Thursday, 3 November 2016

If Your Blog Doesn't Pay-Stop Treating It Like A Job

My blog turned six last summer. During that time its gone through a few changes. From being all about my home and garden, to being predominately about fashion to its more recent mixed bag of anything I find interesting or enjoy (I believe the term is Lifestyle, I prefer flibbertigibbet)



Blogging still excites me, I still love reading them, working on my own and even though its considered a bit naff to call yourself a "blogger" (I think the new term is social media influencer) I'm quite happy to wave the blogging flag.
When I started blogging I felt quite giddy that I could write or share something and like minded people would read it and occasionally comment. It felt like being part of the most delicious secret club. It still does.
Has this blog earned me money? Well a bit, occasionally. Has it led to some amazing opportunities? Oh for sure. Is that the end goal? No.



I see more and more blog posts and articles promising tips and ideas on how to make an income from blogging and its slightly troubles me. 
Of course its sensible to make sure that every relationship you have with a brand or organisation is one of mutual benefit (and its up to you to determine what that looks like, no one else) 
However the idea that a blog is only successful if its bulging at the seams with sponsored content or gifted review samples is one I think we should approach with caution.
If you only believe your blog to have any value based on how many times the postman knocks on the door with #bloggermail, or how many launch parties you get invited to, chances are you will spend a lot of time feeling disillusioned.
Blogging and content creation should be a creative outlet, the very lack of rules and structure are what make it so interesting. If you constantly just churn out glorified press releases and obsess about "creating your own brand" chances are you wont enjoy what you are doing. 


Bloggers and YouTubers who actually make a living at this shiz, are able to do so because they have gained a lot of followers. How did they do this? usually by just being themselves. They didn't open a blogger or wordpress account and then start to plan a strategy, they bumbled along, just being cool, interesting, charming or inspiring, producing engaging content and as more readers and followers caught on so did brands and other organisations (On a side note whilst they make it look easy, its not, its a full time job and not for the fainthearted)


Its OK to hope that your blog or Youtube channel will lead to an income, and having ambitions for your content is amazing (I love planning new posts, filming  tutorials, its wonderful) but I would encourage you to enjoy the ride. To stop playing the comparison game and feeling that what you produce isn't worthy because it doesn't "go viral" or gain hundreds of retweets. 

If your blog doesn't pay, stop treating it like a job.
I fell down this rabbit hole a few years ago. My blog started to become more popular, I got a few paid gigs, won the odd award and started taking it (and myself) far too seriously. I would feel stressed if I wasn't posting at least three times a week, feel gutted if I missed out on  a juicy collaboration or event invite and fretted if I wasn't able to promote my content across every network. It was exhausting and just ruined it. 


I am lucky in that I already have an interesting job outside of blogging. I write for magazines, am a television producer/director and teach as a senior lecturer at a university and of course help run Nicky Rockets

My blog was my hobby, my escape from the pressures of the outside world and instead I just turned it into another nightmare to do list.
Luckily I managed to break the spell, ironically by producing more content for my Youtube channel My subscriber numbers on YT are modest so I found the freedom again to just start doing stuff for the sheer hell of it. Not worrying how it would be received, just enjoying the process. Its been a total gift.


We live in an age where we can effectively (for free) produce our own online magazines, conjure up short videos, produce beautiful images and  can share them in an instant. It is glorious, like the wild west of creativity, anything goes. Its a club that anyone can join and their are really very few rules. 
I beg you to please stop treating your blogs like badly paid jobs, with dress codes, schedules and enforced networking. You really are spoiling it for yourselves. Write about what you want, post when you like and believe me when I tell you that you will attract your own little band of misfits who will love what you do.

Check out my Youtube Channel for lots of reviews, vlogs  and tutorials

 



   

Brand New Rock Tiger  Design  over at  Nicky Rockets


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6 comments:

  1. Love this! Just what I needed to read. I am always being advised to "push" - in contacting people, emailing brands to connect with to grow my blog, and focus heavily on getting the word out there, but to be honest this takes the fun out of it for me.

    I just want to create content. That's what I enjoy. I'm not a business! To be honest I would love to have an income from blogging, but I think numbers, followers, comments etc. should grow organically and this takes time - not "pushing".

    Sarah x
    She Was a Day Tripper

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  2. Yep - this has me nodding my head in agreement throughout. I'm really loving your new direction - flibbertigibbet wins for me!

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  3. This is reallyu great and also bless you for the Will Graham gif *swoon*

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  4. I really, really agree! I have been blogging since 2010 and my blog has never been big, nor have I strived for it to be. But I have been a bit worried over all the people who seem to put so much energy into just getting followers, free samples etc, and in the end many just quit blogging since it is exhausting. I think that if your purpose with blogging is just to get big, you'll never really be satisfied because you can always get bigger. I try to always keep in mind why I blog - to keep an archive of my manicures and to interact with others who share my interest. If I get recognized and get samples, it is of course fun, but that is not the main goal. And if I don't really feel like blogging for a while, just don't until I feel like it again. (Actually, I don't think I would stay sane otherwise since my job sometimes takes a lot of my time and energy.)
    So - all my rambling meant to say: great post! I think it does a lot of good to share this way of looking at blogging!

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  5. Really love this post - I think if I started treating my blog like a job I would lose all love of it. Instead, it's very much a hobby and a creative outlet for me - something to retreat into when I can't deal with the rest of the world. I hate to think it may ever involve into something other than that!

    C xx
    CurvyGirlThin.com

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