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?

Share with your friends!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Hi Amanda
    I love your approach to baking and wish I could sample everything you make. Unfortunately time is a cruncher for us all. As a result I am removing myself from Facebook – just not healthy for me. I know I am a supporter at the 4.99 per month contribution but I need to cancel since I will not be able to take advantage of the program. I couldnt find a link or any way to cancel the membership on your fb or iambaker.net

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