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!
Right 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:
- Bought a very expensive camera.
- Took photography classes, bought books and read online how to take amazing shots with said camera.
- Waited days for the perfect weather to come through so the natural lighting would look just right.
- Went to the store to buy fresh flowers or fruit.
- 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.
- Balanced perilously on a chair or laid on the floor to get just the right angle.
- 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.
- Spent untold amount of time on Pic Monkey or Photoshop editing the picture.
- 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.
- 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.
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!