Some people are really surprised to hear about blogging, online marketing and creative entrepreneurship as “full time” jobs.
By the way, if you’re wondering if you should start a blog and how you can do it, check out this guide!
And I totally get it!
For a lot of people, it’s hard to imagine making a living by sitting at your computer and creating content and graphics all day!
We all imagine the “starving artist” or the struggling writer just trying to make ends meet, but thanks to this incredible invention called the internet, it doesn’t have to be that way!
Blogging has become SO much more than just an online journal.
I’m not delusional either- I get it! Just because you have a computer and access to the internet, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be a blogging millionaire!
The internet is definitely the new Walmart- there are literally MILLIONS of products being sold to an unlimited amount of people, so the struggle is making YOUR product stand out. Once you have the shelf space (i.e. the visibility), how are you going to make the most of it?
When I had a run of unsuccessful blogs a few years ago, I couldn’t figure out why. I treated them like a hobby (a side hustle without the “hustle”), and I quickly learned how easy it is to get lost in the sea of mediocre blogs on the internet.
So what exactly does it take to start a blog? How can blogging ACTUALLY become a legit, full-time business?
Let’s look at what’s involved in running a blog.
This is obviously the most important part about building a blog (especially when you’re just starting out!). Content rules above all else!
Without good posts and engaging content, no one will actually visit your blog, let alone look around and sign up for your opt-in.
Some bloggers take several hours or even days to craft a quality blog post. I personally make sure all of my posts are above 1000 words and generally, I strive for closer to 1500-2000. Some days I will knock off 2 or 3 blog posts and other days I won’t do any at all. It takes effort and dedication to write quality posts!
Say you write 3 blog posts a week and each one takes you only 2-3 hours. That’s 6-9 hours each week of straight writing (and that’s a low estimate!). You can easily dedicate an entire day to researching and writing a single article!
To go along with every post you write, there should be an engaging graphic. Actually, there should be a few!
One graphic should be created for display on your blog, but you also need matching graphics for social media since (Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
Also, when you’re looking to revive some older content on your blog, it’s a great idea to have a variety of graphics to choose from to make the content seem more fresh and exciting to the readers. And I mean a variety (some of my Pins have 10 different graphics!).
I normally spend around 1 hour every day creating graphics for my posts and updating social media.
Responding to emails + social media
Being active on social media is definitely a daily thing! I’m not talking about only posting (since that can be scheduled fairly easily). I’m talking about actually engaging with your audience: commenting, liking, sharing and responding to other people’s comments on your posts.
In order to grow a blog and a have a healthy email list, daily engagement on social media is key!
Don’t forget to respond to your own emails and comments on the blog.
Reading other blogs + commenting + responding to questions
Some people may argue this being a “daily” activity, but I believe it’s super important to stay engaged with your audience and fellow bloggers constantly!
If you’re just spitting out content but not taking the time to engage with your blogging community, you’re doing yourself a HUGE disservice. You can develop incredible relationships and learn so much from responding to comments on your own posts, reading other blogs in your niche and taking the time to write + respond with thoughtful comments.
I spend EASILY 2 hours a day doing what I like to call “engagement time” when I’m on social media or other blogs reading, commenting and staying in touch!
TOTAL HOURS EACH DAY: 5-7
Scheduling social media
So unlike staying engaged and commenting on social media, the scheduling can be done a bit differently and you can plan this weekly (or even monthly!!) if you have the right tools. If you have a good plan in place, your can schedule your content and graphics/pictures pretty easily.
The most important platforms for me have been Pinterest and Instagram. I use Tailwind to help me schedule and loop my posts and it’s increased my blog traffic by 200% already! I spend about 2 hours at the beginning of each week planning my social media content.
Website design and optimization
If you’re doing everything yourself on your blog, then website design and optimization will definitely be something you’re doing regularly!
I don’t like to spend a ton of time on this because I know content comes first, but I always like to check my site (opt-in forms, pages, links, images, etc.) to make sure everything is running smoothly.
It doesn’t have to take 2-3 hours each week but for someone still trying to grow their blog, it’s a good idea to block some time off for your website.
Ah, the email list! As any blogger knows, this is the number ONE priority!
Social media can disappear and visitors come and go, but the people that take the time to sign up and be a part of your community should be treated like gold!
It’s a good idea to check in with your list every week: make sure you’re planning new content and keeping it fresh. Also make sure your opt-in forms are working and people have full access to your content. This also includes time responding to people who have issues/questions/concerns with your site or content.
TOTAL HOURS EACH WEEK: 6-7
Planning content + monetization
Some bloggers like to wing it, and others prefer having a content strategy in place to plan blog posts. I always keep a list on the go of potential blog posts with bullet point ideas, and I will take the time to plan out the best way to present the content.
At a minimum, I want to be posting 3 times each week (12 times/month) so at the beginning of each month, I spend a few hours making sure I have enough ideas with some bullet points to get the creative juices flowing.
I also use this time to plan how I will include monetization strategies in my posts (promoting products, affiliate links, etc.). Planning your blogging content is an essential way to stay organized!
Analytics is like the blood flow or circulation of a blog. Bloggers should always know what pages are the most popular, where the email subscribers are coming from, how long people are staying on the site and which links readers are clicking.
I spend time reviewing all these stats in Google Analytics to see what I can improve upon, where I should spend more time marketing, and where I should stop putting so much effort.
Analytics don’t lie so it’s super important to stay on top of what your audience is doing!
Like with any business, goal setting and planning how you’ll achieve those goals is everything! Most businesses will spend time each month brainstorming and assessing goals, targets and improvements that can be made. So why would a blog be any different?! Strategy is key for growth, so I sit down each month and go over my goals for my blog and the steps I will take to achieve those goals. I look at new ways to grow, different monetization ideas and fresh products I can develop for my audience. Developing your blogging strategy is definitely time well spent!
TOTAL HOURS EACH MONTH: 11
So if you think about it, someone working on their blog for a regular 5 day work week will spend anywhere from 35-44 hours a week doing all the basics.
And that’s just the basics!
This doesn’t include time creating products, courses or ebooks on the side.
This is easily an argument for why blogging IS actually a full-time gig. For anyone looking to monetize their blog and grow it into a business, it needs to be treated like a business.
If you take your blog seriously and really work towards making it a success, I promise it will pay off and you will be shocked with the business you are able to create!
READY TO START A BLOG? LET’S DO IT!
How do you schedule your time and manage your blog? Any other ideas? Let me know!