Looking for Something?
Posts Tagged for

full time blogging

Becoming a Full-Time Blogger: An Interview with Cora Harrington from The Lingerie Addict


Cora Harrington At NMX 2014, we were lucky to have Cora Harrington from The Lingerie Addict present a session about building your blog community. Cora sat down with me to discuss how she made that leap into blogging full time and what advice she has to new bloggers thinking about making this leap. Check out what she had to say about becoming a full-time blogger:

Allison: Thanks for the interview, Cora! How did you first become a blogger and what made you decide to start blogging about lingerie?

Cora: I started blogging about lingerie because I was dating this guy, and I wanted to buy some nice lingerie, but I had no idea how to shop for the stuff. I was also becoming more and more interested in lingerie just on my own, but my friends really didn’t want to hear about this cool new pair of stockings I found online.

While there were a few lingerie blogs around at the time I started, they mostly focused on sharing press releases and lookbooks, not on giving reviews or shopping advice. So I started just by posting reviews of things I bought and photos of items I was interested in buying. I never really expected anyone to read what I wrote; it was just a fun stress-reliever, especially since my day job was fairly intense (I used to work with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, physical assault, and family members of homicide victims).

Very, very slowly and over a long period of time, I built an organic readership based mostly on word of mouth. I’ve been blogging full-time for 2 years now and my blog is 5 years old. Unlike what a lot of people assume, I don’t actually come from a fashion, PR, marketing, or even writing background. And I don’t live in New York, the fashion capital of America. I went to school in sociology and I live in Seattle, and I definitely think of it as a privilege to be able to do something I love that’s so much fun everyday.

How did you decided to make the leap to become a full time blogger?

Honestly, there were several major developments that happened at once, both personally and professionally. A big one is that I started a serious relationship with my now-husband, and that meant I didn’t have much free time as before to spend on my blog. It’s one thing to work all night and everyday and on the weekends with your blog when you’re single and don’t have any dependents, but when I found myself in a relationship, some of my time needed to go into that as well.

My traffic and the visibility of my blog was also starting to increase dramatically. After 2 and a half years of almost no one reading me, I was abruptly getting thousands of readers per day (I’m sure it happened much more gradually than that, but looking back, it feels like no one read my blog and then all of a sudden, a LOT of people were reading my blog). That traffic increase also meant my blog took more time and energy; in short, it was becoming a very demanding hobby.

Finally, my blog started to make money. Once the revenue from my blog began to equal the take home pay from my day job (and we’re not talking an astronomical amount here, but it was enough to pay bills with), I began to seriously think about making the switch to blogging full-time.

Once you started blogging full time, did you do anything differently on your blog?

One of the biggest changes I noticed was that I started to treat my blog professionally, and I’m not necessarily talking about what I posted or how often I posted. Once I began blogging full-time, I registered as an LLC, filed for my business license, obtained my trademark, and purchased business insurance all within a few months. I also hired a team of writers, and began working with a virtual assistant. These were things that definitely could have and should have happened sooner, but it was hard to the find the time to do the legwork when my day job was taking up all of my daytime business hours. I also had more time to spend on writing content, promoting the site, and traveling to industry events (like Lingerie Market, for example, which happens in NYC twice per year).

What’s your best piece of advice for people who are considering quitting their jobs to blog full time?

I could say a lot here, but I think the most important thing is to make sure you’re surrounded with as much support from family and friends as possible. Self-employment has a lot of perks, but a definite downside is that it can be incredibly isolating. And that’s even more true when you’re self-employed as a full-time blogger. Not only is there the usual stuff like public criticism and personal insults, but a lot of people also won’t understand what you do or even think of what you do as a “real” job. And there will be times when things feel really lean and really tough, and when you’re genuinely not sure if you made the right decision or are heading in the right direction.

That’s when having a good support network is crucial. Having folks who believe in you and who believe in your ability to do this is so important, especially during those times of self-doubt. And those people also need to be honest with you when you’re heading in the wrong direction or perhaps need to come up with another solution. I’m very fortunate in that husband and my parents  and my close circle of friends, even though none of them are quite sure of what goes into running The Lingerie Addict, are very supportive of it and of me. Be deliberate about surrounding yourself with people who are invested in and hopeful for your success.

Thanks, Cora, for an awesome interview and for speaking at NMX 2014. Check out our virtual ticket if you want to get a recording of Cora’s session about building a blog community.

Five Questions to Ask Before Becoming a Full Time Niche Blogger


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!

Learn About NMX


Recent Comments