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What’s the truth about being a full-time blogger? What’s it actually like?
There is a common misconception around blogging that we aren’t actually working.
Being a full-time blogger sounds like it’s all fun and games. You write a few posts, create a few cute graphics, and schedule them on social media.
And somehow you magically start making money!!
What else could there possibly be?!
Well…a lot actually.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone outside of the blogging space says that “Blogging isn’t a real job”
Whew, are they wrong!
In case no one has told you, or if you’ve been doubting yourself a bit lately, blogging is in fact a very real job.
If you put in tons of hours working (like I know you do!) And can make money doing it, who’s to stay It isn’t a real job?!
It takes a lot to run a profitable blog. You’re essentially running your own business!
So, let’s take a look into the truth of what it’s like to be a full-time blogger!
- The misconceptions about blogging
- We don’t work from the beach
- Blogging growth isn’t linear
- There is no “One-Size-Fits-All” blogging guide
- The truth about being a full-time blogger
- Making money blogging can be hard
- Blogging is a lot of long hours
- Getting traffic to your blog is hard
- You have a lot of jobs as a full-time blogger
- So much time is spent troubleshooting issues
- The truth about full-time blogging is it’s lonely
- Impostersyndrome is high- even as a full-time blogger
- What are the benefits of full-time blogging?
- What does a typical day as a full-time blogger look like?
- How to remain consistent as a blogger
The misconceptions about blogging
There are a LOT of misconceptions about blogging and what the heck bloggers actually do all day!
So let’s break them down and debunk them.
We don’t work from the beach
Shocking, I know. But bloggers don’t work from the beach as a lot of the Instagram ads and influencers would suggest.
Why the hell anyone would want to work from the beach anyway is beyond me.
If I finally get some time out of my house and go to the beach, why would I spend it on my laptop?!
I get enough screen time as it is, I’m not doing that on the beach as well.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t travel while you blog! Lots of people have created a travel blog, and now travel full-time with just the money they make per month blogging!
But, I digress.
Blogging is a lot of hard work. There are lots of late nights and early mornings involved.
I tend to wake up at 9:30 am and start work by 10:00 am.
Currently, as I’m writing this, it’s 10:50 pm. (Yes, seriously!)
I can usually be found in my office, recording a YouTube video. Or sitting on my couch typing out a blog post. Not on the beach.
Blogging growth isn’t linear
let’s be real, I am sure you have read those Pinterest posts like I have.
“How I grew my blog to 50,000 page views in one month!”
“THIS is EXACTLY how I made $1,000 my first-month of blogging with no experience!”
“I quit my job to blog full-time in just 6 months!”
I don’t care how many of those posts I see, I will almost always read them to get the inside scoop.
However, for those of us who are just starting, or have been grinding away for years and seeing little to no results…
That is not our story.
The truth about being a full-time blogger is income can (and will) fluctuate.
Same with pageviews and all other metrics you can measure.
And that’s okay. GROWTH is not linear.
Some months you may make $60 a month blogging and crank out 7 posts. On other months you may make $10 and could only get out 2 posts.
As a new blogger, I expected I’d always be growing once I started to gain traction.
If I made $100 one month, I’d be guaranteed $100 the next month. Then I could increase from there.
That’s simply not the truth about full-time blogging.
There is no “One-Size-Fits-All” blogging guide
And what I mean by that is, the truth is, there is no real step-by-step way to start a successful blog.
And while, yes, there are so many good blogging resources out there, the fact of the matter is that no two blogs are the same.
Something that works for me may not work for you. We all work differently.
So while it’s good to gather all the info and learn everything you can, sometimes the best strategy is a failure.
Starting your own blog, putting out a few posts, and seeing what happens. Trying a strategy, it ends up failing, so you tweak it and try again.
No matter what you do though, just keep going!
The truth about being a full-time blogger
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the truth of being a full-time blogger and what a day in the life actually looks like!
Making money blogging can be hard
Again, I’d like to thank the hundreds of income reports I read on Pinterest for giving me an unrealistic expectation of making a full-time income blogging.
And that’s not me hating on those income reports, I even post my own blog income reports, however, I thought I could make money as quickly as others did.
That ended up not being the case.
Making money with affiliate links, trying to earn advertising fees from Google AdSense, and turning your blog into a full-time job isn’t easy!
It’s possible, but hard when you first get started.
PRO TIP: Check out this course if you want to learn how to finally crack the code of making money blogging! You’ll learn the best ways to make money in affiliate advertising programs, and be able to grow your income with the strategies you learn!
Blogging is a lot of long hours
I mentioned waking up at 9-9:30 am (My start time depends on how lonely my cats are tbh).
And I’m the type of person that loves mornings, so I get to work by 10:00 am every day.
I start out by reviewing my goals and writing a to-do list.
And I usually don’t finish work until my brain shuts off at 8:30-9:00 at night.
However some nights, like tonight, I will work longer into the night.
Blogging takes up a lot of hours of the day! Not to mention, when you’re first starting out you likely have a full-time job, school, kids, or a house to take care of.
When I worked at a fast food place, I was working 8 hours shifts, coming home and working on my blog till 2 am most nights.
Then I’d wake up, squeeze as much work out as I could during work breaks, come home, and do it all over again!
2023 UPDATE: Now that I’ve been blogging for a while, I’ve gotten myself a better work-life balance and stopped working a lot earlier in the day! I don’t exactly regret working so late back then, but I’m happy to not have to work so hard now! We deserve breaks!
Getting traffic to your blog is hard
One of the first things you’ll quickly learn when getting started is, driving traffic to your site is not easy!
You have to learn good search engine optimization strategies (SEO) in order to get your blog ranked on Google.
However, that can be confusing, and take up to 6 months to start ranking a new site!
So that’s why you also should start social media marketing as soon as you start a new website. The best place to start is Pinterest.
Pinterest used to be quicker in terms of getting traffic to a new site, but it’s taking a bit longer to get going now. However, once it starts working, it doesn’t stop!
This pin here was pinned 2+ years ago and is still bringing me blog traffic to this day!
Pinterest and social media traffic is one of the top drivers of readers to my site.
Check out this course to learn how to start utilizing Pinterest for your blog! You’ll be able to drive traffic to your site early on while you learn SEO and start ranking on Google!
You have a lot of jobs as a full-time blogger
The amount of jobs a full-time blogger has is quite absurd. Here’s a glimpse at what I take on:
- SEO keyword research for blog posts and Pinterest
- Editing, scheduling & writing blog posts
- Updating old blog posts
- Promoting posts, videos & products
- Graphic design for posts, website & social media
- Website design
- Email marketing
- Product & course design & selling
Pretty sure I’ve missed out on a lot, I didn’t even include freelancing client work or anything YouTube-related.
But I think you get the point. Blogging requires you to juggle a lot!
You really have to find a way to be your most productive with the time you have. I personally use my go-to method, the Pomodoro technique to help out!
So much time is spent troubleshooting issues
Anyone who says full-time blogging (or even part-time) isn’t work has clearly never tried to run a website on their own, and it shows.
I once spent 12 hours trying to troubleshoot a problem with the theme I was installing.
I’ve redone and reorganized the navigation bar on my website more times than I can count. In fact, it took me over an hour of Googling to figure out how to get my logo up there.
You will spend a lot of time as a blogger Googling things.
What are the best plugins, how to increase your site speed, troubleshooting a very specific issue that no one seems to have had before… the list is endless!
You really need to be tech savvy (or really freaking good at Googling) and have hefty patience when it comes to running a website because when problems arise, you’re the only one that can fix them!
The truth about full-time blogging is it’s lonely
The one thing no one ever seems to talk about when starting a blog, it can get really lonely at times.
I am lucky enough to have an amazing husband who will listen to me talk about my blog for hours upon hours.
However, when it comes to getting feedback from him? Forget it!
He has no clue what I’m talking about, let alone how to come up with a reasonable, helpful response! Understandably so.
Chances are when you start blogging, none of your current friends will be blogging. So you’ll have no one to talk to or understand what you’re going through!
Not to mention if you’re serious about taking your blog full-time, you may have to skip out on drinks with the girl in order to get your next post out.
However, while excusing yourself from the girl’s outing every once in a while is okay, don’t let your business get in the way of real friendship!
Blogging may take a long time and be a lot of hard work, but you need to make sure your friendships are still intact at the end of the day!
Impostersyndrome is high- even as a full-time blogger
Just because we make enough money to support ourselves as full-time bloggers, doesn’t mean we aren’t subject to imposter syndrome!
If you’ve never heard of it, imposter syndrome is essentially when you compare yourself to other people.
You may feel like your work isn’t good enough, or like you’re a fraud who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
Common thoughts of imposter syndrome can be:
- I can’t make that much money
- Am I charging too much for this product?
- Who would buy this from me? I don’t know what I’m talking about!
- My blog posts aren’t as good as theirs
- They have way more followers than me, and they started after me!
If you’ve ever had thoughts like this, you’re not alone.
These are limiting beliefs we hold as bloggers and they’re likely holding you back from being successful.
Comparison is the thief of joy. You can’t compare your journey to anyone else’s, as hard as that may be.
What are the benefits of full-time blogging?
Now that we’ve talked about the “negative” side of blogging, what are the positives?
Because the truth about being a full-time blogger is, it’s so much fun! It’s truly the best job in the world and I’m grateful I get to do it.
The good by far outweighs the bad, though you might not think so from looking at this post!
Having the freedom to be creative
This may be one of my favorite reason for starting a blog- because you get to be so creative!
In high school, I knew the 9-5 life was not for me before I even had one! I knew in my heart I would start a business and work for myself.
And I knew I’d be something creative. I just had no idea what.
I also knew I loved writing, and once I found out you could make money writing- I was sold.
Starting your own website means you get to be as creative as you want to be. You can build this entire business from the group up, only using your imagination.
How freaking cool is that?!
You have so much more freedom
This is by far my favorite reason of them all- freedom.
The truth about being a full-time blogger and why I ultimately decided to go for it was because I hated the 9-5 lifestyle.
I want to be able to be free to take off days if I want to, stay home when I’m sick, and work when I’m inspired.
It sucks going to a job, working as hard as you can for not enough pay, and then coming home and being too tired to cook dinner or spend time with your family.
That wasn’t the life for me.
So, building a blog gives you the freedom to choose your off days and your holidays!
And just in general, there are no limitations when you blog. You can choose to do anything you want!
Sell products, offer coaching like I do, write about topics that interest you, and work with brands you love… ideas are endless!
You have financial freedom
There is also the aspect of financial freedom as well!
Automation is going to be your best friend, and until you’ve woken up to an email that you made a sale in your sleep… well you haven’t known true joy!
Right now, my YouTube videos are getting views. My blog is getting views. Thanks to the hours of work I put in to create.
People sign up to my email list automatically, they get auto-emails sent out for weeks that I’ve had set up for months.
And people are buying my products while I sleep.
You can set all of this up too! If you go to sell digital products like I do, once you market them correctly, people can buy them at any time- even when you sleep!
It’s a glorious thing. No more trading time for money!
What does a typical day as a full-time blogger look like?
The truth is, I really spend all my time blogging. I am working hard to get my blog off the ground, and I love what I do!
So, you definitely don’t need to spend as much time blogging as I do!
But here’s what my day looks like:
- Waking up: 8-9:00 am
I don’t bother to set an alarm, so I can wake up when I want to. But I very rarely sleep past 9:30am, and sometimes I wake up even earlier than 8:00am!
It’s so peaceful waking up without an alarm and letting my body decide for itself how much sleep I really need!
- Starting my day: can differ depending on my husband’s schedule.
Usually, I like to eat breakfast and get started and use my planner to review my goals and set a to-do list. Then I get to work by 10:10am every day, ideally.
My husband is a later riser, so if he doesn’t work first thing in the morning, I’ll wake him up and we can hang out together before he works.
- Taking breaks: Varies depending on the day.
I can find myself working pretty much most of the day, and into the night if I let myself.
But, I’ve been getting way better at stepping away from work intentionally, even if it’s just for a half hour.
I try to never work while I’m eating, as that is the one consistent time away from work.
My cats also tend to require attention throughout the day (Otherwise they’ll turn their claws attention to my furniture) so that get’s me up and moving as well. Not to mention working out sometime throughout the week as well!
But after that, it’s back to work!
- Ending my day: normally comes shortly after my husband comes home.
This, again, depends on his work schedule for the day.
Normally, I stop work to cook and eat dinner around 5-6:00pm and spend time with him again. We also go on a daily walk so I can keep active!
I used to get back to work after dinner and could stay on my computer until 9:00pm but I honestly can’t do that anymore!
Sometimes I will, but I know it’s time to stop work when I start getting anxious, which happens when I work later into the night on accident!
When you get sucked into your work task, that can happen sometimes!
But I am happy to say that I have a way better work-life balance than I did even just a few months ago, which the truth about being a full-time blogger is… a work-life balance is hard to come by!
We don’t have set times to clock in and clock out, and if we aren’t constantly doing things, it can feel like no progress (or money) is going to be made! Which is scary at first!
It’s definitely an adjustment to no longer have a guaranteed paycheck at the end of the month like you would in a 9-5, but you get used to it after a while!
And money does get more consistent the more you grow, but it takes a while to get there!
How to remain consistent as a blogger
When you’re not a full-time blogger, or even if you are, finding time to work and prioritizing what needs to get done when can be hard.
So here are some tips to help you stay on track!
Create goals for yourself
The first and most important thing is to create goals for yourself!
The truth about being a full-time blogger is, that no one got here by accident. It took a lot of hard work, dedication, and most importantly planning.
So create goals to keep you on track!
I have a business plan for this year of all the things is like to accomplish, and how I plan to accomplish them.
It’s nothing as official or scary as it sounds, it’s literally a Google doc where I brain-dump a bunch of ideas, hype myself up, and plan!
- Create long and short-term goals
I find that with my ADHD, creating long-term goals isn’t enough for me.
With long-term goals, the reward is too far out in the future for my brain to get excited about it. And then I eventually lose motivation and focus.
So, if this sounds like you, here’s what I recommend.
Create long-term goals, for yourself like going full-time blogging, getting brand deals, affiliate marketing income ect…
And then work towards those goals in short bursts. The longest I’ll think ahead is a few months, but usually even shorter than that.
This will keep you motivated to hit it, and focused.
It’s easy to get demotivated when we’re not seeing quick progress and with so many tasks we need to take on, getting distracted from our goals is easy to do as well!
Bulk-create content and schedule it
Bulk creation and scheduling content will be your best friend, especially if you are working full-time and have other responsibilities to take care of.
Make sure to bulk-create everything that you can, and here are a few ways to start!
- Theme your days of the week
If you know that you need to write a bunch of blog posts, set a day for that.
Then set aside another day for social media scheduling, and so on.
For any big tasks that you have, set aside a certain day each week that you can bulk those tasks.
Maybe Sunday you plan blog posts. Then Monday you do the research and outline.
Tuesday you write the posts, and Wednesday is your posting day so you schedule out social media posts to promote it once it goes live.
This will make everything a lot easier because you’ll have a batch of blog posts done, and it gets done faster as well!
When recording my YouTube videos, I try to record more than one at once.
It’ll take less time because I only have to get ready, set up my lights, and turn on my camera once.
And then I am already in the mindset of recording, so I mess up less as well!
Create an inspiring space away from distractions
The truth about being a full-time blogger is, that you’re going to be working from home, which can be super distracting!
And, you’re going to be having those creative juices flowing a lot! So, create an inspiring space to work in.
That way, when you’re feeling less-than-inspired, or you need to get away from the noise and work in a quiet space, you have the ability to do that!
I live in a two-bedroom apartment, so I was able to convert the second bedroom into my office/recording space.
It’s nothing particularly special, but it’s the perfect place for me to go when I need to put my head down and work!
If you can, set up a desk and surround yourself with things you love.
Create a vision board and hang it up on the wall where you’ll see it often. I absolutely love mine, even made it my computer desktop background!
You can even include artwork you love on the wall or inspiring quotes. Anything you find sparks creativity!
Don’t make it too cluttered though, and keep the space clean so you won’t get distracted or demotivated!
As you can see, the truth about full-time blogging is it isn’t easy, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication! And if you want to learn more about blogging, you’ll like these posts here!