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Blogging is a strange occupation. Even our nearest and dearest don’t really ‘get’ it. But if you’re a blogger you’ll identify with all of these!
If you are a blogger, you’ll know exactly how hard it is to explain what you do to an ‘ordinary person’ – even our nearest and dearest have a hard time wrapping their heads around it, sometimes.
You’ll also understand the frustration of having hit an awesome milestone… and having no one to share it with, because no ‘ordinary’, non-blogger person quite understands the significance of ‘getting into Mediavine’, ‘hitting X pageviews’ or finding a ‘gold nugget’ keyword.
Sometimes it’s just nice to know that someone else ‘gets’ us… and that’s what this blog post is all about! I asked the wonderful members of the Productive Blogging Community to share one thing you’ll only understand if you’re a blogger… and I have collated all their responses in this post.
This post is a MUST READ if you are a blogger… some of them will make you fall off your chair laughing, because they are SO TRUE! (6, 11, 19 and 25 especially 😂)
And don’t forget to forward this post on to your friends and family – to help them understand you better. (Or at least understand that there are others out there like you!)
1. That blogging is a real job
“I think people think it’s something you do as a hobby. They are usually both shocked and confused as to how a ‘blog’ can make money. I call myself a food and travel writer. When I tell them I’m a trained chef, they don’t understand how I can make money if I don’t cater or work in a restaurant.”
Cynthia McCloud Woodman whatagirleats.com
“As a food blogger I have friends often ask me if my goal is to sell my food. They think my larger goal is to open a restaurant which I have zero desire to do. They always seem to be puzzled that I just want my website to be successful. Once, when I told someone I was a food photographer and recipe creator, they said why would I want to do that – because they had no idea people could actually make a living doing these things.”
Bobbie Blue bluesbestlife.com
2. How blogging is so much more than social media
“Immediately when I mention my blog, most non-bloggers assume that means becoming a social influencer when in fact social media only drives a very small portion of my traffic. While I keep my social media updated, I focus most of my efforts on growing organic google searches.”
Liz Cipolla thesavorycipolla.com
3. How many hats a blogger wears!
“People are always so surprised by how much time and effort goes into blogging. I run a food blog and I find that people often think I ‘simply’ take a few pictures of food and post the recipe on my blog. Many don’t realize we’re researching SEO, writing recipes, testing recipes, writing the blog post, photographing the recipe, working on social media, website design, finances, keeping up with the latest trends, etc. I could go on and on.”
Ashley Petrie enwnutrition.com
“Being a content creator means running a website (hosting, design, layout, editorial, ads marketing, research, SEO, tech updates…) and being HR, social media, email marketing, spokesperson, product manager, photographer & videographer, props expert, travel agent, PR, event coordinator, service provider, and so much more. It’s one person for 50 or so jobs. (Yet so often thought of as a little journal hobby that means you have a lot of free time hanging out at home!)”
Shari Stamps www.navigatingparenthood.com
4. How long it takes to put together and publish a blog post
“I think the majority of people think we just take a couple of photos, write a quick recipe and hit publish!
It actually takes hours (if not days!) to keyword research, shop for ingredients, cook, photograph, video, edit the photos and videos, write an SEO optimised post, publish and then promote the post on social media /to your email list.
That’s without all the other ‘backend’ tasks.. I love it though and wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Lauren Woodger www.thescattymum.com
5. The photo op freeze
“Your whole family freezing and looking at you before they do anything… just in case you need to take a photo of their food, the entrance of where you are visiting, or the room you just entered before they touch/do anything. My whole family including my 2-year-old are so well practiced now they don’t even think twice about waiting before they do anything!”
Christine Jones www.itsmechrissyj.co.uk
6. Our obsession with keywords!
“Every time I eat something I like, thinking ‘ooh could this be a good keyword?’ 🤔”
Elien Lewis bakingwithbutter.com
“You realize that you become a real food blogger when you don’t ask your partner what you should cook for today’s dinner, but you’re analysing the keywords and google search results to understand how easy it will be for you to rank this recipe. If Google and your competitors approve this keyword, then congratulation! You just found the meal that you will enjoy tonight with your family.”
Alexandru Siminitchi gocookyummy.com
“As a food blogger we first research to see if a recipe will rank and if so, we then make the recipe, take the photos and write the blog post.”
Oscar Chimenti ihackeddiabetes.com
7. When you find that ‘gold nugget’ keyword
“As a travel blogger it’s the joy of finding that high search volume, low competition keyword for the destination you’re travelling to next.”
Suzanne Jones thetravelbunny.com
8. How we can’t write about whatever we want
“As a food blogger, it’s so funny, every time friends or family have a good meal, they tell me: ‘You need to put this on your blog!!!’ Then there is always this awkward pause when I decide whether or not I want to explain SEO and keyword research to them!! 9 times out of 10 I just nod and say, ‘Yes, I should!’ Sometimes I’ll say, ‘It’s complicated.’ 😂”
Casey Shanks Rooney getonmyplate.com
9. Why we write such long blog posts
“As bloggers, we are often asked why our ‘whole life story’ appears before the recipe. While it’s not my life story, it is valuable and helpful information for anyone making the recipe. It also cuts down on the number of questions the user might have. My goal is to answer any question the reader will potentially have. This also benefits myself – I make more money because I have more ads on my site with longer content.”
Addie LaBonte www.organicallyaddison.com
10. Our fear of Google updates!
“Only bloggers can understand how stressful it is to wait and see the results after each Google update. Although the word ‘update’ generally has a positive connotation, it might not be the same for bloggers. It might even become their nightmare if their blog is negatively affected by an update.”
Zerrin Gunaydin www.giverecipe.com
11. All the crazy vocab!
“Bloggers are, at a minimum, ‘bilingual’. Their vocabulary would not be understood by ‘regular civilians’. Even bloggers who do not use the tools can understand what Wix and WordPress are. They can even tell the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Yoast is not a word that rhymes with toast; it is connected to SEO. Bloggers can worry if they get orange, green, or red ‘opinions’ from Yoast. Lead magnets and opt-ins are the same thing. Funnels can be single, double, or even triple dipped. Google analytics and Pinterest analytics are similar but different. Launching has nothing to do with boats or space missiles. AdSense, Mediavine, ConvertKit, Mailchimp, Ubersuggest, swipe files, and even crickets all are discussed at some point in many blogging conversations. This post is essentially a crowdsourced listicle. Confused yet? Ask a blogger!!”
Valerie Hewitt olderstudentscanlearnnewskills.com
12. The importance of investing wisely
“Just like any other corporate job, you have to continuously invest in your skills and your blog if you want to be a better blogger (and earn more money!) This can be in the form of spending more time doing SEO and keyword research for each post, or in terms of investing in better “tools” – such as a better host, a better blog theme etc!”
Zhou Zhenru www.greedygirlgourmet.com
13. The significance of ‘pageviews’
“When non-bloggers want to get a sense of how popular your blog is, they normally ask about how many ‘hits’ you get or how many ‘followers’ you have, but to us bloggers, it’s all about ‘monthly pageviews’!”
Eb Gargano www.productiveblogging.com
14. How far ahead bloggers have to work
“As a food blogger, developing holiday recipes in the summer to work ahead. I like to schedule posts out ahead of time when possible, so I can enjoy the holiday season!”
Jenna Urben theurbenlife.com
“My family and friends think I’m crazy for making hot cocoa and baking cookies during a heatwave in August 😂”
Ashley Petrie enwnutrition.com
15. The amount geeky tech stuff you need to know!
“SEO itself is a very strategic thing, it’s nothing like just posting pretty pictures and sharing them on Instagram. And if you’ve ever had two plugins not play nicely with each other and as a result a major catastrophic thing happened to your blog, you know the amount of tech you need.”
Cristina Gatachiu honesttravelstories.com
16. Success is not a product of luck
“Only bloggers understand that success isn’t a product of luck. It’s a product of very hard and very strategic work in a variety of fields, as well as consistency over long periods of time, the first few years of which you likely won’t make much money at all.”
Julianne Jayson Buonocore theliterarylifestyle.com
17. The joy of feedback
“Until I started blogging, I had no idea how much commenting on posts and rating recipes can help bloggers and fellow users of a site. Out of the number of visitors to a post, so few comment or leave a review. Yet, they probably look at the reviews to see if it is a recipe worth making or advice worth taking (I know I do!). It also means so much to the blogger when someone leaves a genuine comment. It can make my day to read something nice that someone took the time to comment on my post! Since I started blogging, I comment so much more on posts that I read. I have a better understanding of how much work the blogger put in and leaving a comment is such an easy, small way to show my appreciation. And to help future readers know that it is a post worth reading!”
Janessa Heck thenessykitchen.com
“Receiving random emails from readers can make my entire week! It’s enough that I make a point of sending them to other people now when I appreciate their work.”
Miranda Hernandez adrianjameshernandez.com
“The joy of a comment or email from a reader when they thank you for giving them the confidence to try something new. Or say your recipe for X is the best they have ever made.”
Jacqui Bellefontaine onlycrumbsremain.com
18. The importance of ‘niching down’
“The importance of finding a niche for your blog. If you blog about everything it will be harder to establish a readership base. Select a niche, identify your reader and hone your skills so you can own the subject.”
Marita Jünemann-Sinden www.mydinner.co.uk
19. Cold food!
“As a food blogger- the camera eats first! Making people wait for me to take a picture before we eat has become my norm!”
Tamara Johnson www.razzledazzlelife.com
“My husband got so used to eating cold food (after I’d photographed it from every angle) that he called his Instagram channel @anothercolddinner”
Eb Gargano www.easypeasyfoodie.com
20. How satisfying blogging is
“I wrote a parenting book in 2018. Blogging to me has been so much more satisfying than writing a book, because you can be responsive to what people (parents, in my case) actually want to read about! You can ask your community (and/or look at which keywords people are searching for) and then create an article in response, instantly!”
Lucy Russell www.theyarethefuture.co.uk
21. What a beautiful place the internet can be
“Before I became active in online grief spaces, I don’t think I fully appreciated the value of social media and blogging as it pertains to support after trauma and loss. The internet is often portrayed as a shallow place, but being able to hear from and share with other bloggers who write about these things that are deeply personal and real has made me feel so much less alone.”
Miranda Hernandez adrianjameshernandez.com
22. How hard it is to answer the question ‘What do you?’
“It is very hard to answer the question, ‘What do you?’ People in the ‘real world’ have a hard time fully grasping all that it takes to be a blogger. Some just think you got lucky and no one beside people in the industry will truly understand all it takes.”
Erin Rebecca thediynuts.com
23. How it’s not a competition
“When I first started blogging, I quickly discovered that blogging is fun and powerful when we collaborate with each other. This was a big AHA moment and I started collaborating with others in blogging giveaways, bundles, and events. That started me into creating digital products from Week 1 and those digital products give me passive income now. So I am a firm believer that blogging gives us all freedom of expression and this leads to success over the long run. Competition is not Freedom. Freedom from the competition is!”
Dee Pawar consciousdebtfreelife.com
“It is not a zero-sum game. Your ‘competition’ is your team and other great bloggers are often happy to help you with tips, support, kind words and even back links! Don’t play at blogging alone. You can learn a lot from others and you aren’t actually bugging them like you think you are.”
Jessalynn Jones doablesimplicity.com
“Don’t compare yourself or your blog with others. You are unique so do your own thing, be awesome and take it all in your stride!”
Heidi Roberts www.kitchentalkandtravels.com
24. Starting a blog is not ‘quick money’
“People are initially surprised I make money from my website. Then the inquiries come… ‘I need to go back to work, will you help me make money on a blog?’ ‘My husband lost his job and I need quick money so I’m going to start a blog.’ Great but understand the money doesn’t come overnight. Or even in the first year in most cases. And depending on your niche it’s very competitive, especially in the food space. I’ve been a blogger for 12 years and a food writer for a major newspaper for almost 20 years before that. There are a lot of bad recipes out there. You may be able to create a recipe, but can you actually write a recipe for others to follow? Plus, there is so much to learn and keep on top of in the blogging industry. You’re not going to get rich quick.”
Ellen Folkman familyaroundthetable.com
25. When everything you write or say comes out like a blog post
“When friends ask a simple question on Facebook, and you write a listicle by accident, so you copy and paste it to a draft in WordPress. Worse. You even start talking like that. The kid’s teacher at school says that head lice season is back, so you are like, ‘Oh it’s that time of year again when those pesky little bugs strike the coats and backpacks of the classrooms yet again. One thing you can do to reduce the spread of headlice is to…’”
Michelle Grewe foodmykidswilleat.com
26. How your uniqueness is your superpower!
“It’s easy to feel like you have nothing new or unique to say in a world where there’s a blog about literally everything.
But the way you share your knowledge and serve your readers is different than anyone else.
When I was hesitant to start my blog about Guinea Pigs because there are already so many pet blogs, a good friend said, ‘Yes there are lots of Guinea Pig websites, but nobody will write like you or share their personal stories like you because they’re your own. Think about all the piggies and people you can help by writing about your experience!’
That is what keeps me going when I begin to doubt myself.”
Heather Procknal guineapigacademy.com
27. How organized you need to be
“Starting a blog is really exciting and with a head choc full of ideas, it can be difficult to think about how you want to organize your content. Planning your blog from the get-go and understanding what you’re going to blog about will really help. Think about your top-level categories and how your content will fit into them. Make them over-arching enough so that other subcategories can easily fit into them further down the line when you’ve written lots of posts.
I didn’t do this and had to spend an entire week reorganising the lot. It’s really hard to do in retrospect and I do not have the idea structure because of it. I also have a lot of redirects as I had to delete a lot of them or change them to tags. Tags are a whole other story.
It would have saved me SO much work if I’d got this sorted right from the get-go!”
Choclette Ammar tinandthyme.uk
28. The importance of backlinks
“Getting backlinks boosts the authority of your post, especially when it’s from a high DA blog or website. Getting backlinks is also a bit of a challenge when you start because no one even knows who you are. Even if you have the best recipe for Mashed Potatoes, it’s going to get drowned out by blogs and websites that are well known like the food network, for example.”
Beta Gallaxy gallaxygastronomy.com
29. What on earth ‘DA’ is
“Before I started my blog, I had absolutely no idea what Domain Authority (DA) was, how you got one, how you checked it or why it was important. Now it’s something I check each month so that I can see what areas I’m doing well on and where I need to improve.”
Nikki Knight www.unicornsdinosaursandme.com
30. How everything is content!
“No matter what a blogger is doing they will likely find a way to get some content out of it. My husband usually asks if he sees I baked something ‘do you need blog photos first?’ You can turn everything from vacations to chores at home into content.”
Lisa Sharp lisasharpcreative.com
31. How blogging is so much more than numbers
It would appear on the surface that blogging is 100% a numbers game. We talk about, sessions, page views, CPM, DA, etc.
While all of those numbers are important to gauge our success over time, it’s even more important that those numbers are being driven by the right audience.
For example, having someone visit my food blog that hates to cook and has absolutely no intentions of making one of my recipes is pointless.
This can be very confusing to non-bloggers that associate blogging with social media.
Getting a bunch of likes on a social media post is just a vanity number unless they are also engaged in your actual blog content.
A more important yet similar number to follow would be email subscribers.
They have basically said, ‘I love what you’re doing and I want more of it!’”
Jeremy Klae chickenfriedkitchen.com
32. That money made in blogging is not like a “regular” job
“You don’t get a paycheck from one place. Your money comes in from many sources. You have to continually try to find new sources of income as what worked yesterday will not necessarily work tomorrow.”
Mary St. Dennis www.lifeisjustducky.com
33. How solitary being a blogger can be
“So you decide to start a blog but where do you start? It soon becomes quite clear that there isn’t that easy route of someone to ask questions to, get advice from, or tell you what you should be focusing on.
You have to learn and figure things out very much on your own, from how to work through the many any aspects of blogging such as technology, photography, writing, SEO, social media and the list goes on. You are responsible for setting your goals, ambitions, schedules and tasks.
But with all that being said, there are great online communities you can find for support and help. It’s just not as easy as turning to your colleague next to you!”
Michelle Rorke www.wholeheartykitchen.co.uk
34. The satisfaction you get when you take the perfect photo.
“A beautiful photo can make or break a blog post, and even the most delicious-sounding recipe will fall flat if it’s accompanied by a lacklustre image. So after spending time experimenting with different lighting and angles, it feels like such a triumph when I finally capture that perfect shot.”
Jeri Bill Walker www.windingcreekranch.org
35. How deep the friendships forged through blogging can be
“It’s hard for those outside of the blogging world to understand how deep the friendships forged through blogging can be. Not only do fellow bloggers understand all the myriad highs and lows, joys and challenges of creating, growing and running a blog, but some of them will also be passionate about the same topics (AKA niches) as you too! In over 13 years blogging, I’ve made many deep and enduring friendships. Everything is easier with friends by your side!”
Kavita Favelle www.kaveyeats.com
Over to you…
Which one was your favourite? Which ones do you identify the most with? Or do you have one to add? Let us know in the comment section below!
Want to connect with like-minded people?
If you’ve enjoyed this article, then you’ll love the Productive Blogging Community! The Productive Blogging Community is a supportive and friendly group for bloggers (and wannabe bloggers) to ask questions, share tips, celebrate successes and generally chat with like-minded people about blogging and productivity.
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