Those words. Aren’t they familiar? Haven’t we all heard them before for multiple reasons? Pretty hated in general.
But in all seriousness, we do need to talk.
Now, I want you to take a good look at my blog.
What do you see?
Post archives, pretty pictures, some writing, freebies, lots of posts, an author bio, places to sign up to my email list, a domain, a nice theme…
This post, as you can tell, is not going to be anything like usual, and most definitely not a writing tip. If you aren’t interested in reading, now would be a good time to leave. However, I would appreciate it if you hang around for a bit longer to read this post.
Bloggers, new bloggers, and non-bloggers alike follow my blog, within the small number of 19. Seasoned bloggers will know that blogging takes time. LOTS of time. Once you become a blogger, you only truly begin to appreciate all the posts you see around on the internet.
I devote my free time (as in, whatever time I have left over after school) to researching blogging, reading other bloggers blog posts, writing for my own blog, doing some writing of my books, and possibly some reading or video games. But as we can see from that list, there really is a common theme as to how I spend my time.
And that takes a lot of time.
Let’s take a minute to just try and figure out how much time.
- Researching blogging: this includes checking out emails from bloggers, reading them all the way through, watching videos from them, signing up for webinars, watching the webinars live or recorded (mostly recorded, because it’s hard to find time to actually attend live) pinning stuff from Pinterest, and clicking through and reading the posts. I feel like I might be alone in the teens that blog in doing several of these things, but personally, this takes up a LOT of time. At least an hour a day is spent on this, because I go through my emails at breakfast, and usually end up sitting there for a while. Throughout the rest of the day, I also keep working on research, adding around another hour in total from in between school.
- Reading other bloggers blog posts: I follow a lot of blogs, both those that are for my research and for fun. The fun ones are in this category. It takes me around half an hour a day to read through them, like them, and comment. Maybe a bit more.
- Writing for my own blog: this means writing the posts. This includes drafting them, rewriting them, and editing them. I love writing posts, so I tend to make them a long while beforehand and edit them several times at least. I’m going to say that I spend around an hour on a post on average, but less, if it’s short.
- Doing some writing of my books: I am a writer. I like to write. If I get going with writing, I can be there for a long time, usually only stopping because I get called off to do something else. There is no way I can average this, except say that I spend a lot of time on it.
- Possibly reading and video games: obviously, this doesn’t count toward blogging, but we like to do stuff other than blogging! (Shocking, I know) This mostly gets pushed to the last time slot, though.
(Or else it jumps to the first because we can’t resist)
So that is a total of… over 3 and a half hours. (And I can’t count the last 2 categories above because there’s no set time, so they’re not really included in that) After school.
I know, not all bloggers do all these things. I’m just
weird unique like that. But still. We all put in a bunch of time.
Making it Look Good
My new blog (and old one) look pretty good, don’t they? Don’t most blogs?
Have you ever taken a second to think about the work that went into making it look that way?
The graphics must be made! The photos must be taken! Fonts are chosen, themes purchased, domains purchased, and trying to keep everything the same color palette!
IT’S NOT EASY.
The Purchases Themselves
Above, I just mentioned that we purchase themes and domains.
That’s not all we spend money on for our blogs.
We can also buy fonts, graphics, mockups, photos, and social media stuff! We might even spend money on courses! This can add up fast, especially when you’re a bookworm who still wants to buy books!
And if you’re a writer who’s self-publishing, THE COVER IS EXPENSIVE. I spent $99 US on my ebook cover. I haven’t earned that back at all. And the next time I self-publish, I want to do a physical book! That’s even more expensive because you have to pay for a spine and back cover as well!
We make FREE STUFF for our followers. I have an entire course made, 30 writing prompts, and I made 3 posters. (Which were taken down today)
They take a while to make! And then we have to set them up. We have to tell people that they even exist!
For me, after doing all that, there were just a few scattered downloads.
I feel like we bloggers aren’t appreciated enough. We put so much time, money, and work into our blogs, yet the way people react just isn’t that great? The bloggers get it and will love what each other does. But the non-bloggers just aren’t that enthusiastic about it.
I’m here to inform you non-bloggers today what kind of work we put into this. It’s not nice to just post spammy comments on our blogs, self-promo comments, or slam our inbox with self-promo emails! And it’s not very nice to criticise. I mean, I understand getting constructive criticism. But sometimes, it leaves the realm of constructive and just is plain old criticism.
We try hard to make it perfect, make it pretty, and make it work. Please, stay within constructive.
As mentioned above, blogging costs a lot. In time, in money, in our sanity, even. Bloggers obsess over stats, even though they assure each other all the time that they shouldn’t. They want to see their email list go up, their daily views go up, and… well, stats, in general, to just go up. It’s so discouraging for them to plateau – or worse, go down.
Here are some ways for you to support bloggers:
- S H A R E. PLEASE. Click the share buttons! Tell your friends! Send them links! Anyone who you think might be interested in our blogs, tell them!
- Follow! Follow blogs you’re interested in! Become part of our big, weird family of people on the internet!
- Buy! Bloggers spend lots of money on their blogs. Please, buy their stuff. This can be ebooks (like my own book, for instance), Etsy shops, and WooCommerce shops. They work HARD to make those products in them. (As mentioned above, we don’t have that much time.)
I’m going to use myself for instance:
My time is very jam packed with trying to get everything done. And I sometimes feel like pulling out my hair from frustration because of how HARD it is to try and grow my blog!
The shares: 0. (Except for ME sharing it, which doesn’t count.)
The follows: still at 19. (Which includes me and my family)
The opt-in: changed. (Which took me at least 6 hours in total to make, set up, and then put on the blog)
But still, nothing.
I try and help you out by giving tips, but sometimes they just seem to fall flat, or be a mess-up entirely – pointed out to me outside the realms of constructive criticism.
I spend 5 months plotting, writing, rewriting, editing, editing, editing, editing, editing, looking at 30+ different places for book covers, ordering one, waiting for it, setting up a launch team, getting a debit card, and then launching the book.
Yes, 5. That is up to date.
And did I mention those 5 sales were from within the first week? And one of them was my dad?
I spend money on this blog. I spent $31 on the theme (yes, I’m serious) and after a year, I’ll have to pay around $120 for the domain name and hosting. I launched that book in hopes of making some leeway in that bill but didn’t even come close. (I don’t even get all the money that’s spent on the book; instead, I receive $1.05 for each.) And there’s the money that I spent on the cover, and the money I’ll need to get the next one in the future.
Doesn’t look like that bright of a future for Julia’s Creative Corner, does it?
This post was kind of ranty. And quite honestly, I am nervous about posting this. But this needs to be said/ranted. I am very tired of this, and I know I’m not the only one.
If you can support a blogger, do it. Please.
Do any bloggers agree with me on this subject?
Are you going to help bloggers out?
And do you have a better idea of how much time, work, and money we put into our blogs?