Friday Miscellany: Why am I doing this ‘blogging’ thing, anyway?

Posted on Friday, at bought • 187 views

I don't run ads on this site. I don't make best-practices use of social media (where you schedule different-text posts to all outlets, not have Twitter post to FB and so forth.) I use the most basic SEO: content chunking, proper tags, no tag spamming. (I don't even bother trying to keep up with all the tweaks and changes that the search engines make, because that in and of itself is a huge job.) I don't solicit samples or PR contacts, and have asked the few people who do contact me to please remove me from their lists so as to not waste any more of their time. I have no intention to “go pro” with this blog. This doesn't seem like a very normal mindset. So why, precisely, have I been publishing this blog for nearly five years and why do I keep doing it?

Friday Miscellany: Why am I doing this ‘blogging’ thing, anyway?

I created and continue to run this site as a hobby. It’s a place to play with my CMS development skills, including how to make it as secure as possible and how to optimize performance. It’s a place to learn about content scheduling and management. It’s a place for me to organize things…and I’m one of those odd-balls for whom organization has a calming effect. (When I was about three years old, my mom walked past me playing and saw that I was lining up all of my Fisher Price Little People according to height. Yeah, I got started early.) I don’t even care about the social aspects of blogging too much, though I do have a lot of fun talking with other beauty bloggers on Twitter. This site is a place where I have total control. If I want to change the layout, I can. If I want to change the aim or content, I can. If I want to not publish anything for several weeks, I can. And since I’m not working with any advertisers who expect a certain type of schedule, flow, and audience, there are no long-term financial repercussions for any changes I may choose to make. I’d be buying the makeup anyway, and with digital photography there’s no cost to develop the photos. (And yes, if I didn’t have this blog, I’d have Photoshop anyway. And probably have another blog or project where I’d be playing with Photoshop on a fairly regular basis.)

So why am I going through my old eyeshadows and re-doing all the older photos, when I still have so many new photos to post (and when there will be more new pics than oldstyle, once I'm all done, because of the ginormous purge I did about two years ago?) I want things to be neat and complete solely for my benefit. And for other people who come looking for swatch photos, even of older, now-discontinued shadows, so that they can find good photos and possibly then find some good dupes. I don't care about creating “saleable” content for this site, or making it into a commercial venture. I have other skills that bring in money…and they bring in more money than my blogging ever could. And I actually enjoy project management quite a bit, so that's a bonus.

Being a pro blogger is a pretty complex task, if you intend to make it your sole source of income (or even a large chunk thereof.) To be a profitable pro blogger, you have to maintain your blog. That bit everyone knows. Not everyone 100% realizes that it includes constantly tweaking the voice and posting schedule to maximize audience appeal - which is a lot of work in and of itself - but most people do have an idea about that much. Aside from just writing your content, though, you also have to do quite a lot of other stuff, some of which comes easily and some of which does not. You have to:

  • promote your blog on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and a half-dozen other platforms (which involves, among other things, knowing how to tailor and schedule the text for each of those platforms)
  • promote you and your blog in real life, by attending conferences (which means creating business cards, networking, writing follow-up emails and notes, and more)
  • know about web hosting - enough to know what type of hosting plan you need, and where to find a web host that will meet your needs without selling you what you don't need (yet)
  • know how to keep your blogging software updated and secure
  • know basic accounting, so that you can track expenses versus income - both for tax purposes, but also so that you can tell when you're actually profitable. (And then, of course, there's that whole issue of trying to make a living wage blogging - which, admittedly, not everyone is concerned about. But it's still good to know anyway.)

If you’re getting the idea that being a professional (paid) blogger is A Big Job…congratulations. You’ve been paying attention. Running a for-profit blog is running a small business. You are the editorial department, the sales and marketing department, the operations/tech department, the accounting department…it’s a lot of work. Yes, there’s always the option of either outsourcing or bringing others on to the team. Some folks (like Christine at Temptalia with Shauntechguy who handles all the IT and server issues) are lucky enough to have a live-in expert in one of those other areas. Almost everyone knows a friend or relative who may offer skilled advice in one or more of these areas. But that’s still a lot of work. Keep in mind, this is ON TOP of planning and creating all of your content.

It would be possible for me to learn this. Anyone can learn this, it just takes time and the will to learn it and keep learning it. But one of the principle ways to make sure that your small business succeeds is knowing that you truly love what you’ll be doing day and and day out. I love organizing and planning. I don’t love publicity, marketing, or selling. And as a content creator, I’d have to either be doing a whole lot of that or I’d have to get an agent to do that for me. I’d rather stick to things that fit my own aptitudes, things where I have plenty to keep learning but am not having to reinvent my career-self from the ground up. I’m quite happy doing as much as I’m doing on my site, steering clear of the additional obligations, and knowing that this will never be something that I make money off of.

But I’ll keep organizing things, and posting things. Because I have to have something to organize, or I go just a wee bit squirrelly.

What about you? Why did you start blogging? Why do you currently blog? If you’ve ever thought about going pro, what made you decide yes or no?

Like this entry? Check these out:

or look at other entries tagged with


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.