Three or four times a month I get an email from someone asking how and when they should make the leap, quit their job and become a full-time blogger.
I know they’re looking for absolute answers like six months or one year or when you hit $5,000 per month.
But there really is no definitive point where one second you’re someone’s employee and the next you’re a pro blogger.
The transition is more of a process than a leap.
Trust me, I know how difficult this decision can be. You’re probably very comfortable at your job. You enjoy the people you work with and having a guaranteed paycheck waiting at the end of every week isn’t something to sneeze at. And let’s not forget health care benefits and your 401K. Those are benefits you don’t see in your paycheck but without them you’d be in big trouble.
On the other hand, you have this blog that’s growing, producing more income every month. Maybe even enough to replace that paycheck. But it’s a risk. What if something happens? What if Google accidentally de-indexed your site? What if the entire Internet crashed? What if (shudder!) you found you didn’t really like blogging full-time? Then where would you be?
On the third hand, (because all bloggers have third hands, right?) if you did quit your job you’d have more time to build your blog faster, earning even more money every month than you’re earning now. You’d also have time to develop multiple streams of income that would alleviate some of your risk and pressure.
You’re not the first blogger to have these same thoughts and fears swirling round your head and you won’t be the last. Every person who starts his own business, whether it’s offline or on, has these exact same concerns. So first of all, don’t panic.
But more important, there’s nothing that says you need to quit your job today and work full-time on your blog starting tomorrow. Take some time and make the transition gradually.
Instead of quitting your job completely, cut back one day for the next month. If you have sick time or vacation time, plan to use it one day per week for the next month or two months. If you don’t see if you can go to part-time status at your job. And if not, can you find a part-time job, instead?
The next month, increase it to two days and the month after that increase it to three. This will give you that extra time you need to work on your blogging business and still provide the safety next of a guaranteed paycheck and benefits from your job.
Many bloggers think it’s all or nothing but if you think about it, it makes more sense to go pro gradually. Right now you may be sacrificing three hours of sleep or family-time every day so you can work on your blog. But really, right this minute, what would you do if you had 10 or 12 solid hours every day to devote to your blog?
It’s going to take you time to adjust to a full-time blogging schedule anyway so why not make the transition a smooth, gradual process instead of a terror-inducing leap? Then, when it comes time to punch that clock one last time, you and your blog will both be in a better position.