Can we talk? What are the challenges and risks of going social?

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I have been reading healthy living blogs for at least 10 years. This blog, my first real foray into the world of social media as part of the Social Media course I’m taking, has really opened my eyes to the world of professional blogging. It’s much more difficult than I ever expected to write down my thoughts and views about health and fitness (and give it a social media spin), two disciplines I am very passionate about. My favorite bloggers certainly make it look easy, and I’m certain it took a lot of practice to get there.

A quick check of my Links list at the top of the page will name several of my favorite bloggers who make a living blogging about healthy living.

Healthline’s Best Fitness Blogs of 2015

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Challenges of blogging

  • Content. This is perhaps a blogger’s biggest hurdle. How to keep people coming back to your blog and keep away from predictable, boring topics.
  • Meeting reader expectations. As an example, many of the women whose blogs I follow have become wives and mothers since they started writing. Do they continue to write only about healthy living or should they now talk about their upcoming wedding or baby on the way? Will they alienate readers who started reading for the health and fitness info?
  • Making a stable income. Can you make money? Yes. Is it easy? Absolutely not! There are many, many methods to make a few bucks from your blog – affiliate programs, direct ads, and banner advertising are a few of the most popular. Most of the methods bring in a just a few cents per click-through, so you will need a LOT of traffic to your blog to make a living at it.

Can you Make Real Money Blogging?

Risks of blogging

  • Privacy concerns. Most of the blogs I follow contain a daily look into the life of the writer on top of the food or fitness info. How much info is too much to reveal while trying to remain authentic to your audience? Do you post pics of your children, husband, friends? Where do you draw the line?
  • dreamstime_s_4738598Security. It’s pretty easy to figure out what city a blogger lives in, which restaurants they frequent, where they work out. You must be very careful when revealing your real time whereabouts or you may find yourself a victim of a stalker or a burglar.
  • Trolls, haters, and other internet meanies. You’ve got to have thick skin if you put yourself out on the interwebs as a blogger. There are plenty of people online who would love to ruin your reputation for no good reason, or will just try to antagonize you with nasty comments on your blog. There is even a website dedicated to making fun of bloggers called Get Off My Internets (GOMI). I have to admit that I check it out from time to time and the forums have some pretty funny comments, although most are just hateful.

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Food and Fitness Blogging

Dangers of Online Blogs

As you can see, there is a lot to consider before deciding to start a blog. It’s not as simple as deciding what WordPress theme you want to use and coming up with a clever title. In any case, I won’t be quitting my day job any time soon.

Do you follow any bloggers? If so, which ones?

Would you ever consider starting your own daily or weekly blog? Why or why not?

2 thoughts on “Can we talk? What are the challenges and risks of going social?

  1. Hi Kelly, I would like to have a casual blog that I could post maybe once or twice a week; however, finding the time for me is really difficult. I think those who are willing to make time, like to write, and can choose a topic with endless content are the best suited for blogging. As you pointed out, having the ability to create content is a challenge. Furthermore, it is also the way one articulates it because if it written poorly not many folks will come back or recommend it. Personally, I would find it difficult for me to find a topic that I was really passionate about. I may be able to for a little while and then sizzle out. I think you chose a great topic and have done a great job. I encourage you to keep going.

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  2. Hi Kelly. Great job highlighting the difficulties encountered with blogging. I certainly agree it is not always easy coming up with ideas of what to talk about and getting over writer’s block. I believe the best way to get over it is simply to start writing and the words will simply start to flow. I think once we become seasoned bloggers we will learn that it is okay to take risks with what we write about, and that we do not have to always be PC with what we write about. I also worry about privacy and people tracking where you live based on what you blog about and pictures you post of where one visits and when. You just can never be too careful these days, especially online. When in doubt, one needs to be safe as less personal details are best for privacy purposes. However, an issue for personal blogs (such as fitness ones potentially) or self-help ones is that the writers often want to reveal a lot about themselves so the readers sense their genuineness and openness. In turn the blogger may be able to gain additional readers, which in turn may lead to additional advertising dollars. So there is a fine line for when one needs to limit how much they share to the world.

    What are the biggest hurdles/issues for bloggers today?

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