Are You Prepared To Make Your Hobby Work?

by Robb Sutton

Throughout the blogging industry, you constantly hear, “blog about what you are passionate about”. There is good reason for this. You will be more likely to continue blogging when you are making little money and your readership is small if you love what you are blogging about. There are bloggers that have made fortunes without this, but the success rate is higher if you are blogging with passion instead of work. However, this does bring about a hurdle that most beginning bloggers do not consider when starting their new blogs on their passions.

Are You Prepared To Make Your Passion or Hobby Work?

As much as I wish I could tell you successful blogging has zero “work” attached, that just wouldn’t be true. Yes…when you are doing what you love it does not feel like work. That is one of the most appealing things about blogging. However, there are certain aspect of blogging that are boring ass, “I thought I left this behind” work.

Until you are making enough cash to outsource the boring aspects of business owning, you are now your own accountant, email answering service, customer service, business planner and do-it-all guru. Successful blogging is not just writing about what you love. It is also managing a business that surrounds that central function.

When I am backlogged on product reviews, I have to take out extra time to ride bikes, carry more equipment and sometimes skip certain rides with friends  because I have companies that are waiting on me to deliver on my promises. There isn’t any time to sit around lazy and say…”I’ll just do it tomorrow.” I brought upon this responsibility, so it is up to me to deliver.

I know…it sounds silly actually. Damn…I have to go ride my bike today to test out cool product that everyone else drools over. But…the fact is that you have to start taking your hobby/passion seriously if you want your blog to be successful.

The good news. You are trading the set of problems you had with the 9-5 for a much higher quality set of problems with the ‘I am my own boss’ lifestyle. You are not rid of responsibilities, you just get to choose the quality of those responsibilities. You also have direct control on the outcomes and payoffs.

So…as you look forward to your blog over the next couple of years…are you prepared to make your hobby and passion work?

Sleep at computer image by Corie Howell

12 comments

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12 comments

Paul Roekle March 3, 2010 - 8:52 am

It’s a trade off we have to face as bloggers. We may love what we do but sometimes it does feel like work. If you can get over that fact and stay passionate about your niche then you can lead a very fulfilling life ;-D

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Robb Sutton March 3, 2010 - 1:42 pm

Right on…just have to remember what ‘work’ really used to feel like! (or still feels like if you are still in it)

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Jewelry Secrets March 3, 2010 - 9:00 am

Good point. Every time I’m overwhelmed and feeling like it’s starting to get tough, I need to stop and think back to my 9-5 and all the aggravation I could have. That’s a great way of looking at it. Suddenly I feel like another 100 blogs… 🙂

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Robb Sutton March 3, 2010 - 1:43 pm

Thinking back to your 9-5 (7-6) could be dangerous…depression sets in… 😉

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DJ Wetzel March 3, 2010 - 10:23 am

Robb, you definitely hit it. There is a definite trade off in quitting a 9-5. More freedom but most of the time more work (even if it is enjoyable). I think it is insanely important to remember that if you make it to the point where you are able to quit your 9-5 you have accomplished a lot through a lot of hard work, it won’t be a cake walk from here on out. Passive income is an amazing goal, but reaching that goal just might kill you.

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Robb Sutton March 3, 2010 - 1:43 pm

More work is dead on. What a lot of people do not realize is that your mind doesn’t magically turn off at 5pm…your wheels are constantly spinning.

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DJ Wetzel March 3, 2010 - 4:32 pm

You are right about that. The picture you used for your post sadly describe my nights sometimes. But I guess it will be worth it in the end to keep on hustlin.

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Drezz March 3, 2010 - 10:42 am

I’ve been blogging about my hobby (drawing comics/graphic novels) and that in itself has become a hobby. I’ve set a goal to eventually make that hobby turn into a working venture.

Right now, I’m having fun with it. Building a reader base, providing information for free, etc. It’s something I enjoy doing, but I don’t rely on it for income. There will come a time where I want to pursue that avenue, so I’ve been trying to push myself to treat the blog as work, and not as a lazy-day fun activity.

I realize that it requires just as much effort and hustling as a run-of-the-mill job – only difference is, you set the goals and your performance directly affects the outcome.

I applaud each and every blogger that has diversified, and worked hard to get to where they need to be. I just shake my head at those who expect a 5-minute install and a few ‘look at me’ blog entries to net them instant cash.

You have to work. Laziness doesn’t make money. Work does. And SMART work – not just hard work.

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Robb Sutton March 3, 2010 - 1:47 pm

“I realize that it requires just as much effort and hustling as a run-of-the-mill job – only difference is, you set the goals and your performance directly affects the outcome.”

That is the biggest difference. Owning your own business becomes a large part of your life…but it is yours and you control your outcomes.

“And SMART work – not just hard work.”

That is the difference between the successful and not in my opinion.

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Bryan March 3, 2010 - 12:01 pm

Great article and I think spot on. There’s so much more involved when you start to take it ‘seriously’ and can no longer have the ‘I’ll write whenever I feel like it’ attitude. Just making the step from ‘hobby’ blog layout to ‘professional’ layout takes time, planning, and skills (if you’re going to do it on your own).

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Robb Sutton March 3, 2010 - 1:50 pm

There is a whole back end management to successful blogging that your readers will never see. Part of that ‘work’.

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Shirley March 7, 2010 - 5:33 pm

You know, Robb, one way to actually take your blog to a higher level is to take your blog as a business, that’s one of the most important ways to make your blog succeed.

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