Friday, January 25, 2019

Blogging || FAQs

When I get asked what I do, I have creative answers depending on who's asking it. If it's a conversation I need to be over quickly I say something like 'I run a website' or I simply tell them I sell my art. Sometimes, saying I'm a 'blogger' opens me up for so many questions that sometimes I just don't have the energy or need to answer.

Unless you're a blogger yourself, know a blogger or just have a good grasp on how this industry works in terms of making it a job, then you may be wondering how it's a job, how we make money or how we work with brands. Often people think it's all about getting freebies, we can't make money from it or that it's just an elaborate self absorbed version of our reality that we decide to share with the world, absolutely not the case. 

I thought I'd share some of the most common questions that us bloggers face when we tell others about our job and a little more about what it involves. I quite often see people telling others they should start a blog and it always reminds me that people clearly don't know what it is or what we actually do. It's hard work and although it can be a source of income, it can just be a hobby too and is for many. So here's my FAQs relating to my blog and what I do, with questions that I get asked in real life, as well as by email and on social media.

What is a blogger/blog?

A blog is a regularly updated website, written usually in a chatty voice giving updates on businesses or personal lives. Some blogs are for fun, hobbies, some are to keep customers up to date with business going on and some are family blogs. Blogs come in many forms and can be about just about anything. Quite often when you throw a question at Google, it'll be a blog that gives you your answers. More recently, personal blogs have been seen as a valuable marketing tool for brands to utilise, alongside traditional advertising methods and social media. For me, my blog is about my family, my life, my art and my love for home decor and furnishing.

How do you make money from blogging?

There are lots of ways to bring in an income from blogging. The most common way of making cash is to write sponsored posts as well as linking to businesses in suitable articles. As well as this money can be made from affiliate schemes such as Amazon, where the reader may click through your blog, buy something and the blogger receives a percentage of the price as payment for the referral. There's also selling advertising space on your website, selling books, tutorials, memberships and even taking on social media management or branching out into PR, photo sales or products.

How do you get to work with brands?

Although I'm sure it's very different for a lot of bloggers, for me it started with product reviews, leading on to their work, collaborations and paid work. Reaching out to potential brands is an option, pitching for work and selling your services, but this is less of the case for me. Brands may search for bloggers on Google, get contacts from other PRs or you may even just show on their radar as a fan of their brand, for a nice organic collaboration.

Do you get a lot of free stuff?

This is the big one and probably the one that bugs us bloggers most. We do indeed get sent gifts, go on trips and even holidays, but we do work for it. Just like any job you'd work for payment, but often in blogging, the writing, photography, editing, social sharing and all that good stuff is 'paid' for with products or services. So in a way it is technically free as in no money changes hands, but we do work our asses off for it.

Should I start a blog?

Yes! If you want to start one and aren't just doing it expecting the moon on a stick for zero work, then go for it. If you enjoy writing, love sharing stories or want to document your life, whatever it is you want to blog about it's a great thing to do. You could just do it as a hobby, you could start with the intention of making it your job, the possibilities are endless so I definitely recommend it.

So I could just write stuff about me and get paid for it?

Essentially yes, but there's a lot of groundwork that goes with it, there's a lot of behind the scenes maintenance, sharing, research and work that goes into it for most of us. If you're super funny, have a unique story or a very niche topic then you could be successful easily, but for most of us we put in a lot of hours for very little to start with.

I started a blog and it didn't work, why is yours working?

I work really hard. I stay up until 2am several nights a week and have done lots of free work to help build contacts and grow my website. I write a lot, I'm honest and I love it so any negatives are blown out the water. Often people start a blog only to give it up a few weeks later because they haven't been offered 'free stuff' or paid work, so it is really one of those things where you get out of it what you put in.

Aren't you worried about putting up pictures of your kids?

This one comes up a lot, and often those asking are the same ones happily posting pictures of their own children in random Facebook groups or to enter competitions. Sharing our pictures is part of what Wafflemama is all about, it's an open book about our family and I'm in charge of these pictures. There are lots of weirdos out there, but as much as there could be one reading this right now, there could be one working in the kids school, sitting in the park or coming in to read our meters. Publishing family photos is probably the least of our worries as parents.

Why did you start your blog?

I started my blog as a way to document our family lives. I have a hopeless memory, so pictures are truly sacred and having a record of the kids and their childhood is so important to me. My blog has evolved alongside our family, as the kids have grown so too has my blog. As I've got a bit more 'me time' back, I've also showed my interests change on my blog, with a love of home decor and launching my Etsy shop.

Do you take all your own pictures?

Yes, I adore taking pictures, I take many every single day and I love having so many memories to look back on as well as making it a real hobby for me, getting out in the fresh air with my camera and exploring nature. I mainly use my Nikon for photos and edit on Photoshop, Lightroom or Pic Monkey. If I'm in the picture, I've either got my husband to press the buttons or we're using a remote control or timer. I occasionally use my phone but it's not got a great camera!

Can I write for your blog for a share of your earnings?

I've had this a few times now and although it's lovely to think people would want to write here, this is my space. I have a had a few branded guest posts where I'm paid to host their content, but very rarely and I don't have other bloggers/writers on here as I prefer it to just be me and it would feel a bit rough if I had someone else write and their posts were hugely more popular than my own! So thank you, but no.

If you have any other questions about blogging or my blog and work, then feel free to pop a comment in the box below.