With all the talk about monetizing, keeping to PR deadlines, and wanting to turn your “side hustle” into a full-time job, many bloggers in 2018 seem like they are no longer blogging just for fun but only for cash, more than ever. You may have noticed it’s been a bit quieter around here of late, and that’s because I’ve been busy starting a new job that I’m really enjoying. I never intended for my blog to become my full-time job, and this has allowed me to take extended breaks when I really need it.
On motivation…But, it has also led to a loss of motivation when it comes to getting back into it. In addition to this, over the last year, small bloggers have had many things that have pushed us down and unfortunately, made blogging not as enjoyable. These include when a blogging network decided to delist us and also revoke our logins, without warning – down to the very way to the community just has a different feel nowadays, with everyone wanting to become the next Victoria from In The Frow, or Lauren Curtis.
On monetising…There has been a big push towards monetising your blog with your own products, courses or generally a sellable item which isn’t reliant on affiliate links. I don’t mind affiliate links, I use them, and I also support other bloggers who do by clicking through content, and purchasing when I do. I’m also happy to do advertisements when it comes to products I already know and love. I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with some brands I love and use every day like Burt’s Bees and Body Shop already. I also like to support bloggers who create their own content, like ebooks and courses. I would only really make an ebook for professional and personal development, and even then, what would you make one on if not blogging itself? I also think it’s heavily implied that you need to blog about and “sell blogging” to make any money. Personally, I really enjoy reading blogging posts from bloggers in my beauty and lifestyle niche as it’s really authentic and actually helpful, instead of someone who just writes on blogging.
I’ve been approached a fair few times over the years to have guest posters post here, either for experience or for backlinks and limited cash. Unless I was collaborating with a good friend, I would never consider a guest post, and especially not for money. This blog would no longer feel like my own space, but a full business I don’t think I could live with.
On working in the industry…I’m lucky enough to work in a marketing role already, which is fairly creative but also means I get to learn about lots of things which could help my little blog. Recently I went to a digital marketing conference with work, and not once did we talk about algorithms, or influencers, or anything that bloggers who are out of the marketing industry talk about. It was all about 2018 digital marketing, and where we’re headed next and other big-picture ideas. Really refreshing to learn from actual experts, instead of people who learnt that follow/unfollow worked and decided to start a course for hundreds of dollars per student. I enjoy thinking of the bigger picture in marketing, and not worrying too much about the algorithm and influencers as a whole, because one day soon we’re all going to be worrying and talking about something else entirely but my content won’t date in the same way those conversations will!
I get to write about what I want here and cultivate my own little community of people who read and engage with my posts. Creatively, that’s the best feeling you can have – something uniquely yours.
On accepting gifted product…I occasionally accept gifted product for consideration in blog posts or Instagram posts only (I outline this in my disclaimer policy here). You’ll never find me mincing words over here about whether I like a product or not, and I also hardly ever meet products which make me go “oooh aaah” and tell anyone they *need* to buy it. That’s because most products are actually similar to products you already own, and you really can get by with a smaller collection of curated products. I no longer believe in the more-is-more collection ethos because my money would be much better spent on other things, like my future.
When I started blogging, I was applying and interviewing for dozens of marketing graduate and assistant roles (96 in total!), all while interning for free for a variety of places. I desperately needed a creative outlet, and also thought if I could learn a bit about content creation and WordPress management, they were more skills I could add to my CV to hopefully get a job! The funny thing is, I never really told people about my blog. I didn’t put it on my resume, I’ve only just put it on LinkedIn, and only ever mentioned it to my closest of friends at each job. It just turned into a way to chat about beauty when I lived in a house full of boys who didn’t have a taste for my favourite conversations on skincare and makeup. Along the way, I’ve learnt lots of skills which have been proven to get me roles, however.
While I want to gain more traction on my blog, it’s more because I want to accomplish my own goals, rather than following an influencer step-by-step. I totally get that some people are miserable in their jobs and want to turn this into a full-time gig, but I never want to sell my authentic self for cash when I can maintain this on the side and still be paid a salary.
What do you think? Are you hoping to turn your blog into a full time job, or is it just a way to make some extra cash and have a hobby at the same time?