Blogging as a Lifestyle Choice – or a business?
Have you ever wondered if blogging can help you to achieve a certain type of lifestyle or be a business? I think it can be both, but YOU have to define what you really want out from life and what make you feel you are living life to the fullest. Are you looking into making a business with a main goal of making money, or are you interested in a certain type of lifestyle – perhaps what the money could provide you? Read more, because these two can be very different. You can achieve the lifestyle you want by blogging, even if you are not building a profitable blogging business.
Achieve a Lifestyle you want – or Maintain the Lifestyle you want
I was sitting by the pool in a luxury resort in Florida with a few fellow bloggers watching our husbands swim in the pool with our kids, and one of the bloggers said “can you imagine blogging has made trips like this possible for our families” and explained how she was not used to traveling and that her family probably would not travel much if there wasn’t for trips they are doing because of her blogging. My reaction was quite different – I would be living life to the fullest, even if I wasn’t blogging! I knew we would travel (all of my three children were born in different countries, way before I started blogging!), and I knew I would be probably driving the same car and wearing the same clothes too even if I wasn’t blogging.
Passion – or business – or both?
Many bloggers start blogging as a lifestyle choice without a business plan or any plan whatsoever, and then become popular bloggers and realize that blogging isn’t fun anymore; it has become a job, business or chore, and instead of living the life the want to live, their days are suddenly filled by business meetings, flying around the country meeting with brands, creating sponsored content, selling advertising and hiring writers/designers/talent agents. Now – that’s awesome if that IS your goal. But you just need to keep in mind that the more you want out of blogging (money, opportunities, advertisers, free products, trips..), the more you also have to put into it. If you want a business out of it; you need to treat it as a business. But if you want to blog to achieve/maintain a certain lifestyle, there is nothing wrong about that, and you can become successful blogger doing what you love!
Blogging as a lifestyle choice allows you to gain access to experiences and things you otherwise might not to, or it can make the lifestyle you want to live possible, or allow you to be more flexible in where you live – there are several ways blogging can help you to live the life you want to live. Here are some tips how to make it happen. But remember; this is not a post how to become rich by blogging, but this is a post how to live the lifestyle you want to live, and enjoy blogging as part of it. This is a post how to make blogging a lifestyle choice.
What kind of life you want to live
Fill the blank in this sentence:
“I would do ….. everyday if I could make money doing it”.
Think what are the things you want to do in life, how you want your everyday life to look like, what do you see yourself doing. How would you ideally earn your living? What kind of things you love doing? What would you change in your everyday life if you could? What’s your favorite hobby?
I know a food writer, who doesn’t make much money, but he eats in the best gourmet restaurants of New York City several evenings a week, for free. He writes restaurant reviews for local websites. I know travel bloggers who travel around the world for no cost and they syndicate their articles about travel destinations to several websites and magazines. And what about Adam, whose dream was to eat pastries and chocolate in Paris? He started a blog about different pastry shops in Paris, and funds his living in Paris by blogging about pastry shops and chocolatiers in Paris. Remember Julie who cooked recipes from Julia Child’s book every day for a year? They made a movie of her.
You can do it too.
Make a Plan!
How can you achieve it?
Do you have a hobby that you know a lot about? What kind of skills you have? How could you combine your skills, and your passion and what would your ideal blog look like? What do you have to offer for other people by sharing your lifestyle or what you love doing?
Many bloggers love to write and for them it’s just important to have their voice heard to get a satisfaction from blogging. Obviously, many also make money by writing. But don’t be intimidated even if you think you are not a good writer. There are a lot of bad writers who are successful bloggers. English isn’t even my native language and my grammar isn’t that great as you have probably already noticed in this post, and I have done alright with blogging.
If you like photography, focus on learning how to take even better pictures and make the pictures the focus of your blog, not words. If you have great personality on camera, start creating videos and start vlogging (video blogging) instead of blogging. Think of ways you can deliver your passion, things you do, things you love in an unique way. In a way that you see yourself doing again, and again, and you love doing it.
If you are already living the lifestyle you want, and just want to maintain it, share it, or make money by blogging about it, you are all set to start creating! But if you are not there yet, no worries. Then you need to dress for the life you want, not for the life you have. If you want to become a travel writer and get your trips funded by writing/blogging – you need to start writing about traveling before you get any assignments, or invitations to press trips. In fact, you need to write a lot before anything comes to your way. You might even have to invest money into getting great content for your site. You might have to pay for several trips and create great content about them so you have something show what you can do. I bet nobody sent Julie Julia Child’s book to review, she bought it herself, or nobody sponsored Adam’s first trip to Paris, he saved money for the plane ticket himself.
Nobody paid my first blogging conference ticket or airfare, I paid them myself as an investment to my blogging and to myself. Even today when I get a lot of invitations, press releases and product review requests, I STILL mainly write about things I love and what I want, not the things others want me to write about. Luckily many companies have noticed who I am, and what I love and we have been able to work together in a way that it has allowed me to live the lifestyle I want through blogging. (My biggest thanks go to Park City Mountain Resort, Disney and Hanes).
Everyday choices you have to make
I’m not going to lie and say it’s easy. It’s not, and you still need to treat it as a jobby, hobby that is sort of like a job, or habit, or business if you want the benefits in the long run. But since you are blogging about things you love, this should be fairly easy for you, right? You just have to be consistent if you want to build a community of readers who read your blog. You can’t just turn your back on them for a month and then expect them to be part of your everyday life again when you feel like it. You have to respect the people who read your blog.
And once you start getting readers, you will notice you will start getting emails from companies wanting you to write about their products, or asking to advertise on your site. It feels so good when people notice what you are doing but at the same time always remember why you started your blog to begin with and stay true to living the lifestyle you want. I hear way too often from bloggers that they have several posts they “have to write” and they don’t have time anymore to write what they “want to write”. I think it is possible to make a blogging a business AND a lifestyle choice, but always remember to stay true to yourself and your goals.