If one more person says to me they are going to start a blog so they can get free stuff I might just lose my shit. Sorry. I don’t normally say shit here. But Seriously. Lose. My. Shit. Unfortunately that simple expression conveys a whole world of thing to me. Firstly, you think that any day someone can start a blog and achieve what I’ve worked daily for almost 3 years on. It’s annoying, just saying. Oh, you’re going to start a blog, are you. Magically turn it into a profitable exercise, are you? Just blog for the sake of getting freebies, are you? Well, good luck is all I’m going to say.

Goooooood luck.

I find it essential, now that I would classify myself as a blogger first and personal assistant second, to have a prepared response to the question ‘Yeah, but what IS a blog?’. I think it made me a better blogger to know. To be able to describe what I do in a matter of fact type way. To be able to say that yes, my musings and ramblings DO matter to people. And yes, so does sharing the cardigan I just purchased from the shops. I find if I am clear, people are less likely to shake their head and say, so it’s like Facebook.

Or the always popular, I don’t get it.

Blogging is stupid, you see. New and silly and frivolous and stupid. I wish I had the spare time to play online all day, they say. I’m just too busy. I wish I could find the time to do what you do. I assert that these same people say the same thing about getting to the gym or cooking fresh, healthy meals. Sigh and wish they had the time to do that too. {COUGHexcusesCOUGH} They won’t go because it’s not important to them. In the absence of value, people argue cost. I heard that quoted once at a conference I attended. I think it applies to the emergence of blogging in Australia. For them the cost of building a blog is greater than the value of the return.

Same can go for some advertisers and brands. They can’t see the value yet. But they will. More and more as I receive emails and message and tweets with mentions of latest purchases, changes to diet and exercise plans and even to their outlook, I can see it. The value starts to emerge, like a headlight of a car in the distance. It’s there and hurtling towards me fast. The cost {my time, my money, my ability to earn elsewhere} seems to diminish. It is being outweighed.

For me. That is. I still get a lot of questions and raised eyebrows from those outside my circle of family and friends. They can’t see the value yet. Of this ‘new’ media. They can’t see that those of us existing and writing and building steam are at the forefront and that’s exciting. We will deliver their information well into the future. It will come from us. But to them, it’s stupid, and a bit of a waste of time.

Blogging is stupid because they don’t get it. Yet.

  • Oh Mel, you crack me up. Love this post. I’m all for people starting blogs – mainly because I love it and want to share the passion – but I’m clear that making money from it only happens from a lot of hard work and treating it like a business. And BTW businesses don’t make a profit for 5 years.

    • Well thank you muchly. I absolutely agree. I set up and help train new bloggers all the time. Share the love I say. But seriously, in the first place, it will be love that’s your reward. That’s it. 5 years, huh. I’ve still got 2 to go. 😉

  • You get free shit from blogging? Really?? I must be doing it all wrong then. (need some emoticons to relay the heavily sarcastic tone I’m typing this in.)

    I started blogging to still the noise that is my head. If I benefit in any way from the outpourings of my brain it will be a bonus.

    People are funny eh. I would love to know what your response is for what is a blog. I have yet to figure out one.

    Alas I have had no time this week with sick child, then getting sick myself to plug into my creativity and enter your blog makeover comp. I will just have to do it the old fashion way, and employ you 🙂 point me in the direction please of what I need to do, and I will be in contact. 🙂

    • Why is that noone has invented a sarcastic emoticon? WHY!? So useful. Haha.

      I say that a blog is a static website with sometimes daily content that provides information and personal stories similar to what you would find in a magazine but more casual, easy going and up to the minute. Worst case senerios, it’s a website. 😉

      Sorry to hear that! There were pretty good odds of winning, I think a lot of people went down with illness etc. Just email me at melissa@sugercoatit.com and we’ll start talking about what you’re looking for and sies you love the look of etc. Talk soon!

  • Lisa Barton-Collins

    A friend of a friend sent me a fb message the other day – they know socially a big Australian blogger, and the message was ‘She makes $20k a year from her blog you’re doing that aren’t you? Are you going to Chicago with her? I bet you will both have fun!’ Um, err…

    • Dude, you MUST suck if you’re not earnign $20,000 a year. Clearly. {again, where the heck IS that sarcasim emoticon?}. Haha. funny the assumptions people make. But seriously, you are considering Chicago right?

      • Lisa Barton-Collins

        Sarcasm font> Of course I’m going to Chicago! With all the big bucks I’m pulling in, why wouldn’t I??<end sarcasm font

  • lisa | renovating italy

    OMG I get told via Bruce that his wife thinks I am on fb way too much and don’t I have anything to do all day? I am just starting to get the magnitude of the scope of blogging. I do it because I love it, and creating connections and giving encouragement is a joy to me. I totally get the amount of work, dedication and sharing that goes on with professional bloggers like us! Yes i say us as this is where I see my “career” it’s like anything else you need to try it on for size (pun intended).

    I am getting there slowly…which has been just right as now I know my goals and can set about achieving them. Having blogged for a year and a bit now I still don’t believe the difference it has made in my life, and the lives of others who read it. It’s something you need to struggle with, I certainly looked to you as my blog guru to start with but am soooo glad that you never just jumped in and solved all my problems, you had me work them out myself!! Oooh you got me going on this one, touched a big nerve……I think it’s called Sammie LOL xxx

    ciao bella x

    • Ha. People often say to me, geez, you’re on Facebook a lot. I say, well it IS my job so that makes sense, right? I usually let people know that I’m ok if they unfriend me or unsubscribe. I get that I must dominate their newsfeed sometimes. But heck, I also dominate conversations in real life I’m that overly chatty so what’s new! HA.

      Your blog is an amazing thing. I adore it and can imagine big things for it. I’ll always be here as a support my friend, and to show you how to fish the best way I know how. 😉

      Bloody Sammy. Sigh. 😛

  • StaceyLeeGetonwithitalready

    Getting into blogging to make money, I think a lot of people are going to be sadly disappointed. Have seen a huge jump in sponsored posts recently and most of it not done well unfortunately. Funny thing – my kids when attempting to describe Mumma’s new hobby, she is bogging, oh dear!!

    • I think so too. I’m not sure they imagine that they’ll make loads of money, but I think they do expect a certain amount of freebies and invites that don’t just appear out of thin air. No one really comes into it and survives with that sort of mentality.

      Yes, there have been a bit of a jump, for sure. I think it’s key not to try too hard on those post, not to polish them and articulate them in a way you never normally would or they stick out like a sore thumb. That said though, a lot of readers can be quiet biased about sponsored posts immediately writing them off as uningteresting when there a lot of quality content out there too.

      Bogging!! OMG. Laughed out LOUD!

  • claire

    it is definitely not why I started writing my blog……..I have a relatively well paid job that I like, so blogging for me was not about making money. Nor was it about getting free things…..it was a place for me. For me to talk about things I like and like to do. To share these with my friends and family and anyone else that cares to read my ramblings…….. It is also a creative outlet from my public servant life.

    • I left a relatively well paying job for blogging. So people think I’m nuts. Ha. And still, my blog is somewhere that I do the exact same thing you do. I rambling and post outfits and wonder about stuff and tell tales on my hubby. Sometimes there’s a revenue stream from that. Sometimes, like this month, a little less so. Creativity is king in this game. If people wanted churned out articles day after day they would read the newspaper. {ha! Cheeky!}

  • Tony Roberts

    Oh you have 2000 friends do you?? cause that’s what you’re going to need
    if you expect any free stuff!
    HaHa that will shut them up.

    Like you are going to start a blog and people will automatically know of
    it and flock to it, and love it, OH THE JOY!!

    Sorry a bit carried away, lol.

    I would explain to people that a blog is a regular magazine column, but
    its online instead of in a magazine. They don’t mock people who work
    from home writing for a magazine!, so whats the difference?

    Just say sorry I don’t have time to discuss it, you’ll have to make an
    appointment with my PA, I think I have an opening in November!!
    We know what you do Mel, and respect what you do, so think of us when
    you hear the knockers 🙂
    cant get disqus to connect me 🙁

    • HA! Love this and your sassiness Tony. I think you’re having an issue with Disqus because they were down for maintenance there a little while back. Our explainations are VERY similar actually. I wrote mine below. Great minds think alike.

      Gosh, I would LOVE a PA to do my books. And my Hubby’s business’s books. It might be time, I think. 😉

  • See that blog, right there is a labour of love in a completely different way. I think every classroom and child care room needs a blog with updates and notes and messages. How wonderful you are for delivering that. I would totally give you a gift worth more than $50 and be sorry you couldn’t keep it. You add value to people’s lives and educational experience. That’s worth a lot. xox

  • Oh you’re speaking to my heart.
    If you don’t get it, then who are you to share an opinion. Make the time, ask the questions to understand and then move on. You don’t see me spouting my opinion of your dim-mindedness.
    I see nothing wrong with saying “I don’t really understand” and leaving it at that. Sometimes you need to think about things more.
    Those people who write just for money…it shows. Oh it shows! And sorry, but because we can see right through you we don’t like your blog or your words. You’re not sharing your story, you’re making it up at a cost, and eventually it will catch up with you having to remember the stories you’ve made up.

    • Oh am I just! Great news.

      Ha. I too am happy to say, errr, what? Please explain? I think it’s how we learn anything. Luckily when it comes to blogging all the people I asked questions of were more than generous with me. I appreciate that.
      YES! OMG, yes! I say this all the time. You can tell. Se there’s no hope of doing it just for that.

  • river

    I know so many people who don’t understand blogging. To be fair, they’re just not the type of people who would sit for hours behind a computer screen anyway, they’re much more social, spending time on facebook and twitter, or getting out and interacing with real people in real life. My older daughter understands what blogs are and what they can do, but she just isn’t “into it”, hasn’t even once read my blog. My younger girl though, is more like me, preferring to be away fro face to face interaction as much as possible and she reads my blog and had her own for a while. As for making money and getting free stuff…well that certainly doesn’t happen instantly, or at all, without a lot of hard yards being put in.
    P.S. I’m finally able to comment again! For a few days now Disqus has demanded I upgrade to a more modern browser as it no longer supports the one I had. I thought that was unfair of them, but I did the upgrade this morning.

    • Welcome back! Bossy old Disqus, making demands and holding you to ransom.

      I know what you mean. There are plenty of people that it might never really enter their realm. Absolutely. It takes all types, and some of those types may not EVER give two tosses about blogging.

  • river

    I’m sure there is a sarcasm emoticon. Call up your emoticons and mouse over each one until you find it.

    • You’re probably right. It’s probably best left undiscovered, can you imagine how often I would use it! Haha.

  • Jen

    Free stuff? With blogging? I have been blogging for 4 years and I am still waiting and waiting……

  • Amy

    I’m actually just about to write an article for uni on the potential bloggers have for enacting social change and impacting as political agenda setters. About how this movement of ‘real’ people getting online and having a say could be more powerful than just for marketers. What you are doing is not stupid at all.

    • I’d love to read that when it’s done. We could perhaps even turn it into a guest post {you know, with wording edits}. There’s something more transparent {not to mention immediate} about blogging I think, which is why people do get a little concerned when there is money involved. Seriously. Would love to read it. xo

  • If by free stuff you mean a packet of chips occasionally, then yeah, bring it on! lol. If I only blogged for free stuff, I wouldn’t write a single thing. I feel like a blogging dinosaur now…7 years plus…and I’m still learning, still exploring, still finding my feet. It’s a pretty rare blogger that hits the big time with fame and revenue to match. I wish I could make a living out of blogging, but I continue to do it because I LOVE IT! Simple as that…and to all the nay-sayers who say they don’t have time…you always find time to do the things you’re passionate about. Great post!

    • Haha. You got free chips!! No faaaaaair. 😉

      This comment is a great contribution to the post Lisa. Thanks so much for joining in. You blog dinosaur you. Ha!

  • Peggy Saas

    And at the crux of all that, who cares what anyone thinks I say. You love what you do, so do it. And you should know that when I log on and see your smiley face and positive outlook and read your funny anecdotes it makes me smile. So although you do what you do for you, you’re also making a difference to the days of others. You are.

    Well written Mel. xo

    • Thank you Peggy, I’m SO glad. And yes, it’s a bit of a selfish exercise but I’m not sure it would have anywhere near the appeal for me with people enjoying it and interacting. And you know I LOVE the fact that your blog gave you the push to do what YOU want. Love, love that. xo

  • Blogging is like a personal online diary – with one difference! everyone gets to read it and say what they think! Comments are a changing – I have noticed that some people think that hiding behind a computer lets them say anything when they have finished reading a blog post. Yet us bloggers are people with feelings – so yep it might be stupid to them, but to us bloggers its a every day thing. And I love blogging 🙂

    • Absolutely. I remind people when they forget. And later, delete them if they forget again. Haha. It keeps this place an uplifting place with positive people looking to share ideas.

      I love blogging too. So badly.

  • I always get excited when someone starts a blog, I hope they see the magic and the opportunity that it is. A lot of them don’t. But I keep my eye out for those that do and it’s wonderful. 

    Precious? You? Never… 😛  {sorry, you got spammed, I just fetched you! SORRY}

  • Yes! I copped this a bit from my sister yesterday when I suggested she look at Pinterest for ideas for her wedding. What? A social network!? No, according to her, they’re all full of stupid petty people only interested in self-promotion. I was really annoyed at her, then I thought “Stuff it, go be judgemental. There are fantastic people on the internet and you’re clearly never going to understand that”.

    • It’s hard to watch someone discount a whole part of what you do as stupid. This sucks. Sorry to hear it actually. Enjoy the fantastic people. She’ll come around. Maybe. 😉

  • Camilla

    I’ve been a blogger since 2011 and only got my first freebie (well it wasn’t really a freebie, more of a sample product for me to review and then run a giveaway) and yes it felt fantastic. Was that moment the reason I’d been blogging all this time? Nope. It was all about finding that anonymous support that I didn’t feel judged by. So far I’ve only had one post attract a hater and it scared me so much that I immediately unpublished it. Blogging is what you make of it. It can be a platform to confess, share or inspire. I hope one day to build my blog up to be as inspirational as you

    • I hear you loud and clear on this one. This is very much me too. It’s fun and it brings all sorts of positive reinforcement to my life. Like go me, go do that thing! I like to say you have to find your wins where you can, and being offered something like that is a total win.

      FYI I thought Id’ share that I deal with the negative by reminding myself of all the good this blog does, for me personally having an outlet to create something and no, years later, for other people too. One hater, one person who wants to pick a fight isn’t worth your time. Heck even if there was 50 of them, they still aren’t worth it. That I know now.

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  • Mahina Hathaway

    I think, whoa blogging… Thinking up things to write about and make interesting… HARD WORK! I admire interesting constructive honest bloggers like you. I cant even begin to imagine how much hard work and effort goes into the finished product that we see on our computer screens. So I take my hat off to you and other bloggers out there. Just because I don’t fully understand the world of blogging, doesn’t mean that its easy!

    • Haha. It is a bit like that sometimes. Fun though, for sure! And believe me, it’s easier than working in the hot sun digging a trench for a living (like Mr Suger) but yes, it’s challenging in its own way.

  • I’m earning 5 billion dollars a year. Doing really well, got a new car and have restaurants throw meals my way in hope I might mention them.. oh and all the designer clothes I am given… Chanel, Versace ….Oh hang on.. I’ll get back to you tomorrow when I’m sober and wake up that I only do it for the sheer joy of the millions of positive comments from a mass of followers from some country called spam…. 🙂 I am truly blessed.