Well folks, it has been a month since we’ve started this adventure called a blog. In following you will find a check-in post to give an honest review of what its looked like from our (the bloggers) side after a mere month of invested time and energy in this new endeavor.
1. Blogging takes a lot of effort.
In reading other blogs that give pointers regarding starting your own blog, I repeatedly read that blogging takes a lot of work and more time than you think. I hesitate to use the word “work” because in our realm of blogging, we’re not doing a lot of physical activity to put this thing together. Work in my mind connotes some sort of strenuous activity; I’m not trying to split hairs over a word but rather emphasize that a blog is in fact doable by almost anyone if you’re willing to put the effort into learning a variety of new skills and maintaining discipline.
We intentionally went into this blog as a team of sisters knowing that our seasons of life did not warrant the time needed to begin a successful blog. We also had some pre-determined roles assigned prior to purchasing any sort of domain or starting the actual website that would be our blog. These roles helped give us clarification on who was doing what and what each of us should be focusing on.
What are some specific examples of the effort that has to be put in? Primarily the answer is content: text and pictures. Writing and editing. Pictures and editing. New ideas and editing. But also learning how to literally set up a blog and become comfortable and knowledgeable with terms like plugins, widgets, CSS, and growing your followers. Then there are the additional items like setting up social media accounts linked to your blog, following other bloggers, and slowly but surely getting your name out.
Realistically, if I was going at this blogging thing alone, I would have become a statistic of failing out before even hitting the one month mark.
2. Blogging has a learning curve, even if you’re young and spry and think that the learning curve doesn’t apply to you.
I consider myself fairly tech savvy, but blogging has taught me that I’m really not. Sure, I know how to use the popular social media sites, and I’m fairly proficient at Excel formulas..two areas that clearly make one tech-savvy. I figured blog set-up would be relatively easy. However, I have spent hours Googling WordPress questions and reading through search results answers. How do I make an author name show here and not there? Which plug-in is the best for managing downloads? Can a site have multiple Gravatars for multiple authors? I’m learning things that I didn’t even know were out there to be learned. And, I’ve gained a whole new level of respect for people who are proficient in this stuff.
To be honest, I figured my age and past experience would cancel out a lot of the learning curve associated with blogging. Simply put, it hasn’t.
3. Blogging costs money.
Blogging can definitely be a hobby. Just know that if you want your hobby to look nice and have a .com name, it’s going to cost money. Our overhead cost was somewhere between $200 and $250. If you want to spend more than that, you can easily avoid some of the headache involved in point #2.
This overhead figure does not involve computer access and a camera that is able to take nice pictures. People want to click on things that look nice. Can iPhones take nice pictures? Sure – to an extent. Can your blog look nice without a DSLR camera? Sure – to an extent.
4. Blogging is intimidating.
All the blogging help I’ve read says that you have to be true to yourself and not play the comparison game with other bloggers. Ok I get that. I’m over here trying to figure out how I’m true to myself knowing that a wide variety of people could be reading it. Do you know what I mean? First the obvious, I know my mom is going to read (Hi Mom! Thanks for being our lone follower!). Then most likely my mother-in-law will read too. Right off the bat I have two very different readers. Then my super close friends will read, and if I publicize on Facebook, my random college acquaintance who doesn’t really know me may read. Do you see what I mean? All of a sudden I’m trying to just write as myself but all these people cross my mind. Am I really ok with being vulnerable to everyone in that audience?
In closing, this blogging thing is tough to get started. Is it worth it? So far yes. Do we have hopes of our site clicks increasing? Yes. Do we hope to have subscribers who don’t feel obligated to subscribe? Absolutely. Are we enjoying being intentional in our own lives and the blog giving us a place to share that? Definitely.