Since 2008, I am a full time blogger and I live a location-independent lifestyle. But would it still make sense for somebody to quit their job and become a full time blogger or digital nomad?
If you’ve been here before, you know that I got to a point where I no longer consider myself a digital nomad. Now, since 2020 arrived and changed the world – and travel especially – I feel that more than ever. Still, I am a full time blogger and I could earn the same amount of money from everywhere in the world.
So… should you just stop doing whatever you’re doing now and jump head first into a blogging career?
This might sound for many as the “person who makes five figures per month working four hours per week,” but it’s unfortunately not the case.
Even though I am blogging for over ten years now, I’m not one of the success stories. I am not rich, I am not making five figures per month, but my relatively modest online income is enough to feed my family, pay for the bills and allow me to travel when I want (almost) everywhere I want.
But it’s not easy. You don’t just start throwing a few words here and there and you make money. You get free accommodation. Everybody wants you to become their image.
Quite the contrary!
When I decided to blindly jump into the world of self employment and professional blogging back in 2008, I knew nothing about blogging.
However, it was 2008 back then and the competition wasn’t as tough as it is right now, while Google wasn’t so keen on making things more difficult for us either.
Five rewritten articles, an exact match domain name, a few thousand links purchased for a few dollars and you were ranking and making money. Guaranteed.
Today, things are way more complicated, especially for a beginner blogger: building links is no longer as easy, crappy content no longer ranks, you have heaps of technical things to consider and you need to learn about search engine optimization (SEO).
Money is never easy to be made.
Sure, you can still launch your blog with a minimal investment (you can read my guide on starting a blog for $100 here), but you’re not guaranteed to even make that money back!
Nowadays, a brand new website needs up to six months to even start ranking and be shown by Google in the search results high enough to actually drive visitors to your blog.
This means that it’s a bit tougher to just start and make money. Making a living? You will have to grind a bit (or a lot). And it’s still not guaranteed to work!
I’m not trying to burst your bubble though!
I know that you probably want to do exactly what I did when I decided to give full time blogging a try: jump head first, mesmerized by the freedom being your own boss offers.
No set schedules, no deadlines, no nagging coworkers and dress codes and the ability to work whenever you want to and do it your way…
These are indeed awesome PROs of being a full time blogger and for some this matters a lot more than money.
Some, like me, simply aren’t built for the traditional 9-to-5 life. I tried it. I hated it. The job was nice, the colleagues were nice. It was the routine and the “I have to do this” that destroyed it for me.
So, if you are a free minded person who likes to be their own boss, then jumping blindly on this wagon might be the perfect thing for you.
Personally, I believe that being a blogger is a dream job, even though it has its drawbacks. It’s definitely not easy and there’s no guarantee that you’ll succeed.
Although I truly believe that as long as you learn, put in the hours and do the right things (which aren’t that difficult to find online – there are tons of good resources for that – like Income School’s videos on YouTube), you can definitely make it.
I know many people who played it very smart from the beginning, who started just two or three years ago and are already pulling in the five figures per month. That’s really awesome and indeed doable!
But please be extremely cautious before quitting your job and throwing away that secure income! Blogging is everything BUT secure in terms of income. And not always as fun as people might believe it is.
Many say that “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. I call that bull… It’s not true in most cases. Any hobby or pleasure that becomes a job will be just that: a job. You’ll have to do it and you won’t always like it.
But it’s definitely better doing something that you enjoy, that’s a fact.
My advice for wannabe bloggers
If you are just starting up or you just plan to start up, consider doing this as a side hustle if possible. If you already have a job (and the time needed for this), start blogging in your free time.
You won’t see as much progress as if you would do it full time from the beginning, but if you manage to put in 1-2 hours each day (and maybe 4 each weekend), six months from now you’ll already have an advantage.
You will see where your blog is going, you will be able to estimate if there’s indeed a chance to make it work and turn it into a full time income type of thing.
You will know for sure if you like it.
Or at least you will be ready to start over, with tons of knowledge and a better idea on how to do things.
It might take as much as one year before you’ll start making some money with your blog, and there’s always the chance it will fail. In other words, just like with anything else in this world, it’s an extremely risky thing to do if you don’t really know what you’re doing!
What if you already have a blog that shows signs of development?
If you started to look online whether you should quit your job or not because you have the signs that things are moving in the right direction… then you might just have to go with a cliche here: FOLLOW YOUR HEART!
For 99% of the bloggers out there, this is NOT what will make you rich. Blogging can definitely reward you with 6 figures per month, but realistically, most of us will never get there.
But you don’t need 6 figures a month to be happy. You probably don’t need 5 figures a month either!
As long as you earn enough or you see the encouraging signs that you will earn enough to afford living a decent life and ideally put some money aside each month… well, this might be better that a higher salary at a traditional job for some.
If you’re already a blogger and you’re trying to figure out if you should quit your job now and do what makes you happy… you probably have the answer already. Otherwise you wouldn’t be searching for encouragement.
Personal story time for inspiration
When I started blogging, I was 24. Fresh out of college, with no money and no real ideas on what to do next. I had just started working and I having a job for the first time in my life (also in the online publishing field – basically this is how I even found out that you can make a living blogging).
Not even a year passed before I decided to quit – despite the lack of support from my family. I was quitting a good job (I was earning more than the average salary in the country back then) for uncertainty.
But I was feeling so miserable there – it was stressful for me, it was annoying, it was bad. I just knew I wasn’t made for that type of thing. I knew that I wanted freedom. I knew that I could earn more all by myself.
But I didn’t. At least not for a while.
Six months later I got my first paycheck: $300.
Don’t get me wrong. I was in heaven when I received that money. But I knew that realistically, that was not enough.
All my savings were almost gone and my parents were unwilling to help me out much longer. I was running on fumes. The prospect of a “real job” (as parents and friends used to call the traditional 9 to 5) was there. Scary.
I had no choice but give me 3 more months to make it. I really didn’t have much of an option.
In the next month alone I made $300. Then a bit more, then even more. It was working!
During those first six months, I used to work up to 12-14 hours each day. Not actual work (as in writing content or promoting it), but reading, learning, trying to see what works and what doesn’t. Doing it all myself.
It wasn’t easy. I was on the edge just six months later, ready to accept defeat.
Had I accepted it, I would’ve never been able to live the dream life that I am living now.
Yes, it’s not all cocktails on the beach, it’s not at all luxury or anything like that. But it’s a dream life for me. It’s exactly what I need, nothing less.
This can be your dream come true as well. But don’t expect an easy ride. Don’t expect a “get rich quick” scheme. No, you need to put in a lot of work, you need to have several months of living below your means (or eating up your savings) before you start making a somewhat decent income.
But it can be done. If you feel that this is what you want, what you need, what you deserve and you know you can do it, don’t let anything stop you. Sometimes, the craziest things, the leaps of faith are exactly what you need.
Just don’t expect them to always succeed. You can fall and hit the ground hard. Just make sure you can get up and carry on.