Thoughts & Thangs

Monetize the Blog or nah?

I’ve been writing blogs for a solid 10 years. I’ve written about most aspects of my life: the early days of my natural hair journey, my perspective on Bahamian issues while living in the US, my one year journey of trying out being vegan etc…I like documenting this life’s journey and reading the stories of others. I lowkey hate those lengthy stories that people share when they’re writing about recipes though. I just wanna know how to prepare the dish, I don’t need to know the lengthy backstory.

I applauded and read so many stories about how some people went from making $0 to pulling six figures easily from their blogs. I aspire but I know I’m a long ways from making money on my blog, if I ever do and I’ll share my reasons why.

1. I’m not very consistent.

Even prior to the pandemic, I did not have a consistent writing pattern. I tried to do once per week and I think that was decent however ,throughout the years I would do well for a few weeks/months and then I would fall all the way off for a lengthy period of time. I think being consistent is important to building an audience and maintaining the current readers to keep coming back.

Consistency should also be in the content area that you write. Many sites and videos recommend finding a niche to focus your writing on and be able to come up with at least 10 different story ideas around that. I’m super random and I feel like a know a little about a lot but not very many topics of supreme depth.

2. Writing for money means writing for other people and what they want.

When I was in college I had a part-time summer gig as a freelance writer. I was asked to cover specific content. I conducted interviews, wrote up my stories and got paid. I really enjoyed that time of writing. On my own I could never quite figure out a niche I could write about consistently or what people would want to read about because they found it useful. Writing out recipes felt just as bad as writing out lesson plans which I absolutely detest.

I like writing, but every time the idea of going from passion writing to trying to craft content to get paid, it immediately freezes up my brain and causes writer’s block. Maybe self doubt and fear of growth is what it really is but for every time and every season it has happened.

When I talk with my students about studying something they’re passionate about versus something they’re just merely good at, I say this: neither path is right or wrong, it just is. People handle things differently. Some people are so passionate about a thing and they are successfully able to make a living from it. Others (me) find the weight of needing to make a living from this thing you’re passionate about can snuff out the passion, can extinguish the passion itself and then the thing just becomes another thing you’re good at. Or the pressure becomes too much to bare and you can’t do the thing at all.

I also tell my students that passions change. Having passion doesn’t mean you’ll be good at it for work. Some people have multiple passions and if you must choose work based on passion, can often struggle and live in a constant space of indecision or dissatisfaction. It’s also to just do a thing because you enjoy it. This society tells us that we have to have a side hustle. That we have to do what we’re passionate about as work or why even bother working. Bills bruh! Bills don’t care about passion.

The rules of wealth building and the way this expensive life is set up, many people are overworked and underpaid and the income from one job is often not enough to live on.

Perhaps one day I’ll find it in me to turn writing into another stream of income. There’s a book in me somewhere, still developing or waiting for the right time. In third grade I remember copying chapters of one of those Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen adventures. None of my own ideas, but I sure felt like a writer.

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