The Business and Busyness of Blogging

The Business and Busyness of Blogging

Story by: Allie Kawata

When school isn’t in session, junior strategic corporate communication major Maddy Cornelius is traveling the globe nonstop. During school, she continues her journey by maintaining a travel blog, Travel Alphas, with her boyfriend Mauricio Campos. But this is no easy task; there’s a lot more involved than you might think.

“It always seems like half of my week is spent doing something related to Travel Alphas,” said Cornelius.

Scores of Chapman students have created their own blogs, from subjects ranging from food to travel to dance to fashion. Maintaining a blog is a lot tougher than it seems at a glance. Not only do you have to produce creative, original content on at least a weekly basis, you might also have to manage multiple social media accounts, respond to business emails, and edit photos, as Cornelius does.

“Blogging is hard work, and I don't think people realize how time-consuming it really is,” she said. “My nights always consist of blogging, and my days consist of either work and school or traveling.”

Click Here for Information About How to Start a Blog

Junior journalism major Caroline McNally, who runs a blog called “Sundays with Nally” about things to do on the weekends, agreed.

“When you’re blogging as a hobby and it’s not your career, putting up multiple posts a week…is pretty hard,” said McNally. “You need someone to take the pictures, a good setting, and then time to edit the pictures and all that jazz.”

“It’s sometimes a challenge to schedule a time to talk to people,” said sophomore creative producing major Beatrice Ho. Time is of the essence for Ho, who runs a fashion blog, Chapman Catwalk, via The Panther.

“Unfortunately, even though it’s required for school, getting the blog written each week is one of my most challenging assignments,” said sophomore English major Madeleine Caraluzzi, who writes a blog for the Panther called Sound Wave. She often finds that other schoolwork makes it difficult to find time for blogging.

“I’m very passionate about the subjects I’m writing and learning about, but because of the multiplicity of other long term homework assignments I have, I sometimes find myself unprepared come deadline time,” said Caraluzzi.

Click Here for More Information on the Blogs in This Story

McNally also finds it difficult to make time for her blog.

“I try to post at least twice a week unless I’m completely slammed with schoolwork and my other activities,” she said. “Usually, the time I could be blogging is taken up by schoolwork. I’ll spend three hours writing for a class and when I’m done, I’m tired of writing.”

It’s also difficult to keep producing unique content, she added, and sometimes feels like she has “blogger’s block.”

And without original content, readers will drift elsewhere.

“With so many other blogs and places to go on the Internet, it is hard to maintain readership,” said Ho.

“I would love to be reaching more people and have a larger following, of course,” said McNally. “But that would require me to be a full-time blogger, and I just don’t have time for that right now.”

But for McNally, her follower count isn’t the most important part of blogging.

“I blog for myself more than…to try to gain popularity,” she said. “I’m perfectly happy with that.”

Cornelius expressed similar sentiments. Even though her blog is a ton of work, it’s worth putting in the efforts for the results it yields.

“Let's face it, Travel Alphas is my baby,” said Cornelius. “Much of my life revolves around it. But that's what you sign up for when you blog professionally, and I wouldn't have it any other way.”

 

If you’re trying to start a blog of your own, there are tons of different platforms you can use, each offering unique features to take advantage of. Here are just a few to consider.

WordPress 

A lot of bloggers choose WordPress for its versatility: you can use custom domains, make your own theme or choose from tons of premade ones, and incorporate all your other social media accounts. The site offers lots of features for free, but it’s also simple to step up to professional blogging.

Blogger 

Blogger is a super-simple way to start up a blog, which makes it ideal for first-time bloggers. It’s especially easy if you already have a Google account that you can use to sign in.

Weebly

Weebly allows for a broader range of site-building than most other blogging platforms, as it can be used to create sites that aren’t blogs at all. However, it’s still easy to create a blog with their drag-and-drop system of building.

Medium 

A platform run by the same people who created Twitter, Medium takes a slightly different approach to blogging. Instead of the super-customizable themes of many other platforms, Medium uses pretty much the same template for everyone so that the content itself is emphasized. It also allows users to publicly highlight lines within a post, in order to bring it to the attention of other users (or even the author of the post).

Tumblr

WIth Tumblr, any user can create or use a custom theme, which creates an emphasis on originality and creativity. There’s also a strong social aspect to the platform due to its “reblogging” feature, which allows users to share others’ content on their own blogs (much like retweeting content on Twitter).

 

Want to know more about the blogs featured in the main story?

 

Junior strategic corporate communication major Maddy Cornelius co-runs Travel Alphas with her boyfriend.

“My boyfriend and I started our travel blog about a year ago to share our travel stories and to inspire others to travel further and more often,” said Cornelius. “Our blog aims to share the latest and greatest within the realms of travel and lifestyle. We write about everything from obscure destinations and exotic foods, to luxury hotels and adventurous excursions, to helpful tips for the everyday traveler.”

Sophomore creative producing major Beatrice Ho runs Chapman Catwalk, a fashion blog under the umbrella of The Panther.

“My blog features a Chapman student each week where I talk to him or her about their personal style and fashion. I also highlight key points that the person brings up and tips on fashion trends or tricks to help readers, because it's always a struggle deciding what to wear,” said Ho.

Junior journalism major Caroline McNally runs Sundays with Nally . The blog was originally intended to focus on fashion, but after a while, she wanted to branch out.

“I started talking about pop culture and other things that I like because I had great ideas for posts, but then the blog was kind of a mess,” said McNally. “So I revamped it and made the unifying blog theme ‘what I do on the weekends,’ so I could talk about fashion if I wanted to, but also my new favorite TV show or new hiking spot I found in Newport.”

Sophomore English major Madeleine Caraluzzi writes Sound Wave for the Panther, blogging about Chapman students’ music tastes.

“I write a music blog called Sound Wave that focuses specifically on Chapman attendees’ music tastes,” said Caraluzzi. “Basically, I walk around campus and ask people if they would be willing to do an interview about their favorite music, and from there we get talking about concerts, musical talent, all-time favorites, etc.”