Blogging is a pretty flexible career field. You can do it in the evenings before you go to bed or on weekends while you maintain a typical 9-to-5 job. You can also work on your blog full time, giving up working for other people to instead focus on making money online. Both are viable options.
Of course, the more time you devote to your blogging efforts, the more money you can make with it, no matter what your niche. There are only so many hours in the day, and if you don’t work another job, you’ll have more of those hours to devote to keyword research, social media promotion, community building, and all the other things it takes to make a blog profitable and successful.
But before you hand in your two-week notice, here are five questions to ask yourself. You don’t want to be lining up at the local soup kitchen three months from now because you don’t have a source of income.
1. Is this a good niche for monetization?
Some niches are just better than others when it comes to making money. Choosing the right niche is tricky because you want to be passionate about the topic, but you also want to stay away from niches that:
- are too crowded.
- have too small of an audience.
- have an audience unwilling to spend much money.
It’s a balancing act. Check out your competition. Competition is good because it shows that there is money to be made in the niche, but you also want to be able to stand apart. Are you already making a little money as a part-time or hobby blogger? This is an indication that a little more effort could unlock the floodgates of cash.
2. Do I have a back up plan?
What if your blog doesn’t make enough money to support you (or what if it takes some time to get there)? Do you have a back up plan? Do you have a significant amount of money in your savings? Do you have a spouse that could support the family, even if money is tighter than normal? Do you have other blog ideas if your current blog or first blog idea doesn’t pan out? Do you have the ability to get your old job back or a similar job if you decide blogging isn’t for you? Okay, I’m cheating because these are several questions within one question…but they’re all worth thinking about. Don’t let fear paralyze you, but don’t jump into this with no plans.
3. Am I passionate and knowledgeable enough about my niche to work on it full time?
Working on a blog full time makes it feel like…well…work. While you might love your niche now, are you prepared to devote so much time and effort to it? A few years ago, I ran a video game blog with some of my friends, and part of the reason we ultimately closed it is that one of our co-founders grew to dislike how video games became work for him, rather than just being something fun to enjoy with friends. Beyond the work aspect, though, are you also knowledgeable enough to blog full-time about the topic at hand? You don’t want to run out of stuff to say a few months into it.
4. Can I create my own products?
One of the best ways to monetize is to create your own products to sell, whether these are real, physical products, books (digital or print), membership sites, or classes. If you can’t create products of your own and rely solely on advertising and affiliate promotions, you may want to take a second look at the niche you’re choosing. This alone doesn’t mean you can’t make a full time income, but your own products definitely allow you to make more of a passive income.
5. Do I have a strong base of support?
Lastly, if you don’t have a strong support system in place, finding success as a full-time blogger is a lot harder. Support is needed on two levels: perrsonal (from family and friends) and professional (from the start of your blog’s community). Of course, you want that support to grow as you continue blogging, but if you start from zero, it’s go to be a lot harder to make a full-time income. So find your tribe and find it early!