A Few Things I’ve Learned from Being a Blogger
Hi babes! Today I’m bringing you into the wild little world that is my head when it comes to what I do for a living. Sometimes when I tell people that I’m a health & lifestyle blogger, their immediate reaction is, “…Huh?”
Then I go on to explain that I basically write in an online diary for a living, and what I usually focus on is health, living a balanced lifestyle, fitness, yoga, organic food & pretty much any/all details from my life, musings and travels. I understand that my response can be a little, uh, vague… And that it takes a solid five-minute explanation at least before people even begin to say, “Ohhh, NOW I get it.”
That’s the funny thing about being a lifestyle blogger. I’m not solely a food blogger where I can just say that I make recipes, photograph them and post about them for a living (although that is how my blog began, funny enough), and I’m not a fashion blogger which is another type of blogging people seem to be a little more readily understanding and aware of.
I am a medley! My day to day is really, reaaalllly different from one to the next, and while some days I am so busy I can’t not work from dawn until the wee hours of the night… Some days I basically get to chill, work out, hang out with cool people and call it a day. If my job is only just beginning to make sense to me, how can I really explain it to other people and expect them to understand it?
Well, today I’m going to try to give you a little lowdown about some things that I’ve learned from living #thebloglife that will hopefully give you some more insight into this wonderful lil’ part of the Internet that I inhabit — along with hundreds & hundreds & hundreds of other killer bloggers.
What I’ve Learned from Living the Blog Life…
1. Just because I don’t have a traditional 9-5 doesn’t mean that my schedule is a free-for-all. One of the biggest misunderstandings about blogging is that we are flooded with free time and once our blog post is written for the day we can pretty much do whatever we please. All too often I am met with a, “Yeah right,” kind of response when I tell someone that I’m not available to meet for lunch or a workout class during the workday because I’m working. “Ugh, you work for yourself, what are you talking about?” is the typical misconception. In fact, I learned this the hard way! I used to pack my schedule with lunch dates and mid afternoon yoga classes, only to feel constantly behind and kind of stuck in my head when I was doing these other things. Now I’ve learned to treat my schedule the way I would as if I were working for someone else– working during the day is the priority. Unless I wanna be up all night and/or stressed to pieces, the workday is for working.
2. If I don’t hustle & stay on top of things, nothing will get done. And when I say “nothing,” that’s exactly what I mean… Nothing. There is no one else to pick up the slack when I get off track. Yes, I have help with TBV Apparel, securing blog partnerships, scheduling, staying on top of my book deadlines, photography, etc., BUT if I am not doing the work that needs to be done before any of my TBB Team can step in and help — then there is nothing to help with. When I am on vacation & I haven’t written any blog posts prior to leaving, no blog posts will go up. When I am sick and not in the mood to work on the book or develop a new recipe for it, it simply will not happen until I get it together and get the work done. If I don’t reach out to brands or brainstorm brands that I want to work with, then the $$ does not come in. Running a successful blog means always being on your toes, staying up on the latest brands, reaching out to brands, KNOWING what brands are a seamless fit with your blog, going to events, keeping your team close & on top of it, staying passionate and creative, etc. There isn’t a whole lot of downtime. 😉
3. Inevitably, I end up surrounding myself with like-minded people who also blog. This isn’t always a given, but it’s crazy to think about how many of my close friends I have met through the blogging world. The people I generally spend a lot of time with during the weekdays (and weekends!) end up being other bloggers, and even the ones I have yet to meet in person feel like friends from afar. A couple of my very closest friends (Tara, Sophie & Lisa to name a few) I’ve met through the health blogosphere, and not only do I talk to them every day but we have a deep & lasting bond because of all of the work life experiences & passions that we share. Also, having a successful blog means lots and lots of fun collaborations, and if you aren’t surrounding yourself with other great bloggers to collab with, then that doesn’t happen! (Or it doesn’t happen organically, at least — I would much rather collaborate with friends than strangers!)
4. There CAN be such a thing as sharing “TOO much.” Alas, I never thought I’d say this, but it’s true. I share just about anything & everything that crosses my mind on the blog — all big life experiences, the bad & the good — but at times that has backfired on me. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be an open book about my transition from veganism, but because I shared SO MANY personal details about my life before/during/after, people who did not support my decision dug up exact wording and phrases that I had used months/years prior about my stance on veganism when I was vegan. Also, there have been times that people who I am close to have found out about very key things in my life (my eating disorder, my book deal, some TV appearances…) via the blog and they have been hurt because of it. I have had to learn that some things I have to be careful about sharing, especially if I haven’t told friends/family beforehand.
5. When you make your life public, there will be criticism. This one I have definitely learned. I have heard everything in the book from being a fat cow to being anorexic to being a hypocrite who deserves to die (seriously?!?) to being someone who has no knowledge about nutrition or healthy living (funny). I have learned to roll with the punches & be okay with it, because I understand that it’s been my choice to put my life out there– for better or for worse. I will take the awesome support & the extreme fun-ness that comes from it any day and ignore the haters!
6. I get to do lots of cool things that sometimes kind of blow my mind. Sometimes it seriously shocks me that I get to be one of the first to try a new restaurant/hotel/clothing item/fitness class and that I frequently get the chance to meet (and oftentimes even interview) people that I have admired for years. I get to go to cool events and try awesome products all the time (my apartment is actually FLOODED with food/cosmetic products — my friends enjoy this very much). The perks continue to keep my on my toes and make all of the challenges VERY worth it– plus, I have always liked being “in the know,” and when you blog you have no choice but to stay on top of everything!
7. There isn’t one area I can put all of my focus on — it’s a brand! I used to struggle between knowing which PART of my brand was the “most important” part. Is it the blog, the book, the app, the clothing line, the YouTube channel, the events, the health coaching, the travel?! What do I need to focus on in order to make this a lasting career?! And as time has gone on, I’ve come to learn… It’s the brand in itself. Being true to the brand and making sure it always represents my truth & my mission (balance, above all else) is my #1 job. If sometimes that means working for 28 hours straight, so be it. If sometimes that means taking a week off to be the best daughter/friend/aunt/sister I can be, then so be it. I roll with the tide… The way I’ve always worked best!
8. At the end of the day, I feel pretty damn fulfilled. I get to do what I love, and combine a LOT of things I love, on a daily basis. If that’s not fulfilling I don’t know what is.
Thoughts on blogging as a lifestyle? Have full-time bloggers schedules ever confused you? To my other bloggy peeps, what do you think about all this– do you agree?!