Blogging, From a Non-Blogger’s Perspective

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My friend Kelly is one of the funniest people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, and her perspective on blogging as a non-blogger is always eye-opening and enlightening for me.  Our phone conversations typically end with riotous peals of laughter, and she’s my pillar of strength when I’m at wits end with the chaos of two kids, working from home, and trying not to go nuts.  When she asked if she could publish this, I wanted to let her share her insight with the caveat that you all know I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of the blogging community and have the best readers in the whole world.  As a fellow blogger once said, we blog because we HAVE to– once you get a taste, it becomes a passion that’s hard to kick.  This post comes from a place of insight and appreciation; the same way I so appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this little blog!

non-blogger3Right now I should be creating a guest post that I promised Carrie about my kitchen renovation. But my pictures came out terribly, I’m having writer’s block and, quite frankly, I’m exhausted from taking care of my family all day.

Thinking about all of this made me realize… holy cow, bloggers do this every day. How do they do it?

I started following blogs in earnest about three years ago. I Googled sites about how to put up molding and found some stay-at-home moms who were renovating their own houses during nap time. I’m not kidding. Clicking from site to site, I found a whole universe of bloggers who could basically turn a tray from a thrift store into a coffee table using Modge Podge, reclaimed pallet wood and a stencil. Rock stars, they are, I tell you!

So I did what any self-assured blog reader does. I said, “Huh… if they can do it, so can I.” Which, in some cases, is true.

In my case it was not.

It quickly became apparent to me that this blogging business is not as simple as getting a website, slapping up some cute pictures and writing something witty every now and then. No, ma’am.  I admire the amazing people who do it well because I tried, and couldn’t.

Next time you click over to a blog you enjoy, imagine yourself taking a peek “behind the curtain.” You will see a hard-working, dedicated person who is working their behind off (while taking care of their own family) so we can plant our behinds in front of the computer and pin their recipe for pumpkin soufflé.

For example, do you know that picture you just pinned to your Pinterest “Beautiful Things” inspiration board? Here is what a blogger did to get you that photo:

  1. Bought a very expensive camera.
  2. Took photography classes, bought books and read online how to take amazing  shots with said camera.
  3. Waited days for the perfect weather to come through so the natural lighting would look just right.
  4. Went to the store to buy fresh flowers or fruit.
  5. Spent half an hour clearing Cheerios off the table, putting toys back in the toy box and stuffing old mail in a drawer so we won’t see clutter in the picture.
  6. Balanced perilously on a chair or laid on the floor to get just the right angle.
  7. Took at least 10 pictures for every one you see, uploaded them all and pored over each one to pick the best of the best.
  8. Spent untold amount of time on Pic Monkey or Photoshop editing the picture.
  9. Researched how to embed code in their blog so we don’t even have to move our mouse to the top of our browser to Pin it, we can just hover over the picture and click.
  10. Thought of a cute tagline so when you look at your inspiration board, the caption helps you remember what you liked about it.

“But they make money.” Yes (sometimes). And no (sometimes).

Committed bloggers who have been doing this for years can sometimes see an eventual financial payoff after a lot of hard work. But I think you would be surprised at how quickly the expenses for blogging add up. There are graphic designers, web hosts, materials for projects, networking events, babysitters (who can write with a three year-old tugging at their sleeve?) and, for goodness’ sakes, all of their time.

They do this because they love it, people.

So what can we faithful blog readers do to show our appreciation? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Say “hi”
    Bloggers love to know who their readers are, where they live and what they love. It helps them create content in the future that their readers will enjoy and appreciate. And new ideas are always welcome!
  • Say “thanks”
    Do you know how late these folks are up at night doing projects, writing, taking pictures, so we blog readers can sit on our –achem– chairs, reading their work and following their step-by-step tutorials? They love doing it, so write a comment on their post saying you enjoyed it.
  • Say “look what I’ve done with your help”
    Show a blogger what you’ve made/done/accomplished thanks to their content. Put a photo of your project, craft or new decor on their FaceBook page. Share it on your page and tell your friends where you found your awesome new skills.
  • Say “I love this site and you will too”
    Share links to your favorite blog on your social media. Sending page views and new readers to a blogger is the ultimate thanks.

So, there you are. Bloggers everywhere, THANK YOU.

I will never, ever, ever, ever take you for granted again.

Like, ever.

xoxo,
Kelly

Bloggers feel the same way about blog readers, and I hope you all know I’ll never take any of you for granted… like, ever.  Be sure to catch Kelly’s totally fabulous kitchen makeover soon on this blog, and her photos are going to be fantastic just the way they are.  Right, K?!  I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this, so… GO!

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101 Comments

  1. OMG, I love Kelly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So, so true. I would add to getting the photo: neighbors and my mailman getting used to my impromptu photo shoots in the front yard (good light) and prop assistants bribed with fruit snacks.

    xoxo, Jenny

    1. I wouldn’t have understood this a few months ago before I started blogging, and I still have a long way to go on getting those photos, but this post (and your comment) made me laugh as I recalled my good friend/neighbor telling me one day that her 7 year old came inside from playing and said “Mama, why is Miss Jessica taking a picture of a pillow on a chair in her front yard?” Ha! What a great perspective from Kelly.

  2. Love this! And I’ve never felt so good about blogging! 🙂 THanks, Kelly (and Carrie!)

  3. This is great! I had no idea what I was getting into when I started blogging, lol! 🙂

  4. love it! the ten steps to getting a pic to pinterest is hysterical, (and true)

  5. The photo part cracks me up – I had NO CLUE how much time went into it…my neighbors must think I am crazy sometimes as I am staging items in the yard to get “good light” in the middle of winter…they have no idea I blog, so they probably just think I am nutty.

  6. Awesome insight! A great friend to have Carrie:) Loving this post! Thank YOU Kelly for writing it!

  7. Spot on! Before I started blogging, I really didn’t get it… at all! I had been following a blog regularly, and then, suddenly, there were no new posts, no comments, nothing. I was absolutely convinced that something terrible must have happened to the blogger. I mean, even if she didn’t have time to post multiple times a week, how hard could it be to blog once a week? How hard could it be to comment on her last post and let everyone know that everything was ok? (There were actually multiple comments, wishing her well, telling her they missed her, praying that everything was ok.) Eventually, she returned and let everyone know that she was just busy with life and would return soon- though she never did. I didn’t get it. Even when I started blogging, I didn’t get it. I wrote what I wanted to write, took a quick picture, and threw it up there. After all, no one was really reading it anyways, it was just fun. But then, I started reading other blogs, I started attending blog hops, I started commenting on other blogs and responding to comments on mine. I started researching how to do it better, and I started realizing that I had to “up my game,” in terms on content and design. I also needed to make sure that I made time to do all of the things that I needed to blog about, and my kids were never allowed to eat without me first taking the perfect picture of their food. And then. I got it. It started to feel like the monkey on my back. I decided to take a break (though I did announce it) and, as of yet, have not returned. I still think that I’d like to return some day, but, no bones about it. It’s a job…. and if you aren’t making money at it, it’s an unpaid job, but a job none-the-less. Kelly is absolutely right. The absolute best thing that you can “give” a blogger is to let them know that you appreciate what they have written, the photos they have taken, the inspiration and the ideas that took the time to share.

    1. I think a break is so important sometimes. It’s easy to lose your love for it when you go at a frenetic pace for too long without a break! I’m probably due for a break right now, actually. 😉 Your blog is so great though, Julie… I hope you do eventually return to it because you had such great strategies and ideas to share!

      1. Thanks Carrie! I have always appreciated your comments and support. It meant so much that someone thought that what I wrote was helpful! Question… since you’re switch to Wordpress, do you feel like things have gotten easier or harder?

        1. I would say both. It got easier because it focused my mission and allowed me to really get to what I wanted to blog about. Also, the plug-ins do a lot of the stuff I used to have to do manually on Blogger (though, I don’t take advantage of them nearly as much as I should!) Also, the new design bumped up my pageviews a ton and those numbers are motivating and have helped open doors.

          The hard part is that there is a learning curve. I’ve deleted things that cost a lot of money to fix. I walk on eggshells sometimes because I’m afraid to tweak one little thing that’s going to cause a WP meltdown. Also, all my old posts now have tons of formatting issues. For some reason, the italics caused a big issue with formatting. Since I don’t have time to fix them, I have to live with the fact I hate how my old posts look!

          So it’s definitely a mix– easier and harder, in different areas. I know that’s probably not what you wanted to hear, haha!

    2. Words right out of my mouth. I think I got as much, if not more, out of your comment Julie than Kelly’s post (which was brilliant btw). You should both blog again or at least add me as a friend on FB so I have people who ‘get it’ in my corner. ~ Dee

  8. What a great post! I love that she “gets it” without being a blogger! Sounds like a great friend, too!

  9. I completely agree!! I receive by email about 35 blog posts daily and love reading every single one and I’m constantly amazed at the talent out there – and that all this gets delivered to my inbox for FREE!! Carrie I recently found your blog through another blog (can’t remember which one) and was so touched by your story. I look so forward to your posts, so many fantastic ideas! Thank you for all that you do, it is very much appreciated!!

  10. Oh so true! Thank you (and your friend, Kelly) for sharing this with us 🙂

  11. I LOVED reading this!! Thanks for making my day!! Most people don’t realize the hours we “mommy” bloggers put in…it’s good to know someone gets us! Thanks, ladies for sharing this!!

  12. Oh yes! All we go through to take the very best picture we can. So much work. But, when you get that shot you can share. Your heart is happy :)))) Thanks for the great post!!

  13. Thank you so much for this post. It made my day. I am a new blogger and appreciate that your friend gets it. Wish more people did.

  14. This has been by far the most amazing post I think I have EVER read. I will be sharing this all over blogland. Finally someone “really gets it”. My poor family is afraid to touch anything asking if I need to take a pic first and I was feeling bad wondering if I had lost my mind. But, reading this makes me think that someone does appreciate and understand the hard work.

    Thank you so much for this!!!
    glitterglueeandpaint@gmail.com

  15. Thank your friend for writing such a wonderful post…it’s all true! I know I spend a ridiculous amount of time on my photos…just as she described!

  16. I love this and the honest look it takes on blogging. If only there were an “hours logged” icon in the corner tracking the amount of time spent!

  17. Wonderful post! Often only our family sees all the time, effort and love that really goes into blogging. I loved the tips to how to show appreciation too! Thanks!

  18. BEST.POST.EVER! She totally “gets” it, and I love her because of it! Thanks for sharing this!

  19. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I so needed to read this today.

  20. Thank you so much for this! I really needed the encouragement today. You’re right that blogging is a lot of work and for the most part, I love it but there are days when I wonder if I’m really making a difference and reading this today was just what I needed!

  21. This post rang so true with me! I often wonder if any of my readers are actually reading what I post…and then I have to remember the reason I do it…simply because I love it and I hope they love it too!

  22. This is really a great post! I am very new to blogging (since mid Jan) and I had read so much that I thought I knew how time consuming it would be….and still I am surprised 🙂 I haven’t let it stress me too much, yet, lol and only posted as I can BUT I do love it! Thanks for sharing this!

  23. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I am so happy to know that a reader understands the effort involved in blogging. It is a passion, but it takes a LOT of work that a lot of people just don’t see. I’m sharing this post all over the place! 🙂 You have a fabulous friend!

  24. I had a situation recently where a Life Ins. guy was trying to understand my “blogging” and how to categorize it in his file. Yes, it’s true, I’m not the money maker of the family, but does my work have to have a large monetary value in order to be considered worthy? (I’ve been sitting on this thought for days. That meeting was SUCH A DRAG!!!)

    Thank you for such a well done post :->

    1. So true, worth means more than just money! I was thrilled our accountant took it seriously, though he did joke that I’m the first one he’s met that’s made money blogging (and it was verrrrry little money, haha!) So, hope is not lost– there are people who do understand. 😉

  25. I totally agree!! I just started reading blogs about a year ago. It started with 3 and now…well who knows. Each one brings a different perspective, craft, recipe or idea. I love getting creative ideas on how to do things, then when I do it, I feel proud. I am so thankful to all the bloggers who do all the work so that I don’t have to come up with the ideas myself (which would never happen). My husband and kids have been amazed at the projects I have done and recipes I have made just from reading blogs. I love it and am so appreciative!! Thank you so much for writing!!!!

  26. Hear-hear! Great post!

    I know creative bloggers that spend hours answering each comment and then leave beautiful comments on many blogs.

    I discovered your blog on Google+

  27. I’m loving this post! Hi Kelly!!! Thanks for the support! We love you too!

  28. Great post and how true! So many don’t realize the hard work that goes into blogging and all the years of dedication needed to push it to where you want it to be. I loved the humor and truth that Kelly brought to the subject. I do still blog because I love it, but no doubt there is lots of hard work, deadlines to meet, and people to please. But, it’s the best job in the world and I wouldn’t go back for anything!

  29. What a great perspective! I don’t make money on my blog and doubt I ever will but I enjoy it just the same! I started blogging purely for self gratification and so far that part is working out well! I’ve made some wonderful and encouraging friends, learned new things and shared things! My day job (furniture/decor business) just gives me stuff to talk about and keeps my local customer aware of what is available. It definitely keeps me busy and is a balancing act…but it’s SUCH fun! You have a good friend there!

  30. OMGosh you have just described my life as a blogger. Are you spying on me?? 🙂 This is a fantastic (and hilarious) post and I am off to tweet it and share it!
    Then I will get back to working on my Spring Mantel, and froofy table scape and try to figure out how to get three new posts up before Friday.
    Love. This.
    – Claire

  31. I love this post, the hodge podge line made me laugh too. I agree there are some pretty amazing bloggers doing some pretty amazing projects out there!

  32. Thank you for the much needed afternoon laugh. And #6 OMG YES! I’ve come close to ER visits because of that one.

  33. So true – thanks for hijacking the blog to share your viewpoint!!
    Kelly

  34. Kelly I love the post I wish more people could read this post. from my non blogging world.

  35. Most of my irl friends seem to think blogging is cute. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint.

  36. I think the “getting it” part is a major factor in the warmth of the blogging community. I am continually awed by how friendly, helpful, and supportive other bloggers are. Perhaps that also adds to the addictive quality of blogging. Its a tremendous amount of work but the internal rewards are huge. 🙂 As for photo shoots…..I think I may anonymously send this post to my neighbors who surely are ready to call the men in white coats for the crazy woman who stands on her porch in the snow, bundled up for winter, taking photos of cookies. You have to find the right light, even if it is 25 degrees out. I am looking forward to warmer weather. 🙂 Thank you for a post that is validating for so many.

  37. Thank you so much for this post! I loved the insight, the kindness, the appreciation and the validation!

  38. a born blogger! and it sounds about right Kelly C….anytime you get a hankering for throwing down another g post, you are welcome too at my site. ha! Anytime! hi thanks I love this site and you will too. ;~)

  39. Awesome… sometimes you get so wrapped into just “doing blogging” you forget how a non-blogger sees you. Thanks for sharing your perspective Kelly!

  40. Kelly, you hit the nail on the head so to speak. Countless hours spent preparing one blog post so someone can pour over it and gain knowledge in less than 2 minutes! But, I wouldn’t change what I’m doing for anything, because I love the rewards (the random comment or email letting me know that I helped someone complete their own project.)

  41. Charlotte, you’re an amazing blogger. You’re so talented and smart. Funny too! I love you!

  42. Thank you for this post! You put a lot of what I have been feeling into words. I admit blogging is a lot more fun when you hear back from people via comments or e-mail. It builds a community that really supports it’s members. Lately, on my own blog, I haven’t been hearing back as much as I used to and it seems to be really effecting me.

  43. thank you — that was spot-on & wonderful!
    mb

    p.s. I discovered this post via a link on the blog Frontier Dreams…

  44. Pingback: Spice Up Your Kitchen Party! | Making Lemonade
  45. What a great friend and neighbor you have!! Great insight and so sweet for her to take the time to share it!! Thank you for a great post!! Both of you!! 🙂

  46. So perfect and sooooo true!! Thanks for giving a voice to all the bloggers out there. We love our readers and cherish every comment!

  47. I LOVE this! Totally sharing this right now on my Facebook page! What an incredible spot-on and thoughtful post – thanks Kelly!

  48. So well said ~ both of you! (I’m just discovering your blog today for the first time thanks to a Facebook link. I’m so glad I did. I think I might just stay here a while.:))

  49. Thanks for the great post. Feels very validating to have someone else acknowledge how much work blogging is. It’s nice to know that people appreciate the effort that goes into it. 🙂

  50. Love your Blog! And your friend is so spot on! I have a bog started, but I have not published anything yet cuz I am still trying to figure out how to edit pictures,embed,ect.!

  51. AWESOME…love this. I followed lots of blogs before starting my own this year and agree it’s a lot of work but I’m loving every minute of it 🙂 It makes my day to know I’m helping/inspiring others and love to hear back from my readers!! I’m sharing this one 🙂

  52. I LOVE this article! Shared it all over the place. I was laughing so hard at the picture list. And that is just what we did to GET THE FINAL PICTURE! Not to mention dreaming up ideas, shopping for supplies, crafting during perfect light conditions for tutorial photos, writing up the tutorial, promoting the post, linking up to link parties, working with advertisers, etc. etc. PHEW! Good thing we love it, eh?! 😉

    Sarah (Craft Quickies)

    1. Thanks for sharing it, Sarah! It’s so true, glad we love it because most people would think we’re nuts! 🙂

  53. Well she nailed that! I am like yup, done that. Very true and let me tell you…those comments and shares mean SOO much!!

  54. HI Carrie! What a great post! I was reading your list & saying yes in my head to each one:). So true & honest, thank you so much for sharing this. Love your blog, you are on my sidebar. Have a fantastic weekend, Jen

  55. OMG, all of this information surely hit home with this blogger. I spend so much time putting together a post, and often wondered with my labor is appreciated. I enjoyed reading this perspective about blogging from a unblogging. Great Post! ;o)

  56. I absolutely LOVE this! Totally made me smile today! So true!!!
    Virginia from LiveLoveDIY

  57. I don’t have a blog. I actually just recently ‘discovered’ them. I lost my job and started working on projects for my home. I googled for info and started noticing the blog posts. It opened up a whole new world. That may sound extreme, but, it did. I love this post and it gave me a better understanding of what goes into all of the helpful info I’ve gotten. I do comment. I was hesitant at first as I didn’t want to bother anyone. I’m delighted to know you enjoy comments. I must say I’ve completed so many projects. What I really enjoy is the community feel of it. Thank you for a great post. I will definitely comment more often and I’ll do photos of my next project.

    1. I hope you’ll share projects with us, Joann! I’d love to see what you’ve done!

  58. Ahhh This is so great and so true on so many aspects. She was dead right with every example she made. I’ll be sharing this everywhere (and maybe even my newsletter if you’re ok with that) to remind our readers what we do day-in and day-out. Great post!

  59. this is so true, thank you for putting the words on paper (screen)!!!!!! I’ve been known to stay up wayyyy past my normal bedtime to finish blog posts, edit photos, or catch up on other blogs. I’ve also been seen standing on my head (well, not really) in order to get the perfect camera angle. Oh the joys of blogging, I LOVE IT!!!!!

  60. Well said! Please give Kelly a high five from me. You don’t realize how much work goes into blogging until you actually start one. It takes hours and hours of work for one post…in addition to life’s everyday responsibilities. I don’t know how some of my friends find the time to put up blog posts several times a week along with working full-time. I thought I’d be able to post more than I do when I started, but I soon realized that’s not the case with everything else going on in my busy life. Oh, I have good intentions and all sorts of recipes in mind…then time gets the best of me and there could be several days between posts. One day I say….

    Thanks again for posting.

  61. hi..I’m Anne. I am not a blogger…I just discovered blogging like Kelly..I googled painting a dresser and these great blogs came up.. i’m hooked..and yes ..i did paint my dresser with the help of all these bloggers who taught me about chalk paint and wax..I would post it but i haven’t mastered that part yet….and..I’m hooked..i love peeking into these bloggers worlds

  62. So true and I’m not to the point of getting paid or anything yet! But it is fun to look back and remember what you created. And always a joy to know you helped someone. 🙂

  63. Thank you! 🙂 I am a blogger, and frankly it’s nice to be noticed. 😉 most people either just nod and say, “oh, so you’re just a blogger.” Or they look at my modest following and say I need to do this and that to improve my site. Sheesh! People have no clue how hard blogging is!
    So thank you!

  64. I loved this! What a super friend-written guest post!!! It is all true! Seriously– I think mostly my non-invisible friend just don’t “get” what I’m doing every day. I love to hear from my readers– I’ve had 2 contact me in days past and apologize for “bothering” me and I was like– Are you KIDDING me?! That’s the best part!!

  65. Kelly’s compassion and support for you and all bloggers is impressive. This was spot on. A blogger does what they do because they love it. I can’t think of another occupation that works for free, countless hours a day, every day, for months and months before making a single dime. And still, will tell you that they love what they do. I think all bloggers would agree that support like Kelly’s is what gets us through it.

  66. Coming from a non-blogger turned into a blogger, I understand and completely agree with everything! This is great!

  67. I think I just saw my life flash before my eyes. Awesome post, thanks!

  68. I Came here from another blogger, who recommended this post. I’ve been thinking about creating a blog about my business, and I marvel at the continual out pouring of entries from bloggers. I don’t know how you do it.

  69. This made me LOL. It’s sooooo true, especially the weirdly located photo shoots. I’m learning more and more than food photography is NOT like any other form of photography and even though I’ve mastered the rest, food is HARD. My neighbors probably think I’m a total lunatic, taking pictures of muffins in the yard.

  70. Amazing. True. And very well said! I love this and I will be sharing 🙂 Thanks for posting the link.

    1. Thanks, Stacy! It means so much that you agree and that you’re sharing it too. 🙂

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  73. Great post! It helps me to be more appreciative of those giving of their time to make things nice for us!

  74. Oh. My. Gosh. I LOVE THIS POST!! Thank you so much for sharing it with me. I honestly just laughed out loud because it really hit home. xoxo. -Brooke

  75. OMG! This post resonates with me so much. I blog to help grow my e commerce business, but also talk about lots of other things. I do this from home. Sometimes I wonder why I do it. So this post is fabulous and delightful.

    Here it is over a year after the original post, and I ran across a link on Pinterest. Shows how inspiring this information is that it is still being read after a year.

    Thanks to both of you.
    LeAllyson

    1. LeAllyson, that’s so funny that you found it on Pinterest! Makes me happy you found it and it resonates with you too. 🙂

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