For the past month I’ve been driving for Uber anywhere between 5 – 15 hours a week. It’s been a very insightful experience, learning about the different types of passengers, as well as the reaction I get when I tell them I’m a blogger. I encourage everybody, rich or poor, to work a minimum wage service job if they ever want to regain some appreciation for what they have!
Most people react with indifference when I tell them I’m a blogger, with nary a follow up question asking what I write about. For those who do ask, I tell them I write about everything personal finance related. Some find it interesting, while most kinda let out a gruff of acknowledgement before looking back down on their iPhones.
The most common question I get is, “Can you actually make money blogging?”
I always respond with something like, “Yeah, a little bit here and there. It’s not easy because you’ve got to build up a lot of traffic, and that takes many years.”
The conversation rarely continues on the topic of blogging after I tell them it’s hard. I can hear them internally thinking, “Oh, this poor Uber driver who’s trying to make a living as a writer. Sucks to be him!“
WHY BLOGGERS DON’T GET MUCH RESPECT
The #1 reason why I don’t think bloggers get much respect is that most pro bloggers demonstrate a tremendous amount of Stealth Wealth. The vast majority of bloggers keep their online income quiet. Can you imagine if a frugal blogger who tells people his family lives off less than $35,000 a year, actually makes over $50,000 a month and tells that to his community? He’d lose a lot of credibility because a lot of people will stop believing what he preaches.
I spoke to one such blogger and he admitted that he spends way more than he tells his community, but can’t admit it because he’s too afraid of the backlash. He’s created a cult, and he can’t resist the temptation of spending more freely with so much money coming in.
“The best way to make a lot of money online is to write stuff even the dumbest, most impressionable person can understand!” he told me. “If there comes a time when I start feeling a little too guilty about saying one thing to my community, but doing another, I’m just going to sell my site for millions like my peers before me.”
The only bloggers who do share their online income on a regular basis use their posts as a way to make more money online. It’s a very smart formula that sells the dream of blogging riches while also helping with those who suffer from financial insecurity feel better about themselves.
Given most people have no idea what professional bloggers make, the second reason why bloggers don’t get respect is because people automatically confuse pro bloggers with being the classic starving writer. We all know that writing is one of the worst paying professions in the world. Check out the fun hashtag trending called #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter for more.
From author Heather MacLean,
“Every year, around 500,000 new books are released: half from publishers, and half self-published. Of those, only 10 percent will ever sell more than 500 copies! Insane, right? In 2008, only 9 new books sold more than a million copies. Only 9. And only 41 sold more than 100,000 copies.
Books are generally called a “success” if they sell at least 7,500 copies. And even the Big Six publishers usually only make a profit on every 1 in 7 books!”
In other words, most non-celebrity authors make anywhere from $10,000 – $50,000 a year. With $12,000 a year being the poverty threshold for a single individual, it’s not that far-fetched to assume some authors are literally starving!
As a pro blogger, you know that although you may not have the same writing skills of a classically trained writer, you’ve got the great combination of writing skills plus business savviness to make a lot more money because you control your own vertical.
BLOGGERS WILL GAIN MORE RESPECT OVER TIME
It’s probably going to take another generation before blogging courses will be taught in high school or college. But until the world learns that you can relatively easily make anywhere from 3 – 10 cents a pageview, most people will probably just find your blogging profession to be just a cute little hobby.
So for those looking to gain a little more respect, don’t tell them you’re a blogger, unless you want to highlight how much money you’re making. Even then, they probably won’t believe you. Instead, focus on how much freedom you have as a blogger. Maybe then, they might start feeling a little envious!
For some reason, I get a thrill of always being perceived as the underdog. The peace is very welcoming. At least bloggers are looked upon with slightly more respect than Uber drivers! Oh, who am I kidding? If you can develop multiple income streams online, you can potentially make a full-time living as a professional blogger. Many bloggers make more than bankers, techies, doctors, and lawyers!
STARTING A MONEY MAKING BLOG
I never thought I’d be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 15 years to build. If you enjoy writing, creating, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom, learn how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes like this one.
Leverage the 3+ billion internet users and build your brand online. There are professional bloggers now who make way more than bankers, doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs while having much more fun, much more freedom, and doing less work. Get started. You never know where the journey will take you!
Updated for 2017 and beyond.