I sometimes find myself trying to explain blogging to my mom and what it is that I actually do for the majority of the day on my trusty (new!) laptop. She nods her head, says "Oh" occasionally, but that's about as far as I get. And then a few months ago, I was on the bus and the driver asked me what I'd been up to lately. I said that I'd be working on my blog, and he just sort of looked at me and got this look on his face as if to say, "Well, isn't that nice. You have a little hobby to keep yourself busy."
To me, blogging is sort of like crafting an experience. A blogger, just like any good writer, is a storyteller. You're sharing a story, a piece of yourself -- and that's nothing that can ever be taken lightly. Still, there are a slew of misconceptions floating around beyond cyberspace. Here are my top three misconceptions about blogging...
It's easy -- there's no skill involved and anyone can do it
Some people think it's merely a matter of writing a few sentences, slapping on a photo or two and, boom, you're done. But really, it's so much more than that. Blogs have become a great vehicle for so many people to do so many different things. One of the things I love about blogging is how customizable it is, and how people can tailor it to their specific needs. It can be a way to keep your family up-to-date on your life if they live far away. It can be a good vehicle for documenting a memorable time in your life, like your first year of college. If you want your blog to be just a fun hobby, that's totally cool. But blogging can also be a job, and that's how I've always looked at it. If you think about it, you favorite blogs probably have a few key things in common: A professional look, quality writing and lots of interacting with readers, just to name a few. While I love blogging, it all takes time. Just like any other job, there's a lot that people don't see all the behind-the-scenes, including brainstorming and planning blog posts, working with graphic designers, answer email, respond to blog comments and comment on other blogs, keep up with news in the industry, work with advertisers and companies, maintain the business side of the blog (getting ads up, keeping track of payments, etc.), establish and maintain a social media presence, guest posting...it's more than just playing around on the computer all day.
Since they don't have a 9-to-5 job to go to, Bloggers can work whenever they feel like it
Actually, one of the biggest things I've learned from blogging is that being a freelance writer takes an incredible amount of discipline. You don't have a boss telling you what to do, so you have to make sure you're keeping yourself on track. And contrary to come pesky rumors, bloggers don't sit around and do their work in their PJs. Well, some might, but I don't.
It's a blogger-eat-blogger world out there
I'd heard of the word blogosphere before I even started blogging, and honestly, I never really understood what it meant. Then I started blogging, and everything -- I mean everything -- became crystal clear. Bloggers are some of the nicest, sweetest, friendliest people that you'll ever meet, and it's really true that bloggers do look out for one another. There's such a sense of family and community, no matter how far apart you live. I've received so many touching emails from people in places like South America and Europe, which completely blows my mind -- and is soooo exciting at the same time. The friendships I've made are one of my favorite parts of blogging.
I'll be posting about my day-to-day schedule tomorrow. I'm excited, friends! xoxo