Blogging is new territory for me. I launched this blog almost 3 months ago, so I have a really candid view of what goes into starting and maintaining a blog–not too removed from many of you. As a result, I am exposing the truth about blogging and tips for showing appreciation to your favorite bloggers.
What inspired this post
A few weeks ago, I attended a friend’s baby shower and in the process of catching up, several friends asked about my blog. Admittedly, I love that they are taking interest in my posts and their curiosity was really flattering.
I never really considered how those around me might perceive my blogging initiative: what they are wondering and how I can explain my experiences simply, because frankly, there’s so much to share!
So, here’s a recap of what you may be wondering and the answers to the most common questions.
Thank you to my friends for inspiring this post, and to you, my loyal readers, for taking an interest in blogs and seeking ways to show your support!
The truth about blogging
The first questions my friends asked when they heard I started a blog are:
- What goes into maintaining a blog?/How do you find the time?
- What made you want to start blogging?
- How are you enjoying it?
- Are people really reading your blog?
- How can we show our support?
While I anticipated most of these questions, this last one was something I never explained before. I gave them an overview of what things are like “behind the scenes” and my vision for my blog’s future, all of which I’ll recap for you below.
On the drive home from the party, I reflected on their questions and realized that if my friends were asking these questions, there must be many others who are wondering the same thing! And so this post started to take shape.
What goes into maintaining a blog?
Since every blogger’s journey is unique, I can only speak for myself when I tell you how incredibly rewarding the blogging journey has been for me.
What I can vouch for, however, is that blogging is incredibly and universally, time consuming. While some bloggers blog full-time, most people start out either
- working a full-time job and blogging on the side or
- starting a blog while on maternity leave, as a SAHM, or as a complete financial leap of faith in an effort to change their lifestyle.
I fall into the first category. By day, I’m a full-time, public school teacher. By night, I blog. Add to my resume that I am married and a mom to 2 little boys, and you start to realize how little free time exists in my world.
How do I find the time?
Easy. How do you find time for the things you love? You make time.
Most of my blogging takes place after my kids are in bed. I do some research, review my notes, write the post and schedule it to go live. Sometimes this takes a few hours, sometimes a few days. Luckily, I’ve gotten to a point where I have enough content that I can schedule my posts to go live a month in advance. This allows for less stress and more creativity in putting out content on a weekly basis.
Then I work on promotion. I create Pinterest images for each post–yes, those images you see on Pinterest are created by bloggers like me–and draft my social media posts. Thankfully there are several apps that allow for all of this pre-scheduling, so I can write up my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts on the weekend (when I generally have more time) and schedule them to go live throughout the week. Even this post is (was?) scheduled to go out while I’m at work during the school day. Automation is such a time-saver!
Typically, I spend one or two nights a week writing new posts and editing old ones, and 5 days a week promoting those posts on social media (you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to see what I’ve been up to). That’s why bloggers are always on social media: without promotion, no one would read what we write!
Why did I want to start blogging?
- I want to write. I am much more likely to meet my own deadlines, than rigid ones set by publishers. I also feel I have something special to offer, and I want to share it.
- Writing helps people. I became a teacher because I want to give back to my community. I think writing serves the same purpose.
- To practice what I preach. I tell my middle school students that it’s important to consider their audience whenever they write and to consider what an author may have intended whenever they read. Writing a blog keeps me attuned to the experience of writing with intention, for a particular audience. It keeps my perspective fresh, and my teaching real.
- For personal fulfillment. I want to know that people enjoy reading my posts, feel inspired with new ideas, are exposed to another perspective they haven’t considered, or experience an escape from the mundane. This is what I seek when I read, and I hope that’s what my readers find when they visit this blog.
How am I enjoying it?
Hearing that others appreciate my work motivates me. It makes me want to keep writing. Your feedback is so important, because this blog is so important. To me. It chronicles my growth as a writer, my interests at this stage in my life, and my ability to connect with others.
If you have ever wondered whether bloggers read your comments, the answer is yes. Every. Single. One. We may not have the time to respond to every comment, but we are certainly reading them. That’s how we know what you love to read about and see on our social media channels. You’re comments are the best source of encouragement for us to continue doing what we love to do, and giving you what you enjoy.
Are people really reading your blog?
You’re here, right? (Thank you!)
How can we show our support?
(What bloggers want you to know.)
Bloggers are so appreciative of people who take the time to read and explore our websites. We love to share information with you and we hope you continue to enjoy our work. So what can you do to show bloggers how much you value their work?
For those of you who are new to reading blogs, I’d like to give you some tips for supporting those of us who put out content for you to enjoy. From one blogger to her readers, here’s what bloggers want you to know!
- Follow us on social media (most of us are on several social media channels) and like/comment on our posts. Tell us if you enjoy something we shared; we love hearing your feedback and want to create more of what you like to see. Engagement is key to keeping a blog up and running. Never hesitate to reach out to us!
- Share the posts you love with friends. I bet you know several people who could benefit from a dose of knowledge, so please, share the love. The more traffic we get to our sites, the more content we’ll put out for you to enjoy!
- Click on our links! Many bloggers are part of affiliate programs, which means that we earn commission whenever you click a link or make a purchase through a link on our site. It doesn’t cost you any more for the item, but it helps us support the cost of running our blogs. That’s right: blogging isn’t free!
While many blog readers follow the first tip, several don’t realize how much the next two help us out. Your support means everything to us. If you like what you see, please share it widely and buy the things you like through our links. It’ll give us more opportunity to reward you with new content, experiences, and giveaways in the long run.
The amount of learning I’ve done in the past few months is just astounding. I’m certainly still on a mission to absorb as much as I can, and I hope you’ll continue to read this blog and support my efforts as I learn and grow. I appreciate all of you so very much! Please remember: we’re in this together!
Until next time…
Don’t forget to pin this post and share it with your friends!