Anyone who owns a blog or even just reads them frequently knows that there’s a ton of judgments surrounding this as both a hobby and profession—good and bad, accurate and not so accurate. If you’re just starting out, it might lead to unrealistic expectations or misconceptions. I’ve had enough different clients over the last few years to know that everyone has their own idea of what it means to be a blogger, so I wanted to debunk a few!
1. You can’t make money blogging. People completely removed from blogging are often confused at where my money comes from. And when I tell them people hire me to help with their websites, they want to know where their money comes from. Yes, you can make money blogging, though it doesn’t mean you will!
Side note, I see the “you will make money blogging” assumption just as often…
2. If you blog for X time, you will make X money. While it’s entirely possible to earn money quickly, it’s not something you calculate and predict perfectly. I caution anyone who holds goals this specific in the very beginning to try a time frame or ballpark instead of exact numbers. I’ve never seen it work out exactly as planned.
3. Traffic = Money. Site traffic only makes you money if you have a way to convert those numbers into income. Ways it may not: You have a ton of traffic because you offer free content, yet don’t have anything a reader can purchase. Or, you offer affiliate links that aren’t relevant to your followers, so no one clicks. There’s a lot to consider!
4. Blogging isn’t a fulltime job. It doesn’t have to be, but it can. Many people think that if they have an extra hour a week they can build a site with daily content and a huge community. What they fail to realize is that they’re probably reading blogs with varying time commitments behind them. You probably follow people who spend an hour a week blogging, and ten hours, and 40.
5. Blogging isn’t a real job. No one has said this directly to me (though I’ve seen it passed around), but often I get the sense that people think that. Luckily, I only have to explain the myriad things I do for about five seconds before people are like, “wait, you do all that?”
6. Blogging is dead. I sometimes feel this way. However, a lot of traffic and engagement has partially moved to the blogger’s social media. If blogging were dead altogether, everyone would just have Instagram, and not a website.
7. There’s no dirty work. With a blog comes tech issues, research, learning CMS, SEO, editing photos, formatting posts, scheduling social media—all those things I talked about in our back to basics post last week. There’s soooo much that goes into blogging that the reader doesn’t see!
8. It’s not real writing. I think blogging tends to lose credibility as a form of publishing (especially considering fields like journalism, editorial, and digital marketing taking up the very same virtual space), since it’s generally self-published. I honestly get that, and because many blog posts don’t have that vetting process other digital publications have, think of blogs more like personal stories and opinion pieces, even if they are offering advice, recipes, DIYs, etc. It’s a really laidback way to publish ideas and I like that!
9. It’s not a secure job. My job now as a blogger and freelancer is so much more secure than it was at the three companies (so, all the companies I worked at post-college) I worked for before. It depends on your blog and what you’d be doing otherwise. For me, blogging and social media is pretty much the most secure way a writer can build a career right now.
10. There’s only one person behind a blog. Obviously you know this isn’t true of The Blog Market—we have two writers!—but readers always tend to think of the person behind one post the same person behind every post. Or the person in the About Me as the only person working on a site. Understandable, but for people whose blog IS a business, they likely do have help, if not in the form of writing itself, then other things like assistance or marketing.
An extra note about this—every time I see a blog get big and announce that they’re hiring help/expanding their site, I always see backlash. So I can kind of see why people aren’t super open about it! Keep in mind the myths above as a reader, and you’ll understand why bloggers hire help… Blogging is a ton of work!
Have you had to field any misconceptions about your work as a blogger before? We’ve had all these and more!