I started my first blog about seven years ago as little more than an experiment and hobby. All these years later, my blog has turned into my work from home job. Blogging eats up a fair amount of my time and provides full time income for our family. I have met some of my very best friends through blogging. I’ve noticed over the years that many of my non blogging friends don’t really get what I do. My hope is that friends will read this and know how much their support and understanding means to me. While talking with some blogging friends, I decided I really wanted to share what professional bloggers wish their non blogging friends understood.
A few things we wish our non blogging friends understood…
We LOVE when you read our blog. It makes our heart happy to know that our friends and family support what we do. We love that you take the time out of your busy day to read it. This validates so much of our heart and time. We love when you ask questions about what we are working on and how we got into it. We simply love that you take an interest in our artistic and entrepreneurial endeavors as much as we take an interest in yours.
Bloggers wish their friends knew that this is a real job. While you might think it is a hobby, it truly is our business. Just like some people view photography as a hobby and others are professional photographers, there are hobby bloggers and professional bloggers. We don’t simply view our hobby blog as a job, it is our job. Some of us started as hobby bloggers and grew and others planned from the beginning for their little slice of the internet to provide income from day one. We have conferences, business meetings, contracts drawn up by legitimate lawyers, and checks that you can take to the bank.
It is not as easy as it looks. It isn’t exactly something that everyone can do, or wants to do at the capacity the professional bloggers do it at. I don’t think I have ever said to a friend in any other profession that went on a work trip “Must be nice.” or “Maybe I will just be a chiropractor so I can go to conferences like you do.” Bloggers hear this All. The. Time. We aren’t invited to press trips because we are lucky. We aren’t sponsored for conferences because brands love to arbitrarily throw money around in a way that benefits us. We are invited because our photography, writing, and social media presence is valuable to the company that is hosting us (and in many cases paying us) to travel to them. Same thing is true when we are hired to create content for a client. Kaiser, Whole foods, Target, and others don’t just ‘give us money’; they hired us to do a job and we do it.
“It’s harder than it looks. I’m one part writer, one part photographer, one part social media marketing manager, one part small business owner, one part niche content expert.” Michelle Sybert, blogger at Be Brave, Keep Going
Bloggers wish you would leave more comments. You taking the time to leave a comment really warms my heart, but also encourages others to leave comments. Our blog sponsors and potential sponsor love to see that engagement. My Great Aunt used to take the time to leave a comment on nearly every blog post I wrote up until her passing. I honestly don’t think she understood really what I did, but it was nice that she took the time to try to understand and that she let me know with a comment that she was there.
We aren’t on social media all the time. My Facebook is just one of many tabs that is open all the time, but I am actually not on it much more than average, if that. I use a scheduler to keep my pages up and running. I have several other accounts that I use scheduling apps for. My Assistant helps me manage my accounts because I don’t want to be on social media too much. You read that right, I have a paid employee who ‘plays’ on social for me!
We can’t post ‘a little blurb’ about your thing. Most of us have been asked to write about everything from a friend’s kid’s school fundraiser, to a political stance, to a ‘vote for my kid in this photo content’. More often than not, the thing you ask us to post has nothing to do with our niche. On one hand, we understand, you understand in some respect that we have a larger audience than most and you want eyes on your thing. On the other hand, it kind of devalues what we do when you say (and people say it this way all the time) “can you just put up a quick blurb”…. for the most part, our posts take hours if not weeks. Not only that, but a few word “blurb” throws off our SEO, throws off our readers who are here for our particular niche, and it also throws off the brands we represent or may be in talks with. It also breeds a “oh, she posted that? I am gonna send her my thing that is important to me too!” mentality, and if I posted everything that people sent to me then I really am just a free for all message board; which I am not. In the same way that you can’t necessarily pass out go fund me information at your dentist friend’s office, you can’t here either.
You can support our business without ever paying a dollar that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Buying something you were going to buy anyway from our affiliate links it genuinely makes our day when we see even just a few dollars come in through an affiliate links. We have affiliate links in our sidebar as well as in some blog posts. Affiliate partners gives us a small percentage of the sale price when we send the buyer their way. The price is the same whether you go to ShopDisney or Fandango directly or come through our sites. Doesn’t that make you happy to know you are supporting a friend’s family at no additional cost to you? I am thankful, and so are other bloggers!
“I had a friend recently ask me how she could support me…which was so kind and something I rarely hear. You can support me as a friend by commenting on my a post that you like or comment and like on a social post. Those things help me as a blogger and are super supportive.” Michelle Sybert, Be Brave, Keep Going
Seeing our friends and family ‘Like’ our page really makes our day. If you are on social media of any kind, pretty please follow your blog friends that are on that platform. Thumbs up and commenting is even better. We just hope that you will support your friends who you actually know as much as celebrities you don’t know. When our friends share a post we wrote it is so validating. In the same way an Etsy seller does a happy dance when they make a purchase, bloggers happy dance when they see their site organically shared.
Bloggers wish friends weren’t upset when we didn’t jump on their direct sales bandwagon. We get asked more often than normal to participate in someone’s direct sales venture. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I have no interest in joining any direct sales or multi level marketing company. That doesn’t mean I don’t like you. It is quite possible I will purchase something to support your home business, but I don’t want to start that sort of venture. I don’t think people realize that bloggers are inundated with requests to join a team. I think there is a misconception that my blog is an untapped marketing opportunity; those who approach me presume I have quite a large reach and it might be nice for me to make a little money. I get that you can make money selling for these companies, I just am already busy and make decent money doing what I already do. I fully respect this is your job, and I know some bloggers do really love a particular multi level product and they partner. Across the board, it just doesn’t appeal to me. But let’s still be friends!
So how do we make money? I have shared how bloggers make money in previous posts, and perhaps I should share an updated post with other ways I have monetized my site. Basically we make money in several ways. We sell our own products, we have side bar advertisers, we create content for companies, we share promotional content on our social media channels, and we coach other bloggers and entrepreneurs who are trying to understand the internets and social media.
Bloggers wish the people who don’t show interest in our endeavors wouldn’t ask us for advice on how to improve theirs. You’ve got to make some deposits if you want to make some withdrawals. If you don’t engage with my blog, it is OK, I still love you, but don’t ask me to help with your online business or new blog. Being asked advice about running a website or social media by friends that never engage with our website or social media is kind of frustrating. We know you probably don’t mean it, but it is upsetting. The person asking for free advice understands that we are at least somewhat successful at what we do and want to have some of that for themselves, but they haven’t supported our journey at all. Sad face emoji.
Bounce rate is a big deal to us. Since I have your attention, I am gonna ask you to help me with it. See those suggested articles below the one you just read? Can you click on one of those too? If a readers stays on the site longer it strengthens our analytics. Basically, I am just asking you to stay here a while! It’s such an easy thing to do to really help out a friend!
In short, we really just want our friends to understand what bloggers do. We know that it is just kind of misunderstood. I love to support what my friends do and I hope this might make it easier for our friends to support bloggers. We love when you step into our space and hang out for a while. We love when you remember we have an affiliate link and when you take the time to leave a comment. We love when our friends share a blog post with others and follow us on all the things. Basically, we just want you to understand what we do. We know if you are reading this it is because you care, thank you for taking the time to read!