The Truth About Blogging (+ Other Revelations)

It’s hard to explain exactly what blogging is.

You’re a blogger? So, you just like, write stuff and spend your day on social media?

There's a lot of blogging that goes on behind the scenes! Click through to learn the truth about blogging and what makes blogging so special.

Gabby and I are often asked these types of questions when we tell people that we have a blog. And honestly, it’s always a little uncomfortable to answer.

Well, I mean, yeah. We write and post to social media. But…it’s so much more than that. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain is usually my response, which only escalates the uncomfortableness of the situation.

It’s been a learning process these past two years, but I honestly believe that blogging has made me a better communicator, a stronger writer, and just a more unique person in general! As a heavy introvert, sometimes putting myself out there on the interwebs can be a little intimidating, especially when it comes to me being a Type-A perfectionist.

BUT I’m hoping that by the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of “the truth about blogging”: what exactly goes into blogging (the good and the bad) and why Gabby and I have chosen to stick around these past 2 (amazing) years!

The Truth About Blogging

Blogging is: Social Media

So, YES, blogging is a lot of social media!

Blog social media is all about creating community, gaining meaningful followers, and developing a blog brand + style!

Before we started blogging, we had no idea of the analytics and strategies that people use to maximize their exposure on social media. We learned about loading up on Instagram hashtags, the optimal times to Tweet, and just exactly how big our Pinterest images should be.

We learned that the only way to keep up with social media is to schedule most of it in advance.

We learned the importance of interacting with others and sharing their content, so our content will be shared as well.

So yeah, we do “social media.” But behind every funny tweet and #ootd Instagram is the dream of sharing The Swirl’s brand with the world; to allow as many people see our content as possible. Interacting with other bloggers and followers is the best part of our job!

Blogging is: Freeing

There’s something so refreshing about being able to organize your thoughts into a blog post.

“College + lifestyle” is a broad niche, which gives us a ton of freedom to write about whatever’s going on in our lives.

Being an engineer, blogging is my way to let my creative side flow after long weeks of rigid learning + tests.

One of the most rewarding aspects of blogging is getting positive feedback on our posts! The freedom that our niche provides means that we’re not always sure which content will stick with our readers, but even just getting a couple of comments that our posts have helped our readers in one way or another is why Gabby and I have stuck around for so long.

Blogging is: A Community

I don’t think you realize just how many bloggers there are until you become one. There’s old bloggers, food bloggers, fashion bloggers, bloggers with multiple blogs, bloggers who only exist on YouTube, etc.

Blogging is a modern version of Dr. Seuss’ One Fish, Two Fish.

You start to recognize bloggers across social media platforms. You share your struggles, your triumphs, your Nordstrom Sale picks, your coupon codes, your reader engagement strategies.

And before you know it, you have a little group of blogger friends whose encourage and inspire you. It’s a beautiful thing, really.

Shoutout to our blogger fam on Twitter who respond and retweet our (sometimes really dumb) tweets!

Blogging is: Hard Work

It’s a bloggers job to make the content and social media posts look effortless. And that’s why I think a lot of people don’t give bloggers the credit that they deserve.ย The least-known truth about blogging is that it really is a full-time job that most people do in their spare time.

Every blog post starts out as an idea, sometimes just a scribble in a notebook.

Between the first scribble and the post time, there’s a ton of writing, editing, re-writing, and stressing that goes on behind the scenes. You have to optimize your post for search engines, pick the right keywords, add appropriate pictures (which sometime require a photoshoot of their own), and schedule social media activity to promote the post.

If we were to just write a post and hit “submit” (like people think we do), our blog would get 0 views! We really do pour our heart, soul, and time into our blogs.

Blogging is: A Bit of Magic

In making our posts look effortless, we cut out a lot of the bloopers and less-glamourous parts of our lives.

It can be hard to remember that not everyone’s lives are Instagram-perfect. Ours sure aren’t.

That cute Boomerang video took 10 tries to get right. We make everyone move their stuff off the table just to get a good picture of our brunch. We wear sweatpants and no makeup to Target. Sometimes, we order coffee that we like, even if it isn’t Instagram-worthy.

For every cute picture, there’s 100 of us making stupid faces.

Not to say that everything on social media is fake, because we really do put ourselves out there. The truth about blogging is that everyone’s an imperfect human, regardless of whether it shows on social media or not.

Blogging is: The Best Decision Ever

I’m gonna be super cheesy to wrap this post up, but it’s true! Without blogging, I don’t think Gabby and I would be as close of friends as we are now. We wouldn’t have met so many amazing people, or gotten to write posts that truly express ourselves and our crazy college lives. Blogging makes us unique, and it’s something that I’ll never stop talking about!

Did I miss a truth about blogging? Are you a blogger, or simply a reader? What’s your favorite part about being a blogger or a reader? Comment down below and let me know!

  • I think every blogger has been in that uncomfortable situation when explaining what we love to do. It’s so easy for people to make fun of it because they have this idea of what ‘bloggers’ and ‘social media influencers’ do, and most of the time it’s very wrong. Love this post because it reminded me of all of the positives to mention in those uncomfortable conversations!
    -Abigail

    • I just wish more people understood what bloggers do and how hard we work to get everything in order! But yes there’s so many great things about blogging that I probably bore people to death when I talk about it ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading!

      Hannah

  • I totally understand this post! When I tell anyone my age that I’m a blogger, they look at me like I write stories about alien cats all day from the darkness of a basement or something. But I absolutely love blogging, not only as creating a virtual portfolio and journal where I can capture bits of my life, but also as a way to connect with people and share the unique story that each of us has. Love this post!

    http://thecuriouslemon.com/

  • So true that it’s a full time job that people do part-time. I really wish I would’ve started blogging sooner because balancing grad school and blogging is no joke!

    -GG
    http://www.girlingamba.com

    • WOW you go girl! Any tips for managing all of it? Gabby will be in grad school and I’ll be working full-time next year, so it’s really going to be a lot on our plates!

      Hannah

      • The biggest thing I learned is to make sure to set a schedule! It can be so easy to get behind but you have to hold yourself accountable!

  • Such a great post! Lots of people say the same thing when I tell them I’m a blogger-“so you write stuff?” It’s SO much more than that and I love when people address that. Blogging has taught me so much about organization, strategy, and community because without any of those (and more) I definitely wouldn’t have made Macarons & Mascara what it is. Blogging is so underrated sometimes it’s sad, but I really enjoyed reading this post!

    Xo,
    Jasmin
    Macaronsandmascaraonline.com

    • I’m so glad you liked this post! Organization and strategy are definitely two things I love to highlight to other people because they have no idea how hard it is to juggle everything! Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

      Hannah