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.
Blogging is like Alcohol and Facebook - You can't stop it once you start using it :-)
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.
Follow Tony John or read 691 articles authored by Tony John
More articles: Blogging as Career
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.
i want work in USA in any discipline,can you help me??
You've said it in the most simple and lucid style! Thanks for sharing your long time life experience on the subject. This would forewarn those who are contemplating to jump on the wagon.
Sir, Some tips on identifying the topics for Blog? Can you please help me with some guidelines for attracting readers and improvising on the quality of Blogs?
I feel such website is of great help to the general mass. No doubt there is always an inclination towards money but such sites help people like us giving us a platform to write on topics of our interest. Further, it provides us with ample articles which keeps us updated and a forum like this also helps to build good network with different people sharing the common interest of writing and sharing knowledge. This website is one of its kind and Bravo for implementing such innovation
Thanks for the comments. I think you should not depend on others for topics. Rather, you should write on topics that are of interesting to you and topics that come across your way. For example, consider this blog. I wrote this blog because someone asked me in Facebook about my opinion on taking blogging as a full time career. I started answering and it went on like a big discussion. Finally I thought it would be a good idea to consolidate my discussions in to an article and post here.
Most of my blog posts 'happen' like this. I don't take a topic and start writing. Instead, I get topics when I speak to people, when I read articles, when I come across problems, when I help others and so on.
If you are planning to take blogging as a career, I can share a lot more tips with you through online and offline chat.
Thank you sir. I will surely approach you for your valuable help.
Your article is awesome this article attracted me a lot when i got this article through e mail and i find some interesting facts. Continue your writing . I tried a lot of website but I didn't get any website like this. Keep it up.
It is real experience with opening others eyes (bloggers). We can't completely depend on online income unless we are settled and satisfied future saving and expenses, alongwith usual social activities. Fantastic article.
With my 5 months journey with ISC and in just 3 months of holding adsense account, It is highly difficult to take blogging as a full time career. As I'm an average writer, usually, it takes lot of time for me to write a good article. But please consider me to attend your class so that I can get lot of techniques from an expert like you and will try to improve my earnings on ISC.
You are right. It takes a lot of time to write good articles. Many people thnk writing an article need only 15 minutes. May be you will reach there after several years of experience in blogging and after acquiring great knowledge in your niche.
Keep writing good articles. Some day, you can become a professional blogger and share your experience with us on full time blogging.
Hello Sir, I'd started blogging from my B.Tech 2nd year. I was earning huge amount in AdSence, but unfortunately my AdSense account had been disabled. Now I'm not even earning a single buck with my site. Please help me. My site is http://www.sourcecodesolutions.co.cc
Please give me some ideas, sir.
Admin and Author of Source Code Solutions (www.sourcecodesolutions.co.cc)
Blogging is tough if not performed properly. If we do not identify a niche we like - we will run out of ideas and steam very quickly.
There are bloggers who have quit work and have started blogging full time. The focus and the desire to make it big was the single most important fuel to make them achieve success.
Then there are others who prefer to work it part time like you suggested.
No one way is good or bad.
It depends on the person, his desire, his passion.
I love writing articles(specially at Techulator), but I must agree with Tony sirs advice, don't jump in straight to full time blogging.Spending less but quality time is always a much better option than wasting so many hours which could have been used productively used elsewhere.
This article is realistic. We can safely say that we can blog as part time only to earn something.
I love to do the job in this blog writing and this website as well as other oppurtunity given by your adminstrator side to me i am happy to accept those chance as my luck and give my best strenght form my side so if u have any job for me i am complete my degree in information and technology.
I am new to here i would like to start career on blog writing please tell me sir how can i start my career as own successful blogger.
I am interested in blogging as i use internet on regular basis of spending nearly 1 to 1 and half hour per day. With that time spend on my internet i use to blog only one or two articles on my personal blog and rest time i spend on reading emails,checking my share market results of prfit and loss and little bit using the facebook,orkut etc.
I agre with you that taking blogging as fulltime is very hard for me and i get bored in spending more time on internet.
This article is in ralistic a real and helpfull for beginers whether they want to take blogging as fulltime or partime.
I personally suggest that take blogging as partime not as full time.
RAGHAVENDRA BADIGER, Thanks for your comments on my blog about full time blogging vs part time blogging.
Thanks Tony!! The exact thing happened with me. I took blogging as a full time job after my Engineering degree. I even did not attend any IT sector as I was too much passionate about blogging.
But now I am feeling bored and realizing what i have lost. I am now in very poor position. I am earning quite well. Approximately double than my friends who joined IT sector after completing the degree. But this time my feeling is "money does not matter all the time".
Even if I want to join the IT sector now, the path is closed to me as I am already 2 yrs off after my Engineering. No company will allow me to meet their interviews as a fresher. Also I do not have any experience in IT sectors.
I am making some money, but feeling guilty of my decision.
In the last few years working as webmaster full time has become very risky and the revenues earned are also significantly lower. Till 2010, there were very few problems for webmasters they could earn a decent living online without much interference. However, there is reason to believe that after payments received through Paypal started being monitored, the condition of webmasters , especially those who do not earn revenues through Google Adsense worsened.
Some powerful people made incorrect assumptions due to their ignorance and destroyed the life of many webmasters. The Paypal payments were monitored closely, and those who earned the revenue as passive income were put under tremendous pressure to sell their website for a pittance. They were subjected to a very malicious slander campaign based entirely on lies, which makes it very difficult to lead a normal life. Additionally sophisticated weapons are used to ruin their health, and many powerful people think that they can force the webmaster to sell their websites by making false accusations.
Additionally some large internet companies in India have no qualms taking money from one person,a webmaster and then falsely introducing their young and glamorous girlfriend as the customer. So the protege of the powerful person gets all the lucrative assignments, introductions and privileges for doing nothing without spending a single penny, while the poor exploited webmaster has to pay the huge bills for webhosting, domain registration, and other internet expenses, without getting any kind of support. In fact, some of these internet companies will shamelessly deny important information to the webmaster, so that the webmaster makes expensive mistakes. In no other field, are identity theft attempts so blatant.
Actually all these problems are taking place because of the lack of foresight and greed of those who manage the internet in India. Internet could be a great source of employment in a country like India, especially in small towns where there are no big companies or factories. However, most webmasters are subjected to endless harassment and persecution, wasting tax payer money, and single women entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable. Internet Companies pay lip service to womens empowerment, but they are only interested in promoting women who are well connected, glamorous and young. Compared to the engineering sector, some internet companies discriminate and exploit hardworking single women webmasters who are not well connected very blatantly.
Almost every day, there is some blatant abuse of power taking place in the internet sector, but there is no grievance redressal mechanism available for webmasters to correct this wrong. In every sector the rights of an early investor are well protected, but this not the case in the Indian internet sector, an early investor is subjected to endless harassment, and repeated identity theft attempts. That is why, most people in India, seem to be working on their websites only part time, they do not work full time, as they will be subjected to endless persecution. When powerful people in the sector do not appreciate hard work, merit or experience, and are only interested in becoming rich quickly, the entire sector suffers. Posting on Indian forums, only because of the repeated identity theft attempts made by shameless powerful people who want to falsely take credit for exports.
Blogging as a career is risky, like any other field.
And you will have all those pitfalls, no one to talk to, no shiny Job, No friends to meet on most days... But you have the freedom to do what you want, go where you want, be with whom you want.
Once you have tasted your first success online, your first dollar, you will be jumping with joy.
It is like a deadly fruit, which once eaten cannot be forgotten.
No matter how shiny the job is, how lucrative your pay at work, how dashing your role at work might be, you will find that it all does not matter.
So follow your heart and the money will come.
You are an inspiration to many upcoming bloggers. I read in some interviews that you are the first blogger from India. With such a long experience in blogging, there is no reason to doubt your advice. Thanks for sharing your valuable feedback on blogging as a full time job.
This is really awesome information about blogging as a career. Really thank you so much.
I agree with you Tony Sir. I left my job in 2013 when my salary is 175$ / month. Now I am earning 450$ to 500$/month. When I see my current income I am happy but I acutely feel I lost my happy life. I know how to pass daily 5-6 hours on blogging, but now I am hating my blogging life as I lost my big friend circle & much more. I am thinking to join any job now.
I have started my blog but I am not earning that much and I don't have any strategies as of now, that's why I am not thinking about becoming a full time blogger. I know I have blogging skills but I should wait for few years just like you and have to think about my earning and about becoming fulltime blogger.
Thanks for inspiring us with your story.
It is very true that blogging as a full time job may not be very renumerative. The main thing is quality of the blogs. Good quality blogs can be renumerated well and it makes sense to write them in few numbers rather then writing lots of low quality or average quality blogs.
Creative content writing is the backbone of a good and attractive blog. The traffic to a blog solely depends on its quality and content.
The article is a good guide for all the persons thinking to take blogging seriously and make it a career.