When I first got into blogging, I had a dream that someday, somehow, this would become my full-time gig.
The image in my head was one of relaxing on a beach somewhere in Hawaii, laptop in hand, working on my next personal finance post while sipping on some great drink.
While the part about Hawaii is probably far-fetched, most serious bloggers have had the dream of making it big with their websites. Some dismissed it, some are going after it as hard as they can, and a select few have “made it.”
Even if my blogging income eventually matches or even surpasses my career income, I seriously doubt that I will make blogging my only endeavor. There are 12 key reasons why I don’t think it will happen:
- Someone else’s pot of gold. My ability to earn money as an architect relies on variables like the economy, which sounds slippery until you realize that my ability to earn money as a blogger relies on Google, and only on Google. Whether it’s search or AdSense or some other metric, life as a blogger while being on Google’s bad side is simply not fun, and not profitable, unless you have a strong existing audience and can leverage word-of-mouth. Too many eggs in one basket!
- Trends and rules change. Today, profit centers might include blogging and eBooks and subscriptions, but tomorrow it might be video or something else entirely that I have no interest in pursuing. Someone else controls the trends, and more importantly (as #1 pointed out), someone else controls the rules.
- Idea-sourcing. If I didn’t have a career and the struggles that come with a single-income family, having kids, etc., what would I write about? I could become another blogger making money from writing about making money…ugh.
- Blogging can be overwhelming. Even those who love blogging and make a killer living doing it admit that they spend a huge amount of time working on their blogs, many times to the detriment of their own health and their families.
- Fear I’ll run out of ideas. Personal finance is a finite space, and there are only so many things to write about. Many financial bloggers who have been doing this for a while come to a spot where they feel like they’re just re-hashing old material. If I ever got there, I’d need to find another space or start re-writing old posts.
- Fear I’ll get bored. Granted, this is a risk associated with any pursuit, but if I ever left my career to pursue blogging, it would be extremely difficult to get back in. As things stand today, I could simply shut down the blog at whim, and that gives me some sense of freedom.
- The capacity for income is still there. I don’t need to do this full-time to make some decent money from blogging that helps my family and makes this into a well-oiled business. I also have the option to scale up or scale down based on my needs and resources.
- Structure and milestones. I feel like I need these artifacts in my life to help push me forward. Projects have a start and end, and progress predictably. My future career has a relatively predictable path of growth.
- I’m free to experiment and screw things up. If this becomes my only means of income, I’m afraid I’d become much more conservative with how I treated things around here. Stale posts, careful wording, and a lot more stress about possibly doing the wrong thing.
- Being an architect is pretty cool. Seriously, it’s nice to walk into a party and have something interesting to say (an architect that blogs, no less!). It also keeps me connected to the larger community and things (literally) being built around town.
- I have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Because of re-organization at the company and the fact that so many of my colleagues have either left by choice or due to the economy, I have a unique opportunity to get in at the ground floor of a well-established firm as things get better. Not considering it, at the very least, would be a ignorant move.
- The competition is getting bigger and stronger. Every day, it seems like people are starting personal finance blogs by the handful. Many of them have amazing stories and amazing ideas and the capacity to execute a narrative around those ideas. As things are now, I feel more like a cooperator in the space, rather that treating all of these blogs as competitors.
So You Don’t Care About This Site?
That couldn’t be farther from the truth–I love writing for Fiscal Fizzle and the small community that has grown around the blog.
The commitment to make this a full-time job might not be there, but I’m committed to bringing you all of my financial experiences and thoughts for years to come. I just wanted to share my feelings about how my dreams have changed over the last few years.