I have been blogging for four and a half years although I only started taking it seriously, and thinking about it as a potential career, when I went self hosted in August 2013. Since then I have been building on this blog’s foundations and trying to make it have as much longevity as possible to one day be my sole income.
Last year I left a job I had been in for nearly 14 years with the hope of moving across to being solely self employed, to relying on this blog as my only income and it had literally taken the last three years to get to that point. I know there are people who make a regular income a lot quicker than that but, before I left my day job, I wanted to make sure I was consistently earning at the same level. I didn’t want to be worried about money or regretting my decision a couple of months down the line.
From November last year blogging has been my full time job. Well, that isn’t actually true because, before that, I was working full time hours on the blog anyway – I was just doing it alongside another job. But, from November, I was able to fit the hours more easily around the children, blogging when they were at school or in bed and doing less blog work around them. It felt like I had finally got the balance right.
So, here are my top tips for turning blogging into a full time job:
If you have another job, don’t give it up until you are comfortable with the drop in income – or you can survive on other incomes in your household.
You will get out of the blog exactly what you put in. If you can only put a couple of hours a week into the blog then you will probably never turn it into a full time job. If you can put a couple – or more – hours in each day then you have more chance of making your blog a success.
Content is key. Write regularly and promote the posts on social media. Write about things that people might search for on Google and things that will still be relevant in a few months – or a few years. The more content you have, the more there is for people to find and read.
Make sure your contact details are clearly visible on your blog, make your email a clicky link and sign up to every single blogger network available. To start getting blog opportunities you need to put yourself out there as much as possible and not just wait for opportunities to come to you.
If someone emails you – make sure you reply. The opportunity may not be relevant but they may have other opportunities in the future. They may also work with other brands. A polite reply goes a lot further than pressing delete!
Persevere. It takes a long time to make regular income from blogging. It is also often difficult to stick to your guns where things like follow links, disclosure and budgets are concerned. Always have the end game in mind. Don’t compromise your blog – work out what you are and aren’t prepared to write about, have a minimum fee in mind and stick to it.
Join Facebook groups and chat to other bloggers. They’re a great resource for learning tips and tricks, finding out the people you really don’t want to be working with and also sharing opportunities.
When you work with people – do as good a job as you possible can. Most of my business in blogging comes from the same PR companies that I’ve worked with before. Also, always be polite and professional. Always keep in contact with a PR if there’s a delay or you’re going to miss a deadline and always be honest. If you’re not great to work with news travels fast – and PR contacts always move from firm to firm. Be good to work with and they’ll take you across to the new firms with them – be bad to work with and they won’t want to work with you – and their colleagues won’t either.
Make the most of social media. Social media is great for sharing content, building your own community and finding like minded people – bloggers and readers. But, it’s also your online portfolio. It showcases your blog to brands and PR companies. Just like content, the more of you there is on social media the more there is for people to find – and stumble across your blog.
Think of your blog as your brand. Your blog and associated social media are all part of your brand and if you think of it as a business from the outset and act professionally then other people will see it as a business too. If you think of it as purely a hobby and are happy to just get pocket money from it every now and again then that is all it will ever be.
Really, believe in your blog, work at it, plough time into it and it will grow. I know it’s easy for me to say but it hasn’t been easy to do – making a full time job out of blogging isn’t easy – but it is possible.
I quite liked writing this – I’ll think I’ll write some more blogging tips style posts if anyone’s interested. I love blogging and it’s a huge part of who I am and what I do each day. I hope this was useful!