The question that I get asked most often when I tell someone that I am a blogger is, “Oh wow that’s cool! Can you show me how to do that?” Now, I’m always flattered when someone thinks that I am qualified enough to answer that question (I do suppose that my nearly 3 years of experience means that I am kind of qualified) but it’s such a difficult question to answer that I almost hate being asked.
Don’t get me wrong, I love telling people all about the blogosphere because it’s such a unique and diverse place full of amazing people (for the most part anyway) it’s just difficult to explain how hard it is to run a blog and be even semi-successful at it. I think that when most people hear about PR firms courting bloggers and awesome all-expense paid trips they kind of lose focus and therefore the ability to truly understand what it takes to operate a blog. Never mind the long days and nights spent fiddling with every single aspect of your layout ( colors, headings, and font oh my) and connecting with anyone and everyone that you think may be able to help you get your foot in the door (it’s never that easy by the way) there is so much more that goes into running a blog that most people would never realize.
Take website testing for example, most people not versed in the ins and outs of blogging would probably wonder why a blogger would need to do testing on his or her site, but in reality testing everything from links and forms to templates and color combinations is just part of what bloggers do every day. Making sure that your blog is in full working order and looking fabulous is not an easy task when you have children running around, an inbox full of messages to reply to and dinner to cook and serve.
Then there’s web site analysis, which at first glance probably sounds pretty similar to website testing, but is actually a whole new can of worms. Analyzing traffic and visitor stats, keeping track of what works best for your readers and how much your social media reach grows daily, are all a very real part of operating a website.
I’m not trying to turn anyone off to starting a blog, really I’ m not, I actually think it’s amazing when I see new bloggers join the community, I just want the people who come to me to find out how it all works to realize that it’s truly not as easy as it looks. It’s a lot of fun, can reap huge rewards, and is very fulfilling, but it’s also a full-time job that requires lots of hard work, dedication, and lots and lots of sleepless nights!