As time continues, and I keep working on building up my online portfolio of blogs, I can't help but wonder if it is all worth it. Blogging full-time sounds great on so many levels, but is it all it's cracked up to be? My wife and I recently went on vacation for a week to celebrate our 3rd anniversary and I had to work hard before and after to make sure everything was in order for our time away.
I am nowhere near making as much money from my blogs as I do with my full-time job. For a while, I was thinking I would be able to accomplish this feat of matching my day-job income consistently before the summer. Now, it looks like it will be the end of the year, if not another year or two (after taxes). Yet, my day-job did not require any extra work and my PTO ensured that I still got paid. I set up an out-of-office email replay and hit the road. It was that simple. If taking a vacation from blogging takes a lot of extra work and isn't making as much money as I do with my full-time job, why would anyone want to pursue blogging as their career? Is it worth it?
The Attraction of Blogging Full-Time
Even though blogging can become quite time consuming from time to time, it definitely has its advantages. Otherwise, no one would want to do it for their career. Here are some of the many advantages as I see them and why I am still considering it as a full-time occupation:
- Location-Free-Work: This is one of the things that my wife and I often come back to when we dream. We talk about how if I could make enough money blogging to pay for our financial needs, we would both quit our day-jobs and travel the world. I would blog for a couple hours of the day and then we would hit the road, experiencing life.
- Ability to Work for Myself: I have always been one to come up with creative business ideas. I am always analyzing what makes a successful business and whether something would be profitable. I think I would enjoy the freedom that Full-time blogging would bring. I would be able to do whatever I want.
- More Time to Pursue Dreams: Sometimes I wonder if I gave up on my college dreams of changing the world too soon. I often wonder what kind of difference I could make if I gave up my day-job and committed to making a real, sustainable change in the world. More time would give me a lot more options.
Cons of Blogging Full-Time
While blogging certainly sounds attractive, it isn't without its own costs. The negatives are often over-looked by those just starting out. It is the experienced who will be quick to point out the negatives. The things that should keep many from ever considering blogging full-time. To name just a few…
- No Guaranteed Income – Living off of my blogging income would undoubtedly add a little more stress in my life. Not only would there be no guaranteed income, but the lifestyle inflation that I have gradually accepted as I have made a little extra cash would be hard to give up. Not impossible, but a challenge. It would mean more frugal living. I think I can handle the frugal living, but I am not sure about having to worry about my next paycheck.
- No Real Vacation – Despite what people think, there is no real vacation. I know this first hand as I have had to drop my evening plans to fix a site that has been hacked or seal an advertising deal before going to the movies. You can certainly blog full-time and fit it within a schedule (I am getting better at this), but it is hard to have a real vacation. Like I mentioned above, taking a week-long vacation requires a lot of extra work to prepare for it. It isn't like you can just take a week off and come back when you feel like it.
- Loss of Benefits – Simply put, if I ever make the plunge to go full-time in blogging, it will mean that I am making a lot of money from my blogs. The reason for this is because it will require that I give up the benefits package that I currently have. Not only will I be giving up paid time off, but also health insurance (at a decent rate) as well as a retirement match with my 403(b). This is like throwing away several thousands of dollars, so I would want to make sure that my income from my blogs is ACTUALLY more than my day-job, benefits included.
While it is still too early to determine whether I will be able to accomplish my early retirement plan (or dream), I am still motivated to work towards my goal. It offers unlimited potential as opposed to my current day job, which offers little room for advancement and little-to-no promise of a salary increase.
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.