The pits of blogging: Things no one ever tells you
Lately, I’ve had a few requests from aspiring bloggers asking me to give them some insights into the world of blogging. Like I’m an expert. Three years later and I’m still trying to figure this blogging thing out.
But having been riding this pony for a while, I have learnt some invaluable lessons. Some of which I wish someone had told me about before I embarked on this journey.
Here are some of the things no one ever tells you about blogging
Blogging is a full-time job and requires commitment
Take some pictures, write some content and upload them to your blog. That is not what blogging is about. It involves planning, conceptualisation and execution. If you want to be a serious blogger you have to dedicate time, energy, resources and strategy to your work. It’s a serious business and you have to approach it the same way you would any profession – with hard work, dedication and commitment.
Don’t expect to make money but expect to spend money
If you’re going into blogging expecting to make some money then you’re in for a rude awakening. Someone said to me recently “TJ, you’ve been doing this blog thing for at least two years now and I don’t think you’ve made R50 000”. I laughed and said, “I haven’t even made R10 000”. But I sure have spent more than that. Just from my annual web domain fees to money I’ve spent on cameras, clothes and products. There is a saying in this industry, “You have to spend money to make money”. Be prepared.
3. Be passionate
If you are not passionate about blogging, don’t even think about. You have to LAAV it! Because you will be easily demotivated when things don’t move as quickly as you’d like it to. Also, your readers can pick up on your lack of passion and be put off by it. In a society where every third person is a blogger/influencer, the competition is pretty damn steep and if you’re not passionate, you ‘ain’t gonna’ make it, sweetheart.
4. Have a plan
This should actually be the first thing on the list. Have a plan, know your demographics, find your niche. Without these, your blog is going nowhere. I remember when and why I first started blogging. I had zero plan. People just told me I had great style and I would ask my boyfriend at the time to take my OOTD pictures and I would post them with a short write-up. I knew nothing and had no plan so my blog didn’t grow.
5. Consistency is king
If you’ve ever taken a blogging course or gone to a blogging masterclass then you would have heard this word being thrown around like confetti. This is true, consistency is king. If you want to manage a blog, included in your plan is how often in a month you plan to post content and please don’t say once a month. You need more than that to build an audience. If your schedule is 4 to 6 times a week, try to stick to that. But also don’t post rubbish content for the sake of posting. If you have a plan, you won’t fall into that trap.
6. Guest blogging
You can’t just rely on your personality alone these days. You have to put yourself out there and collaborate with other bloggers, magazines etc. Guest blogging works with you providing content for another blog, preferably in a similar space. For instance, if you’re into beauty blogging, offer to write content for another beauty blogger and when they share your content on their blog, it will drive traffic to your blog and with you mentioning you wrote for the said beauty blogger, you are also driving traffic to their page. Win-win for everyone.
7. Grow your social media following
The number of followers you have and the sort of engagement you receive matters. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. This is why people are so obsessed with buying followers on social media. Brands prefer to work with bloggers who have a lot of following and engagement on their social media. Remember how it was so difficult getting a job straight out of university? Potential employers would tell you that you need experience and it was so frustrating because you can’t get experience if no one offers you a job, right?
Blogging is exactly like that. The sponsorships and everything good that comes from blogging only happen if you have a great social media following. Without that, the brands won’t even look at you.
I could go on but I think you get the picture. Blogging is not easy. A lot of the time, you will hear people in the industry complain about how difficult it is. Especially now when everyone and their dog is a blogger. Do it for the passion and not for the money because when the money isn’t coming in, the passion will fuel you.
Are you a blogger? What are some of the things you wish you had known when you first started out?
Top – Mr Price
Heels – Daisy Street
Earrings – Lovisa