If you’ve been following my blog recently you will see that I’ve been taking part in a 31-Day challenge which I found on Pinterest. Given a prompt for each day I published a post every single day for an entire month. That was a lot for me, considering the last post I published was about a year ago, and before that only posted sporadically. So, what did I gain from this experience? Read on to find out.
Blogging is harder than it looks
I know a lot of people don’t see blogging as a proper job. It’s just a hobby you can get paid for right? Wrong! While I’m still a hobbyist, I have come to know a few more serious bloggers in the community and even just a fleeting glance at their pages gives you an insight into how much work they put into it.
You have to come up with content, take pictures, promote on social media – while managing those social media accounts, chase up opportunities yourself. Don’t get me wrong, if you put the hours and effort in, it’s a great thing to do, but it’s more than just tapping away at a keyboard for an hour a week.
Scheduling is your friend
When I decided to start the challenge, it was right before my daughters birthday, the Easter holidays and my husband’s annual leave. Factor in my part-time job and full-time motherhood role and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sit and write a post and get it published in time every day. Being able to write one or two posts (or even more) in advance and schedule them to go live at the best time for my readers was a life saver.
You have to speculate to accumulate
…or as the other phrase goes, you have to spend money to make money. At the moment my blog is still a free WordPress.com hosted blog. If you really want to get your blog noticed, it pays to get a plan and take advantage of all the new features that are available. Then there’s self-hosting. I really have no idea the work that goes into that, but the stage I’m at right now, I’m happy to stay on the free plan for a while longer.
That doesn’t take into account buying the products that you will use for your blog either. It will be a while before you are offered free stuff to review, so you’ll have to purchase anything you want to show off on your site.
Short and sweet
When I started blogging in 2016 my posts were much longer than today. I would sit down and write a mini-essay every time I posted. Long posts aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but I have a tendency to waffle on if I’m not careful. If I was to post an 800+-word post every day I know that people wouldn’t read to the end or engage with the content, so I decided to keep it short. Hopefully, people are able to read my content and take it in if I keep it succinct.
There’s a lot of give-and-take in the blogging community. You can’t expect to get a loyal following if you don’t follow others. If you go and read other bloggers’ work, and engage with their content, they are more likely to reciprocate. This isn’t like-for-like or follow-for-follow. I, personally, would prefer a small following who actually engaged with my content than 1000’s of followers who don’t actually read or comment on my posts.
Sharing your blog and self-promo is important, but if you also share others’ content you won’t seem like you only care about yourself.
So, if you’re a blogger, would you agree with my findings? What else would you include on this list? And if you’re not a blogger, has this changed your thoughts on it as a career versus a hobby? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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