I’ve been blogging professionally (i.e. making money at this blogging deal) for a long while now. However, before I blogged for pay I blogged for me. For fun. For the sheer need of saying what was on my mind. I had a blog with zero ads so comments and freedom of speech were my big rewards, not cold hard cash.
There’s a big difference between blogging for yourself and blogging because it’s your job, but it doesn’t mean the two paths can’t connect. For example, when you blog for clients, for cash, there are some issues that can super suck the fun out of blogging, such as…
- Clients who pay late (or not at all).
- Blog scrapers – who seem to come out of the woodwork once you’re a working blogger.
- Having to blog about topics you don’t love or having to add in obnoxious extras like keywords, images, and company links when really you just want to say your piece and get out of there.
- Blog stalkers and trolls – which granted can happen if you blog for no pay too, but in my experience the more well known you are the more these freaks come at you.
- Being on a client’s schedule vs. your own schedule.
- Co-worker and editor dynamics – you may think these issues only pop up in brick and mortar workplaces but weird, frustrating, and sometimes really annoying dynamics can happen in the virtual workplace as well.
That said, I’m betting (or hoping) that you got into blogging for a career because you love blogging and if that’s the case a paycheck doesn’t have to ruin blogging for you. Blogging for pay can still be blogging for fun if you use the following strategies…
Blog what you love – as a new blogger looking for paid gigs, blogging what you love is harder to come by, but if you stick with it and build up your resume these fun opportunities will come eventually. When I first started blogging for pay I’d blog about almost anything, but now I’m in a better position where I get to blog about what I love and still get paid. Just keep your chin up because it’ll come in time. One good option is to have a blog that’s all your own so that some of the time you can blog what you adore.
Read other blogs regularly – part of why I loved blogging way back in the day was because I loved reading blogs and interacting with other blog communities. If you’re so focused on your own thing that you ignore other blogs you’re missing a big piece of the blog puzzle. I don’t comment as often at other blogs now because of time constraints but I do make sure to read my faves regularly still.
Don’t overextend – this is a double edged sword because most bloggers do have to overextend their time and efforts in order to make a living wage. The downside is that blogging becomes harder, a total chore, and yeah, not as much fun when you’re scrambling to get everything done. As soon as you can find some higher paying gigs or take on an extra (higher paying) non-blog project or two so that you have the time to enjoy the blogs you do write for.
Look on the bright side – for example you can learn to ignore trolls and scrapers or even consider how they may benefit you. When people say bad things about you it sucks, but keep in mind that people talk about you because something you said made them feel something – bad or not if you’re making people feel mad it’s better than writing posts that leave people emotion free.
Dump bad clients asap – hard when you need money I know, but trust me you’re better off looking for a new gig then staying with an obnoxious client. Bad clients and flaky clients can ruin your mood, frustrate you to the extreme and worse ruin the whole experience of blogging.
Remind yourself of the alternative – when you first look for blogging gigs it’s frustrating. It’s a hard career to break into. If you’ve made it and you’re frustrated remind yourself of what you could be doing instead. Yes, blogging for a job is very different than blogging for yourself, but ALL jobs have pros and cons. Would you rather be dealing with blogging job pros and cons or another job’s pros and cons? I do have bad days at work but I still love my job and have fun, especially when I remind myself that this is what I worked for.
Are you blogging for clients? What are you doing to keep blogging fun?