20.10.15

SO YOU WANT TO BE A BLOGGER WHEN YOU GROW UP? SHOCKING STATS PUT IT AT THE TOP OF CAREER CHOICES

When you were little, what did you dream of doing when you left school and entered the big wide world of adulthood? Maybe it involved fighting crime, putting out fires, or working as a dog trainer. Perhaps appearing on Big Brother, singing at Wembley or owning an ice cream van was more up your street? I flitted between being a paleontologist, saving the lives of household pets and setting up my own business - before eventually settling on the rather unglamorous and mature selection of a career in marketing. However unrealistic, daydreaming about your potential is part and parcel of growing up and finding your feet in a world that can be somewhat scary; but the changing nature of celebrity and the digital world is seeing an increasing number of teenagers wanting to follow in the footsteps of their vlogging heroes. Recent research conducted by VoucherCodesPro has found that 24% of youngsters admit their career of choice is a blogger; unsurprisingly, the explosion of digital media and Zoella's world domination has had a huge impact on the aspirations of a whole generation.


In total 2,348 people were polled, all aged between 18-25, and the majority named blogging as the most attractive career prospect. 24% agreed that they'd much rather be a megastar on YouTube than a sports star (18%) doctor (14%) politician (9%) or a musician (7%). Incredible statistics considering this wasn't even a feasible career option five years ago, with even Facebook having been around for only a decade. But why is blogging deemed to be such an attractive career prospect? Of those that wished for digital success, 26% of people stated that 'bloggers don't have to do much work.' Ahem. The other reasons included 'getting good money' (22%), 'being admired by other people' (19%), believing 'it's easy' (16%) and 'bloggers get free stuff' (11%.) If only you could pay your bills with free stuff...

What's slightly worrying about our current obsession with blogging and everything it brings, is the belief that it's an easy option. You can't get from one day to the next without stumbling across an article that shows you how to make a 'fortune from your bedroom' or explains how you can 'be the next Zoella'. The media's obsession with blogging is unfortunately fundamentally based on the fact that these 'nobodies' are making an absolute fortune by uploading mundane content to the internet; but the bubble will surely burst. The lucky few who were in the right place at the right time, uploading the right kind of content to the right audience, are not the norm; superstardom does not come easy and it certainly does not come overnight. Blogging is much misunderstood, and is unfortunately filling a whole generation with pipedreams that are surely going to come crashing down. 

Working as a full time blogger is hard work; you have to be able to self-motivate, write to a high standard, take and edit photos at the speed of light, constantly innovate and push boundaries, sell yourself and your site, negotiate contracts, understand web design and coding, manage relationships and identify opportunities. Those skills may be learned on the job, but they're also learned from working in an office environment - something a whole demographic of young men and women are losing out on. I worked in marketing, branding and social media for over seven years before deciding to take the leap into running this site full time; I honed my craft, developed my skills and built up my CV before even considering blogging as a career move. If the bubble bursts for me tomorrow, I have a skill set that I can fall back on and something tangible to offer future employers; unfortunately, a lot of others don't have that cushion.

In my opinion, although there's nothing wrong with aspiring to something, those that dream of becoming a full time blogger are about as likely to achieve that dream as a wannabee singer getting onto The X Factor. It's so much harder now than it's ever been, mostly due to the saturation the explosion of sites has caused; you can only make a living from a website if that site has real value to brands that are willing to pay you. If there are only a handful of people reading your site, then it's just not realistic to expect that to pay your bills. If you don't have something people want to read or offer a point of difference, then unfortunately it will only ever be a hobby - and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Book deals, beauty lines and international tours don't fall into bloggers laps, but they're the result of years of hard work and an incredible audience that genuinely wants to buy a piece of their internet heroes. I wish this obsession with finding our fortune online would end, for the good of the future generation and their career prospects.

I've no doubt that we will see the blogging world evolve beyond all recognition in the next few years, with the focus being less on superstars and more on individuals that genuinely have something to say. We'll get bored of watching Primark hauls and smokey eye tutorials, and we'll roll our eyes at those attempting to eat ten donuts in a minute. We will, however, start to seek out relevant and engaging content written by those we can relate to and trust. That only comes with knowledge, experience and something to say; knowledge, experience and something to say only comes with patience, passion and a work ethic that doesn't involve wanting the easiest route that's littered with free lipglosses. I really wish the media would start picking up on the real skill and dedication involved in running and growing an online presence, rather than focusing on the money that can be made by a small minority; perhaps then this generation would realise that aspiring to be a full time super-blogger is 2015's alternative to wanting to be on TOWIE.

What are your thoughts on these new statistics and the perception of the blogging world outside of our own communities? Do you think we'll see a wave of blogging internships replacing grad schemes and apprenticeships?


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16 comments

  1. I HEAR YOU SISTER. I get messages from friends all the time saying how do you get all this "Free stuff". Because I sit in my room till ungodly hours of the morning, editing editing editing photographs and basically having no life haha! It annoys me so much that people see this as an easy option!!

    My background before I started blogging involved graphic design and web design and using a posh camera is not easy! haha!

    I better stop now before I carry on ranting !! Great post :)

    Zoe Newlove Beauty Blogger & MUA

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  2. Everyone you meet these days wants to start a blog. I am guessing the real test of time is just how long they keep it going. Even part time blogging is way harder than I ever realised!

    Tiffany Tales – A British Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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  3. As you say the worry is that they think it's easy or will bring them loads of money and as we know if you're not passionate about your blog and understand of what is involved just for a 'free lipstick' then they're in for a rude awakening! Any career you want to be successful in requires a degree of work.

    I remember when I was younger I wanted to be a writer (Enid Blyton specifically!), as I became a lover of Take That and the like it was a journalist and of course partly because I decided it was the best way to meet aforementioned bands. That said when everyone else undertook work experience at local businesses I contacted all the magazines and had work experience at Smash Hits and the like and signed up for journalism courses (why they didn't happen is a whole other story!).

    Now I may be working in insurance by day and blogging by night (modern day superhero?!) but the realities are that its not all glamour and easy, and as you say blogging has exploded recently so to carve your niche on the internet and be seen is not as easy as many think!

    It'll certainly be interesting to see how things evolve and where it takes both us and the younger generation.

    Victoria
    FlorenceandMary.com

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  4. Great post! I think most of the people who said they want to be a full time blogger have no idea how hard it is. I've had my blog for nearly two years and I love it, I would love to do it full time but I know that my content just isn't good enough. I think a lot of people want to be bloggers full time but don't even have a blog, they just think its as easy as setting up a blog and letting the money roll in. I love my blog but I also have a part time job 16hours a week to support my blogging. I think if people knew how much time and creativity went into blogging, they would re think their career ambitions. xx
    Chloe
    http://professionaldaydreamerx.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. This is certainly interesting! I started blogging in 2014 because of a bad break up and it's been a hobby and something I absolutely love developing since, but I've never really thought of doing it as a full time job because 1. I have not got that sort of readership 2. It is blooming hard work!

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  6. I agree! People think its easy and they always want the easy way out, without any of the work!

    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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  7. I think this is crazy. All these young kids need to obtain skills for another profession in case this doesn't work out. It is an amazing career to have but I am sure they don't realise the hard work you need to put in first

    Lauren x | www.laurenapowers.blogspot.com

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  8. Wow this post was so interesting! Thanks for sharing!

    A Little Dose of Makeup

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  9. I could go on and on about on this subject! It's so refreshing to read this, but yet again you always provide frank and honest opinions!

    Fab post lovely.

    Emily xo
    www.britishbeautyaddict.com

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  10. Great post, honest and spot on.
    Tracey x

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  11. This is such a great, honest post and you've mentioned a lot of important points that people need to take on board when considering starting a blog with the mindset that it will become a career. I have to admit, blogging has proved to be much more demanding, time-consuming and an incredible amount of effort more than I'd ever imagined prior to starting my blog, but I wouldn't change it for the world. Being a full-time student with a part-time job in fashion retail, I'm often short for time when it comes to blogging, however I'm strict with myself when it comes to my content - I'd never sacrifice the quality of my content because of lack of time. So glad somebody has finally shared a post like this and I've found it super interesting to read. Thanks for sharing! xxx

    Ciara Rose | AllureImpassionedGoddess

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  12. So hilarious howe people think blogging or even you tubing doesn't contain that much work. I tried daily blogging and it took up more time than my old day job at Costa! And was far more frustrating when your footage disappeared!

    Abigail Alice x | Travel, Fashion & Beauty

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  13. As you know, I could fill a whole page with comments on this! When brands talk about 'bloggers' in THAT tone of voice, I point out that blogging needs a number of skill sets from photography, editing, writing, time-management, accountancy, digital skills, video, social skills - oh, you name it, you need it! The majority of us don't have 'people' (although I'm often asked if a member of my team would like to attend an event.... team, what team?!) to take care of these things and I can honestly say I have never, ever worked so hard in my life! I think that those like you that have built a strong and solid audience who trust our reviews or like our tone of voice, or whatever it is, won't see a downshift, but there is definitely a watershed coming for blogs and Youtubers - it's just a case of when.

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  14. I've had my blog around 4 or 5 years now and I went back and deleted the first few years because my posts were cringey! I love blogging but not as much as I used to, I have a full time job which keeps me busy enough so I can go months without blogging and it doesn't bother me. I don't have a large following waiting for my posts, i'm not sure I could deal with the pressure of having new interesting content constantly. I use my blog now as more of a diary, i'll pop up posts if there's something that takes me fancy, or I want to get something off my chest or perhaps just share some photos of my weekend. Kudos to those who do it full time, it'll stay a hobby for me until i'm too old to do it anymore lol

    Lx

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  15. These statistics are a little misleading. Of course if you ask a bunch of 18-25 year olds who are hunting for voucher codes that they would love to be bloggers. These are the people who read blogs. They are interested in fashion and beauty and they see these blogging lifestyles.

    I'd be interested in questioning a more varied demographic. But yes, all the points you made about being an easy life, getting free stuff, that it a very common mentality amongst a lot of people.

    Just glad to see you're continuing to work hard and provide us with something topical to consider.

    http://baresome.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. Great post! I think the thing that annoys me the most about those type of 'Be the next Zoella' magazine articles is that shes been on Youtube for 9 years (or something) so it's definitely not an 'overnight' success thing, as is true for most bloggers/youtubers who make money from doing it. I do think most people will realise that earning money from being a blogger isn't easy money once they begin though. I liked your point about the importance of working in an office too. There are so many things you'd just have no idea about without that type of real world experience.

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