Blogging can be a great hobby and/or a great business. But once you start digging into it, you’ll quickly find that many in your family are confused by what you’re doing. And with the holidays in full swing and the various family gatherings, inevitably your blog will come up.
It’s not that they don’t necessarily support your being a blogger, they just don’t understand what you’re doing.
I’ve been blogging for over 5 years, and have been self-employed for nearly 3 years and my family still isn’t entirely sure what I’m doing.
But they are getting better….
In this post, I’m going to share some tips on how to explain your blog to your family so that all the holiday get togethers are just a little less awkward.
Should You Even Tell Your Family About Your Blog?
Before I dive into, how to explain your blog to your family, you may be wondering if you should even mention your blog to your family, if they don’t already know about it?
I’m all in favor of telling people about your blog, though I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hesitant at first.
The more people you tell, the more people they can tell, and word of mouth can be a great way to grow your blog.
Now, if you are blogging anonymously or about something you wouldn’t want your family to know, then really it’s going to depend on your situation.
However, I will say, blogging is a lot of work and can take up a lot of time so I think it’s worth sharing what you’re spending a good chunk of your time doing. Also, chances are someone in your family will find out anyway.
How to Answer the “What Do You Do?” Question
To you or I the simple answer would be, “I’m a blogger.” But to your family who doesn’t necessarily understand how blogging could be a business that isn’t sufficient.
Also, it’s not unusual for people to kind of scoff at the idea of someone being a blogger, so I’d avoid that term with those not in the know.
Instead, share with them the purpose of you blog and who you help. So you could say something along the lines of:
“I run a website that helps X, with Y.”
It makes it more “legit” sounding in their eyes and is a better explanation of what you do.
How to Answer the “And You Can Make Money Doing That?” Question
This can be a tricky question if you haven’t been blogging very long and therefore haven’t started to make money.
I think the best way to answer that is honestly but vaguely, particularly if you don’t want them all up in your business.
“Yes, but as with any business there are some start up costs and it takes time to become profitable.”
All of that is true, but none of it requires you to share just how much or how little you’re making.
If you have started making money, you can rephrase it,
“Yes, but it took a little bit of time and capital to get things going.”
It provides the same effect and again doesn’t invite them to be all up in your business.
How to Answer the “But How Does a Website About That Make Money?” Question
This question usually comes up from those that are genuinely curious and wanting to understand exactly what it is you do.
But I’ve also found that once you start talking about it, they can lose interest pretty quickly.
So the key is to talk about it in the language they understand. Remember while terms like affiliate marketing are second nature to bloggers, they can be pretty foreign to others.
So a quick short and sweet answer could be something like:
“The great thing about running a website is there are several different ways to make money simultaneously. Including, money from ads on my site, selling products, referring others to products for referral bonuses, and offering freelance services”
If you do offer any type of freelance service, I’d mention the specifics, it and the ad revenue are the easiest for non bloggers to quickly wrap their head around. So if you are a freelance writer, say so.
How to Answer the “Can I Get Your Advice on X? Question
Once they have some understanding of what you do, they may start to see you as an expert (which in a way is super awesome) and start asking your advice.
And chances are you are more than happy to give it, but this can be a slippery slope, that you’ll want to decide how to navigate.
Personally, I think it’s one thing to help and give advice to family, but another to give it for free to their friends and others they suggest.
You only have so many hours in a day and if blogging is your business, then whatever topic they are looking for advice on, they are seeking your professional advice. I don’t have the time to constantly give away all my hard work for free. It’s why my site is monetized.
So give the advice to the extent you are comfortable and then just refer them to your blog for more details.
Helping your family to understand what you do is a blogger doesn’t need to be super awkward or frustrating. Hopefully, the tips in this post will help you to navigate the many family gatherings this holiday season.
Remember, try to focus on explaining who you help and how rather than the ins and outs of the blogging world.
Got any other advice on how to explain blogging to your family or friends that just don’t get it? Let me know in the comments!