One of the biggest arguments that professional bloggers (bloggers that blog for money) churn out in defense of what they do is that for the most part, they have financial freedom because they aren’t tied down to a common 9-5 job. I’ve always disagreed with that statement because it isn’t necessarily true. Tyme White wrote an interesting article on how professional blogging doesn’t really constitute to self employment. In her words:
When is a blogger self-employed? When someone isn’t dictating what the blogger does and how the blogger does it.
She goes on to explain bloggers that are paid to blog for other people (like how Pay Per Post comes to mind) aren’t truly in complete control of their blogging. People are telling you what to blog about and you’re getting paid for it. Sure you’re not working a 9-5 job but how is it any different from when your boss tells you what to do so that you can get paid at the end of the day? More often than not, you need to spend more time trying to market your blog to actually make the blogging worth it, at times like that, a 9-5 day job might seem like a short time indeed.
So really, self-employed bloggers would be people who have complete control over what they do to earn money. Tyme reckons that people who put their own ads on their blogs or people who go through a third party to handle their revenue needs. I do get the idea of people willingly negotiating what advertising content goes onto their blog. I feel that to reach that point, it would be the pinnacle of having quality content and a good reputation with the community, not just a mindless battle for search engine rankings.
What I don’t understand is what a third party really is in this case. Text Link Ads make sense because you can make a deal with who uses your site for their ads. Google Adsense has less control and it’s not really obvious to all but people that are serious about controlling ads on their blog. So where is the fine line between control and being at the mercy of an advertising company? I think that’s a good question.
All in all, most people aspiring to be professional bloggers are taking things like this the wrong way. Yes, you can earn money from blogging, but there is still the future to think about. There are the people are the forefront of the game, and there is the rest of the problogger bunch. When you think about it, you don’t have all the perks working for others can give you. In retrospect, the Las Vegas sex industry has a better health plan for their employees than a lot of companies let alone professional bloggers that have nothing to fall back on.
Sure, a lot of probloggers don’t really pay tax. Then again, you don’t have a pension, you don’t have health coverage and more often than not, given all that you have earned and all that you will pay (bills, food, rent and other living expenses), are you so sure you have enough to see you through your older years? How secure are you there? Have you really thought about it that far off?
Now I’m not saying that blogging for money is evil. No. Far from it. I just want to maintain the quality of the posts I’m reading. If you’re getting paid to blog, you might as well make your money’s worth by earning what you were paid for. What I can’t stand is people who do it for the sake of everyone else doing the same thing. The eventuality of that would be the degradation of posts worth reading and that is a hypocrisy I cannot stand.
I have proven that you don’t need to have ads to earn the web hosts and domain you blog on. I am proof that you don’t need aggressive marketing of your blog to earn a couple of bucks on the sidelines. All you need the passion to blog for something you believe in and work hard to maintain the quality of your writing for yourself and the people who trust you enough to come back and read what you have written.
Professional blogging for what it’s worth, is overrated and blown completely out of proportion. Don’t kid yourself into believing that you are free of the things that normal people are bound to, because you’re not. When you’re old enough to retire and savour the money after everything that you’ve put yourself through, maybe then it makes sense. Until then, it’s always best to think 5 steps ahead in your future.
Nothing is always as easy as it seems.