Two of my friends have started blogging here at WordPress.com. I enjoy reading their posts, but blogging is so much more than writing.
There are several things to consider before you commit yourself to this treadmill:
- Do you write every day? I am talking about a page or two in a journal, not a paragraph in a diary. I post 7 days a week, 365 days a year, to my first blog, and twice a week, to this blog. (I’ve kept a journal since I was 13.)
- Do you want to write or do you want to be famous? There are 665,000,000 blogs on WordPress alone and there are other platforms for blogging.
- Do you want to write for yourself or for others. Affiliate marketing is presented as the way to make millions. The sad thing is, once a blog gets on that carousel, they have to write posts with their opinion about the affiliate’s products. Two blogs I used to love, sometimes sit in my email unread because of the posts that are just about products. I used to read them faithfully.
- Is this something you see yourself doing 25 years from now? The raw truth is you can write for years and not receive any recognition or income. I am on year #7.
- Do you mind having a target on your forehead? Yesterday, there was another attempt to hack into one of my email addresses. I cannot tell you how often I have changed my passwords. Once they get through, you have to change passwords on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and any other service you use.
- Do you like using all of the social media services? There are several more services that I am supposed to have set up for frugalfish.org. I haven’t had the time, and I honestly wonder how everyone keeps up with all of them.
- Do you like to read boring stuff, like a users manual? Technology changes all of the time. You will be making decisions about your blog in areas with which you may not be familiar.
- How about taking classes? Are you fluent in HTML, SEO, CSS, and others. I’m not! I’ve taken five classes, and have two reference books: “WordPress for Dummies,” and “Search Engine Opitmization for Dummies.” I had to take two HTML classes to understand both of these books. I will be taking classes and buying books for the rest of my life.
- Are you willing to pay for the rest of your life? I seriously considered dropping this blog and concentrating on my other blog. The only problem is my domain name is out there and linked to this blog. My domain name is backed by my name and reputation. If I don’t continue paying for it, someone else can purchase it and post whatever they want. They could ruin my reputation. Your most important asset is your name and reputation. Protect it.
- How comfortable are you talking to strangers? You will be writing to strangers and they do not know you. Many will not “get you.” Which leads to…
- Negative, hateful comments, criticisms, and insults. How thick is your skin. Some bloggers post the negative comments and then defend them. I choose not to publish them. I am not here to debate, I am here to give you ideas to save money and live without debt.
- Do you have a large group of friends who also blog? I don’t. Most of my friends didn’t even know what a blog was when I started! Many blogs have several comments because they have a group of friends and they comment on each other’s blogs routinely.
- How comfortable are you talking about personal topics? We are encouraged to share parts of our lives: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I stick to sharing the good things, although, I try to update a post when it fails.
- Do you like reading emails? You can receive notifications when someone: comments on your post, likes your post, likes your comments, and there is a daily post to help you improve your blog.
- What if your post goes viral? Then you have to worry about the next post. Will you be able to keep your audience? You may have to spend some money…like buying a domain name, if you do not have one. Some who have gone viral have had to change their email addresses and shut off notifications.
- Whatever service you sign up for you will be paying for from now on. I purchased a website for one of my blogs. I used a portion of an inheritance to pay for it. When it came time to renew, we happened to have a large windfall. When it came due again, my husband was unemployed. I went back to just having a blog, but now I have to pay a small fee for my domain name to be mapped back to the blog where it all started.
- How is your spelling and grammar? Every day I review a page from the book, “The Elements of Style,” by William Strunk, Jr. This grammar book gives the principal requirements of plain English style. It is more than knowing the difference between: they’re, their, and there! (Note: Spellcheck can be as bad as auto correct on your phone!)
Blogging is more than just sharing your awesome thoughts.
It’s a huge commitment. Sometimes, I wish I had just sent my posts to “The Penny Hoarder.” They pay for posts.
(You can also share your awesome thoughts in comments on other blogs.)
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