I’ve been reading a variety of blog posts and reactions to them recently about how bloggers should be doing this but should not be doing that that. I’ve come to realize that there are a few major myths about bloggers circulating out there that are just wrong.
I’m ready to dispel these myths – right here, right now. Here are some things about bloggers that should be obvious, but obviously aren’t.
Bloggers Do Other Things Besides Blogging
I know, it’s hard to believe. But trust me on this. I’m not going to talk about the presumed perception I have about other bloggers and their lives. I’m going to start with basing this one on my own life.
Awhile back, I wrote about how I get things done. But that post may not have put my average day in perspective.
On a typical week day, I go to work at an office. I commute for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic. So that alone is 9 and a half hours of every weekday. After work, I like to spend time with my husband and my pets. I clean up and usually fix dinner. Some nights I play tennis or workout (or should be at least – that’s an area I’ve been slacking on recently).
What time is left of the day is spent on blogging and related activities, including writing posts for my site, writing guest posts for others sites and building up freelance writing portfolio, working on some new projects, reading and commenting on other blogs, trying to interact more on social media, and tending to my latest hobby of my photography blog.
The weekends usually vary. Some weekends involve road trips to photograph new places and add new images to my collection to share. Some involve my husband and I spending some quality time together, visiting family or going out with friends. And the time left is usually spent at the computer, writing posts, guest posts, working on aforementioned special projects, and what not.
Bloggers Cannot Spread Themselves Too Thin & Must Prioritize
The point I’m getting at is that I don’t have all of my waking hours 7 days a week to devote to blogging, so I have to prioritize so I don’t find myself spending all day every day on the computer which eventually leads to a bevy of relationship and health problems in the long run.
I have to weigh the importance of everything I do and how it will benefit both myself and others in the long run. Should I spend an hour a day tracking down 100+ people who retweeted posts of mine and then break down the list into 140 character bites and send out dozens of thank you tweets or should I spend that hour reading posts by others and commenting on them? Should I try to answer every single comment on my blog or should I write a new post? Should I give myself a few hours off to relax or keep pushing myself to the point I need to take a week off because of burnout?
And I know I’m not the only one. Ever since I started blogging three years ago, I have seen posts here and there about how some big names in the industry aren’t appreciative, aren’t providing value, aren’t this and aren’t that. Guess what? They might be balancing full time jobs or managing their own business while having personal lives outside it all to dedicate themselves to. There are experts out there dealing with more tweets, comments, emails, customer service issues, and who knows what else every day that would probably make the average person’s head explode. Would they like to acknowledge everyone? Maybe. Can they? No.
This doesn’t mean that you go unnoticed, however. My policy is to share things and comment on blogs without the goal of receiving attention or reciprocation. What I have found through basic observation is that there are certain people who may never tweet their thanks, reply to the comment, or come by my site to comment back. And I’m ok with that because I share things for the benefit of my audience and because I find it valuable.
But you know what? Some of those same people have since mentioned me in posts, in sessions at Blog World (particularly being thanked for tweeting), and in their webinars. So while they may not acknowledge my every effort, they do take notice and apparently appreciate it.
Bloggers Should Probably Be Making Money
Wow, did she just say this? Yes! Why? Tell me, would you work a job full time or even part time without compensation? That’s really awesome if you would, and I’m sure there are a lot of people who would be happy to take advantage of that.
For the rest of us bloggers who need to earn a living because we have goals and put hard work (whether part time or full time) into researching our niche, keeping up to date on the latest trends and technologies, maintaining our blogs, creating amazing content, and building our authority, we DESERVE to be able to monetize it.
WE DESERVE IT!
We don’t need anyone criticizing us for working hard, quite possibly for years for little to no income, discovering a great idea, and taking our blog to the next level to begin earning a living from what we love. We don’t need anyone making us feel guilty when evolving from a free for all giveaway of our knowledge to producing our first eBook and then (gasp) selling it. We don’t need anyone attacking us for trying to earn commission off of a product, service, or event that we truly believe in and would like to recommend to others.
Please note, if you are creating or recommending crap just to make a buck (and you know who you are), you probably do deserve it and then some because you have made a bad name for reputable people who are creating and recommending things they believe in. This also goes for the shifty people that try to bait and switch others into clicking their links.
But for the rest of you who are doing things you truly believe in, then you don’t deserve to take the flack for it anymore. Look at all of the people who appreciate what you do, take constructive feedback to improve what you need to, and let the haters hate.
If You’re a Blogger Who Agrees, Please Stand Up
Stop feeling guilty about not having time to do everything. Stop sacrificing your health and your relationships because you’re trying to do everything. Stop letting others put you down for taking the next step with the authority you have worked hard for and deserve to profit from.
Start enjoying what you do, work toward your goals for the level of success you desire, and take some time out for yourself worry free. Chances are, you’ve earned it!