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Are You Ready to be a Full-Time Blogger?

This is a guest contribution from freelance writer, Ayelet Weisz.

A big part of the pro blogger dream is to be your own boss. No more office politics, competitions with colleagues or having to prove yourself to someone who reaps all the benefits of your hard work. You’ll set your own rules and live life your way.

Yet if you’ve never had to be accountable to yourself on a large-scale, long-term project, you might find yourself overwhelmed.

1. Unrealistic expectations. If you don’t know your own limitations, you could end up planning to invest too little time or leaving too little flexibility in your budget. You could also work yourself to exhaustion.

2. Getting lost. Being a full-time blogger leaves you plenty of opportunities to get lost – online, in sleep, in your own fears.

3. Missing tools and skills. There are lots of skills to master and tools to learn – not only in your chosen field of blogging, but in business management, time management, marketing – and the list goes on.

Boy looking confused

Do You Have The Skills?

Fortunately, tools and skills to be a successful full-time blogger are learnable. You need to incorporate the process of learning into your business plan, and don’t despair if you find yourself taking longer in one step or another. Instead, relish in your blogging journey and, as you challenge yourself, remember to give yourself a break.

Would You Hire You?

Few jobs will take you in without an interview – and your blogging business should be one of them. You must define the job before you can find out if you’ve got the right stuff.

You need to research what it means to run a full time blog and own a business, how to live on fluctuating income, what kind of marketing strategies are usually used, and where you could break the marketing rules to help your blog shine.

Read sites and magazines about your chosen niche, as well as general sites about professional blogging (like Problogger!), entrepreneurship and small businesses.

Once you have a vision of what your daily and annual life could look like, ask yourself the tough questions:

  • Are you ready to get started on the job?
  • Which areas require more learning, practise, tools or expertise?
  • What could you do with the skills you have right now to start building your blog?

Just as importantly, put on the interviewee’s hat – and ask yourself if you even want the position.

Go on at least one good course

Getting educated is valuable in gaining a deeper understanding of what you’re getting yourself into, as well as to speed up the process. Your chosen course, or several courses, might be about getting certification or about improving through feedback you’d get from professionals on your creative work. It might be about writing, marketing, business management or creating more self confidence in your life.

You could choose to learn all these aspects or some. You could learn them one by one or mix them together. You could decide learning is another business task, like marketing – or you could set aside a concentrated learning time before you take your first practical step in building your blog.

While you’ll likely keep on learning as you develop your blogging business, it’s easy to get caught up in the learning and never take a step beyond that.

Give yourself a deadline for when you absolutely have to go register your business or pitch a guest post for the first time.

Do You Have The Budget?Piggy bank

Importantly, remember that you need to save money in advance and put it aside to cover the cost of the course and the hours of paid work that you might miss.

Don’t forget to budget enough time for implementation either – homework tends to take longer than what you first expect.

Do You Need a Mentor?

At times, it’s recommended to hire a mentor even if you took a course or few. With a mentor, you’ll be able to ask questions you might not feel comfortable asking in a group, get a sense of direction and compile a list of actions it’s best to take for your specific blog and situation.

You might choose to keep this mentor on payroll for longer, yet sometimes even an appointment or several will do. Then, you could go on your merry way and sign up for another session when you feel one is needed.

Another option is to join a community of peers or top professionals, or one that’s combined of various levels of skills and successes. These can be paid or free, an online message board, meetings in your community or networking organisations’  gatherings.

Either way, that personalised attention will enable you to learn the inside world of launching and managing a blog, of marketing, of communicating with readers and of being the best blogger you can be.

Have you got more tips to test if you’re ready to start pro blogging? Share them with us in the comments!

Ayelet Weisz (www.AyeletWeisz.com) is an enthusiastic freelance writer, blogger and screenwriter, who focuses on business, technology, travel and women’s issues. Get her free report, 48 Must-Live Israeli Experiences, on her travel blog, and connect with her on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. Ayelet

    There is just so much to learn about professional blogging that many of the pro bloggers reading this could be listing tips all night.

    But, if I had to offer a single most important piece of advice to a beginner, it would be this:

    “Write something purposeful”

    Far too many so-called business blogs are directionless musings.

    Some of these even describe themselves as musings. And, whenever I see this word near the top of a blog, I click away in an instant.

    • Ayelet says:

      True, the list can go on and on, which just goes to show it’s a complex path to take on and preparation can certainly help. Thanks for sharing your tip!

  2. Gugulethu says:

    What a great read. I totally agree with all you’ve said Ayelet. Bloggers should always invest in themselves by getting more info, buying new products and getting a mentor. For me being a full time blogger is really fun but the best part is helping other people become pro bloggers.

    But the main key is to be persistence and keep blogging everyday. Many Thnx for such a great post.
    Peace!!

    • Ayelet says:

      Thanks, Gugulethu! So glad to read you’ve achieved full time blogging and that you’re having so much fun with it. I so agree with you about persistence. Peace!

  3. Deciding to be a full time blogger is not so easy. Full time blogger or freelancer is not very common everywhere in the world.Like, I am blogging from many adverse situation. Internet speed and many other things are a big problem here. I read Most of the books from Darren like 31 days to build a blog bla bla bla. All are same old tips. I found nothing new. I am sure big bloggers are making money this way. By telling people how to make money. But most of the people can’t make. Because they have no tips to give other about earning money.

    Full time blogger of course not possible. Only established blogger can tell us some stories about their blogging success, tips etc and we can read and write comments like, “awesome posts” “Great thoughts”!!

    Nothing Else.

    • Ayelet says:

      Thanks for your comment. I relate to the frustration of things not working out. While there are always scams, some people do succeed online. Darren himself has a photography blog called Digital Photography School, where he sells products that have nothing to do with teaching people how to make money online. It’s true that some people who are successful today had an advantage when they started a freelance/blogging career – Carol Tice of Make a Living Writing was a journalist, Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing was a marketer. However, I don’t think everyone who’s successful today necessarily knew what they were doing when they first started out.

      Sorry to read you’re located in a place with so many challenges. A close friend’s city was bombarded with rockets in November, so I can relate at least on some level.

      Carol Tice published a great post a while back about how succeeding as a freelance writer takes certain conditions, like internet connection and money. For example, if you need to work 3 jobs just to make ends meet, you’ll have a challenge following through on your new freelance business. It’s a privilege, AND you need to take it under consideration that it might take longer and be more challenging, and be prepared to get creative in finding ways to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

      Like you said, no one can guarantee your success – people can simply break down what they’ve seen work for them and for others and what they’ve learned from it.

  4. Treating blogging like a job means this: from Monday to Friday, you work on blogging, from 9 to 5. Then, do the same on Saturday and Sunday.

    If you work full time then shift these hours and cut back a bit; work your blog from 7 to midnight, each night. Then on weekends you really need to attack your blogging duties.

    It it were any easier, and required less effort, millions of people would be millionaire bloggers lol ;)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

    • Ayelet says:

      I think consistency and hard work, whatever it looks like for a blogger, matters. Online ventures are marketed so many times as no big deal, yet like you said, if it hardly required any effort, millions of people would be millionaire bloggers. Most of us go through a big learning curve, and usually success doesn’t magically happen overnight.

  5. Bob says:

    Im still in the stages of learning the ins-and-outs of blogging. Thanks for the helpful article!

  6. Paul Profitt says:

    In my opinion a true blogger is somebody who loves writing and would never see it as a job but more as a passion. So I don’t think that having a mentor would be a good fit for them, they’re more likely to seek help in blogging communities.

    • Ayelet says:

      Thanks for your input, Paul. I think different things work for different people. I love writing so much that I can’t imagine it not being part of my life, and I still needed and need to learn a bunch of other skills and tools – not to mention that someone could love writing yet not know how to write well for the Web.

      • Paul Profitt says:

        Hi Ayelet, you are kinda making my point for me because. You see yourself as a writer who loves to blog whereas I see myself more as an Internet Marketer who blogs but is not all that in love with writing. So learning how to do SEO,Video Marketing, Social Media,blogging etc. Was not that much of a big deal to me.

  7. Jenny says:

    Good article. I’m still learning everything just started in Jaunuary and got my own domain just a while ago. Thanks.

  8. there are no secrets, right or wrongs in our industry. B yourself, share your story baby and things will take off!

    • Ayelet says:

      I agree there are no secrets, Kyri, and I think you make great points. I would just add stay open to learning, because things take off when you help them take off, and the knowledge of how to do that doesn’t come magically – at least not to me.

  9. I don’t know that I would ever want to full time blog but part time would be amazing! I think I need the social interaction of an office otherwise I would turn into a hermit. I also travel for work and need those FF points!! Thanks for the great article though!

    • Ayelet says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Sarah! What matters is to follow your own path and do what’s best for YOU.

  10. Ocha says:

    When it comes to blogging, full time is really full time. It’s so much more than simply writing an article and posting. It goes way beyond this. Aside from research, social networks, all the techie stuff, if you are going to do it alone, be sure you have the time because it sure takes it.

  11. zolar says:

    I’m not ready yet as my blog income still low.. maybe 3 years after

  12. Louis says:

    Here’s mine: You have to love using the internet and learning all the technology required to problogging. At least to make it support your living. And it’s not passive income or early retirement either like many people used to claim/expect. Sometimes it’s harder than 9-5 work but on he other hand pays more as well.

  13. Daniel says:

    Some fantastic advice, Ayelet.

    I think that the amount of work will largely depend on the chosen niche…..

    If people look at their online pursuits as a business and stick to schedules and set “time” goals to achieve certain levels of progress, then they should do quite well…..

    Though, I think balance is the key to everything….and that includes what we do online….

    • Ayelet says:

      Glad your enjoyed it, Daniel, and thanks for sharing yours. Time goals like that do support me, and I think that, in addition, you need to have numeral goals that are within your reach – for example, I’ll pitch X amount of blog posts and comment on X amount of blog posts. This way, you can keep making sure you succeed, your confidence grows, your motivation grows, you keep moving forward – and you have a better chance of reaching your “ultimate” goals.

  14. Amrik Virdi says:

    I quit my full day job to become a full-time professional blogger and believe me friends, I experienced some real stern difficulties.

    If you’re thinking to quit your full day job and start up with blogging, prepare yourself to take care of some serious difficulties.

    I have also written a post on the same: http://www.techmoody.com/make-full-time-career-blogging (Link is not for self promotion)

    Best regards,
    Amrik Virdi

    • Ayelet says:

      Thanks for sharing, Amrik! Exactly because it’s not as easy as it appears, I think it’s important to do your research, learn skills, get support and prepare yourself for the road ahead.

  15. Hermine says:

    Hey Ayelet,

    You’ve definitely touched on a number of great points and I think it’s important to remember that blogging is a learning process. I’ve found from experience that what I get out of my blog is directly proportional to what I put into it from the time I spend on creating the content to the the time and effort spent networking and cultivating relationships with other bloggers. And, when you’re just starting out, all of that can easily add up to a full time job.

    • Ayelet says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Hermine! It sure can easily add up to a full time job, and staying open to the learning process is important.

  16. Edson Hale says:

    You must have confidence to succeed if you are going to join blogging as full-time profession. It not only needs lot of patience but also lot of flexibility in your;
    strategy
    attitude
    mindset
    style of working
    way of thinking
    if you just stick to certain blogging rules and hope to be successful; I can guarantee you can be anything but a successful blogger; you must enjoy it and take it has hobby first then profession to do something great in this field

    • Ayelet says:

      I agree, Edson, it’s important to stay open to a whole new world and find your own path in it, then change and re-create as you go. There are a lot of exciting skills and tools you get to learn along the way, too.

  17. jerrylewis says:

    I have been blogging for the past seven years or so now and the thing that keeps me going to write on topics that interests me aside from making money, is the fact that blogging started as hobby which eventually turned into a passion.

    A lot of bloggers out there will succeed if you put your heart into the thing that you love doing and this is not limited to blogging but in every aspects in life and in any endeavor that you venture on.

    great post

    • Ayelet says:

      Thanks, Jerry, and putting your heart into what you’re doing can make it a little easier to get out of your comfort zone, which is also important here.

  18. Okto says:

    I think most people start from part-time blogger. And the best thing to see if we ready or not is our goal achievement. So it’s really important to determine our goal and how good it is. The simple example is … if we blog to make money through advertising banner, then have you ever got one advertiser? If yes, that’s a good sign but if not we need more evaluation.

    • Ayelet says:

      I think that evaluation is be pretty valuable, because you can see what works and where you still need to learn new skills or commit more or get out of your comfort zone more or get more support. Of course, sometimes what you need to adjust are your expectations.

  19. Drewry says:

    Full-time blogging is alot of work, but also a beautiful labor of love. If you plan on blogging full-time, it’s best to have extensive knowledge about a particular topic. Or, be prepared to comment on your blog about webpages and blog posts like you know what you’re talking about! lol

    • Ayelet says:

      Knowledge does matter, if you’re going to be constantly writing about the topic. If the topic fascinates you and you don’t know much about it yet – this is the “perfect excuse” to read and learn more about it :)

  20. waqar says:

    I really like the part of hiring a mentor, I gues I am lacking in here, I feel depressed at times. So having someone to talk with while I am in my no success phase it would certainly help.

    Another thing my first blog got flopped because at that time I though Adsense is the only way to monetize a blog and that is not true. I lacked skills never read blogs like problogger and others, because I thought they wouldn’t help me as my niche is different, and never thought How much it is important to share ideas and to have ideas from others.

  21. Ayelet says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Waqar! Sending you energies as you move through this challenging time. Getting support, be it personal or professional, can be life-transforming and so worth it. Sounds like you’ve learned a lot on your path, and gained some knowledge that you couldn’t have had before. This can be the exciting beginning of a whole new part of your journey :) Thinking happy thoughts for you.

  22. Joe Stewart says:

    Great post Ayelet. It definitely takes a lot of time, energy, and money to get your blog big enough to where you earn a nice income from it. I see a lot of people get started, and when they don’t see results in 30-60 days they quit and never hit publish again.

    • Ayelet says:

      Sorry I missed your comment, Joe! I agree. When you’re brand new to blogging – and brand new to entrepreneurship – it’s not always a given that this is a business you’re trying to off the ground, and that it requires a LOT of investment on all kinds of levels.

  23. This a great read for those looking to break into the blogging world. Educating yourself on what it takes is a good thing. And just when you think you have learned all you need to in order to be successful, keep reading. I find that there’s always more useful information and sites out there for bloggers to utilize.

    • Ayelet says:

      Thanks, Nicole, I wish I prepared better when I first started blogging. You’re right, there’s always plenty left to learn :)

  24. Thanks for this nice info.Being a full time blogger , i would like to share my opinions here.
    Money is the control factor in all time.If you have the decent monthly income ,it will motivates yourself to do better.But this is not possible for all the newbie(Bloggers).Yes it’s because ,earning through blogging takes some time(If you are concentrating on quality blog building) so what i advise is to build some alternate income streams first and become a full time blogger.
    Even after you became a full time blogger you should be regular,listen to your readers and brings the demanding content.Thanks to Darren Rowse.

    • Ayelet says:

      Thanks for sharing your tips, Hannah! I agree – bloggers need to take into consideration that this usually takes a lot of time and effort, and they need to prepare themselves both financially and money-wise for this new path.

  25. Mslivegirl says:

    As a full time employee I could always dream of being a full time blogger. When I was laid off I thought this was a sign. If I could only make at least $60 a day for the rest of my life online then I could do it. However, this was very far from reality. I’m only making $10 a day passive and struggling to find work now. It’s really hard to step into an online world where everything is dominated, saturated, and competitive. Nether the less, its always best to put one foot forward and analyze what needs to be done. This was a very good post and I hope that you continue to create more posts just like this one.

    • Ayelet says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for sharing your story. I like your tip about keep putting one foot forward while also analyzing what you need to do differently or better.

  26. Sohale S. says:

    Most people just dream, thinking that blogging is simple. This post really wakes you up to the reality of blogging & reminds you to keep your eyes on the prize. Great article!

    • Ayelet says:

      Thanks, Sohale, and yes, it takes a lot of work – keep your eye on the prize while breaking the path down to baby steps you can take to move forward :)

  27. Danielle says:

    Friday is my last day working in at my desk job after that I will be a full time blogger. I spent all last year saving the money to get my dreams of blogging full time off the ground. After spending last year doing my research on my niche and following other successful bloggers in that niche I decided I was ready to bring it all together and jump in. I have been blogging for years but but my latest blog I employed the strategies that I learned from around the web and from my degree in business.

    The entire time I have been building up my blog and Youtube Channel it has been my second full time job. I go to work from 7-3. Pick my son up and spend time with him until he goes to bed at 8 and then I am in my office writing, networking, researching from around 8:30-4am. I have such passion for what I am doing and love connecting with people all around the world that its feeling less like a job and more like my strange addiction…lol

    • Ayelet says:

      It sounds like you’re indeed very passionate about your blog and niche. Good for you for doing all this research and experimenting before taking the leap. Looking forward to reading how well you’ll do. Thanks for sharing your story – I’m thinking happy thoughts for you and your business!

  28. noel says:

    I appreciate all the helpful information. I’ve spent alot of time just ramping up, building content, networking and honing in on specific task and learning the business. It is a full time committment to just getting this project going.Thanks for sharing these great articles.

    • Ayelet says:

      I love it that you’re doing so much ground work in advance. Wish I had started out this way too. Thanks for sharing, and I’m glad you found this post helpful!

  29. Ayelet says:

    Thanks for coming to comment here too, Riza – I wrote the post for ProBlogger, not the other site. And glad you found the article useful :) I think sometimes we’re not yet “there” and need a little more preparation or knowledge to get to where we want to get. When we realize it, it can be an opportunity to brainstorm and take exciting new steps.

  30. prince says:

    thanks for this inspirational post

  31. Good job, Ayelet. I remember you. Glad to see you here.

  32. Graciela says:

    Thank you so much for this, since i’m new to this blogging stuff