The Glitz, the Glamour, the Perks; being a blogger seems like such a fun and attractive pathway, however don’t mistake the hustle because there’s more to it than meets the eye. I’ve been hitting the ground running for seven months with my blog, and I can honestly say “Blogging Ain’t Easy”. Certainly you’ve seen many people hit big in the blogosphere like Necole Bitchie, Claire Sulmers from ‘Fashion Bomb Daily’, Perez Hilton, and more, but it wasn’t a quick and easy come up for them, and not everyone will make it to the upper echelon of blogging. Moreover, turning your blogging into a business is very much the road less traveled, and you may not see a dime for some time; therefore you must have a flaming desire that carries you through when the going gets tough. So, if you think blogging will pave the way to instant success, think again!
Success in blogging is not for the swift, but for those who can endure, and I’m surely enduring the grind. I know my viewers may see photos of me here or there like a socialite, but what they don’t see are the late nights up at 3 am working, writing, and researching. Yes, when you’re sleeping, I’m up like a mad scientist in a lab. Blogging takes hard work and commitment, and I don’t say this to discourage anyone, but to let you know that you must have a burning passion for what you do. Whichever topics you choose to write about you have to love it wholeheartedly to the point where you can write about it consistently without getting bored or exhausted. Furthermore, when you have to consistently create content on a daily basis sometimes you can suffer from burn out. The first 4 months of BlissedOutBelle.com, I blogged five days a week almost to the point of burn out, and that’s when I had to reassess my work/ life balance. Currently, I have managed to work out a balance that is best for my personal life and the blog, so I’m able push out great content without comprising my well-being.
Not only do a newbie like myself has to hustle hard, but even the well-known blogging trailblazers have to hustle even harder. This past weekend, I attended the Blogging While Brown conference, and on the keynote panel were some digital media heavy hitters like Necole Kane of Necole Bitchie, Claire Sulmers of Fashion Bomb Daily, Karen Civil, and Angel Laws of ‘Concrete Loop‘, and they had tons of insight. You might see these ladies in photos with celebrities and traveling the world, but people often forget how much it really takes to run a site and post at least 6 days a week with several posts daily. One thing that struck me was that even though many people view their life as a blogger to be glamorous, it can be far from it.
During the discussion, Claire Sulmers even mentioned how most of her days are spent sitting in front of her laptop cranking out content; and I must admit, this how I spend most of my days as well. Necole Bitchie, who is a celebrity news blogger, stated that she’s always on call, because any breaking news with a major celebrity she has to be on the ball to cover it. Necole even recalled how she even had to cut a date short just report on a breaking story. Angel Laws of Concrete Loop also mentioned how she had to temporarily shut down the site for a short time to rejuvenate from feelings of burn out. Karen Civil, also revealed that she wasn’t in a relationship for years up until recently, due being busy and devoting time to building her brand. I applaud these women for their hard work, and I just love how they were able to get candid about their experience, because I can definitely relate. As you can tell, these are just some of the sacrifices that are made in order to be successful in digital media.
Did I mention, you all also have to take into consideration the business model of your brand. If you’re just blogging for fun that’s a whole other story, but if you’re trying to monetize your blog there needs to be a strategy. The one thing that gets people lost in the blogging hustle is that they haven’t defined any clear objectives for their brand. Having an objective gives you a sense of direction, and as you go along you can change your approach and fine-tune the branding. In fact, my objectives and brand has evolved over the course of 7 months, and I couldn’t be any clearer about my goals. In addition, I’ve also come to realize that it’s up to me to define what success as a blogger means, and to not base it off of the success of others. Many people make the mistake of doing this only to be disappointed or upset down the line.
At any rate, another insight I walked away with from the Blogging While Brown conference was that, as you grow you need to build a legal and financial team; this advice came from Alfred A. Edmond Jr. the Multimedia Editor-At-Large of Black Enterprise. Edmonds also had this to say when asked how to quickly bypass all the beginning hurdles of blogging, “Shortcuts can have you arriving prematurely and unprepared.” His statement really struck a chord in me, there is no fast track to stardom in the blogging world, and where I am is exactly where I need to be. This was very comforting to a newbie like myself
Now, don’t get it twisted there are some wonderful benefits with blogging, and it can actual be a lucrative career if you have the commitment level to do so. There are endless possibilities that may come from blogging, and it can even open doors for other extraordinary opportunities. Indeed there might be freebies involved, and you may get to attended special events, but let this not be the motivating factor. Personally, it’s very fulfilling to produce material that awakens, inspires, and empowers the readers, and encompasses my personal journey. I’m here to shake things up, and make a huge mark in this world; this is my motivating force.
In any case, let it be known that this is not an attempt to shut down anyone’s dreams, but I’m here to inform you that it takes more than a wish and a laptop to be successful. It takes a tenacious spirit, a passion like no other for your topic, and a mogul mindset to accomplish a rewarding livelihood in digital media. As long as you keep this tidbit in mind you will go far!
If you’re interested in blogging, are you guilty of thinking that it’s glamorous or you’ll achieve over night success? Why? If you’re a blogger, what made you decide to launch a blog, and what would you like to accomplish with it? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Shawna Kay ( Blissed Out Belle )
Kay is a Lifestyle & Empowerment Enthusiast, and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blissed Out Belle™. Connect with her on Facebook here, and follow her on Twitter @BlissedOutBelle .