Hi, I’m Manavi and I’m a blogger, and —
I was stopped mid-sentence by the person who’d wanted my introduction at an event.
Whoever I meet these is a blogger, he replied as he laughed. You guys are multiplying!
The scene, today
We all know we’re changing. We shop on the basis of our Instagram need and a lot of us take blogger recommendations more and more seriously. Brands are switching from hoardings and full page ads to blogger engagements. According to stats, there are 150 million
According to stats, there are 150 million active blogs. So should you even start one? Why do you even want to start a blog? What is it that you could help others with?
There are many reasons why you should be a blogger. But today is not about that. Today is about gauging how serious you are. Today is about making you think if you should NOT be a blogger. PS: This is not supposed to be discouraging. This is only meant for those who want to quit their full-time job and want to pursue blogging as a full-time gig.
You should NOT be a blogger if:
- You’re doing this for the goodies. Goodie bags, press kits, clothes, even jewelry? Not bad. Not bad at all. Except you’re going to get bored if that’s why you’re here. PRs and brands send you goodie bags so that you tweet and write about it. They’re going to care about your opinion, if you have one—and if you have the ability to build an opinion for your potential audience. So if you’re here for the free stuff, let me remind you—nothing in life is for free.
- You can’t write. Sure man, I love your Instagram feed. I like your #instamood posts as much as the next person. But if you want me to take your posts seriously, please use correct grammar and diction. No, please don’t laugh. We’ve all made mistakes. You’ll find some in this post too. But before I publish, I read posts at least 3 times. I know the difference between “your” and “you’re”—and so should you. I mean if you’re a social media influencer, and you have people looking up to you. Take some time out and research the dichotomy of a good blog. Use long-tail keywords in your header, work on a story structure and write it down. Many pro-bloggers like Darren Rowse, suggest you edit your blogs on a different day–that way you will be detached from the material and would be able to see your mistakes more clearly. Spiderman wasn’t kidding when he said with great power, comes great responsibility.
- You lack consistency. You think blogging is about taking selfies? Sure, sometimes it is. But most days, it’s not. It’s about plugins, staring at WordPress, editing images and more. Flat lays and mood boards are not a joke. Neither is investing in a camera and a light kit. And these are just the basics. You’re going to have to come up with organic content and work harder on collaborations and sponsored posts. Travel bloggers have packed schedules, and when they come back, it takes them weeks to collate and produce features. An average fashion blogger spends half a day for a shoot and takes an average of 100 shots. Sure, it’s nothing like sitting behind a desk, but it’s something. Something that requires hard work. Consistent hard work at that. It took us three years to get Be For Beauty to where it is now. There is a long way to go–sure, there are days you don’t feel as
motivated or as distracted, but sticking to a blogging schedule will make your readers come back again and again.
- You haven’t found a passion yet. I have been writing on beauty for 6 years now. And for 4 years about fashion. If I count other aspects of lifestyle, it’ll be 8 years. But I learn new things every day. I sit in front of the laptop and scour through thousands of stories to learn something new and be able to put out stories. Passion is of key importance—‘coz without it—you won’t feel like sitting on WordPress. If you’re passionate about knitting, do a knitting blog–if you’re passionate about running, do it! But make sure it’s not something that’s just a passing phase, but fuels a fire within you. It’ll help you establish yourself as an expert.
- You don’t know what entrepreneurship is. Walking into work at 10 am and leaving at 7, has its own problems (I know that better than anyone else). But blogging is about taking a risk every day. Leaving your full-time job, may or may not pay off—and that’s a risk you’re going to have to think about. Sometimes you find money, but not appreciation. Sometimes you find neither. There’ll be a lot of work—coz, unlike a bigger company—it’s mostly gonna be you who has to do everything. You need to ask yourself if you’re ready for it. ‘Coz if you are, there’s no better time to start. And when the time is right, you can hire a team: a virtual assistant, a social media manager, content writers and business developers. Sounds exciting, right?
- You don’t want to share. Blogging is a lot about sharing: sharing your views on a restaurant you tried and didn’t like, or a Murakami title that changed your life. But it’s also about what is happening around you—what others are talking about, and your opinion on it. The fact that I’m writing this feature is also because I want to share something. So if you’re the kind to keep skills or tips as secrets, this may not be the best place for you. Keep up your reading, SHARE relevant links (I share about ten a day on Twitter. You can find me on #beforbeautyreads!). The more you read, comment and share, the better. It’s all about being a community!
Just like every profession, blogging requires time, skill and perseverance. Do you really have what it takes?
Will you last longer than 6 months? Happily?
Then stay tuned to this space, because I am going to share a decade worth of lessons.