Let’s get one thing straight – blogging is a form of self-employment. Some people call it freelancing and others say it’s a flexible working pattern, but it’s not a concrete role. Yes, it’s a money-spinner and it’s an excellent job, but it can cease to exist at any point. As a blogger, this is the biggest concern – that the money stops rolling through the door. After all, the financial rewards are what keep the roof over your head and the taxman off your back.
Sadly, being self-employed isn’t all picnics and rainbows. The danger above is simply one of a number of hazards which can impact a person’s career. Please don’t see this as a scare tactic because it isn’t. Instead, it’s a warning shot to anyone looking to enter the industry without understanding the basics.
To help, here are five more dangers of being a self-employed blogger and the solutions. Hopefully, the following will help you to become a leader in the market.
To begin with, there is always someone looking to steal a march. And, they won’t hesitate to take clients and customers if it gets them ahead. They will fight a war on all fronts, from the local and national to international companies, and it’s daunting. Simply, the only fix is to fight back and be prepared to fight fire with fire. Regarding the huge corporations that are somehow in the same market, you should resist the urge to trade blows. Their bottomless resources mean they can wait you out and destroy the site within a matter of months. Instead, focus on the entities that are around the same size and a big threat. Some self-people are so worried about losing their market share that they go into business with their competitors. It doesn’t sound appealing but it’s a savvy ploy if both sides can agree on favourable terms.
As the boss, it is your job to oversee every aspect of the blog. This is true of everyone in a position of power, but at least they can delegate. Bloggers are typically single individuals who live, eat, breathe and then repeat the job. Of course, this is going to lead to problems because there aren’t enough hours in a day. As much as you may not like to hear it, a guy or girl has gotta sleep at some point too. Forget the Steve Jobs documentary because he was a one-off! Burnout can lead to a drop in standards, so it’s essential to outsource whatever tasks possible. Customer service, if applicable, is a popular one, as is marketing. Paying less to outsource and maintain quality is a no-brainer. Alternatively, you can hire employees.
Once money begins to roll in, the blog is a viable business and has to act as such. Ahem, excuse me, yep over here – I don’t have a clue how to run a business! Yes, this is the predicament bloggers find themselves in quite regularly. For one thing, you need to source licences and permits, formulate a structure, and inform the taxman. Sorry, but HMRC are going to want to know about the extra income. All of this means dealing with law and you don’t have the skills of experience. Thankfully, a solicitor will be able to tell you which structure to use to avoid liability. It’s an LLC, by the way. Be wary that lawyers specialise in everything from employment law to tax law, and you may need a couple to cover all of the bases. If in doubt, ask an expert or use Google to research.
Unfortunately, there is a toxic mix of consumerism that is doing the rounds at the moment. Customers are more entitled than before, and this poses a problem. If you don’t give them what they want, they will bounce and you’ll lose custom. The same goes for clients, too. Remember that there is always someone who is willing to undercut a rival to generate a lead. All you can do is attempt to provide as great an experience as possible. For instance, deliver packages on time and to specifications. Again, outsourcing helps in this respect. But, you may want to stop short of doing anything they ask as they will push the envelope.
There are no guarantees. You may enter the world of blogging and take to it like a duck to water. On the flip side, it may go disastrously. The key is to keep on fighting and to prove yourself as a blogger of note if things don’t go well in the beginning.
What’s the diagnosis? Are you as excited to be a blogger or has this post raised concerns?