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Is it Possible to Earn a Full Time Salary as a Part Time Blogger?

“Is it possible to earn a full-time salary as a part-time blogger? (eg, if you’re student)”

This question has been voted up quite high in my Q&A sidebar widget so I thought I’d attempt an answer today.

It’s one of those questions with two answers:

Yes…. and…. No

Let’s unpack both (and I’d encourage you to read both as they bring balance to the question).

Yes it is POSSIBLE to earn a full-time salary as a part-time blogger

Part of me wants to simply answer this question with a ‘no’ answer and give a long list of answers why it’s not possible (because to answer ‘yes’ will mean some will accuse me of painting an unrealistic picture of blogging for money). However I have met a number of bloggers who make a good living from blogging as part time bloggers (in writing this I don’t have permission to share their stories so I’ll keep this fairly general).

However in every case there are a few observations I’d make about these bloggers. They usually had all of the following characteristics (or at least a few of them):

1. They worked hard – they might not have put full time hours (40 or so hours a week) into their blogging but they certainly did work quite a few hours and worked hard in those hours. Many of them did work full time on their blogs at certain times (summer holidays etc).

2. They were very good at what they did – they had an exceptional knack of being able to write engaging content, build networks and build community on their blogs.

3. They had an element of ‘luck’ to their story – I am thinking of a couple of bloggers particularly who really found themselves in the right place at the right time when they started their blogs.

4. They were able to draw others in to help – one way to overcome an inability to work full time hours is to draw others into your blog to help shoulder some of the load.

5. They made money indirectly ‘because’ of their blog and not just directly ‘from’ their blog – interestingly a number of the bloggers I’m thinking of have developed products (e-books and courses) of their own that they sell from their blog (and other people’s blogs). This means they are not just building a revenue from advertising but have a secondary source of income.

6. They USED to work full time as a blogger – one blogger that I’m thinking about now works about 20 hours a week blogging and make a very good living from his blog – but only because he used to work full time. ie he built up his blog to a point where it really was earning good income which then enabled him to scale back a little and coast a bit (he also hired someone to help him – see point #4).

No it’s not LIKELY that you’ll make a full-time salary from blogging part time

It is possible to make a full time living from blogging part time – but the sad reality is that the bloggers I’m thinking of are not in the majority.

Most bloggers who do get to a level of earning a full time living from their blogs are working full time hours (or above) on their blogs. And even then many that are working full time hours are not able to make a full time living from blogging (time is just one element of many factors that build a successful blog).

When I’m talking to new bloggers wanting to explore blogging as a way of making money I generally encourage them to see it as something to supplement their existing income.

Yes it is possible to make a full time living from the medium but the reality is that most never get to this point. Sure – have it as a goal, but set yourself smaller goals in terms of your earnings and see it as something that progresses over time as you invest more time into blogging.

If you’d like to see a progression of how this unfolded for me I’d encourage you to read my story of becoming a Pro Blogger. It it you’ll see that I gradually stepped up my time put into blogging – but only as the earnings I was receiving allowed me to.

PS: Are You a Part Time Blogger Earning Full Time Income?

If you’re one of those bloggers that I mention in this post that are able to pull in a full time income from blogging part time I’m sure my readers would love to hear from you and learn from some of your wisdom. Feel free to share your own experiences (either with your URL as an example or anonymously if you’re not wanting to go public) – looking forward to your own lessons.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. This article came at a good time. I have never been under any illusions that I could make a full time living at blogging, but I enjoy it enough that I suspect anything that I make from my blogs will be icing on the cake.

    Matt’s post above made me laugh – good one. I’ve made more on an affiliate site I have than anything I’ve made blogging (so far). But the goal isn’t to make money. It’s to be creative and to enjoy what you are writing about. Income is an added bonus. if only we could all make money doing what we enjoy in our spare time.


  2. This certianly isn’t a get rich quick business (but most are businesses are not) If you go into the process with your eyes open and realistic goals I think you can make some money. But there’s no free lunch out ther and you need to work hard and smart to be successful

  3. You definitily need to work hard, and you always got to have a little luck. :)

  4. im thinking of dedicating 80 % of my time to blogging hopefully to make it more successful and then time by time to downgrade to 70 – 60 – 50 % without affecting on stats and earings

  5. This is a great post and I really appreciate all the enlightening comments! My blog is about 2 months old and is earning a modest income so far, but I have big dreams! I average about 2 hours a day on my blog right now, either writing content, researching for content, leaving posts on other blogs, or submitting articles and networking.

    The successful bloggers I read about definitely provide some inspiration and motivation for me to keep going!

  6. I’ve found providing products (which fulfill a need or strong desire for the consumer) is a far more lucrative source of income than advertising. I was making $30,000 a year off my blog before I even took on advertisers; now that I do have ads, the advertising revenue still only makes up a small percentage of my total income.

    Getting advertisers has become the “end all be all” of blogging success, but I think if bloggers get creative about what they can provide, there is much more income to be made exploring other avenues.

    Currently, I bring in a comfortable full-time salary ($60,000/year) and put about three – four hours a day into the blog. The caveat – I would be doing this even if I didn’t make a dime.

  7. Nice article Darren, however the reality is that 99.99 % of part time bloggers will never make a full time income from blogging. The percentage of that happening is probably about as good as winning the lottery unfortunately.

  8. Nathania Johnson says: 06/03/2008 at 12:45 pm

    I make what some would consider a full-time income blogging part time (20 hours per week). But I blog for an established blog covering the search engine industry. I freelance for them, and I’m making the most per hour I’ve ever made, although my annual salary is the lowest it’s been in a while.

    I’m able to pull this off b/c my husband has a great job.

    I think bloggers (and everyone!) should do their best to have diverse income streams. If something goes to the pit, then you’re not left completely high and dry.

  9. Question for Darren and all:
    – Should we be building a blog/single site or brand/name recognition? I ask that for two reasons. First, when we syndicate with RSS, we often lose the actual visit from the reader to our website, and the eyeballs for advertising, hoping that they will eventually come in the future. Second, some of us distribute our articles to aggregators, where they are read but give the reader no urgent reason to visit our site. So, we sacrifice the direct visits, for better brand (ProBlogger) and name (Darren Rowse) recognition for future business opportunities. Where is the greater earning potential for the future?
    I would really welcome your opinions!

  10. Work hard, make it into your passion, and don’t stress if your blog is not making any money yet.

    It will eventually. Just don’t give up half way :)

  11. Does anyone like the Philadelphia Phillies on this blog spot? Blogging is a great way to talk about sports, but I am not sure that there is much money in that. Any thoughts?

  12. Absolutely, as long as you are willing to work hard. To be honest, at the beginning it will be more like full time work, but if you are willing to put the work into it, yes you can make a decent full time salary. I would list my blog urls but there are too many..I have about 8 now and they all make money for me!


  13. I’m personally doing full-time blogging. I dont’ make huge income, but this job is helping me build experience, acknowledge and allow me to enjoy of valuable family time and pay for my studies so far.

    My suggestion: get a full-time or part time blogging job to ensure monthly income, but also work on weekends or whenever you can on your personal online projects.

    BTW, thanks for this great site. I find it very inspiring (I mean it!)

  14. I think most bloggers find it difficult, if not impossible, to make a full time living with blogs simply because they depend entirely on the advertising / AdSense model.

    If would be much easier if your blog made money from affiliate programs, or better still, from selling your own product or service.

    It takes much less time writing blog posts and the results are more obvious.

  15. A friend of mine likes to gamble, and he only tells you about the times he is “up”, never when he’s lost a ton of money. Likewise, you rarely hear about the businesses or bloggers who give up, have a crappy blog, or whatever – only the ones making lots of money on them. More than 50% of businesses fail before they turn five years old, and since the barrier to entry for blogging is basically non-existant, there are bound to be millions of bloggers.Though i haven’t seen the statistics, probably the failure rate exceeds the average in most industries. There’s bound to be people doing very well and very badly in any industry, blogging is no exception. But like anything, hard work, persistence, and delivering a good product is what wins in the end.

  16. I think it is definitely possible to work part time and earn full time money. Now, is it probable? Most likely not. Blogging isn’t something you can just jump into overnight and be successful. It is like anything else, it takes hard work and dedication to get there. I think before somebody worries about making money from a blog, they need to focus on being a good blogger. Without traffic and readers, there are no eyeballs for advertisements and potential consulting clients, etc. My own blog hasn’t even been in existence for two months yet and I’m not in it for the money. But if I could make enough to pay for the hosting and domain, I’d be stoked. Advice for new bloggers: keep digging!

  17. There are so many blogs out there, you really need to first be able to offer something unique that people will use/need or can relate to.

    Use your blog/site to build relationships and continue to market yourself. If you are passionate and thoroughly enjoy what you are doing, it makes it easier to build on your site so that it can grow…and you know, anything can happen.

  18. I started my blog, The Diabetic Pastry Chef, about a year ago and never got around to monetizing it. This was mainly because I do not know a lot about computers, and found the whole process of monetizing to be somewhat intimidating. I also think ads look a bit too messy on blogs, my personal opinion. I would post occasionally, but not too often. On average, I spend maybe an hour a week on my blog. My blog is about baking for diabetics. I’d like to mention, I did however put in years and years of studying and practicing baking beforehand.

    About a month ago, a large well known pharmaceutical company stumbled upon my blog and offered to sponsor me to provide baking demonstration classes to the public. A few days later, a Food Netwok chef contacted me about writing articles and devising recipes for him. He also offered to assist me in publishing my cookbook and getting international distribution for it. All of this suddenly after barely receiving any comments from anyone during the course of a year! I do read your blog on a regular basis, and I did take your suggestions of making comments on forums pertaining to my subject and I do occasionally ping my blog. The form comments are what brought me to the attention of the pharmaceutical company. Thanks for your help! Yes, its possible to make a full-time income writing part-time but it was really the full-time behind the scenes work that brought me the success.

  19. team ray says: 06/04/2008 at 2:41 am

    i say yes

    if you can get blog to go viral enough

  20. i’m still new but i think this can be done.

    i’m not relying on Adsense, though. i think there are better means of earning $$$$ on a blog, especially if you want a full-time income to emerge.

    for us beginners, might need to think of going the PPP route.

  21. Everthing is possible. You know from Adidas:) If you create some thing really usefull for people and take their interest on your blog you can make really good money even as a aprt time blogger. I know some from Turkey. And they are really making great money one their blogs. They just spent 2-3 hours(maximum) per a day.

  22. I agree in regard to the answer – yes and no. Right time and right place etc. If you fall on the right keywords early enough and have a few breaks – ie: ” make money online ” etc or break a good niche blog keyword. Just a side note but thanks for taking to the time to email me back – it always impresses me when you take the time to email me me back even if its only two sentences. I am always taken aback at your personal reponse to individual emails. I hope one day we meet up in the uk

  23. Yes its possible, if you really know what you are doing. You write something that people will find useful.Write killer content that people want to link to, optimize the content and the page it is on to the best of your ability and put it on your Web site, and let people in authoritative positions know that your page exists.

  24. I work on my blogs 7 days a week sometimes until 3am some nights. I never stop thinking of a new idea to make the blog better.

  25. i think you can earn a lot also with part time blogging but you need to work hard in the beginning and continue the good start :)

    i don’t know if full time blogging is so good and have a long succesful future

  26. Hey, it’s possible to earn full-time salary as a part-time blogger even in Belarus. Here’s my example http://mozg.by . I built this site about 7 month ago and now I earn an average (in Belarus) full-time salary. Now we have a local students community around it. The main topic is education.

    My English is not so good, but if someone is interesting, please contact me at admin[at]mozg.by

  27. I still have to find out because I’m just new to blogging. For now, I am passionate helping other people on how to land a job in a call center and maintaining their sanity once they’re here. =)

    I am looking forward to earn from this blog in the long run, without having to quit my Day job. =)

  28. $8 a month is my target goal right now. I just want to be able to pay for my hosting. After that, the sky is the limit!

  29. I suppose it depends what the goal is, but full time for me is at least 2-3 k /month so I got a long way to go! :)

  30. Hi Darren,

    I work full time in online advertising and run my blogs on the spare time I do have per week.

    This equates to about 5-10 hours a week of time I spend on blogging and furthering my dream of owning an internet empire.

    The sites I run are;

    1. Finance Blog Teaching People to Save Money

    This site generates the largest part of my income.

    2. Business Directory

    This site generates decent income but is really needing me to put more man hours into it.

    3. Personal Blog

    A new project of mine that will allow me to vent and discuss random topics outside of my other blogs scopes.

    I may not be earning a full time, or prestigous salary from my part time blogging, and its impolite to speak exact figures of your yearly blogging earnings, but I had no trouble buying a VW R32 2008 model outright. :)

    Would love you to come check out my blogs Daz and leave a comment some time.



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