A Blogger's Voice

by - Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Blogger is like this social title these days given to people who blog, has a blog and publish posts on a regular basis, along with photos and attending social events which will then be followed with updates on the blog. Traditionally these would fit the description of a job; a journalist, reporter, or media and technically, bloggers are nowadays classified under the media category as well, with the professionals being placed in the press category.

The influence of blogging has taken to great heights over the past decade, with more and more blogs emerging in the blogosphere; each varying in their styles and topics of interests. This wave of popularity has caught on the public like wildfire and almost everyone is following or hogging one or more blogs; keeping themselves updated with the latest reviews, juicy news and gossips and also, the personal lives of people who are just enthusiastic about sharing their stories on their blogs.
The influential power of blogs have taken over the world by storm, as many hop from blog to blog for extra reading materials and for more opinions on a particular restaurant/hotel/brand review.
It is this particular effect which have attracted many from the areas of the media publishing to restaurants, startup companies, well-established brands, hotels and fashion to household labels to engage the services and help from bloggers in promoting their brands on the famous/top ranking blogs with a large base of followers.

While it may appear as though the bloggers are becoming tools of advertising and for commercial purposes, it is not really the case for all the bloggers and also the merchants who engage them. Also, not all involve monetary payment, as blogging is not all about money. I believe that most, if not all bloggers started out with their blogs on a simple concept of sharing and their love for one area or another, or like me, simply for the love of writing.
It may be an attractive idea to involve earnings and to make that little extra income while pursuing our interests as a job on the side, and most of us do place advertisements on our blogs for that purpose. Earnings from these ads vary depending on the popularity of the blogs and while some may earn the big bucks, that are some who are just earning a minimum.
However, if the objective of starting a blog is based on passion, then the amount earned from the side income does not really count anymore.

Bloggers are often misjudged for being freeloaders; as people who just set up their blogs and attract free products, or invitations to travel and eat for free in restaurants and hotels. While I dare not say that all bloggers are not into that, I would say that it is unfair to assume that ALL of us are into that.
We may be typing away at our keyboards behind the layout of our sites, but that does not mean that we are just doing things our way. There may not be any actual restrictions imposed in general on blogging; besides profanity, pornography, vulgarity and disturbing materials which were not really encouraged, but in all, blogging is about simple common sense and that sense of morality when it comes to defining one's writing standards.

We are never taught everything in school or at home, but we do know what is wrong or right when we are out there in the world. Same concept applies, when we are publishing our own blogs, we follow these unspoken rules and ethics. Bloggers are also professional in reality, and we will not be posting irresponsibly; or at least for most of the blogs that I have known and have existed for some time in the blogosphere. New blogs are also following the same trend and their own concept of morality, which still pretty much sticks to the usual standards.

Bloggers do not, ask for free food, or hotel stays. We may be invited for reviews, but that doesn't mean that we automatically assume we are industry experts and start demanding our fees on that.
Nope, it is just simply not right to do that and I do not think I need to elaborate further on that.
Even if you are not invited for reviews, a blogger does not assume that with a blog, you can walk up to the restaurant owner after a meal, introduce yourself and insist that the meal is for free as you will doing a free publicity by publishing a post for them on your blog. It is Not what a blogger is meant to do, and these people do not represent the majority population of bloggers.

Maintaining a blog is not all about just writing and typing, or just posting tons of photos.
Ever wondered how each blog looks and are displayed differently?
That is because we put in a lot of efforts into conceptualizing our ideas and doing the designing from scratch. Sure, there are many ready templates that we can use, and given that not all are graphic designers or programmers, it would be easiest to just use the ready templates.
I do that too, selecting a simple and easy-to-navigate template. However, that does not mean I do not work to tweak the design of my site to an appearance I wanted along the way.

Behind the scenes, a blogger spent a lot of time working on their template and even when it is already  a tested and implemented design, a blogger would still constantly review their own blogs and refresh the looks of their sites once in a while and the cycle would just begin again.
The graphics, the coding, the menus and the additional navigational tools, are all worked on and tested over and over again by the blog owners to ensure a seamless and transitional experience for their blog visitors. It requires a passion for success and an eye for detail as the amount of work that goes into the entire design process can be really tedious; even for the simplest template.
Sometimes, all that efforts could go into the drain when the site is crashed or when we forgot to click that "Save" button and then, back to square one.

Once the site layout is ready, next comes the most important part of all; which is the essence of the blog itself - the posts. Yes, the content and the topics of the posts are the main ingredients which define and make up the blog itself.
A blogger would have to spend time thinking of the topics, or doing some exploring on their own besides research to decide on the topics of interests they would want on their blogs.
For instance, a food blogger would be scouring town for new and interesting eateries to try out and share their experiences with their readers, while a travel blogger will share their travel tales and perhaps even featuring the beauty of their own neighborhood (when they are not traveling).
All these are done at the blogger's OWN expenses, and for the purpose of sharing.

If you think that after the groundwork and recce, the posts come in directly, then you are wrong again. If there are photos, the blogger would have to then download the photos from their camera, and again sit in front of the computer for hours, editing and selecting the perfect photograph to be shared on the blog. This requires intensive concentration and an amount of time to get it done; even if you are an expert. Even if you blog without photos, this next part about writing the post comes with a challenge sometimes.

Writing is supposed to come in a flow for bloggers; where we are also, well, writers anyway, but sometimes, we do too, face that moment of 'writers' block'; and suddenly the words are running out and it is frustrating when one cannot post due to the problem, or worse, produce a less than good quality post. As owners of the blogs, we want each of our posts to be good; whether we have massive followers or not, because that is our basic principle to start with.

Now, after completing or drafting our posts, we might publish it, or not. We will need to re-read and proofread our own posts/articles; yes, to ensure that it is written with that ease of flow for reading pleasure and of course, to minimize grammatical errors and also to confirm the facts.
That is to ensure that our posts are of quality.

So, based on all the above, do you really think a blogger is all about fame and publicity?
A blogger strives to maintain and to make their blogs stand out among others; and typically involves the above mentioned amount of work.
Also, a blogger is basically a combination of multiple roles/jobs all rolled into one; from a reporter/journalist, researcher, reviewer, traveler, photographer, graphics editor, photo editor, layout editor, writer, and a proofreader to a chief editor, and sometimes a PR or marketing executive; which are usually paid jobs out there in the industry.
Oh yes, did I mention that the basic pay of a blogger is practically nothing?

When a blogger is idle for a while, it does not mean that they are practically not working on their blogs; unless they have been out for months or long periods of time without a message or whatever on their social media accounts.
These are the times when the blogger are working behind the scenes to produce you all that articles you enjoy sharing with your friends during your hanging out sessions, or that pantry banter in the office.

Bloggers update as regularly as they can, with some also maintaining their day jobs and family activities and having a life. Of course, how about all that outing and researches, reviews and social media events/invitations to attend?
We do not reveal the time we work on all these postings, after our hard's day work and also social and family commitments, simply because we Enjoy sharing the beauty of blogging through our posts which are our pride whenever we click the Publish button.

So, to put it simply, Blogging?

It is all about the Passion... =)





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