I began blogging roughly about 14 years ago. At first I did it to teach myself some basic html and have a platform to talk about things like black lip liner and shorts that go down to your ankes. Eventually I learned there was money to be made from blogging and went that route.
Blogging worked out well for me for a while. I even grew my writing blog into a successful business, which I sold for a pretty penny. I have this blog to talk about social media and I’ve started a more personal blog, but the truth is, I don’t have much to say. You see, I’m starting to feel as if I’m all blogged out at this point.
In 14 years I’ve seen bloggers come and go. I’ve seen folks get famous and fall from grace. I’ve seen more bloggers than I care to admit present themselves as something they’re not, and I’ve seen more petty drama than a junior high school cafeteria.
I’m over it.
I don’t mean that I’m quitting blogging. I’m a writer at heart and asking me not to blog is like asking a singer not to sing or an artist not to paint. If it’s in my head, I’m going to want to get it down. I’m just over all the stuff bloggers are supposed to do with their blogs. I’m over SEO. I’m over wondering why no one reads or shares my stuff anymore. I’m over trying to use blogging as a career. I just want to write for the fun of it.
Over the years I’ve read and shared a lot of advice but it all feels the same, and, truthfully sometimes I feel like a fraud. You know what I wish, though? I wish that more people who blog about blogging and social media tell you the truth about what it’s really like. We all tout the touchy-feely, puppies and unicorn stuff, but very rarely do we give you the honest to God truth.
Today, I will give you the honest to God truth.
1. The chances of you becoming a blogging guru and making millions of dollars are slim to none
There are so many blogs in the ‘sphere right now, yours is just getting lost in the noise. Very few new blogs (and even established blogs) are getting the high page views many of us had “back in the day.” Make no mistake, I worked damn hard with my blogs to get to where I am today, but part of it is also getting in at the right time. I started my most successful blog at a time when it was needed. Now blogs in that genre are a dime a dozen. Very few people are doing anything to stand out and appeal to advertisers, sponsors, or people who want to throw money your way. Very few bloggers are willing to put in the type of work needed to make real money. In fact, the bloggers who truly are earning right now are the ones who are using a blog as a marketing tool to sell something else. The blog itself isn’t an earner anymore.
2. Very few bloggers make more than a couple of hundred dollars a month on their blogs alone
Blogs are best used as marketing tools. If you’re doing nothing but sponsored posts and reviews, you’re not going to have the traffic you should because no one wants to be assaulted everyday by a sales pitch. Also, if you don’t have traffic, you’re not going to get advertising dollars if you do want to go that route. Don’t let folks convince you that there’s big money in blogging, because there isn’t anymore. You might be able to earn some money and you may even have a few good months, but you’re not going to get rich doing it. Some people have, and that’s great, but chances are slim it will happen to you. Don’t quit your day job to become a blogger unless you already have that serious income flowing.
3. Some blogging “experts” and “gurus” are not always the most reliable, down to earth people you think they are
I know a lot of well known folks in blogging and social media and some of them have really let me down. Some didn’t deliver on something promised, missed deadlines, or were very nice to me when they wanted to speak at a conference, but had no interest in me beyond what I could do for them,.(No matter how “up with people” they get with their schtick.) That doesn’t mean there aren’t many good people out there, because I’ve met the best of the best too. People, before you start glorifying big names in this business, learn who they are and if they’re really who they say they are. Chances are, you’ll be disappointed too.
4. Very few bloggers are saying something new
I don’t blog much anymore because most everything I want to say has already been said. That isn’t to say that many different perspectives aren’t needed, but after a while it can all look like noise.
5. In the blogosphere success does not = money
Numbers count but not monetary numbers. Success is measured by friends and followers. I like my friends and I enjoy a good conversation, but I don’t consider friends a measure of success. Not unless they’re all paying my mortgage for me. Too many people forgo quality in favor of quantity. Look beyond the numbers for the real value.
6. You don’t have to share every little detail
I’m going to disclaimer this by saying I’m a huge oversharer on Facebook, but not so much on the other social networks. I know that can be a pain and I try to limit my sharing to certain filters but I forget. I know I’m annoying. Here’s what else I know: Very few people outside of my immediate family and friends care about what I had for dinner and where I’m vacationing. I don’t need to tell them that I’m working from Starbucks or that I had only advertisements in my mailbox. That’s just not interesting and there’s a reason we didn’t talk about all this stuff before social media. It’s boring.
There. The first step is admitting it.
7. If I stopped blogging tomorrow, very few people will notice or care
8. Stop pretending and use those skills to do something lucrative
Though I did own a successful blog network, I felt that my skills were going to waste. I took everything I learned blogging and used it to propel a career in online community development. Look around at most of the successful bloggers you know today, they do something beyond blogging. Many have jobs and use their blogs as platforms to discuss their jobs. The blog is not the job, it’s a marketing platform.
9. There will always be people who think what you do is silly
No matter how many ways you spin it or defend it your family and friends don’t care. They’ll roll their eyes when you bring it up at dinner and change the subject at the annual potluck. They don’t get it and they don’t want to get it. You’re not a superior being because you’re in this and they’re not. They’re in a different line of work and chances are you’ll get bored if they talk shop all the time too.
10. There is no shame in throwing in the towel
If you try something and it doesn’t work out or if you’re not into it anymore, you’re not a failure. It’s better to walk away with your head held high, than to put out a bunch of dispassionate nonsense in order to stay relevant. If people like you, they’ll continue to like you no matter what you do.
I don’t know how much more blogging I will do here at Kommein moving forward. I don’t want to say I won’t be back, but I feel like I’m not saying anything new. I don’t want to be a broken record or someone who is constantly pontificating and preaching to the choir, and I don’t want to blog simply to get page views. The truth is, the people who read my blog already know the stuff I’m telling them. The rest of the people really don’t care. It’s all good.