Are you ready to quit your job and become a full-time blogger? Not so fast! Blogging can be really lucrative and an absolute blast to do.
But there are a few housekeeping details that need to be taken care before diving right in.
Oftentimes, I think newbies think of blogging as glamorous. I suppose there are SOME glammy aspects to blogging.
Receiving invites to top events, freebies and getting shoutouts from social media influencers ain’t so bad.
But those things don’t happen overnight. It will take hard sweat and, for lack of a better word, tears. I, myself, experienced some sleepless nights.
That’s why I make it my mission now to help aspiring bloggers so that I can prevent others from making some of the same mistakes I did, or at least educate them on the realities so that you can plan your life accordingly.
But enough of my yapping, here are 7 things you MUST know in order to become a full-time blogger. Let’s go!
1. Time Management Can be Difficult
You wouldn’t think that time management would be an issue, seeing as how you’re working alone and all. But shockingly, time management can be a lot more difficult when you work for yourself.
When you first begin, you may not work enough or work too much.
Be sure to give yourself the necessary breaks needed, in order to be a well-functioning human being because staring at the computer for hours on end can be draining.
Download whatever organizational tools you need, in order to make yourself more efficient.
Both are equally amazing and will help you meet deadlines and streamline your projects in an effective manner.
Additionally, you’ll need to work hard at not getting too distracted. When you work alone, it can be tempting to watch TV, surf the Internet and run off to do errands.
This is YOUR BUSINESS so take it seriously like you would working for any other business. You certainly couldn’t get away with surfing the web for hours on end at a regular 9 to 5.
So commit to not doing the same with your blogging business.
Set a plan, and stick to it!
2. Income Isn’t Always Consistent
Remember when I said to hold off on quitting your day job? Not making a decent income is a harsh reality for full-time bloggers.
You won’t exactly be bringing in the big bucks until, A) you’ve built a strong following, or B) you’ve received some type of sponsorship/advertising. So you need to be comfortable with instability throughout random times of the year.
These things are going to take time.
Ask yourself the following questions before going full-time…
- Do I have enough money saved to hold me over for a few months?
- Am I making enough to consistently support myself full-time?
- Are you comfortable with instability?
If you can’t confidently answer “yes” to all three of these questions, then it may not be time to become a full-time blogger quite yet.
My advice is simple. Have another source of income until you can answer yes to both.
3. You Need to Be Unique
I hate to break it to ya folks, but blogging is a very saturated market. So you MUST be unique if you want to rise ahead of the pack.
What do I mean by unique? You’ve got to have a voice or a brand that stands out. Try not to blog about a topic that’s been beaten to death.
Sure, there are a ton of bloggers writing about fashion. But how will your blog be different?
You want your content to be memorable and shareable!
If you’re unsure if your blog may be different from the rest, then I wouldn’t recommend going full-time.
Check out this incredible list of brilliantly unique blogs for inspiration!
Regardless of your brand, just make sure that the topic you choose can be something you can blog about endlessly.
You want to make sure you are passionate about the topic so that you don’t get burned out.
4. Know How to Market Yourself
Once you decide to start blogging, you don’t just write your content and hope that someone happens upon your blog.
People rarely just HAPPEN upon your blog.
Sure, if you’ve got an ultra unique idea, and fantastic search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, then this could be a possibility. But it doesn’t happen for most new bloggers.
Being a blogger requires that you market yourself effectively.
How does one go about marketing effectively? Well, social media of course!
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are all your best friends. As a blogger, you should be active on one or more social media channels.
Do research in your blog topic of choice to see which avenues would benefit you most?
Do you like to blog about books? Try Twitter. Is fashion your passion? Go for Instagram.
Whatever you decide, just make sure social media is a daily part of your business practice.
You should also research other writing platforms, which are blogger friendly such as Medium.com.
Medium is a social sharing platform, where writers can feature their work. If you’re good enough, you’ll amass followers and then attract an audience to your blog.
Check out the site to see what all the hype is about. I would personally suggest posting every article from your blog to Medium, in order to extend your reach.
What else can full-time bloggers do to market themselves? Network, network, network! I cannot recommend this highly enough.
5. Get a Great Web Host
Blogging is really creative. But there are some technical aspects that tend to throw some bloggers for a loop.
One of which is finding great web hosting. Great web hosting is ESSENTIAL if you want to attract and maintain followers.
Some bloggers are even under the impression that they must pay an arm and a leg in order to find great web hosting.
It’s SO not necessary to quit your new full-time blogging job, simply because you can’t afford a web host.
In fact, you’ve got a LOT of affordable options.
Okay, Pauline, how cheap is cheap? You can find cheap web hosting for as little as $10 a month.
That’s an unbelievable deal! And no, you will not be sacrificing quality for affordability.
That being said, it’s not all champagne and roses. Some cheap web hosting does come with complications. Here’s a useful guide that addresses the most common cheap web hosting problems and how to solve them.
6. Post High-Quality Content
This should go without saying, but sometimes it helps to have a reminder. Content is king!
No matter how bad things get, you can never ignore one of the most important aspects of your site, which is your content.
Don’t just write just to write. Put real thought into your article. Every blog should be informative, entertaining and relevant.
Additionally, go with high-quality images. Your website itself should be visually appealing.
Remember, your blog is merely an extension of your overall brand. If you want your brand to look good, your blog should look good too.
If you’re unsure of what high quality is, stalk your competition. There’s a reason why you love that person’s blog.
Mimic, but don’t copy what other similar successful blogs are doing and you should be golden.
Writing high-quality content could be another topic in and of itself. For effective content formatting advice, you might want to check this out.
7. Blogging Should be Fun!
Like any other jobs, there will be moments where you might feel like throwing in the towel or taking a day off.
These feelings are to be expected, especially if you’re exhausted, or not seeing any results.
However, if you truly LOVE WHAT YOU DO, then those moments should be fleeting.
If it’s simply a financial issue, then you may need to get another job, in the interim, until your blog takes off.
But if you dread writing on a daily basis, and you’re not enjoying the process at all, then it may be time to get out of the game.
Be honest with yourself. Are you overworked? Take a vacation. Then you’ll be well rested and ready to tackle your blog in full force when you return.
But if it’s something else, then try another profession. There’s no shame in that. It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. It just means that there’s another great profession for you.
Blogging is supposed to be fun!
These are just a few tips that I recommend if you want to go full-time, but of course, there are plenty more.
Continue to do research, until you’re 100 percent certain that this is something you’d like to do full-time.
Have you got a great blog you’d like to promote? Shout them out below!
Pauline Cabrera is a savvy front-end web developer + SEO strategist based in Toronto, Ontario. Passionate about blogging, HTML/CSS, beautifying things and internet marketing.