Too Much Hype on Self Employment in Personal Finance Blogs?

Written by Karen Bryan

me working in hotel in santanderThe majority of people earn their income as employees, working for a company/organisation; yet there is so much positivity about being self employed in personal finance blogs. Lots of blog posts seem to be about quitting the cubicle, rather than getting the most from it.

There are blogs about generating income from investing in the stock market, but that’s carries a fair amount of risk.

There’s certainly plenty of hype about making money blogging (often from bloggers selling ebooks/courses on the topic). I try to be more realistic about being a blogger. You’re still going to be sitting at desk working for hours a day; will it really be that different from the day job? Yes, you’ll have more flexibility over which hours which you work and the potential to earn more money but you’ll have the uncertainty of how much you’ll earn at the end of the month.

Maybe it would be more useful to readers of personal finance blogs to have a some focus on how to succeed as an employee; highlighting the benefits of a guaranteed income, sick pay, holiday pay and employer contributions to your pension.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should stick with a job that you absolutely hate. But conversely it may not be a wise move to fall for all the hype, chuck in a perfectly good job and up in dire financial straits.

Yes, I know I’m being a bit pessimistic here, but at the same time not everyone can set up a successful business.

In my opinion, there’s too much talk about the pros of self employment and not enough about the cons. I’d like to see a more balanced presentation of the advantages and disadvantages of self employment on personal finance blogs.


7 Responses to “Too Much Hype on Self Employment in Personal Finance Blogs?”

  1. Hi Karen

    A thought-provoking post. I agree with your observation that personal finance blogs often hype-up the idea of self-employment, and I’m interested in the reasons for this bias.

    My theory is that it reflects the aspirations of people who are active in the personal finance blogosphere. There are lots of bloggers who dream of being able to give up their day job and devote their time to their blogs, which they are rightly passionate about. I’d number myself amongst them, on days when I’m particularly misty-eyed!

    In many, many cases, leaving paid employment and becoming a full-time blogger won’t be practicable. But people still have their dreams and aspirations, and these are bound to be reflected in the subject matter that they choose for their personal blogs.

    Do other people agree with my theory?

    I’d be interested in everyones’ views!

  2. Ethan – I think it’s a bit of ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’; people who are employees thinking wouldn’t it be wonderful to have the flexibility and freedom of self employment, while forgetting some of the advantages of being an employee.

  3. I think it’s the notion of being a bit different and not conforming to society’s self-imposed restrictions that makes people want to talk encouragingly about setting up their own business. Yes it’s risky, but it’s ‘out-there’ and adventurous.

    I think Ethan has also hit the nail on the head by suggesting that someone with their own blog may well be the sort of person to want to start their own business, if we were to be making assumptions.

    In any case, it’s nice to dream, and the reality is that most people will never start their own business anyway, so why not let them dream?

  4. Hi all

    I have to admit that hazy dreams of self-employment do float through my mind from time to time!

    As Karen says, there is usually an element of ‘the grass is always greener’ and an under-estimation of the challenges and lack of support that face the self-employed.

    But my main income at the moment is still from permanent employment, and the occasional (unrealistic, romanticised) thought of greater independence helps to get me through some of the toughest days. So I fully subscribe to PP’s idea that “it’s nice to dream”. If nothing else, those dreams are an effective coping strategy for modern corporate life!

    Also, you never know, perhaps the part-time blogging will equip me with skills that will enable me to take the plunge and become a proper self-employed person at some time in the future …

  5. You’ve found some good balance here Karen, as there’s nothing wrong with being successful as an employee compared to self employment, nothing at all. I wrote recently on understanding the difference between a job and a career, where even if you’re not cut out for self employment, your attitude to your existing work is still paramount if you want to be successful, and like you say, get the most from it and the opportunities and benefits it offers.

  6. I work for the financial site and also run

    I’ve got to say that, I wouldn’t dream of giving up my desk job to “go solo” when it comes to blogging. It’s great for those who can make it into a full time job that pays well enough for their lifestyle, but I would miss the office.

    Being in an office focuses my mind and allows me to draw inspiration from the people I work with when it comes to writing about finance in an interesting way.

    There’s just a bit more financial security working for a company, rather than working for myself. I can’t see a blog as more than a peripheral piece to an existing site.

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