I faced a legitimate crisis a few days ago. While my fitness business seems to be filling up with clients and opportunities, my blog feels like it’s been stagnating. It’s not the poor blog’s fault. I haven’t been giving it the TLC it needs in order to succeed the way I imagined it would. I’m a busy person – who isn’t? Sometimes, I just don’t have time to write or watch WordPress tutorials (for dummies) or network. And even when I do, inspiration and motivation aren’t always there. It happens. But, this is my job – no, career – and it’s what I do. So, the other day, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across an article titled “Starting a Blog in 2018? Don’t.” I clicked.
Before I even read the article my mind was racing. Maybe I’m not doing it right. Maybe blogging isn’t the way to go. Maybe this explains why I’m not super famous and rich already! What I read was even more disheartening.
Apparently, blogging is not the way to go in 2018. In the early 2010s, blogging was the it thing. Everyone was starting out and finding success. Now, though, the market is saturated with bloggers and competing with those who’ve been at it for most of the decade is next to impossible. Blogging is a thing of the past; now it’s all about apps and interest networks.
And who knows, maybe it is. Technology is advancing faster than most people can adapt to it. Newer apps and products are replacing older versions yearly, making that phone you bought just a few years ago, essentially obsolete now. For those in my generation, it’s overwhelming. For those older, it’s even worse. The younger generations adjust more quickly, but I sure don’t. I have trouble enough figuring out WordPress enough to publish new posts!
The evening after reading the article, I got really down. Financially, things are hard. They are for everyone right now, and let’s face it, working from home isn’t the most lucrative. For a family of six, I might be contributing more even if I were working a minimum wage job. (Maybe I’m wasting my time with this whole blogging thing.)
To be honest, I started blogging for the money. Pinterest is FULL of click-bait pins promising $10,000/month (or more) by blogging. I saw those and thought: I can write. I can do that. And it will solve all of our problems. Six figure debt will be gone in a few short years. Finally, good health insurance I can afford. I’ll be able to take care of my parents and give my kids the future they deserve. Money was totally my motive in all of this and, I mean, writing is what I went to school for. It would be totally easy.
Let me tell you, I’ve been at this blogging thing for 2 years. For that long, you’d think I’d have more material on my site, but a lot of it has been research and just learning how to set one up. I’m not tech-savvy (I may have mentioned that before). So, this wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it’d be. But, I’m extremely proud of how far I’ve come. After reading about the pointlessness of blogging and thinking about how much time and energy I’ve essentially wasted putting into it, I was crushed.
I decided to give it up. The more I thought about the two years I’d put into Fully and Well and the absolute zero return I’ve seen on it, and the more I thought about my increasing debt and uncertainty of my living situation, the worse I got. My brain naturally tends to assume the worst and then loiters there even when I call it a hoodlum and chase it with a broom.
And that’s where I stayed for about three days, weighing my options, putting off dealing with it.
But, I’m kind of stubborn, too. I don’t like failure and I really don’t like admitting I’m wrong. So, somewhere around the fourth day of my pity party, I started asking myself if this was really about the money. If so, I could feasibly trash the blog and move on to interest networks. Hell, it’s the new thing; I’d be getting into it right when the getting’s good. But, do I really want to risk another brand new gig that I’d have to train myself in again, just for the money?
And what about the two degrees I got so that I could be a writer? Just forget about them? The reality is, I’ve always wanted to write. No one where I live is hiring anyone with my preferred skillset. So, it really comes down to deciding what’s more important to me: making money doing something I don’t want to do, or continue doing what I’ve always wanted to and wait for the money.
Luckily, I have the option at the moment. A lot of people I know don’t. They must work whatever job they can find to pay the bills. But, I’ve done that before and still written in my spare time. So, I know that doing something I love is an option, even if I have to do something I don’t find fulfilling to pay the bills. What I mean, though, is that I’m very fortunate enough to be able and stand back and make the choice. I can either choose to find a job that doesn’t involve writing, or I can pursue a writing career without working another job.
The problem is, I need money. (Don’t we all?) I’m getting to the point where my options are approaching their expiration dates. And this article has just informed me that I invested in the wrong medium for attaining my goal. So, what do I do? Do I nix my blog altogether?
Well, when I finally crawled out of bed on that third day, I decided instead to set some hard deadlines. I have a little time left. Not really savings to fall back on, but enough to get me by for awhile longer. I need to buckle down to give my project baby a chance, but I also need to be responsible, and if blogging’s not going to cut it, I’m gonna have to face reality. Maybe the market is saturated, but I suppose that if a new market has opened up, it will make room for us bloggers willing to stick it out.
If the time comes that I have to find a steady 9-5 away from home, then so be it, I guess. It doesn’t mean I can’t continue to write. But, what I’m getting at is this: I have a dream. I have a goal – to be a writer. And I’m willing to do what it takes to be one. If you have such a dream, follow it. Your parents weren’t wrong when they said you could do anything you want. You just have to be willing to do what it takes to achieve it and forget the nay-sayers.
There will always be people out there who think they know what’s best for business (and they probably do). But, unless your dream is to be a businessperson, these aren’t the articles you should be reading. The author even says she’s not a blog hater, but her article clearly points out why blogs are not the smartest choice for entrepreneuers. And she’s right. I see her point clearly, which is why it was so disheartening to read. I shouldn’t have clicked on the link. We all know those links that tempt us to click that we know we shouldn’t.
So, if you’re looking to start a blog in 2018 (or any year) because you really want to blog, do it. Don’t listen to all the reasons why you shouldn’t. If you’ve been dreaming about something for years, or even just stumbled upon something that excites you with possibilities, focus on those and only those. For all that is holy to you in the world, DON’T read any articles that dissuade you from pursuing something you want to do. Resist, dammit! You may still have to do the grown-up job thing, but you will be happier for also choosing to pursue your dream in any manner.
What is your dream? Please share it with me in the comments section. And if you’re still worried about conforming to the roles and expectations for your life, read about my experience in Thirty: An Awakening. Don’t forget to subscribe and check out more articles on Fully and Well.