A question posed to me by a kid in the family, who’s studying and looking for a way to earn part time income in her spare time. She doesn’t know much about blogging or search engine optimization, but she is intrigued by the big talk and hyperbole associated with making money via blogging, and how easy it appears to be…
But she is confused, because she is not that internet savvy and all that hoopla about blogging sounds a little “too good to be true” for her, so she asked me if she should be trying her luck with blogging, or go for a more practical job like babysitting, mainly because I have been around the block and knows the nitty-gritty of making money online, and my verdict was, the potential of making money via blogging is actually a little exaggerated.
But does that mean I am directing her to go and babysit? That’s not the case, it’s entirely on her or any other kid to decide, what I can do is to paint a more realistic picture of the scope of earning in blogging, so that they can make a well informed decision.
Blogging is not THAT easy:
Yes, you can learn how to use WordPress, and you can write reasonable posts given that English is your native language, and you can place those ads without having a lot of technical know-how, but all of this learning, reading, writing, proofreading, and maintenance is going to take quite some time, and because we are talking from the perspective of teenagers looking for part time job, you will find it hard to manage the stress, especially in the starting phase of your blogging career.
No matter how good a writer you are, a reasonably long, grammatically correct, and contextually valuable post will take at least 1-2 hours for researching, writing, proofreading, and posting (even more if you have to search for an image to go with the post), and writing is not the only thing you need to carry out. Other part time jobs like babysitting, working at a store, childcare, or working as a waiter might not sound as hip as blogging, but then the level of stress in blogging makes it a less feasible option.
Write it, Post it, and Cash it? Wait a minute?
People who are advocating blogging as the best available option to earn part time income often make it sound as easy as ABC, all you need is to a) write a post b) publish it on your blog c) sit back and see the dollars pouring in as people visit your blog and click on the ads or affiliate links.
But while these three steps are fairly simple, what they don’t tell you is that making someone visit your blog is far from being a walk in the part, and you will need lots and lots of unique visitors to earn significant amount. Nothing hurts more than having a blog full of unique content that you have been writing for months and having little or no activity on your blog, while another run-of-the-mill type blogger manages to get hundreds of visitors, well that’s because that blogger is good at SEO, and mastering the art of SEO can take months, if not years.
On the other hand, if one goes for a babysitting job, there are not many if’s and but’s involved, you can simply get registered at a website like sittercity or care.com and get signed up as a babysitter. You don’t need to spend hours on Internet trying to learn the basics of SEO or you don’t have to wait for months to make your first dollar.
So you should forget about blogging?
You must be thinking that if blogging or making money online is really that difficult, exactly why am I wasting my time doing that? To practice what I am preaching, I should better be a babysitter and not a blogger or online entrepreneur? The answer is, blogging might be a bit more stressful, and taxing, especially in the start, but there’s one thing that makes blogging triumph over babysitting or other part time jobs, and that is, the passive income.
If you can manage to establish a blog, and slowly but gradually build its readership and traffic, the established blog will continue to yield good income for years to come (unless of course it gets stunned by some Panda or Alligator update in future). Second advantage is the flexibility part, you can blog without having to travel to your workplace or another home for babysitting, or to work as a waiter at some restaurants, you can blog at any time you want right from the comfort of your home. What other job allows you to change your work timings on daily basis?
As you can see blogging has its disadvantages and a fair share of advantages, and when you are trying to decide between blogging and babysitting (or any other job for that matter), you should decide while keeping in mind your own long term goals and objectives.
So, what do you guys think? Was I right or wrong? What would have been your answer if some teenager comes to you and ask; I need some extra income, should I blog or babysit?
Image courtesy of Flickr user: inferis