Is Blogging a Hobby or Career?
When you share with people that you're a blogger, they assume that it's just a hobby. After all, no real people make a living blogging.
But the truth is, as long as you choose a niche you're passionate about, and keep at it, it can be both. With hard work and stubbornness, you really can make a career of it. You really can take your favorite hobby, and by helping and teaching others, turn it into a lucrative business.
When I started blogging in 2009, I had hoped to make money from it. However, it wasn't by main goal. My goal was to help teachers struggling with behavior problems in their classroom. It was something I enjoyed doing.
In fact, it was something that I had become fascinated with. I'd spent many years perfecting a set of principles and strategies that would give teachers the freedom to teach - and love doing so - without interruptions or misbehavior and I just had to share it with the world.
And this is one of the keys to staying with it.
When you like doing it for its own sake, when the joy of watching others succeed supersedes any possible benefit to you, then it's much easier to stick it out. In other words, choose a niche that you enjoy first and foremost and the rest of it - the money, the personal growth, and the recognition will come naturally.
Make it a hobby, but at the same time treat like a business. Own your own domain name. Spend time on a clean, attractive website design. Monetize early in the process.
Over time, as the money starts coming in - even in small amounts - it too can act as a motivator to keep going. Getting that first order is so exciting. Heck, every order is exciting no matter how long you've been doing it.
But from a pure tactical perspective, it's best to view your blogging endeavors as both a hobby and a potential career. You need both to keep going during the tough times.
When . . .
Your traffic is down.
Your website is offline.
Your theme no longer works.
You get a bunch of mean comments.
You have to get up at 4am to write.
You have writer's block.
And on and on. It's part and parcel to being a blogger.
Now, you may be one of the few who start making good money after six months. But for most bloggers, it takes a couple of years at least. It was a long slog for me. It took me nine months to get 100 subscribers and five years before I was able to match the income of my full-time job.
So is blogging a hobby?
Yes, absolutely. It better be or you're not going to be around very long. Is it a career? Yep, you bet. They're a tandem. They run parallel, like train tracks, as you huff and puff around twists and turns and over mountains toward your goals.
Both helping to keep the other alive. Both burning inside you, pushing you onward, imploring you. "Keep going. Keep going. Keep going."
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