Sunday

Blogging for the wrong reasons

I'm sorry, guys. I've been blogging on Becky Bedbug for over 3 years now and it's time to make a confession: I am blogging for the wrong reasons.

I know, I know. You're all disappointed and horrified because, after all, we all know that there is one reason and one reason only why anyone should blog:

THE PASSION

That's right, boys and girls. If you blog, you must only do it because you have a burning passion inside your gut and you need to get it out in front of the world. Anything that comes afterwards is a bonus but you must never, ever plan for it.


THE WRONG REASONS

What follows is a list of some, but not all, of the wrong reasons, taken from Twitter, Land of Blogging Laws:


  • To gain followers
  • To get page views
  • To become popular
  • To work with brands (especially if this involves "freebies")
  • To get paid
  • To make a career
  • To become famous

ACTUALLY, NO

I hope you're all sitting down because I am going to knock your socks off with this revelation: There are no wrong reasons.

In blogging, like in any industry, there are only reasons. No right or wrong about it. Perhaps you started because of The Passion and decided to leave it at that. Fine. Maybe that's why you started but eventually it grew into something else. Fine. Maybe, shock horror, you started a blog purely to carve a career and make money. You know what? Fine.

Here's the deal, guys. Blogging is a legitimate career. There are people out there who make money working full time on their blogs. To put this in the simplest terms: People write for their career. You know who else got paid to write? Shakespeare. Oscar Wilde. J K Rowling. The guy who first transcribed the Bible. Were they all doing it for the wrong reasons? Were they somehow less of a writer because they got paid for their work? Or is this because it's online writing. Is that why it's wrong to get paid? Cool. I'll just ring up Buzzfeed and tell them that, from now on, their staff cannot earn money from writing. Instead, they'll get paid in the joy of writing. 

For some reason, there are a lot of people who think it's ok to get paid to blog, and ok to work with brands, as long as you do not set out with this goal in mind. That's funny because, as we've already established, blogging is a legitimate career. Like nursing. Or teaching. Or retail. Why do we not tell the sales assistants in Primark that they're doing the wrong thing? Should they only go into retail if they have a burning passion for scanning barcodes? Should they start their careers without the intention to get paid? Of course not. 

"Well, Becky, that's because nursing, teaching and retail aren't creative careers. That's the difference! Creative industries shouldn't be entered into just for the money". Oh, ok. I'll just let Tracey Emin and Marc Jacobs know that they shouldn't have planned to make money from their talent.

WHY I'M BLOGGING FOR THE WRONG REASONS

Well, here's the dealio. As I've mentioned before, I want to make money from this blog. I want it to make up part of my career. My full time career? Probably not, but that's only because the financial instability would worry me. If I made as much as Zoella, then hell yeah I would! Admittedly, I didn't start out with this aim in mind because, naively, I didn't know there was money to be made in it. So... I was blogging for the right reasons but now I'm not? Or I'm ok because I didn't plan to make money to begin with? Who knows?

Let's go back to those reasons I mentioned at the beginning and dissect them, one by one, using myself as an example.

To gain followers
Well, obviously I want followers. If I didn't want anyone reading, I'd just stick to the private diaries I've been writing for 16 years. There's an ego inside me that wants feeding and it's bloody flattering when people actually take time out to read, follow and comment. So, yes, I do want followers and, let's be honest here, we all do. If you didn't, you wouldn't have a public blog, would you?

To get page views
The more page views I get, the more appealing my blog is to PRs and brands and, as I said above, I want to make money. So, again, yes. I do want to increase my page views. (If you want to help me out, click this link!)*

To become popular
Similarly to gaining followers, there are very few people who wouldn't want to become popular or get noticed. It feels good and, of course, if I wasn't going to get noticed, I'd have no chance to make this a career.

To work with brands and get freebies
First of all, they're not free. Products and samples are payment in lieu. I spend a couple of hours taking photos, editing photos, trying out the product (longer if it's something like skincare), writing content and promoting the post and, in exchange, I get a £15 lipstick or something. The equivalent of £7.50 an hour sounds like a pretty normal rate, if you ask me, so it's hardly free. Anyway, working with brands is a great way to get started communicating with PRs and building up relationships so, for someone who plans to carve a career blogging, it's a very positive step.

To get paid
Yes, I do want to get paid for my work. Shocking, I know.

To make a career
As I have already explained, at length, blogging is an acceptable career and there is absolutely no reason why you should not aim to make a living from it. 

To become famous
Say you what you want about that John Lennon, but I'm pretty sure he only wrote those songs to get famous. I mean, if he hadn't wanted to get famous, he would have retreated to the Yorkshire countryside and lived as a hermit as soon as his name got known, right? God dammit, John Lennon, you did it wrong! I'll admit- becoming famous isn't exactly high on my agenda. It seems like a lot of faff, to be honest, but do I sometimes imagine what it would be like to have people in the street ask me for a photo or be asked to appear on TV? Hell yeah! As long as people have been famous, there have been people who want to be famous and I, for one, see nothing wrong with that. (As long as they're not becoming famous by killing people, of course!) 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Everybody has different motivations to blog. That's life. You have your own aims and your own priorities and nobody else has the right to tell you they're wrong. Blogging didn't come with a set of rules to say exactly why we need to do it, so why some people are positioning themselves as the Blogger Police is beyond me. You do you, I'll do me and we'll all get along swimmingly. Deal?

*Yeah, that link didn't actually go anywhere important. I was just curious to see if people would click on it, to be honest.

47 comments :

  1. This is such a great post - loved it! I often feel gulity for accepting 'freebies' but I really shouldn't! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

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  2. so refreshing to read this and I totally agree - I recently started making a little money with my blog, am allowed to co author a big beauty online magazine, I am very proud of what I achieved all by myself, while raising kids and having animals and having a big household and still studying, alone most of the time, because hubby was military and always gone... I am proud of what I achieved, why not? And so many people tell you, you are wrong like you said. Why that? Why can't I be proud?
    I am happy about the money I earn, it is extra money I can spend on things for me or my family - should I not take the chance and earn some money? Should I just NOT take it, making all of the hours and work basically a waste of time? Because I could probably spend my time in more useful ways, actually making money, but then I am not supposed to just because I make it from my blog?

    Confusing...

    I love the article, have to share it... Great work, I love your blog

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    1. You should be proud! You work damn hard from the sounds of it. Good on you for making some money out of it!

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  3. I'm commenting before even properly reading this post! because I know it'll be spot on but AMEN. Thank-you for finally saying these things! How dare other people govern the reasons for someone blogging? Pfft.

    Uncia + Tigris

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  4. Couldn't agree more Becky. Writing a blog for the sheer joy of it is fine but there's certainly no harm in blogging to advance your career!

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  5. Brilliant post Becky on a controversial topic. I do think that it helps to be enthusiastic about whatever you choose to do in life - that Primark assistant is unlikely to be passionate about scanning barcodes, but to do their job well it would help them greatly if they were enthusiastic about customer service. What ever peoples motives for blogging, or anything else in life (assuming they're legal!), who are we to judge! Xx

    Tania | whentaniatalks.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. Love this post, you made some valid points! I burst out laughing at the "I want to be paid for my work. Shocking, I know"!

    Priyanka | http://glamourandgiggles19.blogspot.com/

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  7. Very well said, I agree that you should be able to blog for whatever reason you want to. I do hate it when people say oh you should blog for that reason...it's your life and you can blog for whatever reason you want :)

    Pams Stuff and Things

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  8. I clicked on it lol 😁 You said it would help you out so I did and I don't regret it! Lol 😊 Great post Becky, very interesting and thought provoking. Lexie XX

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  9. DAMN F*CKING RIGHT. I have this massive rant piling up in my head but I also have Netflix and my bed calling me so I'll save it for another day but this is just full of TRUTH. So what if I want to make money in the future? I'm passionate about my blog but I'm also passionate about shopping so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

    Okay on a more serious note I love this and I love you xxxxxxxx

    Charlotte / Colours & Carousels

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    1. YES! That's all I have to say. AMEN!

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  10. This is so true. It's the same with having a job or picking a Uni (or not one at all). Everyone has their reasons & they're not all the same & none of them are wrong. Admitting or not, I think everyone that blogs secretly wishes for all the same things too, just maybe on different scales of importance.
    -Cory U | Cory U

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  11. Thank you! Brilliant post. Surely the great thing about a blog is that it's personal - you can write about whatever you want, whyever you want!

    Jess xo
    http://just-jesss.blogspot.co.uk

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  12. Couldn't agree more with this, and I am sure the majority of people will, even if they don't admit it. And the shock horror of actually want to be paid for the hours we spend in front the screen eh!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

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  13. Totally agree! Great post - this really needed to be said, :)
    theemeralddove21.blogspot.co.uk

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  14. Love your honesty in this post, twitter is far too full of blogging laws nowadays

    xx

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  15. Amen! I couldn't agree more!

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  16. Love this post - so spot on there is no right or wrong reason. If you do it for love or money, one way or the other, you're still doing it for you and that's all that really matters. This whole issue reminds me of "real travellers" telling other people they are tourists!
    Debbie
    www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh wow! I haven't heard about that one. What makes a "real traveller"?

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  17. Yasssss, well done for writing this! Why people are afraid to say that things such as money or success are amongst their blogging goals is beyond me.

    Claire | Stylingo.co.uk | xx

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  18. Warning: this is going to be a really comment, because I literally have a post in my drafts folder right now with the working title "there are no wrong reasons to start blogging", and now I don't have to bother actually writing it, because I can just direct people here instead. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for saying this! I am SO SICK (like, ALL CAPS sick) of seeing people bang on about how "if you're starting a blog to make money, you're doing it for the wrong reasons!" What a load of rubbish. I didn't start my first blog with the intention of making money from it, but that was only because. like you, I had no idea you even COULD make money from it at that point. I DID start my other blogs with the sole intention of making money from them, and I'm not ashamed to admit it, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with that: to me, it's no different from starting any other kind of small business. My sister-in-law, for instance, is currently planning to open a coffee shop, and I can guarantee that absolutely no one will tell her that she must on no account aim to make money from it, and must just do it for "the love of it", but they DO say that about someone starting a blogging business, which is absolutely unfathomable to me. My background is in journalism, and I don't know if that's perhaps skewed my perception a bit, because I've always been paid to write, and so I really struggle to see anything remotely controversial about expecting to be paid for my work, or about starting a business based around creating content for people to read. The idea that you must not view it as a business, and that if you DO make money, it should only ever be by accident, almost, is just so strange to me. Yesterday someone left a comment on my blog saying they're going to deliberately avoid making money from their blog "so that they can keep enjoying it", and I thought it was such a strange thing to say - I think a lot of people seem to feel that you should only be "allowed" to make money from doing things you dislike, and that if you make money from something that's considered a hobby to some, you're letting the side down, or selling out, or whatever. These are the attitudes that make it hard for writers and other creatives to make a living - people persist in believing that we should be happy to do it purely for the love of it, and all of the posts talking about "the wrong reasons" just add to that, so this post was such a breath of fresh air - I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks there are no "wrong" reasons!

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    1. What you say about people not making money because they want to enjoy it is interesting because I see that a lot on Twitter too. I think I enjoy it more since I've started making money because it's almost validation. Like "Wow, I can do this thing I love and people think it's good enough that they'll PAY me for it!"

      Thanks for this comment- Every point you raised is perfect!

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  19. So true! Why would we want to be working all this time on a project with nothing in return and no readers? I guess the blogging police are just jealous of those that have made their blog amazing from nothing. I am sure they wouldn't turn down a paid post either!

    Laura / www.smileatstyle.blogspot.com xxxx

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  20. I'm so glad you wrote this. It's refreshing to see a little honesty about what bloggers really expect from their blogs. I suspect that many bloggers rarely blog for as you say "the passion". Great post.

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  21. Totally agree with all of this. If someone want to blog then they should whatever their reasons.
    p.s. totally clicked the link ;)

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  22. Wahoo!! brilliant post! And you said it, there seems to be so much blogging advice out there that makes you feel bad about your blog or your motives when it's your blog! Do what you like with it! I've always wanted to start a youtube channel but never had the confidence so I started a blog to get me going.
    Thanks for a post that's actually encouraging!! :D
    sorchaeleanor.blogspot.co.uk

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  23. I pretty much agree with everything you just wrote. Except the being famous part - I think I'd die if someone recognised me in 'real life'! :)

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    1. It happened to me once (someone I know from blogging- not a random stranger!) when I was on the train home from work. Exhausted, no make up, looking like a complete mess. So embarrassing haha!

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  24. I totally agree with what you're saying! I swear you just say the stuff that everyone is thinking but no one wants to actually say haha. Everyone has a different reason for blogging, more followers, page views, money etc. which is cool because there's more than enough room for everyone to do that. xx

    Everything But The Kitchen Sink

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  25. This is such a brilliantly refreshing post, Becky! I completely understand blogging for the love and joy of writing and for the passion you have in your chosen topic and for a hobby. But sometimes I feel as though the reasons you've mentioned are the reasons everyone is a little too afraid to admit to! As you said, our blogs would not be public and we wouldn't promote them as we do if we didn't do it for some, if not all, of these reasons!

    www.katybelle.co.uk

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  26. This post pretty much sums it up! I couldn't agree more Becky. I don't think anybody has the right to tell others why they should blog or why they shouldn't blog. This is one of my favourite posts I've read this week!

    Lust For Beauty

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  27. this post really put me into perspective. i really used to think that people got into blogging just for the reasons you listed, and i used to think they were the wrong reasons. i've recently had a good string of luck blogging, and i feel extremely lucky, but i am very glad you wrote this post, because it made me sit down and think: "holy shit brooke, you were wrong about that", and that's something i don't like to admit i do, but i do do it. obviously, we all want to gain something from blogging, but that varies from person to person. this was such a great post, and thank you for making me tell myself i was wrong, because i needed that.

    brooke | brooke elise

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  28. I love this post. It's true! Everyone has become a Blogger Police, and it isn't their place, or your place, or my place to judge intentions! All we can do is choose to follow certain bloggers or not.

    I agree about the reading, commenting, and following thing. It IS flattering! My mom was teasing me that I get so excited about every comment on my blog. But those are some things I live for!

    www.rebekahkoontzsite.com // US Lifestyle Blog

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  29. WELL SAID! It's refreshing for people to finally admit that any reason you want to blog is good enough. I'm never going to be the next Zoella but if brands want to work with me, that gives me a real sense of pride that they regard my ''work'' (albeit a hobby!) as something that would showcase their brand in a good light. Honestly, this post is REAL as they come, it's about time people just put their hands up and said ''I blog for me because....''
    Bee xxx
    QueenBeady.com

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  30. Yesssss! There is such a double standard in blogging. Say you want to be a full time blogger and you'll be showered in praise and encouragement. Say you want to make money for your blog and people are firebombing your home. You can't win. I started blogging because I wanted to excuse me 3 mascaras a week habit, and as it went on I found out I enjoyed writing and making people laugh. I don't think I'll be famous any time soon (in Japan or in the Yorkshire countryside) but I've met a lot of great people in my 4 years.

    Dannie x
    www.famousinjapan.co.uk

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  31. Wow, preach!!! I started blogging as an assignment for my language class, but I keep blogging even after 6 years later. Why? Honestly, because I want to be known. Not popular or famous, but just known (though I will not say 'no' to fame. Haha!). I want to have more friends from other parts of the world. Sometimes I feel like my reason is wrong, because all the other blogs I read look like they have specific purposes and contents (fashion, book reviews, etc.) but it seems like I blog really random things. But I won't stop blogging just because of that. I love blogging and I think that's enough reason to keep doing it :)

    Dara | Hola Darla | @DarlaOct

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  32. Yes, I love this. Sometimes it seems so taboo and awful if you admit to wanting followers or money etc but alot of bloggers do. Of course they do! They work hard to build it and want people to read it and to be rewarded for it. It's refreshing to see a bit of honesty!

    sheepishlyshameful.blogspot.co.uk

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  33. Everyone thinks I take my blog way too seriously what with all my planning notebooks and schedules, but to me it's more than just a hobby, it's my business. I would love to blog full-time but I know this takes years to gather a large following and build your skills and connections. There always seems to be a bad vibe during Twitter chats when the topic of pageviews, monetising your blog and reaching out to brands is discussed, which has always confused me! I'm constantly checking my stats and looking at ways to promote my blog, and I don't see whats wrong with that. I've worked really hard on my blog and I don't see what's wrong with being ambitions and making money, that doesn't mean I'm any less passionate that anyone else. In fact, making money has actually made me more passionate and excited about what's yet to come!

    Roxie ♥
    thebeautifulbluebird.blogspot.co.uk

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  34. I started my blog 2 and a half years ago because I was a bit fed up of writing academically about ghosts and wanted to write about lipstick and pretty nail varnish instead. Now? Yes I would love if my blog could help support me as I work freelance and also because I love doing it. However I am realistic as I don't have that many followers and I'm not growing particularly fast, so I'll know I'll probably never get to that point or if I do it will be an awful long time down the line x

    Becky @ The Little Blog of Beauty

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  35. Nobody should be made to feel bad because of their reasoning for writing a blog. I have my blogs because I like to keep a record of nice little events I've been to, so I can look back in a few years at the things I loved when I was 21 or what I wore and because, basically, it's good craic. I enjoy it.

    Also, I clicked the link! :)

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  36. so true! people say those reasons are superficial and you should blog for passion. but the more people see your passion, the more excited you are to share it. and if you manage to truly inspire people and why not, get paid for it, then you have found a career!
    nobody should expect people to just do things for free - there's food & bills to pay, like everybody is trying to!

    www.saccharine-soul.com

    www.saccharine-soul.com

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  37. Okay so this has to be one of the best blog posts I have ever read, honestly.

    Halestones // Starlight

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  38. Haha. Amazing! Love this honest and funny post. There's this very similar idea in poetry that you should just "share your work for the love of it". Errr... Shakespeare didn't. I'm all for doing unpaid work at the start of your creative career, but there should come a point where you get so good you get paid, and there's no shame in admitting that's what you want when you start out. Great post!

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