Should I Start a Blog in 2020?

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Is it too late to start a blog in 2020? Did I miss my chance? Or is it still possible to create a career through blogging?

We hear these questions all the time. But what’s CRAZY to me is that we’ve been hearing these exact same questions for more than five years! In this post, I’ll share the pros and cons of starting a blog (or new social media account—they are quite similar) in 2020.

Let’s start with the downsides. First, I want to tackle some commonly said “Cons”:

-It’s too late to start a blog.
Sure, it would have been BETTER to start sooner. Unfortunately, this is true with any business venture and really any large goal in life. There are no time machines. If you want something, your only option is to start today. But even more than that, I think people assume that blogging was a trend that’s now over, or there are no ways to monetize a blog anymore and these are both so untrue.

-It’s more competitive.
Eh … I disagree. I would argue that there are actually less people trying to make a career (or side gig) from blogging than there were five years ago. Lots of people have dropped out. And many more have opted to solely work on their social media channels (which I’m not saying there is anything wrong with, but my point is that they aren’t blogging).

-If you’re not a top blogger, you can’t make money.
I disagree with this 100%. In fact, I have seen firsthand that there are many jobs we can’t get because our blog is “too big.” Plus many opportunities are not just about size, they are about what you bring the project, or what your audience values from hearing from you specifically.

-It’s too much work.
Ding-ding-ding! This one is mostly true. Let me say it louder for our friends in the back … blogging is probably WAY more work than you think it will be. It’s also more involved and generally more expensive to produce than social media. So if you want to take the easiest possible path, blogging probably is not it. I’ll go more into this below!

-Blogging has been replaced by social media.
Not true. Although, sure, there are some brands who allocate more budget for social campaigns, there are also lot of brands who know that the lifespan of a blog post is much longer than social media, thanks to Google searches and Pinterest. A high quality blog post can continue earning views for years to come. Also blogging often offers more real estate, meaning there is more room for multiple photos, videos, text, and links all in one place that isn’t going to disappear quickly. A blog post is simply less disposable than social media. (Again, not a dis to social media. It’s just different!)

Next, here are some “Pros” that a lot of people don’t think about.

-It’s easier to get sponsors than ever before. This is true! When we first started blogging and our stats were skyrocketing, it was still so difficult for us to make a basic income on our work. Ten years later, things have REALLY changed. Major brands have good sized budgets set aside specifically for bloggers.

-Blogging income is more steady than social media.
I touched on this above, but it’s true that the time and effort you put into blogging can pay off more and for much longer. This is in part because, again, a blog post is less disposable than social media, so you can often monetize your content in different ways. For bloggers who do rank high in Google searches, they have essentially created passive income for themselves in that those posts they may have written years ago will still earn them money today.

-Your blog is truly yours. Unlike social media platforms, which could be sold, deleted or changed without your consent, your website it truly your online real estate where you have much more control and choice. This a huge pro and why I recommend every online presence have a website (and email list!!!!!!) even if you don’t choose to update it as frequently as a blogger would.

When friends ask me for advice on whether they should start a blog, here’s what I tell them.

If you are someone who loves to take photos, write, and share like you may already be doing on a social media platform, a blog can be a great way for you to expand on that and make more money, or more steady money.

The downside is that it can take several years to establish a blog. I’m sure there are case studies of a few people who have done it faster, but my professional opinion is that it’s not worth it to start a blog unless you are committed to posting on it 2-3 times per week for at least two years before you start making consistent money (from CPM ads or sponsor offers). I realize how deflating that time commitment can sound, but it’s realistic.

In two to three years, you can gain a lot of skill both in photography and writing, you can carve yourself a unique place in your industry and you can learn through using affiliate links what your audience will buy from you. I’m not saying you can’t get sponsors sooner—great for you if you can! But if that time commitment doesn’t sound worth it to you, you probably will end up quitting anyway. So ask yourself: Am I willing to write 200+ blog posts before seeing a return on my investment? I would hate to overpromise, as I’ve sometimes seen others do. Blogging as a career path is not an overnight make-money-quick option, but it is an AMAZING opportunity if you’re willing to put some foundational work in.

If you’re willing to make the commitment, there are so many ways to earn money as a blogger. And most of these revenue streams will grow with you. You can have CPM-based ads (like we have in our sidebars and throughout our posts), you can use affiliate links, and you can work with sponsors. You can also create a signature product (physical or digital in nature) or collaborate on a licensed product line. Through the years we’ve done all these things!

Starting a blog and doing it for fun for several years was one of the best choices of my life. I didn’t set out to become “a blogger” because I didn’t even know that was possible. But I found my dream job through writing daily on the internet about the things I loved, and I am forever grateful for that.

In this post, I’m definitely simplifying what it means to be a blogger, but if I write a 4000+ word post, no one will read it. If you’ve been considering starting a blog, this will help you decide whether or not it’s worth it for YOU—only you can decide that. But if your question is, “Is blogging dead in 2020?” the answer is most definitely a NO.  If you want to dive more into blogging, here’s our courses to learn more. Use the code GOFORIT for 25% off.

I’m happy to answer your questions in the comments! xx- Elsie

Credits // Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photo edited with A Color Story Desktop.

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