Blogging as a full time job - is it a good choice?
Are you planning to take blogging as a career? Think before you take it as a full time job. In this article, I will share my experience and discuss few challenges involved in taking blogging as a career.
Blogging is like Alcohol and Facebook - You can't stop it once you start using it :-)
I have been asked this question numerous times - "Can I take blogging as my full-time job?"
My answer to every one is, "No".
I personally do blogging as a full-time job but I still advise others not to do the same. Isn't contradicting? Or, am I trying to reduce the competition?! Absolutely not. Here is the reason behind it. If you are asking this question and if you yourself don't know the answer, then you are not ready for it yet. Obviously, anybody can take blogging as the primary job but most of them would fail miserably and it will be too late by the time they realize it.
You can read an interview with me on Digital Dimension to learn more about my blogging journey. Read the interview in here - interview with Tony John.
When I tell people that blogging as a career would be a failure to most people, they question me: "If you can make millions from this, why not me?"
Well, think about this. Amitabh Bachchan is a successful actor. Shahrukh Khan does the same. There are many many more successful actors out there. But you will agree that there are several others who can act better than Amitabh Bachan and Shahrukh Khan but they couldn't become successful. I am sure there will be thousands of smarter people out there and hundreds of them tried to become one like Amitabh Bachan but failed. Nobody knows how many people did suicide after trying their luck in movies.
Here is the point I am trying to make. Don't jump into the blogging world as a full-time job. The best part of blogging is, you can do it part time without affecting your primary job. So, why not try that option first and see it how works out for you?
Here is my experience. I was a software engineer for about 16 years. I worked in India for about 3-4 years and another 11 years in the USA before I quit my job and took blogging as a full-time job. I have been running blogs since 1998 and was making much more money than I ever dreamed to make.
I was making X amount when I was blogging 2 hours per day as part-time. After I switched to full time, this X did not become 8X. It did not even become 2X or 4X. Even though I am happy about the X amount I am still making, I was surprised that the X did not grow at all after I switched from 1-hour blogging to all-time blogging.
Full time blogging vs Part time blogging
The difference between full-time blogging and part-time blogging is not so marginal. With 1 or 2 hours blogging per day, you will run out of topics and ideas. You can't be productive for more than 2-3 hours, even if you spend 8 hours a day for blogging. You can write effectively only on the topics that you have an interest. Moreover, you need a lot of time to think about ideas. When you do blogging as a part-time job, you will be still using a lot of your free time in office and other places thinking about ideas and topics to blog. So, effectively, even if you take blogging as a full-time career, you will still write only a few hours per day just like you were doing it part-time.
The best bet for most people would be to continue blogging as a part-time job and wait several years before jumping into a full-time career in blogging.
My advice: Don't start blogging as a full-time job until you are really ready
If you are a student and have plans for higher studies, don't get serious on blogging. Just do it side by side and don't focus too much on the money. Don't even think about starting your career as a full-time blogger.
If you just finished college, go and work in some corporate offices for 4-5 years. You need the corporate training to make you a successful businessman in the IT world. Just sitting inside your room and blogging all day will not make you a successful businessman. You need to interact with humans and you need some corporate experience to grow higher up in the Blogging world.
Are you a senior professional and tired of working in the corporate world (like me)? Think about how much you already make from blogging and look at the growth chart. Is your online revenue at least half of your salary? If you make at least half of your salary by working just 1 or 2 hours per day, then it is time to think about making it a full-time job. But make sure you have good bank balance and your anticipated major expenses are taken care for the next few years.
After I reached my earning target from blogging, I waited another 5 years to quit the primary job and start full-time blogging. If you are more aggressive than me, you may not want to wait 5 years, but give it at least a year of time after you reach your target.
By the way, I do not regret quitting my job. I am more than happy with the X amount I am making currently. In fact, AdSense and blogging helped me achieve most of my financial goals in life, including my house and other properties I have invested in.
Read more: AdSense Tips
Don't have over expectations on blogging revenue
Don't have over expectations and don't get carried away by seeing the top 10 AdSense earning bloggers in your country. There are thousands of people trying to be in that list but only 10 are there! And many of those earning reports are fake reports. Many 'top 10 earning bloggers' you find in some blogs are just fabricated list, made to include some of the buddies of those bloggers.
Going forward, you will have a lot of challenges in the blogging world. Don't get excited by seeing some revenue you see now. It may change tomorrow. It is always better to keep a job until you are sure you can survive without a job. Blogging field has a lot of competition and it may get saturated in the next couple of years. Not everyone could survive the competition and continue to earn. Every smart blogger will earn some money during the beginning but it may not last long.
Many newbie bloggers are earning a few dollars or may be a few hundred dollars per month. But in reality, they spend thousands of dollars worth of their time and efforts to make that small money. When they brag about their success, they forget the cost of it.
Challenges and future of blogging
You should expect several challenges in the blogging field. Some of the problems I came across in my own case or that I saw with other bloggers are worth mentioning here.
1. You lose social interactions with the real human. You will switch from interacting with humans to interaction through Facebook and emails, mostly with people of hidden identity.
2. You lose the corporate glamour. You may be able to call your self a 'blogger' proudly, but you won't get the same social and family status as an 'engineer' or 'teacher'. People would look at you with doubtful eyes when you talk about your career.
3. You lose many opportunities to get topics to write blogs. When you work in the office, you will see a lot of day to day problems which will give you a lot of topics to write blogs on. Also, if you are into IT field, you will get real world experience and real problems that people face. You will find solutions to the problems your employers time and you can blog about those solutions for your personal benefits. When you work full time on blogging, you will have to find a solution to problems at your own time!
4. You will miss the social life. When you work in the office, you will have office parties, you will go for lunch with colleagues, and there will be corporate fun. When you stay home and write blogs, your only fun will be your computer. You will probably have no more friends at all.
5. You will think about various ideas and topics while you are driving, eating at the office and probably when there is nothing much to do in the office. You will probably do the same when you stay at home and blog. So, what you were doing during some of the office hours and got paid for it, now you won't get paid for it any more.
6. When you work in an office, you will get the opportunity to talk to a lot of people about your blog and promote it. You will miss that opportunity when you don't work anymore.
7. Google could change the game plan anytime. Your traffic sources may completely cheat you one day and you might lose all your traffic for no fault of you. That could add a full stop to your revenue and your future will be nothing but dark.
If you like to read more about how I made the first dollar from blogging, here is my first AdSense income report.
Do you have a blogging success story to share? Share your experience below as a response and I will be more than happy to have an interview with you and publish your full experience.
Being a content writer, I fully agree with you, as after leaving my 12 years IT job, I am experiencing exactly the same you specified in this post.