Caravan Sonnet: What Exactly Does it Mean and Look Like to Work as a Blogger?

7/13/18

What Exactly Does it Mean and Look Like to Work as a Blogger?

Since I started writing on this little space in January 2013 (you can read my very first post HERE which just makes me smile), the world of blogging (or as I affectionately call it), "bloggy world" has changed significantly. When I started in 2013 blogging for me was a way to reach out to the world beyond being stuck in my bed due to illness and to keep friends and loved ones informed of what was going on with my health. 

Ironically I really didn't talk about being ill (except in some general terms) for the first couple of months on the blog. When I finally did share in March of 2013 (in VERY brief details) about my health it was because there was a rumor going around that I had Cancer and I was sharing that I didn't have that diagnosis because former students were concerned (and at the time we were not aware that this was part of my health journey to wellness). 

It's crazy to actually read back those first few months of this blog. I see so clearly that I was yearning to reach out and to grab life, despite being completely bedridden and unable to eat. But at the same time, there was a beauty to it. Not in the fact that things were "hidden", but in the fact that blogging was more about telling your life story and details than what some imagine it is now. At the time bloggers would spend so much time connecting with each other, leaving comments, sharing stories, and really building a community. This makes me smile but there was actually at one point a "big blogger/little blogger" group and my "big" was amazing. I made so many friends during that time of life and it was all through this thing called blogging. 

But as the years have passed (and many of those friends don't currently blog at all or as often or as much as they used to), there was also a shift in what blogging looked like. It went from sharing a lot about your life to sharing more about your purchases, your trips, or your career. I don't think this is a bad thing, but I do think that it is a shift that has left people confused on how you can be a blogger as your job. This conversation actually came up a couple of weeks ago with someone very important to me and I was a little stumped on how to exactly explain what it means to work as a blogger. I struggled with words and tried to explain but walked away thinking- what exactly does it mean and look like to work as a blogger?

Definitely not with this person, but with others I have been told that it must be nice "not to have a real job". I have also been told that I must sit around eating ice cream, look at instagram all day long, while writing about traveling (and probably assuming that I binge watch TV all day long). To set the record straight: ice cream is not part of my diet, anyone who knows me knows that I view my phone as a way to keep in touch with loved ones and the IG part is a section of my job, and while I do write about my travels for work, I really don't like TV at all. hahaha. *smiles*

And honestly, I think that I can speak for 100% of those that view blogging as their job that none of those things are even close to the truth (aside from the ice cream - I am kidding hahaha!) But there are a lot of questions that I receive and today I thought I would share what it is I actually do for the blog as my job.

Besides being an author and an Etsy Shop owner, and (being about to announce a new company that I have been working on for months), running this blog as a job takes an incredible amount of time and discipline. My days start very early as I work with brands and companies that are in different times zones and based out of Europe and then can finish very late due to collaborations with companies on the West Coast. 

Each day I will read through different contracts, write new ones, and negotiate contracts before me. I am in constant communication with a variety of different brands and social media influencers. I write tons of emails, have phone and skype conferences, engage in interviews, and return (on a typical day) up to 200 emails on various topics. I manage 3 specific social media platforms for this blog and starting July 16th will manage a total of 8 with the new company I am starting. 

I have written articles on blogging, contributed to conferences on social media influencing, spoken on the topic of marketing for a conference, and complete all of the marketing for the blog by myself. Some bigger bloggers do have a social media team, but at this point I do not have that so every single responsibility of being an entrepreneur falls squarely on my shoulders. Caravan Sonnet is a for-profit blog, so I deal with all of the budget related to the blog, all of the ins and outs of payments, and file taxes. I photograph and edit thousands of pictures and on average one blog post, after editing several drafts (depending on the content) can take anywhere from 4-6 hours. Some of the more detailed posts of the blog can take sometimes up to 8 hours to complete. I pitch jobs, I deal with the "yes's" and the "no's" and enjoy each moment of it, despite the wild ride it can be. I balance current writing responsibilities while planning future trips, work on brand building, and work to deliver quality content that is unique in a world that has hundreds of thousands of blogs. I am constantly taking classes (online and in person) to help learn new things and improve my writing and photography skills. I also take business classes. I write blog posts weeks and months out and work to build a community with my readers and social media groups, because relationships are important to me.

I don't say any of that to say that my blog is some perfect blog, but instead to share and hopefully give some explanation of what it means and looks like to work as a blogger. I hope that this helps a bit with understanding! When I look back on where this blog has come from 5 and 1/2 years ago and think to the future... I think of all of the things that are to come. Some try to say that blogging may be a dying art or hobby, but I truly believe that blogging as a job is only in its infancy phases. There is so much yet to explore and learn and grow. It's truly exciting to think about! 

I also want to say this space has been a blessing to me. A complete blessing. I have processed and written and grieved through a serious illness, I have dreamed and shared joys of the future, and most of all have grown up here. Thank you to each of you who continue to read this blog and all of your support in this journey. I hope you have a wonderful Friday and weekend friends! 

2 comments:

  1. I am so glad to have gotten to know you! Have a great weekend!!!

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    1. Me too friend!! :) So thankful that bloggy world allowed our paths to cross!! Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend! Sending love!

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