Behind the Scenes of Blogging

Things aren’t always what they seem
— Irish Proverb

The subject of this blog post is one that's near and dear to my heart. It's been almost a year since I embarked on my blogging journey and it has not been easy. Now, some might question the authenticity of that statement. Many people that I've encountered easily see the beauty in my struggle, however they don't understand the ugliness of my success. 

During this journey, there have been opportunities where I have been able to enjoy the beauty in my struggle or the perks of blogging. However, there is much struggle that comes with it or "ugliness in success." This blog post is not only intended for Bloggers, but is written for others to get an idea of what blogging is really like. I was motivated to write this post not only from my personal experiences but from discussions with others. The aim of this article is to bridge the gap between bloggers and their friends and family members that might not truly understand what blogging involves. Check out these 5 key points to keep in mind.

1. Blogging is Not Always Glamorous. 

As a perk of being a Blogger, I do get to attend media events that are not open to the general public. There are also times where I can attend events for free, receive free meals, products, or hotel stays in exchange for my review and blog post. This might sound extremely glamorous. However, it takes much work. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes that you do not see. As a new Blogger, companies do not always reach out to me, but I send pitches to them. Business development is a huge aspect of blogging. I spend much of my time not only tracking down key decision makers, but also drafting and sending out my pitches. This is not limited to following up and getting things rolling once we've decided to do business.

Many events that I attend are also during the week. This means that I have to go straight to an event after leaving my full-time job. There are many nights where I leave my home at 7am and don't return until 9 or even 10 pm. Recently, I can recount a week where I attended three media events back to back.

2. Editing Photos Takes Time. 

Thank you to all of you have commented on how pretty my pictures look. It may seem like I just point, shoot, and post but editing pictures takes time. When I'm out doing a restaurant review, traveling, or attending an event I have to set aside time to take pictures. Sure, it might seem like i'm just wining and dining but I spend a lot of time taking photos. This includes staging my plate, finding lighting, and sometimes moving to different areas of the restaurant to get a good shot. I can easily take 5-10 pictures of just one plate, and sometimes more. Once, I get home I have to go through the photos, select my favorites, and then edit. This can take hours depending on how many photos I'll post on my blog. I recently started taking videos and it takes even longer to edit that content. It can take days to create a video including editing the video, selecting music, adding effects, etc. Before the video is shot, I also have to conceptualize it before implementing my vision. Thankfully, my husband helps me edit which helps shorten the time it takes. 

3. Write, Write, and Write Some More.

After all photos and videos are edited I write my actual blog post. I strive to post content fairly quickly as time is of the essence. After, I've agreed to write a blog post, I have to hold on to my end the deal and post it timely. If I'm writing a post on my own time, I can approach it a little more leisurely. However, the work doesn't stop there. I not only have to draft the story, decide on where I will place my photos, but also edit the content for grammatical and spelling errors before I can post. I can easily spend 1-2 hours writing a blog post if not more depending on its length. Editing takes quite a bit of time as well. Sometimes, it takes a while for me to get my creative juices flowing in addition to drafting the content. There have been times when I've scrapped an entire blog post and re-started because it was not flowing properly. 

4. Social Media Management is Work.

Social Media Management is a huge component to blogging. You might easily think that your favorite Blogger randomly posts to Instagram or Twitter but trust me it takes work. Many Bloggers plan all their content in advance and have a social media strategy.  I normally plan out on my content in advance. However, I still have to make sure my photos are edited before posting them on my social media platforms. I also research hashtags and carefully decide on which ones I will use before I post. Although, it might seem like I'm randomly posting there's nothing random about it. The process doesn't stop after posting photos. Social Media Engagement is critical and I do my best to engage with my Squad. This is not limited to replying back to comments, commenting on the photos of others, asking questions, and starting conversations. My Squad means everything to me and I spend a lot of time staying connected to them. 

5. Attitude is Everything. 

Blogging is extremely rewarding but is not easy. There are some days where I have been so exhausted from blogging that I've questioned if I should keep going. If you are a Blogger, surround yourself with other Bloggers and Creatives that can encourage and motivate you. I constantly stay in contact with my Blogger friends as we can easily relate to and encourage each other. Keeping a positive attitude is extremely critical as it takes time to build a following and to maintain a blog. There will be days that you will want to give up, but keep going. Never allow the comments or lack of understanding from others to dissuade you. 

If you have a friend or family member that's a Blogger it is also important that you're supportive and maintain a positive attitude. Avoid making comments that could potentially show disregard for their work. Although, you might not be able to relate completely to their obstacles, provide a listening ear. Keep in mind that blogging is a business and may not be viewed as a hobby. At times, your friend or family member may receive an extra ticket to an event and invite you. Please remember, that bringing a plus one is not always an option. If you are invited to come along please be mindful of their time, and try to assist them at events. If you are invited to any media dinner please remember to leave a tip as this is a standard.

Ask questions about to what to expect prior to an event. Keep in mind that you are representing the Blogger and ultimately their brand. Even if they are not generating income from their blog, realize that it is still a business and very important to them. Even if you are unable to attend events with them there are still small ways that you can show support. Why not make an effort to read their blog posts and comment? Even liking a photo or two can make a difference. Trust me, every little bit helps and they will feel encouraged by just knowing that your making an effort to support them. 

I hope that this post has given you a little bit more insight into the world of blogging. If any of my fellow Bloggers or Creatives are reading I salute you and applaud you. Feel free to drop a comment below to add any additional insight.