Blogging Is Hard! Bloggers Have My Respect!!

There are a lot of bloggers out there aren’t there?

They just seem to be everywhere don’t they?

Blogging is Hard - Home Office
If only I were as organised as this!

Whenever you search for anything on Google there’s a good chance you’ll come across someone’s blog post. In fact, it’s very possible that with some results you won’t even see it as a ‘blog’ as such, it just looks like a useful website.

But how hard is blogging?

Don’t bloggers just sit down for half an hour and chuck a post out? Isn’t it that simple to be a blogger?

No, they really don’t, and no, it’s not that simple! At least, it’s not like that based on my limited experience.

Let me explain…

Perception

It’s easy to think that all a blogger does is write something for half an hour and bang it on their website that they quickly set up and hey presto. Hundreds or even thousands of views suddenly pop up on their website.

Blogging Is Hard
The money rolls in, right?

Then, from somewhere, you make money. It just comes pouring into your bank account. Mostly through adverts on their site. As soon as you have a blog people pay you to write a post too.

Don’t they?

Then, pretty soon you get given a car, or other free stuff. Maybe you’re paid to go on holiday too.

Isn’t that right?

All you have to do is spend a short amount of time writing a post and you’ve got all this free stuff.

In fact, it won’t take long and you’ll not have to work ever again and instead you can just earn money from your blog.

You go out somewhere for the day, have fun, write a quick post, make some money and that’s it. You can just sit back and enjoy life.

That’s about right isn’t it?

No, it really isn’t. Oh how I would love for it to be that simple, I really would, but it isn’t.

Let me explain…

Reality

Ok ok, so my example above was a bit extreme. I’m sure you don’t think it’s quite like that (or maybe you do?!).

Blogging is Hard
In reality blogging is very hard!

But what’s it really like?

Well, the first thing is setting up your website. The thing is, it’s not an easy process at all. Here are some of the things that a blogger has to think about before even writing a single post (assuming the blogger knows what they want to write about…that can take a while to decide!):

  • Blog name – snappy, something to remember, descriptive. Then check it’s not taken on social media and the website name is free
  • Self hosted or free? – well you can own your own website or use a site like WordPress to have a blog for free. There are advantages to both but I went self hosted
  • Website hosting company – who will you buy they website name from? Yes, you have to pay someone money to register the website and pay an annual fee but there are a lot of options out there
  • Website editing software – which tool will you use to set up your site? I use WordPress which is very popular but you still have to pick one from lots of providers
  • Set everything up – this takes a lot of time even after you’ve registered your site. Logo, setting up the site, becoming an amateur graphic designer (really not me!) and a whole host of other things. It takes days if not weeks to set everything up before you even write a post

Then there’s more…

Ideas

Once you’ve set up your blog ideas just come flooding to you don’t they?

Well, if they do I’m still waiting for the flood!

Inspiration can come from anywhere, or frequently they can come from nowhere. It can take a lot of time to come up with a good idea and filter through the bad. Quite often you can start writing a post but then think it’s a bad idea so abandon it.

At other times you can just take days to come up with a good idea! Or maybe none of my ideas are good! Who knows!

Sometimes the hardest thing is when you’ve got no ideas at all, had a little pause in all the blogging and then you have to try and get back in to it. At times you almost feel a pressure to blog, even if it’s just for a hobby.

Blog Research and Study

Before writing a single post there’s a whole host of stuff to think about and to research.

One of the main things to learn is Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short. This is essentially learning what you have to do to try and get your post showing up nice and high in Google searches.

Blogging Is Hard
Research is often required

SEO is much harder than it appears at first. I’ve just spent a couple of days learning exclusively about this, making notes and checklists so I can put it in to action. This is without writing a single post during that time. To actually put this into action though takes more time…a lot of time! It really depends how much you want to concentrate on SEO versus writing a post naturally, and it’s a fine balance.

There are so many other things to study before even writing a post it’s unbelievable. This effort is completely unseen by a reader other than seeing a fantastic post (hopefully!).

Promotion

Once you’ve written your post and put it on your website that’s it isn’t it?

Or maybe you just put it on your social media, maybe Facebook and Twitter and that’s about it isn’t it? Loads of page views!

Nope, far from it!

If you’ve not got followers on your social media nobody will look at your post unless your SEO is amazing and you come up near first on Google.

So first, you need to get followers on your social media. I’m still working on getting followers (if you want to follow me use the links above!!) but it involves spending a lot of time on social media with some really good posts, and not just ones about what blog post you’ve written!

Then how many times will you promote your post? When will you promote it? What will you say? What hashtags will you use?

All of this takes time. Writing a post and getting it read isn’t as simple as just writing it and posting it on social media, there’s a lot more to it than that!

Priorities

I’ve explained very briefly some of the things bloggers have to do (says me! I’m an inexperienced blogger in reality!!). Hopefully I’ve shown that this takes time. A lot of time.

Blogging Is Hard
Hard to get the right balance

So then it becomes a question of what your priorities are. Given the amount of time it can take to blog properly you have to balance that with the time spent with your family and friends.

For me I’m writing primarily about parenting and my son, mostly for a diary for N when he is older (as I said here). This clearly means I have a lot of demands on my time. I work full time, I have a baby and a wife (plus pets!), all of which are a high priority. As such for me blogging coming down the list after those.

However, it’s still important to me. It’s still something that’s worth taking time over to do as well as you can. Could I blog better?

Yes, I absolutely could, but balancing it with other priorities is difficult, and finding and maintaining a happy medium is something I’m still learning.

Non-Stop

You rarely switch off when you’re a blogger. You are always looking for inspiration day in day out in each activity you’re doing. I mean look at me now, writing a blog post about blogging. If that’s not evidence that you can write a post about virtually anything you are doing I don’t know what is!

Imagine though that you’re out with your family having a day at the zoo.

You’re relaxing and having a great time looking at all the animals, eating a burger and chips (standard for a zoo!) and showing your children all the animals.

Well for a blogger you absolutely enjoy all of these things too. However, you’re also aware of:

  • the parking arrangements
  • cost of entry for adults and children
  • what are the baby changing facilities like?
  • how good is the food?
  • how expensive is the food?
  • what do you need to take photos of (and then get the right photo!)?
  • what was the customer service like?
  • how clean is it?
  • would you recommend it?
  • when could you fit in a post about it?

Plus a myriad of other things. It really is non-stop to come up with ideas.

Then, as mentioned before, you’ve still to keep up with social media. If you’re at the zoo what should you post on social media? How often? Then of course reply to anyone who leaves a message…

It really can be non-stop if you let it. You have to make a mental shift sometimes to just switch off from blogging entirely if you can in order to just be in the moment.

Bloggers Have Earned My Respect!

I’ve covered a lot of ground with this but I haven’t even looked at things like earning money, contracts or loads of things I don’t know about yet. In fact I’ve not even covered writing an actual post, that can take a long time to get to a point you’re happy with.

Blogging Is Hard
Bloggers have my respect!

I never realised before I started blogging quite how difficult it is and quite how non-stop it is. The thing is it depends what you want to achieve with your blogging. I think there’s a huge difference between wanting to leave your job to go blogging full time versus just blogging for a hobby, and they both have a very different demands.

Whatever your priority it is absolutely clear to me that blogging is really tough. Coming up with the ideas, researching them, learning about blogging, promoting, being amazing on social media (definitely not me!)…it’s all really tough. It takes so much time if you want it to, so it’s really important to find that balance between blogging and normal life, especially if it’s just a hobby on top of your full time job. Since I started I’ve really started to respect the efforts of bloggers all over, from the full timers to the part timers, they’re all doing such a good job.

It’s Not All Bad…

However, it’s also really enjoyable. There’s an awful lot of reward in blogging.

It makes me really happy to think that N will have something to look back on in the future which shows what he got up to as a baby and child. I’ve got my baby book which is fantastic, but to have something more comprehensive would be amazing. I hope he feels the same! This is the motivation that keeps me going when it’s tough, or it costs me money. This is why I sit at my laptop and type.

Would I recommend blogging? Absolutely, if you’ve got the time! That’s the biggest challenge of all.

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