No one seems to mind that lawyers or architects are paid handsomely for their work, yet there are many people who expect bloggers to work for next to nothing (or nothing at all).
This is partly due to how easy it is to start blogging. It takes someone less than 10 minutes to get a blog online and for people to start sharing their ideas with others. What people forget is that there is a huge difference between blogging and blogging well.
Many website owners do not recognize this. For them, the priority is getting content for their websites at the lowest cost possible. A quick look at the latest job listings on the ProBlogger job board confirms this, with many job listings there offering only $10 for a 500 word article.
The cold reality is that many website owners out there do not place much value what bloggers do. Some of the top blogs on the internet would think nothing of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a website redesign, however they continue to pay their writers wages that a McDonald's burger flipper would reject.
Doing It for the Love and Not for the Money
One of the first comments stated that it was great to see that the former owner of WP Tavern, Jeff Chandler, was back writing for the website. Jeff is a great guy who is popular amongst the WordPress community for reporting WordPress related news and generating interesting discussions.
Unfortunately, he never made the jump to becoming full time online. Even though he was running one of the most popular blogs on WordPress, Jeff continues to work at a grocery store every day, a position that he frequently tells readers how much he hates.
Jeff attempted to make money through WP Tavern on many occasions though never seemed to be able to make it work. The fact that Jeff was doing everything he could to monetize the site seems to have been lost on the commenter. The commenter, Rob, said:
Glad to see Jeff is back in action. Truly an authentic voice in the WordPress world, doing it for the love of WordPress and not just to make money like so many other “bloggers”.
The commenter may not have meant the above statement to suggest that focusing on money is selling out, however that is how it came across to me, and that is what many other people have suggested in the past.
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Blogging With Passion Helps Create More Valuable Content
I do agree that loving the subject you write about is key to your success. If you love the topic you are writing about, your passion will shine through in your writing. There are many bloggers out there who write every day because they love their subject matter. I respect that, however I also respect those who make money through blogging.
Perhaps a few readers of Basic Blog Tips are blogging because they simply love doing it, however I expect most of the people who are readers of this blog are looking for advice on how to make money and improve their writing skills.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. For many of us, it is not even a choice. Unless you come from a wealthy background, in order to devote yourself to your passion (be that writing, painting, acting or athletics etc), you need to make money from it. You do not have a choice. Families are not supported by good intentions. How understanding do you think your bank would be if you told them you couldn't pay your mortgage because you are too busy following your dream?
For most of us, devoting ourselves to blogging means that we need to make money from it. It doesn't mean that we do not love the subject we are writing about. We are simply doing what most other people can only dream of and getting paid to do something we love. Writers aren't giving their books away for free, screenwriters aren't writing screenplays for million dollar movie productions for nothing, and newspaper editors don't work all day long for the love of their art. They all get paid, as should bloggers. The bottom line is: Doing what you love does not mean you should not be paid appropriately for it.
Do Not Devalue Yourself
I am sure you all agree with me on this issue though it is something I feel strongly about. It is also something which I think it worth reminding ourselves of time and time again. Making money through blogging is not selling out.
- Placing banners on your blog is not selling out.
- Earning a commission through referrals is not selling out.
- Making money through blogging does not mean you do not love your subject matter.
Your readers have the right to disagree with you placing banners on your blog, however, ultimately it is your decision and more importantly it's your right to do so. You are giving away content for free and the world will judge you based on what you write, not whether you have advertisements on your blog.
Therefore, do not worry too much about how others view you. We cannot control how others value us. If a client thinks one of your articles is worth $25 instead of $100, you will find it difficult to change their mind. What you can control is how you value your blog and yourself. By agreeing to work for an amount that you are not happy with, you are selling yourself short.
It is important to not place your goal of earning money above everything else. Your reputation takes time to build up but can be lost in just a few minutes. Therefore, you should not take your readers for granted and recommend products or services purely on the basis of earning a commission. If something is great, say it is great, if something sucks, say it sucks. In the long term, you will gain much more by having integrity and being honest and transparent about everything you do.
What You Do is Important
In order to understand your own worth, you need to understand how important your work is to others. With blog owners focused on keeping costs down, they sometimes forget the fact that quality content can be the difference between a good blog and a bad one. The articles you write for clients are vital to their website's success.
Your articles help readers too. Someone, somewhere around the world, is reading one of your articles right now. You have helped them in some way, whether it be resolve a problem they had or simply entertain them for 10 minutes.
It is something we should always remember when dealing with others and responding to criticism. Do not forget that what you do online is important to others and never devalue yourself. By doing so, you are only cheating yourself.