I have been a full-time blogger for just over a year, which means I write about whatever it is I'm feeling during that particular moment. Whether I'm happy about something, sad, or outraged, it's a venting technique that I began to utilize a few years ago — it gained momentum suddenly and I had more and more readers, and then advertisers, which turned it into something I could earn money while doing. The big misunderstanding about blogging is that everyone is paid to do it, and that is the furthest thing from the truth. I started my blog over 5 years ago, but got extremely lucky when it was re-blogged and picked up attention from a national media outlet. Most bloggers do it for their own enjoyment and are not paid for their musings.
I am very enthusiastic about blogging, as it is an outlet where I can do what I love (write) and share my stories and life experience with others who are interested. Some days, I just don't feel like writing, though — whether I'm down, don't feel so hot or any other of excuses that throw people off in their daily lives — but now that I have advertisers, I can't just say, "I don't feel like doing it" or "I'll do it tomorrow." I would say I'm always enthused about my job, because I get to pick and choose what I write about, which is a blessing in journalism.
Blogging can be very rewarding, especially when I receive feedback that I've touched someone with a story or helped a person in some little way. When I share a story about my life and someone writes, "That moved me" or "that happened to me and I understand," it makes it all worth it (that sounds cheesy and cliche, but it's totally true). When I blog about something close to my heart, like women's rights, and I get great feedback from readers, it makes my heart smile.
Blogging is a minimal pay job and you probably cannot financially support yourself while doing it. As I said before, it took me a very long time to get advertisers, and their revenue is what pays me for my time. Most just do it for the love of writing, entertaining others or as an online journal of sorts. Beware of people telling you it's easy pay — it is anything but.
I started blogging during a difficult period in my life as a way to vent and I honestly didn't think anyone was reading it. I have always been a writer, and this just came naturally — at the end of the day or when I couldn't sleep, I'd log on and just say what was on my mind. I started to get faithful readers, and the rest is history. If I could change anything about my blogging experience, I'd have started earlier!
What I've learned the hard way from blogging is that everyone has critics. And these critics, when online, are known as "trolls." Online trolls are someone that faithfully comes to your site and leaves mean-spirited or hateful comments about your appearance or your writing content. This comes with the territory — if you're going to put your thoughts and opinions online for the world to see, you can expect some criticism. But reading "your writing sucks" or other awful malicious comments that I cannot repeat due to profanity is always hurtful, even when it's from a stranger on the internet.
The most important thing I've learned in the working world that they DID NOT teach me in school is that it is possible to be fulfilled and love what you do.
The strangest thing that's ever happened to me during my blogging work was a marriage proposal. Yes, a marriage proposal. While extremely flattering, I had to decline a random internet stranger.
I get up and go to work everyday because I truly love what I do and I get to work in my pajamas, which is an added bonus of blogging. I feel good when someone tells me that the information I've provided or written about has made a difference to them, or just someone sharing that they like what I write.
There aren't too many challenges with blogging, but sometimes the internet connection gets funky or my page won't load and that is frustrating. What makes me want to pull my hair out is when I've spent a long time on a blog and it doesn't show up after I've posted it. My hair is not safe after losing a blog!
My job is not stressful at all, and for that, I am extremely grateful. I get to do what I love from the comfort of my own home and on my own time schedule.
Usually, bloggers are paid nothing. However, I make about $32,000 per year with advertising revenue. I would love to be paid more, but who wouldn't?
Blogging allows me a very flexible schedule, and I can take a day off or vacation time when I want - but I won't be paid for it.
I have a degree in journalism, but I'm not sure you need a degree to blog if you are a talented writer.
I'd tell a friend considering blogging to go for it, just don't expect a million views or to be paid for writing your thoughts, at least not immediately.
If I could write my own ticket, in five years I'd be the next Arianna Huffington!
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