Blogging can cause quite a conundrum for some. Ok, who am I kidding? For most of us, there’s a very real problem that we’re all internally trying to solve when it comes to blogging for dollars.
Earlier this week, I posted my weekly Overheard on #Blogchat update, this time highlighting some tweets made by Brian Clark, the guest co-host. The comments he made that I expanded upon were regarding the need to have an overall goal for your blog. Daria of Mom in Management posted an interesting reply:
Those were the most helpful tweets that I got out of #blogchat also. I am struggling with identifying my goal however. I think partly because I would like to have my blog be a journal of sorts too… I suppose this means that I need to start another blog if I actually want to make money. Then it seems like a job though.
Any thoughts on how to narrow my focus down and yet keep it from feeling like a job?
Ah, and there is the core problem that most of us face, and one of the major reasons so many bloggers never make a livable income with their blogs. You started your blog to get away from having a 9-to-5, grind-you-down blog. Yet, a blog that’s truly treated as a business will require more hours of work than any office job ever will.
You can disregard this, say that it is all about passion and doing what you live, that these things keep it from feeling like work. I can tell you that I 100% agree that you should have a passion for your blog’s topic. I certainly have a passion for the niches in which I blog.
But I’ll let you in on a secret. Come closer. Closer.
*whispers* Most days, it still feels like work.
That’s because it is work. Anything that makes you money is work, no matter how much you love what you’re doing. And, at the end of the day, even if you absolutely love your job, having responsibility means that you’re sometimes going to feel like that job is an obligation.
The Blog Job Conundrum is that we want to what we love as a job, but when something becomes a job, it is easy to stop loving it. Perhaps I should call it the Blog Job Catch-22. And darn it, it makes me just want to stomp my feet. Blogging is supposed to make you happy, isn’t it?!?!
I don’t think there’s an easy solution to this, or even a solution that will work for everyone. Heck, I’m not sure that any one rationalization, justification, or explanation would work for most people. I think it’s something that each blogger has to work through internally.
But, because I’m a loud-mouth who likes to chat, I’ll share with you my personal thoughts on the great Blog Job Conundrum. So here goes:
I’m OK with not loving my job.
Let me back up a minute and say that I do love blogging. I’m passionate about the topics I cover, and I enjoy most of the tasks associated with blogging. But, I’m ok with not loving every second of my blogging job.
A famous chef like Bobby Flay will tell you that there are days he orders take out because he doesn’t want to cook, even though he loves cooking. A famous musician like Kanye West will tell you that he sometimes wants to veg in front of the television instead of going to the studio, even though music is the love of his life.
My point is that there are moments when everyone dislikes their job. Blogging isn’t any different, and that’s OK for me because I’ve found that the good feelings I get from blogging vastly outweigh the bad feelings. Those bad feelings that come from obligation are what has made blogging go from hobby to profession for me. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
After all, I’m not just a blogger. It’s interesting to me that so many people identify as their job. “I am a nurse” instead of “I work as a nurse.” Sometimes, for me, it’s important to step back and say, no, I’m not a blogger. I work as a blogger. In reality, I’m so much more than just a blogger. I like to play the piano. I like to camp. I’m a sister and daughter and roomate. And yes, ok, I am a blogger too. That’s just one piece though.
It’s kind of like parenting. The vast majority of parents love their kids. They wouldn’t give up being a parent for the world. Do they like every second of it? No way. I do not know a single parent who doesn’t have days when they just wish their kids would poof out of existence for awhile so they can have some time alone. That doesn’t mean that you don’t love your kids.
My advice to anyone dealing with the Blog Job Conundrum is to do what you can to create the most perfect environment possible. Choose a topic that you’re passionate about. Connect with people who care. Cover topics that are important to you. Design a blog that visually makes you happy.
And don’t sweat the moments when you hate it. If blogging really is the right career choice for you, the good moments will exceed the bad.