My Tattoo Blog Journey Thus Far
Having a blog is a bit like owning a Zebra. It sounds like it would be wicked cool and it is super fun to brag to people about it and show them pictures on your phone and be all, “Yep…that’s my Zebra – Boo-Yah!”
but in reality when you are at home by yourself trying to get practical shit done like dishes and laundry and figuring out how to pay all your bills there is a voice in your head that is all, “Why the FUCK did you get a Zebra!? What the hell were you thinking – we don’t have the time or money for this BULLSHIT!”.
let’s all take a moment to let that run-on sentence rant sink in…shall we?
So I have been the proud/frustrated/excited/hopeful owner of my Zebra…ahhh…blog for 18 months now and it has been a learning experience let me tell you. A blog – much like a hungry Zebra – eats time, energy and yes…money.
I resisted spending money on my blog for quite a while. I justified this by saying, “Why would I spend money on something that hasn’t earned me any money yet?” (AKA; the Zebra can just eat the fucking grass in the fucking yard). But blogs (and Zebras?) need fancy things like logos, design work, tech support and what all. When I somewhat accidentally became a “pro-blogger” and landed paid advertisers I foolishly tried to upgrade my site by myself and the Zebra puked all over the couch.
With the massive help of Julie at www.fabulousblogging.com and the spending of actual money my blog is now purring like a Cadillac, I feel all super professional and shit, and good things are happening at The Tattoo Tourist.
My stats – the Holy Grail of Blogging – are growing (over 45K a month and counting!), I have my first viral article on Tattoodo with over 640K views, I am adding new advertisers that I have hand picked because I genuinely believe in what they are selling, I have been writing articles for Things & Ink and other outlets and I even scored press passes to Vans Warped Tour so I can interview some of my daughter’s (and mine) favorite bands. Plus I got a nice email from Hannah Aitchison herself asking me to link my article about her to her site. Suddenly having a Zebra seems like the coolest thing I have ever done!
So what have I learned about blogging?
The biggest thing is to keep going. It took a while for me to gain some traction and find my voice. If I had been put off by no one reading what I had to say I would have quit 14 months ago.
Talk to other bloggers. Often those kind and encouraging comments on my blog made all the difference and made me want to keep going. (I’m looking at you WTFElsewhere, Mum Revised, And Three to Go , Random Moments of Existence , Unbolt– plus many more) and commenting on my favorite blogs can feel like a mini-post in haiku form at times (Aussa you get all my best ones I think).
Don’t be afraid to spend a little money. I tried to claim my modest advertising income on my taxes this year but when my accountant saw my receipts for what I spent against what I earned he told me that the income was “inconsequential” and we would just “write it off as a hobby”. Ouch. But you have to start somewhere and those first advertising dollars went right into my blog to make it better. Worth it!
Having a blog can give you a place to talk about the big things in your life even when it is hard, a place to rant, to remember and to reward. And even though having a blog/Zebra (I have managed to use the word Zebra 9 times in this post! Oh – make that 10!!) can be challenging, frustrating and even expensive – I have to say I think it is worth it.
I may be preaching to the blogging choir with this post but if you are part of this wacky world then I encourage you to continue. And to grow. And to reach. You would be surprised how many yeses you can get if you just put yourself out there like a professional and ask for what you want.
Now. Do you want to pay $5 to pet my Zebra? (11!!!!)
PS – Special shout out to other bloggers – I need TEN bloggers who are interested in a little cross promotion for my latest project set to launch at the end of this month. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are intrigued.