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?