I’ve just read a blogpost from someone who has been blogging for 8 years, regarding the 5 things about being a blogger that she wished she had known earlier. :) Here are my 5 things I think newbie bloggers should know about full-time blogging a.k.a blogging as a career:
#1 – Learn To Say No
Bloggers need to learn how to say no. I have come across too many blogger pals who got burnt out from saying yes to all event invites, and eventually having no time for themselves, their friends or their family. I am now very selective about the invites I agree to – even if I have absolutely NOTHING to do that day, I’ll turn down the invite if it’s too far from home and/or would cause me to get stuck in peak hour traffic and give me a blood pressure spike (I hate crowds).
#2 – You’ll Only Make Money From Blogging If You Are Smart About It
I take part in many blogger competitions because I can actually sell the prizes, on top of having the “bragging rights” of being the winner (the winner ‘high’ doesn’t last very long anyway). I once won an iPad Mini which I quickly sold on eBay for S$530. Not bad for one blogpost! :D
Also, I have written and published a book called ‘Blogging For A Living’. It gives me passive income. This means that even if I am SLEEPING, my book can still be sold in bookstores, and earn me money!
When I got featured on TV, and the producers wanted to film me going about a “typical day in a blogger’s life”, I roped in a few companies which paid me for the opportunity to be featured in my TV feature. Get it? Most bloggers would be so happy to be featured, they’d forget about thinking how they can be paid. The producers were certainly not going to pay me. ;)
If you’re not usually the ‘street smart’ kind, it’ll be extra tough for you if you want to be a full-time blogger.
#3 – Not All Bloggers Are Friendly / Nice / Fair
Competition is inevitable. And sometimes you get other bloggers hating you for reasons you know nothing about. Once, I heard from a female blogger that some of the younger bloggers (I don’t even know who they are) don’t like me very much because I conduct blogging workshops. I even wrote a page about these ‘haters’ in my book. It’s crazy because what I do is none of their business. If people believe I have something to teach them and they are willing to pay me to teach them, why can’t I start blogging workshops? Jealous? Too bad!
It got tougher when I got more “famous” and more media exposure. It definitely got worse after I published my book about blogging. Suddenly, many bloggers became my enemies overnight. I don’t know what they say about me behind my back (and I honestly don’t care). But I am aware of the “tall poppy syndrome” – the more famous you get, the more people envy and hate you. Part of the package, I guess.
#4 – Some Advertisers Get Star-struck by Numbers, Not Quality of Blogposts. Live With It.
I know of a blogger who just re-posts news about scandals, or juicy pieces of gossip on her blog, and gets into many “Most Popular Blog” lists because her blog draws a lot of traffic. No original content, but getting eyeballs due to sensationalized news. And she gets quite a number of advertisers too! I do some eye-rolling whenever I see her “random news” blog in those “Most Popular Blog” lists, but I do know there’s nothing I can do about it, unless I want to follow in her footsteps.
There are definitely some advertisers who pick the right bloggers to work with, but I guess the majority of them have to be “educated”.
#5 – If You Start Blogging For The Money, You’ll Always Be Disappointed
You really have to be passionate about what you are blogging about. Because it IS hard work. Take food blogging, for instance. People think it is simple – I have a camera, I have a healthy appetite, I can string a few words together, I can be a food blogger. NO!
It’s more than that.
I know of bloggers who put together list posts like “5 Best Char Kway Teow Stalls in Singapore” / “10 Cafes With Free Wi-Fi in Singapore”, etc. They actually have to do all that research – go around the island, snap magazine-worthy pictures, include relevant text and tags, answer reader queries, and so much more!
If you blog because you are PASSIONATE about something, then yes, you’ll be able to find a way to monetize your blog eventually. (But take Point #2 into consideration ya!)
So there you have it.
The 5 things I think newbie bloggers should know about full-time blogging.
There are probably more than 5 things you need to know. But this should scare you enough for now. Hahaha!
No one ever said blogging as a career is easy. So if you love it, just do it. If you don’t, do something else. ;)