This is an introspective post that can tell you a little bit more about myself. I was pondering over this question, how does I really feel that I am a blogger with good follower base? Am I happy, proud or just normal? Here, I will write about how does it feel to be a blogger. How a blogger feels for his blog and the readers.
Blogging gives you mixed feeling. It can be enjoying, satisfying and at time it is too draining. No doubt it’s a great feeling that readers keep coming back for the new posts. When I see the dots in my real-time Google Analytics screen (like in the picture above), I feel proud to be a blogger. I think it’s the same feeling of pride that book authors get with each copy being sold. Where it pains is the immense work-load you take on.
No one ask you to take the pain but, you take it on yourself, you struggle to be a top blogger, you struggle to be on Google first page when some one tries to find information on topics you wrote about. When you are not a full-time blogger, it’s very very hard to manage your blog along with your day job. That’s what is happening with me sometimes.
About pride, when I see dots appearing and vanishing quickly I feel bad as my content didn’t solve the reader’s purpose (It’s not that I look at the GA screen all the time. In fact when I need motivation then only I look at that else, looking at real-time traffic screen is distracting). When the dots move on to another page, I feel proud that the visitor is interested in the blog.
I have 4600+ Twitter followers, more than 1000 email subscribers and almost 100 Facebook fans, All figures are growing everyday. I feel proud not to be just another person in the crowd. When feel I am a author, I am a creator ad I do something that others don’t or can’t.
Blogging is a fun too, I enjoy interacting with readers and other bloggers. When I write posts I think that I am talking to you. I enjoy writing in explanation style. That’s the reason my posts are quiet bigger than posts you see on other blogs. When I write some sentence I feel as if I didn’t properly explain in detail, so write more details about it. I didn’t hear any complain about the length of my posts yet.
On the other hand, there is a dark side. Blogging is taxing to your family. It is, at times, a stressful task. Let me explain.
Why blogging is taxing
I work for 10 hours daily that is 2 hours more than you should put in your day job. But, this is kind of new-normal in IT industry. This blog takes at least 4 hours of time daily. And almost 60% of week-end time.
I work on this blog every day after I wake up. I rarely talk to SMB in the morning. Except some small conversation about my lunch and breakfast, as she packs the boxes for me.
When I come home from work in the evening we talk for a little while. Then we part ways, I come to my bed room study to work on the blog and she stays in the living room doing her own stuff.
In a way we don’t even talk for solid 30 mins in a day.
During the week-end, when we are away from home, I look for ways to come home early so that I can be on my blog. It’s kind of mental sickness at times. Not at a
ll healthy as I don’t feel like sleeping early leaving the blog behind.
Always there is this insecure feeling that my latest post will not be a hit, my search engine ranking will be taken away. Last year I wrote a post, does blogging affect work? Till date that is my most commented post. I admitted that blogging affected my work in some way. Here. I admit blogging also does affect personal relationship.
When you get to choose between commenting on other blogs/promoting your articles on social media and making breakfast for your wife on week-ends, it’s not a ideal situation you’re in. That is where bloggers envy other people who do not blog, the normal people.
So why I still blog?
The same reasons that you have for everything else that you indulge in.
Personal satisfaction – It is satisfying to see people coming to your for information and knowledge.
I feel proud that OCAAT, with 4 hours of interrupted work a day, stands within top 100 personal finance blog. Money Crashers Ranking 82 and Wise Bread Ranking 94. I am especially proud that OCAAT is one of the 25 odd personal finance blogs in top 100 that are not run by a team of professionals or corporate houses. And achieving that only after two years of blogging is a big deal.
When institution like, JP Morgan, Citi, etc send out press releases to my email box, I feel proud to be one of those individuals whom even large financial power houses recognize. I never asked for those press releases, they send on their own. So blogging is also a feeling of doing something very useful for the society.
It gives social recognition – although in my case, only a couple of folks at work know about this blog , and in my friend circle, almost no one knows about it. We have a personal finance blogger community which has 100s of bloggers. We all know each other very well.
Knowledge Gain – When I write an article, the amount of research that go in to the writing makes me more knowledgeable and more aware.
Personal Improvement – I did improve on my writing skills, compared to when I started this blog. I haven’t mastered it though. Time and again I hear complaints about bad English, grammar and spelling. Please bear with me till be master that aspect as well.
I became wiser in managing and investing our money while blogging about it.
Extra Income – I will never reveal how much I earn from this blog. But the earning is not bad. We are single income family, the blog income definitely helps us getting towards our financial independence sooner.
What’s in future?
I don’t know, I still enjoy writing. Although on days, It’s too much mental torture to ready a draft post for the next day. On those days, I feel like quitting blogging. But fortunately those spells are very short-lived for me.
Most of the blogs that ranks over OCAAT and are now run by corporate/media houses started like this, they were personal and operated my a single guy initially. When they grew bigger, they caught media attention.
They waited till the offer price matched their expectation. Then they sold off. It’s very hard to resist an offer like $200,000 or $300,000 (some of the top blogs fetched way more than that but, no outsider knows the actual figure) for giving up the blog, especially since you can always start with the next blog.
I do get buy-out offers, which are, till now, too low to even consider. However, I am not looking for selling at this point, I enjoy writing, I will keep on going. But, I can’t guarantee that I won’t sell OCAAT off if I get right price. I will tell before hand if I do so.
As of now I am satisfied with the way I am blogging or the way this blog is growing. It fulfills one of my social obligation of doing something good and useful for the masses. I never claim to be an expert in financial matters, I write what I believe in and what I feel as correct, and, I am very happy with the way I produce content.
If one day my employer finds out about this blog and asks me to stop, I’ll have to sell it anyway. The other possibility is of my employer acquiring this blog as they don’t yet have a social media presence via blogging. If that happens, it will be probably most satisfying outcome for me. I am fully dedicated to my employer and always want to do more than what is expected out of me. Giving away this blog to them would also mean I become a full time blogger working for the same employer. What better outcome can I get than that!
I never advertise about my employer ( even though we are a Fortune 100 finance company) or never review or talk about any of their products. So in a way I never breached any of the employment code of conduct.
Readers, thank you for reading this post, do write about your opinion. I would love to hear readers who never commented on my post. Feel free to share your opinion about blogging and bloggers.