Blogging for Money – Selling Out?
I wanted to be many things as I was growing up. All of them fell under the creative umbrella – actress, dancer, choreographer (I went through a phase where I thought I’d be the next Liza) and of course, writing always featured heavily. By the time I was 16, I’d nailed it down to writing. That is what I’d do. And so, I went about doing that. I wrote and wrote and wrote a lot. I interned and work experienced. And I somehow now find myself making money from blogging. This here blog brings me revenue through various sources, one of which being advertising. I have seen it said various places on the web that bloggers who have advertising on our sites (or are blogging for money) are ‘sell outs’. Since when does making a living from what you love make you a sell out? Shouldn’t that be the ultimate goal?
I’m not sure if it’s a typically British thing to frown upon people who are living their dream, but it damn sure is annoying. I don’t understand this notion that you’ve sold out if you get paid for doing what you enjoy – it really makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
En route to making a living as a writer, I have been: a shop assistant (many times over), a call centre operator, a temp, a coat check girl at a nightclub, an intern (many times over), a (terrible) waitress, a hostess, a receptionist, a shop manager, a travel agent and many more things. I did all that while furiously writing away in my down time. At what point am I allowed to deserve to make a living off my passion? Are we expected to work away at jobs that bring us no joy and ensure that the dream remains just that? Is your dream only valid if you struggle to ever make it a reality and never quite get there?
If I were a sell out, it’d be a damn sight easier for me to make a living off this blog. The majority of ads on this site are run through an agency, they place relevant ads on my site. If I don’t like an ad, if it compromises my brand or clashes with my values, I can tell them to remove it (and I have done). For the most part, I like the ads generated – I understand at times they may be distracting but I cannot live on air. As I said to the commenter who said I was a sell out because of the ads on my blog last week, when you pay my bills, then you can have an opinion on that.
There’s something sinister about the ‘sell out’ idea. You can be successful but not too successful. I suspect the people saying it are struggling to make their dreams a reality, so try to undermine anyone who is managing it. It’s unrealistic to say we haven’t all experienced pangs of jealousy when someone has what we want, but those people should serve as inspiration, not troll-commenting fodder for you to tear down. Is blogging supposed to be a noble art? To be considered a true blogger, are we simply to be ‘hobby bloggers’ and hold down a 9-5 that may have nothing to do with what we actually want? Personally, I started my blog because I love writing and from the very first post, I wanted to make a living off it. It’s taken a while, but I’m getting there. A sell out, I most certainly am not.
A motherf*ckin’ grafter, I most definitely am.