hours out of your day
Now this is just some of what I do on a daily/weekly basis.
Still think you can fit it in?
Bloggers do all of this and share it with the world – for free (mainly!)
‘You get so much free stuff!’
I don’t make money from my blog. I have turned down numerous sponsored posts because I’m not interested in turning it into a business as yet. I can’t dedicate the energy to making it professional enough and like most things in my life if I can’t do it to the best of my ability I don’t do it! I love taking sponsored posts if I am just getting the product to review in exchange, and feel it’s something relevant to benefit myself and the company.
I also love getting the ‘free stuff’. The day I was sent my first bottle of gin to review was the day I felt I had made it! But being sent something for ‘free’ requires hours of work planning and writing a piece about the product then further hours of promo, so it balanaces out – believe me!
Because I am not making money from the blog then I don’t want to spend too much money on it therefore I am at a bit of a disasvantage.
You see all those posts from big bloggers? Sponsored. They pay facebook to show their posts more frequently. You see bloggers posting on social media at crazy times? Paid for. You can get apps like Social Oomph that you again have to pay but they can schedule Tweets, Instagram posts and Facebook links for you so you are constantly getting your content out there. If you are like me then you have to do it yourself and hope your readers take initiative and share for you. I’m lucky enough to have an incredible bunch of supporter! From close friends and family, to readers worldwide who have taken what I write and got on board! A massive shoutout to all of you all and to my American and New Zealand followers who share my stuff at times when I’m asleep – thanks so much!
So if you ever wondered what the hell I do as a Blogger – and to be fair some of you won’t have thought about it, and that’s cool – there you have it! Just remember one day I’ll obviously be rich and famous so …you know ..watch this space!
What do you think of blogging at the moment? Do you get fed up with the bombardment of posts? Do you think the market is becoming staurated? If you’re a blogger what do you think? Do you feel people take what you do for granted?
As always love hearing from you.