Finding a job or a business that will provide for your financial needs while giving you the flexibility to pursue what is important to you can be tricky.
Blogging is a great way to earn money online
Blogging is a good option if you want a flexible way to earn a decent income. Blogging is especially great if:
- You want to pursue a passion or express your creativity.
- You want to be your own boss and make money on your own terms.
- You can’t work a normal job because of a disability in the family.
- You need some time to bond with your kids.
There are many examples of ordinary people making a decent living doing and writing about things they love. Check out these blogger income reports to see how successful bloggers are making money from their interests in food, travel, crafts, or parenting.
Full-time blogging is not for everyone
Despite the many benefits of blogging, full-time blogging comes with its own set of challenges.
In this article, I will explore some of the things you need to consider before you get into full-time blogging. I will also give you 30+ questions that you need to ask yourself to assess whether you are ready to leave your job for full-time blogging.
This will help you have a more realistic view of full-time blogging and help you make an informed decision.
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Consider part-time blogging
If you find that you cannot get into full-time blogging because of any of the challenges I will mention, you should consider blogging part-time.
Part-time blogging is less risky because you can build your audience and income while having the safety net of a job. Once you have a steady income stream from blogging, you can then can go into full-time blogging.
If you would like to try out blogging, check out my beginner-friendly guide below. It will take you step-by-step through the process of starting a blog.
Main Considerations for Full-time blogging
Before you go for full-time blogging, consider the following crucial factors and be honest in answering the tough questions.
1. It Can Take a Long Time to Start Making Money through Blogging
Many new bloggers get into blogging thinking that success will come quickly. However, it can take time to start making money from blogging.
For a new blog, on average, it may take anywhere between two to four years before you start making a full-time income from your blog.
Here is why blogging takes a fairly long-time for success.
- It takes time to figure out what works in blogging and there are many things you need to learn to make money from blogging.
- If you are targeting Google traffic, it takes time for Google to test your site, especially if you are a new blog. Many new sites start ranking at around the 6-month mark but it may be longer if you are in a competitive niche.
- There is a lot of competition especially if you are targeting popular or lucrative keywords.
- You need a fairly large number of posts to benefit from internal linking and topical relevance. How fast you can create content will determine how soon you will start earning an income.
For more, read: How much can you realistically make from blogging?
Questions to help you assess your capacity for delayed gratification
Given that it can take a long time before you see results from blogging, ask yourself:
#1. Are you willing to be patient?
Blogging is a long-term game. Many beginner bloggers don’t give their blogs enough time to grow mainly because they have no idea of how long it takes to see success. They end up deleting their blogs just as they are about to see results.
To keep your motivation up, you need to have strong reasons to persevere with blogging. If you want some inspiration to keep blogging, check out the articles below.
#2. Are you willing to consistently create content without seeing results?
Consistent content creation is the key to earning a good income online.
Although it can be quite demotivating when you don’t see the results you want, each post you write will teach you something and make you a better blogger. Each post will also contribute to the content pool in your blog.
One way to be consistent with content creation is to choose niches or topics you are familiar with or ones that you have an interest in.
#3. Can you find a way to earn money while your blog is growing?
One great advantage of blogging is that it is compatible with most day jobs. Many other forms of entrepreneurship require a lot of time and energy to get started. In many cases, it can be impractical to start a business while still working full-time.
One strategy for successful part-time blogging is looking for jobs that have a lot of free time.
These include seasonal work and jobs with a good amount of downtime (such as night-shift jobs). They may pay less but they will give you enough time for writing.
2. The Chances of Failure in Blogging Are High
Chances are very high that you will fail with your first blog. Roughly 50% of bloggers make less than $100 through blogging. Only about 15% of bloggers manage to make a full-time income blogging.
The main reasons why you are likely to fail at the beginning are:
- You don’t know what you are doing. When you do something for the first time, you are likely to fail because you lack the right knowledge to succeed.
- Blogging, especially in some niches, can be quite competitive. As a new blogger, it is difficult to compete and win against seasoned bloggers.
- Blogging requires discipline. Much like keeping fit, you need to keep blogging even when you don’t feel like doing it.
Don’t be surprised if your first blog fails. However, you can greatly increase your chances of success by avoiding common beginner mistakes.
For more, read: Amateur blogging mistakes that will cause your blog to fail
Questions to help you deal with failure in blogging
If you are not prepared for failure, failure can break you. You can prepare yourself by asking the following questions.
#1. Do you view failure negatively?
Learning how to fail is a useful skill to have because a world of opportunities can open before you.
When you view failure as a negative thing, you will avoid trying anything that has a remote chance of failing. This fear of failure can make you lose many great opportunities.
Many successful people have a few failures under their belt before they finally make it. So instead of viewing failure in blogging as a negative, you should view it as training for success.
#2. Can you discipline yourself to keep going despite failure?
Your blog will probably go through several iterations before you find the winning formula.
The only reason why some bloggers are more successful than others is that they learnt how to keep going even after experiencing defeat.
If you let the obstacles that you encounter get the better of you, you will become part of the more than 50% of bloggers who fail.
Promise yourself that you will keep going. Those who have succeeded are normal people just like you. If they can figure it out, so can you.
#3. Do you have strategies to ensure that fail forward?
For you to fail forward, you need to plan your blogging in a way that will ensure you still come out ahead even if your blog fails.
To do this, you need to be conscious of all the benefits that blogging can provide for you even as you work to make money from your blog.
For example, blogging can help you acquire transferrable skills such as writing, SEO, and copywriting. You can use these skills to get a job or to start another business.
There are several things you can do to protect yourself and your blog against failure.
For more, read: How do deal with failure in blogging.
3. The Income from Blogging Can Be Unpredictable
With a 9-5 job, you know exactly how much you are going to make at the end of the month. This provides you with a degree of security and peace of mind.
Blogging income, especially in the beginning, can be quite unpredictable. One month you could be making thousands of dollars and the next practically zero.
Some of the most common reasons for these dramatic shifts include:
- Google algorithm changes. If you engage in shady SEO strategies to get traffic, an algorithm update or a manual penalty can wipe you off the search results.
- Technical problems with your blog. For example, if you don’t regularly back up your content and you get hacked, you risk losing all your content.
- Affiliate commission cuts. If you rely on one or two affiliate programs for most of your income, you could lose it all if that program closes down or drastically cuts commissions.
You can protect yourself, to some extent, against some of these risks by blogging the right way and avoiding the common beginner mistakes. But you also need to have the ability to absorb some of these shocks.
Questions to help you assess your ability to deal with unpredictable income
With clever planning, you can prepare and strategize how to overcome these problems. However, you need to ask yourself:
#1. Do you have enough income saved to tide you over in case your income disappears?
It may take a bit of time to recover from an algorithm update or a hacked site. You need to have an emergency fund that you can rely on during this period. This will save you a lot of stress and worry about any future mishaps.
#2. Are you willing to spend time looking for solutions by yourself?
Problems, especially technical problems, will keep cropping up in the course of your blogging journey. You need to be comfortable with looking for solutions by yourself online in forums or groups.
You can always find someone who has solved the problem that you are currently having and most people are willing to help if you ask.
#3. Are you willing to spend time learning and adapting?
If you get into full-time blogging, you need to be ready to adapt to changes. This will help you to pivot quickly when unpredictable events threaten your blog’s income. You will also be able to spot numerous opportunities that will help you to diversify the way you make money from your blog.
How do you become good at adapting? By constantly learning about what is new in your niche and the blogging industry in general.
4. You May Need To Downsize Your Life
In the first few years of blogging, it will be difficult to make an income that can replace your current employment income.
If you want to get into full-time blogging, you may need to lower your standard of living. For example, you may have to make changes in where you live, what schools your children go to and how you spend your leisure time.
Questions to help assess your preparedness to downsize your life
Downsizing can be difficult for you and your family. The questions below will help you prepare for downsizing.
#1. Are you the sole provider for your family?
If your family mainly relies on your income for the monthly upkeep, you will find it difficult to make the transition to full-time blogging.
If your spouse is also working, it can be a big advantage because a second income can be a backup in case things don’t work out.
#2. Is your spouse on board with the lifestyle change?
Lifestyle changes can create a strain in marriages and families so you need to have everyone on the same page for it to work.
This requires that you have an honest talk with your family about the pros and cons of the move you are about to make. The last thing you want is to lose your family due to a decision that was not well thought out.
#3. Can you and your family handle the lifestyle change?
You may think that you can handle a lifestyle change only to find that it is too much for you.
It helps to try out the lifestyle you are going to live before you go into full-time self employment. For example, you can start cutting down on various unnecessary expenses. This will help you to get a feel of what is to come. It will also help you save for an emergency fund.
5. You Will Lose the Benefits You Get From Formal Employment
Having a job comes with a lot of benefits that many people take for granted. When you become self-employed, you lose many of these benefits such as:
- Full or partial health insurance cover
- Company match 401k
- Paid holidays: weekends, maternity, sick days, public holidays
- Allowances and bonuses
- Training opportunities
In the long run, making your income from blogging, if successful, has much better benefits. In the short term, you have to take a hit by losing these benefits.
Questions to help you assess your ability to handle the loss of employment perks
You have to ask yourself whether you can afford to lose the benefits that employment offers. Some of the questions you need to ask yourself include:
#1. Can you replace the benefits you get from work?
Although you lose several benefits when you become self-employed, there are ways that you can compensate for this loss. You can save a lot of money by blogging, for example:
- By working from home, you can avoid many of the expenses that come with formal employment such as commuting, eating out, or buying clothes.
- Since you can do blogging from anywhere, you can move to a state or country with a cheaper standard of living or low taxes.
- You can save on taxes by registering your blog as a business and deducting business expenses from your taxable income.
With the savings you make, you can provide yourself with health insurance and save up for your retirement.
However, you need to be careful if you or someone in your family has a chronic health problem that needs a good medical cover.
#2. Are you comfortable taking responsibility for your self-development?
While you may lose access to training offered by your company, there are some advantages you get by taking control of your learning.
- You can choose to learn what is most appropriate for you rather than what your company wants you to learn.
- You can take advantage of all the affordable training opportunities that are available online. For example, on a platform like Skillshare, you can have access to thousands of courses for an affordable monthly fee.
#3. Can you manage your time well?
Although you lose paid holidays when you are self-employed, you can take a break whenever you want.
The great thing about blogging is that it can be fairly passive. Once your blog has grown to a certain size, you can afford to take large chunks of time off and you will still earn money.
However, before your blog gets big enough, you will have to be diligent about how you manage your time so that you put in the required amount of effort.
6. You May Have To Work More for Less Pay Initially
When you first get into blogging, you will need to work extra hard to get that initial momentum. There are several reasons why you will have to work harder at the start:
- You will make a lot of mistakes that will set you back from time to time. However, you can avoid many of these mistakes if you are strategic.
- You will probably be a poor, slow writer. As you gain more experience with blogging, you will be able to write better content faster.
- You have to work hard to build up a critical mass of content.
As your blog grows and you accumulate a lot of content, your hard work will start to pay off and you can start earning more money even as you work less.
For example, a survey by ConvertKit found that 42% of the professional bloggers interviewed made a full-time income while working only 5 hours or less a week (Blogging Statistics).
Questions to help you assess your ability to deal with earning less while working more
With a new blog, you can feel like you are putting in a lot of effort but seeing very little results. To prepare yourself for this, ask yourself:
#1. Are you comfortable with delayed gratification?
With formal employment, you can start earning from day one. With blogging, it can take you several months of hard work before you earn anything.
This means that you have to think long-term and treat it more like a marathon than a sprint.
#2. Are you comfortable with being paid for value created rather than time spent?
With blogging, how much you earn depends on how much value you provide to other people.
You can spend hours creating a blog post but if that post is not useful to other people, you may not earn a cent from it. With employment, you can do the bare minimum required to look productive and still get paid.
Therefore, as a blogger, you need to strive to provide as much value as you can with every post you write.
#3. Are you comfortable with thinking about your work 24/7?
With most jobs, you can clock off at 5 pm and you don’t have to worry about your work until the next day. With self-employment, you are the boss and you always carry your work with you.
You will find yourself frequently thinking of how to improve your blog or about blog ideas. It can be difficult to switch off at times but you need to be okay with this.
You also need to be available at short notice to sort out emergencies on your blog.
7. You Will Encounter a Lot of Stress
If blogging is going to be your only source of income, you should expect a fair amount of stress. Some of the things that will stress you include:
- Low income. You need money to survive and if your blog is not making money, it can be scary to look at the bills piling up.
- Burnout. The initial phases of building a blog can be hectic. You will need to put in a lot of hours that are not paid and it can be difficult to find the motivation to continue.
- Failure. Before your blog succeeds, you will probably fail several times. If your blog is not doing well after a few years, it can be a major source of stress.
How well you can handle this stress will determine whether you will give up on your blogging journey or not.
Questions to help you assess your ability to handle stress
Here are some questions to help you determine your stress tolerance.
#1. How good are you at handling stress?
To gauge how good you are at handling stress, ask yourself.
- How do you deal with stress at your current workplace?
- What happens when you have to work long hours?
- How do you deal with difficult bosses and co-workers?
Working on your own business can be incredibly stressful and if you find it difficult to handle stress and responsibility at your current place of work, how will you handle it with your own business?
On the positive side, when you are doing your own thing, you may be more motivated and more willing to endure hardships as compared to when you are working for someone else.
#2. Do you have a support network to help you deal with the stress?
When you are employed, your boss usually has to worry about the bigger problems facing the company.
When you are self-employed, you are the boss and you cannot transfer that responsibility to someone else.
Therefore, it helps to have someone to talk to when the stress becomes too much. Usually, a fellow full-time blogger or entrepreneur can understand the kind of stress that comes with building a new business.
#3. Do you have a plan B?
You can save yourself a lot of stress by having a plan B in case things do not work out. When you have no other options, you back yourself into a corner. For example, if money is a worry, you should explore various ways to make money even as you build up your blog.
8. You May Find It Difficult To Re-Enter Your Industry
Sometimes it can take a long time (2-3 years) before you know for sure whether you can make a full-time living out of blogging.
There are several risks associated with leaving a job for such a long period.
- You will lose contact with people in your industry.
- The industry will also change and you might find that there are new technologies and skills required.
- Employers may be more interested in hiring younger workers rather than more experienced workers who may demand more money.
- There will be an awkward gap in your CV that you have to explain in a way that doesn’t make you seem like a flake.
Questions to help you assess your ability to re-enter the workforce
Before you get into full-time blogging, you need to examine the chances of you getting back into your industry. To do this, you can ask the following:
#1. Are you willing to keep up with your skills?
When you become self-employed, you will need to make an effort to ensure your skills and knowledge remain up to date and in line with the changing requirements of the workplace.
If you enjoy your work, consider starting a blog is related to the industry you currently work in. This will help you keep up with trends, knowledge, and networks in your industry. It may even raise your profile within your industry.
#2. Can you handle the feeling of being left behind?
When you leave your job, the people you left behind will keep progressing. Many of your former colleagues will get promotions and higher salaries.
If you decide to go back to your place of work, can you handle working under people who were your peers or even your juniors? Will you get embarrassed when you seem like a failure in their eyes?
#3. How competitive is your industry?
If your industry is very competitive, you may find it difficult to re-enter your industry. You need to ask yourself whether it is a risk you are willing to take.
If you love your job and the industry you are involved in, you can consider working part-time. This can keep you connected to your industry as you test the waters in blogging.
9. You May Lose Your Work Social Network
After the initial excitement of being your own boss and making your own hours starts to wane, you may find yourself craving the social benefits that come with having a traditional 9-5 job.
Blogging can be lonely
A job comes with many opportunities to make friends with other co-workers as well as people you meet in the course of doing your job. Blogging tends to be more of a solitary activity with most of your hours spent typing away in front of the computer.
This can lead to a lot of loneliness and can be distressing especially if you are a gregarious person.
Questions to help you assess your ability to cope with loneliness in blogging
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see if you handle the loneliness that comes with blogging.
#1. Are you comfortable being alone for extended periods?
Can you envision yourself living the solitary life of a blogger for several months or years?
You can try this out by taking some time off for a week or two to write. Go somewhere where no one knows you and spend the entire time writing. If you enjoy (or don’t mind) the experience, you may have a chance of coping.
#2. Can you easily find other social networks?
Do you find it easy to make friends in different settings?
You need a way to replace the friends you lose at work and you can do this by joining other social networks at your gym, church, or neighborhood. You can also start a hobby that forces you to be out with other people.
#3. Do you live alone?
If you live with your family, this transition can be much easier. It may even be beneficial because you will get more time to spend with your spouse or your kids.
However, it can be a bit more challenging if you live alone. If you are the kind of person that constantly needs company to feel refreshed, you could consider getting some roommates as long as they don’t disrupt your work.
10. You May Face a Career Identity Crisis
When you work at a job for so long, your job becomes part of your identity and you may feel lost when that part of you is gone.
You can see this when you observe people introducing themselves at events or social gatherings. Many people tend to lead with their job or what they do for a living.
The problem with blogging is that it is nothing like a traditional job. For many people, a proper job means working at a company or business and it involves getting out of your house every day to commute to work.
Some people may even view what you do as a mere hobby or something to pass time. This means that you may not get the same identity and social benefits that are associated with a traditional job.
Questions to assess your ability to handle a career identity crisis
You can prepare for a career identity crisis by thinking about the following questions.
#1. Can you separate your job identity from your self-identity?
You need to understand who you are, separate from your job. With the fickle nature of employment these days, you cannot afford to mesh your identity too closely with your job.
If you do so, you risk suffering even more when you get fired or retire because you not only lose your source of livelihood but also a part of your identity.
#2. Can you stand the loss of a prestigious job title or prestigious company?
If you have a job that others envy or you work in a company that others would like to work at, your self-esteem can take a hit if you decide to leave.
If you are a CEO or work at a top company like Google, you get a lot of admiration from those around you. Letting go of this admiration requires a strong sense of who you are.
You need to find a way to respect and admire yourself even in the absence of external validation.
#3. Can you see yourself fitting into a new identity as a blogger?
Since blogging has no job title that other people can identify with (for example, a doctor or engineer), you may find it challenging to explain what you do.
You may have to craft a new identity and a title for yourself. For example, if you are a travel blogger, you could describe yourself as someone who helps people make smart travel choices.
You can also connect with other bloggers and see how they handle this change in identity.
Hopefully, these questions have given you something to think about as you plan your transition from employment to self-employment.
For most people, it might not be a good idea to go into full-time blogging right away. But you can always try out blogging on a part-time basis until you are confident that the income from your blog can replace your current income.
You can build a healthy side income by blogging for one or two hours a day provided you do things correctly. You can also look for a job with a lot of downtime that you can use to build up your blog.
If you are interested in starting a blog but are not sure how to go about it, check out my beginner-friendly guide below. It will take you step-by-step through the entire process of starting a blog.
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