Let’s be honest, it would be a dream to make money from home by blogging. Consistent bloggers know that it takes a butt-load of work to post regularly (my inconsistent blogger butt knows that too—only a fraction of it, but still 🙋) and being compensated monetarily would certainly add some value to the effort. But, I think most bloggers, especially the book type, are cognizant of the fact that there’s a slim chance that their blog will one day pay their bills.
Many of us don’t start our blogs with any ulterior motives except to talk about books.
Yet, there are still whispers in my head that all of this, this whole blogging thing, is a waste of my time. It’s silly because what would a good use of my free-time be then?
Fortunately, I know where this feeling that I should be doing something else is coming from: it’s coming from an obsession with making money from hobbies.
monetize your passion!
I think it’s fair to say that most of our societies are constantly bombarding us with the idea that we should be hustling and trying to acquire the most amount of money that we can because money somehow equals success and freedom. To a certain degree, it makes sense—but more than success and freedom, we need money to survive.
I’d being lying if I said making money from blogging wouldn’t make it more worth the time and effort I put into it. There’s absolutely no shame with wanting more money and searching for ways to earn it, especially if you need it. The sayings that money isn’t everything or won’t make you happier are a tad dishonest, and I think are tossed around by people who can afford to enjoy a life not burdened with financial stress.
Now, with YouTube and Patreon and online sponsorships, dreams of monetizing our passions—the activities most of do not at work, but at home—can actually become a reality, and that’s hard to dismiss.
On one hand, there’s an echo that we should be well-balanced individuals who engage in “worthwhile” hobbies when we’re not at work. Gaming or practicing makeup is a misuse of time and frivolous, folks. But now, if you’re making big bucks from your gaming or makeup or other hobbies, you’re doing the “right” thing.
My friends and family always seem to be tossing around the idea of making podcasts, vlogs, or blogs about their interests these days because they hear people can make a lot of money from it. It’s almost like our hobbies should be our second jobs.
With all of these mixed messages, it’s easy to feel like you’re not making the most of your down time.
But, back to what I said earlier, there are tons of low-key bloggers who know they’re most likely never going to making money from blogging and continue to do this thing because it makes them happy. I know money played no role in my decision to start blogging. And, even though it’s cheesy, I think it’s because while people need to survive, they also want to ✨ thrive ✨.
If you’re like me, you’re now caught in a loop where you want to blog for the joy it brings, but there’s a sliver of your mind that’s calculating the worth of all the time and brain space it takes up.
How do we end that cycle?
finding value in your hobby that isn’t money
So, we’ve established that money isn’t everything, but money isn’t nothing, and money won’t make you happy, but it won’t make you unhappy…
Yeesh, where are you going with this, Belle?
Let’s just remove money from the equation for a second and focus on what is left from your hobby.
What have you gained through your blog that isn’t money?
. . .
Personally, my blog has given me:
1. access to an open-minded community
I love being able to interact with people who respect my perspectives and chime in with their diverse voices.
2. confidence in my opinions
Because the bookish community is so kind and tactful, I always feel like my opinions, even the unpopular ones, are valid and have weight.
3. greater ability to communicate through writing
I’m pretty reserved in real life, so blogging has been a safe space for me to practice actually getting my ideas across to other people if not verbally, then in writing.
4. more reason to learn time management
My time management is something that always seems to improve in waves, and blogging certainly pushes me to ride out those waves for longer spans of time.
. . .
They may not seem like much, but these four items have impacted my life for better in ways that money has not and perhaps cannot. These kind of things shouldn’t be valued against money because they’re not the same currency. Drafting a post in my pajamas on a Saturday night might not provide me with my livelihood, but it strangely makes life worth living. And sometimes that’s the only value that should matter.
No one really knows what they’re doing, and there’s no correct way to spend your time. Sure, money is damn helpful, but it shouldn’t dictate everything you do in your waking hours if it doesn’t need to. So, whenever you have doubts about your hobbies or the time you dedicate to blogging, remind yourself that there’s always value in something that makes you happy, whether or not you’re getting a check for it.