Last month marked four years of blogging for me, I know craziness, right? When I started writing in this space, there was so much I did not know. But I guess that is what happens when you start a blog on an idle Tuesday while running on 3 hours of sleep and the hope that your child might just stop crying for 10 minutes. That’s always the way you want to start something that matters to you.
And in four years I’ve learned a lot about blogging and what it means to be a blogger.
1. Bloggers are everywhere. Seriously there are a few who live just a couple of blocks away from me and one at my sons preschool. When I started I swore I must be the only blogger in all of South Jersey and that is so not the case.
2. The friendships are real. When I started blogging I would see all these online friendships and think they can’t be real. But they are, I have made so many wonderful friendships through blogging.
3. Who you are is only about 10% of your blog. While my blog is about my life, it isn’t about my whole life. The stories, pictures and moments I share are only a small part of my life. And when I write something sad on my blog, it doesn’t mean that all of my life is sad, just that at that moment in that piece that is what I”m working through.
4. Friends who aren’t bloggers will ask “are you promoting that” when you talk about a brand you love or mention something on Facebook.
5. “Work” will be hard to define. Yes blogging is work. Is every minute paid, well no. And does it always look like work, no. Sure I’m at a big event with toys and cocktails and it’s fun but it’s also work. Even if that work is tweeting and updating Facebook and making contacts.
6. But it is work. Being at a blogger event or promoting an event or product means that you are constantly thinking of creative ways to talk about what you are doing. Like at an event I don’t want to say what everyone else is saying about a toy, I want to say something different, something that will get noticed. Your creativity always needs to be on.
7. It’s a fun world to be apart of. I love getting to meet other bloggers, I love the being in a room full of people who “get” what blogging is all about. I love the fun events that I get to go to and the opportunities that come my way.
8. Though it isn’t always glamorous. I once did a travel event that was just draining but because I was “working” I had to keep digging deeper and deeper to make it look like I was having a blast. When in reality I wanted to be home curled up on my couch in yoga pants.
9. Most bloggers are introverts. At a blog conference this fall they had assigned seating, let me tell you 8 people who are used to communicating via a laptop don’t always make the most exciting tablemates. But I get it cause, I’m one of them.
10. You will field tons of random questions about blogging. What you do on a day to day basis will confuse your non-blogger friends. You will get asked why you do it, how you get paid, and what is a blog more times than you care to answer. And not matter how many times you explain it your friends eyes will start to glaze over when you start talking social media.
11. You will be intimidated by other bloggers. I admit at my first blog conference, I was totally intimidated by some of the big name bloggers who I had been reading for years.
12. Take yourself seriously. Seriously. I started this as a hobby, that grew into something more and for the longest time I had trouble declaring myself a blogger, owning this space and valuing the work I do. This is the year that changes.
If you are a blogger what have you learned? If you’re not a blogger have you ever thought of starting a blog?
And a special “thank you” to those of you who have been reading since the beginning and those of you who have found this place along the way, and those of you who have only just found my little corner of the Internet. I appreciate each and every one of you.