The current rage in “lifestyle design” blogs

Is anyone else sick of the hundreds of blogs out there that are about “How I made six figures by quitting my job and doing what I love”?(Variations of this theme include: living simply, remote working, be your own boss, etc.)?  The dude who over enthusiastically proclaims his office is the beach in Brazil/Mexico/Asia/Indonesia and how YOU TOO can quit your job and build a blog and hit the road just like him and, oh yeah, make a hundred grand a year writing about nothing.

I am not talking about running an actual virtual business or remote worker – last year I worked remotely and as long as I had an internet connection, I could (and did) work from anywhere, which allowed me to live where I wanted and travel when I wanted and blah blah like all these guys blather on about. These blogs don’t actually have any business behind them-they are just selling themselves!

For example, the writers who create “Live your dream” blogs where their dream is to work for themselves, living where they like and traveling when they want, with no other aim. So essentially, they write about how to quit your job and make six figures, going on and on about how free they are and where they travel… by blogging about quitting their job and writing about it online.  It’s way too circular, and the community of people writing them, all of whom must be commenting and guest posting on each others sites to get the kind of traffic they do, won’t be able to support itself with the circular argument that most of the location independent lifestyle are spouting.

In fact, I think it might be getting harder already, as some of these blogs are resorting to annoying hard sell tactics to sign up for their newsletters about nothing, download their buzz word filled ebooks, sign up for their online or email courses, with headlines like “How to Live Anywhere & experience Ridiculously Extraordinary Freedom”, pop ups, long and detailed posts about dollars made each day/week/month through passive income they allegedly make…by describing what you are experiencing yourself on their site and how to set that up for yourself and generate the traffic to generate the “six figures” they are pulling in…

Certainly the next generation in the US, and even the current generation in the workforce over the next decade, will not be able to support themselves in this manner, because everyone will know about SEO and Adsense and link building to their blog. The workplace is changing, and while it may be a brave new world for some of us, it won’t be for those growing up in the internet age. And then this strange phenomenon of self reflected blogging about basically nothing to get ad traffic and trackback links will settling itself into the history of the beginning of this century, for us to remember fondly as a short lived way to make easy money.

This phenomenon has not yet hit Spain, and I doubt it ever will. Americans are fiercely independent and working for yourself is held in very high esteem. The culture here does not regard “working for the man” as necessarily a bad thing, especially not when you get a full month of vacation (which employers are required by law to give you), plus 14 paid holidays a year, the average working day like I talked about in this post, which changes in the summer to an abridged work schedule called horario intensivo, where employees work non-stop from around 8:00 or 9:00 until 15:00, not to mention something like a year’s full pay if you get laid off. Plus, if you work for yourself, you have to pay far more into the social security system than someone paid by an employer. AND – if you have two business entities, you have to pay the SS tax twice each month! It is kind of ridiculous actually, and also why there are not so many entrepreneurs here…and not a lot of people clamoring for ways to break free from the clutches of working for someone else.

So I kind of digressed into left field from my original rant-like post. Just for giggles, google location independent lifestyle and have a look at some of preposterous headlines and shameless self promotion that seem ever more like those of pyramid schemes.In fact, you might agree that the tactics are designed to appeal to just the kind of people who will enviously compare their cubicle life to the blog-dudes beach fren, most likely, never achieve the lifestyle dream these sites are selling.


6 thoughts on “The current rage in “lifestyle design” blogs

  1. As a four-year veteran of the nomadic remote coffee shop milita, I feel I can bluntly and accurately say, that those bloggity-mcblog folks are completely full of shit. Yes, there are habits some successful people have, but I promise you that they didn’t learn them by reading some stupid productivity blog.

    Besides, working remotely isn’t all its cracked up to be sometimes. If your actually -working-, chances are your not on a gold beach somewhere in your swim-jams with scantly clad ladies around you. Instead, your crammed in a pathetic excuse for a table at a coffee shop trying to talk to a client while angsty teenagers talk loudly and make out in the booth next to you. Working in underpants is a plus though. (Unless your in Spain where the neighbors can see you while they wash their dishes).

    Sounds like Spain/Europe is the jam for working; once you deal with all the visa issues and close talkers.

    • I intend to write some more on working in Spain. There is a tradeoff, as with everything, for the cush work hours and so many paid days off, the first being that salaries are *really* low, the second being the level of productivity in the country that those conditions create impacts absolutely everything!

  2. Snake oil baby.. Snake oil.

    The 1 month vacation and one month of paid holidays are what I like best about my job now. It’s the main reason I’ve stuck with it for so long. That and 32.5 hours a week is considered full time. Benefits and pension aren’t bad either. The trade off is that I only make about half what I could make working for another company that makes you work 60 hours a week. But I value down time.. me time.. whatever you want to call it.

    I also get annoyed with those people that sell get rich quick with real estate and house flipping schemes. They make their money selling those schemes to people and not actually practicing what they preach.

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