You’ll be hard pressed to find a more lucrative work from home opportunity than becoming a full-time blogger. Seriously, it’s one of the best ways to make money from home. Being able to start blogging as a career was the best thing that ever happened to the two of us and we’ve been able to do so much with our blogging income.
Since we’re bloggers we have a lot of online blogger friends and have seen so many people through the process of blogging as a career. Most of them started their blog as just a hobby or small side-hustle and they were able to replace their full-time income and work entirely from home in just a few short years.
Our first blog, Not Quite an Adult, was started as a kind-of experiment to see if it were really possible to be blogging as a career and to make real money from home. Well, over a year later, it’s very possible and it’s blown us away.
One of the most common questions we get from our readers is how do we start blogging as a career? and how do you make money blogging? These questions are valid and we are going to cover it all in this in-depth explanation of how to start blogging as a career.
Should You Be a Hobby Blogger or Full-Time Blogger?
Starting a blog as a hobby is a super exciting and really fun experience. You get to write things that you love without worrying whether or not people will read them. You don’t have to worry as much about spelling and grammar and you images don’t need to be expert quality.
However, being a hobby blogger can be a huge waste of time. If you were able to transfer your hobby into a profitable business, wouldn’t you want to? You’re already devoting hours and hours of your very limited time on earth to blogging, why not start using that blog to reach your goals faster?
Personally, I believe that every blog should be a business because there is so much room for everyone to succeed in this industry. Unless you have no need for money (which is impossible) then I think you should try your darnedest to be blogging as a career or at least making it a super profitable side hustle.
How To Start Blogging as a Career
There are a ton of steps you’re going to have to take in order to start blogging as a career, there’s about 5,000 things you need to learn in order to make this happen. Let’s go over some of the main steps that you’ll need to take to become a full-time blogger:
1. Start With a Profitable Niche
Trying to find a profitable niche that is also something you enjoy is a very fine line. It can be really hard to figure it out if you don’t know where to start.
There are two really important things to consider when thinking of a blog niche (1) passion and (2) profitability.
You can have passion for a certain niche without the niche being able to make a penny, this is the type of blog that is going to involve a whole lot of work without a lot of return but you’ll probably enjoy working on it.
You can also have profitability without having passion which means that you’ll end up hating working on the blog but you’ll be able to monetize it well and make a bit of money. However, you’ll eventually burn out and it probably won’t end up being your career.
If you want to be a full-time blogger and really be able to consider blogging as a career you need to figure out the middle ground where you can enjoy the topic you write about while also being able to monetize it to it’s full potential.
Some great options for money making blog niches that are broad are:
- Personal Finance
- Self Improvement
- DIY & Crafts
- Health & Fitness
You also have the opportunity to start a more defined niche website, for example, there are entire websites dedicated to certain dog breeds that make a ton of money each month.
2. Actually Start a Blog
Well, you’ll never be able to blog as your career if you don’t actually step up and start the blog. So this one should be a given!
To make the process a bit easier, here’s a list of. awesome content we already wrote that might help you through the process of starting the blog and some of the technical stuff you’ll have to figure out:
- How to Set Up a Blog With Bluehost
- How to Start a Mom Blog
- How to Start a Travel Blog
- How to Start a Finance Blog
- How to Start a Food Blog
3. Invest in Yourself
One thing that separates full-time, successful bloggers from people who wish they could be a full-time blogger is the willingness to invest money in your education.
When young bloggers tell me they aren’t willing to spend any money to. learn things they are going to need for the future of their blog I try to explain it to them like going to college. If you want to be a successful lawyer making six figures you must go to school and get your law degree and pass the bar.
If you want to be a successful blogger you must invest some money in yourself to learn everything you need to know. As we’ve discussed there are thousands of things you’re going to need to learn over your blogging journey, so wouldn’t it be nice to have someone who already did the darn thing teach it to you?
Here are some of our favourite blogging educational resources:
- Pinterest Marketing: Pinteresting Strategies
- Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
- Search Engine Optimization: Stupid Simple SEO
- Email Marketing: Date Your List
There are some huge, massive courses that are super popular in the blogging community that we have taken, but we aren’t fans of marketing for them. Why? because we don’t feel that all the huge $1000+ courses are worth the hype. Those kinds of courses have a huge payout for the people promoting them so you shouldn’t always trust everything you read.
4. Don’t Sleep on Pinterest
If you’re looking to start blogging as a career in a relatively short amount of time you’re going to find it pretty hard to get the kinds of traffic you’ll need to properly monetize.
Learning search engine optimization (getting your content to show up in google results) takes a lot of time and it takes even longer for Google to start actually noticing you.
This is where Pinterest comes into play! Pinterest is a blog traffic powerhouse if you learn how to use it properly. Now, I’m not saying that you’ll get thousands of pageviews overnight but it will definitely happen for you quicker than if you were to use only Google.
We suggest you check out Pinteresting Strategies, it’s a great beginner resource for Pinterest and is the reason why any of our blogs took off in the beginning.
5. Start Optimizing for SEO Now
One of our biggest mistakes when we first started was not optimizing our blog posts for search engines from the start.
When we started Not Quite an Adult we wrote entirely content we wanted to write and content that would do well on Pinterest, it worked well, but isn’t a long term strategy since Pinterest can change their algorithm at any time without notice.
Starting your blog with SEO in mind from day one is one of the best things you can do for your blogs longevity. It will help you get consistent traffic from people who are ready to spend time and money on your blog and are much more likely to become a subscriber.
We really do love the course Stupid Simple SEO because it takes a ton of the confusion out of search engines and has helped us a whole ton.
6. Become a Monetization Expert
If you want to really turn your blog into a full-time job you must know and understand the different ways to make money with a blog and start using all of them to your advantage.
You can’t expect to make a whole lot of money by just having one way to make money with your blog, that’s a recipe for financial disaster. You need to do your best to diversify your income and become an expert in every single way to make money.
The best ways to make money with a blog include:
- Advertising Income
- Affiliate Marketing
- Product Sales
- & Sponsored Posts
Just knowing these kinds of monetization won’t make you money, you need a more in-depth knowledge. Well, you’re in luck because we’ve written an entire post about How Bloggers Make Money!
7. Start an Email List
One of the best ways for you to make money from a blog is to start an email list and to learn how to monetize that email list.
There’s a common misconception that the best way to reach your readers and followers is through social media but that is misinformation. When you keep your followers on social media you’ll be a slave to the algorithm and you’ll never be able to reach all of your followers since a ton of them won’t even see the content you post on Facebook or Instagram.
Building an email list will help you reach all of your raving fans and readers in a simple and efficient way where you can sell to them in a way that doesn’t seem scammy and gross which will add money to your bank account real quick.
8. Put in The Hours
Let’s be real, blogging is going to be your full-time career in one day, or even one year for most people. You’re going to have to put in a lot of work and tons of hours before you’ll be able to reap the rewards.
You’ll see a lot of bloggers who are making $10,000+ a month saying they only work a like 10 hours a week but that’s not realistic for someone who is just starting their blog. What they don’t say is that they worked 40 hours a week on their blog (let’s be real, probably more than that) for the first two years and now have systems in place and employees that allow them to only work 10 hours a week.
Don’t be fooled by these misleading articles that are used to get someone to purchase their products.
You’re going to have to put in 1000s of hours before you’ll ever be able to work just a few hours a week, and that’s just facts.
9. Publish Great Content
If you aren’t creating quality, helpful content then you’re never going to be able to start blogging as a career. The key to getting people to sign up to your email list and buy products you recommend is quality content.
You want to make sure that they see you as an authority in whatever niche you’re in and that they trust you. A key to making money is getting your readers to know, like, and trust you and great content is the way to do this.
Your content should be focused on solving problems for your ideal reader because that’s what people will be searching for. It’s great to include the occasional post about your life, but there is 0 chance that your reader is going to find that on Google or Pinterest and just have to read it.
Make your content reader-centric and you’ll be blogging as a career in no time!
When Should You Go Full-Time?
One of the scariest thing in any entrepreneurs journey is trying to figure out when they should ditch that day job and start working full-time on their side hustle. This is going to be an extremely personal decision but I’ve learned (the hard way) some really great tips for helping you make this decision.
Do not quit your job unless your blog is making enough money to support your lifestyle. A great tip for this is to use a Bare Bones Budget to figure out your absolute minimum income numbers to survive another day.
You can also start trying to live off your blogging income while you’re still working your full-time job and see if it’s possible for a few months. The bonus is that you can save your entire full-time income or use it to pay off debt.
If you’re able to live off your side hustle blogging income for at least 3 months without any issues, then it’s a great time to start blogging as a career and being a full-time blogger.
If you’re more of a risk taker, you can probably just go for it, but personally, we don’t want the risk of homelessness hanging over our heads at all times, so we prefer to play it safe.
Things You Must Remember If You Want to Start Blogging as a Career
1. Be Patient
There is no such thing as an overnight blogging success. Did you hear me in the bank? Let me say it again. There is no such thing as an overnight blogging success.
You may find articles on Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook that claim that someone made $5,000 in their second month blogging. Chances are they’re lying. I’ve read numerous articles like this where the person actually started their blog two years ago but “just started taking it seriously” and claim it’s only their second month blogging.
Take every single article like this with an entire bowl of salt, a grain of salt is not enough.
Blogging takes time, hard work, and dedication. You aren’t going to start making insane money right away unless you have money to spend on buying a website, paying for ads, or hiring writers.
Patience is going to be the most important part of your blogging journey and is key for you to be able to start blogging as a career.
2. Be a Business From Day One
If you want to become a full-time blogger you have to act as if you’re already a full-time blogger. Treating your blog like a business straight from the beginning is going to make you look at it from a different point of view and plan things as if you know exactly what’s going on.
If you start your journey as a hobby blogger your success is going to come much slower than if you treat it like your job from the beginning.
3. Be Prepared For Variable Income
One of the only things I don’t love about blogging is that one month you can make $6,000 and the next month make $3,000 and it’s just because of the time of year. This is something I wasn’t truly prepared for when we started our first blog.
There are so many ways that you can get ready for having a variable income. We highly suggest you check out our article from Not Quite an Adult, How to Budget on an Irregular Income.
Having a variable income is why it’s so important to diversify your blogging income and have as many income sources as possible. You don’t want to be relying 100% on advertising income because some months your pageviews will be a lot lower and your income is completely tied to your pageviews.
Remember that there are so many ways to make money blogging, including:
- Sponsored Posts
- Digital Products (i.e., ebooks, courses, etc.)
- Physical Products (i.e., t-shirts, planners, etc.)
- Affiliate Marketing
4. You Need Blogger Friends
Another hard thing about blogging is that it can be extremely lonely. Bloggers spend most of their days working at home on their computers and not talking to many people at all. Thankfully, we get the opportunity to work together on Beginner Blogging Blueprint so we have each other to learn on, however, most new bloggers won’t have someone int heir corner who understands what they’re doing all day.
You must make blogger friends.
These are the people who will celebrate your wins with you and understand when things are going wrong. They will be able to answer your questions while also leaning on you for support. You will not make it through this blogging thing alone, you need to be part of the greater blogging community.
A great place to find bloggers to talk to is in the Blogging Like We Mean It Facebook Group!
5. There is a Chance You’ll Fail
The unfortunate truth is that most new business fail and blogs aren’t immune to this. Not every person is cut out to be a blogger. It’s a lot of work and most people who start a blog don’t realize how many things they’re going to have to learn before they’ll start making money.
All the I made 50,000 Last Month Blogging Posts are just harming people because they don’t talk about how much time it too for that blogger to be able to reach that point. People think they’ll get there quickly and it won’t be a problem.
Just keep working hard towards your goals and don’t give up, then you shouldn’t fail!
6. There’s a Steep Learning Curve
As we’ve said above, there are thousands of things you need to learn in order to start blogging as a career. We’re not joking when we say thousands. Here are just a few of the broad topics you need to start learning about:
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Affiliate Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Graphic Design
This is honestly only 1/2 of the things you’ll have to do on a daily basis. It’s going to take you a really long time to learn all of this so you need to give yourself a few months to gain all the knowledge to start blogging as a career.
Blogging as a career is in fact possible and can be a really awesome work from home opportunity for you. All you need to do is follow the above steps and work really hard for a few months.