Another week, another person taking issue with bloggers making a business out of doing what they love. This time, the offensive comment was directed at Holly Becker of Decor8, someone whose blog, and business sense, I admire. Reading Holly’s post really got my back up and made me feel for her. I would encourage you to read it. I say that because sadly, this attitude is one bloggers come across a lot and this gives a very good insight into how it can make them feel. I’m fortunate not to get this directed at me often but sometimes I get hints of it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if people are thinking or saying it behind my back. But I live in hope that they’re not! I digress…
Here is the comment Holly received on her blog:
(Excuse me while I bite my tongue!)
As Holly rightly questions in her post today, is it really so bad for someone to make a commercial success of what they do? For them to do what they love? Are they expected to do so for free because the job is enjoyable and they get to be their own boss? Or to work another job and spend all their free time blogging as a public service? Creating a blog that makes enough money for it to be your job is hard work. It is great and so rewarding but it is hard. Even if it wasn’t hard, so what?! I actually hate that every time someone slags off bloggers we feel we have to justify how hard are jobs are. That may well be the case, but we shouldn’t have to justify ourselves to anyone. Other professions don’t.
Sadly, I read people on blogging forums all the time suggesting that accepting advertising is selling out and that it is a given that content will become all salesy and treat readers as if they are idiots. It simply isn’t true. Not all bloggers get it right. I hate it as much as the next person when bloggers write about things they’re paid to and they hide the fact a post is sponsored (maybe putting it at the end, after you’ve read a post and not had the opportunity to choose not to read what is effectively advertorial), but bloggers like Holly and I are transparent. You can’t tar everyone with the same brush. Other bloggers don’t make any money and their content is rubbish. So what? Don’t read it and leave them to it!
The best part of Holly’s post is the eloquent reply her husband wrote to this comment. Thorsten is a journalist, as I have always been, and rightly points out that if journalists were asked to work for free (sadly, they often are!) there would be (is) outrage. So, what’s the difference? He also makes a good point, which I hadn’t really considered, that male full-time bloggers don’t seem to get the same amount of stick.
I know for sure that my blog has only got better since I’ve concentrated on it full-time. It gets more of my time and energy, I treat it as a business with high standards, my readers get more and better content. I don’t ask them to pay to read it. The same can be said for many other blogs. I just wish people would stop being so damn bitter about bloggers making money. I feel a lot of it stems from envy and that makes me sad. What happened to women supporting women?
I know all too well how much an anonymous online comment can hurt your feelings, even though you know it shouldn’t, so I wanted to have my say and add my support to Holly.