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The question of part-time vs. full-time bloggers has been a hot topic lately, with the popularity of our post on How to Quit Your Job and Blog Full Time .
When I read other people's stories, I'm reminded how fortunate I am that my whole family is supportive of my decision to blog on the side while keeping my day job.
Everyone knows that the quickest way to get rich online is by blogging full-time. If all you had to do was:
1. Install WordPress ( For WordPress user )
2. Write a few posts
3. Make some social media profiles for your blog
4. Interact with like-minded bloggers on Facebook and Twitter, then just sit back and watch the money roll in… there's no doubt about it; I'd be writing this article from an island villa somewhere!
Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. That's why blogs fail so many times, even when they are started by experienced people with lots of knowledge who would otherwise be very successful at other things (and their blogs will never see any real success either).
What is Full-Time Blogging?
To earn a full time income from blogging, you need:
1. A good blog design or theme and great bloggers tools. If your blog looks awful, no one will want to stick around long enough for you to win them over; And even if they were interested in reading what you had to say in the first place!
You also need easy access to all of the most important features on your blog so that it's easy for you and everyone else who needs to add content, edit posts etc., to do just that (without any hassle.) It doesn't matter how hardworking and interesting your content is if there are 10 different ways to get a link to your blog or to publish a post and it's just too much effort for anyone involved.
2. A network of relevant, trustworthy and interested readers. In order for people to visit your blog more than once (and eventually buy from you) then they need to trust that the content is high quality and believe that they will get value out of what you have to say in every single post.
People also need to be certain that it won't take them months or years of reading before there is any kind of benefit to them personally; if they are going to recommend your site/blog, backlinks need to be built up quickly so it doesn't look like someone used an automated link building service (or worse still, paid for links) to rank well in the search engines.
3. Reliable, consistent traffic. Even if you have a killer design and your content is amazing, it doesn't matter how many people come to visit your blog for the first few times if they are not coming back or taking any action because of it (that's what I mean by 'reliable').
If you only crashed into one unsuspecting blog owner with just one post that yielded some immediate results, then there isn't much point in continuing with a high-traffic strategy unless that was absolutely necessary to get off the ground! You need long term marketing strategies in place as soon as possible and constant improvement on those strategies throughout your blogging life…
otherwise you'll be starting from scratch every time a new social network takes off, or a Google algorithm updates!
4. A larger social media following than you actually need. A huge number of people on each of your social networks/profiles will help to give a HUGE boost to your blog traffic and sales if you choose the right strategies (like guest blogging, content marketing, email marketing etc.)
The trouble is that these methods take time (especially when done correctly) and it can be incredibly difficult to tell which ones are best for you in the beginning so I wouldn't recommend starting a full-time blog until you have some kind of idea as to what's effective and what isn't.
5. High quality products/services that really do solve readers' problems in an effective way and you have a large list that isn't just 'interested' but actually ready to buy from you in order to help them solve these problems.
A HUGE part of making money from blogging is choosing the right niche market; one where your products/services will be seen as being highly valuable (and there's lots of competition)… otherwise, it doesn't matter how awesome your content is, or how much traffic you bring in if people aren't going to buy!
As long as all of those things are in place before you set off on your journey then you are starting out at a huge advantage because if any one of those five points aren't covered correctly (or at all), then your blog has very little chance of becoming successful, no matter how much time & money you invest!
In my opinion, the safest route to success as a full-time blogger is through part-time or supplementary income. I'm not saying that it's easier… in fact I would go as far to say that it's actually harder (especially at first) because you have all of this pressure to make sure your blog fits into the rest of your life and takes no more than a few hours a day from YOUR life; if you are working another job then those added hours can be very difficult to find!
That said, there are some clear advantages:
1. You don't need 5 points explained above. As long as your blog has an easy layout for readers to access and your content is well-written and informative then it doesn't matter if you only bring in a trickle of traffic for the first few months.
As long as you're staying consistent, that can be enough to make a difference (and build towards something bigger).
2. Your blog's success won't rely on your ability to come up with articles that are immediately successful because it will take time to build up an audience anyway. You can continue improving all of the time instead of stressing about finding or coming up with the next BIG thing!
It also means that you don't need links/backlinks right away; no one cares how many people read your post when they have zero social media influence so you don't care about those people either… you can start building a high-quality audience from day one!
3. You'll be able to try out different strategies without fear of 'wasting' your blog traffic or losing potential followers by making a mistake and then undoing it (by changing your theme for example, which is much harder to do once you have at least 10+ posts on the old theme!)
This also means that you can test out anything/everything that you want; A/B testing is something anyone can use but most people don't bother with because they're worried about wasting 'good content'. If it doesn't work, no harm done! Just change things around until YOU find what works best… not someone else!
As I said earlier, this isn't an article about making money with your blog.
There are clearly some added complications for those who have made the jump to full time blogger, so the question remains: is part time blogging the best way to go?
Here are some things to consider For Full Time Blogging...
1) Do you have a full-time job that could be jeopardized by your decisions if they're not well thought out?
I would advise against making any drastic career moves without considering how it will affect your current income and situation.
For example, switching from full-time employment to blogging will definitely change your tax status with the IRS , and maybe even state and local taxing entities. You'll want to talk with a competent financial planner about that sort of thing before you make changes.
For me, writing has always been something I did in my spare time, so blogging on the side fits right in with all of my other hobbies. If you've been on your job for a number of years, you probably have built up some serious equity in your career.
You'll want to think long and hard about whether it's worth throwing that away when you jump into something else at half speed and without any guarantees of success or income.
2) What sort of connections do you have that can help build an audience?
3) How important is money to you?
Many bloggers argue that being able to work from home makes it easier to balance family life while still earning an income. If money is tight for you now, full-time blogging could be a lifeline out of poverty.
You'll have to think long and hard about the implications though: it can be grueling working full-time, blogging part time.
4) Are you prepared to deal with trolls, haters and negative criticism?
I've had a blog since 2003, so I'm no stranger to both negative feedback and awkward conversations. However, when I first started out, people would assume that my blog was written by an "expert" in the field (a doctor or some other medical professional).
Therefore, if they had questions about what I wrote on this blog or opinions about what I said, they would contact me via email instead of leaving a comment. Some of these emails were pretty intense; there were even death threats!
As a blogger, you'll need to make it clear on your blog that you are not an "expert" in the field. If people want your expert opinion on something, they can leave a comment. If someone doesn't like what you have to say, they can call you names or post their own review.
5) How much time do I have?
This is by far the biggest limiting factor for me as a blogger. I simply don't have enough hours in the day. My personal life is starting to fall behind as well because blogging has become more time-consuming than ever before (especially with my involvement with this new venture).
Bloggers who report incomes of over $50,000 per year often put in 16+ hours per week. If you're not prepared to pour your heart and soul into blogging, it'll be very tough to make much of anything.
6) What sort of content are you posting?
Some bloggers specialize in travel log reviews, others focus on book writing or social media instructional; there really isn't a "one size fits all" answer here.
7) How much can I write in a single session?
Part time bloggers tend to have more sporadic schedules because they don't get paid if they take too many days off (that's sort of the point). However, since blogging is my secondary income source, I can afford to have an erratic posting schedule without worrying about starving to death.
Some bloggers can knock out a 500-word blog post in 15 minutes or less, while others need several hours of editing and formatting just to get the thing posted. I'm somewhere in between; it takes me about 2-3 hours for every 1,000 words that I write (which is pretty much what it takes me to finish off an eBook), though this varies depending on the topic that I'm covering.
8) How comfortable are you with public speaking?
If you're going to be making any sort of money as a blogger, you'll almost certainly need some sort of public profile . This means having your own website and personal presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
This also means making friends with other bloggers and getting out in the local community; there's an entire industry of blog conferences, meet-ups and parties that will bring you into contact with people who can help your blog.
Think about it: if you're a single guy or gal (or married parent) who spends most of his/her time indoors without any social skills, how are you going to make money at blogging?
Are You Ready For Full-Time Blogging? If you've got even one "yes" comment on this post, you may be ready to begin full-time blogging now. If not, then keep doing what you're doing; part time blogging is more than adequate for most people!
Bottom Line :
Full Time Blogger? Part Time Blogger? … What exactly does each mean? Personally, I prefer full time blogging (as in I love spending each and every hour possible on my blog) but that also means I'm not making anything from it yet.
It's only a matter of time before that changes though… until then, part-time blogging is all the rage!
Good luck with everything :)
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