I Hate HR: How To Monetize A Blog


A note from a reader.

Hi Laurie, I’m guessing you get about 50 of these a day…so I am writing at 2:00 a.m. CST so I am first in line. Before I ask the question you probably dread, let’s talk about me: I just spent 8+ years in a fancy schmancy HR Director job. I decided that 70 hour weeks in the office more often than not, enough travel that I can add a few items to your list of “shit not to do when you fly”, and enough stress that I think my furrowed brow would be permanent if it weren’t for the miraculous workings of Botox at the ripe age of 38 was not what I wanted out of life. So I quit. No plan B. Okay, that’s not true. I planned on updating my resume. When I left the company. A month ago. I was really thinking about consulting, and then I got into reading HR blogs thinking it might be a tool to get started. I think I can do this. I’m funny. Damnit, I’m funny! Seriously, yours became a fast favorite so you get the question. Wait for it….. How did you get started doing this? How does one become a blogger, exactly? Hmmmm….maybe I really just want to curse aloud. Often. And get paid for it. Repressed HR rage from years of smiling and being PC, maybe. Honestly, I just like to write, and would love to do so in a forum where I can actually say what I think. So your turn now…… (and thank you ahead should you choose to reply).

Wow. Nice. The key is to get regular Botox when you are 28. This helps to avoid the deep wrinkles when you’re in your late 30s. Not that I speak from experience. But I do.

I have nothing but bad news for my newly unemployed reader. You can’t become a blogger who earns money in the next five years. And the whole idea of monetizing a blog as a sole way of earning income has jumped the shark. But I do have some tips to start blogging here.

So how did I get started?

Well, I’ve been blogging for nine years. That’s a long time. I should probably write a book except I suck. So I blog. In the beginning, I wrote anonymously to learn how social media works. Then I built a business as a writer over the past five years.

And the past five years have been amazing. I worked hard to establish a voice, cultivate an audience and build my reputation as someone who has something relatively smart to say about work, politics, power and money. I also have other writers and public figures who vouch for me. (That helps.) And I write elsewhere to establish good SEO back to my blog.

People find me. It’s not an accident.

I have to tell you a secret, though: being a blogger is a bullshit job like any other job. Yes, it’s better than Human Resources. But having an infrastructure is nice. Where’s my in-house counsel? Where’s my travel department? And I hate hustling to make a living. Portfolio work is demeaning. And I miss the days when someone paid for everything: my mobile phone, my coffee and my time.

I wish I could shop on Zappos and West Elm while earning a paycheck.

The grass is always greener. For all of you out there who want to peace-out on your job, know this:

  • You can be a full-time employee and still write.

I would recommend that route. It gives you more credibility in your industry. And if you work in HR, go read tlnt.com and ere.net and fistfuloftalent.com and see how others do it.

I love my life. You can’t have it. It’s mine. But I am not the model of a healthy career. Go find your own path.

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