Like I said yesterday yesterday , most people think Linda's success is more a result of grace than hardwork, and I don't necessarily disagree with them. What I don't agree with is that thinking that blogging is a breeze. I read comments like "what does she do sef, sit down in front of computer and copy and paste, how hard can it be?"
Well I don't know Linda or any other blogger's personal blogging journey but I tell you, even copying and pasting can be hard as hell! The purpose of this post is not to rant or to seek sympathy, respect or admiration. I'm writing because in the past few days I've heard people question how hard blogging is, and I've heard bloggers talk about how daunting it can be.
My story is different, as is everyone else's. I don't have the luxury of copying and pasting, it's the path I chose so that cross is mine to bear. When I started blogging I was awake most hours of the day, and night. Every night I was up till 3am, at the earliest, and three hours later I'm back up. You might find that strange considering that on most days I put up three posts or less. Yet even one post could take hours to write. It could take that long to find something to write about, something that others would be interested in reading, that is. Then you might have to do some research on the topic. Writing it then becomes another struggle. Sometimes it could take fifteen minutes. Sometimes a post of the same length could take four hours. And then you post, after editing, then re-editing, proof-reading and then tweaking.
Oh, remember in blogging you're only as good as your last post. Meaning that once that's on the blog you're already searching for your next topic. Unless your blog is a diary, you're going to want people to not only read, but also respond or react. You've got to (learn to) be engaging. You, your blog and your posts have got to be engaging and relatable. Otherwise, don't bother. In doing this you've got to carve a niche or at least have a target audience and attract them to your blog. Unfortunately readers aren't going to fall from the sky, so whether you like it or not you've got to visit other blogs and comment, and find other creative ways to build readership.
When you've committed to posting at least once a day, your readers begin to have expectations and come hell or high water, you've got to give them something. Your readers don't know or care that you've got a day job, that you've got business deadlines, that your relationship or marriage is going through a terrible patch, that you're dirt broke and need to double your hustle, that you're on your period and having terrible cramps, that your health is below par, that your family is going through a tough time, or that you're simply not in the mood. All they know is that you must deliver. So deliver you must.
Mood. Yes mood. I have a great deal of respect for bloggers like SDK and LIB who without fail, put out posts steadily. In truth, the monies they make might lend some motivation, still I'm sure it's not easy. If you run a blog you can attest that there are days, or even weeks that you're just not in the mood. On some days you feel like life would be a lot easier if you just shut down the blog and not have to worry about it for another second. On some days even you would hate the sight of your own blog. On some days you'll completely lack motivation... On some days you'll have NO ideas for posts... On some days you'll just want to bury your head under sand and stay there. Still you realize that nobody cares so you better sit up and post something. And that's what you do.
Besides not being in the mood, there are times you'll (begin to) lose interest. You'll begin to question yourself, your purpose and your motivation for blogging. Sometimes it may begin to feel like a waste of time. You'll feel like you're not impacting anyone. You'll feel like you've done this for several months yet you've got nothing to show for it. On some days blogging is a odious thankless job. You'll feel like you're breaking your back for a cold heartless slave-driving master. But guess what, you keep going.
Ergo, then comes the times you'll want to give up. You'll encounter this emotion once a month or thereabouts... It would feel like the right thing to do, the thought would be so exhilarating and liberating; you will want to dance. But then you gather your courage, don your amour and keep trudging.
Then comes the issue of trying to monetize. After all if you're working so hard to keep the blog running, you should get some form of compensation for it, yes? You'll try Adsense but they'll try to frustrate you to the point of no return. You'll try other ad agencies but some would give some ridiculous stipulations that would break your spirit. You'll get a few banners but you might begin to think that they're invisible because nobody clicks on them... Still you keep working.
And then through it all you'll still encounter some trolls that would come on your blog under the guise of anonymous or pseudonyms. They would try to run you down or break your spirit with their comments. When you've experienced this over time you learn to ignore most of them as you realize that most are only projecting their own misery, yet you would wonder why you need to deal with that along with everything else.
Blogging is not easy. It's not necessarily physically tiring or challenging, but it can be extremely emotionally and mentally tasking/challenging/draining. Gossip bloggers have their own challenges, but running a non-gossip blog takes a great deal of creativity and mental effort. On the bright side, you have time for other things as you don't need to be with your laptop 24/7 trying to be the first to dish the gist while it's still hot and piping.
Yet, it's not all gloom and doom, far from it. Blogging can be very rewarding. You might just make a buck, although that should never be your motivation because then you'll be frustrated into quitting. You would meet new people and probably make new friends; some of your readers would become the most valuable people in your life. It might also open doors for profitable partnerships and collaborations. Your blog might also usher you into greater dimensions in your life and career, it could bring you unexpected opportunities and great projects. It can also be very emotionally rewarding as, if you're good at what you do you might touch some lives, some people would call or mail you to express appreciation for what you're doing. Some might even go further and tell you they want to "sow into your ministry" just to let you know how much they appreciate you, next thing you're getting a credit alert...
For those who intend to pursue this path, don't be discouraged. Provided you don't go in thinking its a walk in the park and you're willing to stay grounded and focused despite the challenges, you should be fine. And for those of us already on towing this path, I wish you the very best. May our ink never run dry.
Are you a blogger, share with us your blogging highs and lows and coping techniques. Have you ever run a blog and stopped, what led you to that decision? What do you miss and what don't you miss about blogging? And for the rest of us, please share with me, in your opinion, what makes a good blog and why you love the blogs you love.