Blogging is Easy – Just Ask My Friends!
Hello! You’ve likely been sent here because you’ve just belittled the blogging profession of a friend and they want you to read this blog post. The least you can do is take the time to read this entire article, and learn a little bit about the work a blogger actually puts into their blog.
I’ve seen it before and I’m sure I’ll see it again. A Blogger talks about an accomplishment, opportunity, a product that a company has given them for review or other advertisement campaigns just to have one of their friends pipe up and say “It’s all free, you just have write reviews?” or “That’s all you gotta do? Just put stuff on your site and they pay you?”.
No, Einstein. That’s not it, that’s not all you gotta do. Do you talk to your other friends like that? Do you talk to your building contractor friend and say “That it? All you gotta do is put nails in boards?” or to your heart surgeon friend and say “That’s it? All you gotta do is hook that tube over there?”
No, I’m not comparing blogging to building a house or heart surgery – I’m comparing it to every profession out there. You can make any job sound simple. The fact is, blogging is like any other career – it requires a lot of hours and hard work, something a lot of people aren’t cut out for.
PS: Bloggers don’t try to explain what they do because it draws a lot of blank stares and awkward silence. A word to the wise, just leave it alone and don’t ask, unless you really want to know.
Blogging Ain’t Easy
Blogging isn’t an easy profession to crack. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of time to become successful. It’s quite frustrating when friends proclaim “That’s it?!” and dismiss what we do simply because they’re unfamiliar with it.
What does it take to run a blog? I’m going to cut my list really short, because I don’t think anyone deserves a detailed explanation of what a blogger does day in and day out, if you want to know something, ask! But what ever you do, don’t go assuming “that’s it.”
There are literally thousands, if not tens of thousands of bullet points for running a successful blog, I’m not going to scratch the surface here, but if you read the very last entry, you’ll have a good idea of what it takes to become an educated blogger.
Most people, including friends and spouses, just don’t understand the work that goes into blogging. Bloggers spend hours each week just learning fundamental changes from the programs, systems and internet overlords they must keep happy. This doesn’t count the act of blogging itself.
We’ll skip over domain name choice, registrar choice, hosting choice, platform choice etc.. Some of these choices are functional, but the domain name will dictate your site, personality, writing style and even brand acknowledgement.
I’m not going to touch on research, acquiring traffic, analytics, statistics, click rates, social media, branding, outreach, email campaigns, advertisement and other things that’ll just go over your head anyways… For now, lets just touch on a few things that I want to talk about and give you a little insight into the daily life of a blogger.
We’ll jump right in on the design, since that’s what everyone sees first.
“Awee, your blog is so cute! I love it!”
“Thanks! It only took me 6 weeks and 3 bottles of Jack to get it to look and function the way it does!”
When starting a blog, you start with a blank slate and you need to build and personalize it from scratch. There are templates that help, but ask any blogger, finding a theme/template that looks and functions the way they want it to is nearly impossible.
Some bloggers pull their hair out, some hire out the design job, some learn to compromise and some sink their teeth in and learn how to manipulate the CSS files to make the theme look and function the way they want it to. Some (like myself) don’t really care about design and leave it fairly plain. When I say fairly plain, I mean spending the better half of a week digging through designs for function and aesthetics, then spending nearly an entire day setting it up and rearranging things the way I want – and still ending up with a plain design. It’s just another thing that bloggers have to learn and deal with while blogging.
Once it’s done, it’s done? No. Bloggers know that feeling – when their design has become stale and it’s time for a redesign. They know it’s time for a run to the liquor store…
Before the design phase can even begin, and after choosing a domain, etc… etc…, a blogger needs to select a blogging platform and then learn how to use it. From WordPress to Blogger and every little platform in between – they’re all different and most have a learning curve.
Even a seasoned blogger who decides to move platforms from Blogger to WordPress will tell you that learning the functions of these platforms is not a cakewalk.
Most programs are continuously updating and changing, this includes everything right down to the platform that the bloggers use. Since I started blogging a few years ago, WordPress has updated the software eight times or so. Each time, something new was added (or removed) and bloggers needed to learn these new additions and how they affect blog design and functionality.
Along with those updates come the updates of the 10-20 plugins (more programs) that are used to control different functions and aspects within the blog platform. These plugins are constantly changing each time the platform updates and older versions may even become functionally obsolete, making it necessary to seek out new versions from new designers.
Search Engine Optimization
Yea, SEO is a beast that continues to change all the time, when you least expect it and at the worst possible times (BTW Google released another update this week!). Keeping on top of SEO is one thing that can make bloggers go bonkers.
When a blogger first begins blogging, they need to spend countless hours learning about SEO and how to optimize their blog, their pages, their posts, their images, adapt their writing style and learn everything there is to learn about keywords, keyword strings, keyword research, sentence and paragraph structure, meta data, meta tags, link structure and the list goes on and on…
It doesn’t end there either. Google and other search engines require bloggers to be up to date, and keep their blogs up to date with changes that they make to their algorithms. So, when Google releases an update (several times each year without notice) bloggers must be on the lookout to make sure their blog SEO practices are still in compliance, otherwise Google may hand them a penalty, which could easily kill their blog traffic, search engine results etc.. etc…
Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird… Nope, not just cute animals in the SEO world! Just touching on SEO is enough to make you bleed out of your eye balls.
HTML, CSS, PHP, Java, jQuery, SQL, Bootstrap and more…
F*ck it, you wouldn’t understand it anyway. But in case you want to learn something → Check this out.
Like I said, I’m just touching on a few things – mostly things you wouldn’t understand. That’s the point. If you’re one of these people who say “that’s it… all you gotta do is write some silly sh*t down and you get paid?” — you don’t understand the process or work that goes into being a blogger, and your words are insulting.
So the next time you plan to open your trap, think first. Bloggin’ ain’t easy!