I’m going to repeat that for you.
NEVER START A BLOG FOR THE MONEY.
Every once in a while, I get a client who is brand new to the world of blogging and they admit that their ultimate goal is for their blog to be their primary source of income. They aren’t sure how exactly they’ll make that happen, but online classes and workshops will eventually be in the picture, maybe a shop, oh and of course working with big advertisers. Target maybe? Or J. Crew? They’re not sure. But they’ve got big plans.
And then we have a talk. We’ll skip the part where I try not to dash their hopes and dreams by telling them that it’s totally possible and it would be so much fun. Let’s skip to the part where I tell them why they need to back up and reevaluate their plans and come up with a different reason for starting a blog. One that has nothing to do with money.
It’s HARD to make a good income from blogging.
At the very least, you’ll spend the first six months trying build up any sort of following that advertisers would even be interested in. You’ll be busting your butt, commenting on every blog you follow, posting all over social media, sending out emails to bloggers you love, and paying your hard earned money for sponsor spots all over the blogosphere. And if you aren’t exhausted and questioning what the heck you’re doing after those six months, you’ll end up working with small brands that don’t have much to offer you, definitely not anything that will help you pay the bills. Next step? Maybe collaborating with a business people have actually heard of. While blogging might seem easy, like something you can do in the evenings when you’re bored, it’s not. It takes hard work and stamina to really get anywhere.
You’re missing the point.
By putting your focus on making money, you’re missing the point. Blogging is so incredible. You make so many friends and connections from all over the world that love the same things as you and really GET you. You get to share the lessons you’ve learned and the skills you’ve been taught to other people. You get to help! You get to have a voice where you can start discussions with other people about things that matter to you. You get to be creative and call all the shots and have a place all your own. And yeah, maybe sometimes you make money. But when you put your focus on something so material, you’ll miss out on all the other amazing stuff.
Your readers will see right through you.
Blog readers are smart. They follow lots of other blogs and they have for a long time. They’ve seen their favorite bloggers sellout and start only doing sponsored posts. They’ve seen their favorite bloggers get busy and quit. They’ve drama happen between the lines. They’ve seen a lot. They are very observant. And when you sound salesy or push some sponsor product on them that neither you or them care about, they’ll smell it coming from a mile away and they will leave. The less genuine you are and the more you try to make money off of your interested readers, the less they will stick around and stay interested.
The most successful bloggers focus less on money and more on creating genuine content.
When I look around at all the blogs out there, the ones that are successful are the ones that let themselves shine through their content. They work hard on making each and every post meaningful. They’ll stay up till 2 a.m. working on a post because they are so excited for readers to see it, not because they have a deadline with a sponsor. When bloggers put their heart and soul into their work, brands and businesses notice them and want to work with them.
So yes, making money off of your blog is totally doable. But there is so much more! Don’t let the money blind you from seeing it’s much much bigger purpose!