Why Blogging is Harder Than You Think
|September 12, 2011||Blogging|
In the past, blogging had a somewhat negative connotation. Bloggers were seen as anonymous individuals sitting behind a computer screen using their online journals as a way to rant about whatever moved them. Some people may still view bloggers in this way, but I hope that after reading this post that you don’t. Bloggers are now seen as actual writers (SHOCKING! I know), and their worth has been recognized by major companies. For example, brands such as M.A.C. and Coach have realized the reach and image that bloggers have on consumers. These companies and many others have teamed up with bloggers in order to promote their products to specific audiences.
There are a lot of people who still don’t completely understand the purpose of a blog. Each blog has a different purpose. In order for a blog to be successful (in my opinion) it should have a niche. Readers should know what to expect when coming to a specific blog. If a blogger writes about fashion and all of a sudden starts writing about cars, the reader might become confused. I’m not saying that each blog needs to have one main topic, but everything should flow cohesively.
That all being said, blogging is not as easy as you may think. A successful blog takes a lot of time, effort, and persistence. If someone was to ask me how much time I spend on blogging a week, I would have to say over 40 hours a week. Although I am not writing posts 40 hours a week, blogging requires effort in other ways.
- Writing posts. Posts take time to write. I never write a post and click publish. I write, edit, re-write, and proofread before I make my posts live. There’s nothing worse than a blog with bad grammar and spelling errors. The importance of a well written post is similar to the importance a feature story is for a magazine writer. Bloggers are writers.
- Brand creation and development. Bloggers create their own personal brand. The brand is the backbone to all posts, product reviews, and visual aspects of the blog. As I said earlier, a blog with a solid brand allows readers to connect with the blogger and know what to expect when visiting that blog. Brand creation requires a lot of creativity and thought. Bloggers have to figure out what makes themselves different than other bloggers in their niche. Bloggers also need to determine what they personally like writing about. If a blogger simply “copies” another blogger’s voice, it will show sooner or later that the blogger is not genuine.
- Researching. Writing posts are time consuming, but so is the research that goes behind it. I personally look into the stats of my blog to figure out which of my posts are the most popular and the demographics of my readers in order to write a post that they will (hopefully) care about. After I determine what I want to write about, I go to credible websites to get information (depending on the post) to back up what I am saying. Post writing is similar to writing an essay for school. Without credibility, the words may mean nothing to some people. I always make sure that if I am writing about something controversial, such as dieting or vegetarianism, I post links so my readers can read more about the topic elsewhere.
- Taking photos. My favorite kind of blog to read is one with a lot of high quality images. Although I don’t have a SLR camera, all of my photos are taken with my iphone4, which has a pretty decent camera. Taking photos is VERY time consuming, especially food photography. Bryan is used to me cooking dinner, strategically placing my food on a plate, and snapping photos. I’ve even had to move my food into better light to get a decent photo. After taking a photo, I email it to myself, edit it in Photoshop (mainly changing its size) and save it to my computer.
- Partnerships. Partnerships are a touchy subject in the blog community. It is important to let companies know straightforward the review policy on your blog. Bloggers also have to do research and become familiar with the FTC policy regarding partnerships and endorsements. Bloggers can be fined if they do not comply. Partnering up with companies or advertising communities requires constant communication with P.R. firms in order to maintain and strengthen the relationship the blogger has with the brand. I talk back and forth with at least 5 companies a day regarding sponsorship on my blog. Partnerships can take many forms: full sponsored posts, product reviews, affiliate links, advertisement spots, and more.
- Networking. The reason I started blogging was not to make money; because trust me, I’m not making much. I started blogging to read about other people who cared about healthy living. In my opinion, the best part of blogging is the relationships that I’ve formed with other bloggers. I have approximately 20 healthy living blogs that I read and comment on everyday. Although time consuming, I very much enjoy reading about these people’s lives, the recipes they make, and the workouts they accomplish. Networking is just another part of blogging that takes time.
Blogging can be extremely time consuming, but it is extremely rewarding. If I didn’t love writing and sharing my opinions and thoughts with others, I wouldn’t blog. If I didn’t love connecting with brands I care about, I wouldn’t blog. Most importantly, If I didn’t strive to build relationships with other bloggers, I wouldn’t blog. Blogging is not for everyone. However, if you are passionate about writing I say go for it!