I know what you’re thinking. Mad, wouldn’t I want my hobby as a job, isn’t that the dream? But I’ve been asked a handful of times whether I’d make book blogging my full time job and, even if we lived in some Fantasy realm where book blogging makes millions and my blog’s grown to the point of being able to make money, I still think I’d keep it as a hobby.
I’m going to caveat all this with if you’ve made blogging your full time job then that’s amazing. I admire your bravery in taking that step and, as a computer scientist, think it’s great that technology has allowed people to have so much freedom in their career. But, personally, I’m not dreaming of becoming a rich and famous book blogger, earning my millions in some mysterious way benign to most bloggers. Blogging isn’t bitcoin and I don’t think I could make enough money out of it, but I also know I don’t want to make it my career.
My first thought would be my job. I’m in the incredibly lucky position that I really like what I do. Its not perfect all the time, there are obviously bumps and I definitely miss the days where I didn’t have to see the 6am/7am hour, that would surely happen if I was completely in control of my own time. But, on the whole I’m good at computer science, love it and am really hoping to make a difference in the field.
The second big factor is that I don’t want to treat my blog differently. I don’t want to see each follower as number rather than a friend and watch my stats meticulously to find which content is engaging and which isn’t. One genuine comment is worth more to me than a 100 views. Blogging is my space to relax, chat about books, get recommendations and just chill. It’s not my office. I love my blog, but even doing the most fun jobs, like blogging all day, there will be some moments when you want to do something else. I like having the freedom to write posts, chat about whatever, post on social media when I fancy talking to the world, and then switch off my phone if I feel. I always reserve Sundays as a blogging break and try to not be too hard on myself about when I read and when I forget to post. If it’s not fun I just won’t do it.
The final reason I wouldn’t blog as a career is the work. Blogging, and just freelancing in general, looks hard. Planning your own hours has lots of downsides: working late in the evening, working weekends, never knowing when to switch off. Or, at least, that’s what it was like for me at university. I found that stressful and know I wasn’t very good at it.
Then there’s the hours I’d have to put in to be good. I’m a computer scientist, I understand SEO, can write code and know how to write a good website. But social media, marketing and graphic design? Yeah not so much. It takes a lot of skills to run a successful blog and I like wouldn’t want the pressure, I enjoy exploring and learning those skills in my own time, trying out things and not being too worried if they don’t work.
There would be more obligations to be a better blogger if it was my career and I don’t want that. I’m not saying I don’t want to be good at book blogging- I do. I want my writing, confidence and online marketing skills to improve. I enjoy learning these skills knowing they’re just for me, not to wack on an impressive CV or produce a steady income to pay rent and buy food.
What about you? How long have you been blogging? Would you want a hobby as your career? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.