So, you want to be a blogger – or already are one. Then, hopefully, you are aware of the long lonely workdays that are ahead of you. You will experience the loneliness of blogging rather sooner than later.
What? You thought blogging was all laziness, fun, leisure and living your dream?
The loneliness of a blogger’s life
Well,… The truth is, before all the laziness and seeing your money grow while you sleep (hrmmm – does that ever happen?) comes the hard part where you actually have to work for making it happen:
- Write blog posts – sorry but your blog is empty just yet and wants to be filled with a huge amount of content
- Optimize your blog posts, your blog setup and layout – yes when you are new to the game you will probably have to learn and optimize A LOT
- Promote your blog posts – or did you fall for that old myth that good content would find an audience no matter what?
- Create products – wait, you did not think that you would have to come up with a product idea that your audience NEEDS and WANTS? How would you make money? Right, people are going to pay you upfront when they have never heard about you?
All of the above, if you are a blogger, you will do it alone. No coffee breaks with colleagues if you do not make a date with a fellow blogger. No after-work beer with your coworker friend. No chit-chat with the secretary or office manager. And no lunch break with your clients.
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Instead, you can take the dog for a walk whenever you need to think about a blog post you are working on or meet a friend for breakfast because you will work late at night anyway…
Maybe you are like me and most of the time you like the quiet and the total independence of others. Because you need it to get your work done. On other days, the loneliness will become very lonely indeed.
How not to lead a lonely blogging life
There are ways to make the best of your solopreneur or blogger life.
You can go to a coffee shop or cafe and work there for a while. If you have a favorite place you will know the owners and some of the other regulars. You will have a few words every day, a little chit chat with others.
You can make lunch dates. At least if some other entrepreneurs or even friends of yours live near where you work. You could even go for a lunchtime run and train for that marathon you always wanted to run. This way you can benefit from the independence of your blogger’s life and upgrade your social life through your flexibility.
You can use a coworking space as a workplace. This way you can work on your own while you work at a place where a ton of other people also works on their various dreams – and you can still go on a coffee break with some fellow entrepreneurs.
Here are more tips on how to not be lonely as a blogger. I am sure, you have your own mechanisms on how to make your blogging life social – let me know in the comments!
That does not sound too bad, does it? So, why do I make such a big topic out of the loneliness of bloggers?
Because it does not end there.
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I am not talking about my daily life. I can work in my living room for ages and still be happy.
I have enough social life around my blogging job.
I start every morning with a date with friends and their dogs for a long walk. I end many of my days with friends in the gym for some sports, sauna talk and a good laugh. I have rescue dog training once or even twice a week. I go hiking and visit my second home in the mountains because as a blogger it does not matter WHERE I work, I just need my laptop and internet access.
That is a lot more social life than I had when I was still working as a consultant; traveling to clients most of the week and being so happy to see my own flat on weekends and already dreading the Monday morning flight back to my client that my social life was going down the drain.
That is not what I find that lonely about blogging.
Have you ever tried to explain to people what you do for a living?
People have a strong perception of what a “job” is. You can be a doctor or a lawyer, a consultant or even a musician. People get that – even if they ask you what your daily life looks like.
What the heck is a blogger?
And I am not only talking about older people here who grew up without the Internet and have no clue what kind of jobs came along with the rise of digital and social media.
There are many “new” jobs” that people understand. There are marketing consultants, there are Facebook advertising consultants and social media managers.
The loneliness of not being understood
People get that there is expertise in digital and social media marketing and that they can hire me as a consultant to tell them what they should do to brand and market their business.
And good for me, that I have some consulting clients and that I can always use that part of my business to explain what I am doing.
But what if I try to explain that more consulting clients are not necessarily what I am talking about when I mention that I am still working on “growing my business?” That I am actually working on not needing to do that much consulting and want to have clients that I can help without ever talking to them in person… Because I am a blogger and my business model, in essence, is selling digital products to people all over the planet.
We have a big family and once a year we meet all of them for a weekend family meetup. That is always a ton of fun, some long evenings spent with good food and a lot of wine, talking about jobs, developments, politics, people and just fun stuff.
And inevitably sometime that weekend it goes like “to be honest, I do not really know what you do.”
I try to explain what a blogger does, how we make money and how I can have clients that I have never met, spoken to or even had any email contact. The concept of digital products eludes most people who are not working digitally; although people have been selling software and other stuff to people they never met for a long time now.
What does a blogger do?
I have tried numerous approaches to explaining what I do. But “marketing consultant” does not really help either. “So, you are not traveling to your clients all the time” – no, I do not know most of my clients…
“I teach online marketing…” No, I don’t have classes or a fixed day and time where I teach, everybody can learn whenever they want to learn… “So, your courses are not in competition to university? Nope. What I teach is just practical knowledge and processes to help marketers, small business owners and bloggers to find the perfect marketing channel for them.
hmmph – and that utter failure at explaining what I do for a living is what I find extremely lonely.
I find it hard to explain to people what I do if they are in no way associated to the digital world.
My day-to-day job is to a large part totally independent to any clients:
- I write blog posts. I update and optimize old blog posts. Because I am a blogger.
- I optimize our Twitter and Pinterest activity. Because I promote our blog through social media
- And yes, I create products for you and I talk to some clients or write emails. Because our blog is also our business. But that is not what is taking up the most part of my working hours.
Despite the loneliness of blogging
Do not get me wrong: I love to connect and I love to hear from you. But in reality, if 100 people buy a book from us, less than one of them is going to get in touch with us. Just think how many authors of ebooks or online courses that you bought or watched have you talked to? Even more, how many comments have you left on a blog this past week?
Next time, I will stick to being a mathematician. Nobody wants to talk about the job of a mathematician. Saying “I am a mathematician” is a great killer of a conversation; although “I calculate how water flows underground” (the topic of my Ph.D.) sure gets the attention of your audience…