If you didn’t check out part 1 of this post a couple of days ago, I’d recommend you go and catch up here. Then as soon as you’re caught up, let’s jump right in to part 2. Are you a beginner wanting advice from 4 full-time bloggers about blogging as a job? You’re in the right place!
As I mentioned in part 1, blogging as a job is becoming increasingly popular and much more recognized these days. And making money from blogging isn’t as taboo as it used to be (although we still need to work on it). More people are realizing that they, too, have the skills and drive to do something like this.
And go for it, I say. But it’s certainly not as easy as you might think and you definitely can’t just “become” a full-time blogger over night. It took me 6 years since starting my blog to get to where I am. A large chunk of those years, I had no idea blogging as a job was a realistic option. So I’ve gathered up 3 other full-time bloggers to share what we know.
Please briefly introduce yourself, what your blog is about and what you do.
Jenny: Hello, I’m Jenny! Full-time blogger at Jenny in Neverland where I predominantly cover well-being, self growth and blogging tips/advice. I’ve been blogging since 2013 and have been a full-time blogger for over a year now. I’m passionate about helping bloggers make their blogs a success and I currently have 2 eBooks and am working on a course.
Chloe: My name is Chloe and I’m the affordable luxury travel blogger behind I’m Just a Girl where I share honest and real life travel guides and accounts of my trip around the world, travel tips and advice as well as accommodation and restaurant reviews. I’m also a full time traveler and freelance writer.
Michael: Hello, I am Michael, and I blog over at Your Money Geek (YMG). Professionally I worked in personal finance and was talked into creating a blog to promote my planning business. The company that talked me into starting a blog was producing horrible content, so I fired them and took over the blog. We cover everything from how to make money tutoring to movie reviews. I live in rural PA (USA) with my supportive wife, two children, and way too many animals.
Sam: I’m Sam, a 20-something freelance graphic designer living in Yorkshire. I’m a computer geek, gaming nerd and huge foodie. I’m also partial to movie marathons, Netflix binges and theatrical productions. However, above all, I enjoy the occasional staycation (I have a flying phobia!) and lazing around in bed all day (I wish…)
Gridcore Graphics was established in 2014. The name is a mash-up of my Twitch user as well as my love for graphic design. I post on an array of topics such as business, finance, gaming and technology, as well as home DIY & decor, motors and general life (entertainment, food and more!)
What has helped you the most in your journey to becoming a full-time blogger?
Chloe: Reading other people’s content, taking courses and doing as much research as I possibly can and being 110% dedicated to the career path that I’ve chosen.
Michael: Not copying other blogs! The word doesn’t need another copycat blog pitching the same goods and information. What the internet needs are new thoughts and ideas; innovation is what moves society forward. When I created my website, I was told it was too hip and that it didn’t make sense. I had a mentor tell me blending of geek culture and personal finance would turn brands away from working with me.
Fortunately, I was too stubborn to change directions. Now that my site has grown, I am finding the opposite to be true. Instead of my eclectic content turning advertisers and brands away, brands are reaching out to me because we reach potential customers that are not found on traditional blogs.
Sam: Being passionate about what I write has allowed me to tap into a market of mostly middle class men which is great considering my interest in business affairs, personal finance, home living, motors, tech & gaming!
Jenny: Constantly striving to learn more about blogging and the industry as a whole. I don’t think a narrow minded view helps at all as this industry is always changing and evolving. There’s always something to learn and the more you know, the more you can benefit.
How would you recommend a blogger gets started, if they want to eventually turn their blog into a full-time career?
Chloe: I know I keep saying it – but write what sets your soul on fire; if you don’t love your content, then chances are that no one else will! Start by writing about what you love, do your research early on how you can make money blogging and essentially just go for it! Don’t wait around wondering “what if”.
Michael: Start with a good host! Many bloggers are tempted to start blogging with a cheap hosting company and then move once they learn more about blogging. If you are committed to making a blog a legit business, save yourself some time, and start with a decent company.
Choose the simplest and fastest mobile-optimized theme you can find. Most blog traffic is from mobile devices, so it’s imperative to optimize for mobile-first. You can always change copy and features down the road, but a theme is a bit of a hassle to change down the road.
Build up your email list! I am embarrassed to admit I wasn’t collecting emails for almost a year. In time your email list will become one of your most significant sources of traffic.
Sam: Think about what you’re going to write about. You don’t need a specific niche but you need to have an idea of your potential readers and how you should create content which will engage them. Also, put yourself out there; pitch to brands, sign up to platforms and ask to be added to blogger databases!
Jenny: I’d recommend they get started by building up their brand and following and laying the ground work. Like Michael said, finding a good host. Getting a clean, professional theme. Branding your blog and social media platforms. Working on your DA. All the stuff that’ll build the framework for a successful blog.
What’s the hardest part about being a full-time blogger than you think beginners should know?
Chloe: This one might be slightly different for me as I’m travelling full time at the moment so I have to juggle blogging full time, travelling and freelancing so I would probably say time management. It’s imperative that you’re able to be accountable for yourself and your own working schedule; it’s not easy to be in charge of yourself but I think it’s well worth it if you can make a go of it!
Michael: Blogging is a lot of fun, and it’s a rewarding experience if you have a passion for writing and dig promoting your content, you can push through the challenges. However, it is not as easy as it looks so you should be prepared for the problems.
You are going to get some nasty comments and emails. There will be people who don’t like your review, your take on events or you personally, and they will be sure to let you know.
There is a lot of rejection, and I mean A LOT. You may get turned to guest post or be quoted in a publication multiple times before you get to a yes. You can’t take rejection personally, even if it’s hard. (And it can be tough)
You will be bombarded with asymmetric offers; PR firms, authors, mega blogs, and SEO firms will reach out to you almost daily. All of whom will want FREE mentions while providing nothing in return. If the brand is of interest and you think there is potential to collaborate feel free to respond with a mutually beneficial offer. However, most of these pitches you should delete, or you will drive yourself nuts trying to answer.
Sam: It’s a lot of work, seriously, it’s not just writing a diary entry and sticking it on the net with some mediocre photos. There’s things like SEO knowledge, photo editing, creating relationships with brands/PRS & loads more! You need to be on the ball at all times.
Jenny: For me personally, it was finding that rhythm that worked for me. Working from home is difficult for some people and you have to be SO disciplined and motivated because you’ve got no-one there to force you to do any work – it’s up to you. Finding a routine and sticking to it and knowing how to compartmentalize. Like I said, if you’re having a bad day, there’s no boss there to force you to get on with your work.