That question above I get a lot. I think most people who write blogs regularly and are starting to see an increase in traffic, item reviews and dare I say a bit of money, get this a lot. People are curious and want to get in on the action in some cases. I myself have had this same question…except I had been blogging for 2 years already.
If you truly want to get in on all the reviews and money that is to be had (ha!) then Expect:
- To put in between 20-40 hours a week.
- To not sleep much because this is close to a full time job, that you are doing outside your real full-time job (yes even SAHM)!
- To be let down and feel alone sometimes because you are not doing as well as your blog friends and you just cannot figure it out.
- To be told “I am sorry but you just do not meet our requirements” over and over and over again.
- More “no’s” for product review pitches then approvals.
- To LOVE IT.
From what I read the average person who starts a blog will do so for about 3 months before they stop. Some will go a bit longer but then real life comes into play and those people disappear after building a good following and starting to make those connections. Blogging is hard. It is hard on the writer, their family and their friends.
As a writer, I am constantly stressing about having enough time to write a quality article that people want to read. Now in the beginning I didn’t care if people read it or not, I just got my thoughts out and enjoyed that I had an outlet and occasionally maybe a person would visit and comment. I started my blog to chronicle my life and my kids life’s and to keep on things that I would never have time to scrapbook. Now EVERY THING I DO, from the simple play date with friends, to a craft project, to cooking, I am all the sudden taking photos and figuring out how to best promote these. It is a bit insane to me and a bit obsessive, but hey, I want to make it big right?
I will tell you that 90% of what I prepare for, does not even get posted. I have to constantly remind myself that I started this blog for me and that brands and reviews do not dictate the content here. However, every single “big time” blogger knows that the previous statement can be completely and totally false…especially when money becomes a player.
When I learned that I could make some money doing this, I was amazed. I had no clue that I could even make a dollar or that people were making entire incomes off of this?!? You know how much money I have made in the last 3 years? $60.00. Yeah that is it. I have friends making a good chunk of money and they work with these amazing media companies and get opportunities that I can only dream of and some of them have actually had to hire other people to write and edit their posts because they cannot balance it all anymore.
I however, still do not have the “pageview” requirements for these companies and many of my friends got in with these companies when their requirements were much lower. It is difficult to really do well in this industry when you are just starting out. Pretty much every niche is filled with 300,000 other people that have the same ideas as you and are also trying to get in with those media companies.
Blogging is hard. It is hard because it is not just simply writing a post and having thousands flock to it (literally only 2 of my 700+ posts have ever had over 1000 people read it), but it involves:
- Writing quality content that people WANT to read because it has something to offer them. Do this at least 5 times a week and make it all very interesting!
- Fantastic, bright photos that are edited and Pinterest worthy. Buy a DSLR, some photo editing software and spend the rest of your life editing.
- Promotion on EVERY SINGLE social media site you can imagine every single day sometimes 3x a day. Twitter, Facebook, LinkdIn, Tumbler, Stumble Upon, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, etc.
- Interact with your readers on those sites (try to balance that and your family and life duties)
- Build your social media following to 5,000-25,000 and consistently engage these readers.
- Build a huge RSS feed following, because after all those are your loyal readers.
- Learn Google Analytics and be prepared to share this with all media companies to then be told that ALL your hard work, sleepless nights and time away from your family was not good enough.
- Learn SEO, cry, cry, cry because it is so damn frustrating.
- Create a blogging family (this one is crucial) that you can trust (many people you just cannot) and support the hell out of them. My little crew is awesome but small for many many reasons.
- Be ready to be a jack of all trades.