The Business of Blogging

What a week! After kicking off this anniversary with a roundup of the first year, we engaged in hearty thanks, and described the birth and evolution of this blog. Today I’ll give you a behind-the-scenes peek at the business of blogging.

This is merely snippets of observation from my own perspective. Anyone who is seriously interested in the business of blogging need only enter a few key terms into Google and a wealth of experience and guidance will pop up. For me, however, it looks like this. . .

Time

The biggest investment I make to this blog is in time. First, of course, there was a huge investment in researching and setting up the blog. Now, on a daily basis, it’s an investment in time in drafting blog posts, taking/managing photos, and participating in the social media community of the blog.

Except for my freelance work, I no longer track my days in six minute intervals. And that’s a relief. (I still remember being a young, hard-working attorney, new to tracking billable hours, and feeling horrified one Saturday as I took a phone call from my darling grandmother in the middle of working-from-home, only to hang up and calculate in my head how much billable time that phone call would have been. Not how I want to think about precious time with my grandmother!!)

So, anyway, I can’t tell you precisely how much time I spend on each blog post, but it’s a lot. Some blogs post short entries. However, as you’ve noticed, I’m gabbier. So I write longer posts, which take more time. And, while I’m far more relaxed these days, I’m still a perfectionist in many ways. I tend to draft a blog, then set it aside for awhile, then edit several more times later.

Also, the pictures, while central to my blog and a lot of fun for me, take a surprising amount of time to download, organize, crop, label, upload into the blog, tweak, etc.

So, yup, much time goes into the blog. But I enjoy every minute and find it worth the while.

Finances

Unlike some blogs that sell ads, services or items, this blog makes no money for me. So, I try to keep its costs down as well. Nonetheless, there are expenses:

  • Domain name and hosting services
  • Occasional contracted tech assistance (e.g., the conversion from blogger to wordpress that was well beyond my skillset)
  • Blog Research and Education (e.g., low-cost books and e-courses on blogging, possible blog conferences in the future, etc.)
  • Intangible cost of time spent on the blog that could have gone to paid freelance work

Community

Central to the business of blogging is maintaining (and growing) a presence online and in social media. Actively posting to social media, connecting with commenters, tracking and analyzing statistics of blog traffic and search engine results, and growing blog subscribers and followers is a critical part of a successful blog. It’s also an area where I need to devote more time and attention and resources in our second year together.

How You Can Help

You can help me grow my blog in numerous ways. Consider any of these options your anniversary gift to me this week! 😉

  • Check out my new “Support This Site” Page! You can see the tab at the top of the page, or click here.
  • Comment! Comments on blog posts are delightful for me and give me insight to what resonates with readers. Also, the presence of comments encourages other comments, and an active comment section is good for the blog’s traffic and search rankings. Mostly, though, I just like to hear what you have to say!
  • Subscribe! Please add your email and subscribe to the blog (see the box at the top right column). You’ll receive posts and updates directly to your inbox. I may do some special things in the future for subscribers only. Sign up now! (Your email address will go no further than the privacy of my behind-the-scenes site. It will not be shared with or sold to anyone. For my eyes only.)
  • Follow! If you haven’t done so already, please “like” the blog’s Facebook Page and follow the blog on Twitter @islandblog to join our active communities there.
  • Share! If you like what you see here, please share the blog! Link to this site from your own website, blog, or social networking site. Email your friends and family, share a post on Facebook or Twitter (see also the easy-to-use share buttons at the bottom of each post), tell anyone you might think interested to swing by and check us out. Let’s grow our Better Life community together!
  • Power a Post.  Although I do not feature paid advertisers on the blog, I’ll create opportunities for individuals or businesses to sponsor a post. See Support This Site for more information.
  • Donate – Operating Expenses.  Some blogs have a “buy me a cup of coffee” type of button. Well, there’s no coffee shop on the island, and I don’t spend money that way (anymore)! Other blogs put up “buy me a beer” button, which I’m sure Beau would support. 🙂 However, my focus is on the maintenance and growth of this blog. Please consider making a donation to help underwrite the domain/hosting/technical/growth costs of the blog.
  • Donate – “Dream Big” Goal. I’d REALLY love it if I raised enough money to attend a blog conference this year! (I’m particularly interested in BlogHer ’13 in July.) What a fantastic one-stop shopping opportunity to learn from experienced others about all the things I currently attempt to research on my own. I think it would be exciting to connect with other bloggers and brainstorm ways to take this blog to the next level for all you Better Lifers! Please consider making a donation to help me attend this conference.

  • Contact Me. Let me know what you think of this blog! What have you found to be helpful? What would you like to see more of? Less of? Please share your ideas with me.
  • Continue to be your fabulous selves. It’s my interaction with you that matters most to me. I like connecting with you, bringing smiles to your faces, and inspiring you in tiny ways to live your own Better Life. Please keep returning to the blog. You are much appreciated, Better Lifer!

3 Responses to The Business of Blogging

  • bahamasdread says:

    Dawn this post definitely resonated with me. I’ve been blogging for about 3 years and I know about all of the up’s and downs you mentioned. Some days it take a real inner motivation to get that post written and posted and the hours poured on finding a great pic, the readers will never know.

    But a trick I definitely learned half-way through is to track the stats a lot less and keep blogging for the love and passion it gives to send out a good article.

    2nd piece of good advice, i learned from another blogger. That post you may have spent days writing and felt like it should have won a Pulitzer prize, may very well not get even one response. Don’t take it personally.

    Keep up the great work.

    p.s I follow some of the bloggers who go to that blogher conference and everyone raves about it. I secretly learn a lot from them, women have a way different style of writing than men, and their words are colorful!!

    • Dawn says:

      Fabian, thanks so much for your comment. What fantastic advice! I agree about stats. I write what I like to, because I love to. I’ve largely ignored stats this whole first year, but think it’s an area I need to familiarize myself with now, just to keep the learning curve going. Writing for SEO/stat purposes, however, will never be part of our Better Life. Also great advice not to take “quiet” posts personally – I need to get better at that. 🙂 I’m delighted that you have also heard good things about BlogHer’13. I’ll share anything I learn with you – in colorful words, of course. 🙂 BTW, I’m behind on blog-reading but I see that you’ve posted another tantalizing post for us foodies and I look forward to reading it soon! Thanks for being a loyal follower and a wonderful support!

      • bahamasdread says:

        Secretly I’m kind of hoping, you try your hand at cooking the steam snapper and peas n rice dish. I’m horrible at peas n rice and need a good recipe. 🙂

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