I get emails on a daily basis from people who want to start blogging and who are looking for tips and advice. I want to tell them that I stumbled into this profession and that it’s all been dumb luck, but I suspect they’re looking for something more concrete.
If you want to blog for a hobby, or just have a place to journal, then you can move along. Nothing to see here. Go on! Git!
For the rest of you, who want to join the ranks of the 181 million blogs worldwide (NielsenWire, March 2012) and make money doing it, then read these pros and cons. There is no advice here, just the cold, hard facts of what you’ll face when you get started. Okay, they’re really just opinions. But, they’re my opinions and that makes them facts in my mind.
Con: If you want to be a successful blogger, you have to be involved in all aspects of social media to promote your content: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.
Pro: Social media is where you will find an amazing community of like-minded people. They read your posts, comment, give you affirmation, and commiserate with you. Sometimes, they even make you laugh.
Con: It takes a lot of time to be a professional blogger. See this graph from Technorati? It doesn’t lie.
Pro: If you can put full-time hours into blogging, you would be hard-pressed to NOT make money from it (unless your content is awful, and in that case I got nothin’). And, if you can make money from blogging, there is no better job in the world. Last week, I got paid to take my family to an amusement park. Today, I’m working on a review for Michelob. Also, I’m wearing yoga pants.
Con: You work from home. Sure everyone thinks working from home is fantastic, but just for a moment, picture yourself working on spreadsheets, or trying to do your taxes, with two kids fighting, playing loudly, the dog barking, people coming to the door selling candy bars (okay, that’s not so bad) and being surrounded by the mess that you can never get completely cleaned up. Not to mention, that most nights I find myself working until very late into the evening. It’s not uncommon for me to still be plugging away at 11:00pm. My husband loves that.
Pro: Yoga pants.
Con: People don’t take your profession seriously.
Pro: If you’re a blogger, then you’re a writer. Call yourself that and people are immediately impressed. It also helps if you wear blazers with suede elbow patches, just not with your yoga pants.
Con: You have to know how to use blogging software or pay someone who does.
Pro: You can teach yourself. I am 100% self-taught. I can’t embed videos, but I’ve only been blogging for five years. Give me time. For the stuff that was over my head, I waited until I had earned money and hired a designer. See that tree in my header? If left to my own devices, it would look like this:
Con: People think it’s easy. It’s not easy. You get writer’s block, you get a ton of emails, you have all of the ups and downs that go with self-employment, your spouse won’t understand WHAT THE HECK YOU’RE DOING ONLINE ALL THE TIME, you have to write proposals, create presentations and self-promote, self-promote, self-promote.
Pro: All the hard work is TOTALLY worth it.
Blogging has changed my life, introduced me to brilliant, successful, hilarious people and been the catalyst for a whole new career.
Really, need I say more?