Blogging for money – should this be a motivator? I will always do my best to keep this space full of positive vibes, but I just thought that I would share my opinion on this matter, after hearing one too many people telling other bloggers what their motivation for blogging should be.
A lot of the time, I hear and read from other, more established bloggers the notion that ‘blogging for money should not be one of the main motivators’, and that ‘your passion should always come first’. Right. This frustrates me for a number of reasons.
First off, this notion seems to be held around those who pursue creative careers in particular. This includes (but is not limited to) artists, photographers, writers, vloggers and bloggers alike.
However, for bloggers, in particular, this idea gets thrown around a lot more frequently. I will never understand this.
Would anyone say the same for someone who wants to work in an office for a living, or who wants to work in retail? No, they wouldn’t. I don’t think anyone would say to those people that they should be aiming to go into those lines of work only if they have a passion for it. Work is work. People need to make a living, and for that reason, yes, it’s perfectly okay to have money as a motivator (I’ll briefly touch on issues with quality of content later).
What’s even more baffling is, despite the fact that this idea gets thrown at many creatives, I can guarantee that a lot of people would not say to a professional photographer that they should take pictures for ‘X’s’ wedding for free, for example, because they should be taking pictures out of passion and not for money. Therefore, I don’t understand why there’s more of a stigma for bloggers who wish to blog for money. So, money can be a motivator for some and not others? I don’t think so.
Secondly, I can list off the top of my head a few other career paths that someone could go down that would guarantee them ‘easy money.’
By this, I mean that if money were a sole motivator, most people could easily earn a living from these jobs with little effort, little skills, and little ambition.
If money was the only motivator for many who blog, then why would they choose to go down a career path that is not guaranteed to get them anywhere?
Blogging with the aim of doing it for a living, is not easy. It never will be. Ever. Why go down a harder route solely for money, if there is nothing else about the route that appeals to that person? If money were my only motivator, I certainly wouldn’t.
I wouldn’t invest all of this time in writing, editing, re-writing, planning my ideas and posting schedule, taking and editing pictures, and buying a domain name and website hosting, if money was my only motivator. Not when I could easily earn a stable income elsewhere.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to expand your audience, with wanting to gain a following; with wanting to make a living out of blogging. Nothing at all.
For those who are wondering, of course, money is a motivator for me – who doesn’t want to make a living out of something they’re passionate about?
I have always suffered with my mental health, and during my first year of university, things got bad enough that I dropped out. I have also always, always loved to write – since I was about 12. I have loved to draw, and I have loved art since I was about 13 or 14.
These two hobbies have always allowed me to express myself in ways that I couldn’t to other people; in ways that I was too scared to. Blogging and becoming a content creator is a way for me to combine both hobbies and hopefully steer them into a career path that I would be comfortable in going in to. That’s not to say that I put no effort into what I post. I post things that I think you, my readers, might like (and I’m happy to do so!), and I post things that I love to write about.
For example, I post a lot of advice and tips because I’m sometimes asked some of the questions, and because I’ve always liked to give family and friends advice. It’s something that I naturally enjoy doing. Therefore, it makes sense for me to post these kinds of posts as often as I do. I also spend ages thinking up ideas and planning what I’m going to say (and even researching when I feel a little bit unsure of something), because I want to make my content the best that it can be. Just because making a career out of blogging is an aim of mine, doesn’t mean that I am not concerned with what I post or with my audience. I value you all, and I’m always really excited to share what I’ve come up with. Always.
I spend all my time doing this, as due to my mental health, I have lost all interest in my other hobbies. It’s nice to be able to have something to hold onto and to still be passionate about. My mom has also done a lot for me, and I feel like I owe her my success so that I can say that all of her sacrifices were made for a reason.
I would like to earn a living doing this – something that I love – because one day I would like my mom to have more financial freedom. That’s another reason.
I would like to be able to buy her things that she couldn’t buy because she had to look after me and my siblings. I would like to take her abroad as we’ve never been abroad before because we couldn’t afford it, and it probably would’ve stressed her out to take all of us. I would like to do all of this whilst doing a job that I love. I don’t want to be stuck in a dead-end 9-5 job, doing something that would make me unhappy.
Whether or not any of this is realistic, is beside the point. For this reason, money (as well as passion) is a motivating factor for me. I am tired of others telling smaller bloggers that this isn’t allowed to be the case – particularly if those people don’t know the context behind this motivation, or the story of the individuals they’re talking to. Maybe these people are too scared to leave the house and get a ‘normal’ job. Maybe their creativity is an outlet for them. Maybe they want to be able to earn doing something that they love, and there is nothing wrong with that.
I repeat, people should not be quick to judge those who want to make a living out of a creative career – particularly if they wouldn’t be judging if the career path were different.
Also, if money was the only indicator for any individual looking to start a creative path, then no one should be the judge of that. Money is a necessity, and if they want to blog for money, then let them. If the quality of their content was affected because of this motivator (just like it may be if someone gave rubbish retail service because they just didn’t care about the customers and only wanted a paycheck – this point can be applied anywhere), then something can be said about that. No one should compromise the quality of their work, even if money is a sole motivator. I believe that is not fair to anyone, especially to readers in the blogosphere.
However, if effort, hard work, and quality content are involved, then who is anyone to judge? There’s enough of that going on in this world already, please don’t add to it.
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