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Going Full Time as a Blogger

Improve-BlogIn this post David Hobby from Strobist answers my question – ‘What did you do on your blog in 2007 that improved it the most?’

The one thing that I did for Strobist.com that allowed it to improve the most in 2007 was to focus my full-time attention on it. I had been splitting my time between Strobist and another job, at the expense of my blog, my job and, most important, my family.

Now that I am focusing all of my work efforts on Strobist, the blog is much stronger. And I actually have time to spend with my family again, too. Which is more important than any improvement in my blog.

Note from Darren: As someone who operates in a neighboring niche to David I can vouch for how his going full time has improved his blog. David’s also a great example of someone who not only makes money directly from his blog but who is able to leverage the traffic and profile of his blog into other ways of making a living – particularly through the production of resources and training.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Terry Heath says:

    I was surprised to see a full-time blog with more than 13k RSS subscribers on Blogspot! It’s very interesting since we’re often told WordPress and our own domain are the only answers, but David’s blog uses neither. I would have thought the blog was one of those who does so well because it’s been around forever, but judging from the archive it has only been around since February 2006.

    I guess that shows what good content in a well-selected niche can accomplish.

  2. I checked out David’s blog. He has some interesting posts.

  3. Natasha says:

    I plan on asking David Hobby himself, but I thought I’d post this here as well. If someone is serious about going full-time as a blogger and dedicates a lot of time to it, how long does it usually take before they can quit their dayjobs?

  4. ITrush says:

    That’s Me!, One of my dream too, to be more focused on the things that you really love the most – “blogging” – who knows right?

    Nhick
    http://www.itrush.com

  5. Etienne Teo says:

    David made the right choice to quit his day job so that he can put in 100% on his blog.

  6. I would never go full time job in a blog on Blogspot.

  7. CompuWorld says:

    that is a dream for me. I am into the last year of my engineering studies and I am a year old with blogging. I will join a company after engg for some experience and than switch as a full time blogger.

  8. Lipton says:

    I too have increased my focus on my blog at the expense of sleep and other things…

  9. Adam says:

    To reply to Sergio, Strobist.com is hosted on Blogger but it is not a Blogspot blog just like my own blog.

  10. Sean Hodge says:

    I hope my blog finds a market as there are not to many blogs dedicated to Adobe Illustrator.

    As a freelancer quiting my full time job to blog full time wouldn’t even require me to move my chair. I could in fact make the entire move in my pajamas.

    I don’t want to blog full time though. I would love it if half my income came from bloggin or a community site I built. It would also be great if its income gave me the leverage to be more picky with jobs and customers I take on. And if that blog gave me good leads. Tall order.

  11. SpicePuppy says:

    Natasha, this post may help answer your question about how long it takes to go full time:

    http://www.problogger.net/archives/2005/08/19/when-is-it-time-to-go-pro-as-a-blogger/

  12. Sangesh says:

    Well, going as a full time blogger is quite a move. Since there is little scope in Asian countries like ours. But yes, I would blog in a regular basis.

  13. I plan to become a full time blogger on July / 2008. I have to say I have some fear of it but I also hope the time goes by fast because I am anxious.

  14. Justin Dupre says:

    This will eventually be a goal of mine. As of now, I am stuck being a student and using the money I gain from blogging for tuition instead of dipping into my loans. I believe college is necessary first though, so I can collaborate with peers and gain ideas. I really see that as a huge point of information.

    There is definitely a fine line of how much time is reasonable and unreasonable when taking blogging on as a profession. I’ve spent upwards of 15 hours doing it some days.

    Justin Dupre

  15. I would love to go full time but can’t see that happening for many years to come!

    I guess the key is to have continual growth and eventually you will get to a tipping point when your blog/s can support you.

  16. Natasha says:

    Thanks SpicePuppy! I thought I read most of Darren’s articles on going pro, but must have missed that one. I confess that at one point I sounded a lot like Rex :P. I also was planning on incorporating my weigh loss into my current blog but may start a new blog for it after reading this. Thx again. :)

  17. I know I started my blog for the love of my subject matter. Being able to make a living doing it is certainly a dream of mine. I’m not there yet, but I have a plan in place. If I stick to it and follow the advice here…who knows?

  18. ALANJ878 says:
  19. esvl says:

    in 2007 I started blogging full time, I started up a bunch of blogs, quit my job and started to blog. Now I am still going strong with a bunch of really small blogs not even worth mentioning here.

  20. esvl says:

    I guess that was not the answer to the question. Oops

  21. Good for David. To those who are aspiring to full, I’ll say keep going and you’ll realize your dreams. Like Vic Conant said: ‘The distance between you and your dreams is often the length of a single idea.’

  22. It does take a large time commitment to create a successful blog. I guess that if you have absolutely nothing else going on in your life besides a full-time job, your workout schedule, and the time it takes to cook healthy meals, then you can spend the remaining time on your blog. Disconnect the T.V., give away the video games, forget about washing dishes or clothes, and just work on your blog. (LOL!) Yeah, I know, that’s not realistic, but it kinda comes down to that if you’re working full-time and also trying to grow your blog. :)

  23. Blogvalia says:

    Blogging full time? Yes, that is the goal. Knowing how to dedicate the right time to the family, responsibilities and the blog, is a gift.

  24. jon says:

    Not really informative if you ask me. What were the aspects of his blog that greatly improved? Why is it better? All we get here is, “it suffered, now it doesn’t”.

    Shrug… And?

  25. Richard says:

    I have 2 concerns about this whole discussion:

    1) what’s the broader picture here? If everyone with unique (offline) skills are plunging into online writing, who’s left to do be engineers, filmmakers, artists, fathers etc? I’m exaggerating of course – but I do worry about a mass-migration of our society to their computer terminals.

    2) isn’t blogging a passing fad anyway? I’m going right out on a limb here because I’ve been a keen ‘outside’ observer now for over 5 years of the blogging phenomenon. Why invest so much in something so finely-honed into one skill-set?

    A little background on my cynicism is that I am about to plunge, myself, into more serious blogging for two different sites (one is my own – campfire.org.au – the other is someone else’s business where I need to prove the value of blogging a little more). I’m already strapped for time & believe I spend way too much time behind a computer screen as it is!

    The vortex of blog-reading & posting might even catch this little obsessive duck yet! But I wouldn’t mind a bit of reassurance here.

    Cheers.

  26. WildTips says:

    Wow, congrats new full time blogger! It is extremely important to maintain a proper work/life balance. Too much of one thing can be a bad thing!

  27. Moviecat says:

    When I started I had no idea how much time it takes to maintain a blog and it’s traffic. I would love to do it full-time, maybe someday I will but I have had to figure out how to balance it with my family and job. It takes as much skill as the blog itself.

  28. My goal is to be full time on my blog as well, tho I am a bit scared to read some say that is not possible if you have a blogspot blog. Mine is doing alright at this point, but I would love to see more readers, could the fact that its on blogspot be the problem? Or rather, one of the problems? I do already spend at least 8 hours a day on my blogs as it is, should I be doing more?
    Anyway, I will forge ahead, toward the goal of full time blog momma LOL
    great post, thanks for the advice

  29. Dave Lucas says:

    I’m convinced it’s not a “niche” or “linkbait” or “technorati”— a blog gets high ranks and traffic due to LUCK! Unless you’re a Chinese celebrity, ANYONE could hit a lucky streak with his or her blog.

  30. Hmm… I’ve been contemplating a move to WordPress in 2008, but now I’m unsure. If a blog on Blogspot can do this well… Wow.

  31. CatherineL says:

    It’s great to see someone else becoming a full time blogger. I don’t know of many aside from Darren. I’m also guessing that Perez Hilton probably is one too.

  32. BobS says:

    Nothing says professional blogger more than a free template hosted on a free blog hosting service….

  33. Ruchir says:

    Yes, going full time can definitely help. Not only do you get more time to work on your blog but also you can solely direct your attention towards it only and nothing else. This will help you to be focussed on only your blog instead of your job AND your blog.

  34. well, you may be correct that its not always the best thing to do ( use a free template on a free blog service) but I AM a professional blogger, who is linked from CBS for my blog, I have done many interviews with the cast of the show Jericho, and I work many hours per day on this blog. I have tried to find out how to take all those many months of work I have on this blog and place it on my own domain, just have not found out how to yet. BUT make no mistake, I AM a professional blog, and if I am good enough for CBS to link to, I cant be that bad, right?
    :-)

  35. John Simpson says:

    That’s cool. I hope to be able to do that, but my job is a rather high-paying one and I would have to make tons and tons of money at blogging in order to be able to do that. Actually, if I could get my blog to make some money, I could probably work a little less…which is a start.

  36. Sean says:

    Wow I was surprised that the layout and design did not hinder the blogger. My first look was to hit back just based on design. Good content though, that is what matters most.

  37. Dan says:

    As my grandpa used to say, “It’s chicken shit of chicken salad!”

    I guess I am still a chicken shit to make the leap to full time blogging.

    I really admire those who make the leap and appreciate your advise!

    Maybe in it would be a good resolution for us all,

    Happy New Year!

  38. Michael says:

    Focusing my time on my blog is something I plan on doing in 2008. The first half of 2007 my blog was a little bit more of a “just for fun” blog but lately it has been a little bit more serious. Now I’m trying to focus my time on it and improve it as much as possible.

  39. SageRave says:

    One of my New Year’s resolutions is to focus more on my blogs and refine my “craft”. I was considering moving one blog away from the Blogger platform, due to the short lived comment issues. Now that I see someone making a go of using the Blogger platform, I may hold off.

    Great post.