Thursday, 3 November 2016

What it's really like to be a blogger

So today I thought I would talk about something I've been meaning to for a while now.  If you're reading this and you're a blogger you'll be able to relate to everything I'm about to say.  And if you don't blog at all then I hope I can help you to understand what it's really like be a blogger.

what it's really like be a blogger

Before I started blogging properly, I used to think that blogging was easy.  Easy as lemon pie! Come to think of it, I think lemon pie is a lot easier!  What you see is the finished blog post and it'll look oh so immaculate with the perfect shots all perfectly sized and just the right amount of text to keep you engaged.  What you don't see is how it all came together.

It's always easy to be the outsider looking in and feeling like 'oh there's nothing to it at all, I could do that with my eyes closed!' until you step into the ring and find out the hard way that there's more to blogging than meets the eye.  I'm going to break it down for you so that it's a lot easier for you to digest.

PLANNING

First comes the planning stage.

I mean for instance, you have to think long and hard about what you're going to post in the first place.  You can't just write anything because you'll be sat there for even longer trying to put a bunch of sentences together to make the post worth while.  If you don't feel it, it ain't gonna happen!  And it's true.  It just feels fake.

Once you've decided what you're going to finally write about and you've motivated yourself to get started, it's time to think of a catchy post title that'll make readers want to click it and read what you have to say.

Sometimes, if your post is a lot more in depth then planning can take a huge chunk of your time because you'll want your post to make sense to your readers.  There's nothing worse than having to read a whole load of words that don't make sense.  I doubt anyone would even bother reading past the first sentence!

And if you're writing a series, then OMG that's going to be a truck load of planning!  I'm not even going there!  Trust me, I know from experience.

Planning doesn't just stop there.  It's not just one post you're planning for.  It could be anything from 2-3 posts a week or even 7 if you're a daily blogger.  Hats off to you if you are!

PICTURES

Now that you've planned your post or posts, it's time to take the pictures to go along with it.  At this stage you might have even written your post but if like me you like to sort your pictures out first then the writing will come later.

Taking pictures has to be one of the most challenging things about blogging.  If you're from the UK then during winter we hardly get any sunlight so it's usually a race against time to get those all important shots whilst you still can.

If you have a job alongside your blog then I'm afraid it's usually game over during the weekdays.  Which is why we like to make the most of the weekends and get all our pictures taken in bulk.  That doesn't mean to say it's going to be plain sailing because knowing our luck it'll be dull, dark and grey outside which means no pictures and back to the drawing board.

You might think that just because all the pictures have been taken, that's it, we're all done.  I don't think so.  It's only just started!

EDITING

You've taken your pictures and the next task is to upload them to your laptop.  I could compare taking pictures for your blog is like taking a selfie.  You'll have hundreds of images of the same thing but only one will be THE ONE and make it to your post.  

It's a mammoth task sifting through all those images to finally choose the perfect shot, with the best lighting and angle.  Once you've picked the winning shot you might need to edit it a little here and there.  Actually you will need to edit it.  And if you're obsessive over the size of your images on your blog because of aesthetics and all that jazz, you'll need to resize them too.  

And before you think 'you only needed one pic!'  No, No, No.  Some blog posts require more than one picture showing the product, outfit or scenery in more detail.  Sometimes it can be upto 6-7 pictures so you can imagine doing that multiple times. 

Don't even get me started on making a collage!  You have to decide how you want it to look, whether you're adding text or not and the list goes on.  Chances are, when you're making the collage you'll upload the wrong image and realise half way through, then have to go back and change it!

Editing is definitely a job and half.

WRITING

It's a bit like being back at school when you have to write an essay and you don't know how to get started.  You just need the first few words to your sentence to get the ball rolling.  Sometimes, when you're winning at the blogging game the words just flow but other times a lot more thought is needed.

Once you've written your piece it's time to add the all important images.  They don't always do what you want them to when you put them in your post.  You want them in the centre and they decide to go to the left!  You preview your post a couple of hundred times to find that it still hasn't obeyed your command until you give up and then you see it move.  Finally!

Something I always forget to do is add alt txt to my images.  They say it's good for SEO.  I've done it a few times when I've remembered and yes they're right.  It's good for SEO.

When you eventually place everything where you want it to go then you might want to add links to some of your words and pictures. So you go to the website and find that the product has sold out!  Aaaargghhhhh!

After you've had a mini meltdown and pulled half your hair out you can go ahead and check your post for the all important spelling and grammar.  I've given up on using the spell checker because for some reason 'blogging' isn't a word.  They want me to change it to 'blagging'.  What!  I don't think so!!

Now that all is good I can add my labels and schedule my post, only to find that I selected the wrong time so have go back and change it.  I can finally hit the 'publish' button.  If you're unlucky and your blog is having a bad day, it might not even publish your post when you told it to.

Believe me when I say just because you hit that button doesn't mean it ends there.

PROMOTING


Now the real work starts.  You''ve spent what feels like a lifetime writing up your post and so you want as many people to see and read it as possible.  You want to get it out there so it's time to start promoting your post on all your social media accounts.

There's Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Google +, Pinterest and even Tumblr.  Although it's fun interacting with people on social media, when it comes to promoting your work it can be very time consuming and hard work which can sometimes squeeze all the FUN out of it.  That's why apps like Buffer really help, since we can spend a few minutes each day scheduling our posts to be tweeted every few hours or even every hour.

Although it may look like I spend all night shouting out about my new post on Twitter, I've actually spent a part of my evening scheduling my tweets so they reach all the corners of the world.  Well, not all, but at least some of them!

I should point out that sometimes, on very rare occasions, when I'll wake up to find that none of my scheduled tweets were posted.  My disappointment is all too real and at his point all I want to do is SCREAM!

When I get the chance to, then I try to spend an hour of my time joining in Twitter chats and interacting with like minded people.  It's a great way to connect with people and learn even more about the blogging community.   Although I love taking part in these Twitter chats, it's likely that life happens and I miss them.

ARE WE DONE YET?

Eerrmmm, nope!  Not yet!  Yes, it would be great to sit back and watch the page views rise up and up and up, but that's not always the case.  You have to put in the leg work to get something back and that may mean interacting with other blogs as well.  Reading and commenting on other posts and replying back to comments left on your posts too.  And I don't just mean commenting something like 'nice post' and then leaving your links everywhere.  Cos that's just not fair.  That's not blogging etiquette.  You've got to be genuine to be taken seriously.  So you gotta get right in there and do it properly. 

And then the cycle starts again for the next post.  So as you can see it's a big job and it doesn't end there.

Can blogging be made easy?  If you plan your posts and schedule them a few weeks in advance then you're definitely ahead of the game.  That's where you want to be but as I said before life happens and that's not always possible.  When blogging isn't your full time job, there are other responsibilities that need to be taken care of alongside your blog.  So finding the time is key. 

And just because you've scheduled your posts doesn't mean to say that it's all plain sailing from now on.  If you slip up and miss a few days to stay on track, you'll find yourself slowly slipping back into the realms of the deep dark world of blogging misery.  It was all going so well, and then BOOM, just like that, you're back to square one trying to figure out a scheduling routine that will hopefully work this time.

And don't even get me started on bloggers block!  That's the one thing every blogger dreads.  We've all been hit by it but I'm sure we can all say we made it through.  

I could go on and on about what it's really like to be a blogger but I guess until you haven't stepped into our shoes you won't fully understand what it takes to be one and to stick to it.  You need a large dose of dedication and an equal measure of motivation.  

It's hard work, there are a lot of blood, sweat and occasional tears, but it's all worth it.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Let me know your thoughts if you are a blogger, and if you're not, I'd love hear what you have to say too :)



SHARE:

4 comments

  1. Just found out your blog and loved it! :) Really an informative post.

    Salma Shaheen's Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww thanks you, glad to hear you like it. Thanks for reading xx

      Delete
  2. Going through your list of what is like to be a blogger has got me saying yes yes YES! To every point made. Blogging is not easy, rewarding yes but it is a job on its own level. I love your tips on how to stay on schedule it is one of the things I find hard
    xoxo
    Nasra
    www.twentyfivestars.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is! I find it hard to stick to a schedule too. When I'm doing really well and feeling inspired I can write a couple posts in a day and schedule them, like right now. I've got a few scheduled until next week, but I can't promise it's going to last because I know I'm not going to be able to keep it up no matter how hard I try. Happens every time. xx

      Delete

Thank you for your lovely comments. Love, love, love reading them! :)

© Love Hijab Girl

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig