It’s November! This means that I post every day for the month.
This month, I took down ads and blogging old school. You might get an essay, a bad poem, a drawing, a photo or a recipe, I’m going with my belly this time.
I spent last weekend in gorgeous Ashland, Oregon both courtesy of Harry and David and thanks to Sandy from The Reluctant Entertainer. The trip was a huge treat, a marketing tactic that more companies are trying. Essentially a company pays to take a small group of publishers to a location, and treats them. Giving the writers time and space to network, sharing information about their company and sending them home, they hope for a post, some shares and maybe and ongoing ambassador relationship.
I have both hosted this kind of event and now attended this kind of event. And although the meals were gorgeous, the orchards were spectacular and the factory tour was impressive, what struck me the most was the cheerfulness of the bloggers on the trip.
For the past few years, I’ve attended loads of blogger events. And at every one, for real, many someones take me aside to complain about how they’re not making enough money and how no one understands how important they are. I don’t say much about it publicly, because it’s just part of the job, but it has happened enough that I just expect it at every event.
And although I’m sure you’re not a blogger who would ever do this, when your money goes down and you’ve taken a risk for your business, you would totally do this.
Anyway, what I loved about this trip, besides the trip to my favorite cheese makers Rogue Creamery, (they make my favorite Rogue River Blue) and an inspirational trip to Penny & Lulu, was that no one grabbed my elbow to ask in a quiet voice, “What can I do to make more money? You know I just bought a house/hired a full-time person/quit my job.”
When I thought through why, I realized that this group of folks nearly all either had day jobs or had partners who could support their blog. This particular group of happy bloggers hadn’t risked it all on a risky, competitive and rapidly changing media business.
Trips and sponsored posts were a sweet side effect of them following a passion, and they all loved their sites. These weren’t newbies either, these were long-term online writers who relished the community and the skills they mastered along the way.
So in answer to the question, “Should I quit my job and spend it on my blog all day?” I would ask myself the following questions:
- Do I love the risk of betting it all in a competitive environment?
- Do I want to be a full-time product endorser?
- Am I prepared to separate my ego from my blog?
If you can’t answer yes to all three, I would recommend you enjoy your blog because it’s an awesome diversion, skill-builder and community-maker.
Huge thanks to Harry and David for letting me be a part of a weekend with publishers much more talented and successful than me.