There are many reasons you might want to start a blog or website, but there is one main thing all (aspiring) bloggers have in common: we feel like something is missing in our lives. The fact that you actively want to do something about that is amazing, brave, ambitious (I know, way to blow my own horn). In practice, however, things aren’t quite as glamorous as they seem. I don’t want to sound like a Bitter Betty–I knew what I was getting myself into–but it good to get real sometimes. Blogging is not always a “fun hobby”. It can be hard work.
The prepping and building of your blog can be a lot of fun. The challenge only really begins when you need to start maintaining your blog. A lot of the work consists of sitting down and doing the work, even when you’d rather not. One of the key ways of looking professional to your audience is by posting new content on a regular basis. This is most likely the hardest part of being a blogger. No matter how much life gets in the way sometimes, regularity is key.
I had this brilliant idea before I went live with my website. I thought: “Wouldn’t it be a great plan to write a bunch of content before my website is even real, so that when I don’t have time to write or simply can’t be bothered, I can just dip into this little archive and fish out a suitable post”. In reality, it was hard to finish posts without a platform to put them on, without a solid idea of what the website was going to look like, and what kind of content I would post when. I never finished any of the numerous posts I started with this idea in mind. Instead, I went live with three finished pieces online, and no real backup. Although this was slightly frightening, I believe it was the best way to start. If I hadn’t pressed “publish” then, I probably wouldn’t ever have.
Another reality of being a blogger is constantly feeling guilt-ridden when you are not putting your free time into your blog. Guess what? Humans need time to relax. Working full time and having a few hobbies on the side makes it incredibly hard to find time to do that to begin with, but with this extra responsibility it’s simply inevitable that every time you look at the clock you will feel a rush of anxiety run through your core. There’s not enough hours in a day to do everything you want. Want to add to that Millennial angst? You should really consider starting a blog.
Even when you’re a creative mastermind, pieces are never finished. After you’ve corrected all the typos and comma splices (what are those again?), after you put a piece out there and make a few more edits here and there, after you’ve stopped re-reading it and over-thinking it, it’s still not done. You could go back months later and revise. This is something you have to let go every. single. time.
I’m aware this is a lot of complaining and then some. In the end I still do it. Why is that? Because I can’t do without. Ever since I started enjoying music I’ve also enjoyed writing about it. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t stress me out. Often the things you love also cost quite a lot of effort. Unfortunately I also have to work a full time job to be able to afford basics as well as luxuries I’ve gotten accustomed to. My job has allowed me to invest in a MacBook, a proper website, a cosy flat where I feel comfortable getting work done. It allows me to go to gigs, to buy the occasional vinyl. So it’s worth it. And if this website leads to a brighter future where I can make money with something I love more than most other things in life, that would be wonderful. If not, this wouldn’t stop me either. So the advice is this: do it because you love it, do it because you have something to share, something to add to an existing discussion, or because you want to make people happy with pictures of your pet hedgehog/chinchilla/naked mole rat. Those are the only good reasons.