Why you probably shouldn’t start a blog
You’ve been clicking around the internet, looking at how you can start your own blog, but now you want to know if there are any reasons why you shouldn’t start a blog.
There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t start a blog – where should I start? As with any venture, there are pros and cons, but too often the drawbacks are glossed over by the most vocal proponents. So here are three reasons why you might find that blogging isn’t for you.
Now, let me stress that I’m talking about a commercial, for-profit blog – not a personal blog that’s meant only for fun, friends or family.
Reason 1 – You already have a life.
If you’re like most people, you already have a life. You’ve got some kind of social life, some kind of family life, and likely some kind of job.
Blogging can quickly turn into a full-time job, trust me. If you want to do everything properly to give yourself the best possible chance of building a successful blog, you’ll end up doing a lot of work.
Wait – scratch that – blogging is actually more like five full-time jobs.
There’s writing, taking photographs, creating graphics, posting on social media and sorting the technical aspects of web hosting including search engine optimisation. Then you’ll have to do the admin – negotiating with clients and sorting payments.
If you’re not doing these yourself, you’ll probably end up paying someone else to do them somehow.
You’ll end up squeezing all your blog jobs into that busy life, and probably squeezing something out of it. If you don’t want to stay up late/get up early/put your life on hold to pursue a full-time career that you were promised you could do in your sleep, well, think carefully about it.
You know, you probably shouldn’t start a blog if you’re not prepared to view it as a real job.
Reason 2 – You’ll end up mining your life for material
Instead of just enjoying that meal, you’ll have to take a picture of it.
Instead of just reading that book, you’ll have to type up a quick review of it.
Instead of just having a chat with your partner, you’ll end up conducting an interview.
You’ll end up so caught up in picking out things to write about that you’ll end up living in the third person – thinking about yourself doing things and picking the right words to describe them.
This gets old, and very oppressive, very quickly.
You should definitely think twice about how much of your own life you put into your blog, and how personal you want it to be.
Reason 3 – You’re not guaranteed to make money
Did someone tell you that you could rake in the money just by writing a blog?
Well, you could also win the long jump at the Olympics. It’s a possibility.
Lots of bloggers make money, but it’s not easy money. There are also lots of bloggers who have been slogging away at it and not made a penny.
It can take years to earn a living from a blog – just because someone says they made so many squillion in their first month doesn’t mean that you will, even if you did the same things they did.
There are things you can do to help boost your earning potential or remove roadblocks to earning, but as with any form of self-employment, it’s not guaranteed. There’s always the element of risk.
So ask yourself, “why are there so many bloggers writing about blogging?”
It’s because you’re prime customer material – you probably want to believe.
You will click on their affiliate links for web hosting, domains and “how to blog” books and courses. Blogging about blogging is big business!
Am I saying this because I’m a jaded, unsuccessful blogger? Well, I actually do make money from blogging, and yes, I do have affiliate links for web hosting and domains. I do think that blogging is an exciting, challenging and rewarding industry to be involved in, and I wish I’d known what I was doing back in 2007 when I set up my first website!
I do believe that making a living as a blogger is similar to making a living as an artist – it’s not easy and what works for one person won’t work for another.
You still want to write a blog, don’t you?
You’ve read all of that but you still don’t care – you’re here because you want to write a blog, and you’re gonna jolly well do it no matter what anyone says.
Fine, be that way! But seriously, if you’re determined then that says quite a lot about your chances of going the distance – just don’t be taken for a ride by the promises of easy riches, thousands of visitors overnight and followers beating down your door.
Here are some positive signs that mean blogging might just be ideal for you:
- You’re prepared for the work and to learn as you go on
- You know it might take years to get where you want to be
- You’re enthusiastic about your subject and love talking about it
- You want to help your readers
What if it’s not for you?
If you’re debating whether or not to start a blog, but you know your heart isn’t really in it, it might be because you’ve been told that you have to blog in order to promote your business. It’s true; blogging is a great way to drum up noise around your business and products, but when it’s just a necessary evil, it can be hard to gather the enthusiasm to blog in a way that’s meaningful enough to make a dent.
I’ll be looking at options for blogging when you don’t really know what you’re doing, and as I’m an artist, I’ll be approaching it from the aspect of promoting an art business.