Okay, okay, time to chat about a topic that has been at the forefront of my mind for… well, I think this topic has actually been floating around in my head since I started this blog over a year ago.
Yup, we’re going to talk about blogging and business…
Yeah, I don’t blame you. Everyone and their mother uses their blog as a means of marketing their business.
And honestly, I totally get why this happens.
Blogging is an amazing marketing tool. Plain and simple. As a freelance writer who specializes in creating blog content for fashion/beauty brands, I know this firsthand.
With that being said, you might be wondering why I would stop thinking of my blog as a business if I have this knowledge.
It’s pretty simple actually, so let me explain.
In my opinion, there are two types of blogs.
1) There are blogs that exist to help market a product or service.
2) And there are blogs that exist where the content itself is the main product.
Neither one of these types of blogs is better than the other, and to be honest, if you’re someone who is hoping to make money from their blog ASAP, it probably makes much more sense that you go with Blog #1.
With Blog #1, you need to create such amazing free content surrounding one topic/idea that potential customers are begging to give you their money for your paid content. People trust you and feel certain your paid content is going to be absolutely stellar based on how great your free content is.
There is definitely nothing wrong with this, and I myself do this with my ebook, Freelance Writing Simplified. I create content on the topic of freelance writing to help establish my expertise in this field, so that if an aspiring writer/online entrepreneur comes across my blog, they might eventually become interested in checking out my ebook and purchasing.
Pretty basic, right? For sure.
Okay, so now you’re probably scratching your head, and you’re like, “But Andrea, if you have this awesome product, why aren’t you just going wild with all the freelance writing content, so you can promote your ebook?”
And honestly, I’ve considered doing that, and I will be doing it part time, because I think there’s a lot of value in my ebook for anyone who is hoping to make freelance writing into a career.
But here’s the deal on that: when I started treating this blog strictly as a business, it felt so overwhelming.
Create an opt-in freebie, post on this one particular topic to establish your expertise, email your newsletter subscribers, come up with your mission statement, promote your posts in FB groups, and God forbid I don’t have my Tailwind queue full!
Blogging stopped being fun. It started being about promoting this one particular product, and to be honest, that’s not why I love blogging.
I started blogging because I love writing.
I love writing the kinds of things that make people nod their head and go, “girl, yes, I totally agree.”
Whether that be something business related, or just something to do with life in general, the thing that ultimately gives me my blogging spark is the writing and the connecting.
So here’s what I want you to do: take out a piece of paper, and start writing about why you love blogging.
Do you love creating courses and products?
Are you obsessed with teaching?
Does writing make your heart happy?
Are you constantly dreaming up photoshoots?
Do you obsess over marketing and building community?
What is it about blogging that makes you happy? Don’t think about where the money is, or what is going to propel you to have “success” faster. Instead just think about what gives you that little spark.
Because sure, that spark might be “little,” but it’s that spark that is ultimately going to push you and your blog forward.
Now, if you’re finding that your blog spark comes less from a place of business, and more from a place of creating for creativity sake, I would experiment with following your intuition and stop thinking of your blog as a business.
There are three primary reasons for why I think you might want to stop thinking of your blog as a business:
1) It takes off the pressure
When I stopped thinking of my blog as a business, I stopped putting the pressure on myself to follow a set in stone schedule. I no longer tell myself I need to be posting on Instagram x amount of times, I make Pinterest graphics for my blog posts when I have some spare time, and I really only primarily check in with one FB group.
2) It feels more creative and inspiring
Because I’ve removed a lot of that pressure, I now create content from a much more inspired place.
Trust me, there is absolutely value in being creative just for the sake of being creative. Sure, it might not have you rolling in the dollars right away, but I think when you’re creating from a place of enjoyment, it really impacts the value of your content.
Plus, to be honest, for me, it’s just more fun this way.
3) It allows you to be authentic, and figure out what resonates with people
Remember, when blogging first became a thing, people were largely doing it because they enjoyed it.
They didn’t go into blogging thinking they could make money. They just created content because they loved to do it, and suddenly, people started paying attention.
I think there’s definitely something to be said about getting back to this mentality.
Instead of creating the product first, and then trying to make your blog into a business, I think for some of us, we need to go back to just creating for the sake of creating.
Again, I’m not saying this is for everyone, and I know of some awesome ladies who are killing it blogging for business, but I also think there are some of us, like me, who need to get back to blogging for fun, and not following the money.
This way, you can create from an inspired place, and then see what is resonating with people, instead of having such rigid beliefs about what your “business” is.
How Do I Make Money Online Then?
It should be noted, though, that this blog isn’t my primary business.
As I mentioned, first and foremost, I’m a freelance writer, and that’s where my income comes from.
In other words, I have the privilege of not treating this blog as a business because I already have a lucrative business that takes care of my bills.
I know for some of you who are trying to grow blogs, it’s hard not to think about money because you’re likely hoping to leave your 9-5 and take your blog full time.
And that’s awesome! And I’m totally in awe of you.
However, if this has caused you to start resenting your blog, and putting too much pressure on it to become the thing that makes you money, I want to invite you to entertain the idea of looking into a service based business that could allow you to make money.
Like I said, I don’t use this blog as a way of marketing my freelance writing and services, and I totally think it’s possible to separate the two with my approach to freelance writing.
If you’re interested in learning how you can start a money making business, so that you can stop putting pressure on your blog to make money, feel free to check out my article on How You Can Start Using Upwork To Make Money Online
Also, this article on why I think bloggers make for excellent freelance writers might inspire you.
Trust me, I absolutely think making money blogging is possible. I just think when you put all the pressure on your blog to be the thing that launches your full time career, you might start to resent it. I’m just providing you with a new way to think about online business, if that’s something you’re interested in. 🙂
Okay, to summarize (because I know there was a lot of different ideas discussed in there).
As a blogger or aspiring blogger, the main thing we all need to do is get honest with ourselves, and decide what it is that we what our blog to do for us.
If you want your blog to be a business and this inspires you to create amazing content, that is great, and you should absolutely keep going for it!
But, if you’re someone like me who just wants to write and connect and then see where that leads, that’s also totally a-ok, too.
Do what works for you, find your spark, and the rest will come.
And that I think is the true “secret’ to blogging.
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