20 Myths I Had About Blogging
It’s September, which marks the 3 year anniversary of Saving Said Simply, my blog “baby.” Blogging has been a happy and yet difficult journey for me, so I just wanted to set the record straight. There’s a lot of talk out there about bloggers. Perceptions, misconceptions, attitudes and some ugliness. Yes, I’ve probably heard it all. And if you had displayed for me all of this lovely “baggage” that owning, creating and being the CEO of a blog when I first started, I probably would have stopped right there. I would have stayed at my part-time job, maybe went on to have 4 more kids, and never would have used social media for more than checking in on my friends and family. I’m writing today with 20 blogging myths. These are myths that I have dealt with, struggled with and and still fighting against. This post is partly for me, to demonstrate the hardships, obstacles, and joys that I have faced in my 3 year journey so far. This post is partly for you, those wondering, exploring struggling with blogging yourself. But at any rate, I am celebrating my 3 years with Saving Said Simply with 20 Myths I Had About Blogging.
1. Blogging is easy
You write something online. You post it. Voila, you have a blog. I wish it were that easy. It’s more than a bunch of random rambles. There’s a definite niche. There’s a line you don’t cross. There’s risks to be taken. And everyday, there’s a lot of unknown.
2. My family and friends would think that I had a cool job
I had the hardest time for a LONG time getting anyone to recognized blogging as a job at all. I was told that I have a cool “hobby.” Just something for fun to pass the time. I’ve had quite a few arguments and “heart to heart” conversations, if this was something really worth pursuing. But really, isn’t it a blessing to have a job that you ultimately love? This is more than a job. This is my life, my lifestyle and my passion. Slowly, folks are starting to at least realize that this is my job, whether or not it’s cool.
3. I could define my job in one sentence or less
I’ve been asked quite a bit lately “What do you do for a living?” I could say I’m a Stay-at-Home mom. That would be the easy answer. But to try to explain to someone that you are a blogger…well, do you have time to sit down? That leads me to…
4. Blogging meant having a diarrhea of the mouth diary online
Mean, I was in the same boat too. A blogger meant you got to tell the world your inner most thoughts in a diary. You write online, you send it to the magical cloud, and hope that someone out there gives you piece of mind. Anyone can do that, right? In a sense, yes. But you also manage a website. You design, arrange, create, delete, and brand a site. But there’s so many other avenues and branches off of that. Affiliates, sponsored posts, crafts, DIY, recipes, rants….and the hardest part is actually scaling your work down to your goals and morals. There’s ads, email communication, contracts, classes, conference calls, public speaking and so many other wonderful opportunities that still fit in the niche of blogging. Creativity, professionalism, leadership, organization (I still lack in this area), work ethic
5. People would easily find my awesome content
I post some really good content (just my opinion). I bear my soul, take hours of painstaking work to craft the perfectly eloquent and vastly unique post. I push publish. And I wait. At any moment, the masses are going to come to my blog and realize just how awesome this post is too. Wow, was I wrong. Post don’t go viral by pushing publish. You have to put in the work. Sharing via social media, asking for help from other fellow bloggers, making your post real and visually appealing. Folks don’t just randomly appear to your site.
6. That brands would come find me to work with them
I would see all of these wonderful brands working with bloggers that I followed. I thought “It’s just a matter of time before they’re asking me to write awesome posts for them.” Well, sometimes. But it happens much less than you think. You want to work with top brands and get paid? You need to prove yourself. The proof is in the pudding, literally. Brands may be stopping by your site, yes. But if you’re not showing quality work, then why would they want to work with you? And those “dream” brands? It took over 2 years before I got offered real brand work. It took even longer to get paid for them. Get ready to pitch. And research. And pitch. And get a lot of no. And pitch. And pitch. The pitching never stops.
7. That I would work whenever I want
I’d set my own hours. I could fabulously multi-task my day while getting my son to school and my daughter potty trained. I was going to be the world class mom blogger super star. Little did I realize that blogging would take actual work….like hours per day. Getting up early before anyone in the house was awake and staying up way past everyone going to bed would become my norm during peak times….4-5 hours of sleep a night, mom duties….a day off is basically non-existant, and there are definitely days when I have had my daughter plopped in front of a TV to get a deadline finished. Nope, not perfect.
8. Being my own boss would be fabulous
You would think being your own boss would be awesome, if not fun. But it’s as really hard to switch gears after many years of taking direction from someone else. Juggling time management, finances (GROAN), and making the “tough decisions” still doesn’t come easily to me. Saying no is hard. Over extending and doing too much because of my over-achiever attitude is also hard to deal with. Basically, I’m my own pain in the butt!
9. That I would make lots of money, easily
If you think you could just sit around and wait for people to pitch money offers for your blog, you are completely insane. Negotiations, contracts, proposals, conversations, emails, conference calls and endless pitching, this is what really goes into making money for your blog. You NEVER stop telling people that you are worth money. And that’s so tough from someone who was used to a fixed wage. There are weeks when I don’t know if I am making ANY money for the blog. I never stop worrying, never stop dreaming, never stop persevering.
10. That my kids would always cooperate..and be good…and pose….
Deadline around the corner and you just need your kid to hold up the product and smile. FAT. CHANCE. No bribe in the world will overcome that pout. And this happens, all the time. Going to a fancy event and all you want are your kids to be the well-behaved kids? HA! I’ve gotten the “look.” But over these 3 years, being a mom blogger means that my life isn’t perfect. Over and over, I keep telling folks how “REAL” my life is. I don’t hide my disappointments or failures as a mom. My kids aren’t always going to be perfect either. BUt then people wouldn’t keep coming back to read about them if they were.
11. That I would never write something I regretted
Yeah….I still get hits on posts that I cringe about. Old recipes with horrible pictures. Product reviews that look cheesy and inexperienced. Stories that make no sense….or pour out my heart for the world to see. There are definite regrets on this blog. But this blog is also my life. I change. I grow. I look back on old mistakes. It’s humbling and
12. That my uniform is my pajamas
I thought sitting at home all day in front of my computer is a dream job. But then you get invited to events. Blog conferences. Professional opportunities. And with years of nursing scrubs as my uniform (aka glorified pajamas), I didn’t even own a professional wardrobe. More than your blog, you know what people remember? Your face. My face was soon quickly plastered all over business cards, my website, everything. That was hard. To be taken as a serious blogger, means getting outside of your anti-social comfort zone. Showing up with make up, blow-dried hair and a dress could mean the difference between getting a job with a brand or not getting one. There are definitely more times than not that I am out of the house, dressed well, and with people. Being your brand. Owning your brand. Selling your brand.
13. That anything I said wouldn’t be “that” important
I think the most surprising thing about blogging at Saving Said Simply, is realizing how many people are “listening.” I still get comments about speaking up about my adoption, my son’s preschool experience, overcoming introvert obstacles. That anyone outside of my immediate friends and family would affected by something I wrote…I still get chills thinking about it. It’s reassuring and amazing to think my voice has meaning in this world.
14. That I wouldn’t care what other people thought
I read every comment. Not everything I have received is hearts and flowers. Getting those not so wonderful remarks sometimes stays with me….days, weeks, years even. I’m not saying that these comments have control over my life, but what people say about me, my family and my writing….I do care. I don’t always respond, but I’m always reading.
15. That I would always have something to write about
More often times than not, I have no idea what I want to say that day. I may have everything for the month drawn out on paper…and still things get shifted, changed or just BLANK. I don’t always have the brightest idea for my blog. I don’t always have words to write. I don’t always love the ideas I come up with. I’m constantly looking for new topics, ideas for the blog. I’ve stared at a blank screen more times than I can count.
16. That every post would be perfect
See #11. There are many times that I submit posts that I’m not 100% happy with. There are times when I submit posts I’m super proud of and get feedback that’s not so great. And being that Type-A perfectionist and letting things go is tough.
17. That I wouldn’t learn anything about myself
I am confident. I’m an extrovert. I’m a people-loving person. I am a professional. I am an entrepreneur. If you said any of these statements to me a few years ago, I would have laughed in your face. I would have said that I had an over-blown ego. But none of those qualities have to do with ego, but success. I am proud of what I have accomplished, on my own, with help, with support. I’m not alone in this business. I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be. I’m more honest and vulnerable that I ever thought I was. I am so many things, and I am still discovering and unwrapping qualities about myself as I blog.
18. That I wouldn’t need to learn and grow
Learning Google? HTML? Social media? No Follow, design, picture taking, plug-ins….and that’s only the technical. Finding your voice, keeping your mind and heart fresh, new ideas, new mediums new connections….you never STOP learning! It’s only when you stop learning that your blog becomes stagnant…and even a chore.
19. That I would always make the right decisions
I’ve been cheated, swindled, and way too trusting at times. Not everyone out there is as honest a they appear via email. I’ve learned many hard lessons along the way regarding blogging. Many of those decisions have been wrong….waaaaaaay wrong. But I do my darnedest to not make the same mistake twice. I sometimes have to put on my body armor and hold up my punching gloves.
20. That my work life wouldn’t affect my family life
As a mom, a wife, a friend….blogging has brought many struggles that I have faced with my family. It hasn’t been pretty at times. But it has always been real. Finding my passions and balancing them is something I still am working on everyday. There have been many arguments, tears, and near plug pulls surrounding my decision to have a blog as my career. It’s been full of highs and lows.
3 years. It’s a lot to take in. Saving Said Simply has been my crutch, my trophy, and my thorn. But it’s 100% mine. I own this blog. I am this blog. And I cannot wait to see what another 3 years or 30 years have in store. I have so many more things to learn and grow and share with you. I hope this is only the beginning of great things to come.