If you’re a blogger or a human being over the age of 18, than you’ve been asked what you do for work.
If you’re a blogger, unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately, depending on how you’re looking at it), replying, “I blog,” piques A LOT of questions and comments. Some of which might be, “So, like, what do you do all day then?” “Is the income stable?” or the infamous reply, “Oh, I didn’t even know you could make money from blogging.”
I get it. Blogging is a mystery to those who don’t blog. You could even say it’s a less than highly regarded mystery. If I didn’t blog and I saw that someone was a “full-time blogger” but all I saw them do is post a few blog posts here and there, promote products they got for free, and post on social media… like a lot, I would probably think their job is “easy” or “not a real job” too.
If you’re nodding your head thinking, Yes, that’s exactly what I think of bloggers, than boy do I have some news for you!
6 THINGS EVERY BLOGGER WANTS YOU TO KNOW:
(At least the ones who are in it for the long haul)
We genuinely want to help people.
Yes, our promotional posts may have you thinking, Okay, I don’t need bottle of acne treatment that I’m never going to use but the truth is that we genuinely like sharing the products we love. Most of us are the type of people that rave about our favorite shows and offer makeup advice anyways, so why shouldn’t we put that passion for life and helping others to good use?
Yes, we may be getting paid for some of the products/services we promote, but the truth is that we also decline a lot of paid offers (that we could easily pretend to like) because we do genuinely want to help people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to accept an invite to promote a product that wasn’t something I was totally crazy about but that would give me the big bucks. It’s hard to say “no” to money (anyone would agree to that) but we genuinely want to help others feel more confident, happy, and healthy, so we don’t want to lead anyone astray with crappy products just to make a few quick bucks.
Most of us also take the time to write content that’s helpful to our audience even when it’s not going to make us any money. I can’t speak for every blogger, but I really want to make this world a better place and that starts with encouraging, supporting, and spreading awareness of important issues. In order to do that, I get to promote products and write content that I know will help people!
We’re constantly educating ourselves and improving our skill sets.
Our intensive education didn’t end after we left the classroom. Because technology, websites, photography, marketing techniques, and social media are forever changing (and fast!) we’re constantly trying to learn new skills and knowledge to keep up with the times. A lot of us are even starting from ground 0, so we’re basically trying to learn what most people go to school for for 4 years within as short of a time period as we can in order to accomplish our goals and be the best bloggers we can be. We’re on a constant hunt for knowledge, in order to learn new techniques and improve our skill sets.
We’re very self-motivated.
I’m surprised that the first thing people say when I tell them what I do for work isn’t, “Oh, wow you must be very self-motivated then!” I’m not trying to brag (because the truth is that what I make up for in self-motivation I lack in being a team player, etc.- and yes, I know that I flip-flopped that phrase). But really, bloggers HAVE to be self-motivated. Working from home with a million and one distractions, making our own schedules, and setting our own work goals requires a level of self-control and ambition that we should be proud to have!
We work hard.
Just like with ANY job, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t see. All you see when you pull up to the drive-through window at McDonald’s is the worker handing you your Big Mac and fries. You might even complain when the drive-through line is moving at a snail-pace and think, Those lazy McDonald’s workers. Why can’t they work any faster? (P.S I’ve stopped complaining about that ever since I worked at Chick-Fil-A. The truth is, fast-food workers are usually trying to work as fast as HUMANLY POSSIBLE).
You might not take into consideration that fast-food employees are being constantly monitored by their managers and scolded for every tiny mistake they make (like that time I got a write-up because I forgot to reply, “My pleasure,” to a customer… #truestory), that they’re on their feet for HOURS STRAIGHT just to get paid the absolute minimum amount possible, or that they have to constantly keep restocking so that they don’t get yelled at again (and yes, working fast food IS hard work… if you don’t believe me, go work at McDonald’s or any fast-food restaurant for a day).
You get the picture. Every job has a “behind-the-scenes.”
All you see when you look at a blogger’s work is a 500-word blog post with some pretty pictures and a constant stream of social media posts… but step in a little closer and you’ll see that there’s photography, editing, website design, social media marketing, applying to campaigns, fulfilling detailed campaigns, constantly having to learn new skills, getting admin type work done, paperwork, and a whole other spiel of things going on behind-the-scenes that you probably haven’t taken into consideration. Before you judge a blogger, consider what might be going on beyond what you can see. Trust me, there’s more than meets the eye 😉
My favorite author/speaker/human in the world, Brené Brown, said something we should all constantly remind ourselves of, “People are hard to hate close up. MOVE IN.”
We love what we do.
Even though being a blogger is hard work, we chose this career path because we want to use our skills wisely and because… bottom line, WE WANT TO BE HAPPY. Most of us could easily get a different job, but we’ve decided to prioritize our self-care and happiness needs. We know that the flexibility that blogging provides, as well as the fact that it gives us the ability to create, write, inspire, and motivate others is what makes us happy, so we decide to ignore the haters (and there are a lot of blog-hatin haters out there) and do what we know is best for us and others. We’re passionate about what we do, so shouldn’t that be enough for people to quit the judgin’ and mind their own business? (Like, pretty please? For us?)
We appreciate your support.
While a regular job usually comes with a nagging boss, it also comes with a steady dose of praise and incentives. Blogging allows us to “be our own boss,” which means that we have to nag and reward ourselves. We don’t get those external rewards and incentives. It all comes from within (and from the paychecks we get for working our bums off!) External praise isn’t necessary for happiness, but it is appreciated.
Every comment/like we get from family and friends (which according to my Twitter feed, most bloggers will attest to being far and few between… unless they have a super awesome non-judgmental support system) means THE WORLD to us. Sadly, because blogging isn’t a conventional career choice, we realize our family members aren’t likely to proudly proclaim to the world that their daughter/niece/granddaughter is a blogger, but a little lovin’ on our hard work means a lot, since we aren’t getting that elsewhere. The least you could do is show us your your support with a simple like/comment.
Keep in mind, we aren’t all going to become Zoella’s (and we don’t all want to), but when she first started vlogging, her dad told her to get out of her room, stop vlogging, and get a “real job.” Now she’s making millions of dollars a year from her vlog/blog and her dad probably feels like a MAJOR dumb dumb for saying that. (Moral of the story: Support your loved ones, even if their career/education/life choices aren’t conventional. You do you and let them be who they want to be, even if you don’t “get it.”) Be proud of them for speaking and doing their truth even when it isn’t the most conventional or praiseworthy option!
Now it’s your turn!
My point is… let’s be better about spreadin’ the love and support and quit the judgin’. No good comes from judging except hurt feelings, shame, and lack of of appreciation/understanding. Let’s be good people, yeah? Okay! But seriously, now I want to hear from you! If you’re a blogger, what do YOU wish people understood about blogging? If you’re not a blogger, what do you not understand about blogging? What did you learn about blogging from reading this post? I want to hear your thoughts!