Being a full time blogger is a dream come true for many people – myself included. It’s the perfect meld of a job that’s both creative and practical. After all, if it weren’t creative, it’d likely be boring for other people to read; and in the same way, if your blog wasn’t useful in some way (if it didn’t entertain, educate, inform, inspire, etc.), it probably would never be read either.
Many, however, hold themselves back from gunning for their dream of becoming a full time blogger because of a worry that when they are finally able to make enough money to blog full time, the good times might suddenly end, and as a result they’ll lose their job as a blogger so to speak.
Is there risk in becoming a full time blogger? Sure. But there’s risk in everything, and I’d argue that there’s more risk in having a “regular” job.
Why? Well at a regular job, if they don’t need you anymore – if they can find someone else to do the job you’re doing for less money or with more efficiency than you, or if they find a way to automate your job and replace you with better technology, you’re out. It’s as simple as that. Blogging is different. Blogging is all about you – you cannot be fired from a job where you’re your own boss. Unless you want to fire yourself, of course ;).
But back to the main point of this article – whether or not you can really be a full time blogger forever. I’d argue that the answer is: yes, you most certainly can.
Blogs may lose their popularity over time, but if you’re continuously pounding out amazing new content and are pleasing your readers with incredibly useful information, there’s no reason to think that your blog will eventually no longer be read. Yes, traffic can go up and down, but if you have a dedicated readership and are consistent in giving them the kind of posts they’re looking for, chances are, traffic will never go down enough for you to come close to homelessness. And if your traffic levels do change substantially, say because you were concentrating too much on a trend that’s died out, you can always pivot and change direction with your blog, or even start a new blog with the skill set you gained from the first.
See blogging encompasses a lot more than just writing good posts, as anyone who’s ever tried their hand at blogging quickly finds out. There’s so much more to it than taking good pictures as well, and many fail to see this, even bloggers who are just starting out. Blogging involves you being savvy when it comes to marketing, social media, community-building, time management, writing, photography, and a slew of other non-industry specific skills. For beginners, don’t get too discouraged if you’re not good at all these things at first – believe me you’ll learn, and no matter how good you might think you are now, you will get better at all these types of things with more time spent blogging.
If your blog starts to decrease in traffic one day, you don’t simply lose all those skills that you’ve honed in on and learned to do well in the past months and years you’ve worked as a full time blogger. And if you have been able to develop a strong-standing blog, you’ll have so many skills you can capitalize on if you don’t want to continue blogging.
If “crisis” arises and your traffic starts dropping, you could, like I already said, simply pivot, change direction, start a new blog, or start gearing your own blog to talking about another topic that more people are currently interested in. Better yet – if you’re done with blogging, say in the hypothetical situation that your traffic died because you’ve lost passion for your site, and you just want to move on – you can use your skills to consult other bloggers. If you get particularly good at modifying WordPress or Blogger themes and templates, you can head that direction as well, making custom tailored ones for bloggers or selling templates you’ve made in marketplaces like Themeforest.net. You could become an online marketing expert and help push traffic to sites that will pay you an arm and a leg for the kind of exposure you once had… basically the opportunities are limitless.
So even if your particular blog doesn’t make it forever (whether that’s because your interest fizzled out or because the topic went out of fashion – the two most popular reasons why blogs die), don’t buy into the scare that you’ll be left with absolutely nothing, that you’ll be out on the street and homeless within a month or two. Blog traffic doesn’t often disappear all in one go (the exception being if you get hit by a Google update – but if you’re doing your best to provide quality content and not doing anything sketchy with SEO then you should be more than fine), and while your site decreases in traffic over time, you can triage, and do many things to prevent what some might think of as inevitable from happening.
You can publish more content, you can ask your readers which kinds of articles they’d like to see more of and publish more of those, you can start taking on new writers to see if new blood and ideas is all that was needed – basically there are always options for you once you’ve gotten to the level of being a full time blogger. It’s almost never a case of big blogger took the leap and made her entire living online only to lose all traffic and ended up on the street. I say almost never because, well who knows, maybe there’s a story like this out there – but if there is, I’ve never heard of it.
If you want to, I wholeheartedly believe you can be a blogger forever. I’m not saying that you can have your particular blog forever, hell your particular blog may never even take off in the first place – but if you manage to kick one blog off the ground and get it to be even remotely popular, you can replicate your success with others if you need to pivot and change gears. You can also change industries altogether, as I mentioned, to concentrate on a specific skill you learned while you were blogging full time. Your blog can be the stepping stone upon which you can be a full time blogger forever if you want to, and you can do so much else if you don’t.