I passed my first-year milestone on March 1st. This has been such an adventure. Not just writing about subjects I truly enjoy, but also from reading your blogs. I try to read at least ten a day and I must say I am really impressed by so many of them. The photography, the excellence of writing and the overall quality of your blogs are very professional. Which leads me to my question:
Have any of you ever thought of ‘turning pro’? By that I mean have you thought of monetizing your blog. If you haven’t, why not? What criteria or threshold would you need to consider it? What are your thoughts overall about people who do? I’ll put my answer in the next paragraph.
The short answer for me is no. At least for the long foreseeable future. I’ve been at this just a year. I am barely an embryo. Right now my only focus is coming up with posts people enjoy, trying to find “my voice” and building a community. Would it be nice? Sure, possibly. Maybe if I made enough to fund my annual vacations that would be great. But I am almost scared to do more than that because sometimes it’s best not to turn something you love into a business. I’m a bit conflicted, but like I said I’m an embryo, not even a full-fledged baby. So it isn’t anything I have to decide on anytime in the near or relatively distant future anyway.
I’d love to take on the role as a mentor, or trusted friend and maybe even dare-I-say-it “grandfatherly” type. Perhaps recommending locations, products or services if I actually liked them to those who follow the blog. I can’t ever see myself “influencing” anyone. Besides, what happens if I get some hotel in I don’t know, let’s say Costa Rica to fly me down and stay for free in their hotel to write a review. I get there, and the place is an absolute dump. But I’m kind of beholden to them because they comped me so much. I can’t lie to the readers, but if I speak honestly about the poor conditions, I may not get any other offers. Nor would I want to recommend a product, service or location that is out of the price range of the average reader. I’m not here for my ego (too much) and definitely loathe “showing off.” I want to inspire people not fester envy. (there’s too much of that already.)
What would truly determine if I ever “go pro” is you. Because ultimately “You don’t monetize blogs, you monetize an audience.” I need to believe that I have built up enough trust in my audience, that they would want to hear what I have to say or offer. I want to have fun, and I want the reader to have fun. If one of us isn’t enjoying the process, why bother. I’d love to make enough to make improvements on the blog. (Better table of contents, accessibility, more user-friendly, better layout, etc.) and a better income could mean more time to travel which means more blog posts. I guess we all want that. But for now, I see Pro-blogging as some nebulous potentially attainable goal for somewhere in the future…..Maybe.
Would really love to hear your thoughts And again, I must say I don’t know any of you personally, but definitely, feel a kinship through your fabulous blogs. Keep inspiring me, and I’ll try to do the same.