An Uncomplicated Life Blog: What It's Like To Be A Professional Blogger

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

What It's Like To Be A Professional Blogger

This month, my blog turns 5 years old. Here's what it's like to have been blogging for 5 years: lessons learned, tips, and the general experience 'living the dream' as an Influencer


Holy heck, I've held this down for five straight years. Every week, without fail, I've delivered content 1, 2, or 3 times a week. Mostly two and three, as I only took a four month "break" of delivering content once a week after the twins were born and I had 4 kids aged 4 and under at home. Phew! So! What's it like being an influencer (a term that didn't even exist when I started) and putting your life on the internet for five straight years? What are some unsold truths of this profession, that actually wasn't even considered a legit profession until 2015-16? Oh my friends, I'm so glad you asked. Here's what it's REALLY like to be an experienced, professional blogger.

What you need to know before pursuing blogging as a career

- It's the DREAM job. Mostly.
It takes a certain kind of person who can be self-employed. Yes, you can set your schedule, yes you can work when you want to. Those are two huge bonuses. But that also means you've got to pull yourself together, get motivated, and work when you *could be* doing other things. You have to consistently show up. You have to consistently produce posts, ideas, photos, and engage on social media. You have to power through writer's block, you've got to get creative when the natural lighting is terrible for your photo shoot, and you've got to thicken your skin to deal with social media. See below for details on that.

Anyway, one of my driving forces for consistently showing up is that I think blogging is really fun! I love to write. I love to interact with people. And I've enjoyed learning about photography and honing in on my artistic side. Those are all the really enjoyable aspects of being a blogger. But perhaps the best part of being self employed is that I get to work on my own time. I create to-do lists on Sunday's or Monday's, and each day I get to decide how much of that I want to get done. Some days I spend the entire time I have a nanny (6 hours) working and other days I go to yoga or get my nails done. My schedule is all up to me! One of the things I hated the worst about a 9-5 desk job was the fact I had to be there the whole 8-9 hours, when I usually didn't have 8 hours of work to do. I'd sit and think about how I could be doing laundry or getting my hair done instead of sitting, wasting time at a desk. It drove me nuts! But when you're self employed, you can do as you please as long as you're motivated and disciplined enough to accomplish your to-do list. Someone once told me that if you enjoy your job 80% of the time or more, you've found your dream job, and I definitely enjoy 80% of blogging. However...

- 5 years later, I still think about quitting. Regularly.
I've been called a b***h. I've been called arrogant. I've been called a know-it-all. I've been called an a**hole. Someone even once told me that me and my ideas were dangerous! Those are just the words I can put on my website without Google punishing me - the cuss words I'm leaving off. I've basically been called all the negative words, and had all sorts of negative comments towards various posts or ideas. The internet can be a super fun place!

You know what I've NEVER been called? Fake. People get real brave with their comments on the internet, not having to spit their negativity in person, but despite what anyone's assessment of what I may/may not be, my readers can see that I'm true to my word and a real, authentic person. Even if they don't like that person, they see it. THAT is what keeps me going. You're never going to see me do a "Instagram vs. in real life" photo montage because my Instagram IS my real life. No staging, no preset filters to make it pretty, no overly-made-up-Paige modeling some outfit that's not realistic to wear anyway. That's not what I'm about. My favorite comment to get is, "Hey you don't know me, but we're best friends!" That comment absolutely makes my day! It means I'm coming off as real and relatable, which is what I strive for. Being people's internet BFF is what keeps me going even through the negative comments. 

- As long as you're YOU, you'll be great.
There's definitely pressure to be the stereotypical blogger. You know, the one with the long hair that's always curled, perfect lips and eyebrows. She loves fashion and is all sunshine and rainbows in the name of "lifting women up." A lot of women have become that blogger, and they've been very successful with it - and that's great. But it's not me. And here's the thing: there is a market for every type of blogger out there! You don't have to be "her" you can just be you, and people will find you and engage with you. Trust me, there are plenty of hers out there. The market is a tad saturated with them, in fact. Be true to you; own your truth, tell the story as you see it and people will like you for you. And the ones that don't? Meh. They'll drive up your views just the same as the ones who like you!\

Makeup-free, hair-undone selfies are a regular part of my Instagram, because it's the REAL me

- Don't buy into trends too much. 
Sometime in 2016, everyone was saying that blogs were dead, and that you only needed social media, specifically Instagram, to survive. People started pouring their hearts and souls into IG - and their pocketbooks, doing anything to become InstaFamous. What a load of bunk. Some ended up faking their engagement, people bought followers, and all the photos were staged, filtered and fake AF - and it all turned Instagram into a big hot mess. Not to mention, you didn't actually own your IG site, so your account could be suspended, taken down, or otherwise compromised at the whim of the IG algorithm gods. I still maintain that the accounts that put up overly edited photos and drive engagement in false ways will, in the long run, will fall out of favor because Instagram is a current trend (that, in my opinion, is already waning). What will be the next big trend? I don't know, but I wouldn't invest too much into it. Participate in it, but don't let it consume you. Instagram was an all-consuming trend, which is why I think we're currently seeing it crash and burn.

I think bloggers and influencers are always thought of as having the best job around. We get paid to play with new products and talk about experiences and post our thoughts on the internet in various capacities. But it's not quite all fun and games! There's a darker, harder side to putting yourself and your life out for the public to read. And the pressure to be picture perfect constantly is intense. But as long as you stay true to yourself, don't apply to many filters to your life (or your photos) and speak in a REAL, authentic and relatable tone, blogging can be a fun way to earn a living - and to meet new people in an online space.. 

4 comments:

  1. I have always loved you, your realness and I too believe we are closet besties.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Definitely needed to read this today. Having a hard time feeling "good" about blogging lately. It can be hard to keep it up but reading this and seeing how you've stuck with it for 5 years is an inspiration and have made it your dream job is an inspiration :) Thanks for sharing!

    Renee @ Maritime Mama

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