Blogging 101: Transitioning to a Full-Time Blogger
posted on September 3, 2015 | by Amanda Holstein
Once you start getting into a groove with your blog, building a strong audience, creating high quality content on a consistent basis, and working with brands on sponsored campaigns, you may start to consider transitioning your blog to a full-time job. First of all, congratulations if you’re at this point! It’s an exciting (and scary) time that many of us spend years striving for.
When is the right time to go full-time?
Before you turn your blog into your day job, it’s important to make sure you have a few things under your belt:
1. You’ve been creating high quality content on a consistent basis (4+ times per week).
2. You’ve built a loyal and engaged following of at least 40,000 unique visitors a month. (Please take that number with a grain of salt! There are certainly exceptions, but this is a good goal to go after.)
3. Your total social following (including FB, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest) is over 10,000. (Again, there are of course exceptions, but this number is a great goal.)
4. You work with brands on sponsored campaigns monthly and are compensated appropriately.
5. You’re earning enough each month to live off of, or you’re at least very close. Many of us go full-time when we’re close to that monthly revenue goal because once we have more time to devote, we can actually increase our revenue to where it needs to be.
What steps should I take to transition to a full-time blogger?
As you begin the transition to full-time blogger, the most important thing to understand is that your blog is now a business. Of course it’s also a passion, but it is your way of earning a living and it’s important to always remember that.
1. Look at your blog as a business
Now that your blog is a business, you’ll need to spend time on all of its different departments, not just on content creation. There’s Business Development, Sales, Marketing, Social Media, Design, Tech, Billing, and the list goes on. It’s important to recognize all areas of your business and spend the appropriate amount of time on each one.
Of course, you’re not expected to be able to do all of this yourself. Figure out which areas you need help with and our worth sourcing out. For example, I have someone who helps me with all things tech related. I pay her because it is so worth the wasted hours I would otherwise spend trying to figure it out myself.
2. Get organized
Just as you would if you were employed by someone else, you need to get organized. Create folders on and offline for each of your different departments and don’t stray from this organization. When there’s no one holding you accountable, it can be easy to skip a step or not save that contract to the right folder. But it’s so important to take these steps now to make things easier for yourself in the future. I also think respecting your business in this way creates a mentality more likely to lead to success.
3. Optimize, optimize, optimize
When you were blogging on the side, the goal was to keep it running. You made sure to get your posts up and to not fall behind. Now that you’re a full-time blogger, your new goal is to optimize your business, rather than just maintain it. In fact, understanding your blog’s revenue model (how your blog makes money), and how to optimize that process should take up a large majority of your time.
4. Set Goals & Plan ahead
Because you are now relying on your blog to generate a living, it’s essential to set realistic goals for yourself and to plan as far ahead as possible. This includes scheduling out content, but also thinking from a revenue perspective. How much revenue do you plan to make in October? November? Do you plan on adding email marketing in the next two months? Creating a new series? Reaching 50K Instagram followers?
It’s important to not only set these goals, but to create a plan to achieve them as well. Create smaller, weekly goals to keep yourself on track. Even daily goals can help. The more you can plan ahead, the more likely you’ll reach those goals and succeed in your business.
I’m sure I’ve missed some things you may be wondering if you’re
considering the transition to full-time, so let me know in your comments below!