Katie Shevlin: Blogs won't earn a living

By Katie Shevlin

1 comment
Few bloggers out there scrape together enough revenue through advertising and sponsorship to survive, but making a living from it doesn't come quickly and isn't easy. Photo / Getty Images
Few bloggers out there scrape together enough revenue through advertising and sponsorship to survive, but making a living from it doesn't come quickly and isn't easy. Photo / Getty Images

On Saturday, the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend reported on new internet-related career possibilities that have opened up in the past few years.

Otumoetai College acting head of career pathways Stacey Shefferd said the college had "a number of students that are very good bloggers and want to do that full-time, and that is a career option for them as some bloggers make a lot of money."

It's great that schools are recognising the impact the web has had and will continue to have on the job market, but I worry that telling students they can be a "full-time" blogger may become a trend in career advice offices up and down the country.

Writing a blog can demonstrate technological knowledge, self-motivation, creativity and - very occasionally, if a perusal of the internet is anything to go by - good language skills and, depending on the type of job you apply for, can be a very positive tool to have on your resume. But I think telling students that they can make a career out of this alone could give them the wrong idea.

Yes, a few bloggers out there scrape together enough revenue through advertising and sponsorship to survive, but the fact is it remains incredibly difficult to make money from such a venture.

Making a living from it does not come quickly and, when it does, it's not a reliable form of income. Bloggers work extremely hard to keep their blogs afloat and their subscribers engaged. Even if it is a beautifully executed and interesting blog, whether something takes off online is mostly dependent on luck.

I hate to be a pessimist, but odds are it's not going to be successful.

And if myriad students choose "blogger" over "plumber" or "accountant", then find that their blog doesn't become a viral sensation, and no PR people turn up at their door begging them to promote their products, and advertisers aren't throwing money at them, what then?

It's easy to get lured into a false sense of potential when reading stories about people that have built a successful business online and are rolling in it, but these are still a rarity.

Yes, the internet is largely a wonderful tool and should be embraced. But caution needs to be exercised when telling a 17-year-old - to whom social media is everything - that they can be a full-time blogger.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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