Hobbies … how much should we spend on them?


“Well blogging doesn’t make me any money right now so I can’t really justify spending any money on it.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the above statement in the last few years. And naturally, being at a blogging conference last week, I heard it again. A good few times!

So … indulge me for a second as I launch straight into my rebuttal of this strange idea that certain hobbies should be self-sustaining.

  • Do you know someone who plays golf every weekend? Have you ever heard them say ‘well I can’t justify paying green fees because golf isn’t making me any money right now.’
  • Do you know someone who’s a Star Wars enthusiast? Have you ever heard them say ‘I can’t justify the cost of ComicCon (is that where Stars Wars enthusiasts go?!) because I’ve not got the whole monetisation thing for this obsession of mine under control yet.’
  • Do you know any triathletes? Have you ever heard them say ‘I’m not making any money from triathlon at the moment so I can’t really justify the money required to do that race next month. Or buy that new bike.’
  • Do you have a friend who enjoys knitting, crocheting or quilting? Have they ever held back from buying new materials because their hobby isn’t generating an income for them yet?

As you can see, I find it a little hard to understand this weird way of thinking that many (not all, but many) bloggers seem to have. This idea that blogging, as a hobby, must somehow pay for itself. I find it hard to understand how people cannot justify the (small) expenses of something that:

  • Gives them great pleasure
  • Allows them to feel connected to others
  • They’re quite good at (which brings the pleasure of regular small wins)
  • Makes them a better person
  • And is probably the one thing they get to do that is purely for themselves

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting for a second that people should be going out and dropping $5000 on a website re-brand and re-vamp (although I know many who will drop that on a new bike without a second thought) … but I know of so many bloggers who are still on a free platform (which means they don’t actually own their own content) and (despite having available funds) find it hard to justify purchasing a domain for $10, paying $6 a month in hosting fees and outlaying $50 for a nice premium theme. I hear so many people who are frustrated with elements of their blog design, or would love help with certain aspects of what they are doing … but won’t do so till their blog can pay for it itself.

So I’m just going to put this thought here on the floor and leave it for you to ponder in your own time:

Your hobby, whether it be stamp-collecting, bird-watching or blogging, is worth spending money on (if that money is available). Investing in our hobbies is investing in ourselves as people; it makes us nicer people to be around. And the last time I checked, the more nice people there are in the world, the better a place it is. #justsaying

** I realise all of the above can seem a little self-serving as I am a web designer, but I feel safe in saying it all as I am not really doing blog design work any more! If, however, the above has helped you decide that you are ready to do some design work on your blog, I highly recommend Lisa and Katrina 🙂


Meanwhile, it’s Weekend Rewind time with Bron and me (our Son is taking a little break because … well sometimes life just sucks).

Bloggers, why don’t you link up your favourite post from the week just gone (it doesn’t matter which of us you link up at, your post will be visible on all of our sites). Readers, why not check out some awesome blogs you may not have come across before.