I’ve been blogging for nearly four years now which is a bit long in the tooth for a blogger. I’ve learned a lot about blogging in those four years. I’ve learned through other bloggers, my own research, and my own mistakes.
Success in Blogging
Although my blog has never been hugely successful, I could never make a full time salary from it as some of my blog buddies do, I still love it. It has given me loads of exciting and fun opportunities over those four years that I’m very grateful for and will always remember. My blog is something which is only mine, I’m proud of it, and it gives me a reason to write.
I’m not the right person to give advice on ‘how to make money from blogging’ but I can give a little insight into how blogging kind of works.
My blog is what you might call a ‘mummy blog’. We’ve got a bad rap recently in popular culture but there is a reason our posts get shared over and over and it’s because mum’s are fed up of being told to be perfect while feeling utterly isolated. Without going too far into that, just to say there are many genres in blogging. Cookery blogs, fashion blogs, gardening blogs, family lifestyle blogs. Anything you want to read about there is probably someone blogging about it somewhere. Oh, and posts and articles you share on Facebook were often originally created by a blogger.
Every piece of content a blogger creates is curated intentionally. We know it’s public, and could end up anywhere. We know what people like to read, we know what works and what doesn’t. Bloggers create and share content intentionally, whether that’s a blog post, a meme, or an Instagram post.
We have stats. Metrics we can assess and use to pitch to brands if we want to. We can see all sorts of info about who is accessing our websites and content on social. Age range, location etc. Most of us use google analytics which means your info is anonymous. We have a thing called DA which is domain authority and is the most common number we talk about in success/popularity of a blog. Every blogger you know basically has a mini qualification in marketing that they have learned as they’ve gone along.
Bloggers have tools we can use. These usually have a free version but then cost money, like an app I suppose. Schedulers, Instagram followers/unfollowers apps, photo editor apps, heading image apps. We use these alongside maintaining our websites and if on wordpress, using app like things called widgets within the site to help make our sites secure and our posts as google friendly as they can be.
We have groups. Local blogger facebook groups, whats app messaging groups, instagram inbox groups. Same as all your personal groups but we share info. If a company or brand is regularly late paying for work, you can guarantee their name is doing the rounds. Someone being a bully on twitter? Yes we are all talking about it. Someone slinging their marketing budget around? Yes someone has popped in to let us lower bloggers know (haha)! We can tell who has bought followers, we can tell who is being sensationalist for the sake of it. We know who is full of shit and who is blogging with integrity. It’s not all roses, you have bitchy people as anywhere, but there are pockets of bloggers who sort of know one another. Which is a part of blogging I really like.
It’s All About The Numbers. Or Is It?
Whether a personal business or blogging for fun when a blog post is written it’s with the intent that it will be read. Follower numbers are easy to get caught up in but I’d say the majority of us thrive on those genuine connections we make through our blogs. While there are certain little tips and tricks you can employ to raise follower numbers it is hard to do. The best way is always to make decent content.
People who come in and appear out of nowhere thinking blogging is an easy way to make money often disappear as quickly. This is for two reasons. Number one because that’s a flaky reason to blog and it will not sustain a blog. The second reason is because to make a blog successful enough to earn a regular income you need to learn many different skills. The landscape is always changing as well. Every time an algorithm changes on one of the social sites, we have to learn something new. I saw loads of bloggers quit when the new GDPR guidelines came in.
Blogging and the Law
There are advertising guidelines we are lawfully obligated to abide by. That’s whether or not we make cash from our blogs. The GDPR guidelines as mentioned above meant we all suddenly had to become barristers-in-training in order to correctly update our websites and avoid hefty fines. Then we have people stealing our pictures, art and words and using them as their own or even completely falsifying magazine articles without our permission. (That happens more than you would think).
So, there is a lot that goes into maintaining a blog, but I love it. I appreciate all 3 of you who regularly check in with me to see what I’m ranting about lately.
I hope that has given a little insight into the world of blogging and the commitment it takes. We all blog for different reasons but I think all of us would say it is a labour of love.