If your intention is to make money, then there are a hundred different ways you can make more money FASTER than it takes to create an online source of income. It may be off brand, but this post will detail why you should NOT start a blog. I’ll also dive into the reasons I started my site and what keeps me going as I approach my one year mark.
First, let’s get one thing out of the way. Blogs DO make money. Some blogs make A LOT of money. Site’s like Mr. Money Mustache, can make as much as $400,000 in a year.
Not a bad income for an early retiree. 😉 (disclaimer: I do love MMM’s site so I give him mad props for creating something of value in retirement as opposed to sitting on the beach sipping on pina coladas all day. I don’t think he gets even 1% compared to the amount of life changing value he’s provided to millions of readers, myself included.)
With that being established, I’ve noticed a lot of new people enter the realm of blogging. I’ve now been heavily involved in the space during 2016 and I’ve seen many people quit along the way.
At this stage, I’ve noticed one theme resonate with all new bloggers: If your number one intention is to make money, you’ll probably fail. I don’t think creating an online source of revenue is a bad idea, but if money is the FIRST reason you think of when asked why you started a site, it won’t be enough to keep you motivated through the process.
You simply will not have the drive to create content that people will read. And readers CAN tell when you write bullshit; if it’s not relatable, if it feels fabricated, it won’t stick.
The reason being because blogging takes TIME and ENERGY and you’ll see ZERO returns at first.
Or at least, zero cash directly from the site.
If you want QUICK sources of income, I’ll recommend applying one of the approaches below.
I have a close buddy who started to drive for Uber and Lyft on the weekends. He doesn’t make much, but he only works about 2 weekends a month at maybe 6 hours a day. He picks nights where there’s a large concert of some event where he expects there to be a lot of people moving around.
For the weekend of Lollapalooza one year he made over $1,000. From ONE weekend.
And no, he didn’t rob anyone or get lucky after someone left their wallet behind.
Another friend of mine used to (not 100% sure if he still does) go to yard sales or garage sales on weekends. He would scan through all the items and compare prices on eBay and Amazon. After the cost of gas and using his vehicle, he would net out a few hundred for each day of work.
Another friend did a similar approach with thrift stores or second hand clothing stores. He was having so much success that he even purchased a nice camera and a manikin to take better photos! I’m not sure how much he made, but if he purchased a $500 camera, I’m guessing the ROI was many times that.
So, by now you know the reason behind this article:
Why you should NOT start a blog VS. why you SHOULD start a blog
When I ask a new blogger what their vision is for 6-12+ months out, I slightly cringe when I hear a dollar amount mentioned as the first goal.
Blogging SHOULD NOT be your first option for increasing your revenue in the short term.
If it is, then I’m willing to wager you won’t last long.
Of course, I highly recommend we can all benefit from starting a blog, but NOT because you can expect higher income tomorrow.
The reason I say this is because blogging is much MORE difficult than all the alternative options mentioned above. You yourself can think of extra items in your own life that could produce hundreds of dollars in value, nearly overnight.
It might be that car repair you’ve been putting off, or that extra work project that your boss will notice. It might be offering to cut your neighbor’s lawns for an extra few bucks. Whatever it is, you’ll see a much FASTER return.
If you’re looking to learn more about retirement planning, or insurance, or how to properly prepare a power of attorney on your behalf, then blogging might be a useful way for you to read about and discuss these topics.
If you’re like me, and feel you’ve mastered some elements of personal finance while still aware of the fact that you know nothing (Jon Snow), then blogging opens a lane for your mind to cover new material while offering value on topics you’ve already been through.
Personally, blogging has been a tremendous source of learning in my life.
On the deepest level, blogging has developed the communication between my girlfriend and myself. We’re able to open new lanes of communication to express feelings that might be difficult or cumbersome to discuss face to face.
That’s not to say we don’t talk one on one, but sometimes it is easier to write out your opinion before you can really figure out what you’re trying to say in the first place.
Of course, I could mention the countless relationships I’ve developed with other personal finance bloggers and with my readers. Many of you will never see the level of communication I have one on one with many readers who have very specific questions. In some cases, I’ve spent more time answering one specific reader’s set of questions than writing an entire blog post. .
When it is appropriate, I’ll even use that as a source for a new article.
That type of interaction is what makes me more than thrilled to continue blogging.
My source for inspiration comes from learning more about myself and more about what other people are struggling with. Sometimes my past struggles can often a lesson and sometimes it is something new for me and my readers. Either way, the whole point is to continue on this path towards Financial Freedom. Or, if you’re already there, then to keep learning about ways to optimize not just your budget, but your overall lifestyle and state of happiness.
If you didn’t catch it earlier this year, I detailed how blogging has helped me keep an additional $13,291 in income through the first SIX months of 2016. Those types of benefits are real and should be incorporated into any site, but you can achieve the same results working side hustles other than a blog.
The short version is this: scientifically, if you publicly declare a goal to people who will keep you accountable, you’re FAR MORE likely to achieve that goal.
So, if your intentions are to learn, to share knowledge, to have fun, to build an online brand that you can control, to hold yourself accountable, then yes, start a site today.
If these reasons match up with why you want to start a blog, then go for it. But, if your first intention is to make money, then stop. Save yourself the time and mental frustration of blogging by going out and finding quicker sources of revenue. Let this post be a remind on why you should not start a blog.
What keeps you blogging after all this time? Have you thought of starting a blog, but already have a healthy financial ecosystem of your own? Are you a blogger who’s focused on making cash today and are now frustrated after having read this article and willing to place a wager on being around 6 months from now? 😉 Let me know!