“Do what you love, the money will follow”
That sounds amazing in theory, but how do we actually make that work? Marsha Sinetar discusses her book by the same name, Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood, and discusses living an authentic life. We all want to be happy and genuine, yet we aren’t on some magical journey where we get to live our best lives because we are passionate about something.
We have to consciously create a pathway to our own success.
Many of us blog because it’s a platform anyone can use to connect with the world. We get to design our tiny part of the universe any way we want. And with the right tools and strategy, we will never have to choose passion over profit.
We can have both.
Choose Good Works
It starts with choosing a topic that satisfies our soul and brings something positive to the planet. It’s choosing to be profitable but not at the expense of others. It’s the belief that money is the consequence of doing good works.
This concept isn’t new. It’s actually one of the steps on the Buddist’s Eightfold Path. Called the Right Livelihood, it means making a living through “ethical and non-harmful means”. What we put into the world has a direct impact on our overall well being and contentment. I know that’s a lot of spiritual huey for some, but it’s easy to see how choosing the right livelihood would promote a happy and harmonious life.
We can choose something we are passionate about and that we can profit from. Start with asking ourselves the following questions:
- What excites us?
- What topic could we talk about all day long?
- What never feels like work even after putting in a 12 hour day?
- What do we love that would bring good karma to the world?
Choose a Monetization Strategy (or two!)
Although we’re focused on doing good works and writing about what we’re passionate about, we always have to remember that this is a money-making operation. And there are a lot of ways we can monetize our sites. For example, here are 4 ways Jenny Lawson, from The Bloggess, makes money from her site:
- Link to her book and where we can buy it
- Link to her shop on Zazzle
- Promoting things in her blog (she doesn’t do this often but it’s a possibility)
- Selling advertising space
Affiliate marketing is another fantastic idea for bloggers. In 17 High Ticket Affiliate Programs to Dramatically Increase Your Profits, Spencer Mecham explains how being an affiliate for Hostgator works:
“The cool thing is that people who sign up for Hostgator only have to pay $20 to sign up, then you as an affiliate automatically get $200. So you don’t have to convince your audience to purchase high-dollar products to get a nice commission from Hostgator.”
We can choose from thousands of different affiliate programs and work with the ones that are both reputable and profitable. We can choose to sell in ways that are honest and upfront. I’ve turned my back on sleazy sales tactics but never lose sleep when I’m making money selling something I’d buy myself.
Create a Digital Product
This is one of the funnest things we get to do. We get to share our knowledge and expertise in eBooks, online courses, video tutorials, patterns, and guides. And we can DIY the entire product ourselves when this once would have cost us thousands of dollars to accomplish. Chris Dalziel, from Joybilee Farm, created a very cool DIY Herbal Apothecary course that she promotes on her homesteading blog:
What makes blogging the ideal platform for digital products is we are already writing for a niche that’s interested in what we have to say. As we’re building our audience, we’re also building our potential customer list. It’s the perfect business relationship!
And when we blog with good intent and write with a genuine desire to help people, it shows in our sales.
Rethinking What it Means to Be a Blogger
I’m surrounded by artists. A friend just made me a beautiful drawing of my daughter and I. My mother just painted me a lotus flower watercolor. I can’t draw a stick person.
But I can write.
I’ll never have the eloquence of Virginia Woolf. And I’ll never be able to spin a tale like J.K. Rowling. Yet, I can write about eCommerce for days. I love writing about new business ideas or how amazing a new productivity tool may be. I’m a total business nerd and that’s okay. Because there are millions of other business nerds out there that understand what I’m saying.
I’ve made a conscious choice to not sacrifice my soul just to make money. Of course, I need to make a living and pay my bills. Rather than choose profit over passion, I’ve built a business where I can have both. It’s not easy, but it is possible.
And it never truly feels like work.
Liesha’s a freelancer by day and Kyokushin Black Belt by night.
She’s the author of Killing Rapunzel: Learning How to Save Yourself Through Determination, Grit, and Self-Employment (her mother hates the title – but it’s a metaphor mom!). She talks freelancing adventures at Microbusiness Essentials.