I am a full-time blogger.
That’s a fact that a lot of people have a hard time wrapping their head around.
“Exactly HOW do you make money?”
“Are you broke?”
“I’m sure it’s a fun hobby but it’s not a job, Sarah.”
“Why would you do that to your husband?” (that really something someone said to me. Picture smoke coming out of my ears.)
“But, really, what do you do all day? You can’t possibly BLOG all day long?”
I get it!
If you don’t blog it can be so confusing to understand how this can be a job (like, easily a 8-14 hours a day job, 6 days a week job to be very honest) and how someone in your life could ever want to be a full-time blogger. The truth is that the amount of work that goes into blogging is so much more than banging out a few words on the keyboard. IF ONLY IT WAS THAT EASY!
Blogging is extraordinarily difficult. It requires not just the ability to write, but the ability to create on demand, explore new (and sometimes controversial) topics, extreme vulnerability, tack-sharp marketing skills, social media dominance, a keen eye for photography, social skills (yes, you have to meet people in person and make them like you!), tenacity, salesmanship, an ability to persevere even when no one is showing up to your blog, and so much more.
A blog is a living, breathing thing and – much like the person writing it – it needs constant attention, love and care if it is ever going to grow.
So while you may not understand what the blogger in your life does all day and how they could possibly make a living at it, it doesn’t mean you can’t support them.
In fact, support from friends and family is the one thing that keeps a blogger going, especially in the beginning when everything is so new and difficult.
But don’t settle for simply asking them, from time to time, “how’s the blog doing?”. Instead, here are some tangible ways that you can consistently show up and support the blogger in your life:
Click on Their Posts
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when a blogger has started to promote their newest blog post online (through social media or maybe an email to their newsletter), you need to click on the link. Don’t just skim the headline or the little preview that pops up – click on the link. Traffic to your blog post really matters, so bloggers need readers to actually VISIT their blog page. [BONUS: While you’re on their page, visit a few of their other blog posts. It really does make a difference in blogging numbers.]
Read Their Posts
But don’t just click on their posts. READ THE POSTS!
I have a few cousins (their my husband’s cousins but I love them so we’ll pretend their mine) that read and comment on everything I post on my Sleeping Is For Losers Facebook page. I cannot tell you how much this means to me. They are my cheering squad for everything and they constantly leave me the most heartfelt comments that show me they actually read my post (not just skimmed the title!). Knowing that you have a supportive audience that is going to show up and read your work matters and keeps you going when you truly want to stop. So read that bloggers post – each post – because it matters.
Follow Them Online
If the blogger in your life has a dedicated Facebook page or Twitter handle for their blog, follow them. It’s a simple thing but it means so much. Don’t feel like you have to engage with every single thing they post, but give them a follow none the less. Building a community of readers takes time but the reality is that the more followers you have, the more followers you get. Your simple follow helps that blogger entice others to follow them online as well – and it’s a really simple way for you to show your support!
Share, Share, Share
Sharing is EVERYTHING in the online world. It’s the only way that your writing gets seen by new people. It used to be that you would write a post and people would stumble upon you. But not anymore. Blogging is a business and a bit of a game now – you need to constantly be getting your work in front of new eyeballs if you want any semblance of success. Find those new eyeballs, however? It’s one of the most frustrating tasks a blogger faces!
So help them out and hit SHARE next time you read one of their posts. Share it on your Facebook page so your friends and family can see it or retweet it on Twitter. Maybe pin it to one of your Pinterest boards! You don’t have to do it for every single post (in fact I wouldn’t suggest you do that) but there is so much power in having a few people sharing your posts! Do it once a month and help that blogger in your life feel like someone (anyone!) cares! [BONUS: If your friends happen to like or comment on the post, suggest to them that they start following the blogger on Facebook! POWERFUL!]
Leave a Comment
Leaving a comment on the actual blog post can be extremely powerful for a blogger who wants to make money. It shows potential sponsors or partners that you can create engagement. That’s the key to making money as a blogger: conjuring up and maintaining ENGAGEMENT. The way engagement is measured is often through the number of followers but lately, more and more, through the level of interaction with followers. As a blogger, the number of followers you have on your Facebook or Instagram do matter, but how many people leave comments on the post matters almost more!
People who pay bloggers are tired of hearing crickets when a blog post goes up – they want DIALOGUE! So when the blogger in your life posts something new, comment on it. Make it heartfelt (as in, read the post before you comment) and make it interactive. Your comment may lead to more and that’s blogger gold in so many ways! [BONUS: Leave a comment on the actual blog post! NO ONE does that anymore and it’s totally awesome when you do get a real blog post comment! In fact, I would hazard a guess that people prefer those ‘on the post’ comments over social media ones!].
Support Their Big Campaigns (Even If They’re Annoying)
Most bloggers begin to make money through sponsored posts (that’s where a company will pay a blogger to write about a specific product: like this). These are truly the bread and butter for most bloggers and they require a lot of work and a ton of support! So when you see the blogger in your life writing about a specific product or brand, give them extra support. Like it, share it, comment on it and share it again (maybe on another social media platform!). Go gangbusters to support them over and over again on sponsored posts – it will mean the world! The same goes for any product they are selling (physical or virtual). Share it, like it, comment on it, suggest it to your friends! Small things mean a lot!
This is so simple but it is so rare. ASK THEM how you can support them. What do they need you to do to help them achieve success. Do they need you to share, comment, engage, read? Do they need your feedback or your ideas? Do they want your help in approaching a sponsor? You really don’t know what a blogger needs from you until you ask them. And once they’ve told you, do it. Give them the support they need to continue to grow an audience and engage with new readers online.
Really and truly, with what is a very simple task for you (a like, a share, a comment, a read!), you could be starting the ball rolling for them and making a massive difference!
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