When I started my first blog back in 2014, I wasn’t the least bit concerned about making money from it.
It was the perfect hobby and completely stress-free.
I published two posts the entire year.
Knowing what I know now about blogging, I wish I had treated it like a business sooner, despite everything I’ve learned about myself and the world since I first started blogging.
If you’re interested in creating passive income, participating in the gig economy, or just in search of greater part-time income—blogging isn’t the answer.
Here are 5 reasons why you should never create a blog if you’re just trying to make money.
FIRST: If making money is your end game, there are MUCH, MUCH faster ways to do it.
There’s no doubt that blogging can be lucrative.
Full-time, professional bloggers like Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and Paul Scrivens convince us that we, too, can become millionaire bloggers.
All we have to do is write great content, be consistent, and master Pinterest groups and Tailwind tribes. Voila!
I’ve been blogging for almost four years, and I haven’t made any money.
I have a few friends who’ve been blogging that long, and more consistently than I, and they haven’t made any money either.
I even “know” bloggers I’ve met online who haven’t made any money either.
We haven’t given up, but despite our best efforts, blogging is really, really, SLOW money.
Many of the bloggers you’ll find who are astronomically successful now have actually been blogging for 5-10 years.
If you’re passionate about writing—and just want the added benefit of additional income—blogging isn’t right either.
Consider creating and selling an e-book on a topic you’re especially knowledgeable about.
Consider self-publishing a much larger work.
If you’re in a hurry to pay down debt or increase your disposable income, try any of these options INSTEAD:
- Become a freelancer or independent consultant.
- Become a tutor.
- Teach online.
- Get a part-time job in your current career field.
- Self-publish a book.
- Start a drop-shipping business or create an online story on Etsy.
- Become an affiliate marketer (you don’t actually need a blog to do this).
- Find an idea that resonates with you on Side Hustle Nation or Dream Home Based Work.
- Sell items you don’t use or need.
- Learn as much as you can about real estate.
SECOND: The market is over-saturated. It’s extremely difficult to contribute anything that’s truly unique and original.
In the year 2020, it’s estimated that there will be at least 31.7 million bloggers. As of 2015 there were approximately 28.3 million.
How will you distinguish yourself from the crowd?
How will you compete with visual media, video, and film? More and more, people are reading less and watching more.
THIRD: It can be technical and unnecessarily tedious.
Testing the speed of your website. Converting your website to a self-hosted domain. Switching over from .com to .org. Fixing plugins. Getting widgets to show up the way you want them to on your page. Resizing images for different social media platforms. Verifying your website on Pinterest.
How many pictures should you create for each post? Should you have one for Facebook, a different one for Instagram, a different one for Twitter, and a different one for Pinterest?
Should you post on LinkedIn too? How do you build a following on Quora, or Reddit, or Tumbler?
Should you post your articles on Medium too, or will this sabotage your search rankings? How quickly can you get on the front page of Google?
If you’re not tech-savvy, these mundane tasks can prove highly technical. If you’re an experienced coder, you may find these tasks especially tedious.
FOUR: Many successful bloggers have actually invested tons of capital (tens of thousands of dollars) to become successful.
Some hire guest writers, ghost writers, content specialists, SEO and marketing specialists, and rely on paid advertising. When they post income reports about their earnings for each month, you may find that they’ve shelled out upwards of $10K or more to achieve the success they’ve actually achieved.
The odds are already stacked against you.
FIVE: It can be isolating. It may lack the legitimacy you seek.
For the past two months, I’ve started to see my blog as my business. I’m starting to think of myself as a small business owner.
Towards this end, I’ve started to determine how much I will invest in my blog (financially). I’ve created a schedule for researching, writing, and editing posts.
I’m exploring new systems for mastering all the marketing and advertising details, and I constantly research the best ways to successfully monetize my blog. I’m more than passionate about it!
This weekend, I talked to my friend for more than 30 minutes about how excited I was to discover some new plugins! I could see his eyes glaze over disinterestedly, but I couldn’t stop myself.
Blogging can be isolating.
Many people won’t understand why you blog and why you spend so much time doing it.
Many people won’t understand why you think you can be a successful blogger. It’s not typically seen as legitimate.
Regardless of your tech expertise, writing background, or creative skills, there are so many decisions to make. There is so much to learn about almost every facet of blogging.
If you intend to treat your blog as your business, you’ll have even more decisions to make.
How do you master affiliate marketing? Where do you find affiliates? What strategies do people use to make their first sales?
Which plugins are best? How many is too many, given the fact that they slow down your blog? Which theme is best and which allows the most flexibility to accomplish your goals? Should you self-host on Bluehost or Siteground? Or is it better just to write on Medium instead?
What’s the best place to find keywords? How many should you put in each post? How many words should each post be? Is there a preferred post length to drive the most organic visitors?
We can’t always quantify the actual benefits of blogging, even if we want to. We might spend hours crafting the perfect post, only to have it fall flat on its face (with no readers).
We may blog for years without seeing any (monetary) fruit.
If you’re exploring new and creative ways to earn money, blogging is inefficient.
It’s slow, technical, and time-consuming. Too many blogs in your niche already exist, and those bloggers have been perfecting their craft for years.
To add insult to injury, those truly successful had thousands of capital to pour into it from the beginning.
In some cases, they were already making six figures before they decided to pursue blogging. You’re damned if you do.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of reasons to blog other than for money.