This blog was always meant to be some sort of diary; a place for me to explore my thoughts, write them down, document my life and connect with other like-minded people. I haven’t done an actual diary-like post in a while, though, and so today I’m coming at you with a corker by telling you that I’m pretty sure I’m not meant for this whole blogging malarkey. (Fun fact: The title of this blog post was a question when I started writing it, and in the process of getting my thoughts on to paper, I realised that it really isn’t a question but a statement.)
Lately, I’ve seen a lot of posts from bloggers talking about balancing a full-time job with blogging (see Ghenet’s one, for example), or discussing whether going full-time with your blog really is a dream (I particularly enjoyed Charlotte’s one). I will be completely honest and say that, for a long time, I’d had the dream of taking this corner of the internet full-time, and make it my sole income some day – and, just to establish it straight away, I don’t see anything wrong with that.
When successful bloggers and ‘influencers’ are asked about their tips on how to start a blog, they always give the same answer: “Don’t do it for the money.” And whilst yes, I partly agree with that, I also think it’s wrong to knock it down like that. Blogging, YouTubing and a general career in social media is becoming more established, and that entails an income. If you are passionate about becoming a doctor, a lawyer or a journalist, you will embark on this journey, and you will not only do it because of your passion but because you want it to pay your bills. It’s the same with starting a blog: Your initial motiviation should always be passion, but it’s not wrong per se if you want to generate an income from it some day.
With that being said, I’ve lately had to realise that I am actually not made for this whole blogging full-time malarkey. Let me tell you why.
I do still have ambitions to take my blog to the next level. Despite going through phases where I feel disheartened and unmotivated (examples here and here) to even put one more bit of effort into any of my social media, I love the bloggersphere. It was my first love, long before I’d watched even one video on YouTube, and as someone who loves reading and writing, I will always come back to blogs.
But as much as people say that there is ‘room for everyone’, we cannot deny that it’s become incredibly dense and saturated. New blogs pop up left, right and centre every single day, and whilst I think that’s fantastic, it also makes it a lot harder to be seen. Nowadays, blogging requires a consistent level of dedication, a high standard of quality and a regular upload schedule across all social media channels; none of which I possess. Daily Instagram uploads will forever be my downfall and something I will never be able to commit to – nor is it something I ever want to commit to. I cannot be bothered to fight the algorithm, or work alongside it, or spend an awful lot of time trying to figure out how to grow my following. As much as I love Instagram as a platform, it just doesn’t come naturally to me to spend time and energy on it – at least not as much as would be needed to make sense of it.
Similarly, I’m not someone who likes to put their face on the internet all the time. With my failure of Vlogtober, I realised that a) my life simply isn’t exciting enough to document it on camera, and b) I do not feel comfortable with being in front of the camera a lot, whether that’s for video or photo purposes. I’ll be honest, there are more days on which I feel low about my appearance than anything else, and on the days where I do feel like I look somewhat ok, every attempt at documenting it with a decent selfie will send me into a downwards spiral. I’m well aware that this is something I, myself, have to work on, but it is also a pretty big obstacle in the way of considering a career in blogging/social media.
Would I mind being whizzed off to a villa in the Maledives just to celebrate the launch of a new mascara? Of course not. Am I willing to post my face on the internet multiple times a week, hit the gym daily to be beach-ready at all times, and turn my social media content into some sort of Vogue-rip off to get there? Highly doubt it.
As a perfectionist, I will always have the highest expectations set for myself when it comes to my blog, my Instagram and any other content I put out there. I like the idea of making a change; the idea of having the smallest but positive impact on someone’s life after they’ve read one of my blog posts or seen one of my YouTube videos. But I would like to do it when I feel in the right mindset, and not force content out just to fit in with the masses, and I don’t want to publish anything with the sole intention of it being more likely to make an income. No amount of money could compensate that level of pressure I would put on myself.
And as I came to terms with the fact that blogging will never be my main source of income, I couldn’t help but wonder: Do I even want to go down only one career path, and chase only one dream?
Yes, it would be a creative one, but I’m also someone who would like to try so much more. I like the idea of having different sources, putting my fingers in as many pies as possible, and continously learn what I like and what I don’t like. Any career I pursue will always revolve around words and languages, because this is what I’m most passionate about, but there are so many avenues to explore that I don’t think I want to focus on the one big goal ‘blogging’ anymore.
With an open mind and an open heart, many more opportunities will present themselves. I will not stop blogging, I will not stop hoping to generate a wider audience with my passion, but I will no longer focus on numbers, growth and establishing this as the one ultimate career path. Not because I got too demotivated by other bloggers overtaking me; blogs that were born a mere few months ago and taking the industry by storm, but because I realised that I, as a person, am not made for a sole career in this field. And that’s okay.
Many now-full-time bloggers say that blogging used to be their hobby which they never thought would turn into a career, and I am pretty sure that I would like blogging to remain a hobby which might earn me a bit of pocket money, or recognition at the very least, but which will always stay a side hustle. Much like dancing was my first love initially before I started teaching it; like linguistics was something I was passionate about before I went into teaching and now freelancing with it. I loved doing all of it before it earned me one penny, and I would like to feel like this about blogging again.
’til next time x