Despite it being more and more common to earn money online, a lot of people still don’t really understand how it works or what it entails. Of course there are people like your typical Grandma who don’t understand the business model at all (even when you explain that it’s basically the same as the business model that freely distributed newspapers operate on), but then there are also those who don’t understand how blogging can be a ‘full time job’ when most blogs are only updated with a couple of posts daily or even weekly. What do you actually do all day?
And the shocking thing is that I’m not just talking about Grannies any more either – most bloggers themselves don’t see how the work can be considered full time and think of it as very much something to do for a few hours a day at most. They’re so obsessed with the idea of ‘passive income’ that they don’t want to work more than the bare minimum in order to turn their blog into their main source of income.
It should come as no surprise then that for these bloggers it often never does become their full time job…
Why Blogging Takes All Day
In short then, if you aren’t able to quit your day job just yet then it’s probably because you aren’t treating your blog as a proper job or giving it the time and focus it requires to really thrive. As I discussed with Andrew in the comments section of one of his previous posts, the reality is that most people who see their blogs become stagnant just aren’t making them a full-time commitment.
Here’s why blogs need your full attention…
Things You Should be Doing Regularly for Your Blog
- Writing articles for your site
- Updating older articles to keep them relevant (a job that will only increase over time)
- Finding/creating stunning images to put alongside your articles
- Writing guest posts to get published on other blogs
- Writing articles to submit to article directories (maybe)
- Building links
- Writing comments on other blogs and generally networking with other webmasters
- Staying on top of news in your industry/niche
- Staying on top of the latest SEO trends and algorithm changes
- Responding to fan mail/link requests
- Potentially writing on a forum/responding to comments on your blog/removing spam
- Tweaking your site’s design and layout to keep it modern and as attractive as possible
- Doing on-page SEO
- Using Social Media/making videos and viral campaigns
- Tweaking your monetisation methods
- Analysing your webstats
- And a lot more… what you thought that was it?
As you can see then there are plenty of things to be keeping you busy on a daily basis, and that’s just scratching the surface really of any good blogger’s todo list. And if you still find yourself twiddling your thumbs (lucky for some) – then of course you could just write more articles or even set up a side project such as a second blog or an app. Either way a blogger’s work is never done and if you’re wasting time sitting around then you’re putting unnecessary limitations on your income.
Finding Time When You Still Have a Day Job
When you set up a blog that you want to make successful it’s important to recognise that the competition are doing all these things and regularly. If you aren’t doing all that then, you are starting out at a disadvantage from the beginning. If you aren’t putting the time in because you don’t think you need to, then give yourself a slap on the wrist and get to work!
For most of us though there’s a much better reason why we don’t treat blogging as a full time job – we don’t have time. Many of us dream of going full time as a blogger, but until we start earning enough money from our blog we need to do a 9-5 job just to pay the bills. And this means we never get enough time to go full time. It’s a catch 22.
The solution here is to just put in the hours where you can, but if you’re still struggling there are some things you can do to get around the problem. Here are some suggestions to help you transition to full time blogging:
How to Fit More Blog Work in Around Your Day Job
Take a Working Holiday: This year instead of going to Ibiza, why not take a week to focus on your blog and put some real time into helping it take off?
Switch to Another Day Job: If your day job isn’t leaving you any time to work, then look for alternative interim employment. If you can work from home then that’s ideal, but alternatively you could try taking a job with fewer hours or one where you get some time to write during the day.
Work One Day of the Weekend: On top of your evenings that is. It’s not full time, but it’s a step in the right direction!
Outsource Your Workload: It costs money, but if you’re successful it will be a great investment.
But most of all it’s about the mind set – so just stop thinking of your blog as a ‘part-time-hobby-thing’ and start treating it like a real job. Do that and it will be much more likely to become one.
Jeet is an internet entrepreneur and believes that you need to work hard (and smart) to achieve success. Jeet runs a small internet marketing outfit GetLinksPro and loves coding and writing (in that order). You can follow him in twitter @GetLinksPro.
Dear Jeet –
Lots of good ideas there. Thanks for putting so much work in this excellent post.
I disagree with a couple of things.
1. If you post regularly, you don’t have to post three times a week. There is too much stuff out there now,
2. I will never again put my posts on article marketing again. Too many of my posts were scraped with no identification. Several not only did that but linked words to their sales pages.
They ignored my requests to take my post down and I got no help from the enzine people I was expected to follow up with their server. Lots of work.
@Corinne: Thanks for your response. I think scrappers can do that for posts even on your blog. The only problem is that most people won’t bother to file a DMCA (or an equivalent in your country) take down request against these scrappers.
I think posting regularly ensures that you have a ‘readership’ that looks forward to seeing your next post. If you post sparsely without any schedule, your readers are likely lose interest. That said, I wouldn’t ask people to write a post just for the sake of putting ‘something’ online. If it’s not good, it belongs in recycle bin.
You sure have done your home work. Great tips for being a blogger. It does take lots of work and you can’t let down.
i have found that I organize my day. Time for writing, time for social media, time for commenting and last of all time for the little clean up jobs (what ever they may be).
And yes, out sourcing what you are not good at makes a lot of sense. If it takes you 10 hours to do something after trying to figure out how to do it, if you have the money it is better to pay some on else to do the work.
@Debbie: Thanks for sharing your methodology. Having pre-defined schedule works for some. I like to have a TODO list on my desktop that tells me about the activities I should be doing everyday.
As far as outsourcing is concerned, it’s not easy to find the right VA or vendor. But once you do, you get time to do what you love the most and you can get a lot of quality stuff done in free time.
Blogging is definitely time consuming, you should always aim to make something of quality over quantity in the long run though.
@Trevor: Good point, I think quality should be given more importance from first day and that’s why blogging would take even more time.
The ‘long run’ wouldn’t happen if you don’t pay attention to quality early on.
Great advice. Running a site does take a huge amount of time. When you look at your ‘hourly rate’ it can be quite depressing! I think you really have to love what you’re writing about.
@Mark: Thanks for the comment. A LOT of bloggers don’t calculate their hourly income they get from their jobs. Some of them calculate it incorrectly because they don’t take the weekends, paid holidays and other benefits in their calculations. That’s why I tell my friends that you HAVE to ensure your new business (online or offline) has to be able to give you the same or more income that you make with your current job and you HAVE to know that the business can grow. Most jobs will give you 4 to 15% increment year on year if you are good.
I have a serious doubt sir, Do you think still blogging can be used as a full time business? #According to latest google algorithms changes, we can;t depend on blogs. What do you think?
@Sai Krishna: I will have to find a report for you that said that more people are listing ‘pro blogger’ as their profession than the number of people saying their day job is ‘IT / Software professional’.
I believe blogging is an important stepping stone for a regular online income. Most successful bloggers I know don’t depend on their blog to make ‘adsense income’. They use their skills to provide other services / products etc. and use the blog as a showcase for their skills and knowledge.
Andrew here can tell you more about it 😉
You have given all the possible options on how to earn money online.
@Sai Krishna: Just to let you know that I am not really a pro-blogger but I’ve heard several people on the net who quit their 8-10 hours of job and shift to become a full time blogger. They earn decent money but to tell you honestly, this is not a get rich quickly scheme. You have to give your time, passion, dedication and devotion to fulfill your goal. And if you followed some of the tips as Jeet mentioned above, you’ll definitely on the right track.
It took me 3 years of part time blogging before I could give up the 9-5 corporate world and go full time blogging. Three years of working evenings and weekends…but it was worth it!
@Andrew: Yeah, we discussed that earlier in one of the threads and that conversation was the inspiration for this post 😉
I normally recommend people to earn equivalent of their salaries from the blog or their online business for a couple of months. They should save this money for emergencies and then think about taking the plunge.
One has to keep in mind that most startups that get funded by VCs hit the deadpool after some time. It’s better to be prepared.
I agree – at least 2 months – if you can go for 6 months.
6 months 😉 Unless you think you have a “buffer job” that you can easily get into if you are feeling the heat and when you are down on cash and luck.
@Rusty: Thanks for chipping in. You have to be extremely lucky and rather good to get famous on the internet. (there are always exceptions).
There are alot of bloggers out there and unfortunately some write blogs for years and still dont get an outcome for it.
It might be challenging to combine a full time job with writing a blog. But if u commit u can really do it, and the pay should be pretty sweet :).
It should be sweet, Jan but there are so many things that you have to get right. Get one of them wrong and it won’t be so sweet!
@Jan: Thanks for the comment. It’s true that some of the ‘unsuccessful’ bloggers are actually quite good as writers but they fail to show business acumen.
Most people would burn out if they continue both (a day job and extra hours for a blog) for very long. That’s why you need passion for the subject and lust for success if you want to be a successful blogger.
Yeah, the pay is sweet once you start hitting your goals.
And it’s not just the pay…it’s the freedom – that’s the best part.
When I first started blogging, I thought I would make a lot of money in my first month. Little did I know, blogging takes a long time to master and make it a full-time income.
So you believed the hype as well? You are not alone!
Great tips for being a blogger. It does take lots of work and you can’t let down. Thanx For Share
@Kai Lo: I think professional blogging is highly over-rated and over-sold. It’s NOT easy. You need to devote time, skills and should have loads of passion to be a successful blogger and to bring in the mulah.
Maintaining a blog is not a child’s play. For those who think that they can just open a blog and write their verbatim sometimes thinking people will come to read that are so wrong. Maintaining a blog is serious and no less than a job. The points that you have mentioned have to be done regularly if you want your blog to be a people’s favorite.
Very true, Lucy. Gone are the days when blogging was an easy way to make an income.
@Lucy: I think it’s easy to maintain a blog, it’s a different thing to build and maintain a successful one.
Thanks for the comment. I agree with what you are saying.
blogging is a full time job because you have to do all the thing which you mention already. we have to update our blog regularly because if you have more content then you will get more reader’s. i like specially your points i.e. grandma don’t understand this new era business i.e. blogging, if you get time then write more and more content for your website. blogging is not a one or two day task. its about dedication, if you have it then you will be successful 🙂
thanks for sharing 🙂
@Praveen: I agree with you. If you are going on a vacation where you won’t get time to blog, you need to work extra in advance and schedule posts that will go live in your absence. Guest posts can come handy in this period because the guest authors should take care of responding to comments 😉
So true. I love the way you elaborate things that seems we need to know. Blogging is serious matter it requires a full time management to write and update. Thank you so much for the information.
@Marnie: Thanks for your comment. The bottom line is that you need a lot of time and you need a GOOD management system to keep track of things. You can’t just give time to your blog ‘when you feel like working on the blog’.
Actually, it was quite hard for me to have a job and a blog simelteniesly. Something was always suffering. But another important thing for ANY blogger is INSPIRATION! Not a single word has to be written is you have no inspiration! (IMHO).
Thanks for the post. Looks like I’m gonna be regular reader of yours)
@Evan: I am assuming you want to say ‘motivation’ here. Yes, you need a lot of motivation to keep going. Specially because you won’t be getting handsome (or pretty – as Jan puts it) returns initially.
You do need inspiration for new post ideas. Andrew has written some great posts to help people come up with new post ideas.
When i first started blogging i was hyped up by an expert blogger who generates thousands a month while making it look easy, until i started i thought it was. how wrong was i to realize that blogging is indeed a full-time job that need or could use outsourced skills to generate the income quicker. i haven’t given up yet and wont anytime soon because I’ve already invested too much money in it so its forced to work.
@Silas: If it works out for you (I hope it does), you might want to thank that expert blogger to lead you on a misguided path. A lot of bloggers won’t even start if they knew the things can difficult and rough at times.
Yes, you can and should utilize your skills to generate additional revenues (only source initially). Most bloggers are great writers or developers or designers and I know some who can create some really good videos too. Even after your blog is immensely successful, most of your revenue won’t come from banners and advertisements on the blog. You need to branch out and start providing a service or create a product.
That’s what Andrew does and he does it well 🙂
@Andrew: When did you start providing additional services to clients?
Those that win are those that keep going AND change their approach when they need to.
Let’s say I am interested in the idea of sending content to Tut+. I do spend the expected hours doing my material, presentations, etc.; it gets posted and at the end I get my payment (whatever I did).
Who owns the rights of such content? Can I use it also publish it on my blog?
@Jems: I am not an expert here but their terms and conditions specifically state all content is copyright of it’s author.
I won’t try and post the same content on my site because of duplicate content filters and you are going to hurt the site and yourself by providing the same content elsewhere.
Good tips but I have something you add. First of all forget about adding article to directories (it’s not even a maybe). It’s a waste of time to add original ones and seo in 2013 will be a lot different. And this gets me to my second point: social media an engagement, this is all about nowadays. You have to be good in social and also create relantions with your readers – they can provide great “marketing campaigns” if you get what I mean.
But besides that, great post! 🙂
@Andrei: Thanks for the suggestion. Oh well, in my personal experience, article directories still rank and can help you rank until you overdo it. For budding bloggers, I won’t really recommend that they get into social networking (Twitter – yes, Facebook – no). There is already enough on your hand when you are trying to run a blog ‘professionally’.
I would give the Facebook time to interacting with other bloggers via forums and blog comments.
Indeed, to gain the full potential of a blog you have to invest time and effort in it. And it’s actually a source of income you can have fun with. You get to interact with different types of people and learn a lot of things. Overtime it can be very rewarding not just financially.
@Connor: You are right. Maintaining a blog (even if your aim is not to earn money) can be a HUGE learning experience. Thanks for taking the time out to comment on my post.
The beautiful thing about having a blog is that everyone can have one. The bad thing about having a blog is that everyone can have one. 🙂
Unless someone writes about news or technology or similar things there is a certain amount of content before beginning to reinvent the wheel and boring readers, on the other side it takes around 100 good posts to see decent earnings, not enough to quit a job though. Even if someone writes 20 wonderful posts Google doesn’t really care about small sites.
As you rightly say blogging takes hard work, time and a bit of luck.
@Andrea: Well said 🙂 I guess the ‘successful’ bloggers learn the trick to give a unique spin to existing information. They learn to keep track of industry changes and put down their opinion on certain topics.
Blogging can have you more income, but it takes a long time to have it. Still the road of income in blogging is not easy.
@James: Thanks for your comment. I agree, the road to success is not easy. But if you are patient and determined the results are ‘sweet’ 😉
I agree with you, Blogging is better than a 9-5 job and can earn more money if we do it sincerely and in a dedicated manner.
@Jason: I partially agree with you. You shouldn’t forget that even with blogging, you are answerable to your readers. When you start selling services (or products), you should be ready spend more hours than you would spend in job. Yes, you have a lot of flexibility but if someone wants to get into blogging because they don’t want work hard, blogging is not something they should consider.
Agreed! Blogging can generate a lot of income and I know a lot of people who make ridiculous amounts of money blogging. However, as somebody said,it takes a long time to have it and in fact your blog post says it all.
However, the point is this – If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. If you choose to blog because you want to make money, you will not last long.
On the other hand, if you are doing it because you enjoy, because you like to add value, then you are on an awesome success journey.
An awesome post, enjoyed sharing some thoughts here. Thank you!
Yep blogging is tough and it takes time, a lot of time. But even though being a colloge student i have managed to write several posts on my blog and around 10 guest posts in one week on popular blogs like basicblogtips
How long did it take for your blog to swap from being a part time hobby to being a full time occupation?
It took me 3 years.
As Beginner in Blogging, this post give me great insight to become professional blogger.Blogging is great way to make money today and beside that, blogger profession gives many flexibility about work times and place. After read this post I will consider blogging as my full time job. Thanks Andrew for share this information
That’s right often write articles to be posted was found to be well on our blog in the eyes of search engines. To start a business it needs a special time as I have now, just with the article you wrote.
i am an engineering student and i blog just because it is my hobby and a great way to keep myself busy but i earn a decent amount from what i do . i am thinking about making it my profession but i really do not have the guts. but the best thing about earning with you blog is that you are your own boss. you don’t have to care about anything. you can work whenever you want
thanks for this post
You can work whenever you want but in reality you work long, long hours!
I have been struggling with the same problem and my day job is making it tough to give full attention to my blog. You have said it right that unless we pay full attention to our blog, its not gonna become a full time job for us. The idea of oursourcing and taking day off to work will help to make my blog better. Thanks for writing this article.
What will you outsource first?
google is updating its algo very frequently and so we can not be dependent upon our current strategy because it wont work after some time. panda and penguin destroyed many blogs. but yes blogging can be a full time job if you learn to overcome these barriers
And the way to overcome them is by adding great content that people want to read, comment on and share.
Nice post with great information and I am totally agree with you that blogging is a full time job because for a successful blog we must update regularly and also make links with other blog continuously and for this require lots of hard work and time. Thanks for sharing this post.
Gone are the days of easy blogging, Sudipto.
Running a site does take a huge amount of time. When you look at your ‘hourly rate’ it can be quite depressing! I think you really have to love what you’re writing about.
I agree – in the early days of my blog my hourly rate was very low!