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I get it. The blogging world is a mysterious place.
There is so much that I didn’t know about running a blog before I plunged in headfirst.
Now that I’ve been blogging for over three years, I’ve noticed some recurrent assumptions that are made about the profession. Here are a few things to know about what it’s like being a blogger!
Blogging is harder than it looks.
Blogging is by no means easy. It requires a great deal of time and effort. From hobby blogger to side hustle to full-time job, blogging has a lot of moving parts. The more serious you are about it, the more work there is going on behind the scenes. Research, content creation, social media management, etc keep bloggers busy day in and day out.
It is an actual job.
For those of us who are blogging professionally in some capacity, whether part-time or full-time, it is an actual job. We are entrepreneurs. We’re running a business. We are signing contracts. We’re bringing in money through multiple income streams.
Not everything is a paid placement.
The majority of the time, when I’m mentioning a restaurant, service, or experience that I enjoyed, on my blog or on related social media accounts, I’m not being paid to promote it. And when it is a paid placement, I’ve accepted that work contract because I believe it will be of value to YOU. In fact, I turn down more opportunities than I accept.
There are very clear rules regarding sponsored content (FTC guidelines). Upon first glance at any content, you should be able to identify if the creator has any kind of affiliation with the company they are promoting. This includes if they were gifted a product or experience. I use very explicit language to show when I have a working relationship with a company. It really ruffles my feathers when other influencers do not do this as I believe this lack of transparency contributes to the discreditable image many people have of influencers.
Affiliate links are at no extra cost to you.
Affiliate marketing is one of the ways that I make money. I place affiliate links in blog posts and occasionally I link out to my favorite products and services through social media. If someone makes a purchase through one of my affiliate links, I may earn a commission (a small percentage) on that sale. This comes at no extra cost to you. If it’s something that you are going to buy anyways, this is an excellent way to support my small business and thank me for a recommendation!
I remember the first time someone reached out and asked explicitly for an affiliate link. They wanted to know if I had an affiliate link to the Paris Pass, which at the time, I did not. But it meant so much to me that she cared about my business enough to go out of her way to support it. (Plus it gave me an idea for another affiliate program to apply to!)
I’m not on social media all the time.
And I’m not on my phone all the time either. If you’re my friend, and I haven’t replied to your text message, please don’t take it personally. Since my work involves more smartphone usage than the average job, I do set limits on my phone usage for my mental health.
Like most bloggers, I use a scheduler to plan and post content. That means that when my Facebook post is published at 9 pm Eastern Standard Time, considering the time difference between the east coast and Europe, it’s very unlikely that I’m actually on Facebook. (It would be 3 am the following day!) I tend to batch my work and go to a social channel for a fixed amount of time to schedule content and respond to comments.
Judging by some of the impatient DMs and emails that I’ve received when I haven’t responded within a couple of hours, I get the impression that some people think I’m plugged in 24/7. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy connecting with this community, but if I hung out in my DMs all day, I would never have time to produce content!
Currently, I am a one-woman show, so please have patience when you contact me.
Knowing that I’ve helped you in some way makes my whole week.
When someone lets me know that my work has helped, inspired, or encouraged them in some way, it truly does bring a smile to my face. Your kind words mean so much to me.
When someone emails me questions, I take the time to reply thoughtfully, often researching information on their behalf or getting them a link to a resource. A startlingly low number of people say “thank you” after I’ve spent time researching and responding to their requests. I will likely never know for sure if my advice or efforts made a difference because there will be no follow-up.
I’m not mentioning this because I would like more credit or praise but simply to convey that, if you’ve ever left me a nice comment or sent me a supportive message, or just said “thanks,” it’s way more rare than you probably think. Knowing that you took the time to do so is incredibly encouraging and validating.
Blog post comments are one of the most supportive things you can do.
Want to help me out as a blogger without spending a single penny? Leave a blog post comment!
When I meet up with friends and family in real life, it genuinely takes me aback when someone mentions something that they found hilarious/relatable on my blog or in my email newsletter. This is because, to my knowledge, they’ve never commented on or shared any of my work, or replied to an email.
Blogging can be lonely and I’ve succumbed to imposter syndrome on a number of occasions. Knowing that people are reading and enjoying what I am putting out there is such a mental boost for me. I know you’re busy, so knowing that you took the time to write a response truly means a lot to me.
On another note, comments demonstrate to potential business partners that my community cares enough to engage with me publicly. Leaving a comment lets me know that you’re part of the community and that you’re interested in what I’m putting out there!
If there is something about blogging that you’d like to know more about, leave a comment below. I’d love to demystify that for you!