Not going to lie, this post is a little self serving but I also think it’s important. These kinds of things don’t come naturally to some folks who may not understand how blogging works.
I’ve also been in the “blogging” mindset with FitBloggin‘ around the corner. On a call last week with the new FitBloggin’ advisory board we discussed how blogging has changed and how more and more folks are abandoning their blogs in lieu of only social media interaction. Frankly, I find myself doing more of that as well, too. There are times I share fairly long Facebook posts (like this one today) that just a few years ago I would post here on the blog instead. I also rarely ever post my “Notes to Self” anymore as they are more suitable for Twitter with its 140 character limit.
For me, blogging has always been a way to connect and share. I’ve been using it to get out of my own head for years and there’s no doubt it’s been a huge part of not only my weight loss success but my journey into fitness as well. I changed a lot in 10 years and this blog has been a catalyst while capturing it all.
Over those 10 years my style of blogging changed from weekly weigh-in posts to daily journal entries to article styles and now back to daily journals. I have always used my blog for more personal reasons while trying to balance what you, the reader, may find interesting as well. It’s quite a juggling act but I’ve come to learn that it has to be more about me than you. I’ve rediscovered the power of simply daily postings and it’s reminded why I fell in love with blogging in the first place.
I feel like my style of blogging is a bit antiquated. Most of the “popular” bloggers or the ones who “make it” are much more article driven, even magazine like. I (and many others), however, have no desire to go down that path. For some of us it’s more about the self-expression, journaling, connecting, and the therapeutic nature of doing those things. There’s no denying I get a lot out of it and my philosophy has always been that if only one other person relates and my story somehow helps them then the blog is a success.
All of that being said, sometimes blogging reaps little reward. You can easily pour your soul into a post only to get no response in the comments, or worse, only spam comments. All those ads you see on people’s sidebars make them pennies, literally, pennies — that’s not even me, the exaggerator, exaggerating. And sure, we may get lucky enough to get on a few PR reps’ lists for free products now and then but most want something in return and as soon as you mention any sort of compensation they go running for the hills.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a woe is me blog post. I love what I do and I’m grateful I get to do it. Not everyone is as lucky, and as I see more and more blogs abandoned I can’t help to be a little sad that the era of blogging is dying.
Things change, of course, they have to, but if there are bloggers you enjoy reading I urge you to support them by:
1. Leaving a Comment
So simple but SO powerful. It doesn’t even have to be a long, thought out comment! Just a “I get you” or a “Congrats” or a simple “hope you feel better.” Right now I’ll bet you that someone who is reading this has read my blog for years and never commented. I get it. It’s scary. You have to leave a name and an email address. You think we don’t read them or won’t care. I have read every single comment I’ve ever gotten and I appreciate every single one. Most of the bloggers I know feel the same way. It’s a little about validating us, sure. It’s not a stretch that we are kind of attention seekers — if we weren’t we probably wouldn’t be blogging. Everyone wants to be validated in some way but commenting can be so much more than that. It’s connection. It’s reassurance someone is out there. It’s a keep-doing-what-you’re-doing-becuase-I-appreciate-it-and-I’m-here pat on the back.
Next time you read a blog post from one of your favorite bloggers and it makes you smirk or laugh or nod in agreement, let them know that and be confident you just made their day.
2. Visit their actual blog now and then
I publish full feeds here on Roni’s Weigh and have since pretty much the beginning. That means if you subscribe you get my full post delivered to your inbox, which while convenient for you screws me out of any sort of income generation from ads. I’m not complaining, I’m just being honest. If it was a big deal for me I would simply not publish my full feed. And some bloggers don’t for that very reason.
Let me take a moment to shed some light on all the ways bloggers make money. I agree that shouldn’t be why bloggers do what they do, but let’s for the sake of argument, pretend blogging is work. Most bloggers blog on top of their full-time jobs. I did when I started. I would put a full day in at the office, come home for family time and then once the kids were in bed “blog” from about 8 until midnight.
You may think all that means is writing something really quick and hitting the publish button but behind the scenes there’s server management, spam control, web design, photo editing, site maintenance, upgrades, social media promotion, and so on and so forth. Of course the amount of work folks put into all these things is variable and it all depends on how serious they take their blog but it’s there. I finally hired an editor and server guy after eight years of blogging, not because I didn’t need them earlier but because I didn’t make enough to justify the expense and that was me attempting to generate an income from two blogs.
So back to how bloggers make money. Basically (and I’m simplifying here) there are four ways: Ads, sponsors or sponsored posts, affiliate links and their own products. I’m focusing on ads here, as that’s where the benefit of visiting the actual blog comes into play.
There are basically 3 types of ads:
- CPC ads — Blogger makes a few pennies if ad is clicked
- CPM ads — Blogger makes a few pennies for every time the ad is seen (like a billboard on the highway)
- CPA ads — Blogger makes a small percentage every time you click on ads and then purchase something.
Ads suck and I long for a day I can remove all of them from my site forever, but truth be told, they are a majority of my income and I’d guess most other bloggers as well. They are passive, require little work from me day-to-day and in the case of CPM ads, require no work or money from you besides visiting my site.
Most CPM ads are network based, which means the blogger joins a network and installs a little code on the blog. The network then manages the advertisers and feeds the ads. Frankly, I don’t even look at them. I don’t even know what’s being advertised on my site half the time. Now and then I’ll get a complaint from a reader there’s some quick-fix diet or man boobs ads or something and then I’ll contact the ad network and ask them to remove that particular advertiser.
I’m not saying this is right or wrong, right now it just is. Ad management is at the lowest end of my priority list because I’d rather spend my time writing, connecting, responding to comments and so forth.
All this is to say, visit your favorite blogs now and then, ignore the ads and smile knowing you just earned them a nickel or so (if they’re lucky.)
3. Follow them on social media and interact!
Since we opened the money can of worms, you may not know this but a blogger’s social media “status” helps them land sponsors. The more followers they have on Twitter or Facebook or whatever the social media du jour is, sponsors notice that. They like bloggers who not only have large followings but interact with those followers.
But this isn’t all about the money. As I said, I’m all about the connection. I love interacting and that’s what social media is good for. Sure, there are bloggers who just push stuff out never responding to tweets or Facebook posts, but for me and many others these social media channels are more than a way to promote. Social media gives us more interaction and most bloggers I know crave interaction. It’s another reason we do what we do.
(side note: If you are a Facebook person did you know you can select to get notification from your favorite Facebook posts? see below)
4. Share posts that resonate with you
Since we’re on the social media side of things I have one more word for you: SHARE! Share blog posts from your favorite bloggers who resonate with you. Retweet bloggers when they promote their posts. Share Facebook wall posts that you like. I’m not saying do this to a fault and spam your friends and family, but when something really entertains you or makes you smile or hits home then share it.
As cheesy as it sounds, sharing is caring in the blogosphere.
5. Purchase blogger products
This one falls into the money-making category again but when you see a blogger pushing their own products whether it be books, T-shirts, stickers or whatever you have to give them at least a small pat on the back. They are trying to carve their own path. Why should the only option be to peddle brands?
(UPDATE: I forgot to add this point and it hit me at the gym this morning — sad I know. Review! If someone *cough* has a book or product and the site you order from allows you to leave a review… DO IT! They are invaluable and really help the blogger get on the radar of others. Yes, this is totally self-serving with #wycwyc out. I’m learning so much about publishing and how Amazon works!)
I know in my case I hope I can generate enough income from book sales, sponsors and other potential income streams (speaking possibly) so I can remove most, if not all annoying ads on my blogs. How awesome would that be?
There is no road map when it comes to blogging and I truly believe there is no “right” way to do it. Most of us do what we do out of instinct. We learn as we go along making wrong turns and stumbling, a lot. But as blogging continues to evolve and change I hope we can hold on to at least some of what made it great in the beginning.
I don’t normally blog about blogging stuff because I find blogging about blogging well, pretty annoying. The way I see it, niche magazines don’t post articles about the publishing industry unless they are a magazine for magazine publishers. I used to have a separate blog to blog about blogging for bloggers (I had to do it — it just sounded too funny) but I dropped it years ago and absorbed it into this one for archival purposes.
Bloggers are some of the most passionate people I know and it saddens me to see more and more walking away from something they enjoy. I can’t wait to see my fellow bloggers next week in Denver and I hope this posts helps in some way.
- 7:15 a.m. Post-workout Recover Shake (1 scoop)
- 8 a.m. Banana Oatmeal Cup with added hemp seeds
- 9:30 a.m. Leftover salmon and brown rice — my stomach was GROWLING so I just attacked some leftovers instead of grabbing a typical snack. I’m trying to do this more.
- 12:30 p.m. Avocado and crab maki with a spring roll and a green salad.
- 6 p.m. Ryan’s Birthday dinner out (He’s TEN TODAY! — blows my mind) I had scallops, fried rice, noodles, veggies and a bite of his birthday cake. :)
- 6 a.m. Row and Stretching for warm-up
5 @ 33 lbs
5 @ 83 lbs
5 @ 103 lbs
5 @ 123 lbs
5 @ 133 lbs
5 @ 123 lbs
5 @ 123 lbs
Workout was 3 rounds through the “stations” – 60 seconds of work at each station with 45 seconds rest. The number is my total reps. I took it pretty easy, still recovering from this weekend.
Calorie ROW – 43
GHD Sit Up – 46
Ground2Overhead(65#) – 20
Wall Ball (14#) – 55
- So my #milestreak ended. Honestly, I forgot about it on Saturday with the comp and Sunday I wanted a full day of recovery so I did nothing. Today every moment has been accounted for. My plan it to restart tomorrow. As I said on twitter….
Unfortunately this weekend I was so busy my # ended. :( But that’s ok, I’ll just have to start another. :) #