3 Things No One Tells You About Being a Full Time Blogger

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There's a lot of glamour associated with being a full time blogger. Many people think it's all fast money, sponsored trips, and fabulous clothes (if only!). While being a full time fashion blogger is absolutely fun and exciting, it can also be really hard and really frustrating…especially when you're in the middle of a bad day. Or week. Or month.

I've been blogging full-time for the last two years, and early on I realized that there's a bit of stigma attached to bringing up any downsides to my job. A lot of that probably comes from people not really understanding what a blogger does. After all, you're likely not tweeting, or instagramming or pinning about the boring parts of your day. No one wants to see a Facebook status update about how you've just spent 15 hours updating your blog's internal links. But I think it's important, especially for bloggers considering the switch to fulltime, to have a peek “behind the curtain” so to speak. Because while being an entrepreneur is great, like any other career, there are definitely some less awesome aspects to it. Here are a few of the ones I learned when first starting out:

You're a full time blogger, but you actually won't spend most of your time blogging.

When your blog becomes your main source of income, writing turns into just one small part of  your business. A lot of your day will be spent on items that have nothing to do with content, and that your readers will never see. You'll be sending out media kits, following up with potential sponsors, updating your website, handling accounting issues, managing your writers, monitoring your brand, working on your PR, and so forth and so on. Notice that doesn't even include time spent researching, writing, and editing new blog posts or time spent on “continuing education,” i.e. staying updated on current best practices happening with SEO and social media as well as keeping up with new blogs, brands, platforms, or products. And if there's a crisis, of any kind, it will completely eat up your time. Which brings me to the second issue…

When you're your own boss, you are to blame for both your successes and your failures.

When you're an employee of a company (assuming you're not a CEO or other top-level executive) you're responsible for only a small part of the business. Tasks are assigned to you and someone else is making the big decisions that guide the company, and ultimately determine its success or failure. If you're a full-time blogger, you're that “someone else.” And while the rewards of 100% responsibility can be amazing, so are the risks. Whether your blog succeeds or fails is completely dependent on you. No one else is to blame. No one else is at fault. And no one else can be held accountable.

Vacations are near-impossible, and you will have to constantly hustle, think creatively, and come up with ways to diversify your revenue streams.

Let's be real; you aren't going to make a living from Google Adsense. In fact, most of your revenue may not even come from advertising at all. You have to be comfortable pitching yourself and advocating for your brand, and you also have to be able to not take rejection personally. If that kind of uncertainty is a problem, then full-time blogging may not be a good fit for you. And while we're on the subject of money, remember that you'll have to invest some in your blog too. Whether it's a new website design, trademark protection, or traveling to key industry events, the saying that “you have to spend money to make money” is all too true.

Is it your goal to be a full-time blogger? What kinds of questions do you have about making it work? Or does it all just sound like too much hassle? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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43 Responses

  1. Rebeca

    Hello! I like blogging, writing on my blog but I have not yet media kit, I do not think I’d be a full-time blogger, thank God I have a small business that helps me with my expenses and the blog is a complement but not an great source of income. Greetings!

  2. Just Ask B

    what are the best conferences, networking events you’ve attended that have helped your blog?

  3. Sai Montes

    I agree. I’m not yet a full time blogger but I do spend more time planning, researching on my next post, PR and other stuff that my readers don’t see. I do intend on doing this full time but not soon.

  4. becky hillyard

    Not so glamourous all the time but definitely worth it! My blog is my passion and I hope one day all my hard work will turn it into a full time (income) producing, dream job! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Danielle Jade Windsor

    Thanks for the above, I am happy keeping my blog as a side project on top of my F/T design role but…I’ve had my blog for almost three years now and wish to start making money from it without flashing adverts etc which would distract my readers. I feel I need to contact companies who would understand my blogs aesthetic such as NAP, La Garconne etc. How do you go about this?

    Also regarding building a bigger audience, I am not hugely techie and usually the smallest amendments would take an IT wiz seconds whereas it takes me a few hours to accomplish. Is there an easy way to get more press, audience and scope?

    I hope you like the blog!

  6. Nicole

    I appreciate this article a lot! Being a relatively new blogger, I am still so focused on writing high quality content that the behind-the-scenes networking seems a little daunting.

    What’s involved in media kits for full-time, professional blogs? When is it ‘too soon’ to begin pitching your content and brand to relevant companies or potential sponsors/partners? Does quality content come first, or the reputation established by having a large following of readers?

    • Nicole

      Now that I look closer at the articles here on IFB, I am finding some that answer my questions. Thanks!

  7. JillGG

    Full time blogging is full of a lot of “behind the scenes” work I totally agree. From research to paperwork to organizing, etc. But I do say that I have to politely disagree about the statement that you won’t spend a majority of your time actually “blogging”.

    If you are doing it right about 90% of your time will be spent on researching, writing, editing and engaging on social media – and in my opinion those are the “fun” things. I think it’s important to not get caught up in the “busy work” of blogging (tweaking html, overhauling your media kit again and again – heck I don’t even have a media kit) and instead be ALWAYS focusing on your content. Because in the end your readers won’t notice the work you do behind the scenes, but they WILL notice the content that you put out. If you aren’t working on that for a majority of the hours you are spending “working” you might just be doing busy work and not actually earning an income (or working towards monetizing) or making great content that potential sponsors see as engaging and a good fit for their brand.

    • MarieDenee

      Hi there!
      I actually have to push back a little bit and say it is an even balance… both front and back end… I know for me, as a full time blogger, I have noticed the push and pull of behind the scenes work and the front end- great content.

      I do disagree though, because while you may have great content the platform in which you create upon is part of the great content and user experience. Hence my constant tweaking, updating, and making sure everything works well and flows right…

      I do agree though, that while your readers may not notice all those finite details, they WILL notice the usability and functionality of your site and stay longer, click through more places, which depending on how you are monetized, will allow for you to capitalize on that… 🙂

  8. Liz P.

    Very nice piece! Got to keep it real, even when chasing the dream of being a self-made blogger.

  9. Kristine

    Hi!! I would love to eventually be a full time blogger! I just started blogging this month and it’s def not as easy as it looks! It takes a lot of time and dedication! How long does it take for a blog to be successful??

  10. BelkisUrena

    Hello fellow bloggers! I love blogging; the mini photoshoots, the social media sites I run to compliment the blog and attending shows and events to cover and do research! But it’s not full-time and probably won’t be (even though it already feels like it)! But I don’t make money off of it. I do it more as an escape from everything else and for the love for fashion 🙂

  11. Kenneth Jacobs

    I would love to do blog fulltime, but right now with how my resources are looking it is not feasible. Plus, I’m still new & learning the blog world and would like to continue to learn more about SEO to Social Media Marketing. Everyday is a learning process and I’m just excited to continue to move forward each day.

  12. Lara Duncan

    I love this website! It’s full of amazing content and has really helped me to progress with my blog at a very quick rate. My blog still has a lot of improvements to be made i.e. having a web designer and having a professional camera – but as you stated ‘you have to spend money to make money’.

    I would love to eventually become a full time blogger but I understand that it takes a lot of dedication and hard work but I’m prepared for the ride.

    I would really love to know how to make a media kit etc and have some invoice templates if anyone could help me that would be great. I would also like to know how to word a blogging advertorial affiliation enquiry as its something I am beginning to get involved with but I’m not sure if the emails I’m sending give across the right tone?

    I’m currently working on my editorial calender which will be exciting and have just started to work with some brands and designers!

    Hopefully in October I will be going to my first blogger event for NEXT which will give me more of an insight to how successful bloggers got where they are today.

  13. Alicia

    I appreciate someone posting the incredible amount of work and thought that goes into having any kind of blog. I’ve been blogging for three years and while I still maintain my event-planning job on a free-lance basis for income, my blog is becoming more and more of a full-time commitment (one I absolutely love!) and it’s always disheartening to hear how dismissive outsiders are of this career choice. Being a blogger takes an incredible amount of drive, ambition, creativity, and passion. But if it’s what you love (and I certainly do), it’s worth all the hours and effort. This post just encourages the path I’m on – and the hours of behind-the-scenes work I’ve been doing. Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. Nadya Helena

    I guess at first it’s all I wanted to do; being a full time blogger that is. But even until now I can’t really wrap myself around the reality of it. Can I? Or can’t I? I’m not even making anywhere close to my month’s basic expenses, so I can’t really see the light of full time blogging. But I just hope in time, with perseverance and hard work, the light will finally get through. Amen.

    eyeshadow illustrator

  15. Becca

    Question: is there anything you feel is worth outsourcing versus trying figure out yourself? I’m tempted by sites like Elance to hire people to help me optimize thinks like design, coding, etc. I find I often spend hours figuring out what I don’t know, when it could take an expert just 5 minutes (albeit more expensive).


  16. Jessie of TrendHungry.com

    Completely agree with this post. I’ve been full time since January and being a full time blogger means
    -putting yourself on a schedule
    -spending lots of time brushing up your business skills
    – never-ending to-do lists
    – networking events
    -pitching to brands
    – playing hard ball
    – getting to work from bed when you’re feeling sick
    – and saying no, gotta stand your ground.

    It’s worth it, so make sure you LOVE it before taking the plunge.


  17. KabongoBing

    Anyone trying to be in business for themselves will deal with the challenges while ‘enjoying’ the flexibility and freedom – freedom to succeed or fail. I like a quote that encapsulates the idea of working for yourself.

    “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
    — George Bernard Shaw

    While Mr. Shaw refers to ‘men’ in his quote, this should be taken as anyone.

  18. Asia Mays

    I like the reality you’ve given to full time blogging, the pros and cons/expectations behind it that should come to play.

  19. Dorothy

    Something else no one realises about blogging full time is that, for 99% of full time bloggers, you’re on your own. You work from home, or a cafe, and it’s just you. No team lunches, no gossiping in the kitchen, no fun little office jokes. You need to be completely ok with being autonomous ALL THE TIME, and there are days when even the most well adjusted person will be lonely and go a little batty. I have been blogging full time for over two years and the isolation is definitely one of the hardest parts.

  20. Shopping's My Cardio

    So, so true…especially the part about being able to take rejection without taking it personally. I still struggle with this one, but it happens every single day, so developing a thick skin is just critical.

  21. Onianwah

    Hmmm, I haven’t actually toyed with the idea of being a full time blogger. I do love my job and it does give me time to not only blog but also use some of the skills I have learnt being a blogger.
    The truth? even without being a full time blogger I spend more time doing all the above than actual writing, lol. it does tend to be boring but hey, as long as it brings the traffic and the awareness, I am down for it.
    I just started reaching out to major brands in Nigeria and coming up with project ideas for partnerships is not as easy as it looks of that I assure you.

    Lagos, Nigeria

  22. jacqueline Jax

    Im a full time blogger and fashion designer. I love it and have done really well with my product recommendations and designs. But i always speak from the heart and only share what i know about. Being genuine goes a long way. Xoxo. JAX

  23. Susu Paris Chic

    I have played with the idea of professional blogging. My niche would be Paris-inspired chic for 30-somethings that wanna stay sexy and young.
    How does one go from a hobby blogger to professional one? Clear steps… Let’s talk, gals.

  24. Olamosh

    Whao, nice write up and share… i think being a full blogger is a personal decision. you can choose to be and not to be depending on the pressure/demands coming from you. i blog… but still do other offline professional jobs like web development, blog development, writing and so on. NICE SHARE, I REALLY LEARN FROM THIS PIECE OF ARTICLE. Thanks #More_Vim

  25. jafruddin

    Hi!! I would love to be a full time blogger! I just started my blogging carrier blogging last month and it’s def not as easy as it looks! It takes a lot of time and dedication! How long does it take for a blog to be successful or get revenue??

  26. Fashionistachic

    I would like to know more about pitching brands, what types of agreement do you have with brands that create revenue. Thanks, the part about my success is all on me really hit home. I sometimes feel like a failure but I continue to look upward and onward. Thanks again!

  27. Siobhan Sullivan & Miriam Bouteba

    I have definitely heard that full-time bloggers need to be willing to be willing on their blog pretty much 24-7. There isn’t really an off switch to the day and you’ll always be thinking about the next post in the back of your head. As long it’s about something you love though, I think it’s worth it!

  28. Olivia

    One would think that being a full-time blogger would be a full-time blast and while I can see it being amazingly rewarding, I can tell that it takes incredibly hard work to produce great content and get paid regularly. Kudos to those who do it!

  29. Megan

    When I saw this article, it sparked my interest because I blog full time, but for large media company (radio stations and more). Just to put it out there, your full time blogging can take you as far as getting picked up by a company who pays a decent salary. You still have the flexibility to write what you’d like and share your opinions as a “personality”, but you don’t have to worry about dealing with sponsors and the money part. I feel like I have the best of both worlds and hope that by sharing my story I can inspire others to keep going. Blogging is the best thing that has happened to me, career- wise.


  30. Jessica

    Hi, I’m new in the business! 🙂
    I’d love to be a fashionblogger, I feel like it’s something I should have done like ages ago. But of course it’s not easy, and to be really honest I don’t know what to do to put myself in the picture.
    What is a good way to share myself to others?
    Some people tell me I have to comment a lot on other blogs to show myself and say things like ‘hey nice outfit, check my blog’, but it can’t be just that, right?

    Every little help would be amazing!



  31. Kaikaiii

    Hi, I am KaiKaiii from Malaysia. 🙂 I started blogging for about 2 years already
    It seems hard to success but I still want to give a try!
    Follow me by clicking the button on the right top corner to witness my success!

  32. John

    Hi, I have been blogging for two years but, could never think of making it full time. I think the decision can be tough but, needs to be taken meticulously as well. How are we supported now and how will I be supported if things turn not so good later? Its better to have a backup plan than the Packup plan.

    Yet, there are successful bloggers who are well placed that they need no support from other sources. They have made enough of decisions and they are happy with their decisions. Making money through blogs is not difficult but, not easy as well.

  33. BoyTrik

    I’am blogging in 2011. but i don’t have earning maximal. maybe couse i’am not fokus. And in firts 2014, I have planning to fokus become blogger… please all support… 🙂

  34. Cheri @ Overactive Blogger

    I’m definitely interested in being a full-time blogger. Something super shady just went down at my full-time gig, and I’m wanting to jump ship now more than ever!

  35. Silly Old Goat

    Cora, bravo. I really enjoyed reading your blog post. Although I’m in an entirely different field, I can see your words being valuable to me. Particularly because I am currently considering the switch to full-time blogging, and weighing-up the pros and cons of it all.

    So, thankyou. Silly Old Goat much appreciates your taking the time out of your busy schedule to spread the information love 😉


  36. Nora

    I blog full time it’s nice to read about other peoples experiences.
    I recognise no days off as in the blogging industry weekends and weekdays don’t seem to matter. I have deadlines in weekends too.