Have you noticed the increasing amount of ads on your timeline about online business coaches and bloggers trying to convince you how to make a lot of money quickly?
I recently came across this blog post by Australian copywriter Jay Crisp Crow, about the fairytale of female bloggers apparently getting rich overnight, and I wanted to share some of my own thoughts with you today.
There is a growing number of bloggers on social media that basically make you believe that if you follow their tactics (and buy their e Book or sign up to their course), you too will make a six-figure salary. So you think, hey, I have a blog and a pretty decent Instagram feed, so hell yes, gimme a slice of that! I am going to become a full-time blogger and they are going to teach me how! You join promising FB groups full of fellow eager femmepreneurs, sign up to slick email newsletters and try to keep up with all the tips and tricks they throw at you.
You end up getting obsessed with writing and scheduling blog articles and Facebook posts – and checking them for comments and likes (dopamine high!), get anxious because of your failing Instagram feeds (“oh sh*t, I’ve lost 10 followers, I need to post more, what the hell am I going to post next?) and feel like a complete failure because the blog post you worked so hard at and thought was your best one yet, only gets a handful of reads. Then there is the pressure of having to jump on the Facebook Live and Youtube Channel bandwagon. Gosh, I hate seeing myself on video (Oh yes but honey, you just need practice and it really is essential in building your brand!).
Let’s just pause and remind ourselves why we started to blog in the first place.
I started blogging about ten yeas ago because I like writing, I like creating content and love pretty things for my home. I wanted to have an online space to share my ramblings, ideas, pictures, projects and basically just create a nice looking magazine style blog that I hoped people might like to read. I don’t like waste, so I wanted to inspire others to ‘upcycle’ and buy vintage furniture. I hoped to inspire others, but I put no pressure on myself whatsoever, I just enjoyed doing it.
Then blogging became the next big thing. Millenials (which I am obviously not – too old to be one, born in 1979, so vintage compared to any of them) apparently all want a blog now. It’s in fact a career option, can you believe it. Just blogging and writing for the sake of it is apparently a waste of time, we all need to try and monetise the damn thing. We’ve got to aspire to be our own boss, with our glamorous blog or heavily subscribed youtube channel providing us with a luxury lifestyle while we review products or vlog about the hassle of motherhood. Or – if you are one of those confident ‘Boss Babes‘ – you call yourself a Coach and try to create this big following of aspiring entrepreneurs in a Facebook group who you sell your fairytale story to and make them believe they too can be a millionaire overnight. Tempting….but…seriously?
Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of good, helpful stuff out there. And you can make a lot of money from online businesses….but not without determination and commitment. You’ll be in for the long haul.
I have been trying to up my blogging game too in the past year, hoping to make decent money from it one day. I have also joined Facebook Groups for Interior Designers, which have shown to be very helpful supportive forums. There are great experts out there! I have read many social media and online marketing blog posts, downloaded some of useful e books and learnt a few techniques along the way. I have signed up as a brand affiliate (ads and links that give you a commission on any clicks and sales – very slow! You need tons of traffic!), how to get sponsored posts (not that easy!) and how to use the right meta data and keywords for SEO. It certainly means a lot of hard work and dedication.
Reading and learning however is never a waste of time and some of these social media coaches are very knowledgeable and worth following. And some vloggers do make a living from sharing their life on youtube. Good for them. But the thousands of others claiming they are raking it in at the tender age of nineteen and trying to make you purchase their next e course? Nah. Not buying it.
Here’s what Jay Crisp Crow says about it in her blog post:
“I’m calling BS on a lot of those “I quit my job and within 6 months I’m making 7 figures a fortnight” stories.
Who ARE those women? Some kind of entrepreneurial bandits? And what kind of message are they perpetuating?
That if we only TRIED harder, worked smarter, (invested in their program, perhaps), changed our mindset, BELIEVED in ourselves more, we could have that too?
We’re women. We’re glorious and clever and capable and full of brilliance. But we’re not bloody circus performers.”
I am someone who is down to earth, not easily stressed out, thankfully has never had a panic attack, doesn’t suffer from depression and is generally very happy and satisfied with life. I love life. The fact that these Facebook groups and Blogging gurus made me start to feel stressed and anxious made me realise that I needed to take stock and calm the heck down. What are these messages doing to my sanity?
More importantly, what are they doing to people who do suffer from anxiety? Or all those hard working women – and men – who are trying to build their business but feel so disheartened by those seemingly successful online competitors? What about all those teenage and twenty-something bloggers fresh out of college, still figuring out life, hoping they can make a 6-figure salary out of blogging or showing the latest fashion on an Instagram feed? Seriously. The pressure! Building a business takes time. There is no such thing as a quick buck.
I would like to tell every femmepreneur or aspiring Boss Babe out there right now to show yourself some love. Yes, I am talking to myself too! Stop comparing yourself to others or try and copy them. And please, please remind yourself daily that social media photos and videos only show a person’s best side – or their own illusion of their perfect life. We all know the pang of envy when flicking through your friend’s Facebook album of their holiday in Mauritius – and their perfect family. It’s just a a photo. You don’t get to see the meltdowns. And when it comes to Blogging Coaches…you never know what hides behind that glamorous front trying to sell you their lifestyle and business model. I bet there are more bloggers and Instagammers than you think struggling with anxiety, depression and low self esteem. Anyone?
Just do what you love doing, blog yourself silly, take those gorgeous photos – but take your time and ENJOY the ride. Be true to yourself. Be proud of yourself. Try and be original, have fun. And more important than anything else: don’t take it all so seriously! It’s a blog.
Also, don’t give up that day job yet, no matter how boring. While you are writing, learning, blogging and building that fabulous Instagram feed…it is nice to have a pay check at the end of the month. To pay the bills. To feed the kids. To feel OK.
“I’d like us to all embrace the idea that we are NOT failing at business if we take a moment, build a bridge between employment and small business ownership, and run a “side hustle” for a while.
Although the fierce female Facebook forums would have you believe otherwise. *
I’d like to encourage you to QUIT MAKING IT SO TOUGH FOR YOURSELF.
You might (…) find that sweet spot between part-time work and side hustle that is the exact right fit for you.”