I gave up being an influencer. I gave up the dream that every blogger seems to be chasing nowadays. I gave up an additional $2k monthly income.
And I don’t regret it one bit.
You’re probably wondering – did I get a raise that I could forgo $2,000? Did I get a sugar daddy? Did I win the lottery?
No to all that and yes, an extra $2k per month on top of my salary would be nice but not worth how I had to obtain it.
A little back story. I’ve been blogging for over a decade. If you’re 13 years old, I was probably blogging before you were even born.
Blogging, to me, was an outlet. A stress reliever and a memory keeper. I treat blogging as if it’s my diary. I will share with you my deepest and darkest fears; my embarrassing moments; my fights with my then and/or now boyfriend; my failures and my successes; I will share everything. Honestly, it’s probably one of my oldest hobbies and I don’t ever see myself giving up.
But, I’m stuck in my old ways. I love and miss the blogging era of 2009. Nowadays, every blogger seems to want to make money. Every blog is a lifestyle blog that more or less gives the same bullshit advice on morning or night routines; on skincare; on starting a blog; on studying.
It felt like personal blogging was dying and no longer a niche. It feels as if you were a personal blogger, you won’t be “successful” in the blogosphere. You’re old and outdated. Now is the time to recycle the same 10 tips to make your life easier and try to get some money out of that.
So, I did exactly that.
A few years ago, I rebranded into a “lifestyle” blog. For the first time in decades, I’ve created a blog that didn’t have my name. I felt like if I attached my name, you know it’s a personal blog – hence, Coffee with Claire.
I did everything a lifestyle blog did. I posted reviews on products, services and business. I spammed my posts on Twitter and Facebook groups to generate views.
I even had personal photoshoots! I stopped using stock photos. I took the time to edit my photos.
I had a planner filled with ideas that I think readers would like. Ideas about relationships; fitness; finances; blogging; etc.
In a short time, I started to get PR inquiries and sponsorships. My ads were generating some decent income because of the traffic.
I started writing reviews and sponsored posts because, hell, I was being paid for it and it was based on topics that were targeted to my readers.
For a year, my blog was netting me $1,600 – $2,000 every month that I withdrew to my bank account.
When I received the notification from my web host that I’m set to renew my plans, I decided to hit no and cancel the blog. I took off my PR page and contact details and deleted my blog’s email. I decided to let my blog slowly die off.
I’m not another entitled Millennial. It’s not like I’m saying I gave up an income because I didn’t want to work anymore.
I just hated how I felt about my blog. It didn’t feel like it was mine anymore. Near the end of the blog, I felt like I was a sellout, writing for brands just to have an income.
I had friends always asking me how the blog is going and I hated that. They thought it was cool that I managed to earn money from my blog but I felt like the fact that they did know I earned money, I always had to upkeep my blog to make sure it was generating a monthly income.
I also went on vacation last year for two weeks and during those two weeks, my blog crossed my mind several times. I was growing anxious with the PR emails and tried to keep up with the demands of posting from the companies.
Ultimately, the biggest reason why I decided to quit being a paid blogger was the fact that I no longer enjoyed my favourite hobby.
After work, I would go home and review my blog stuff. By the time I was done working with the brands, I barely had time for my own work. I’d want to update my theme and can’t bring myself to do so because I hated looking at my own blog for so long.
It wasn’t tiring per se, but it was tiring emotionally to drain my creativity and my passion for my favourite hobby that didn’t give me that happiness and relaxation that it once gave.
Yes, the extra money was nice but I hated how it controlled my life and how it ruined my hobby.
Now? I’ve rebranded back to a personal blog with a few lifestyle posts here and there. I’m much happier knowing I can leave my blog alone for two weeks and have no one drilling my ass for an update. I’m happier because I’m back in the 2009 era of blogging where my stalkers can envy my eventful life. Where I can share my thoughts and have feedback from others outside my friends group. I have a place I can rant freely with no worries what others will think or say – because let’s be real… if I don’t like your comment, I’m going to delete it 😛
I deleted my PR page and no longer sign up for any campaigns. I have a healthier balance of life, work and blogging.
More importantly, I’m happy and love my blog again. I found my love and passion for blogging again and it gives me immense happiness to hit the publish button.
It’s not to say that I hate paid bloggers or that it’s not possible to have a healthy balance between paid and unpaid posts but I just overall want to avoid any paid posts. It’s just not my thing because at the end of the day, I turn to blogging if I’m stressed, bored, unhappy, or my brain is running too wild.