You’ve a finite amount of time to write, you have to pay the bills, but perhaps you don’t love the subject as much as you used to. How do you know when it’s the right time to leave a project?
This post is primarily targeted at bloggers who have one or more regular, paid writing positions with a blog network/company and may be considering their current position.
It might also be useful for those bloggers running their own blogs (over which they have complete editorial and publishing control).
Passion | Pay | Profile
Blogging for a liveable wage isn’t easy — at least if you’re keen to do it ethically and above board.
Getting a paid writing gig with a large company can get you money and exposure much more quickly than you’d likely attain it (if at all) by publishing your own blog.
You’ll likely have access to on-tap resources to help you improve as a writer. At very least, you’ll probably be working for an editor who will critique your work, give you post ideas, and generally encourage you onwards.
Assuming you applied for the position because you had a decent amount of knowledge and passion for the subject, it’s the near perfect experience.
The longer you blog for high profile sites, the more you’ll be noticed. The more you’re noticed, the more opportunities present themselves. You also have the potential to earn more, either because your payment per post increases (often with a new position) or your posts become more popular and you get a proportional share of revenue.
The trouble begins when your passion goes, the amount of work you’re required to do is worth more than you’re being paid, or you don’t believe the work improves your own profile – only that of the company you’re working for.
It’s worth reassessing the work you’re doing on a regular basis. Think of it as a self-appraisal — when you work for yourself, no-one else is going to appraise everything you do.
- What are your main passions?
- Do you want to blog about all of your passions?
- Are you blogging about something you have little interest/enthusiasm for?
- Are some passionate blogging subjects worth keeping for yourself rather than giving to someone else? (in other words, should you be running your own blog instead of relinquishing control and writing for a company?)
- Are you still being paid enough for the work you’re doing?
- Would you be able to make more money working for someone else or for yourself, or changing project priorities to give more room to new money-earners?
- Is the work you’re currently doing taking so much time or energy that you have no resources left to do things your heart tells you to?
- Are you sacrificing long term gain (sidelined projects) for short term gain? (fixed pay working)
- Is your blogging gig still giving you, as a person / brand, the exposure you desire?
- Do your efforts seem to be rewarding the company’s profile at the expense of yours?
- Would your personal brand be improved by moving on?
Contracts and Bridges
If you have a written contract in place then you need to consider that before taking any action that may breach the terms it lays out.
You may have a notice period which must be worked out before you can leave. If you want to change the level of work you do for someone else, it may have to be negotiated and a new contract drawn up.
If you have a verbal agreement then you may have no legal/contractual obligations, but think very carefully about burning your bridges with any one company. You never know when they may be a useful contact or source of work in the future.
These are just a few points to think about, whatever situation you’re currently in.
It may be that you don’t think there’s anything wrong, and if you’re enjoying what you’re doing and getting what you want, digging around may not be helpful (if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it).
Then again, if there’s even a niggle that you’re selling yourself short, skimping on projects you really care about because you’re bogged down by a regular contract, or running yourself ragged without the passion to energise you, then it really is time to sit down and consider what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
The three elements — passion, pay, profile — need to be weighed together, and any decisions you make will be based on your current situation and how much of a risk-taker you are.
Doing a regular check-up like this will help to ensure that you’re giving your best and being fairly rewarded, while still enjoying blogging. After all, that’s the main reason you started, right?