I have had many wonderful experiences while writing my blog, but I do have one stand out moment. I wrote awhile back about how hard it was to make money writing a blog. Spoiler alert: it’s really hard to make money at it. When I wrote, I mentioned Shannon Ables who is my favorite lifestyle guru. I related how Shannon does make money, but along with her blog she has a newsletter, and podcast and books, and works really hard to make money and have a successful brand. Here’s the thing- Shannon thanked me for the kind words about her! Total fangirl moment FYI…

I had written a blog about how hard it is to make money off of a blog.

Because making money off of a blog, or channel or the internet is really difficult.

There are very few people who make achieve success without working really hard. I have no doubt that there are people who can make money being an influencer. But the ones that are successful work tirelessly towards their brand. They put tons of sweat equity into what they do. What they do is not illusionary: they are running their own business where they are the product. They figure out how to market their personality so that people want what they have, which is basically charisma, and then they work to gain sponsors and advance the relationships. Some have been able to partner with stores for clothing lines and household products. Others have become spokespeople for already established brands. Kudos to these individuals for working hard and creating something. I am truly in awe of these people because they created something out of nothing.

But here’s the problem.

To the uninformed, it appears as if these entrepreneurs are just having fun. They see these influencers go on shopping sprees, or do different gimmicks at fast food drive thrus and such and it’s all fun fun fun… They think its easy. They think it never gets boring.


That’s my problem with the influencer model of making a living. No one thinks that it’s “work”. They think that you play and people throw cash at you.

Big error in judgement.

No one just throws you money.

You need to work.

Being a successful influencer is as hard as being successful in any other business.

You need to be organized. You need to have a plan. You need to figure out what you want your goal to be and you need to work towards it realistically. You need to converse with the money people, and you need to negotiate. These are skills that are not easy to acquire. And guess what? The business end of any business can be boring. if you didn’t like to sit in class, how different do you think sitting in a board room is? You might not be getting an actual grade, but the person at the table who you want to sponsor you is paying attention to everything you do. Do you want to get a D at that table?

Making money as an influencer is not easy.

Making money as an influencer takes a lot of hard work.

Most people will fail at making money as an influencer.

Too many people don’t realize this.

This is the problem with the influencer business model.

44 thoughts on “Working Hard or Hardly Working

  1. I like listening to the man who talks about finding keto products at local stores. I find him interesting, and sometimes a little ego driven and unrealistic but his end objective is realized for many of his listeners.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! Of course, what you show to the world looks and is fun. But no one realizes how many takes it took to get that shot or video. How there are equipment glitches. How you might be up at 4am to prep for something. And even if you work hard, there’s no guarantee


  2. oh i always knew it was not easy. i used to follow a few young pretty travel instagrammers. can you imagine hiking in the humidity in indonesia and THEN have to put on makeup and flowy dress and pose when you reach the top? 😖

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wrote a while back about how my daughter was approached by instagramers about Baby K becoming a brand rep. It seemed a fun idea, but she was not prepared for how much work she has to put in. She’s enjoyed a couple moments, but isn’t sure that’s how she wants to spend their time.
    I’m always fascinated when people think success just arrives unannounced on one’s doorstep. To be successful at anything takes hard work. (unless you’re a Kardashian…? ;-))

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I never intended to make money off my blog. I have from the start refused adverts and becoming a brand affiliate. If a book agent wants to talk with me about a book, I’m here– but doing the social media influencer thing sounds like more trouble than it’s worth. But to those who do it, I wish them well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very valid points. On YouTube alone you must upload content constantly to get noticed. When I first began writing and creating videos it was only for fun. My biggest problem was picking one topic to focus on. Although I found it fun, I found to be work too. I have since give it all up and have no idea if I will ever return to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We’re all brands, here on the web, especially if we post regularly. You come to expect certain types of posts from certain bloggers, be it in topic or frequency…it’s a label, of sorts.

    The one thing is that with the internet today, influencing and making money at it is kind of like an open-ended self-employed business…there are no down times, there are no vacations, there aren’t any other perks like benefits. Even if you make money, it may not be enough for a living…

    And yet, there are people who do it. It’s funny though, some blogs who have become adverts only (promoting books, business, etc) have stopped doing the things their readers were initially attracted to, like blogging/community/dialogue. I quickly unfollowed these people – all I see now is every post is a promotion for something they wrote which they want me to buy. If they had a balance, it would have helped to retain me as a follower…but if they stopped blogging and are pushing their sales down my throat every time I look at their feed, I say byebye.

    One example who maintained the blogging (albeit less often, but she still does it) is the Pioneer Woman. She has numerous businesses she built based on her first blog, but to this day she still writes a blog post once in a while, and not always to share a new book or tv show or whatever…but just to talk about life on the ranch, or the dogs, or something like that. I feel like she has a good grip on that sort of balance.

    Anyway. as always, good conversation here. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed. Our brand is defined in our about page, our mission statement usually evident in that first post. We develop our voice over time, and it is who we are. But most of us aren’t influencing…we’re just us….and thanks!


  7. Himself & I watch a lot of photography Youtubers. Their different approaches are very interesting and probably reflected across the medium. We’ve seen many “blow up” either from the stress of having to constantly generate new content, or because they get negative comments – be they reasonable critique or just plain nasty. Mostly they take a break, returning wiser and with a more balanced plan. But some never re-appear and I do feel concern over the toll it may have taken on them. Others struggle on, the quality of their content dropping steadily, something which probably gets reflected to their following figures over time. Interestingly, the most successful aren’t the best photographers, for being a youtuber is a business and the best photographers aren’t necessarily the best business people. As you say LA, it’s bloody hard work, even if a huge amount of time and effort gets expended making it appear fun. All work is hard work, although it sometimes feels less like it if you’re doing something you love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even if it’s something you love, there are going to be times when it’s tedious. Authors live writing, but how excited are they to get a billion edits? You can love it, but it’s still work….

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I see my blog as many things, but not as a money maker. I see it as a hobby for me, information for others, a way to organize my past travels, and other reasons as well. I have a couple of affiliates and have made minimal, but I have never planned on making a lot at it. My payment, so to speak, Are those to contact me and enjoy my blog or better yet those to contact me I’ve been on one of my trips and said my blog really helped them either plan the trip or find a place. Hats off to those who do earn good money from blogging. Etc. because it is a lot of work!! Just doing what I do takes time so I can’t imagine how much time people put into their blogs who do make money!!!! Another great post from you!! Lori

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is so true.

    I’ve got friends who think they would be able to walk on the Sports Center set and just start dishing up the news. Uh . . . not quite. Those peeps put in countless hours finding, culling and whittling stories into thirty second snaps. They MAKE it look fun, but it’s work.

    Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think there are some that appear easy, but they’re very influencer like. Such as news anchors, actresses, performers….people think they’re easy but they’re anything but….no one is ever going to say being an accountant or doctor is easy….I hope not anyway….

      Liked by 1 person

  10. LA,
    What I really liked about this post is your emphasis on the hard work as an influencer or a brand or a small business owner or entertainer. The problem is that no one knows whether something is going to do well and for how long it will do well or whether it will fall flat. So there’s work, there’s checking results, then there’s strategy and changing strategy. Everything has pros and cons. Some people are driven. Some are more comfortable working for someone else or for a company. For instance, it feels like trying to make money writing is very much a trial and error process. There doesn’t seem to be a direct path unless you’re already an established author or established copywriter if that’s the path you choose to go. Maybe I’m wrong. I continue to research. I’m very new to your blog. Do you post daily? If you do, I’d think that’s a tremendous amount of work. Mona

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always tell my daughter that 90% of success is showing up, which means whatever you choose to do, you give your all. Do your research, ask questions, set up realistic goals. And hard work still doesn’t guarantee success. Too many want something fir nothing. I attempt to blog five days a week, which I usually hit. I took some time over the summer because I needed a break!! I mainly find it enjoyable!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve seen Instagram accounts where moms with families post stories of their lives day by day, complete with photos of the new clothes they want you to buy, etc. I have to pause and wonder how much time are they actually spending with their families? Seems like it might be easier to have a 9 to 5 job.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It takes a huge amount of effort to make money and keep it all going, because you rarely make money for just blogging. Companies want a blog post backed up by social shares on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. So you not only have to blog, but keep all your social channels active. I do make decent money blogging, but only when I put the effort in from all the angles.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. This happens all the time. I worked for a blogger for a few months who said she needed to find something good to write about things, even when she didn’t like them. That isn’t an unbiased opinion, and happens all the time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Someone approached me about writing book reviews. I actually asked if they’re read some of my stuff, because I tend to skewer things I don’t like

        Liked by 1 person

  13. There are a lot of angles & there is a lot of education to it all as in blogging & doing things for others. There is nothing you do for yourself without working for it. I had to work really hard to do various things which included a skill set or even talking about it. You have to go to places & enter into things that you don’t find appealing just to get something started. You need lots of money to even start to make money. It mostly comes from what you do for work & what you let yourself feel good about when entering into subjects unknown. You never know until you try them! Yes working hard & learning is just the start of that part of getting to the tip of the iceberg of money. Have a good day!

    Liked by 1 person

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