Friday will mark 8 months since I launched my blog. And saying that out loud made me think to myself, “Wow, that’s about how long it takes a baby to bake.” Kudos to all those expectant mothers out there. I cannot imagine that all this time I’ve been growing and maintaining my blog, your bodies have been serving as vessels to human life. Seems like hard work. But then as I say that, I realize that what I have been doing is hard work, too.
While I’m a quick typist and and sometimes ideas and blogs fly from my brain to my fingers at what I feel like is record speed, the whole process is so time consuming. On a good day, I can write a blog in 30 minutes to an hour. Add an additional 20 minutes to add media, find the perfect featured image, and fix the formatting to be just right. Then I return to it a few days later to edit before planning when I’ll post. On publishing day, I still feel the need to re-read it to make sure that it’s my very best work. And that’s just the time I spend writing and preparing what you see as the finished product here.
There’s so much more to being a “blogger” that even I didn’t anticipate when I decided to start calling myself one in the first place. Interesting, I was listening to a Facebook Live by Sam from Smart Twenties, whom I look up to, and she made the comment that anyone can be a blogger. Unlike a doctor, or lawyer, etc. who have “barriers to entry” to their professions, such as being able to afford expensive medical school or passing the bar, anyone can create their own Website and share their ideas, favorite products, and stories with the world. There are even “free” options to where you don’t have to pay for your website domain and hosting, though I do. So while I am a “blogger,” I’ve been really dreaming of how I become a well-known blogger. That process is not easy. It’s not just about being a good writer.
Sam suggested that if you are spending 90% of your time creating content and only 10% of your time promoting that content… essentially, you’re doing it wrong. It has to be 50/50. While I’m still not quite there, I really am working on it. I finally got back on Facebook after years of being absent from one of my least favorite social media platforms. And over a month later, I have yet to do any promotion for it. See what I mean…? Working on it!
On top of creating and planning content for social media, engagement on my social media channels has proven successful, but also very time consuming. In early August, I was able to spend an entire weekend literally just sitting on social media… liking posts, commenting on Instagram posts, replying to tweets and referring to my blog, following similar blogs, reading blogs and commenting on them. Heck, I even got retweeted and got tons of traffic off that one RT (38 RT and 715 Likes). At the same time, it also required me to engage with a follower who was upset with how I phrased my original tweet.
I was grateful to be able to show my authenticity in that moment, but I also share it to demonstrate that my mind, fingers, and phone, did not turn off that entire weekend. The result? Record breaking traffic on my blog. But, the unfortunate reality is that I rarely get entire weekends where I can sit around and do some blog promotion. If I do find time, my first priority is writing content.
As a result, there are days when I view my blog statistics and traffic and note that only 2 or 3 people viewed my blog. And although it is rare, some days come and go with zero views. And that can be defeating. It’s why Sam, in her Facebook Live, later went on to say that the “barrier to entry” for bloggers is their ability to push through the long nights and the endless effort with little reward (i.e., slow traffic, small social media following, no monetary returns, etc.).
Lucky for me, I started my blog with one main vision. That I would grow a community of followers who wanted to be here reading along, even if that meant I only have ten to fifteen people that I know read religiously.
I came here to inspire others by doing what inspires me.
And you guys, it’s working! My friend [and coworker] Ashley Kowalski, who has been a faithful reader here, just launched her own blog, entitled, KickinitKowalski! And, one of her first posts was all about how I inspired her to take that plunge and start her blog! You can read her post here:
I mean… THAT is what it’s all about. That is how I know that what I’m doing, and all the effort I put into this blog, is worth it! By being my authentic and untamed self… I’ve inspired someone else to do the same. And for that reason, it really already feels like a dream come true… but in a way that makes me want to reach for more. Big things are coming soon – I can feel it!