The reality of running a blog for a living

The blogosphere has been buzzing with the news that Andrew Sullivan (of The Daily Beast) has created a publishing experiment in the form of an advertisement free blog that offers subscriptions to readers and has successfully raised a whopping six-figures in less than a day. Wow.

Whilst this news is inspiring, it’s also disheartening. Blogs like Daring Fireball, The Loop and Andrew’s new creation are extremely popular and fascinating but are the exceptions to the rule. As an aspiring writer, I would one day love to build a platform I could live off that didn’t end up caving in to advertisements everywhere. I’d love to go into writing full time and work from home (or a fancy web company office) one day. I love doing it, and like to think I have the ability to inspire and make people think.

The thing is, these goals are hard to reach. The online blogging space is so saturated with content that it’s very hard to get started. Almost impossible in fact. If you didn’t start out in the industry a few years ago, and don’t already have a major name for yourself, it’s like screaming in a room full of people. If you don’t have the platform or the momentum behind you, it’s an uphill battle to get yourself heard. Money has to be made to pay bills and it’s hard not to get it without selling out.

Where do you start? How do you get yourself heard? How do you make your content different? In a world of blogs, how do you separate yourself from the crowd? How do you convince readers to bet on you? Why would people pay for your content?

These are all questions that I don’t have the answer to yet, but I’d like to someday. It’s just hard to know where to go from here, I like writing, and would love to do so full time, but it’s not realistic right now.

I can’t write full time because it doesn’t give an income like a job does, but…I want to. I’m hoping 2013 will be the year I figure out how.


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