Thank you to my husband for providing his thoughts in this guest post about his experience at BlogHer17 in Orlando.
Last week I attended the #BlogHer17 conference in Orlando thanks to some of the companies that my wife works with on her blog. We learned a lot, met some great people, and we came away with some exciting ideas. Sessions were packed with people standing and sitting on floors, looking to learn how to up their blogging game. Companies were trying to get the blogger’s attention and the keynote speakers got people fired up for so many reasons. And of course, there were a lot of bloggers.
But, something struck me strange. There were a number of women who were surprised that I support my wife’s career choice. I asked my wife about it and she told me she has blogging friends whose husbands or families tell them they need to get a “real job”. I see how hard my wife works and I see what we get out of it. More importantly, I’ve seen what it can become and what is coming. My wife is currently a full-time blogger. She is constantly working, and there is a lot that goes into it. Writing articles, reviewing products, traveling for business, filling out non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements, taking pictures, editing pictures, learning code, etc. There are social aspects to it as well, sometimes there are people you end up working with that you don’t want to. Sometimes you meet someone who gives you a great business deal. I’ve met people who blog that make 6 figure incomes. Does that not sound like a real job?
My wife started her own business that has been somewhat successful. I’ve seen a lot of people who start businesses that never make a dime or struggle to stay in business. Do I wish her business paid better? Sure and we’re working on that. Would you like to make more at your day to day job? Most people do. In the meantime, there have been some great perks. We’ve taken family vacations that were completely paid for, received new products to try out, and have had amazing experiences that we would have never been able to do on our own. Seriously, wouldn’t you love to get paid to take your kids to the zoo or a weekend at a theme park? I have. But it is tough to find your niche, your voice, and your audience. It’s tough and takes time and a lot of work, just like any business.
Blogging is a business – and business is booming. It’s growing and evolving every day. Don’t you want to be part of a business sector that’s growing and not dying? People sometimes ask me when my wife is going to go back to work… um, she does work. No, I mean a real job… it IS a real job. Is it? Oh, you mean work for someone else? You mean work to make someone else rich? That’s what you mean? I hope she never has too! I hope we can build this thing so big that I am forced to quit my job to help. I work a day job where I get up and do the same thing every day. That scares me, and it should scare you as well. If you do the same thing every day you’re not growing and you are in danger of your job being automated. There are several empty offices where I work that are now storage, and those jobs are NOT coming back. Working for a big corporation used to mean steady employment and security but that’s not the case anymore and no politician is going to stop it. Anything that can be automated will be at some point. And having a creative and personal product (your voice, talent, and reach) is something that computers can’t do.
A lot of new bloggers at BlogHer17 asked us the same questions. As I see it, here is the best advice I can give you.
- Write. Write all the time and be consistent. This helps develop your voice and your writing skills. Write about things you think can help people and you will see what people respond to.
- Learn. Learn and keep learning because what works today may not work a few months from now.
- Decide. Decide if you want this to be a hobby or a business. If you want it to be a business, work at it until it is. Business is a mindset not a set of tasks. You should read and study about how businesses are built. Study success stories of people who are doing what you want to do and figure out how to make it work for you.
- Know. Know before going in that you will get tired and frustrated. We get tired and frustrated. We struggle and we disagree on how to handle things sometimes, then we refocus and we work.
You are the product, your ideas are your currency, and you can build a business and make a living at it. It just takes work.
Shane is a guitarist who works full time, hangs out with his kids, loves his family, and plays guitar when the mood strikes. He’s usually posting guitars and music on Instagram and Twitter. You can also find him sharing his thoughts on his blog, ADHD Guitarist.