Have you ever wondered why people blog? Or maybe a more important question would be how people blog and make it successful? After two years of doing it myself (and seeing so many others do it much better), I’m convinced that while I may not be making money off of my writing, I’m certainly learning from it and gaining a few advantages over my peers.
Like anyone else, I first decided to blog because I wanted to be some sort of a faux-celebrity. I wanted to be with the big bloggers — the ones who actually get PR requests. The ones who work from home all damn year. The ones who get massive amounts of free nail polish and cute snacks. (But, no diapers or baby food for me please. K thanx)
But it’s clear that blogging is not that glamorous at all. It’s honestly kind of a chore. And if you really want it to take off, it can be like a second job.
Luckily for an undergrad like myself, blogging still has many benefits.
To be a great, no amazing, blogger requires a substantial time commitment. Ever heard of Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours rule? In his famous book, Outliers, Malcolm states that practice makes perfect. And that perfect is found at about 10,000 hours. 10,000 hours will make you a superstar. Not just your every day above-average, but a genius—think Jobs, Kobe, Rockefeller.
I certainly haven’t put in my 10,000 hours yet. Hell, I don’t think I have even put in 1,000 hours.
But within my fewer-than-1,000 hours, I’ve learned things that I use every day at my new internship, in my classes, at networking events, etc. These include:
– Knowing What to Write…
– And How to Write for a Specific Audience
– The Basics of SEO
– Social Media
– Principles of Digital Photography
– Web Design
– Basic HTML and CSS
– Google Analytics
Doesn’t seem so bad after all, right? Well, don’t get your hopes up just yet.
As I mentioned earlier, over time blogging can become a chore. It falls somewhere in between doing laundry and taking the hair out of the tub. At my worst point of
not blogging blogging, I had completely stopped writing for a month….or two.
Given that 10,000 hours = ultimate success, the bad wolf of blogging is the time commitment. And believe it or not, for some niche bloggers, it can also become very costly. For example, to be a great, fantastic, and absolutely fabulous food blogger, you’ll probably need the following:
– Food (trust me this gets REALLY expensive even if you decide to do cheap recipes!)
– A high-quality camera ($800 Nikon anyone? Oh and let’s not forget to get a few lenses too…)
– Nice looking kitchen equipment and a clean kitchen area (Don’t have an electric mixer? Or fancy knives? Too bad bro)
– A time period when NONE of your roommates will be around
– Photo editing software
When you think about it, great blogging can be costly in terms of both your time and the resources available to you. And this isn’t limited to food bloggers. Imagine being a travel blogger! Those who are really dedicated see the value in spending time and money on their writing to get those PR requests and freebies.
The ugly of blogging comes with the frustration of getting little to no traffic along with few followers and comments. If you spend that much time on a post — is it really worth it? Are you truly writing about the right thing? Or worse of all, is there a possibility that you may not be interesting enough?!?
Don’t panic. No one is ever a blogging celebrity overnight. As I mentioned earlier, blogging does have its benefits. It is one of the best learning experiences you can have. As a student, I pride myself in the fact that I manage to go to class, go to work, do my homework, AND write blog posts. So if you’re still around and writing, applaud yourself and keep going. That’s what I’m doing!