By: Harsh Agrawal
It was somewhere around March-April 2009 when I decided to quit my daily job to become a professional blogger. At the time of the writing of this post (2014) it has been five years since I made that decision, and not only am I happy, but I consider it to have been among the best decisions I have made in my life.
Becoming a professional blogger was not something I had ever given a lot of thought to prior to the spring of 2009, but somehow circumstances favored me enough (and I was brave enough!) to make that decision and create a new reality for myself.
If you want to read more about my journey to pro-blogging, here are two posts which will give you a more complete background of my blogging journey:
- Harsh Agrawal – My Blogging Journey So Far
- After 2191 Days of Blogging, All I Can Say is “Blogging is Incredible!”
This article is a part of a question-and-answer series. So if you have any questions related to blogging/ WordPress / SEO/ making money online etc., feel free to send me your questions using ShoutMeLoud’s contact form.
Being a professional blogger is not an easy job. Many skills, much knowledge, and a lot of time are required to turn a blogging passion into full-time, income-generating work.
A ShoutMeLoud reader has asked me the following questions:
“I want to be a full-time professional blogger like you. Can you guide me on how I can become a professional blogger? You started as a tech blogger and I have done the same. Can you tell me how many months it will take for me to become a full time blogger?
- Read: Why People blog?
Becoming a Professional Blogger: Are You Ready?
First of all, before you decide to take the path of pro-blogging, you need to know that a lot has changed in the past few years. Blogging is not a simple or easy way to make money. However, blogging is one of the more reputable ways to earn money online, and if you are committed to working hard to learn how to do it properly, you can easily earn thousands of dollars a month blogging, as I do. (See my affiliate earning report and my Adsense earning report.)
If you are looking to make a living blogging, you need be serious in your approach and treat it like a professional business.
When I started, there were many other bloggers jumping into the sea of professional blogging. But in 2011 and 2012 the Google Panda update and Google Penguin update killed many blogs, and many of these bloggers began to transition to other aspects of online marketing.
The decision to become a full-time blogger as a profession involves many considerations such as your social and financial situations as well as your career background and experience.
I started blogging as a full-time career when I was a 22-year-old single man with no family responsibilities, so I was able to accept the risk involved.
I have covered the details of my transition in an article on my personal blogging journey. In a nutshell, when I started blogging I was working part-time as a software engineer and looking forward to a new job with Accenture. Instead, in March of 2009 I left the security of that profession behind to become another professional blogger from India.
During the period noted above, I was earning $400-500 from blogging while working for 3-4 hours a day. So I was pretty confident that if I were willing to work 12-16 hours a day, I could increase my online income accordingly. By the time I left my job to blog full-time, my income sources were direct ads, Google Adsense, affiliate marketing and services. Of all of these sources of income, I would consider Google Adsense as the opportunity for recurring income, and the rest as variable income.
What I have learned during my own transition from part-time to full-time blogger is that in order to become a successful full-time blogger earning reliable income, many skill sets are required. Professional blogging is not only about writing content. This could be achieved by any good content writer.
In order to earn an income from blogging this good content, we need to think beyond the development of good content to various other skills that need to be honed such as:
- Search engine optimization
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
If you are already a blogger, you may have already acquired many of these skills. And with a some education (including articles like this from ShoutMeLoud) and a little practice, you can acquire any skills you may be missing by reading and implementing. Indeed that is how I have learned and ultimately succeeded myself.
You need to understand the SEO basics, photo editing, grammar, writing skills, video creation, social media and web analytics we apply every day to become a successful pro-blogger and not just another blogger.
If you desire peace of mind while making your own transition to professional blogging, I would suggest that you first work toward earning a fixed recurring income from your blog, and once you’re sure that you can comfortably survive exclusively on your blogging income, then (and only then!) consider kicking your 9-5 job to become aprofessional blogger.
Before taking this very significant step in your life, be sure to take time to create a clear road map and make a business plan for your blog.
In addition to having these important factors in place, you should also have a couple of other income sources to ensure that you don’t get trapped in the future.
Things to keep in mind before stepping into the shoes of a professional blogger:
- What will your traffic generation sources be? (Make sure you are not only relying on search engines!)
- What will your sources of income be?
- How do you intend to expand your blog and blog brand?
- Are you ready to learn something new?
The following two posts should be very helpful to you as you look toward this important decision :
It took me almost six months to decide to become a professional blogger. It was relatively easy for me in 2009, but in 2014 the blogging world has become immense, and you need to be far better equipped in order to be able to rely on blogging as your only source of income.
A Tip for College Students:
I always suggest to college students that they start a blog of their own. College is the best phase of life for starting a blog. I tell students to have a goal of writing ten articles a month. This way, by the end of one year you will have 120 articles published, and by the end of your college career you will have an old, established blog with almost 360+ articles. This will also ensure that you will have a side income source to help cover your bills.
Tip: They say we should “never put all our eggs in one basket”, and this is certainly true of professional blogging. If your income source is from just one blog, you need to expand your empire to ensure that in the future some Google algo change, or a server collapse or any other kind of unexpected issue will not end your career and find you without a source of income for months.
That said, typically a good blog can start making a fair amount of income within 4-5 months.
Have I missed anything? Are there any other points that you think should be taken into consideration prior to looking to blogging as a profession? Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Sources : http://www.shoutmeloud.com