Blogging: Work or Hobby?

Writers Are Suspicious

If you don’t get paid to write is it still considered work or does it fall into the category of hobby?

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. For bloggers, writing is a passion that they have pursued because they need the outlet. Blogs are a great platform to do that. Not only do you keep your creative juices flowing, but you have people read your stuff, and you get feedback on your writing.
  2. For some writers, blogging is a means to gaining followers and building a relationship of sorts with people who will hopefully want to purchase the book they plan on publishing in the future. That’s right. Some bloggers are working on a book while simultaneously providing material for their blog.
  3. Bloggers adhere to their calendar of scheduled posting days in an effort to be consistent and reliable for their loyal followers.
  4. However, before that, bloggers have already dedicated countless hours to their writing, drafting, editing and perfecting pieces before they post them.
  5. Bloggers are writing additional pieces for submission to other sites…i.e. guest posts, articles for consideration, essays for contests etc.
  6. In addition, most bloggers have a whole life outside of blogging that demands their attention as well.

Now that you’ve had a moment to consider these points, ponder this: If the blogger described above doesn’t get paid for bullet points 1-6, is it considered work or a hobby?

I’m a bit torn. Here’s why:

  1. I was raised to believe you get paid for work, yet the above describes someone who is obviously working at something or toward something but not necessarily being monetarily compensated.
  2. Furthermore, I am a stay at home raising two children who has also homeschooled said children. Believe me when I tell you it’s work! I may not get paid for it, but I don’t consider it a hobby.
  3. On the other hand, if I was getting paid for blogging or hoping to get paid for blogging I would be able to justify a pricey blogging conference ticket in addition to all the other expenses that go along with attending the conference.
  4. I’m a published author, but I’m not exactly putting food on the table because of it.
  5. I have a passion for writing and blogging and consider the time and effort I put into both to be valuable whether or not I get paid for that time.
  6. I get stumped on the “occupation” section of an application.

Where do you stand? This inquiring mind wants to know!

56 thoughts on “Blogging: Work or Hobby?

  1. You know…I can see this is an older post, but I still want to share my two cents – that’s what my opinions are worth these days 😉

    It’s work! I devote so much time to my blog, there is no way anyone can call it anything but work. I mean, I have 20 comments sitting on my blog that I need to reply to tonight, but I do feel like I actually need to do it. It’s part of “the job.” I take it seriously.

    It’s a hobby! I’m not getting paid for this and quite honestly,I have a lot of stuff personally going on in my life right now. I probably won’t get out another post this week since I’m dealing with family issues. I have no real deadline and an employer wouldn’t put up with my inconsistencies.

    So, uh, I have no clue what you would call it. Obviously I’m clueless on this one. But at least I’ve gotten to share that with you. When people ask me what I do for a living I always say I’m a stay at home mom, because to me, that will come first, always. Until I earn cash from blogging, I don’t feel comfortable, personally, calling it a job. However, most of the time, I take it as seriously as I would take a paying job. Unless my kids NEED to come first.

    1. I think I’m definitely going to start referring to it as a “wobby” since it is truly work and a hobby. ha ha. I think a lot of us take it as seriously as we would a paying job and deal with the same work/family balance that we would if it was a paying gig. I know it’s not something I’m willing to give up as I’m just as passionate about it as someone who dedicates their time and money to triathlons! I just don’t have the physique to show for it! he he Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic.

  2. I struggle with this often. Blogging is work, but like you, I’ve always believed work equals pay. I know putting my toddler’s shoes on and mopping the floor is work, too, but no paycheck there either. I do dream of the day when I can contribute to our finances with my writing. I loved this post. You should definitely be paid for it 😉

    1. Thank you. It’s a constant battle for me, especially when filling out an application (what is my occupation? stay at home mom? writer? blogger?) or telling people what I do. I don’t get paid for anything I do. OMG, I don’t get paid for anything I do?!!! Lightbulb! LOL And then I think…if I can’t define myself, how can I expect anyone else to see me as a writer, blogger, etc. And so the journey continues. Glad to have company! 😉

  3. I don’t get paid to blog (and I don’t want to), but I do consider it work, because it’s part of my writing career (for which I do get paid). Like marketing oneself, I guess.

    1. I’m not sure I want to get paid for it either. I’m afraid it would zap the fun out of it somehow. I do wonder though…and the blog was definitely the reason I was approached to publish my first book so I agree with it being like marketing oneself.

  4. Blogging is a hobby to me. I like it because it lets me sort out stuff that is dwelling on my mind. I have only just started two weeks ago. Two things surprised me in a good way. 1 Some people seem to like what I have done. 2 The sheer number of views. Just shy of 2k in two weeks. Not sure if this is a lot but I was expecting about 7. Anyway that is my tuppence worth.

  5. This is such a great post! I started blogging almost by accident, but then it took a life on its own and become a big part of my life. I never considered getting paid for blogging. However after reading so many informative, well-written blogs on just about any topic imaginable, I came to conclusion that bloggers might be the biggest, most dedicated, but mostly unpaid work-force in history! And just like many, I too have a full-time work which pays my bills but does not make me nowhere near as happy as my blogging … some rewards remain untangle.

    All the Best,

    1. Thank you Daniela. My blogging seems to have taken a life of its own as well in the short time since I created it. I too did not go into it considering I could get paid for it, not that I wouldn’t consider it now if the opportunity arose. Though, I do wonder if I would enjoy it less if it became a job. Your conclusion “that bloggers might be the biggest, most dedicated, but mostly unpaid work-force in history!” is something I definitely concur with!

  6. Very thought provoking post…invited and I feel that even though I’m not currently a paid blogger I would still consider it a job. I even list it as such on my profiles. In still a SAHM but I invest so much time and energy into my Blog I don’t think it would be fair to myself to describe it as anything less.

    1. I completely agree with this statement: “I invest so much time and energy into my Blog I don’t think it would be fair to myself to describe it as anything less.” Thanks for the eye opener!

  7. I voted, but I had a hard time deciding. I do not get paid to blog, so it’s a hobby. But I invest a lot of time and energy into it and treat it like a job. I’m going with Kate’s answer and saying it’s a wobby.

  8. I love your analysis. I don’t get paid to blog, but I believe in using a a stepping stone to paid projects in the future. In the meantime, I blog because I love to, and that kind of job satisfaction is hard to find, right?!

  9. I started blogging as a way to share information and gain a sense of community. Honestly, I love writing and feel that I have grown because of blogging. I would love to do freelance work and publish both manuscripts that I am working on…in the meantime, I parent my son, teach elementary students & dream 🙂

    1. I started blogging for similar reasons and have loved the community I have found out here. You’re a perfect example of someone working toward something while having a life that also demands your attention! Thank you for stopping by and sharing this post on Twitter.

  10. Just jumping into the blogging world so I guess it’s starting as a hobby but everything worth while takes work so I guess I agree with the idea of a wobby. What is it when you work for free…slavery? Oh dear!

    1. Welcome to the Bloggerhood Denise! I think it is safe to say every blog begins as a hobby, then morphs into a paid gig at some point or precariously balances as a wobby. Hmmm…I’ve always though when you work for free you’re a mom. No? lol

  11. I don’t get paid, but I’ve found writing work because of it. So, it’s worth it monetarily. But, I’ve also grown as a writer and I connect with some amazing people, like you.

    1. Have they approached you because they came across your blog or have you submitted something for consideration and used the blog to direct them to your other pieces? Just curious. I feel like I’ve grown as a writer here as well, and connecting with folks like you is priceless for me too!

  12. Thank you for the link! 🙂 And I am a card-carrying member of the “My blog is an unpaid hobby.” Makes ya wonder if it’s all worth it, huh? 🙂 Great post and a LOT of things to consider. Sharing.

  13. Were you reading my mind last night?
    I stayed up debating whether I should continue blogging for the foreseeable future. It just requires so much time and effort. And let’s face it, only a small percentage of people make a living from their blogs.
    But after careful consideration, I concluded it doesn’t matter whether I get paid or not. Writers write–bottom line. Also, I love blogging because it builds community.
    By the way, I’ve missed you a bunch cyber sis! 🙂

    1. You know you and I are always on the same page! This BlogHer conference got my wheels spinning on whether I should be putting effort into getting paid for blogging or just continue to write just because I enjoy it. I didn’t start out doing this to get paid (though I feel if I got paid I would comfortably justify spending the money to attend one of those conferences) and am not going to get hung up on that. Was curious as to how many other bloggers were torn too and of course you get back the day I post this. Cyber Sis! 🙂

  14. As I skimmed through the emails and blog posts I bypassed most of them this morning… I need to get ready for work (the job that actually pays me to do it. Not as much as I feel I am worth but do we ever get that?) and the title caught my eye. I even took time to vote. And if you follow me, you know I have writtend similar topics… at least on writing and have to say that I loved this!!!!
    I have written a children’s book. I could probably write a poetry book with some success. I have enough from the occasional ones I have written here as well as my cardline of little whimsical verses Click here: Diane Reed Reed on Etsy
    that have put food on my table for several years before and after my store. And the few years I wrote and got paid for our small town magazine.
    Though like you said.. Was it #4??? I’m a published author, but I’m not exactly putting food on the table because of it.
    I started my blog to write my book. To network with other writers. From the time I was very young if I met someone that loved to write, well it was a little like magic because lets face it, we are an odd bunch, a Motley Crew so to speak. I have friends who have wonderful stories that should be share. I suggest they try to write it down. They look at me as if I suggested they swallow a thousand calories without tasting them! Not quite as if I have suggested poision…. but their expression is of indifference and confusion as to why they might ever consider such a thing! So finding a group of supportive people all in one place that understand my passion is why I blog. I have learned so much here and not just to only have people read my stuff but to find that I am so interested in what everyone else writes and how really good they are! Would I like to get paid for my blog?? Well, sure! But You never know… Our blogs may be stepping stones to bigger and paying projects…. not just because we think we will be discovered… that hardly ever happens I know… but because it is exercising our writing to find the wings to fly out of our blog nests to other places we’ve yet to discover. Maybe through a lead from another blogger… who knows. But like an actor…. does a lot of non union work… adding to their resumes a hundred non equity plays before gettting that one great part! I guess you could consider us non equity writers who like the actor sweeping the stage, passing out the hand outs and doing the schlep work, just to get to be a part of a production…. our keyboard is our stage and we just gotta write!
    Sorry…. I should have blogged this on my own blog. LOL. But it was your topid so I just got a little carried away here!
    Wonderful post today! Loved it! Could ya tell? 😉

    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a meaningful comment this morning. Even if it made you late for the work you actually get paid for these days! I love how you describe folks whom you suggest writing to because I can totally relate. Writing is magical for me on so many levels and blogging has allowed me to interact with others who totally get that. You’re absolutely right about it possibly leading to something else. It’s exactly how I ended up publishing my book. I hadn’t even considered it before I started a blog. While I don’t make much off book sales, the reward of seeing it out there and hearing from people who have purchased it and enjoyed it is truly priceless!

  15. I love this post. I wish I got paid to blog. I am envious of the big time bloggers who somehow managed to create a large readership and the ability to monetize what they do.

    1. I’m in awe of those folks too! I don’t know how they’ve done it or how long it’s taken them to reach that point. Would be nice if one of them commented on this post and let us know! Ha ha!

  16. This is an interesting subject. Even though I love blogging, and don’t get paid directly through blogging I still consider it work. I treat it like work, with certain hours and disciples. I’d love to be paid to blog (wouldn’t we all? hehe), getting a little advertising revenue wouldn’t hurt or doing some product reviews. It would have to fit in with the ethic and motto of the blog though.

    I’m not a huge fan of social networking sites like facebook and twitter, so my blog is my main platform for my writing, and I get indirect payment due to it driving book sales.

    It would be awesome to just get paid an always identical check at the end of each month for my writing, but creative works just aren’t like that. We can get nothing one month and a few grand the next! Tis the nature of things 🙂

    Thanks for sharing! Thought provoking stuff!


    1. If we don’t get paid to blog and still treat it like work with schedules, networking in some form or other, etc. and we dedicate this much time to it, I can’t begin to imagine how much time those that are doing it to get paid are spending on their blogs.

      Sometimes, I think I would like to get paid for blogging but then I wonder if I would still enjoy it as much if I have that added pressure or feel like I would then have to write about something I’m not that passionate about just to get paid. I’m with you. Advertising would have to fit in with my blog. Hmmmm…

  17. This is a tricky one. I don’t get paid to blog, and even though I love writing, I think I’d classify blogging as somewhere between work and a hobby. A wobby, maybe.

    Writing the posts is just one time-consuming bit of it, but the other half is engaging with other bloggers and your own readers. It’s a labor of love for sure, but I think we’ve probably all felt overwhelmed by our blogs for one reason or another, which makes it a little more than a hobby.

    1. You better run out and trademark “wobby” because I can see it catching on already! I classify my blog somewhere in between work and hobby as well. I love it, love writing, love interacting with other bloggers etc. but it can definitely be time consuming to keep up with everyone’s posts and be supportive. I may not get paid, but definitely put some time and effort into it.

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