Money. We don't like talking about it on-line do we? We want to believe that each of our Darling bloggers blogs for the love of it alone. That the rewards of the comments box are enough, and that she can live on virtual praise alone. But the truth is that monetization is the rose sprinkled pink elephant in many a happy bloggers room, because we are all too polite to sully our white-gloved fingers with the ugly dust that is any discussion of revenue... And yet all over the blogosphere, in the past month, speculation has been rife about how much we are earning from our blogs. Intense debate about whether we should be more open about how much we are earning is going on as I write and for what? So that we can establish our own place in the successful bloggers pecking order? So that we can copy ad-verbatim those who are making more money than us? Or merely so that we are truly aware of what is possible?
Where the Money Is.
Truth is, there is money out there. Lot's of it. Oodles and boodles and billions of it. But for the most part blogging brings in buttons, hard-won, much appreciated buttons, but buttons all the same, and the ones who are making more, the ones who seem to be living the dream, have either been in it for the long haul, slogging their guts out behind the scenes or have sold their souls to write a million reviews of products they don't care about.
Because that is all there is: the only two routes to mega bucks here online: either write daily from the heart, build a community that cares what you have to say and create contents and products that fill a niche. Or don't. Become a flashy saleswoman in a snazzy suit. Sell anything to anybody and keep your fingers crossed that the general masses will buy into you smily, glossy lies.
There are authentic, and ahem, not so authentic blogs around every corner in the blogosphere and though I travel this virtual world, far and wide daily, not for a moment do I waste time wondering how much each bloggess is earning in whatever niche she happen to be writing, because the truth is I don't care.
I don't care how much The Pioneer Woman is bringing in. I wish her all the success in the world.
I don't care how much my favorite blogger is earning (though I am keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that it is lots for her and her lovely families sake).
I am not interested in how much the post woman in the little teeny post office around the corner makes annually.
Couldn't give a damn how much my best friend makes teaching the clarinet to school kids.
I don't know, and I don't care because I want to be successful on my own terms: not on those set by some imaginary bloggers union. Not by channelling all my energy into keeping up with the blogging Jones's. Nor by comparing my own, very individual efforts to those with any other woman on this planet, doing whatever she is doing, her way. Doing her own best.
But yes: success on my own terms matters not just because I am a single Mommy who needs to keep her babba in shoes and gluten-free pizza, but because for my own self-esteem I need to know that I am achieving something, that my efforts are not for nothing and that having made the initial financial sacrifice to do what I love, the darling universe has thanked me by providing all that I need to keep on keeping on.
I want to know that my own tiny community is responsive to that which I put out there. That by whatever metrics I choose to analyse my success I am slowly but surely climbing the ladder to happiness. That my year after year, my Blogging Planner proves that BrocanteHome is better than it was the year before.
So keeping on, keeping on I am. By my own terms I have a successful blog. BrocanteHome is as successful as I ever wanted it to be: gently successful without any media hoo har or opportunities to celebrate it, sought. I can't compare myself to any other blogger out there because each and every one is doing something significantly different to me. Each one writes from a different viewpoint. From different circumstances. Some want world-wide fame while others, like me, gently pace their outpourings and rarely seek glory or massive financial compensation. So, in this sphere at least, I do not believe there is any point in comparison and the minute we try to compare, to set in stone guidelines for acceptable monetary compensation, we destroy the authenticity central to those blogs each one of us treasures, fire up the competition and make jealousy the emotion fuelling all kinds of bad manners on-line.
And I for one think that we woman are already all to eager to make jealousy our leading light when true success lies in committing to that which we love and letting the rest of the world get on with the same.
Because jealousy and competition are destructive. Bad manners are rife. There are mean girls out to get those they see doing well, but not before trying to steal a piece of their pie first then stabbing them in the back as they run away. It goes on daily. Playground tactics rule. Gang mentality sees the mean girls joining forces to go into battle against those they see as prettier, clever, or more fun and thus simultaneously less deserving of success and I truly believe any open discussion about monetary compensation on-line will only fuel these petty jealousies.
We can't all be the same. If we want to monetize our blogs we have to use ingenuity and imagination daily and we have to seek success on our terms.
We have to do our own best. And we have to understand that our own best is all that ever matters.