I have a confession to make. I started my blog to make money. When I published my first post back in 2014, somewhere in the back of my mind I thought ‘I really want to make this my job’.
It’s taboo to say it, I know. I’m supposed to say that I started blogging because of my passion for writing. To say that I don’t care about the views and the stats. To say that I’m not frustrated that I’m 2 years into blogging and I’ve not made a dime.
But that’s not true. Or at least, it’s only part of the truth.
I did start blogging because I have a passion for writing, and for the things I write about. But I also started blogging because I’d seen other women make a career out of it and I thought, ‘Hey, maybe I could do that.’ And I don’t think there’s any shame in that.
If you read any interview with any successful blogger or YouTube, they’ll tell you that they never started out to get famous or make it a career. And I’m sure it’s true. When they started, blogging and YouTubing wasn’t a career option. But it is now.
Just the other morning I was listening to Emma Gannon interview internet sensation Zoella about all things social media, when Zoe passionately told listeners to ask themselves if they’re creating for a career, or for themselves.
All I could think was ‘Why can’t you do both?’
It’s 2017, and blogging and vlogging are viable career options. So if you love creating stuff, where’s the shame in also wanting to get paid for creating that stuff?
Sure, you also need to create stuff because you enjoy the process of creating, and you enjoy the things you’re talking about. But if you want to create things to pay the bills as well, that’s fine. It doesn’t make you fake, or inauthentic, or a sellout. It makes you ambitious and entrepreneurial. And that’s great too.
In fact, I think more creatives need to be upfront about the money they get paid – or want to get paid. Not only so that young and aspiring creatives know that getting paid is an option, but also so that brands and big corporate organisations stop undervaluing the work of creatives. If we bloggers sit here and say ‘I’d still be blogging even if I made no money’, brands see that and think ‘It doesn’t matter if I don’t pay bloggers then’.
Of course, there needs to be a balance. Writing that’s lacking passion is tedious to read. Videos that are obviously forced are painful to watch. I’m not saying that you should only create things to get paid – because if you do, you probably won’t be good enough to ever actually get paid. But you shouldn’t be ashamed for knowing that your skill is worth money. You shouldn’t be ashamed for wanting to be paid the money you are owed.
So, aspiring bloggers: listen up. Create for passion, but also create for money. We live in a capitalist society where not making money is not an option. So why not cheat the system and make money out of something you love?