After watching one of Scott Cunningham's monthly earnings videos, I decided to do a little investigation and determine how much crypto I earn on each crypto blog/video that I create. Whereas Scott does a great job of providing a total overview of his monthly earnings, the economist in me wanted to take a different angle and calculate my crypto earnings on an hourly basis to better compare my crypto earnings to my "real job." Although I earn considerably less than minimum wage writing crypto articles, I feel there are many non-monetary reasons that justify spending my time creating crypto content.
To Those Of You Considering Writing Articles
Video also available on LBRY
I suspect that many people who consider writing about cryptocurrency want to know how much they will make, and that is a good question to ask before investing the time and effort (and video/audio equipment) required to make a video or article. As a true economist, I have to evade the question and give the generic answer that "it depends on the circumstances." Someone who already has a large social media following and an upbeat personality will likely make more than someone who has never edited a video and is building their audience from scratch. In this article, I'll do my best to give a ballpark estimate of my hourly earnings from crypto blogging, and I'll also make the case that the value I receive from creating crypto content goes far beyond the actual crypto I receive.
Part of my training in business school was to compare every choice that a person makes to the most desirable alternative. For example, consider that Patrick Mahomes (an American football player) reportedly makes an average annual salary of $45 million. If he wanted to, Patrick could work full time as a teacher making around $40,000 per year. Would this be profitable? Sure, but from an economist's perspective, even a profitable choice can be a bad choice if it means giving up something even more profitable. In Patrick's situation, teaching high school would be a bad (from a business perspective) choice because he would have to necessarily give up the $45 million per year he makes playing football.
As a crypto blogger, my heart leaps for joy every time that I check Publish0x, Hive, LBRY, or Uptrennd and see that I have earned some free crypto. However, just as with Patrick Mahomes, we have to look beyond the immediate benefit and ask what other economic pursuits I gave up in order to earn this income from my crypto blogs. In order to make a fair comparison between blogging and "normal work", we first need to know how much I make per hour writing crypto blogs.
What Do I Make?
One thing I have learned as a crypto blogger is that there is no "average" article. Some articles will take me an hour or two to write, and some will take almost all day. Some will earn a few cents, and some, (especially Publish0x writing contests) could be worth over $100. That being said, my recent article about the blockchain game Crypto Brew Master is about my "average" difficulty article with "average" earnings. All in all, I earned about $13.33 from Hive, Publish0x, Uptrennd, and LBRY combined. Although I post on other crypto social media, my rewards from those sites are infrequent, generally quite low, and are immaterial for this analysis.
While $13.33 certainly is a nice amount for writing an article and making a video, it is important to realize that I only earned this money by spending several hours working on the article. Depending on the complexity of the article, it will usually take me about 3 hours to research the topic, write the article, and record the video. Regardless of the length of the article itself, I will usually spend about an hour creating a thumbnail, editing the video, and uploading the article to the various crypto social media platforms I publish on. In total, I devote about 4 hours to each article that I create which means my hourly wage for creating crypto content is about $3.33 per hour.
Economics would tell us that we should spend our scarce resources (time) where we can earn the greatest reward, so although making $3.33 per hour is good, an economist would say that I am failing to make an optimal choice if I had the opportunity to earn more by doing something else. In the United States, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which means that I could make almost double my income by working at a minimum wage job instead of writing crypto related content.
At least in my case, writing cryptocurrency and blockchain related articles is a poor financial decision, but I continue to do so for a whole host of non-monetary reasons.
-The desire to create. We spend most of our lives as a consumer. We consume media, television, computer games, and food that other people have designed and created. Even in the course of our normal employment, we follow rules, policies, and procedures that have been put in place by other people. At least for me, writing crypto articles gives me the freedom to be a creator and make my own choices about what I want to write about. As part of my content creation process, I have also learned several technical skills such as video editing, photo editing, and SVG manipulation that will be useful in other areas of life.
-Belief in the cause. While it is true that there is immense profit potential in the crypto space, I believe that crypto is much more than a potentially profitable investment. It is a groundbreaking technology that has the potential to create a more fair, equitable, and just financial system. I feel that by writing articles and informing people about the benefits of crypto, I am doing my own small part towards creating a better world and a brighter future, even if it doesn't pay that much.
Freedom- Sure, a "normal" job might pay a bit more, but as a content creator, I call the shots. I can work as often or as little as I want. My "real" job has very unpredictable hours, so even though it pays more, taking on a second "real" job isn't an option for me. Creating content is something I can do at 02:00 in the morning when I can't sleep or 15:00 in the afternoon when I'm bored and it is too hot to go outside. I can cover whatever topic in whatever manner I want.
-Friendship and Networking Blogging about cryptocurrency has been an eye opener, and I have made friends all across the world through our shared interest of cryptocurrency. As someone from a very small town, it has been an incredible experience to meet people from across the world and hear their stories about how crypto has impacted their lives. It is fascinating to me to see how cryptocurrency has different meanings to different people around the world. As someone who lives in politically-stable small town in the United States, blogging about crypto for me is a way of being creative and contributing to a cause I am passionate about. For my friends in Venezuela, crypto was a way to protect against a failed monetary system. For my companions in Africa, crypto has allowed them to purchase many basic necessities.
-Sense of Community Uptrennd users call themselves "Uptrenndians" and supporters of the Banano cryptocurrency are proudly represented by their "monKey" avatar. Throughout the crypto ecosystem, there is a strong sense of community and a belief that we are all working to create something bigger than ourselves; we proudly wear this distinction through the nicknames and monikers we give ourselves. Since beginning my crypto journey, I have been fortunate to receive, and give, so much help that has helped me become a better content creator. I have been given video and image editing tips, and I have been given pointers on my writing style. On the flip side, I have given free business strategy advice and created videos to show people how to use various crypto-related services. Most people I interact with understand that crypto isn't about winning at someone else's expense; its about working together to accomplish a shared goal. I am proud to be a part of a community that helps each other out and works together, and I consider it an honor when someone reaches out to ask my opinion about a crypto related product or service.
-Dream Big Ok, so crypto hasn't given me that Lambo just yet, but part of being a crypto creator, or any side hustle, is living a dream. Its true that I make less than minimum wage writing crypto articles, but as a content creator, I can dream of making it big. I can hope that someday, after persisting and working hard for years, I will be one of the go-to authors for crypto related content. I can dream that some of that random alt-coin that I was airdropped will moon. It's a bit of a stretch, but I can hope that someday, I'll be able to use my MBA to get a job with a major crypto company. I wouldn't be able to have those dreams if I was using all of my free time working for someone else in a job that I wan't passionate about.
Unfortunately, I don't think my occasional crypto related articles and videos are going to make me a Lambo driving Bitcoin Billionaire anytime soon. In fact, even after a year of working and building an audience, I earn far less than minimum wage writing crypto articles, but becoming a part of the crypto community is still one of my best decisions. It is nice to get some crypto every now and then from my articles, but the real reason I write is to have the satisfaction of putting my thoughts and ideas before the world. It is to inform others and advocate for what I believe to me a more fair, just, and equitable financial system, and I write to be a part of a growing community that supports and encourages each other. For those of you considering becoming a crypto blogger, I can't promise fame and untold riches, but I think you will find that it is an incredibly fulfilling and worthwhile pursuit.