This is the question I’m asked the most from bloggers looking to transition from hobby blogging into full-time, professional blogging.
The most likely answer is that you’ll never be ready. (I’m sorry, not what you want to hear!)
I don’t think anyone ever feels ready to leave the financial security of a full time job and go it alone! It’s scary, particularly if you have financial responsibilities such as a mortgage, loans or a family to support.
But, realistically, it’s difficult to grow your blog and earn a decent income through blogging if you don’t have much time to dedicate to your blog. It’s not impossible and many bloggers have a 6-figure blog on the side of their full time job (no, I’m not kidding!) but it is more difficult. And what’s more is that blogging is fun, often more fun than most people’s full time jobs, so it’s not surprising that many bloggers want to quit the rat race and work on their blogs full time.
It’s often difficult to make the leap into full time blogging because you end up stuck in that Blogger Catch-22 situation I’ve spoken about so many times before. The period where you don’t earn enough through your blog to support yourself, but you don’t have the time to work on your blog in order to earn more through blogging and then ditch the 9-5.
My advice is to quite simply be brave and take the leap.
How I knew I was ready
As every person is different, I thought I’d tell you about how I knew I was ready to go full time as a blogger. This won’t all apply to everyone but I hope you can apply some of these same factors to your career.
I’d been blogging for four years before it even crossed my mind to go full time. I hadn’t really thought it was a possibility and then one day, quite out of the blue, I suddenly realised I wanted to be a full time blogger more than anything in the world. It was weird the way a switch just flicked in my mind and it was the only thing I could think about.
I spent the next few months plotting and planning and working my ass off to make it happen. I was trembling as I went into work and handed my notice in but as soon as I’d done it I knew it was the right decision. I suddenly felt free and I felt so excited about my future. I could go anywhere, I could do anything and the only person telling me what to do was me. It was a very, very good feeling.
But it was a scary feeling too as I was 100% responsible for everything.
So how did I know I was ready to make that leap? Here’s how…
#1. I was being offered many amazing opportunities I had to turn down
The main reason I quit my full time job was because I couldn’t bear saying no to so many opportunities. I was being invited on paid press trips around the world and I had to say no to them because I didn’t have any annual leave left.
(I don’t want to sound like a dick but there’s only so many trips to Barbados you can say no to before you REALLY resent your job!)
#2. I knew my job was going nowhere
I really enjoyed my job but I knew there was nowhere for me to progress to within the company I was at. I knew I’d never be promoted and it was unlikely I’d ever get a pay rise so this made it easier to leave. If I didn’t leave now, I’d probably leave in a year or two anyway.
#3. I knew I was employable
Before I handed my notice in I applied for a handful of jobs within social media marketing, the industry I was working at the time. I was surprised to find I was offered interviews for most of the jobs. I went to a couple of interviews and was invited back to some second interviews.
I didn’t go for the second interviews but it made me feel better knowing that I stood a good chance of getting another full time job if things didn’t work out for my blog.
#4. My blog was regularly earning my ‘bare minimum’
I’d worked out the bare minimum I needed to live on each month. This bare minimum covered my basic living costs plus a little extra for a few luxuries. Once my blog was regularly earning this amount each month I knew it was time to make the leap. I had about 4-5 months of earning this amount before I quit my job.
#5. I had savings
I was very sensible in the early days and almost everything I earned through my blog went into a separate savings account. I kept this aside to reinvest in my business as I already had a full time salary to live on.
Having the security of savings makes it easier to quit your job as you know you’re not going to starve if you do have a bad month.
#6. I had a back-up, back-up, back-up plan
I also had the luxury of a third backup plan. A friend ran a café close to my flat in London and she was always looking for part-time staff. I have a lot of hospitality experience and she’d already told me she’d take me on as a waitress if I ever got really stuck.
#7. I really, really wanted to spend all day working on my blog in my home office
All I wanted to do was blog and I think when you get to this stage, not a lot can stop you!
#8. I knew I could pick up freelance work
I’d previously spent years working in copywriting and I’d just come from a job in social media. Around 40-50% of my income came from freelance work at first and I knew I’d be able to pick up more if I needed to.
#9. “If not now, when?”
This is one of my favourite mottos in life and is a phrase that always encourages me to just get out there and do something. I knew if I didn’t do it now, it would only get harder.
As you climb the ladder in your full time job, get a pay rise or take on more responsibility it becomes more and more difficult to leave. And as you get a pay rise maybe you’ll buy a house or buy a bigger house and then you’ve got even more of a financial burden.
The sooner you do it, the sooner you’ll be established and earning a decent income through your blog!