What Nobody Ever Tells You About Blogging

The hard core truth revealed.

When I started my blog over five years ago, it was private and just a place to vent.  There were no pictures, no kid stories, no baking escapades, just words upon words upon words.

If I had known the amount of time and energy that goes into maintaining a blog, I might have…

well…

you'll just have to wait and see.

 

Its a Rat Race

This is a full on competition to see who can get most comments, most followers, most page hits, most features,have the most and biggest and best giveaways, etc.  People are wrapped up in those figures, and a drop or decrease in those stats often leads even the best bloggers to wonder if they have done something wrong.

Whether its fair or not, people do in fact sum you up based on your stats, and that often determines whether or not they make a return visit.

 

Its Not Free

Some blog domains are free, but some arent.  Have you ever paid for a new background?  Hosted a contest that offered a prize paid for from your own pocket?  Ever updated your picture editing program or got a new camera or a cell phone with better internet access or bought a fancy linky system or joined a community that offered an upgraded membership for just a small fee? 

It all adds up.

 

Time, Time Everyone's Time

It takes time.  Not only is it time consuming to create and publish your own blog on a daily basis, but it takes time to follow and comment on other peoples blogs.  Which is basically the foundation of building up a readership in blogging.

It is the ultimate paradox, mommy blogging.  Mommies take the time to document and categorize their and their childrens lives, and in doing so often take time away from the very thing they are writing about.

Overwhelming in an Understatement

Blogging can feel like a burden at times.  Especially when it feels like you working hard at it no one is even reading.

There also seems to be an unspoken pressure to keep with the the big bloggers posting schedule… often times once a day, and every time making it interesting and beautifully assembled.

When you are not receiving a paycheck (or compensation in general)  for your blogging, keeping up (or even maintaining) a schedule like that can turn into a burden that sucks all the joy out of the blogging experience.

You Better Know Someone

The more famous bloggers you know, the better chance you have of getting your blog out to the masses.  Google even verifies that. 

If Perez Hilton links to your blog, you just went up a point in your google rating.  If your Aunt Sally (who has two readers) links to you, there probably wont be to many changes to your readership or your google score.

Ego Trip Anyone?

Writing a blog about yourself and your family seems like a fantastic way to document the trials and tribulations of being a parent and woman (or man, or even pet) in the 21st century.  The reality is, making yourself the focus of your writing causes you to think about yourself much more.  

Life takes on a different slant when you are a full time blogger.  What used to be a cute story you had to tell grandma has now been formulated in your head into a five paragraph blog post with pictures and video accompaniment.  Categorizing and summarizing your life becomes the new way of processing information.

It can even take your focus off the moment and the quality of time you are spending with your family.

You also have to get out there and sell yourself.  Social Media
Networkers are masters at this, and are some of the best bloggers out
there.

Its Hard To Make a Buck

The reality is, unless you are with a well paying organization like blogher, its hard to make a living off your blog.  And even if you do have blogher, you still need to have a lot of traffic coming through your site to generate profit.

Generally, any payment plan will benefit you if your traffic is substantial in the first place.  The trick is just getting your blog to the point where you get 10,000 visitors a day. 

 

You Get What You Give

The more you put into this amazing place we call bloggy-ville, the more you will be rewarded. 

If you invest time into photography and meeting other photographers, you will end up learning more then you could have ever dreamed. 

If you focus on mommy networking and finding other moms with kids the sames ages as yours who are going through similar experiences as you… its a safe bet that you will end up being a better mom for it, and make lifelong friends in the process.

If you write a blog to document your life, your faith, your heartache and triumph, you will most assuredly look back one day and be thankful for this outlet.

So, to answer the question:

If I had known the amount of time and energy that goes into maintaining a blog, I might have…

…done it all over again. 

To me the relationships, character strengthening, the personal discovery  I have gone through as a blogger is absolutely priceless.

Is there anything you wish someone had told you before you started blogging?

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  1. Sally says

    A really interesting post and the comments are great too. I think it’s really about what you want your blog to achieve. If it’s a creative outlet or somewhere to engage with like-minded people then the statistics aren’t that relevant – just a bit of an ego boost. If the blog is to promote a business then the time you invest is justified in the ROI (or not!) My reason for blogging was to see if I could actually pull off writing about something I was deeply interested in (cooking and food). It’s boosted my confidence and brought me into a world of food blogs which I absolutely love. I really enjoy reading other people’s food blogs – that was what inspired me in the first place – so that is not a chore (more a guilty pleasure). I would never comment on a blog in a calculated way to drive traffic. I guess that means that thousands may not come flocking to my blog site – but if even one person likes what I’ve written I’ll be really happy. Tips a) I’ve found WordPress brilliant. b) it’s good to have a plan of topics written down when your feeling really inspired, to have a guide for when you are not. Cheers

  2. says

    Hi there!
    I just found your blog the other day and have so enjoyed this post. I really had a giggle (at myself), because I have just started blogging this year and already feel and experience what you have written about!!
    I have to remind myself that anything that takes time away from God and my family is not a blessing! This is lesson I am still learning , ’cause I’m just loving Blogville!
    Hope you might pop over sometime,
    Kindest regards,
    Georgia

  3. says

    You are spot on. It does suck all the time you have and more. I was so addicted at first. i just can’t be anymore or I would never be off the computer. There are so many blogs i follow but I guess not really, because I don’t have time to visit them all. LOL
    Sorry I have been MIA lately…but you probably didn’t notice…miss big time. LOL I kid.
    Missed being here.
    Hugs,
    Mimi

  4. says

    You are spot on. It does suck all the time you have and more. I was so addicted at first. i just can’t be anymore or I would never be off the computer. There are so many blogs i follow but I guess not really, because I don’t have time to visit them all. LOL
    Sorry I have been MIA lately…but you probably didn’t notice…miss big time. LOL I kid.
    Missed being here.
    Hugs,
    Mimi

  5. says

    Great post! It’s nice to hear the truth and honesty. It seems like everyone and their mom (and probably cat, too) have a blog.
    For me, I just use it to post pictures/ramble. I’m not to the point where it’s a big part of my life and I don’t plan on letting it be. I’m not looking to make money or become some internet star.
    I say to each their own and do what you want.

  6. says

    great post. i HAVE made great connections and friends I wouldn’t have made otherwise. and I love it.
    I think the “issue” is when it takes away from other things… if you’re constantly shooing your kids away b/c you HAVE to get that blog post up before the sun goes down. i think we’ve all done it but does it happen everyday?
    I’m a full time working mom and my work involves, well, work. I don’t have a desk job that I can half work/half surf, so my computer time is limited to an hour in the morning when my son is sleeping and daughter is entertaining herself. but soon the day will come when my son doesn’t take a morning nap and then that will really cut into computer time.
    hubs and i spend time together in the evening… each on our own laptop. yes, we talk and watch movies, but it’s much less interactive.
    You do have connections with “big” bloggers and i think all of us “small” blogs try to make connections but when the big bloggers are so big, it’s hard to get noticed. it’s like trying to get that cute boys attention at school, but he’s surrounded by 500 girls that are way prettier than you.
    I was recently asked to take over another blog started by 2 gals. I reluctantly said yes and got 3 other gals to jump on board and luckily they are taking up most of the work.
    I just feel like I can’t keep up. I feel like I can’t keep up with all the tweets and facebooks and cool posts and great photography. not that I still don’t do my best, but for awhile I felt like i was trying too hard with no return…. and THAT WAS STRESSFUL. the stress it caused me was NOT worth obsessive amounts of time I put into it.
    so, i recently decided to just do my thing. I will continue to blog and tweet and everything like that, but I’m not going to spend hours hosting giveaways or trying to make friends with all the “big” bloggers… cuz they probably won’t notice me anyway. besides, most big bloggers are too busy upping the ante on their own blog to even visit or comment on blogs anyway. it’s all about them (and i don’t mean that in a mean way at all… they are doing what they need to do to continue to drive traffic).
    I LOVE blogging and will continue it, but sometimes the stress is more the harder i try. and frankly, i don’t want to blink and all of a sudden my kids are graduating college and i missed it b/c I was busy trying to do giveaways. i love my readers and i love the blogs i read too.
    sorry for the novel. i’m in the process of writing a post similar to this as well, but with a little different spin.

  7. Janna says

    Amanda, it’s great to find someone who I can consistently relate to like you. I love blogging but like anything it has it’s cons.
    Like a typical crazy blogger I just started a SECOND blog called Mommy’s Piggy TALES. I’m hoping we can avoid the “rat race” with this one.
    It’s really just about moms recording THEIR youth once a wk for 15 wks in a post or vlog and linking up with their group of 10 ladies.
    I think recording short memories of your life is one of the best gifts you can give to your children.
    Even your 2 blogs are a gift to your children. It’s kind of like a handbook of life that you are compiling for them. My dad died at 11 and I would have loved to have a blog of his to read and get to know him better even though he is now gone.
    I’m glad you chose to blog, and I think your kids will be too.

  8. Janna @ Mommy's Piggy TALES says

    Amanda, it’s great to find someone who I can consistently relate to like you. I love blogging but like anything it has it’s cons.
    Like a typical crazy blogger I just started a SECOND blog called Mommy’s Piggy TALES. I’m hoping we can avoid the “rat race” with this one.
    It’s really just about moms recording THEIR youth once a wk for 15 wks in a post or vlog and linking up with their group of 10 ladies.
    I think recording short memories of your life is one of the best gifts you can give to your children.
    Even your 2 blogs are a gift to your children. It’s kind of like a handbook of life that you are compiling for them. My dad died at 11 and I would have loved to have a blog of his to read and get to know him better even though he is now gone.
    I’m glad you chose to blog, and I think your kids will be too.

  9. says

    This is an excellent post. And so, so, so true. I started blogging over four years ago and ended up convicted to take a break — that I was looking too much at the numbers and not the content.
    So I started back up this spring. I had blogged off and on in those months of break, but now real blogging. And I’ve been blessed. I agree. When you blog you look at life completely different. And it honestly makes me a better mom, a better wife and a better friend.
    Thank you for this post. I love your blog. And, btw, I’ll be following…:)
    Rachel

  10. wanda says

    I love blogging! I started over 2 years ago and do it just for myself. I’m not trying to compete with the big girls or make money. I just wanted to write (and my family can keep up with our lives a thousand miles away).
    I’ve found that when I come across a blog that doesn’t flitter my flutter….I can just keep on moving. No one gets their feelings hurt.
    Let’s face it, everyone doesn’t like the same style/genre of writing. That’s one of the many “yays” of blogging!

  11. says

    So true…
    I find myself looking at almost every event in my day through the lens of “how can I blog about this?”
    Yes, it sucks too much time away (balance is very important)
    And yes, it is crazy in the way it resembles a popularity contest/rat race.
    And no, I’ve never made one penny doing it.
    Would I start doing it again if I knew then what I know now?
    Yes, definitely

  12. says

    I love it! Everything you said was true. I just started a blog in May, and it has slowly taken over my life. I see my experiences through the lense of blogging instead of enjoying the moment for what it is. The funny thing is, I never wanted a blog in the first place, but everyone told me I needed a blog so that people would come to my website. But is that really necessary? As much as I love writing, I just want to live my life now. But I can’t abandon my blog because–oddly–it’s so much fun. But it’s exhausting.