“What does a blogger do?” is a question I’ve been asked countless times by now, and now you’re about to find out. This post goes out to all those people out there wondering what exactly I – and other people like me out there – actually do. As most of you know I left my part-time job at the end of October to pursue this full-time. Because after about a year of being a blogger I realized that only way to do this – and do it right – was to devote more time and energy to it. Since making that decision my blog has doubled in daily traffic, social media following has tripled, and I’m FINALLY making money. I’ve started to receive countless e-mails, Facebook messages, and texts asking for help or advice on how to start a blog or grow one. There’s really no magic formula, and I’m by no means an expert. All I know is that is takes heart, dedication, and a hell of a lot of work. Never in a million years did I think I’d be where I am today, but I’m so glad that I am.
There’s a big – by big I mean HUGE – difference between blogging and being a blogger. What’s the difference you may ask? Allow me to break it down for you. The main difference being that a blogger is someone who views their blog as a brand and business, where as blogging is sort of like keeping an online diary. Not that I’m knocking one or the other, to each their own, but there is definitely a night and day difference.
As bloggers we spend hours upon hours planning out content for our blogs. Creating editorial calendars, contacting brands to work with, scheduling shoots with photographers, and the list goes on and on. What you see on social media, the blog itself, and just about everywhere else is carefully thought out and planned ahead of time. Every word, image, and article shared is structured with our “brand” in mind. We haggle with PR firms on rates for sponsored posts, we ignore just as many ill-fated generic pitches that are sent our way, we sell ad space on our site, we participate in affiliate programs, and join agencies to help manage paid collaborations and opportunities. More than anything, we’re constantly evolving. We monitor Google Analytics like it’s our e-mail inbox, we’ve figured out which hashtags work the best, and speaking of inboxes we’re constantly checking that and every other account constantly. It’s our life, and we love every minute of it.
Being a blogger is a career choice. Blogging is a hobby. Many people – myself included – started this adventure as just that, a hobby. I had no idea the potential that laid at my finger tips. But when I finally realized that I’d found a job that used all areas of my creative spirit, not just one or two, I couldn’t wait to explore it more. I get to be my own boss, but collaborate and work with some awesome creatives in the process.
Speaking of creatives – bloggers we’re just like the other creatives out there that you support. The musicians, the writers, the painters, the small business owners – if you catch my drift. We want/NEED your support as well. Just like you attend a concert for a friend that’s just starting a new band, or attend an art show of another friend that just graduated from art school; we need you to share our content. Like what I had to say in an article? Share it on Facebook. Find something I said funny? Send a tweet about it. Love that photo of my morning coffee or food that I took on Instagram? Regram that shit – just be sure to mention me. When someone shares something that I spend hours working on I can’t tell you how excited it makes me, it’s like an invisible pat on the back saying “good job”, and sometimes at the end of the day that means more than anything.
With all that being said, I guess what I’m trying to get at is if you think me – or any other blogger out there – is doing a stand up job at something, tell your friends. Share a post or two, you’ll help us reach an audience that may never have seen our work before, and it’s a domino effect from there. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, a blog isn’t either, but with a little help from our friends we can go a lot further in that day.
I’m going to start including some “How To Be A Better Blogger” – thanks to Poor Little It Girl for the idea, she’s been doing this longer than I, and her tips have been god sends – posts in my Tuesday Tips line up. I’ll be sharing some of my tips and tricks, what to do not/not do, and who knows what else.
Before I go I want to close with saying that if you do appreciate what I do, and think I’m doing a good job at it, thank you. But in no means does that compliment give you the open door to ask me how I do it, how much money I make, for a list of my contacts, or anything else along those lines. It’s nothing personal, but this is business for me. This is also the main reason I’m sharing posts like this. As a State Representative for Southern Blog Society I want to help grow the community, foster new relationships, and make it a better experience for all of us, but please understand that this is my full-time job and my free time is very valuable to me. As always, inbox is always open, just don’t forget your manners.