When I first started blogging, four years ago, I didn’t know much about it. All I knew was I enjoyed reading other blogs and thought it would be fun to try it for myself. Since then, I’ve learned a lot and I want to share some of those learnings with you today – with the caveat that this post is not intended to convince you to become a blogger. In fact, by the end, I’m quite certain you’ll be running for the hills. I’m also not trying to sell you anything. This is not a sales pitch for a “Blogging 101” course.
My intention is simply and purely to pull back the curtain, so you can see the real woman behind this website and the real work it takes to make BlossomWriter, or any blog for that matter, possible. Plus, I think it’s about time we debunk a few blogging myths that are, quite frankly, harmful to both bloggers and those on the outside looking in.
Myth #1: Blogging is just copying and pasting.
Believe it or not, this myth has been spoken out loud to me on more than one occasion. Some people view blogging as simply typing up a document, then copying and pasting the text onto a website. End of job. Full stop.
Yet, while copying and pasting is certainly a part of the job, it is a tiny fraction of the overall picture of what blogging really is. For me personally, blogging is roughly 35% research, 50% writing/creating, and 15% maintaining technical infrastructure.
People often ask me how I come up with ideas for my blog posts, and the answer is quite simple: I never stop learning. As a personal growth writer, I spend a lot of my time researching personal development strategies. I am constantly sifting through books, videos, articles, studies, other blogs, podcasts, and firsthand experience so I can deliver quality, informative content week after week.
Sometimes one single word from a book or podcast is all the inspiration I need, and sometimes it’s more complicated than that. Either way, I take the inspiration, do more research, if needed, and then move into the writing phase.
And, of course, the writing phase is not just writing. It’s also editing. Sometimes it’s starting a post, scrapping the whole thing and starting again from scratch. Sometimes one blog post will literally take me the better part of a week to write and get right.
Then comes the copying and pasting, followed by formatting, adding links, creating graphics, boosting SEO, publishing the finished product, creating social media content, posting social media content, writing a newsletter, formatting and sending the newsletter, responding to comments and the list goes on. You get the point!
Myth #2: Nobody reads blogs anymore.
Every once in a while, someone will kindly suggest that I should consider a different creative medium because “nobody reads blogs anymore.” This is quite literally a load of rubbish. Just because some people prefer audio or video content, doesn’t mean reading is dead. Remember, there are seven billion people on this planet and not all of them share the same media consumption preferences.
People currently read my blog and I currently read other people’s blogs. Reading blogs is not a thing of the past. It happens all day, every day, all over the internet. And I suspect, even the people who say “blogging is dead” still read blog posts from time to time.
Additionally, on a less touchy note, I simply love to write. I’ve tried other mediums, like creating videos, but nothing lights my fire quite like putting words on a page.
Photo Credit: Debra Snell Photography
Myth #3: My husband maintains my website.
I have a very intelligent husband who is an IT manager, so people often assume he helps with my website. Usually, this myth comes in the form of a passive statement, like, “It must be nice to have a husband who works in IT, so he can help you with your website.” I usually respond with “Not really.”
Here’s the thing, not all IT people specialize in web design (a myth for another day), and not all women who are married to an “IT guy” have their husbands maintain their websites for them. My husband never helps me with my website, ever. When I say I spend 15% of my work time maintaining the technical infrastructure of BlossomWriter, I’m not talking about spending my time working with an IT person who does all of the work for me. I am the IT person who does all of the work.
And when I say I spend 35% of my time researching, some of that time is spent learning about web design, too. Because I don’t have a computer science degree; I have a business management degree. I designed BlossomWriter.com myself, and I maintain it myself. I go the extra mile to make my website user-friendly and to keep it secure, so your sanity and privacy are protected every time you click.
Myth #4: Blogging is an easy way to make a living.
Our influencer obsessed world makes it appear easy to make money online. (The key word there is “appear.”) The common refrain is: All you need is a website and an Instagram account, and you’ll be well on your way to a luxury life in no time! But I can assure you, that’s just not true. And, not only is it not true, it’s harmful. Ideas like this often lead people to envy the lives of others based solely on appearances or to chase a dream simply because it looks easy – only to be left disappointed in the end.
Whether or not money is made, blogging is not easy. It takes the willingness to persevere and a ton of hard work to be successful. And even then, success may come at the expense of scraping by on a part-time income for a long time.
In 2012, ProBlogger conducted a survey of 1,500 bloggers and found that 63% of them made less than $3.50 per day and an additional 24% were still making less than $1,000 dollars a month. That means only 13% of the 1,500 bloggers surveyed were making more than $1,000 per month.
A more recent survey conducted by Blog Tyrant in 2018 found similar results. Out of the 350 bloggers surveyed, 69.4% made nothing – zero dollars – from their blogs and 22.6% made less than $10,000 per year.
Let me be really transparent for a moment, this is my fourth year blogging, and last year was the first year I made any money at all. But don’t get too excited on my behalf! I barely made enough to keep a goldfish alive. Literally.
(You can learn more about how I make money blogging here.)
The truth that the perfectly curated Instagram feeds don’t tell you is the majority of bloggers work a full or part-time job in addition to blogging; or they receive financial support from family or a romantic partner so blogging can be their sole gig. That’s just a fact.
Most bloggers won’t tell you this because they don’t want to be seen as illegitimate in their field, which is understandable. Professional reputations and financial stability are won and lost on perceived legitimacy. But I’m not big on keeping up appearances, so here’s my truth: my lifestyle currently hinges on my husband’s income because I’m not a goldfish.
Myth #5: Blogging is not a real job.
Sure, for some people blogging is purely a hobby, and that’s totally fine. I don’t believe that every passion or interest someone has needs to be turned into a profit making endeavor. Some people paint for pleasure. Other people sell their paintings. Some people make spreadsheets for fun. Other people make spreadsheets for a living. Neither one is better or worse than the other.
When someone asks what I do for a living, I definitively say, “I’m a blogger!” Because that’s what I spend my days doing, regardless of the income or outcome. At times, during my four years of blogging, I worked other full-time jobs for income. And, I’ll be honest, my blog suffered during those times.
Blogging, as you may have gathered by now, takes a lot of time and mental bandwidth. It’s hard work; and it’s not something I’ve found easy to sustain while working a “real job” because it is a real job in and of itself.
Blogging is a career choice I’ve made for now, and I don’t regret a single minute of it. Yes, I’ve made huge sacrifices to keep it up. Yes, I’ve been in the valleys much more often than on the mountain tops. But it is the single most rewarding thing I’ve ever done – and not just because people tell me my blog has made a difference in their lives (although, that feedback never gets old!). What has also been rewarding is the personal and professional growth I’ve experienced as a direct result of facing the challenges of being a blogger head-on.
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