Why Blogging Is Not A Sustainable Career Unless You're Selling Something
After my recent realisation that I had failed as a professional blogger, I realised that I needed to smash the lie that was being perpetrated everywhere about blogging as a sustainable career. It's not. Not even close. Some bloggers have made it, but you have to realise that they got in there early and managed to monetise when blogging started entering the limelight. It's certainly inspiring to hear stories of bloggers who have made it and are not only making a good living off their sites, but through book deals, TV shows and speaking engagements have supplemented their income.
For the average blogger, this will not be your reality unless you are willing to put in as much time and effort as a full-time job, and most just aren't. I'm here to tell you why blogging is not a sustainable career unless you're selling something, and why you shouldn't buy into the hype, but create something that could sustain you in the future.
As some of you know, I've been blogging since my late teens in various forms, but it's only in the last 2 years I started taking this blogging for profit thing seriously. I knew I could do it, because my first for-profit site Food Fashion Faith became very popular due to my honest and sometimes painful realisations of married life as well as my restaurant reviews. I shut that site down because it was getting too honest and painful, and I really hated being pigeonholed as a food blogger, as I wanted to branch out into something else.
After joining Elite Blogging Academy and paying a pretty large sum to get onto the blogging course, I was frankly disappointed. Not in the course itself, I think I'm not ready for the lessons it teaches right now. It requires a lot of hard work, but the fact that I wasn't making it as quickly as I had hoped really disappointed me. You see my husband finished his last contract in his industry in December, and has been out of work since. I've been trying to find a way to support us as our savings dwindle, and thought blogging might be it. Boy was I wrong.
What all the courses neglect to tell you and the posts on Pinterest is that Blogging is not an instant career. It requires a lot of time, energy and effort to not only research and write blog posts, but also to push them on social media and engage with others in the "right" way and get your content seen. Frankly, it was taking a heck of a lot of time for pittance rewards, which is not enough to sustain my family.
So, I decided to retrain as a Makeup Artist, but again that is going to take a long time before I see any rewards with it, but at least I know that it will be a more sustainable career In Shaa Allah (God willing).
Why Blogging Isn't a Sustainable Career -
The second part of my point is that you can't have a sustainable career as a blogger unless you're selling something. It took me a long time to realise that the most successful bloggers were actually blogging to sell something. Whether that was an eBook, a course or a physical product, they really weren't making money off their writing, they were making money off the fact they were an authority on something and using that knowledge to pitch a product that their readers could buy.
Once you realise that fact, making money as a blogger becomes so much easier. It no longer feels like a betrayal of trust to suddenly start pushing a product or inserting affiliate links into posts because you are selling something. The sooner you realise this, the easier the relationship between you and your reader. It's so hard to build trust with an audience, but if you're clear from the start then it makes it that much easier.
Does this mean you should stop blogging completely? Absolutely not. There are so many wonderful people who are willing to share their expertise for free and really want to build a community together, which is fantastic. I'm speaking to the ones who feel pressured into giving up their day job on a promise that this will take care of you. It won't.
I managed to get an internship at a start-up company in Central London purely through my blog writing which was huge for me. I learned so much being the social media and marketing person, but in the end, they couldn't keep me on due to lack of funds. I realised I really like writing, and I definitely want to make it a career now In Shaa Allah (God Willing).
How to Make Blogging Your Career
Despite my advice above, if you're still here, congratulations! Here are some interesting articles from both sides of the spectrum.
1. Don't quit your day job - This post by Sophie of The Private Life Of A Girl finally resonated with me. She advises you not to quit your day job until your new venture is making you enough money to sustain your lifestyle.
2. Post Frequently Or Not - I found this article so interesting because they talked about someone who only posted once a month. However, their content was so useful and dense, it usually takes a month to digest it. I like posting once a week, but I've recently been thinking of upping it twice a week mainly because I have too many things to say for just once a week.
3. How Much Do Bloggers Actually Earn? The numbers may surprise you in this article which claims only 8% of bloggers can actually sustain themselves and their staff.
4. Blogging is Essential For A Good Career - Penelope Trunk, an authority on how the world of work is moving in the future says we should all be blogging to help advance in our careers. Blogging is the new home page.
What did you think of this post? Have you managed to make blogging a career?