If you’re not a blogger, blogging is a bit of a strange one to explain. Especially when it’s what you do for a living, people often seem baffled by that one! So today I thought I’d share a little more about what it entails to be a blogger by answering some of the questions that I am asked most often, and then letting you know how you can support the blogger in your life.
If your friend started a business…
First up, I’ll start with this analogy. If your friend opened a new cafe, you’d pop there and buy a drink. You’d probably share the details on Facebook and tell your friends and family about it. Of course you would, your friend is going for it and running their own business so you want to support them. If your friend started up an Etsy business selling lovely home-wares, you’d buy a few gifts from them, tell your friends, share their links on social media. Of course you would, your friend is going for it and running their own business so you want to support them.
…the same goes for that blogger in your life
The same thing should go for that blogger in your life. It might not appear to be the same thing, but it really is! I often find two things can happen here, either people don’t view it as a business and realise that there’s loads they can do to help, or they simply don’t know how to help. But the truth is that bloggers are running their own business and need all the support that they can get. And the very best thing about supporting your blogging friend is that you don’t need to leave your house to do so, you don’t need to spend any money, you just need to give them a read, a like, a click, all from your phone. And yes, it really is that easy to support the blogger in your life. They will love you for it! Read on, and all will become clear….
How are you a blogger?
Anyone can be a blogger, it’s so very easy to begin. I started writing here a little over five years ago. It actually started because I was on Twitter and had discovered some great blogs there and got chatting to some lovely bloggers, and decided that I’d like to give it a go. I love how very accessible it is to start a blog, how great it is to write as and when suits you and share whatever you fancy sharing. It’s a job with lots of freedom in that respect.
Yes, but how are you a blogger as your actual job?
OK, I think it’s here that people are a little more baffled. People tend to understand hobby blogs, but then earning from them seems to be more of a leap. Though of course many earning blogs start out as hobby blogs, so every blogger would welcome support! There are lots of different ways to earn an income from blogging and bloggers will all have their own mix of income streams. Typically income is earned from adverts placed on blogs, YouTube and social sites, by working with brands sharing their campaigns and products on the blog and/or social media platforms, by recommending products and getting affiliate income that way, or perhaps by selling products such as e-books, printables, e-courses and so on. As I say, it does vary from blog to blog and there are lots of ways to earn. Of course to do any of this, you need to have a blog that people read and a fair few people following you on social media.
Can anyone do it?
Yes! That’s the best thing about it, it’s a very inclusive world. There is a wonderful blogging community and lots of support to get up and running. There are always new things to learn so it stays fresh, and starting a blog is the sort of thing that you can do right now.
Anyone can do it, of course, but that shouldn’t be confused with saying that it’s easy to do it. When I started blogging it was not with the primary goal to make an income from it. As it grew over time, it became apparent to me that I could do that. I wrote This is Why I Blog a while back that shares a little more about my own journey.
What does it entail?
In those early months, my focus was on creating quality content, blogging about things that interested me and my social followings grew as I shared things and interacted with people. It took a lot of effort, hours upon hours every week. Back then I created a lot of content, often sharing between 7-10 posts weekly. It takes time to do that and then to promote them. I shared my 20 top tips for bloggers around a year after I started, so that gives you an idea of the things to work on initially.
These days my focus remains the same, content is most definitely king, though I share more like 3 posts a week and my time gets taken up elsewhere with various admin, social and behind the scenes tasks. To give you an idea, I typically create those posts each week, both writing and editing or creating images, ensure that they are appropriate for SEO and schedule them in. If working on a review, there will be taking in that experience or testing out that product, along with photographing it and then finally writing it up. There are then things like writing my newsletters, catching up with emails, researching and agreeing campaigns to work on, social media sharing, running any Bring Back Paper activities and chatting across the key social media platforms. In my case that’s remaining active on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.
So you kind of get what it is that bloggers do now and you’re wondering how you can support the blogger in your life?
The very best thing about this is that supporting bloggers is not a high cost or high effort task. You can make a real difference to that blogger that you love to read, the blogger that has helped you in some way, the blogger in your family, the blogger on your school run, by just a few clicks.
Bloggers are all about the clicks. Page views, social media interactions and engagements, followers, people valuing what’s been written and sharing it with others. Any and all of these will be helping a blogger out, and require very little effort on your part.
Here are 8 ways to show your support:
1. Read the blog. Subscribe, follow, or just drop by, do whatever suits you best. Regularly or occasionally, every read is appreciated. First and foremost, we create content that people read, it’s the number one rule of blogging. If you’re not into social media, then this in itself is a great support and it’s always great to have a friend tell me that they were telling someone about a piece I’d written, or they’d forwarded one of my posts in an email to a friend. Bloggers like to be useful!
2. Are you following their page on Facebook? Go do it! They have shared something you like on Facebook? Then hit ‘like’! Yes, it really is that simple. If you feel it’s relevant to your friends, share it. Agree, disagree or just have something to say on it? Then leave a comment. And even if you do neither of these things, don’t scroll on by as just clicking through and reading it is always hugely appreciated – that tricky algorithm means that the more interaction it gets the more people get shown it, and equally the more people scrolling on past it, the further down the list it goes to be shown. So if you spot them in your feed, ‘like’ or argue!
3. You’re scrolling through Instagram, then have a little look at what they’re sharing. Does it resonate? Let them know, or just hit ‘like’ or leave a comment. I adore Instastories, so if your blogger updates on theirs, take a look and interact as they can be a lot of fun. Instagram is like Facebook in that any interaction improves it’s place and makes it show up in more people’s feeds.
4. You’re on Twitter? Read their tweets, reply to them, retweet them, just help to spread the word! It moves so quickly there, it’s great to chat.
5. If you prefer YouTube, and if you like the content, give it a ‘thumbs up’ – yep, that’s it! Comment or subscribe if you fancy it.
6. Sign up for their newsletter. This is a great way of receiving a round-up and snapshot of the blog, latest posts, offers and inspiration all in one place with no effort on your part as it’ll just drop into your inbox from time to time (my newsletter sign up is at the bottom of this post, if you’d like to receive my updates).
7. Bloggers often talk about things that they have tried or bought themselves. Just as they’d let their friends know about a great new product, they will want to share it with their readers. As such, they might use affiliate links. This is where they share something and recommend it, and there’s a product link included to an online shop so you can just go click and get it. Affiliate links are great, but only if you’re actually interested in buying something! But if you are, if this blogger has prompted you to look at something and you decide to then buy it, then do them the favour of clicking through on their link as they’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you and they will appreciate you supporting them.
8. And lastly, if you spot something useful that your blogger is offering, buy it if it suits you!
Any one of these things will show your support and make a difference to that blogger in your life.
Following is not stalking!
And finally – Following is not stalking! I have had so many conversations like this, and I do completely understand it, though it always makes me laugh. I have friends and family telling me that they don’t like to read or see what I’m up to on social media as it seems nosy and invasive. Bloggers rely on their blogging income and they are only getting their blogging income because people read and follow them! So if you’ve a blogger in your life, give them a read, do be ‘nosy’, they will appreciate it.
I do hope this has explained the whole blogging thing a little better, and given you a few ideas of how you can support the blogger in your life?