How would you react if you son or daughter said that they wanted to be a blogger when they grew up? For many parents, it’s unfamiliar territory.
The other day I had a fascinating comment over on my Facebook page from someone who was concerned that their grandchild wanted to become a blogger.
It was an interesting moment for me because, like many of you reading this, my family wasn’t always supportive or understanding of my chosen blogging career path.
I realized that a lot of parents or grandparents might be a bit confused about this issue so I decided to do a post with my own thoughts based on my own experiences, and I’d love you own input in the comments below.
Let’s take a look.
Can blogging really be a legitimate career for my kid?
If you’ve found this article because you’re a parent who is searching Google for some answers about how to deal with this “problem” then I should re-assure you that blogging is now a very legitimate career.
You might want to go back and read this article on what exactly a blog is so that we are all using the same terms and definitions.
My own story is that I dropped out of college after I was lucky enough to sell a blog for 5-figures. Since then I’ve had a stable career running a blogging company of various iterations.
I genuinely don’t say this to brag, but to reassure people reading this that blogging can be an extraordinarily good option from a creative and a financial standpoint in an economy where the workforce is changing all the time due to things like artificial intelligence, robotics, and globalization.
In fact, my own story is pretty tame when it comes to results. There’s people like Zoella who have had better book sales than Harry Potter all due to a blog, and then there’s this guy who sold his banking blog for $15 million dollars.
And, more simply, here on Blog Tyrant we’ve written about how stay at home moms can make extra money and how a relative beginner built a fashion blog that now is her full time career. We’ve looked at how parents can build a blog while raising kids, the list goes on and on.
So when then would a parent be concerned about their child wanting to become a blogger given the impressive potential results for their futures?
Why are parents concerned about blogging careers?
I should start this post off by reminding everyone that I don’t have any children so I am writing this post from the point of view of the child.
My decision to drop out of college to pursue a blogging career came as a big shock to my parents. They didn’t understand why I would want to throw away the relative safety of a degree and an office job for something that might just be a trend.
And, to be honest, I get it. But it’s so vital for parents these days to understand how volatile the workforce is, and how quickly jobs are changing.
By one popular estimate, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. – World Economic Forum
One report suggests that 65% of children who are at primary school today will be working in jobs that don’t exist yet using technologies that haven’t been invented.
That means that, for two thirds of kids at school today, their schooling years are about learning skills and critical thinking patterns and creative abilities and disciplines that they can then apply to a career that they are totally unfamiliar with.
And that is why I think it is fantastic that any child should express some interest in blogging.
Why children should be encouraged to start blogging
If you’re son or daughter has told you that they want to be a blogger I think it is a cause for celebration and encouragement.
Blogging is a very entrepreneurial career and the fact that they are interested in it shows that they appreciate this new medium (whether it’s video blogging, written content, etc.) and have recognized that it has some potential.
If your child grows up to start a blog at whatever age that becomes appropriate, they are going to learn so many incredible skills that can be applied to a multitude of different jobs which they might move on to once they become bored with blogging or recognize a different opportunity.
On any one day a blogger might do the following:
Network with other bloggers or the media, write long-form content that helps people, set up servers and email accounts, install plugins or software, write some code to add a new feature, tinker with design and branding elements, manage social media accounts, experiment with advertising and marketing, solve problems with website down time, deal with intruders and security… the list goes on.
But if you take a careful look at all of those tasks you’ll see how many different careers out in the “real world” can be formed off the basis of those skills. I have so many friends who have gone from “blogger with good social media presence” to “social media manager at X brand” which is an exciting path many would like to follow.
What parents should watch out for
Of course, any post about kids starting blogs as a career choice should come with some warnings.
Blogging is hard work. And it’s a fact of life that a lot of bloggers who want to make sustainable careers and make money from home often never seem to be able to make it work.
There are also all the usual safety issues relating to personal information, identity, and posting some stupid shit that then gets used against them in the future.
But perhaps more importantly, it’s vital that parents instill the types of values in their children that makes them want to create blogs that contribute to the community.
For example, there is a current trend of YouTube bloggers who create pretty destructive, self-involved videos that attract enormous followings and, as far as I can tell, don’t really help anyone except for the person cashing the advertising checks.
Similarly, it has been noted that Instagram can cause some mental health issues as young people are bombarded with hyper-sexual photos of perfectly photo-shopped bodies, ripped abs, luxury holidays, and a plethora of other unrealistic daily activities.
If your daughter or son gets to a blogging-appropriate age (I’m not going to say what age that is as I have no experience), it would be wonderful if they could approach the task from a creative, self-expressive place that also has a view to be as beneficial and helpful as possible to both themselves and their readers.
They can create beautiful online beacons that become safe havens for their visitors, who read fact-checked articles about topics that genuinely have a wonderful impact on the world.
This is truly possible and is already happening.
We want blogs to solve problems because there are real people reading them.
What is your opinion?
I’d really love to hear from as many people as possible on this one. Are you a parent that has a particular view about whether they would like their children to become bloggers? Or are you like me and have been the one who started a blogging career without your parents really understanding? What advice would you give to a parent reading this?
Please leave a comment below as it might really help someone.
Top image © Daniel Villeneuve