Learn what you really need to know about blogging full-time from someone who knows exactly what it takes to be a blogger every day. Whether you’re a blogger looking to become a blogger, to take your blog full-time, or to learn more about the daily lives of full-time bloggers, this post shares an insider’s look into my own personal experiences blogging as a full-time career.
For background, I started this blog as a part-time hobby in October 2019, and I left my full-time job in February 2022, when I started focusing on my blog full-time. However, I did also have prior knowledge of WordPress, SEO, and how to make money blogging.
Initially, before I discuss blogging full-time in-depth, I’d like to address a few common questions that are related but don’t really fit into other areas of this article.
First, a lot of people ask why I quit my prior job (a lawyer) to become a full-time blogger, but there were so many factors that came into play that it’s hard to state succinctly. However, I do talk about some of the advantages of full-time blogging below, which were major considerations. I will also add that it truly satisfies my personal passions, even when I’m dealing with some of the disadvantages (also discussed below).
Second, a lot of people also ask when is the right time to take your blog full-time, and there’s no simple answer to that either. It depends on what you consider to be a full-time income, what your expenses and time/monetary obligations are, what kind of safety net you have, what the job market is like if you need to return to traditional employment, etc. I personally felt satisfied with all of these factors when I quit my prior full-time job, plus some other life factors were steering me in this direction, like the ability to travel more frequently, which is an important part of my husband’s job.
Additionally (pay extra attention to this), you need to be able to have accessible A LOT of money for taxes. If you are in the U.S.A., I recommend you get an idea of what your estimated taxes will look like BEFORE you make the leap to becoming a full-time blogger — mine were substantially higher than I anticipated.
I also want to note that this post is about my personal experiences as a full-time blogger, not a full-time social media influencer.
90% of my time spent and income earned is by way of long-form articles on this website, not my social media channels, so I really can’t offer the experiences of someone whose work is based on social media here.
This post about blogging full-time shares my work schedule, income details, the pros and cons of blogging full-time, tips on how to become a full-time blogger, and, lastly, answers to frequently asked questions about blogging full-time so that you can learn everything you really need to know about it.
It’s part “behind-the-scenes” and part advice!
What You Need to Know About Blogging Full-Time
Full-Time Blogger Schedule
Below is my own personal full-time blogger schedule. I can’t say everyone’s is the same, as every person AND business is different, but I will say that many, if not most, full-time bloggers I know do work full-time hours.
I had a very regimented schedule in my prior full-time job, working about 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the computer, so I’m used to these hours and that remains the schedule I keep as a full-time blogger, with the caveat that I now work before and after hours more often, as well as on weekends. This was common in my prior job but definitely less common.
Of course, I hoped to work less when I quit my prior full-time job, but I quickly learned that running a business requires my full-time attention to both maintain its current level of success PLUS grow. (At the end of only my first week full-time, I lost one of my biggest streams of income! This kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME in business.)
That being said, I truly love spending my time this way and often CHOOSE to work on my off hours, which I couldn’t say before.
Here’s what “a week in the life” looks like for me:
Monday to Friday:
When I first wake up, I check my phone for all my statistics, emails, social media, etc. I like to immediately know both where I stand and whether there are any major fires to put out.
Once I start working, I generally spend the first hour on administrative tasks, like responding to emails, writing email newsletters, reading articles about the blogging industry, etc.
Then, the bulk of my days on Monday through Thursday (not Friday) is spent writing blog articles. I write one each day, and they can take anywhere from half a day to a full day from research to writing, publishing, and marketing them.
As to what I write, it’s heavily data-driven, and I usually do SEO research and plan the entire year in advance. Then, I allow things like personal inspiration or brand deals I get to influence me to change my content calendar along the way. I just like batching the content plan well in advance to save time on a day-to-day basis. Many full-time bloggers I know plan content ahead of time as well.
In whatever time is left each day, I then work on social media and “big picture” projects. These projects are extremely varied in nature, but it seems I always have something going on behind the scenes. It can be product creation, tax or legal issues, learning a new skill, technical issues, outreach/networking, updates that affect some or all blog posts (hundreds) and require manual attention, and so on.
(For a more specific example, right now, I need to update certain brand colors on 500+ posts, and I’m trying to do at least five per day.)
At night, I spend some quasi-personal/quasi-work time on social media and, here and there, I’ll have a lingering blog issue I choose to continue working on before the next work day. I usually check all my statistics again too.
Fridays are “catch-up” days. I generally don’t write a post that day, but rather I do my accounting and work on whatever projects are still outstanding. I’m hoping to get back to blogging on Fridays too, but it usually feels out of reach.
Saturdays and Sundays:
I tend to always spend time on social media on the weekends, and I often pick up my laptop again for a few hours Saturday and/or Sunday to tackle my inbox, a project I want to get done, etc.
Because my blog is primarily a book blog, that means I also need to read a lot, which is a mix of fun and work. I often listen to audiobooks during the day when I can, and I usually read a hard copy of a book for about one hour per day at night. Sometimes it’s purely my choice of what to read, and sometimes I’m reading something more with the blog in mind. These days, I’m reading for purposes of the blog much more often than not.
Hours per week:
Not counting reading, 45-50+ hours sounds about right, generally speaking, and including reading, 50-60+ sounds about right. But, this is just me, and that’s just right now.
Full-Time Blogger Income
There’s a pretty fair chance you arrived at this post about blogging full-time to learn more about a full-time blogger salary and/or the fastest way to become a full-time blogger financially.
But, it’s an incredibly complex question, so I’ll do my best to maintain my own personal privacy while also giving you some insight into what a full-time blogger income looks like.
For starters, again, a full-time salary means something different to each person.
That being said, most bloggers earn an income via some combination of the following:
- display ads (like you see on this page)
- affiliate marketing (commissionable links by which you earn on the purchases a reader makes from the linked retailer)
- sponsorships (a.k.a. brand collaborations)
- product sales (like my Reading Journal)
- and services (coaching, consulting, etc.).
However, each of these income sources varies dramatically for each person based on a countless number of factors, including, but definitely not limited to, how many page views and followers your blog has, the value of commissions and products sold (high ticket versus low ticket items), etc.
But, trust me, it gets way more complicated than that, and it can even depend on dozens of factors as detailed as what font size you use!
There are full-time bloggers who earn anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars per month to hundreds of thousands of dollars per month. (Yes, you read that right!)
For more specific numbers:
I have used the data in the video below as a guidepost for years now, and I have found that it offers pretty good averages overall at a variety of levels.
But, note that just because you publish a certain number of posts does not mean you will see the numbers specified in the video automatically. You need a solid business strategy to see these results, which requires a lot of education, implementation, and pivoting.
Eb over at Productive Blogging also published these updated statistics about the general range of bloggers’ income.
Pros and Cons of Being a Full-Time Blogger
Every job has pros and cons, and blogging is no different! What I find especially interesting here is that some of the pros and cons can be intermixed, depending on how you look at them.
Below are my personal opinions and experiences on the pros and cons of being a blogger full-time.
Pros of Blogging Full-Time
First, you are your own boss AND co-worker.
Not everyone likes or wants this, but if you do, this means you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself at the end of the day, and you also don’t have to deal with petty gossip, time-wasting meetings, toxic cultures, etc. One of the first things that surprised me about being a full-time blogger was that an 8-hour work day truly produced 8 hours of work product.
Second, you can work anytime and anywhere.
Again, not everyone likes or wants this, but if you do, it can be the most incredibly freeing feeling. I no longer have to overwhelm myself with stress about traffic; time off for illness, emergencies, or appointments; cultures where people only think you’re working if they can see you sitting at your desk, etc.
Third, you can earn a living from your passion.
You know what “they” say — do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Most bloggers are passionate about writing and/or the topic they blog about, so this career truly can scratch one or both itches.
Fourth, you can potentially earn more income than you did in a “traditional” job.
This is certainly not guaranteed, but it’s definitely possible. The profits you make go directly to YOU — not your boss, and not a corporation, whereas in a traditional job, you may generally see only incremental raises over time, and that’s not guaranteed either. Your blog is also something that can be sold at a profit if you decide to quit blogging. I like to think of it as digital real estate.
Fifth, you learn a vast array of transferable skills.
Blogging is unique in that you master so many skills, including copywriting, coding, search engine optimization, photography, videography, marketing, public relations, social media, sales, accounting, law, and on and on. All of these skills are valuable no matter what you do in the future.
Cons of Blogging Full-Time
First, everything, and I mean everything, is your responsibility.
And, even if you have assistance, the buck still stops at you. Your full-time blog IS a business, and you are the CEO as well as the employee (usually, as most bloggers don’t have teams or have small teams).
Most of us just want to write articles all day and interact with readers, but you still need to maintain your website as a piece of digital real estate so to speak — not much different than if it were a more traditional business that would deal with repairs, customer service, tax issues, and so on, or the business would fail.
And, as the CEO, you also need to manage the long-term strategy, make big business decisions, and the like.
Second, bloggers get burned out.
After reading the preceding paragraph, you may have already realized that blogging can be overwhelming, and it requires a certain mindset (plus good old-fashioned work) to achieve and maintain success.
I’ve found myself overwhelmed at various times learning brand new skills for the first time, needing to master several completely different jobs on my own, and dealing with everything from complex legal issues (like trademarks and international sales tax) to complex technical issues (like hackers and things that “break” on my site).
It can also feel like various threats are looming in your business all day, every day. (I know many business owners, not just bloggers, feel this way.) There are some general threats, like the recession and artificial intelligence, and then more specific threats, like growing competition in the blogger/influencer space, changes to algorithms, etc. This is why it’s important to stay on top of everything.
On top of this, it generally takes several years of work before bloggers see money consistently coming in. For this reason, many bloggers quit and/or break down at times.
Third, blogging is always changing.
This may not be different than any other job, but it’s still a “con” here too. It seems nothing in blogging stays the same for too long and, as soon as you learn something (like a certain social media platform), the landscape changes, and you have to move with the tide to maintain your success, which generally requires more work AND more uncertainty about the future of blogging.
Fourth, you lose some amount of privacy.
The level of privacy that bloggers give up varies from a little to a lot, but generally speaking, at least some element of privacy is lost when you’re blogging full-time. The consequences can range from receiving mean comments from strangers to going “viral” in a way you didn’t intend and even physical security risks.
And many, if not most, bloggers lose some level of separation of space between work and life, which has become a problem in many jobs these days.
Fifth, people may not take you seriously.
I debated whether to consider this a con of blogging (because we shouldn’t care what anyone thinks), but it kind of drives me nuts at the same time. Comments like, “What do you do all day?” and “Didn’t you quit working?” sting more than I want to admit, especially because I’m so passionate and proud of my work both personally and on a communal level (Promoting literacy benefits everyone!).
Since so many bloggers are women, I also think these perceptions about the job continue a historic cycle of undervaluing the work of women. I try my best to look at it as an opportunity for discussion, but as much as I hate to say it, it’s not always easy.
7 Tips on How to Make Blogging a Full-Time Job
Now that you know more about what full-time blogging is like, you may be interested in how to make blogging a career for yourself. Here are a few of my top tips for what got me from zero to full-time:
First, believe in yourself.
I believed in my blogging abilities from the minute I started, and I was completely unwilling to hear any opinions to the contrary. It can be hard to keep going when other people doubt you. This meant I had to set many personal boundaries, including not even discussing it with some of the people closest to me for the first few years.
Second, run your blog as a business.
Notice I said “as” and not “like.” A full-time blog is not “like” a business, it IS a business. Set your blog up the way you would start any other business: conducting research, making investments, complying with the law, budgeting, strategizing and planning, setting goals, making projections, etc. (My Blog Planner can help you with this.)
The reason is that, in most cases, businesses don’t consistently produce a full-time income by magic or luck. And you also need to be prepared to stand up to everyone else, including the government and really anyone in the world who may attack your business for whatever reason, either business or personal.
This may sound over-the-top, but I can tell you with certainty that my blogging business required the same focus to grow to a full-time status AND it still faces threats that concern me every single day of the year (see “bloggers get burned out” above).
Third, invest in your blog.
Blogging is VERY cheap and easy to start as far as businesses go, yet many bloggers still balk at spending money on it, especially when they aren’t yet making money. This REALLY holds you back both personally and professionally.
You need the best blogging resources in order to have a blog that functions well, and you need a well-functioning blog in order to grow. The givers of blog traffic, like search engines, don’t reward sites that don’t adhere to best practices. Better resources also help keep your site safe and secure. For example, you aren’t saving anything when bad resources enable your site to get hacked and you can no longer access it.
Investing in your blog also means investing in yourself. You need to learn A LOT in order to grow. Blog courses can help with this dramatically and quickly, even though they cost money. I have taken more blogging courses than I can count and, while they haven’t all been worth the cost individually, the costs balanced out overall. At the end of the day, I made way more money than I ever spent. I just recommend doing your research before you decide on which courses to invest.
Below are the blogging courses I recommend the most:
- Perfecting Blogging (for beginners)
- Perfecting Pinterest (for everyone except Pinterest experts)
- SEO Jumpstart (for everyone except SEO experts)
- Email Marketing Jumpstart (for beginner and intermediate email marketers)
Fourth, work hard.
Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires consistent effort over time to reach the finish line. There’s simply no other way around it. I don’t like to promote “hustle” culture, but I also don’t think you’ll become a full-time blogger if you don’t put in the work on a daily basis over a long period of time.
Fifth, work smart.
Working smart is incredibly important. Blogging involves a lot of tasks, and a lot of these tasks can be “time sucks.” (I personally would categorize social media this way, but that’s not the case for everyone.)
It’s important to identify what the time sucks are for you, what the money-making tasks are, and to adjust your schedule accordingly over time as your business develops. You can’t do it all, and only some tasks will make you money at the end of the day.
For me, one thing this meant was setting boundaries with the many authors who reached out to me for (free) marketing assistance every single day. It was becoming a job just to respond to emails, let alone read and promote their books, and it caused me a lot of anxiety and guilt as well. So, I created a few blog posts that serve as good, free resources for them (because I still want to help), and I can now passively help them by offering the links without giving up too much of my time each and every day.
Don’t just set goals — set money-making goals — if you want to become a full-time blogger as fast as possible.
Sixth, focus on the reader.
Your blog is never really about YOU, but your readers — the same way any business is about its customers/clients at the end of the day. The purposes of most full-time blogs are to help readers: sometimes by informing, sometimes by solving a problem or answering a question, sometimes by offering inspiration and recommendations, and sometimes by making someone else feel less alone.
The reader should always be at the forefront of your mind, and you should always be gathering updated feedback and learning about your customers as you grow so you can best serve them. Every time I have truly listened to what readers wanted from me and changed course in that direction, my business has grown substantially, sometimes in ways I never expected, yet that’s exactly what got me here today.
Seventh, build a unique brand.
The more time goes on, the less I see unique brands in the blogging space. There’s a lot more flat-out copying to try to achieve fast growth (It’s illegal, by the way, and I do watch for it, collect evidence, and take action when I believe it’s warranted), slapping up massive quantities of content with no personal experience on the topic (sometimes even written by robots) in order to get page views, and so forth.
In short, some bloggers today are more focused on getting more eyeballs than more engaged readers. And to get eyeballs, a lot of people copy what was successful for you and/or try to game the system.
There are so many things about these strategies that make no sense to me. First, we all have very different audiences with different needs. Second, it’s illogical to create content that is competitive rather than unique. Wouldn’t you rather have less competition on a post than not?! Third, readers may still view your posts, but they probably won’t stick around unless you give them good reasons to do so. And if they bounce, you won’t make as much money.
I personally see these as short-term blogging success strategies and, in my first year of full-time blogging, one of the biggest and best lessons I learned was to focus rather on building a community and a brand, and to have very personal, meaningful intentions behind every blog post and every business decision I make.
I ask myself a lot of “why” questions and consider what unique qualities I may offer before I do anything now. This goes hand-in-hand with my prior point to put your readers’ specific needs first.
It’s changed everything in terms of the quality of my work product and how readers receive it, and I look forward to seeing how it continues to impact my business. In my opinion, this is what gives you the best chance of avoiding risks, keeping your readers invested in your business over time, and maintaining your full-time income over the long term no matter what changes occur in the blogging industry and threaten your business.
Frequently Asked Questions About Full-Time Blogging
Below are quick answers to frequently asked questions about blogging full-time.
Yes, many bloggers blog on a full-time basis and earn a full-time living from blogging through display ads, commissionable links, brand partnerships, product sales, and/or services.
Full-time bloggers make a wide range of money, depending on many factors, including how many page views their blogs receive. Many full-time bloggers earn thousands of dollars per month, and some earn five, and even six, figures per month.
There is no set amount of hours that bloggers work. They can spend any number of part-time or full-time hours on them. However, many full-time bloggers do work full-time hours on their blogs.
Most bloggers get paid money from blogging through a combination of display ads, commissionable links, brand partnerships, product sales, and/or services.
There are many downsides to blogging. First, some level of privacy is lost by publicly posting content online. Additionally, blogging requires bloggers to master a large variety of different skills, is time-consuming, and can cause burnout.
That’s everything I think you need to know about full-time blogging as a full-time blogger myself.
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