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What to Expect When You're a Blogger


I'm going to be honest with you. When I first started off blogging I thought that this was a way for me to share Madison's adventures growing up. I was never under the impression that I would make it to the big leagues and I'm very, very, VERY far away from that. However I did think like most people adventuring into the world of blogging that people would want to read about my boring mundane life. Well people besides my family and friends that is. I couldn't have been more wrong. If you're a blogger I'm sure you get the usual questions from everyone who wants to start a blog, and the main question being, "how do you get free stuff?" I'm going to tell you that in life, there is no such thing as free stuff. No one told me what to expect when I became a blogger so I'm going to share what happened and what's going to happen.


As I mentioned above, there is no  such thing as free stuff. We work for those things that you think are free. Being a blogger is a job, whether it's part time or full time, it's a job, especially if you're planning on taking it seriously as you really should. It means deadlines, doing social media work, lots of writing and picture taking, and don't forget tax filing at the end of the year. You don't want to mess with Uncle Sam!

Now this post isn't about how you can go ahead and get those free stuff but what being a blogger has been like for me. I would say it has literally sucked the life out of me. Life it seems like has slowly passed me by and I'm in a time warp. Sure I loved getting what you call "free stuff" but then my house started looking like one of the house from the TV show Hoarders. I had "free stuff" that I didn't need or particularly want. "Free Stuff" here, there and everywhere. My UPS, FedEx and even the mailman knew me by name. There were boxes piled up everywhere. Essentially I had to give almost everything away. What that meant for me was that I just worked for free. And trust me no-one does that!


If you think you have kids and don't know where the hours have disappeared to because all you did was look after your child and now it's dinner time, well being a blogger is ten times worse. You start a blog post, you edit a few photos that goes along with that post, you share via social media, respond to comments on your blog, visit a few other blogs and comment on their posts and before you know it, you've just spent about 4 hours "blogging".  However you do it all in the name of "networking" and trying to make your blog stand out, but you feel great because you just earned $200 for that blog post doing 4 hours of work. Seems like an easy $50 an hour right? Well guess what, your social media work for that post doesn't just end that day, no you may have to share for another week or more, so that $200 blog post you just felt great about may now turn into less than $5 an hour. That's even less than minimum wage.

Now you may think well it's all good because all you do is stay at home and write about the things anyway, you're not going out and so it couldn't be that bad. Well think about this. You go to work and at the end of the month you get a paycheck. Or you may get a paycheck twice a month. Well sometimes it doesn't work that way. While we may get paid, sometimes we don't get paid until 90 days (yes that's right, 3 months) after we've done the work. That wouldn't fly in the real world but it sure does in the blogging world. There are even those you have to follow up with after that so said 90 days is over to find out where your money is. You know that Rhianna song "Bitch better have my money", yes it's like that!


Now think about your day job. Your boss gives you work to do and you have a deadline and you may even get an extension. Well that's what the blogging world is like. You get a job and you have a deadline and while you may get an extension, it's not recommended getting one unless you had extenuating circumstances. You have a schedule, stick to it. Buy a planner! Although you MAY have one of those "bosses" who gives you work and expects it to be done that very day. Yes there are companies like that. The ones who you negotiate with for weeks before they send you an item but email you the very day you receive said item asking when it's going to go live. We all know those bosses.

Those "free stuff" is going to cost you and it has for me. It has cost me valuable time with my family and friends, so this year I've made a promise. NO MORE! It's time to take back my life and share our adventures, share the things we like and share the "free stuff" that we like and need, not the free stuff that we "want". Sometimes it's best to just head to your local Walmart and pick up the stuff you want and spend the rest of your valuable time with those you love. And so what if you don't get the views that you thought you'd get, trust me, the big bloggers didn't when they first started either. Take everything one day at a time and do what you love.



Annmarie John
27 Comments
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27 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing some the reality of blogging. Many people only see the results but not all the work that goes on behind the blog curtain. It's good to step back and refocus. Enjoy that time with your family and yourself!

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    1. Thank you Onica, and I agree, they see us reviewing stuff and they think, Oh I'd love to do that, it is so easy but in reality it is not. Yes I'm taking my life back and enjoying it with my family.

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  2. I couldn't have said it better myself. Everything thinks you just get free stuff! They don't understand it is work

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    1. Yes it is work, there is no such thing as free stuff. EVER!

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  3. You've said exactly what I've been thinking. But I'd add that blogging becomes an addiction.

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    1. It can become an addiction and you think that whenever a company contacts you that "hey I must be doing something good" so you say yes, but like all addiction you have to know/learn when to quit. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Couldn't agree more with this post! Blogging takes so much work. And there's definitely no such thing as free stuff.

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    1. If someone had told me how much work it was before I started, I don't think I'd ever have gotten into reviewing because there sure is no free stuff.

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  5. Blogging is a double-edged sword, definitely. It can be great, and I love it. But it can also be not so great and I don't love the ill effects it can cause. The time you have to invest to get the numbers is not small, and then if you slack off, even for good reason, for even a short time, those numbers plummet f.a.s.t. I am not sure what I'm doing this year. Right now it's the same old same for me, but I do anticipate some kind of change at some point soon. I'll be happening around to read about your adventures though, no matter I do with the blog over at my place. :)

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    1. Oh tell me about those number plummeting and it takes work to bring them back up. I've realized that the people who love reading your blog will always visit, no matter what. This year I've already started making changes and to be honest, I don't care about the numbers anymore.

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  6. I totally agree. There are a lot of different reasons why people start blogging and usually one at the top of the list is "fun." There is a point in time for many of us where it no longer is fun and becomes a "monkey on your back" that you can just never get rid of. It is always there. Sunday through Saturday and 24 hours a day. If you are not physically working on blogging, you are constantly thinking about what you haven't complete or what you have to do. The "fun" has been sucked right out of it. I think you are on the right track to make blogging enjoyable again. That doesn't mean you might not do a review from time to time on a product you might really like or a sponsored post...but you put yourself back in charge of when, why, what and how you do that. Good luck to you. I will be following along.

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    1. Thank you Pam and you are so right. The fun has been sucked right out of it. Even when I'm out with the kids having "fun" I'm thinking, "how can I turn this into a blog post?" so I end up not having fun. This year though we had fun and we will be having lots of it. Yes I'll do the occasional sponsored posts and I've committed to a few but I'm going to be in charge of my blog and not my blog in charge of me. Thanks for following along. :)

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  7. Blogging started out as a hobby, a place to share information for me. Over the years, I learned how to successful make money from it, but you're right now.. nothing is FREE! It's definitely a lot of hard work and grueling hours. But, I LOVE IT (well , most of the time!!) Thanks for bringing light to this misconception!

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    1. You're welcome Tatanisha. It started off as a way for me to share Madison's adventures and I've made good money blogging, but it's not what I started off doing. While the money is good, I would much prefer to spend the time, forget the long work hours and just enjoy life. After my mom died I realized that I was not having fun with my kids and life is very short. Madison is almost 4 and I only have 1 more year before she goes off to school and I don't see her face daily. So I'm going to take this year and enjoy life with her and the entire family.

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  8. I get that all the the time "I want to blog so that I can get free stuff too". It's like no one really want to know about all the hard work until its too late. I've had people ask me how to start a blog just so that they can make money and I'm just like "it's a lot of work". It is and I just don't think they realize it.

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    1. Oh yeah they think we rake in the cash but it's very far from the truth for most bloggers and they really don't understand how much work we do behind the scenes. It's a LOT!

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  9. I love this post so much. This is exactly how I have felt about this new year and it was like reading my own thoughts. Thank you!

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    1. You're very welcome Jess and it's good to know that I'm not alone in my thinking. :)

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. That is awesome but why don't you edit your photos? It's the one thing that I do and it takes a lot of time to make sure that my photos not only look good for me but for the company it represents. I didn't start to get into the free stuff but it was nice getting them. I make good money on my blog but I was also never in it for the money. It's good to know that you have your schedule/time down so you can spend quality time with the family. As for pictures of the kids on the blog, I don't mind sharing photos of my kids, I teach my kids about safety so they're good.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Fun Reviews & Giveaways you seriously need to work on your pictures and your reviews. I see your blog shuffle through so much being trashed for how hard others work for blogging and how little you do and get what you call "good" stuff. Seriously work on your reviews better. Like Amanda I make 6 figures when it comes to blogging. I was never in for the free stuff, maybe that's why you still never edit your photos or do good reviews.

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  11. I've always wondered about the blogging world and how everything works. I can truly respect all that you do because I couldn't do it. Maybe with time you can find your balance and get back to blogging the way you would like to but for now I agree with spending as much time as you can with your family. There is nothing like watching your kids grow up before your eyes, and they grow so fast!

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    1. Oh yes I can truly relate about the kids growing up right before your eyes. It seems like just yesterday my little one couldn't walk or talk and in just a few days she's going to be 4. Blogging isn't all that it's cracked up to be and there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes. I'll have to do that in another post. :)

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  12. Best blog post ever! Everything you said is right on. I have stepped back and now only review things we will use. I do Amazon reviews as well because they dont take as much time for me. I too am taking back my time and being with my family more. Blogging takes way more time and energy than some people realize.

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    1. It really does and if you're not good with time management which I'm not, then you can spend your entire day online doing blog work and very rarely anything else. I'm happy to hear that you're taking back your time too. Woohoo!

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  13. I do the occasional sponsored post (I limit to one a month) because of the reasons you listed here. The pressure and stress of sponsored posts freaks me out. I spend way too much time perfecting everything, carefully crafting tweets, making sure I've included their 14 key words, etc. It's exhausting! That's why I've said no more than 1 per month. Plus my readers don't care for sponsored content - regardless of how I present it - a sponsored post is a sponsored post.

    I love writing about my passions and I love being accountable to me. I like taking a week off of blogging because I need it - and I like not having the pressure of having to jump through hoops.

    Thanks for sharing your reality my friend!
    xoxo

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    1. You gotta give your readers what they want. Mine has come to expect the sponsored posts since I tend to do a lot of them but I'm veering away from that this year and give more of our adventures with a little bit of sponsored posts scattered in. It is a lot of work doing them and while the money might be good I want to take back my life and do what I love doing. Being a mom!

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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