The blogging industry has grown so much as social media and online marketing have continued to boom more and more each year for the last decade. Today I'm opening up a discussion on what blogging is really like, common misconceptions about the industry, pursuing blogging as a career, and the challenges and successes that come along with it.
THE BLOGGING INDUSTRY + HOW I GOT STARTED
I've been blogging for a year and four months now, and I had wanted to start for just about as long as I can remember. My interest in fashion, lifestyle and social media made blogging and sharing my interests with others as a hobby that much more appealing to me. When I chose to study public relations in college and as the power of social media grew and grew, I became so much more aware of the potential blogging had to offer to businesses and individuals alike. With a bachelor's degree in PR, using social media and online presence as a business tool is something I practice every single day, not only with my clients at my day job, but also on my personal blog. Online marketing holds huge potential for boosting a company's market reach, making bloggers and social media influencers key investments for a company. As someone who has wanted to start her own business for years, I see so much benefit in having a strong online presence. In short, the blogging industry is powerful. It's "new age" and is developing at an unimaginable speed. Blogs and social media accounts are the new billboards and magazine ads, with more influence than you could ever imagine.
MY BLOGGING JOURNEY + BLOGGING AS A CAREER
I didn't start blogging with the intention of turning it into a career, but the more I do it, the more I absolutely love it — and the more effort I invest in it, the more challenging it becomes to balance my full-time job as well. I work 8-5 everyday, so I squeeze in blogging time during my lunch breaks, on the weekend and for hours when I get home from work. Blogging is such a huge passion for me that I don't mind managing both, but I know it would be so much easier to dedicate even more time to it if it was the only thing I had to focus on. I'm sure this is why so many bloggers decide to pursue blogging full-time, because if you love it enough to spend every second of your limited free time doing it, wouldn't it be the ultimate dream to make it your career?! I think every blogger out there considers what it would be like to blog as a career, whether that be using your platform for sharing your favorite items with your readers through collaborations and sponsorships, or using your blog as a marketing tool to launch your own business. Bloggers can turn their hobby into a career by growing their audience, maximizing their influence and collaborating with brands they really love. When succeeding at this, bloggers are then able to turn their well-trusted audience into potential clients or customers for personal business endeavors as well. Regardless if blogging provides a steady income for me, it's something that I'm always going to do because it makes me so genuinely happy. The days I have blog posts going up are my favorite days. Blogging is something that makes me jump out of bed in the morning, as cheesy as that sounds. I love coming on here and sharing with my readers, while documenting so much of my life that I'll love looking back on forever.
Those who don't understand blogging may be quick to judge you, so be confident in who you are and what you're doing. Don't be bothered by others negative opinions and comments — people who take precious time out of their day to criticize you aren't worth a second of your attention. What they have to say about you says more about them than it does about you. I'm blessed to have never really cared what people thought about me and have always strived to be different, so I definitely suggest channeling that mindset as well (let me know if you'd like to see a full post on this). The blogging community is so huge now that I'm honestly surprised to see people who don't seem to get it, regardless if they like it or not. The blogging community is so big that you can feel lost in the masses sometimes. Some people who aren't in the industry may think this is all for free products and attention on social media, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Bloggers are truly passionate about what they're talking about and what they choose to share with their viewers, and many of us have started our blogs simply to further pursue a hobby, meet others with the same interests and to share with people. Some people misinterpret bloggers as trying to fake having "a perfect life," when in reality, we're just sharing our interests and striving to make our content and online platforms as clean and marketable as possible... while still being completely ourselves and totally real with our readers. As my fellow bloggers know to be true, connecting with readers on a personal level and maintaining a professional, marketable and relatable online presence is what really matters to us — this is the REAL growth we strive for.
If you're a blogger, what has been your experience in the industry so far? What made you decide to start blogging? Are you interested in pursuing blogging as a career? What challenges have you faced? Let's talk in the comments below! I know starting a blog is a huge interest for my readers because I've had several people reach out to me about how to get started, what platforms I use, how I designed my site, etc., so please reach out if you ever have any questions or if you would like me to do a post on something specific. If you'd prefer to email me privately, you're more than welcome to shoot me a message: firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the interest I've been receiving on this topic, I added a blogging tab to the lifestyle section of my blog where you'll find all of my blogging-related posts. Here are a couple I recommend looking at first:
As always, thank you all for stopping by and I'm excited to read your responses. :) If you like this series, check out my previous "Let's Talk" posts here.