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!