I’d like to take a moment to make a ProBlogger Public Service Announcement.
Its actually something that I’ve been considering doing for a while now because I’ve had two worrying incidents happen in the past week that have left me somewhat concerned.
The latest of these incidents happened two days ago when I received an excited email from a new ProBlogger reader (I have his permission to share this with you without using his name) who was writing to tell me that he’d just ‘turned Professional’ as a blogger and quit his job to go full time with blogging.
His email was written in an excited tone and was full of grand visions of blogs that would make lots of money. Not only was he excited but his partner was also as they had been reading numerous stories of bloggers making their riches from the medium over the past week. They have two little kids and he was excited to be able to stay home with his family to write each day and be able to provide an income for his family.
The email left me with a sinking feeling in my guts as I considered the decision that this guy had made to quit his secure job to become a Professional blogger. You see he’d only started his first blog a week ago – the day he handed in his resignation.
ProBlogger Public Service Announcement
It takes time to build a profitable blog. You do not just become a Professional Blogger anymore than you just become a Professional Golfer. It is not a decision you make, it is something you work towards over time.
I’d invite you to glance over tot he poll I’m currently running this week on how much money Bloggers are currently making from their blogs from Adsense. Look at the figures – not just the ones at the bottom, but all of them.
Over a third of those who have responded make less than $30 each Month – less than $1 per day. Around half of those who responded earn less than $100 per month – less than $3 per day. Those are numbers to consider before you launch into ProBlogging without a back up plan.
Monkey Bar Blogging
A wise man once gave me some good advice on business. He reminded me of when as a child I would play on the Monkey Bar Play Gym equipment. If you want to get across the monkey bars, from one end to the other, the safest way to do it is to grab hold of the first bar and swing to the next without letting go of the first until you have a firm grip of the second one. As you let go of the first you propel yourself to the third without letting go of the second until you have a strong grip of the next one.
The quickest way to fall off the monkey bar and break a bone (I broke my collar bone doing this) is to try and skip a bar, or to let go of the first one before you grip the next one.
Business (and Professional Blogging) is the same. There are times when you need to take risks in business – but there are also times when you have to be sensible and have some sort of a backup plan. Don’t try and skip steps without being sure you can survive on where you’re at.
My Blogging Journey
When I first started blogging I was working two jobs part time. I had no idea that blogging would become an income stream for me – it was purely a hobby.
Six or so months later when I started to earn an income from it I was tempted to quit my jobs and go full time but I decided to be careful – and I’m glad I did.
There came a time when I let go of one of those part time jobs – when it became realistic that I would be able to earn enough from my blogging to make up for the loss of that income – but I did keep hold of one of the jobs. Later on I was able to relinquish the second part time job and go full time with my blogging.
In actual fact I have recently taken on another part time job for six months while we get ourselves settled with a new mortgage – partly becuase the role is an exciting opportunity, but also partly to ensure a steady back up income for 6 months in our time of transition.
I’ve been blogging for 2.5 years now and only recently could afford to ‘go Pro’ (and still don’t). I work 6-10 hours 7 days per week (sometimes more) and am updating 18+ blogs daily. It is hard work. I love it and wouldn’t do anything else – but consider the cost before you launch in.
Yes you CAN make a lot of money from Blogging – read the stories that are going around on blogs of people making decent money from blogging – but also read about the hard work and time that it’s taken them and remember that for every success story you read there are plenty of others around who have tried and failed to make more than a few dollars from their blogs.
I’m not wanting to dampen the excitement and dreams of Pro Bloggers – in fact the whole point of this blog is to help them reach those dreams – but I think its the responsibility of those of us who are ‘talking up’ blogging to also keep giving reality checks. Otherwise we’re going to end up with a lot of Bloggers that look a little like this guy on the Monkey Bars – handing on for dear life!