Thinking about joining the blogging ranks? Here are seven points to consider before jumping into the life of a blogger, from life to money and beyond.
Blogging is the new frontier, honey.
It's one of the best jobs in the world, to be honest. You'll get to work on your laptop from anywhere, make your own schedule; I am able to take care of my son at home and got some pretty good traffic after only 3 months of serious work.
And for those who are way ahead of me on the blogging front, they make five to six figures a month.
Yeah, you read that right.
I really believe that blogging, with hard work, practice, getting out of your comfort zone, and having a little internet savvy, can have you sitting nice and comfy and living a dream. I'm not there yet, but boy, it's a goal, to be completely honest!
If you don't know, I'm a stay at home mom to a wonderful little two year old troublemaker, my Greyson. As great as it feels to be able to stay home and take care of him, I felt like I was losing myself as a person. Blogging became my outlet, a way to the outside, to be with people, talk to people, share what I love. I may be an introvert, but I love people. Go figure.
I love food blogging, I love cooking, I love meeting the food blogosphere community and other food bloggers and I love people seeing my photos and going, "Wow, I want to make that." And when they do make it and they comment on my FACEBOOK PAGE how much they loved it, or when my friends, foodies and non-cooks alike, tell me how great the recipe turned out, it makes my heart soar!
Seriously, I get super giddy over these things! And I get incredibly giddy over planning seasonal recipes to write up for the next season. Autumn is my favorite season, so I've been bouncing around babbling to Brian about how excited I am to revisit the Pumpkin Spice Latte I made on my old lifestyle blog, how I have to make a Thanksgiving menu for you guys here on Sweet Tea & Thyme so we are going to have Friendsgiving early and how excited I am to post the mulled apple cider recipe and Spiced Chai syrup I've been recipe testing for you guys.
And when you guys share in my excitement, it makes me feel less like a loon.
I get like that every season, I can't help it. I'm a domestic little excitable Southern Belle Martha Stewart, or at least I try to be. Brian says I'm more like a Magpie, I get excited over 'shiny' things.
Big money, freedom of schedule, adoring fans and staying at home? Britt, this sounds great! I'm ready to start my first post, let's get started!!!
Hold on to that feeling, hon, as I now tell you this:
It's a ton of hard work. This is more than a full time job, this is a lifestyle. I'm literally working almost all day, from networking, commenting, sharing, pinning, branding, marketing, writing, editing, recipe writing, recipe testing, cooking, food styling, taking photos, editing photos, creating pins, on top of being with my family, daily things and finding time for myself.
This photo about sums it all up in a pretty package.
My husband will drag me from my laptop (in fact, he did so last night as I was editing this post) to go to bed, because I am up late into the night finishing up a post, reading a new book on food photography, or editing photos after a shoot. And shoots can last for hours, not to mention the time for the cooking itself and writing when you have a block and can't think of anything witty. Or anything stupid, either.
I am writing this post right before I sign with advertisers and sponsors, or deciding to be a freelance food photographer or develop recipes for brands. At this moment, my blog is as organic as it possibly can be, and this probably means it's not as busy at it possibly will be at some point.
To which I say, Bring It On.
As I said before, the rewards are quite worth it for me. Working with food outside of a commercial kitchen has always been a dream of mine.
TL;DR? I know, I'm long winded.
Here are some things to think about before starting a food blog:
1. You will work crazy hours most of the time. All day will probably be devoted to some type of work related networking on social media, along with work related cooking and photography and writing during scheduled periods of time, and sometimes not-scheduled periods of time. Like when we go to Grandma's house.
2. If you are an introvert, you will be pushed into having to meet and speak to people, online and in real life. As an extroverted introvert, that's nerve-wracking for me.
3. You need to be very organized with your work and all work related things. Trust me, all those grocery receipts will be needed for tax time, as will your gas and electric bills.
4. You will not make a ton of money immediately. Hell, you probably won't make money at all in the beginning; you got to build traffic and trust and things like that.
5. Spam is a thing that exists. A lot. Trolls, too. As my mentor says, " The consistent 'DING!' of deposits in your paypal account will eventually drown them out."
6. Don't do it for the money. Don't roll your eyes at me; I mean it. If you don't have the heart and soul to pursue a decade+/- year career of writing on the internet about whatever you're passionate about, find something else to do or write about.
7. Don't be afraid to do it. I fumbled around with free blogs on and off for 4 years before taking the plunge into Sweet Tea & Thyme. I have yet to regret doing it, I just regret not doing it sooner.
Alright, I hope that kind of got your mind set on things. So be ready for my next posts in the blogger series (since I can't cook at the moment *sobs quietly*):
How to Start a Blog
How to Make a Food Blog Post
How to Write a Recipe
How to Schedule Your Life and Run a Blog Successfully
How to Gain Reach and Engagement on Facebook
How to Gain 300 Pinterest Followers in a Week (Hey, I've done it!)
How to Create the Perfect Pin
A Food Photography Series, maybe? I'm getting better, I promise!
If y'all have any ideas or blog related posts you'd like me to add, leave it in the comments!
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.