Earlier in the week a post was going around twitter which I don’t necessarily feel the need to weigh in on but it did get me to thinking proportionally about my time spent blogging and the money invested in it. I will refer back to the twitter post for context but it’s clear that those over at The Quiet Pond spent a lot of time researching this and it’s interesting to see what people some people see as a cost of blogging and what others see as just life. So if you’re interested, here is a little snapshot of my blogging life which I’ve split into three parts, Time, Money, and Mental Health.
Now for me, the biggest cost of blogging is time. Everyone is different and this is done in no way to say I do more or less than anyone else. My week outside of blogging involves work 4 days a week in a stressful court room environment, I have a freelance evening job which is intermittent, I have 2 children (8 and 4), my husband and keeping on top of our home. This is enough to fill my day, but I have managed to find away to do this and blog. I’m not ashamed to say that out of my list, housework is the first to fall away if I have things I would rather be doing! In a typical day, after breakfast I’ll go through Instagram with a cup of tea and reply to comments, follows and likes. After doing the school run, I’ll put an audio book in the car on my way to work. At lunch I’ll read a kindle book on my phone app. Home time is family time until the children are in bed by 8. At some point during the day I’ll get my bookstagram pic up for the day if I have one. I usually spend about 2 hours an evening reading, sometimes more depending on whether there is anything good to watch on TV, but honestly we’re not big watchers. I’ll then spend about an hour online, typing up reviews, blog posts, updating my blogs facebook and twitter accounts. At weekends I try and take enough bookstagram pics to last me the week. The most important thing I have learnt is that I don’t have to feel guilty about not having a pic for every day of the week or have daily content on my blog – this took me a long time!!!
Now onto money. It’s a thorny issue at the best of times but honestly, trite as it sounds, you can spend as much or as little as you want. The big twitter debate stemmed from this and the fact that nearly every blogger The Quiet Pond spoke to included the cost of buying books in their blogging costs. I only buy physical books that I want to read anyway, these are purchases I would have made had I been blogging or not and I would never include them as a blogging cost. I am able to request ebooks for free from Negalley, I get ebooks from direct approaches from authors to the blog email or contacts on instagram. I am also incredibly lucky to receive finished review copies from a publishing house that I’m on the blogging team for. All this didn’t happen overnight and I had to work hard over several years to get to this point. What do I pay for then? I pay for my website hosting and domain and I probably pay £20-30 per year on updating my props and backdrops for instagram, usually via ebay as they’re cheapest. Things like a light box are a one time purchase and an investment if you regularly use it, as I do. I’m a rep for Geeky Clean and again I am blessed to get candles and other goodies from them to add to my pics and demonstrate on my stories. One of the bloggers questioned by the quiet pond said they included travel costs to locations to take pics in their costs, I don’t make special trips out for pics but if we’re going to the woods or the beach, I’ll take stuff with me! I get Fairyloot every month which helps with books and props, but again I get this for me and not for the blog.
Pressure was one thing that many (but not all) mentioned. I find it really sad that there are people out there buying books out of pressure to post the most prominent new releases on their feed. I’m not going to pretend that I’m some chilled out air of calm but I have come to a point where I just try to not sweat the small stuff. If I’m not feeling creative then I just won’t post a pic for a couple of days, If I’m feeling down that’s likely to translate in my posts and make me sound whiny and if I’ve had a bad day at work I step away from writing reviews because I feel I nitpick more – this all means that I can go for days without an online presence. If I allow pressure to dictate that I must do something every day then my content will suffer because of it. Yes it’s nice to have the latest release on a single post, but do you know what, my biggest IG post this year featured the book Six of Crows – people love their favourites and you can blog and IG about old books forever more because people love them.
Deep down for me, mental health is an huge issue. I see so many people (myself included) wanting to be relevant in a sea of blogs. Wanting to find that magic niche that makes them stand out. Never ever underestimate the lasting effects of bullying on a person, I think that even now, 25 years later I still have a deep seated need to be liked in a way I never was in my teenage years and whilst I channel this through blogging, it’s perhaps sometimes one of the more toxic environments to feel validated by. I rarely post conversationally now outside of reviews and tags (because i’ve been burned before), but occasionally I’ll open up like today to test the waters. It still a battle to separate keeping blogging to something that is fun, from my own inbuilt fears of being unpopular but I’m getting better at it and I’m hoping that by meeting and talking with other bloggers this weekend at YALC that will be a big help too!
So there you have it, every blogger will be different but this is me 🙂