Hi gorgeous people – I’m back and ready to get stuck into the blogging world again! However, as a kind of explanation for why juggling blogging and important life events can be tricky (hence the disappearing act), today’s post is going to be about why I consider blogging to be a real job.
Right, straight off the bat: I am biased on the topic of whether or not blogging is a real, legitimate job. I am so biased that you may as well call me Fox news, give me a “Make America Great Again” cap and a really shitty spray tan.
Why am I biased? Two reasons.
I am a blogger.
I run a blog. I put hard work and consistent effort into my blog. I earn money off said blog. Naturally, this puts me strongly in the “blogging is a real job” camp. (Well, I earned money off my old blog, but I’ll monetise this one eventually.)
I’m a content marketer.
To most people this will mean literally nothing, but content marketing is essentially professional blogging. Yes, blogging is such a powerful tool that massive companies are now utilising it to promote their businesses. I go to work Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, just like any other job . . . blogging. (Okay, so I quit my last job at the end of December and I’m starting my next in the first week of February . . . but still. Apart from in January, that’s my job.)
Businesses will hire people like me (hey; it almost sounds like I’m doing something with my life!) and have content marketing teams who dedicate their time and skills to creating blogs for their website. It’s a 9-to-5 job with a real salary.
So you quite literally can’t tell me that blogging isn’t a real job. Because otherwise I’ve been seriously overpaid.
That little disclaimer out of the way . . . let’s get into discussing the topic of whether or not blogging is a real job.
If you’re a blogger, you’ve felt that familiar hesitation when people ask you what you do for a living, or what your dream job is.
“Uh . . . Well . . . I mean . . . “
For some reason, blogging is equated with lazy; it’s equated with easy. And that’s if you’re successful.
Blogging is for entitled millennials who have no skill and talent.
On the other hand, if you aren’t a successful blogger . . . you’re wasting your time. That’s literally all people see your blog as – a waste of time at worst; at best, a hobby. Something they can smile and nod at, but nothing they take seriously.
To be blunt, it’s frustrating. However, in some ways, I can’t blame people for being unsure as to whether blogging can be considered a real job. Especially with the stigma around blogging – so today I’m going to shatter a few of those illusions and give you some reasons that blogging is a job.
“Blogging is easy.”
In all honesty, I can see why people think that blogging is easy. All they see is a few nice photos, some text and they think “yeah, I could do that!”. They think “I bet that didn’t take long at all – what, twenty minutes at most?”.
Blog posts, by their design, are meant to be easily consumed – so (to the reader) they need to look and feel effortless. However, while you may see the sleek finished product . . .
What you don’t see is the work behind it.
You don’t see the edits; the countless re-writes. The fact that there were 10 completely different drafts deemed not good enough that came first.
The hours spent arranging the composition for photos – the hundreds of raw photos that need to be combed through and edited. Just for one shot. (Yes, I hate photography.)
You don’t see the years spent developing a unique writing voice; the hours spent studying photography tutorials. And that’s just for an “easy” post – that’s for something like a “What’s In My Handbag” post! Some posts require research; extensive planning; extra time spent developing additional forms of media such as videos or infographics.
So the only true response I have to people that claim blogging is easy is:
“You fucking try it then.”
Behind every “easy” post is a whole lot of time . . . and a whole lot of skill in making it look easy. Which leads me to my next point.
“Bloggers have no skills”.
This one I find particularly ignorant because, if you break down what your average blogger has to do in a post, you will begin to discover that they not only have skills – they have skills that there are literal professions for.
Skills that bloggers are required to develop are all skills that have their own professions. Photography? Photographers. Writing skills? Copy-writing and journalism. Branding and blog design? Web-design. Image editing? Graphic design. Networking and blog promotion? Marketing.
Another thing that really bugs me?
“They’re just handed the money . . . for doing nothing!”
Oh, fuck off.
I don’t know anyone who’s started a blog, put no effort in and instantly made buckets of cash. Even people that are “just handed” money to promote products or services on platforms have already built up a loyal, dedicated following . . . which takes time. Which takes time, dedication and effort. Unpaid time and work, might I add.
And you still have to put in work to make the product look appealing to your following anyway!
On top of this, most bloggers have to learn how to make money. Once you’re an established blogger with an audience, brands may contact you offering you a free product or two . . . maybe even a sponsored post. But that isn’t the only way to earn money – and, in my experience, it isn’t even the most profitable. Sponsored posts (the only ones that are even remotely handed to you) have a whole slew of issues . . .
1. How do you know how much to charge for them? Hmm? Most bloggers (myself included) have no clue how much our time is worth. I recently read a post explaining why bloggers shouldn’t accept anything under £100 for a sponsored post (that’s small bloggers included!) – and it made so much sense, but I would have never charged a company anywhere near that on my old blog and that one received over 600,000 views a year!
2. A lot of the time companies don’t offer to pay you – they think that sending you the product in exchange for a review is enough. I don’t blame them whatsover; if someone sends me a sponsored product for free, I’m more than happy . . . but that’s hardly a way to pay the bills. Which means that, if you’re going for full on professional blogger level and trying to earn money, you then have to ask, charge and negotiate rates – all of which is difficult as a blogger with no training or expertise on these things.
And that’s when people approach us! Bearing in mind the sheer volume of bloggers that exist and the competition out there . . . how many opportunities (especially well-paid ones) do you think are around? Needless to say, most bloggers – if they want to earn off their blogs – need other ways to make money.
So bloggers start to look into things like advertising space and affiliate marketing and maybe selling products. All of which requires research, learning and time spent testing and refining. In no way is money ever handed to us – in fact, you can be the most popular blogger ever but, to monetise that following, you need to look into how to earn money.
On my old site, I mainly earned my money through affiliate marketing – and that was hit and miss. Even once I learnt how, it was still a long process and entirely depended on whether people bought things.
Prime example – I made a gift guide entirely in this style:
(I’m still proud of this image)
The word spelled out P R A C T I C A L – so that was 9 graphics to create, which took me a bloody long time, on top of research, curation, content writing etc. etc. In what world was the money earned through that post handed to me?
Look, there’s a very good reason that 95% of bloggers give up.
Hear that? Was it not clear enough?
95% of people that start a blog will give up.
Because, for all the perceived glitz and glamour of it all . . . blogging is a job. It’s a commitment, a learning process (ain’t that the truth!) and it’s difficult. You need to be willing to learn and fail, experiment, sacrifice hours of sleep and your social life and work.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s extremely rewarding. I love blogging and, at this point in my life, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
But don’t let anyone tell you that running a blog isn’t a job. Because it is and, even simply for reading this and not being one of the 95%, you’re doing great.
(Side note: sorry I had to take a couple of weeks away from the blogging world; I was creating my university portfolio and sorting out my applications. But I’m back now!)
Feel free to jump into the conversation – do you consider blogging a real job? Have you ever had the dreaded “great, now I need to defend my life choices” conversation? Did you think I covered all the reasons that blogging is a real job? Also – would you guys like a post about my university application failures and stresses? Let me know down below!