A Blogger's Life....Have you got it?

9:59 AM

I ask a few days ago what were some of the things you would like to see me write about, one of the things that was mentioned more than a few times, was what is the life of a blogger like, so I decided that was what I was going to write about today.

I know many f you think , wow, I want to be a blogger because you get free stuff and it's a glamorous thing. Well let me tell you, it isn't all free stuff & fun. I am passionate about my blog, I am passionate about writing and reading, I am even passionate about reviews.

Many of you have noticed I have not been doing as many reviews lately and I will tell you why.  When I first started I took almost any review because it was to help my blog, however, going on year three now, I only accept the reviews that I feel I can be passionate about, that I can write about to you, my readers, and feel good about the product I am telling you about. If I don't feel I can do that, then I turn the review down, which means, as of lately, you have not seen many reviews.

Blogging can be a wonderful things, I have made friends here that I think will be friends for life. However, it isn't easy and you have to put a lot of work in to it to be successful. This past month, I didn't write much, nor did I do many reviews. I was sick 75 % of the month and the times when I wasn't sick I tried to get caught up on my must do's and tried to get a few things posted on Facebook.

During the school year, I would get up an extra hour early just to get started on post here on the blog, where I could write uninterrupted. During that time I was averaging 14-15 post on the blog per week and about 300 per week on Facebook. The blog was rocking busy and I loved it, and that is where we are going to get back too soon. 

SO you get free stuff...yes, but when you get that you must take pictures, then use the product, take more pictures, write about it and use at least 400-800 words about the product, so once it is all said and done you can have anywhere from one hour to 4-5 hours just in one "free" product. So if you are making minimum wage, at 5 hours, after you also pay taxes on the products you get, you are averaging out making less then the product cost. say you had a product and the retail value was $25, you spent 5 hours working on it, you are making minimum wage ( if you were working another job) that equals to $36.25, already over the cost of the product, then Uncle Sam also taxes you on those "free products" , so in the end not only are you making less than minimum wage for that but you also have to pay taxes on the $25 product, so in essences if you spend 5 hours working on that review, you are averaging about $2.77 per hour. doesn't sound so great does it? So instead of making $7.25 at a minimum wage job you are making about $2.77 per hour doing product reviews. Hence the reason I have become very picky about which reviews I choose to take now. It has to be worth my time to write it and worth your time to red about it and i want to review products I can write positive about on the blog to you. 

Many people say oh you get to go so many places if you are a blogger, well that is true, but none of that is free either. Take when I went to NYC in November. The summit itself was free, but the 12 hour drive & gas were not, the hotel was free for one night, but not the other 3 I stayed so I could attend another convention and enjoy NYC and rest between that 12 hour drive and the original summit. My food was free for lunch & breakfast at the summit but my dinner & drinks, etc were not. My gas came out of my pocket. So yes, I can write that off on my taxes for most of it, but not the last day of my trip & hotel because we stayed on our own to explore and give me time to rest because as you all know, I am sick and can't exactly run all over then take a 12 hour car trip back, plus we drove back through DC &dropped my son off who had come up to visit us.

Now, in July I get the excitement and opportunity to travel to San Jose California for the BlogHer convention, and I could not be more exited. I will also be recognized as a 2014 Voice of the year award winner. I was fortunate enough to get a full sponsorship for my airfare, conference tickets & hotel room, which I never could have afforded on my own, but I still have to come up wit my own money for food, travel to and from the airport, anything else I might do while there and my daily necessities. A small price to pay for getting to go on this trip of a lifetime where I can learn all about blogging, meet with great bloggers & brands and have this once in a lifetime opportunity. However, I still have to report that sponsorship to Uncle Sam and yes, pay taxes on that as well, just like with a product review. 

Now, someday, when I have learned all the tips & tricks and such, I may actually make money from my blogging, but at this point, what I make I put right back in to the blog in prizes, Facebook ad's and more. I may make about $300-$400 per month after all is said and done and spend about 8-100 hours permonth working on the blog , Facebook , Pinterest Page, twitter & instagram. 

Blogging is not an easy "job" nor does it pay well, especially when you first start off. If you want to blog, keep in mind, building your brand takes time and it could be a year or years before you actually see any money from your blog in any significant amount.

I also host twitter parties to supplement my income because most of you know, I can no longer work a real job. I help out in our family business but even that is not something I can do full time anymore, so blogging is how I try to keep afloat.

Honestly, Blogging is what I am passionate about. I love every second of every post I write, every post I make on Facebook, and every comment on the blog, good or bad, which gives me feedback to see if what I am doing relates to my readers. 

If you want to start blogging, you must find something you are passionate about to blog about. You don't want to be one of the thousands of coupon bloggers out there, because the blogging world is overloaded with coupon blogs. If you are passionate about cooking, have a lot of good recipes or are willing to try new recipes with other brand's products, then you could stat a blog about that.

If you love fashion, have a great sense of style, go that route, same with beauty, etc. Find your passion. for me, I started out as a coupon blog and then realized although I loved to coupon, general writing, product reviews and writing about life was what I was more passionate about and I started going that route and away from coupons.

A blogger's life is far from glamorous, at least to start for the first year or two, and you have to keep at it, everyday or most days to make it successful.

You also have to understand SEO, learn HTML, learn about the rules of posting reviews & paid articles and the FTC guidelines for posting. So before you decide to become a blogger, I highly suggest you do your research on all of those topics, design your brand, and I would suggest start out purchasing your own domain and not just use the free domains. With free domains you are limited as to some things you can and cannot post. Many blogs as well as great articles are on the web that will tell you step by step on how to get started and the best way to go about it , how to learn about SEO,FTC and all the rules that go a long with becoming a blogger. Don't go in expecting to just make money, join the huge blogging networks, etc because until you have built your blog & brand, You won't stand a chance. Research, asking other bloggers ( some will gladly answer questions, others not so much) and finding your passion is what is it really all about.

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