This week, I decided to start taking on more hours at work which means, less hours for the blog. For now, I’ve decided to cut down to one post per week and will probably end up posting a little less over on Instagram too. Over the past few months I’ve been getting tons of questions about how to start a blog. While I wouldn’t consider myself to be an expert on this subject (at all) I can tell you, it isn’t necessarily what it appears to be on the internet. Since I’m all about keeping it real, today I’m going to share 6 awkward blogging truths that no one talks about.
I’m not writing this to discourage anyone from following their passion to start a blog. I’m a firm believer in trying new things. However, we often see the glamorous, perfectly posed side of the picture and not everything that goes in to making things appear that way.
1.It takes a lot of work
I used to think that the photos I saw on Pinterest and Instagram were in the moment snapshots of people’s lives. After having a blog, I realized how much work is actually going on behind the scenes to make things appear this way. Things like shooting and styling photos, editing said photos, writing instagram captions, engaging with your audience and drafting and proofreading blog posts takes a lot of time. Once you start collaborating with brands there will be specific guidelines that you will need to meet and things will become more complicated. It truly is a labor of love.
2.Your friends and family probably aren’t your target audience
When I was first starting out, I sent Instagram follow requests and invitations to like my Facebook page to everyone I knew. Looking back, this probably wasn’t the best idea, but you live and learn. Some of my friends accepted but it still wasn’t converting into page views. At first, I was hurt that my friends and family didn’t care to read my blog. I’ve learned to accept that they are not necessarily my target audience and they probably just think it’s something weird I do with my free time.
None of my friends understand what I do for a living or the blogging world. They constantly make fun of me for talking about what I’m wearing on Instagram and taking “excessive amounts of selfies”. But, you can’t let this stop you if you really want to share your message with the world. There is someone out there who wants and needs to hear the message you are putting out there.
3.You have to say no – a lot
As I mentioned above, the more your blog grows, the more collaboration offers you will receive. Because I want you to value my opinion and cannot stand unnecessary clutter, I am very choosy about whom I choose to enter a partnership with. I only accept collaborations and products from brands that I would spend my own money on and that I truly love. The downside to this means that I do have to say no to a lot of things. You have to learn to be ok with that and do what’s best for you and your brand/blog/business.
4.You will have to become comfortable taking photos with an audience
Having my photo taken used to be a nightmare to me. Living in a huge metropolitan area such as Los Angeles, it’s pretty rare I find an empty place to take a photograph in peace. Many times I’ve had to take photos in the most random locations (such as in front of a McDonalds drive thru) just because the lighting was best.
It does get easier the more times you do it. I’ve had people walk right through my photos, make cat calls at me while getting my photo taken and even had people stop and stare at me while I’m trying to get my photo taken. It’s always awkward in the moment, but you can’t expect strangers to understand why you’re walking around taking photos of your lunch or your outfit. (ha!) You have to learn to let it roll off your back.
One way to minimize this is to learn what poses and angles suit you best and really get to know your camera. This will save you time from taking unnecessary photos.
If you want to read more about how to grow your Instagram account, click here.
5. More followers doesn’t mean anything
I get DMs all of the time saying things like “you have a decent amount of followers. I’d love if you could give me a shoutout”, or “how did you get so many followers?” and things like that.
Also, as I mentioned above, the more followers you have the more brands will reach out to you for collaborations. Some brands expect that because you have x number of followers, that working with you should yield them x number of sales. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case.
While most influencers are constantly looking for more followers, having these followers doesn’t necessarily mean that you will become an overnight millionaire. Having more followers will also not make you more worthy just as having less followers does not make you “less worthy”.
Which brings me to my last topic…
6. It takes a long time to make money
If you are wanting to start a blog because you think it’s a quick way to make money then this probably isn’t for you. As I’ve mentioned above, it takes a lot of work (and loving that work) to see any rewards. Growing your following and making money takes time and you will only get out what you put into it.
When you continue to put your best work out there, interact with like minded people and make friends in your community you will see results. I hope these awkward blogging truths didn’t scare you off.
Thanks for reading!