The Reality of Being a Blogger

There’s been some upset in the blogosphere of late that I wanted to address. I’ve already been tweeting to some of those bloggers who are feeling disheartened and uninspired about their blogs directly to see if I can help. I reckon that lots of us might feel the same so I’m writing this post to help my fellow bloggers put things into perspective.

Would love to read your comments, ideas and suggestions on the subject too. I’m sure I’ll end up repeating myself, so if you want to read more, I recommend checking out my Blog Tips category for more on this and similar subjects.

Who are you blogging for? 

I know this question will make some of you cringe and I really, really, really want to avoid the phrase ‘blog for yourself’, however, I kind of think that’s true to some extent. Anyway, before getting all stressed about how you’re blog is doing statistically, consider who you are blogging for and why.

Are you blogging for yourself? If so, does it really matter who or how many people read your blog?

Are you blogging to make your blog a business? If yes, you need to find your USP, what makes your blog different from the hundreds of others who are already a success. Think about who your audience is and what they want to read. Also, think about how you want to come across, if this is going to be a job you have to act professionally.

Are you blogging for free stuff? If so, most would say that’s a bad attitude. It’ll soon become apparent what your aims are, it’s not healthy to be blogging purely for free stuff. Get to grips with this, think of a more positive goal.

Are you blogging for the fame? Yes, this is an odd one, but there’s no doubt that some bloggers love the teeny amount of fame that blogging can bring. If your aim is to become known, again, set realistic goals. It’s  a saturated market with lots of average bloggers, how will you stand out?

Setting Realistic Goals

Yes, we would all love to be a full time blogger and get a gazillion hits a month, but realistically, is that going to happen for us all? No.

If you want to grow your blog, it is always good to set yourself some goals. Be be realistic, there’s no point setting unattainable goals. Think about things that you can work towards that you can measure easily and set yourself a realistic time scale to achieve those goals too. Also remember, you can’t grow without any work, so think about what you are going to improve/change in order to reach your goals.

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It’s Who You Know…

My feelings are that a lot of the bloggers who have hit the big time have been fortunate to be around at the right time and socialising with the right people. As with most things in the media, it’s about who you know more than anything. So, with this in mind, it’s important to remember that it is about more than just high stats.

Beauty blogging in particular is so saturated right now, you’ve got to think outside the box in order to grow. You can’t just do what everyone else is doing and hope to be the next big thing, you’ve got to work for it.

Networking is key to growing in any area of your life, I’ve written a guide about blog events which might help some of you out.

Are you having fun? 

So many bloggers complain about not having enough followers, not getting enough comments, not getting enough PR samples…etc. It’s all very negative and not helpful. I say, are you having fun blogging? If so, it doesn’t matter about the rest of the things. The rest of those factors are perks of being a blogger.

At the end of the day, blogging should be enjoyable, the minute it starts to become a chore, you need to rethink what you’re doing. It’s ok to take a break from blogging, no one will mind and it’s also ok to just stop blogging completely if it becomes a chore.

Success is Hard Work

Although it might have been easy to set up your blog and social media platforms, that’s not the end of the hard work. Success and recognition doesn’t come by itself you’ve got to put in work, create amazing content, network and create a blog offering that is different and appealing. We’ll all have our ups and downs when it comes to life in general, just keep at it and good things will happen, eventually.

It took my three years before I felt like my blog was established, it was only since I moved to London two years ago that I realised that my blog could grow. So, basically, don’t be put out if you don’t achieve what you want in just a few months. It all takes time.

What do you think?

Please add your comments, suggestions, tips and a let me know if you have any requests for future Blog Tips posts.

You can also tweet me @JayneJRead

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23 thoughts on “The Reality of Being a Blogger

  1. you write THE best blog posts ever. You’re so inspiring to newbie bloggers like myself!
    Thanks for your support, and keep it up! 🙂

    1. Always, honestly pleased to help. Let me know if there are any other topics you’d like covering.

  2. Great post.

    I didnt start a blog for any of the reasons, above, yes I did it “for me” to a small extend but mostly I did it to help others and write reviews I thought would be helpful to anyone wanting to know what a product is really like before shelling out the money. I found so many blogs didnt contain the detail in their posts, that I as a buyer wanted to know, so I started my own! 95% of my posts are reviews and that is unlikely to change.

    I do think that blogging is competitive, esp beauty blogging but I try not to concern myself with it. I have had a lot of fun blogging, met some lovely people and had some great opportunities. I am aware I cant blog for ever- a new job or change in circumstances means that this might not be possible so I am enjoying it as much as possible now. I am sure that one day, regardless of work etc I will have enough of it and call it a day!

    1. Great POV Grace, refreshing to hear. I hope you continue to happily blog for a long time.

    2. I started my blog at the end of January this year and I also did it to help people stop wasting money on products that don’t work. Too often beauty blogs only post about the good but I always strive to be 100% honest. This might make me unpopular with PR companies in the long run but I have to be true to my goals. Another thing is that everyone has there own version of success my biggest goal is to have 100 members in a few months and ill just go from there.

      Hazel X

  3. Great post and one that gives a very grounded view of what blogging should be about! I’ve only been blogging for a year and while it’s growing, that growth takes time and effort so you need to really enjoy what you’re doing or else it’s a slog! Luckily I love it:)

    1. Yay for loving blogging. In my view, you can’t do anything well without loving it. So I hope you stick with honestly loving your blog too. I blog because I have fun with it and I love the community feel from it. Although often it’s easy to feel down about the competition and the occassional bitchiness, most of the time it’s great.

  4. This was a very helpful post to read, I have a blog which is not very popular at all but I love writing it. I am still trying to get to grips of how I want it to look and what I want to write about but for now I am enjoying finding out 🙂 megan x

    1. Great comment Megan, it’s all a journey. There’s no secret to the success, it’s honestly partially luck and most definitely hard work and enthusiasm. If you’re having fun, keep at it.

  5. Great post lovely! I definitely know how frustrating it can feel when you’ve put heart and soul into a post, only to feel that nobody is interested and it’s so easy to get consumed by stats and followers and analytics and feeling like youve somehow failed. Our recent chat really helped me. I’ve just resolved myself to keep writing and networking and what will be will be. Even after 2yrs of blogging I still get that little thrill when I click ‘publish’ on a new post so I guess that’s what it’s really about xxx

  6. I think this is a great post. I started my blog last year as i love writing and beauty and wanted to have somewhere to share this with other people. I write about things that interest me, but also trying to remember that if i’m lucky, other people will be reading it! Over the past 6 months I’ve seen growth, but it really does take effort. I absolutely love blogging, I think if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to do it.

  7. Great post. With some great advice.
    It’s a learning curve with blogging, I’ve been blogging for 3 years now and have found that the more I put myself out there the more I get back. It’s hard work and you need to keep yourself positive to get the best out of it.
    I like to think my blog has a niche being all about hair, but you have to realise there are many others out there who want the same as you when it comes to blogging and it’s essential to keep working hard and loving what you write. It’s not an easy journey but it’s certainly fun. 🙂

  8. I think all bloggers go through periods of doubt about their stats, most come out the other side eventually. It’s just too tiring to worry about it full time!

  9. This makes a lot of sense. I would say that not everybody wants to be a full-time blogger and make lots of money from their blog. I certainly can’t think of anything worse. But then I’ve always been more than happy to blog for myself, about the things I like and nothing else.

  10. Not only is your post a little pick me up so is everyone elses comments. Your right some days I feel like no one reads my blog. It’s a stinky feeling those days. The reason I blog is I feel like I have somewhere to put my knowledge about make and hair care that I want to share. I make myself remember I was first an avid blog reader, I still am. They help with my buying desicions. I do love blogging. Within a year and some change I feel like my blog grew a lot. One thing that bugs me is when I use the #bbloggers tag to ask questions there buried under giveaway tweets – I’m guilty of this as well. I feel like as a beauty community we need a new hash tag for questions only.

    1. Great comment Megan, although you’ve got to remember there’s no rules to Hashtags, no ones owns them. You can ask questions and talk to beauty bloggers direct without the need of a set time and tag. Keep up the good work!

  11. This is such an amazing blog post! So true and so many things to keep in mind when blogging, lovely blog 🙂 following xxx

    1. Thanks Meg, glad you like my blog. The GFC following feature is brand new, so pleased to hear that you have used it.

  12. The thing is, writing for yourself is all well and good. And it’s a fantastic reason for writing but I do compare it to an author’s book not being bought…it’s not a great feeling, so although you may do it for yourself, there’s always a hope that people out there like it and are reading it and when you feel they are not, it can feel sad. Even if you are “writing” for yourself. If it was just for yourself, you may as well have a private journal.

  13. Love this post and so happy to know I’m not alone in feeling like “who the hell if anyone is reading this?” then i got an email which made me realise that u never know who is reading and its not about numbers!! So i had a chat with myself and just kept going I write my blog like I’m writing to myself and what I’d like to hear! Might not appeal to everyone but that’s how I like it 🙂 I want to give people my thoughts on a product before they spend their hard earned cash on it! That’s why I read blogs myself.

    Keep up the fantastic work

  14. I know recently myself I have gone through a dip because I blog in my part time hours and I was running out of the time in the day due to my other commitments. The break gave me the time to ‘miss’ blogging and made me come back a lot more happier. I know I need to stop comparing myself to other bloggers, I do my own thing and if people want to read that brilliant but I need to stop obsessing over numbers and comparing. I am still finding my feet finding my own USP. I blog because I want to share and the greatest thing I’ve gained to making new connections that will last. Yet again Jayne you’ve hit the name on the head (and I love the Games of Thrones reference – can’t wait for the next series!)

  15. I think comparing your blog to any other blog is the road to nowhere. Every blog has a USP because they’re all written by different people..the authors ARE the USP. It has turned into a highly competitive arena and it’s so difficult to keep perspective when it looks like it comes so easy to some. It isn’t easy and nothing at all, having been in it from virtually the beginning, comes easy in blogging. There is a core of beauty bloggers who have been blogging for over five years and I think in many ways they made it look too easy – but at the time we had no clue where it would or could go. New generation bloggers, for want of a better term, have to think creatively and look for gaps – because there are some (not many hair bloggers for a start) – that they can fill in the beauty blogging arena. When you have an established blog, it is tough (but also full of good things in case this is sounding too negative) to keep your audience interested and excited about what you write. My goal for BBB is just to keep the audience I have happy and if I can do that when there are so many other blogs for people to read will be an achievement.

  16. This is a great post and all very good points that I don’t think a lot of bloggers consider. You’ve got to be realistic that if you haven’t made it as a huge blogger so far and able to do it full time it might never happen, so it’s best to just enjoy yourself and write what you want to write. Use your blog as a creative outlet and for fun, then if it grows and other perks are offered to you it’s a welcome bonus.

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