Bloggers are influencers. We’re community leaders. We are writers. We may not win a Pulitzer or make a Top 10 list, but we are growing in popularity and understanding and that’s only going to continue. If you’re interested in reaching our readers and growing your audience, I have a lot of tips I’d love to share. Today though, I’ll just focus on three of the most important things you need to know about bloggers.
1) We pay to have a blog.
Purchasing a blog domain name is approximately $10-20 per year. Hosting is $5+ up per month, and it grows as our readership grows, so the more traffic we get, the more it will cost per month once we reach a certain threshold. We purchase photo editing software. (And of course, we’ve purchased the computer we do it all on.) Those are just a few of the basics, but we pay for advertising and other things as well, so it adds up. **There are a couple of free blogging platforms, but the majority of bloggers use self-hosted versions that require monthly hosting in order to monetize our blogs or have the freedom of design, tweaking and personalization as well as a personal domain name.
2) We take our blog very seriously — it’s our business.
We don’t just spit out blog entries in seconds in between Lifetime movie commercials. We close the door on our distractions, lock ourselves away from our family and other obligations, and spend a lot of time to be sure what we write is thorough, accurate and fair. We research and fact-check and re-read a million times. We put a lot of time into taking photos that are appealing and if necessary, we run them through editing software to make sure the object is shown in the best possible light. Because we want our blog to not just survive, but thrive, we make sure that every word we put out there is the highest quality it can be, so if you want us to write about something, be it a review or an advertorial (basically, advertising that we write) we are going to put that same effort into it. Blogs are frequently how we earn a living, and people should get paid for their work, no matter what kind of work that is, so requests to write about things for absolutely nothing in return are usually frowned upon. Usually the people asking get paid for their work or are paying to advertise elsewhere. We are professionals and we value being professional towards everyone and everything; we like that same respect in return.
3) We want to work with you or get to know you.
Blogging doesn’t often make someone a millionaire — it’s a labor of love. One of the best parts of blogging is the relationships we make. I’m thankful I’ve met a lot of wonderful Public Relations representatives and experts, publishers and other business people. Like most other bloggers, I want to continue to meet more and more people, and it’s not nearly just a money thing: we like people and we believe in the value of online community.
In a few days, I’ll be publishing a piece on why people sometimes don’t want to work with bloggers, so stay tuned. Like any other profession, there’s always room for improvement!
Let’s blanket the walls with this! Thank you for putting it in such clear, succinct words; hopefully, someone will listen?
Ann, I have hopes we can make change, but I think we have to all do it together and they must be finding some bloggers out there who are doing this for free or they wouldn’t be writing. Free high-res photos or the opportunity to interview someone’s assistant’s assistant doesn’t help pay the mortgage. I’m so unsure as to how we’re supposed to combat this. I love opening my email each day to see what arrives, but more and more often, I’m wasting time reading through pitches that end up with “No, I don’t have the authority to pay you. That would be a bad business model…” or some other ridiculous response. I hope this makes a dent!
Phil, thanks for your post! I appreciate the compliment and check back in a few days for the next installment! 🙂
Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families
I love this post and I treat my blog as my baby. I started it to help others and want to continue with that mission in mind. But like you said it costs me money each month for hosting, internet, and it takes time to write and share my thoughts. I don’t get as many sales as I would like too but such is life and I know one day it will pay off. Just hoping that day is sooner than later.
It’ll happen, Christy! I have only been really blogging for about 18 mths or so with this blog — I started it a few months before I really published, learning more HTML and CSS behind-the-scenes, and I’m already making enough to fully cover my yearly costs in one month. I’ve done well by joining some groups and ad places, and there are days I get more requests for me to work for free (or for ‘high-res photos’) then paid, which is discouraging, or I find a bunch of other people got invited to something I didn’t, but it happens. It’s all upwards at least. Your blog is great!
I started my blog about two years ago as a way to vent my frustrations about breast cancer and everything that can happen to you that you wouldn’t think would happen in a million years. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Like any other industry, writing is very competitive. I’ve been approached several times in sharing my story in a book, but let’s be honest, books aren’t easy to write or we would all write one. Blogging isn’t something anyone can do. I have learned so much just in the past two weeks on twitter alone. Who would of “thunk” twitter was a go to place for social media and networking?
My dad, a business guru thinks I’m nuts for trying throwing money away on a website domain that may or may not get noticed. I’m 38 years old and the question remains is this something I really want to do the rest of my life?
I just wanted to let you know, I so enjoyed your tips and will definitely keep in my memory blog keepsake box! 🙂
Leslie, thank you! I appreciate it! There are days I wonder if my personal stuff is of any interest to anyone! 😉 I agree — blogging’s not for everyone, and it takes a dedication that people don’t realize until they’ve tried it. I think we never know until we try something if we’re going to enjoy it or not, but if you’re getting anything out of it, then hang onto it as long as you feel it’s worth it. Life does indeed bring some curveballs and you just never know. I’d love to read your blog if you’d like to share it with me?
Thank you! I hope you continue to read more!
All 100% true! As a blogger and a brand working with fashion bloggers, I know how important it is that there is a mutual respect for the amount of work (and $$$) that goes into it!
Megan, thanks for stopping by! Mutual respect — yes! If only everyone would remember that. Hope you post more! 🙂