It’s really hard to think of a better at-home job than blogging but that only happens if you can become a full-time blogger.
As you’ll see later, part-time blogging isn’t really a thing if you want to succeed.
You get to work anywhere in the world. You get to meet a lot of great people.
Most importantly you have the opportunity to help people who are looking to improve themselves and their lives.
Okay, that actually isn’t the most important thing. That’s a great thing and I love that aspect of blogging, but it’s not the most important.
Making money of course.
When people start their blogging journey in the hope of becoming a full-time blogger there are some things that they miss. Just because you see a pro blogger’s income report where they talk about how they made $20,000 in a month doesn’t mean that you can just sit down and make it happen as well.
Some of these bloggers took years to get to where they are, but that doesn’t mean you need to wait that long.
Before we look at the 13 things it’s important to ask if I’m a full-time blogger?
Well Are You a Full-Time Blogger, Scrivs?
I don’t consider myself a blogger, but I used to. I’ve actually “upgraded” to entrepreneur and that’s honestly what I prefer to call all bloggers.
Because blogging is a business.
Calling yourself just a ‘blogger’ minimizes all that you do to build a successful blog.
With that out of the way, I can tell you that I make 6-figures a year with my online businesses. You can see some of the brands over at Odd Noodle and I share all of my progress (money, traffic, failures, successes, and whatever else) in the Pocket Business Lab.
I haven’t had a “regular job” (what my Mom calls them) since 2014. Since then I’ve found ways to make money online so that’s been my full-time job and will continue to be my full-time job until I say otherwise.
I’ll just slide in a screenshot of my revenue dashboard from one wild week.
With all of that out of the way it’s time to find out what you need to know to become a full-time blogger.
13 Things You Need to Know to Become a Full-Time Blogger
You might not like this list of things and feel that because you are a unique butterfly you are going to do things your own way.
That’s cool. I wish you luck.
1. You Gotta Have Patience
Building a successful blog (and online business) can take time. Some niches take longer than others because they have smaller audiences.
You can’t expect to start a blog and make enough money in the first month to quit your job.
Hell, I’m really good at this stuff and I’m not sure I could do that starting from complete scratch.
There are probably some stories of that happening around, but it’s definitely the exception, not the rule.
The reason why I’m talking about patience at all is that there are too many bloggers that quit too early in the game out of frustration. That is one of the problems of reading sites like this one.
It can be hard to convey how long it can take to really make enough money to make blogging a full-time thing, not just make “extra” money.
That doesn’t mean you will take a long time, but you should have a realistic outlook when it comes to all of this.
This is also why one of the most important things you can do is get started today.
If you wait 3 months researching and trying to learn then that is 2-3 months that you missed out on trying to build an audience or understanding what your audience is looking for.
Thankfully it’s why the goal of the Blog Business Framework is to get your blog making money as quickly as possible.
Nobody has time to wait until certain milestones are reached!
If you can get 1 person to visit your blog then that 1 person might be willing to buy something.
And that’s enough to get started.
It’s important to note that there is a difference between being patient because you are doing the right things and believing that you should be patient while doing the wrong things.
I’ve seen bloggers do the wrong things for 10 months and tell me that they they need to be patient because it will all work out.
It never works out if you’re doing the wrong things no matter how hard you try to do them.
Just something to keep in mind.
2. Treat It Like a Business
When I started my first business from home I didn’t treat it like a business. I would wake up at a different time each day and sit at my desk wearing the same clothes I went to bed in.
You might be thinking that is awesome and those are some of the benefits of being able to work from home, but the problem is it didn’t work for me.
I had to start acting like I was going to work which helped to change my mindset and treat things like a business.
When you approach your blog like a hobby then you treat it like a hobby. You write occasionally, you send out emails from time to time, don’t bother with networking, and hope that money magically appears.
That’s not how to make a lot of money.
If you want to run a successful blog then you need to treat it like a business. That means:
- Post frequently and consistently. Showing up every day and doing what is needed.
- Sticking to a schedule.
- Always working on building new relationships.
- Investing both your time and money wisely to grow your business.
If you want to blog as a hobby then more power to you, but successful bloggers understand there is a huge difference between blogging for fun and blogging for money.
Hell, if you’re blogging just for fun there really is no need to continue any further. Just go on and write.
Another point to be made here is that you’re either all in on this blog thing or you’re not in at all.
There is no half in. There is no “nice side project money” to be made here.
Why do I say this?
Let’s pretend you have a blog on gardening. You’re hoping to make some side money with it. $200 a month and you’ll be happy.
So you put in the effort to make $200 a month which isn’t much effort at all.
Do you want to know the problem with this?
If I have a gardening blog that talks about the same stuff as yours and I’m aiming for $10,000 a month, then how do you think my content is going to be compared to yours?
How is the overall experience of my site going to be compared to yours?
What about my Pinterest or SEO efforts?
You’re always competing against someone else for a reader’s attention. You don’t get to blog in a vacuum.
I wish it were that way but it isn’t.
You either go all-in or you stay out of the game.
3. You Need to Network, Network, Network
One of the fastest ways to grow your blog is through networking. It’s amazing what can happen when you build relationships with other bloggers in your niche.
I used to be of the mindset that I could do all of this alone. That I could generate my own traffic, find my own audience, and in general grow at the speed that I wanted.
Unfortunately, what really happened was that all of the other blogs around me grew faster and saw more success because they helped each other out.
This can be a bit tough for introverts but nobody is saying you need to get on the phone and reach out to people. Building relationships can easily start over email. Blogging is a great job for introverts.
Don’t reach out to try and get something first, though. Instead, see how you can help out other bloggers. Nobody likes the friend that only comes around when they need money.
4. Your Income Fluctuates
Are you prepared to have months where you don’t have enough money to cover bills? It’s a possibility with your blog. Having a good month doesn’t guarantee the next month will be just as good.
Sometimes traffic is great from a post going viral and other times you are wondering if your blog is working because nobody is around. As you grow your blog, you will find that you can start to predict the minimum amount of money you can make.
At the beginning of your blog’s life, though, it’s simply a guessing game on how much you will make. Luckily you can start a blogging business with practically no money.
This is why I’ll always be a fan of building your own digital products for your blog.
It gives you a better sense of control over your business and you control the money.
If you want to see how I was able to pre-sell a product that didn’t even exist and make $5,000 in 24 hours then check out my free case study.
5. Big Traffic Does Not Always Equal Big Money
It’s logical to think that the more traffic you bring in the more money you will make. For the most part, this holds true if you handle things the right way.
However, it’s crazy to assume that you need a ton of traffic to make good money.
I make more money from the sites with lower traffic (< 30,000 pageviews) than I do with the ones with higher traffic. I should be making more with the higher traffic ones as well since they could all use products, but I’m just bringing up this point that not all traffic is created equal.
There are students that take the Blog Business Framework course and scale their blogs to 200,000+ pageviews (which is awesome!) only to find that people that sell products and get 60,000 pageviews are making more without the ads.
(Note: All things being equal I’ll always take the site getting tons of traffic than the one with less.)
There are blogs that get 100s of thousands of pageviews and only make $4,000 a month. I know that sounds crazy to say only make $4,000 a month, but the truth of the matter is that if you are getting that much traffic, you should easily be making 5 figures a month.
If you’re going to spend your time building a blog to get a ton of traffic then you deserve to be rewarded properly for your efforts.
6. Your List Is Your Money
Most successful bloggers will tell you that the money is in the mailing list.
Because people don’t usually buy things right away. They need to get to know you, understand the value that you provide, and understand why they should buy what you are offering.
An email list allows you to be in constant communication with your audience without worrying about your message not being understood.
When starting a blog your #1 goal is to build your mailing list. Not your Facebook likes or your Twitter followers. Focus on your mailing list.
I know this is a tough pill to swallow for a lot of people but remember what I said earlier about trying to make money from day 1?
You’ll find that you can make a lot more money from the people on your list than those that visit your blog just once.
7. You Gotta Be Efficient
Did you know that there are only 24 hours in a day?
I know, no shit, right?
That means you can’t sit around wasting time on things that won’t directly grow your blog or audience.
It’s amazing how many bloggers get stuck in a timewarp where for 3 weeks they spend tweaking a blog theme only to realize that they didn’t spend time doing anything else.
The best bloggers know how to use their time to its max capacity to get the most out of it.
Should you be planning the next 3 months of blog posts or should you be refreshing your analytics?
The whole concept around a Pocket Business is that you only focus on the necessities when it comes to your business. It’s too easy to waste your time fiddling with things that in the long run won’t really have an impact on things.
It’s those that figure out how to make use of the limited time that they have that find success.
8. You Can Burn Yourself Out
When you come up with an idea for a blog there is always an initial burst of excitement. You want to get started right away so for the first month you write 20 posts.
The next month you only write 10.
The next month?
You don’t write anything because you’ve burnt yourself out already.
There are a lot of different tasks that you will do to grow your blog:
- Respond to emails
- Respond to comments
- Send out emails
- Write blog posts
- Promote on social media
All of these things take up time and energy. If you try to run through them all too quickly you will burn yourself out to the point where you don’t want to work on any aspect of your blog.
Every person has a threshold for when they just can’t do anymore. Make sure to keep an eye on yours and understand when you need to take a little break so you don’t end up taking a 3-month layoff.
9. You Might Fail
Well, that’s not very encouraging.
You probably didn’t think about this possibility, but it happens. Turning a blog into a full-time job isn’t for everybody. Sure anyone can do it but that doesn’t mean everyone can do it.
By no means do I think anyone should give up. However, you also shouldn’t hold onto an idea so tight it takes you down with it.
For example, if the niche you’ve decided to work with isn’t finding much success, then do not hesitate to pivot.
Change directions see what else will work.
It’s okay to enter a new project by saying “hey, this might not work out, but I’ll learn something from it so next time it will work.“
10. You Gotta Be Analytical and Objective
Being a successful entrepreneur (yep, you the blogger are an entrepreneur) means being able to take a step back from your business and see where things can be improved and optimized.
One of the worst things that you can do as a blogger is continue to work on the wrong things and not be able to see that over time they are the wrong things.
How many of a certain type of post do you need to write before you look at your analytics and realize that they just aren’t working out?
11. You Gotta Be Consistent
The hardest thing of all.
If you’re running an online business and you do great things on a consistent basis then why shouldn’t you succeed?
The problem is that it’s hard to be consistent when you’re not used to being consistent.
This really comes down to developing good habits.
You’ve never heard of a successful business owner say that they “kind of worked on stuff occasionally.”
That’s not an option because there are people in your niche that will do things consistently.
If they do those things more consistently than you then why should they see more success than you?
This was the hardest lesson for me to learn as I used to always believe that I could catch up on the work that I missed.
But it doesn’t work like that.
When you put in consistent work then you’ll find that over time that consistent work has a compound effect.
That compound effect will lead to extreme growth for your blog until you reach a point that you can take any breaks that you want.
12. You Gotta Stay Relevant to Your Audience
Remember how we talked earlier about the money being in the list? Part of that is making sure your audience continues to see you as relevant.
Being consistent with email communication (I recommend AT LEAST once a week) means that you’ll stay at the front of their minds.
One of the hardest concepts to grasp as an online business owner is that you’re fighting for attention.
If someone else is grabbing all of the attention then how do you expect to make money?
13. You Gotta Evolve
Let’s use an example to explain this one.
In 2019, Pinterest made a huge change to their algorithm. It was so big that I had to do a whole traffic study on it.
What this algorithm did is make it harder to get ton of traffic from Pinterest all at once. Instead, it spread the traffic out to more people and change the dynamics for what you had to do as a blogger to get consistent traffic from Pinterest.
Why was this a problem?
Because many bloggers got most of their revenue from ads and the only way to make good money from ads is to get good traffic.
When traffic goes down, ad money goes down.
Smart entrepreneurs would look at this situation and understand that they need to evolve and expand the number of revenue streams that they have.
However, many bloggers looked at this and decided that they had to figure out how to get more traffic to their site to compensate for the Pinterest loss.
Some just held out altogether hoping that things would go back to the old way again someday.
The online world changes so quickly that not having the ability to adapt could end up being your biggest weakness.
What worked 2 years ago probably doesn’t work, or not as well as, today.
When you can’t evolve then you get left behind.
This is why I wrote the Blog Simple Guide because I wanted bloggers to understand that there is an evergreen strategy that you can apply to your blog business that will help you always stay in the game.
The only thing that would change is the tactics that you use within the system.
Blogging Isn’t for Everyone
While the idea of blogging full-time can be very enticing, it really isn’t for everybody.
I’m probably supposed to blow smoke up your ass and give you a pep talk, but after writing all of this I’m a bit tired.
So no pep talks here.
There are times where you’re just sitting at your desk working by yourself and wondering how you can interact with others.
There are times where the thought of writing another blog post drives you to jump out a window.
But these are minor things when you look at the big picture.
It’s much better to control your future and decide what you want to do with it and that’s why I love blogging. It has provided me with the opportunity to live the lifestyle that I’ve always dreamed about and has opened more doors than I could ever imagine.