“Is it possible to earn a full-time salary as a part-time blogger? (eg, if you’re student)”
This question has been voted up quite high in my Q&A sidebar widget so I thought I’d attempt an answer today.
It’s one of those questions with two answers:
Yes…. and…. No
Let’s unpack both (and I’d encourage you to read both as they bring balance to the question).
Yes it is POSSIBLE to earn a full-time salary as a part-time blogger
Part of me wants to simply answer this question with a ‘no’ answer and give a long list of answers why it’s not possible (because to answer ‘yes’ will mean some will accuse me of painting an unrealistic picture of blogging for money). However I have met a number of bloggers who make a good living from blogging as part time bloggers (in writing this I don’t have permission to share their stories so I’ll keep this fairly general).
However in every case there are a few observations I’d make about these bloggers. They usually had all of the following characteristics (or at least a few of them):
1. They worked hard – they might not have put full time hours (40 or so hours a week) into their blogging but they certainly did work quite a few hours and worked hard in those hours. Many of them did work full time on their blogs at certain times (summer holidays etc).
2. They were very good at what they did – they had an exceptional knack of being able to write engaging content, build networks and build community on their blogs.
3. They had an element of ‘luck’ to their story – I am thinking of a couple of bloggers particularly who really found themselves in the right place at the right time when they started their blogs.
4. They were able to draw others in to help – one way to overcome an inability to work full time hours is to draw others into your blog to help shoulder some of the load.
5. They made money indirectly ‘because’ of their blog and not just directly ‘from’ their blog – interestingly a number of the bloggers I’m thinking of have developed products (e-books and courses) of their own that they sell from their blog (and other people’s blogs). This means they are not just building a revenue from advertising but have a secondary source of income.
6. They USED to work full time as a blogger – one blogger that I’m thinking about now works about 20 hours a week blogging and make a very good living from his blog – but only because he used to work full time. ie he built up his blog to a point where it really was earning good income which then enabled him to scale back a little and coast a bit (he also hired someone to help him – see point #4).
No it’s not LIKELY that you’ll make a full-time salary from blogging part time
It is possible to make a full time living from blogging part time – but the sad reality is that the bloggers I’m thinking of are not in the majority.
Most bloggers who do get to a level of earning a full time living from their blogs are working full time hours (or above) on their blogs. And even then many that are working full time hours are not able to make a full time living from blogging (time is just one element of many factors that build a successful blog).
When I’m talking to new bloggers wanting to explore blogging as a way of making money I generally encourage them to see it as something to supplement their existing income.
Yes it is possible to make a full time living from the medium but the reality is that most never get to this point. Sure – have it as a goal, but set yourself smaller goals in terms of your earnings and see it as something that progresses over time as you invest more time into blogging.
If you’d like to see a progression of how this unfolded for me I’d encourage you to read my story of becoming a Pro Blogger. It it you’ll see that I gradually stepped up my time put into blogging – but only as the earnings I was receiving allowed me to.
PS: Are You a Part Time Blogger Earning Full Time Income?
If you’re one of those bloggers that I mention in this post that are able to pull in a full time income from blogging part time I’m sure my readers would love to hear from you and learn from some of your wisdom. Feel free to share your own experiences (either with your URL as an example or anonymously if you’re not wanting to go public) – looking forward to your own lessons.