Because Blogging Sucks for Making Money, Most Bloggers Quit

Blogging is Not a Good Choice for Making Money

If you are considering blogging to make money, just STOP.

No really, stop.

Because blogging sucks as a strategy for making money and I can tell you why.

5 Reasons Why Blogging Sucks

1. Blogging isn’t easy

Posting random thoughts on the internet is easy. Successful blogging is incredibly hard. If you want to compete with the best blogs, you have to put in a massive amount of work. Just to get started, you must design an engaging website, draft compelling content, implement search engine optimization (SEO), and create marketing strategies for various of social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) to promote your site.

Many bloggers spend weeks, if not months, laying the groundwork for their website and social media platforms before ever publishing their first word.

2. Blogging is expensive

Start-up costs may seem minimal, but they quickly add up. Just to get your new blog, up and running you must pay to register your domain, purchase a blog publishing platform, buy and install various widgets and plug-ins, and purchase additional upgrades to enhance site functionality and security.

While blogging services lure you in with promises of low rates, you will likely pay hundreds to thousands of dollars more to structure your website with the capabilities you need.

3. Blogging is time-consuming

Beginning bloggers quickly realize they must either pay for advertising or spend hours daily promoting their blog on various social media outlets. Bloggers need to be active on at least two social networks, spending time connecting with other bloggers, commenting on their posts, liking, re-posting, re-pining, re-tweeting, and on, and on, and on. The practice of supporting your fellow bloggers on social media is commonly called “sharing the love.” It’s simply this:

You promote me, I promote you back.

This blogospheric group hug mirrors a multi-level marketing scheme. How? Most experienced bloggers make money by convincing new-blogger-wannabes to start, you guessed it….a blog! Experienced bloggers get paid when newbies click on the links or ads embedded in their blog pages which link to companies that provide blogging services. These service companies have agreed to compensate the experienced bloggers through affiliate marketing or paid advertising agreements.

In fact, the main way bloggers make money is by posting corporate sponsored content on their site. When posting sponsored content, the blogger gets paid to push a product and couch it in the form of a practical blog post. Blog posts with titles like “10 Best Ways to Make Money While Shopping” or “13 Reasons I Cut the Cord from Cable” sound like helpful advice, but, in fact, they are paid advertising.

The Effect of Blog Monetization

When bloggers decide to “monetize” their sites, integrating corporate advertising into content, they run the risk of alienating readers and losing page views. Readers can often see through the sponsorship subterfuge: where once they found trustworthy opinions and advice, they now find corporate links, ad banners and pop-ups. Readers, turned-off by advertising-heavy content, will cease returning.

This is one of the ironies of blogging. Just as fledgling bloggers start to build a readership from all their hard work, they think, “I should be entitled to make some money for this; at least to cover my costs.” Advertising seems the obvious next step. But, as they begin to advertise, their readership often drops and they earn next to nothing on the pay-per-click ads. These bloggers eventually become disillusioned with blogging as a viable way to make money.

4. Blogging is crowded

According to Forbes:

Nearly 1000 websites are created every single minute of every single day

Wait, did you say EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF EVERY SINGLE DAY? Yes, I did.

With over a billion websites in operation, the amount of content in the blogosphere is staggering, and very little of it gets any notice whatsoever. Even if you have mind-blowing insights or fresh perspectives to share, you are unlikely to find an audience. In fact, the odds are so heavily stacked against new bloggers finding the slightest success that 90% of bloggers quit within the first 6 months.

Blogger Burnout

Blogger “burnout” is so common that it’s actually one of the most frequently blogged about topics in the blogosphere. In fact, griping about burnout often generates more site traffic than many other posts on bloggers’ websites. Why? Because I feel your pain, man. Bloggers open up and share their feelings about how hard blogging has been on their life, sucking time away from family and friends. But then, these burnout blog posts will take a positive turn and conclude on a high note, with the authors simply realizing that they need to tweak their blogging habits (such as putting time limits on their blog-related activities, or stepping away from these activities for a weekend or two). It’s all good! Except, that in reality, it’s not; and most of these bloggers end up folding-up shop and moving on.

The New York Times explored blogger burnout in a piece titled, “When Blogging Becomes A Slog.” The bloggers featured decided to step back from blogging due to escalating stress from overwhelming blog-related demands. Often, these demands consist of self-imposed blog posting schedules, doggedly enforced out of the fear that if the blog failed to continuously produce new content, readers would look elsewhere. This grueling schedule, noted one blogger, takes its toll and “in some predictable period of time, it consumes your life and sucks the joy out of it.”

Blogging Addiction

In his take, “Blogging’s not a job – it’s an expensive addiction,” James Delingpole of The American Spectator summed up the effects of blogging in equally bleak terms:

When I looked back at the last 18 months and wondered why I’d got so ill, the answer became pretty self-evident: it’s because every spare scrap of time that had hitherto gone on stuff like pottering the garden, having the odd game of tennis, taking the kids to school, listening to music, reading, walking and relaxing, had been almost entirely swallowed up by blogging.

In fact, he decided to quit blogging cold turkey to avoid driving himself to an “early grave.” Whoa. But he’s right.

5. Blogging is not a way to make money

If blogging’s a slog and the failure rate is sky-high, why do so many people pursue blogging as a way to make money?

Because of stories like these:

“This 28-year-old earns over $100,000 a month blogging and traveling full-time.” CNBC reports on Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, and her husband Wes, who quit their day jobs in 2013 to blog and travel full-time.  And yes, it’s true, the couple’s blog now regularly earns them over $100,000 a month.

How motivational, right? Wrong. Do not use exceptional tales like this as motivation to start blogging for money.

Ms. Schroeder-Gardner is the exception, not the rule. While she clearly worked hard to be in the position she’s in today, her blogging story is not a blueprint. The likelihood that you can follow in her footsteps and achieve the same results is infinitesimal. Ms. Schroeder-Gardner’s success is due to a unique blend of her hard work, timing, insight, talent and luck. Her story is true. It happened. But can it be duplicated? Unlikely.

If you are looking for a reliable way to make money, cross blogging off your list. It is a red herring.

If Blogging Sucks, What the Heck is This?

I’m trying to approach blogging as a creative hobby. If I can maintain that perspective, I plan to keep it up. If not…well, I’m not interested in an early grave either.

Fortunately, I’m not counting on blogging to put food on the table or fund my retirement. Instead, I’m comfortably earning passive income through my side hustle of real estate investing. Of course, you might think real estate investing, like blogging, is some kind of scam – especially if you’ve been hounded to enroll in expensive seminars, or pay for investing “mentors” or “coaches.”

But here I am, blogging, to convince you otherwise.

Hello? Is there anybody listening?

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23 thoughts on “Because Blogging Sucks for Making Money, Most Bloggers Quit

  1. Sorry to those who previously read this post and commented on it. In an effort to move this information on my site (converting it from a page to a post) it was republished and I lost the wonderful comments! My apologies.

    1. Oh boo! That totally sucks. I’m sorry about that. But again – sooo glad I haven’t been concerned about making money with my blog (not looking to step away from my career and replace it with something else). It helps keep things in perspective that I don’t *have* to post a specific schedule or write THAT post. If I don’t want to do it, I won’t. And for that reason, blogging has been about 90% awesome for me so far (and has actually saved me a ton of money, even if it hasn’t earned me any).

      1. I’m so glad and you clearly have a knack for it! You are building a cool community and I hope you keep enjoying it. Certainly, the best part for me also has been making friends across the spectrum – ages, locations, passions, political beliefs. I like to shock people now from quoting ideas from bloggers like @bitchesgetriches and just generally enjoying the camaraderie. 🙂

  2. Lol, of course everybody is listening! well I am anyway.
    I have come to the same conclusion. First I only comment and share post I care about, whether it increases my pageviews or not.
    I will probably never make money at it! And if I do it would be after months or years of consistent “slave blogging”! That’s the part I wish established bloggers would become more transparent about. But they are probably too focused on the potential affiliate income.
    I say “blog as long as you are having fun and enjoy the experience (I learn a lot about stuff I didn’t know anything about so that’s cool) but don’t do it for the money or assuming you will get thousands or viewers within the first few months.

    1. When I try to explain to others why I’m blogging I often come back to a feeling of having pen-pals. I smile and say I made this one friend, in Canada, who has rental properties and teenagers, and, oh my gosh, I totally relate! 🙂

  3. I’m reading! So true about the MLM!

    I was waiting for the end of your post to say “sign up for blue host now it only takes 10 minutes!” Lol!!

    Yes it’s a slog. A true slog. But it’s fun to connect and read. It is very addictive though.

    Michelle Schroeder Gardner is definitely the exception. $1.5 million in one year is not normal haha!

    I’m going to share this now 😉

    1. Thanks GYM, this means a lot to me coming from someone who’s been in the game (in and out) for years! And I was dying when I read the part about “sign up for blue host now,” bahahaha!

  4. Way to crush all my dreams! No, not really. I had already gathered as much from other bloggers before I decided to join the crowd earlier this month. But my devious plan is to not monitize at all, no adds, no SEO, no elegant website and maybe even no readers! I mean if everyone else is zigging I’m going to zag because that is what Warren Buffett would do. I’m not sure how that will earn me millions but I know it will. That’s the great part of being FI and slightly early retired, I can pursue pure lunacy and not suffer any financial harm.

    1. Your comment is so funny, but also really goes to the heart of the matter. Being FI gives you the freedom to blog (or not blog) however you see fit (zigging and zagging all over the place!). I do actually worry more for those who are striving to earn money as a side hustle or home-based business (just look some of the pins on Pinterest and you’ll see a lot of stay at home moms are targeted). I realized that there was very little information or content published about whether it’s a viable money-making venture for most; and then of course felt the need to rain on everyone’s parade! Thanks CashflowKat ._.

  5. Although going into blogging to make money FROM the blog is often a mistake, you can use the skills from blogging to do so. I used to work as a 401(k) consultant and wanted a career change. I used my first blog to play around learning basic web design skills, digital marketing, etc. I took a leap of faith applying to a job as a digital implementation manager. I got it and it led to a 25% increase in salary! In fact, during the interviews they practically only asked about the blog. Not only does it show the other skills you have, but the employer was impressed I took the initiative to learn marketable skills through a hobby.

    Just a tip on how people can use blogging to indirectly affect your career 🙂 Blogging skills can absolutely lead to a career other than just money off your actual blog.

  6. I agree, don’t get into blogging to make money because it is probably not going to happen. I got into it because I like the thought of sharing my journey with others and learning a little bit about theirs! Great post as always, I especially like the “this is the exception not the rule” part you talked about. All too true.

  7. Any income I get from my blog is sort of a bonus to me. I don’t count on it and am always a little surprised that someone would want to use my blog to get the word out on their product.

    I think so long as you don’t look at ‘making money’ as the primary reason to blog, you can achieve a good mix.

    1. I actually agree with you. I only wish to counteract the heavy-handed marketing out there that blogging is a great way to earn thousands from the comfort of your home. I worry that people begin blogging thinking it’s a surefire side hustle or money maker, when it usually isn’t. I have no problem at all with bloggers trying to earn some extra cash with their blog (or even the ones who make it big). Just trying to present a reality check for would-be-bloggers 🙂

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