I think we all know that blogging, even when it’s run as a full time job or a serious side hustle, is still a labor of love- but honestly, being a reader of blogs is too. I get most of my news from non-traditional sources and bloggers. When I research projects around the house or places to travel, I read blogs. When I want to get ideas for Father’s Day gifts, I search blogs on Pinterest. When I need to get inspired on how to run my business, I paw through blog after blog. My whole world is comprised of the work of bloggers, and I bet yours is too.
I recently read the post from Roni of Roni’s Weigh about how to support your favorite bloggers. As a blogger myself, I often depend on and truly appreciate people who read, share and comment on my blog posts. It helps me earn a living and allows me to develop my photography, writing and social media skills to help develop my career. I’m very, very lucky.
I know that reader participation is key to bloggers being able to sustain and improve what they do, and the article made me pause: am I supporting the blogs I read so often enough?
I was reading through one of my favorite new blogs- and was so excited to see that they had gotten the opportunity to work with Carnival Cruises. (swoon!) When bloggers work with brands in a way that’s a triple win- for readers, for their blog and for the brand, it’s awesome. Working with brands helps bloggers provide more content. When I read the closing disclosure on the blog post, they summed it up so eloquently: “Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.” Yup. That right there. I know some folks on forums and random trolls have moaned about bloggers “selling out,” to brands, and in some cases, yes- it’s obvious… this team of bloggers did a great job of working with a brand that fit, provided useful content for their readers and took some gorgeous images.
Without reader support- likes, comments, and shares, most bloggers honestly couldn’t afford to produce content. Our engagement as readers which luckily only costs time and brainspace, requires only effort on our part.
Your support of that brand collaboration makes it possible. Honestly- to produce the amount of content that’s required to be successful, or even sustain a blog, you have to earn money. Blogging isn’t free. Speaking from my own experience, I pay over $50 a month in hosting fees. I paid over $2000 to have the website designed. I have paid $2,000 to buy camera equipment which is a necessary purchase to even be relevant on sites like Pinterest or get seen with Edgerank on Facebook. I’ve had to hire out some help for accounting (because I pay taxes on this blog, the government always takes their share!) and to help with the workload, I’ve hired a VA. I’ve registered for classes on how to improve my photography, hired coaches, and purchased books to further my skills to provide better content.
Obviously, it’s the cost of doing business…and yes, blogging, even if you aren’t trying to make a full time living from it, is still a business. Blogs are started every second, and as much as we’d love to say we write and photograph and create just for art, we’d also like people to read it. In order to be noticed, it’s serious business. We’re competing for attention in your Facebook feed against corporations who quite literally put $25,000 behind every single Facebook post…I used to work for one of those companies. Content is king, but man, there is a lot of content out there, and a lot of big businesses who are able to buy your attention.
The hours I’ve spent trying to be better at blogging are immeasurable. I often see bloggers who do amazing videography, take stunning photos or blog about things I have no idea about and I wonder how long it’s taken them to hone in their craft and the cash it takes to afford editing software, build their sites or even later, develop products or be able to get a book published. Their work, I’ve had to hire out some help for accounting and to help schedule things with a VA. I’ve registered for classes on how to improve my photography, hired coaches, and purchased books to further my skills to provide better content.
So, in that respect, I’m going to leave you with a list of a few of my favorite, favorite bloggers. I am going to go through and leave comments, share their posts and click on their ads that are applicable (please don’t go crazy with that, if they’re in an ad network, they could get flagged, but a little support where it counts is great), and click on the brands who sponsor posts that support bloggers.
Katrina Elle *through blogging she’s also my fitness inspiration, love this girl.
I’ve purchased books and products from bloggers before or used their affiliate links to help them earn commission based on reviews that were helpful, but really- support is free, and support is really what matters.
We live in a social media world where things are thrown at us, vying for our attention. If you have a blogger who takes amazing photographs, regularly creates tutorials that you use, or simply writes posts that touch your heart- support makes a huge difference, and luckily it doesn’t cost us anything. Blogs are small businesses that are trying to compete with the Walmarts of the digital world (meaning, giant content farms that steal content, or giant corporations who can easily afford to buy $250,000 in Facebook boosts a month for their content or hire digital photographers for their Instagram feeds.) When we support bloggers, we support artisans, mompreneurs, writers, craftswomen, photographers, small businesses and creatives of all types. It’s not just content, it’s a community and it’s a craft.
Clicks. Shares. Comments. It’s free. It makes a difference.