I love the freedom of being my own boss. How many times have you heard someone say that? I know when I was in the corporate world, this was a common discussion among peers when times were tough or if there were frustrating events taking place in the industry.
The idea of running your own business is very romantic and may appear to be the escape that would set someone free. The truth is, it takes a certain kind of person to make it as a business owner and full-time blogger. It is not all fun and games and if you are not prepared to face some serious adversity, then I recommend you keep your day job.
Having said that, there is a certain segment of the population who would totally thrive in a full-time entrepreneurship type of role. They have the attitude, drive, desire, and passion required to take a vision and bring it into reality by any means necessary.
Not sure which class you fall under?
Let me give you my 4 best and worst things about being a full-time blogger. Check your thoughts as you read them and you will quickly recognize your calling.
Time freedom as a full-time blogger
I don’t think I have ever met a single person who does not strive to have complete control over their time. I believe it is the ultimate freedom. When you are the boss, you call the shots, including when you work.
The Good: Instead of thinking in traditional time blocks where evening and weekends are the typical free time, you can create your own free time blocks whenever you want. For example, when I was an employee I would always go to the gym after work when everyone else was going. It was always crowded and I didn’t always get the machines I wanted to use.
When I took my business full time, I started going to the gym in the late morning and there is hardly anyone around at that time of day. A much more enjoyable fitness experience. When I was an employee, I could have probably figured out a different time of day to work out when it was less busy (i.e. early morning before work or late at night) and still make it fit with my job but 10 am is when I have the most energy and enjoy the gym experience most. I don’t have to ask anyone for permission…I just go!
The Bad: If anyone tells you that starting a business will give you loads of free time, they are flat out lying. In fact, be prepared to work way MORE hours than you did at your job, at least in the beginning. As an entrepreneur and full-time blogger, you certainly do have full control over your schedule but it can be very difficult to force yourself to take a break. When every sale, every support request, and every client is counting on you to deliver, that does not leave a lot of room for hanging by the pool with a cocktail.
What can you do?
One thing I always encourage new entrepreneurs to do is to book free time in advance. Treat these time blocks as scheduled appointments that you cannot miss. I did a terrible job of this for my first few years as a business owner and it stung. I was not spending enough time with my wife and I was not taking enough downtime to rejuvenate my mind and body. While you still may find me working on any day of the week, you will also find my phone shut off and email closed for an entire morning or afternoon while I unplug for personal time.
This is a total must for everyone.
Income entirely in your own control as a full-time blogger
In most of the average employment positions, your income is capped and usually pre-determined at the beginning of the year. Sure there are opportunities to gain a raise or get a bonus, but it is still limited. If someone wanted to double their earnings, the most obvious way to do it would be through business revenue.
The Good: When you are your own boss, you have the ability to grow your business as big as you want it to be. If you are good at what you do, have a good marketing strategy, a strong sales process and a market that is in need of your skills, you can earn a serious amount of money. I’ve detailed the blogging business model that makes me a full-time income and another post here on exactly how I make an average $10,000 a month with my blog.
Your earning potential is capped only by your ability to expand your business. A very exciting proposition for most people!
The Bad: There are absolutely no guarantees. When you are an employee, you put in your time, and assuming you have done a half-decent job, collect your paycheck every couple of weeks. As a full-time blogger and business owner, you could take on a project, pour in all kinds of hours and have a client from a sponsored blog post or even a freelance type of client forfeit payment. The market could turn and your audience could one day decide to cut their interest in what you blog about. If you have regular paying customers or a membership site like I do, your product or service could be suddenly cut out of their budget.
If you are just getting started, you may not have success finding enough consistency to pay the bills. The entire financial burden and your paycheck rest on your shoulders.
This level of responsibility is not for the faint of heart. Are you prepared to handle that kind of pressure?
Related Blog Post: How I make a full-time income creating digital products.
Life skills and personal development as a full-time blogger
I always tell people that becoming an entrepreneur and full-time blogger has been the biggest personal growth experience of my life. I have had to learn so many new skills and overcome a lot of fears to get to where I am today.
The Good: I have acquired more bankable skills in the past 3 years as a business owner of this blog than I did during certain years as a corporate employee. The main reason is that I had no other choice. If I did not develop new skills quickly, I would have probably had to fold my business and stop blogging. A short list of skills I have picked up along the way includes speaking, coaching, product development, web development, search engine optimization, professional audio recording, video blogging, and photography. When I look back, I am truly amazed at how much I’ve been able to learn in a relatively short period of time. I look at other full-time bloggers and entrepreneurs I work with and they have all had similar experiences.
The Bad: There is no room for fear, apprehension or worry. When you are building a business, you are often thrown head first into scenarios that you may or may not be mentally prepared for. It can be downright scary especially if you are accustomed to sitting behind a desk never having to try new things.
Are you prepared to face similar learning experiences?
Relate Blog Post: How to start a blog and make money online
Ability to solve problems that bother you
When I think of a business owner I think of someone who solves problems for people in exchange for a profit. Every successful blog turned into a full-time business that I see today was built around a problem that needed an innovative solution.
The Good: As a full-time blogger, you can separate yourself from people who sit around complaining about the state of the world talking about how someone needs to fix everything that is wrong. You can become part of the solution instead. You can look at a problem that really bothers you and create a campaign around it in order to fix it. Early on in my blog / business, I listened to what other new bloggers were saying about not having time to learn photography but still wanting customized photos of their own. Which is why I created the scene creator for users to be able to make the photos they want with something I created.
The Bad: When you are solving problems as a business person, you are often addressing a problem that was caused by the poor performance of another business. When you come up with a creative solution to the problem, you are an immediate threat to the other providers in that space. Rightly or wrongly, people will lash out at you or take your idea and make something similar. Stolen content and ideas is a tricky thing that happens in the blogging and online business world more often than you may be comfortable dealing with.
Can you develop a thick skin and persist in the face of resistance?
If you are a new entrepreneur or someone thinking about starting their own full-time blog business, I strongly recommend you consider the 4 areas I have discussed here today.
Find other full-time bloggers who you can learn from and put yourself in the best position for success. Realize that it is a long journey and if you have followed your heart (i.e. picked a topic/niche that is in tune with your passions), you have all the resources within you to make it a success.
Related Blog Post: The benefits to bloggers for selling digital products