If you’re here, there’s a good chance that you have at least a basic working knowledge of blogging, and the whole array of things that go with it. There’s also a chance that you have absolutely no sodding idea what is involved in blogging and being a blogger. A few months ago, I told Mr C he could help me on a post after he claimed that it was ‘easy’ and that he could definitely do it. He sat down at the PC and I walked him through creating a featured image and pin for the post. After we edited the image, created a pin out of it, saved the file under an SEO optimized specific file name, uploaded it to the blog server, and finally added it to the post, he gave up.
“Fair play to you, that’s a lot of faff! I don’t know how you do it all!”
Con: It’s a Lot of Work
Blogging takes up some serious time, if you allow it too. Of course, there are varying levels of blogging and someone who publishes a post once a fortnight is no less a blogger than someone who posts twice a day (or more!) Those who have already made it their career are probably working longer hours than their 9-5 counterparts. It’s full on, and in truth you never really switch off. For those of us on our way to making blogging what we do full time, we’re probably putting in just as many hours as we would in a standard 9-5.
There’s the obvious time spent sat at the PC writing blog posts. Then there’s the photography, sourcing photo props, maintaining the tech side of things, marketing, brainstorming, social media management & engagement. Not to mention pitching to and working with brands, researching, testing, and spending time thinking of ways to be innovative.
I do Blogmin (Blog admin) on my phone while I’m walking to and from nursery after dropping Amelia off or before picking her up. I use any time in the car (as a passenger, no dangerous blogging please!) to catch up on social media. Nap time used to be reserved for coffee & a sit down, there’s now the addition of a notebook, phone, or tablet to that equation.
Pro: But It’s Flexible
Yes blogging is a huge amount of work, and takes time and dedication. So why do it? Because it’s the ultimate in flexibility! With the exception of very rare circumstances, blogging allows you the freedom of breaks whenever you need them and working whichever hours in the day (or night) suit you. If I decide one day that I’m not going to start work until 7pm when the kids go to bed then I can do that.
Not only can you pick and choose your hours, but you can pretty much work anywhere. I’ve written posts on the train, in the park, at the coffee shop, and hell yeah I’ve written posts in bed! These are not ideal places to be ‘working’ and I try not to make a habit of it, but as long as I have my phone I’m able to work anywhere if I really need to.
Con: There Are No Holidays
Like anything, if you want to take a break from blogging, you’re going on holiday, or if you need to take time off, say, for a family emergency, there’s no-one to step in and cover for you. There’s no one to call and say “Sorry, I’m not gonna be in today”. Sue from accounting doesn’t pick up your admin for the day, it just doesn’t get done. Simple.
Obviously there are things that lost of us do in preparation for planned holidays and breaks. With some foresight and good planning posts can be written and scheduled in advance, as can social media stuff. The unplanned breaks are a little harder to plan for, although with a good back up plan they don’t have to be a disaster.
And no, naturally, there’s no holiday pay either!
Pro: But It’s All Yours
I don’t see blogging as much different to running your own business. You put in the hours and then you get to reap the rewards. Anyone who runs their own business will tell you that it’s not all fast cars and extended holidays. You’re always accountable, you’re always ‘on shift’ but all the benefits are yours and it’s totally worth it!
You wouldn’t start a business from scratch and expect not to have to give it some serious welly to make it a success, and the same goes for blogging. But at the end of the long hard slog, you’re not lining anyone else’s pocket and no one else is taking the credit for your work. That’s all on you!
Con: It Gets a Bad Rap
Blogging gets a tough deal from a lot of people, especially mainstream media. The thing is, blogging these days really is mainstream media itself. If you’re ever on social media, I reckon you probably see or read at least 5 things a day that are related to a blog or blogger. it might not be their posts, but it could be their Instagram feed, their tweets, their carefully edited images, or even their quiz (you need to know right now which housework superhero name is yours!)
Despite all this, blogging has to take quite a lot on the chin. Blogging is lazy and peppered with freebies. Bloggers sell their soul (or their kids’ souls) for shampoo samples. Bloggers will say anything to get famous, they’re bad parents, they have nothing better to do with their lives. You name, it’s all been said. (The ‘nothing better to do with your life’ one is my personal fave. That’s like me whingeing at Mr C for going to work in the morning, criticising him for leaving for work like he has nothing better to do with his life!)
Pro: But Bloggers Are Amazingly Supportive
But just like anyone who totally gets what you ‘do’, bloggers themselves are some of the most amazingly supportive and inspirational people I’ve ever had the fortune to ‘meet’. Here’s the thing, if I said to you “I run a pub” (I used to run pubs) you would probably think that’s pretty cool and I must have loads of boozy fun. If I said the same to another pub owner they’d get it. The hours are long and unsociable, drinking on the job is a no-no, staffing is a complete fucking nightmare and drunk people are idiots.
It’s the same with blogging. People who aren’t bloggers just won’t ‘get it’, and neither do I expect them to. I don’t get what is involved in being a tree surgeon or cat embalmer, but that doesn’t mean I think any less of those professions (is cat embalmer a profession? Probs). Being part of a community is an amazing feeling, especially in this crazily disconnected world. The blogging community is one of the best, and I’m honoured to be part of it.
I wouldn’t change what I do for the world. Not only do I get to work where and when I want and reap all the benefits of my own hard work, I also love what I do. One day I hope to have made enough of a go at it to call it my full time career, but until then I’m just enjoying the ride and every little success.
How about you? Are you a blogger already and totally get where I’m coming from? Or is blogging something you’ve always wanted to get into but now I’ve put you off?! Or maybe I’ve convinced you to go for it! Let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts. x