WELL THIS IS NEW.
Hello everyone and welcome to my first post about actual blogging. It seems that at the moment the internet is absolutely inundated with posts about how we should all quit out jobs to travel and how we can make heaps of cash from home or how to become an influencer. Everyone wants to become insta-famous and live a super cruisey life, working from home and being an absolute ‘boss babe’ or whatever.
As Ferret Fitness is about health, mental health, some fitness bits, healthy travelling and general ‘living better’, I wanted to create a space here too where I could lay out some facts about blogging, what the industry looks like from this side, how it affects bloggers and readers alike and focus on it from a positive mental health type angle. We’ll see how it goes.
For a bit of background, I created my first blog in 2009. TEN YEARS AGO. As I mentioned not long ago in another post when I started blogging, I didn’t tell anyone I did it because it was super lame. It was using Blogger and I treated it more of a diary than of a place where people would actually come and find use of the content. In 2010 I started a YouTube channel where I’d post videos of myself talking about what was going on in my life, my likes and dislikes and also some cooking videos. It became surprisingly successful, however, at the time I didn’t know that you could derive an income from blogging & vlogging – so I deleted the channel and the blog without looking back (and I’m kicking myself for it now!). Since then, I’ve had a few online spaces, blogs, websites, business ideas and concepts – some I’ve shared and some I haven’t, but for the most part, it’s been a hobby and not a career.
What this has done, has given me a lot of insight into the changes of the blogging & content creation industry over the last 10 years and I have a LOT of thoughts and feelings about it (as always, on literally every topic ever).
Let me spill some tea.
Most bloggers start writing about a niche topic (for example, beauty, travel, health or lifestyle) before they start writing about blogging and their success. These types of posts are incredibly popular. Imagine your favourite blogger told you that they could let you in on the secrets of their success – how could you not read it? I sure would!
Readers view these posts because they believe that they can too live a comfortable life if they follow in the steps of the blogger. So OBVIOUSLY, it’s in the writers best interest to make it seem possible and give you that last boost of confidence you need to start a blog and try to make it in a SUPER condensed industry.
Truth is, making it as a blogger is hard work. It hasn’t always been this difficult, but the more people who make it seem easy, the more people try, and the more competition there is. To be successful in blogging, you need one of three things.
- Popularity. This, I firmly feel, relies on luck. Are you popular in your social circle, will your friends promote your things to their friends? Will your family share your work with everyone they know? Do you seem to attract people to your Instagram without an apparent reason? Do people seem interested in your day-to-day? You’re on the road to success!
- Money. If you don’t know anything about marketing, web building or social media – but you know how to write and you love it – you can pay people to do the hard bits for you. You can also afford to buy products that will help boost you engagement, popularity (see #1), and in turn, it’s an easy road to success.
- Time. Spending a huge amount of time on your blog is necessary to get readers. To write content, create images, share on social media, ensure it’s optimised for SEO, in addition to monetising it, making changes to your theme, learning how to do all the parts yourself, corresponding with readers and negotiating with brands. It is about the same as a regular 9-5 job. Obviously this varies depending on your skill level and how much you want to be posting, however, you get out of it what you put in. Now, I don’t know about you – but most people already have a 9-5 (and one that pays the bills), you may also have friends and family and chores and hobbies and the gym and things that take up time and that barely leaves space for an additional 9-5 job. Many people will talk about how they made money in their first or second months (and it is absolutely possible!) but with hard work and dedication, you’re unlikely to reach a salary-type income for a minimum of six months. So, to put this simply, you need to be willing to work full time for six months without a salary. Not many people have the time. However, if you’re comfortable and you CAN dedicate the time, you have the ability to be successful!
Now, I haven’t written this post to discourage others from blogging. I love it, and I loved it before it generated an income for me. BUT, in order to be happy blogging – you need to know that it’s not an easy job (especially at the start) and you need to be content with doing it for free. When you decide you want to start blogging, it can be really easy to become discouraged when you don’t see quick growth – you’ll wonder why you’re working so hard for such little outcome and that’s totally normal! You need to make sure you’re prepared for this as it can test you emotionally. Imagine dedicating yourself to your blog for months, you share it with your friends and family, you’re excited about it, you spend money on your theme and time reaching out to brands – only for it to not bring you that success you were hoping for. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work and it’s hard to maintain a positive demeanour when this happens.
In the next piece, I’ll talk about some of my strategies to help you manage when things don’t go the way that you planned when you’re blogging.