20 truths about being a full time blogger

20 truths about being a full time blogger

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It wasn’t long ago that I was calling myself a ‘freelancer’ and I’d correct anyone who referred to me as a ‘full time blogger’.

When I first quit my job to work for myself the majority of my income came from freelancing copywriting and social media consultancy so I didn’t want to mislead anyone and make them think I was working on my blog full time. In reality, I was only spending a day or two each week working on The Travel Hack.

Oh, how times have changed. I now spend the majority of my time working on the blog so I guess that now makes me a full time blogger!

Being a full time blogger was my ultimate dream and while I love my job more than I ever thought possible, it does come with its drawbacks.

Here are some truths about being a full time blogger and the things no one ever seems to talk about…


1. Bloggers never take holidays

Holidays? Vacations? What are those?

No matter what your blogging niche is, bloggers never take real holidays. This is partly because bloggers never switch off but also because holidays make the best blog content. This is even more true if you’re a travel blogger.

Bloggers are always photographing, Instagramming, tweeting, taking notes, drafting blog posts and replying to emails. Once you start, it’s pretty much impossible to stop.

I don’t even know how I’m going to deal with maternity leave!


2. Bloggers don’t spend that much time creating blog posts

If only I spent all day in a cosy cafes writing blog posts. That really would be the dream!

Most of my time is spent in meetings, pitching, editing, analysing, promoting, brainstorming or doing blog-worthy stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing all of these things but the writing of actual blog posts takes about 10% of my time.


3. There’s a lot of pressure

Admittedly, there doesn’t have to be a lot of pressure but most bloggers put a lot of pressure on themselves. When you are the sole personal responsible for a blog, you are the only person accountable.

If the blog does well then hurrah for you. But if it does badly then you are the only person to blame. You can’t blame the new kid in a different department or vent your frustrations onto the IT department. Everything that happens, both good and bad, is 100% on your shoulders. It can be a heavy weight to hold.


4. Emails, emails, emails

You could easily spend most of your day replying to emails.

I have two words: Canned Responses.

Best. Invention. Ever.

The truths about being a blogger

5. You have to read a lot of other blogs

I’m always amazed when I speak to bloggers who don’t read other blogs. I’m a firm believer that you should write the blog you want to read and if you don’t know what blogs you like to read, how do you know what to write? I’m not saying you should ever copy a blog (quite the opposite) but blogs can be a great source of inspiration.

I read blogs on a million different topics. I read everything from SEO blogs, design, fashion, parenting, cooking, DIY, home renovation, personal development, blogs about blogging and, of course, plenty of travel blogs.

I learn something new from each blog I read and, while it might be time consuming, it’s part of the creative process.


6. It is the world’s best job…

…but it isn’t as perfect as many bloggers will have you believe. Yes, blogging is the best job in the world. I know this sounds corny but each morning I wake up and I’m so grateful to be doing what I love.

It might be amazing but it’s not all fun and games. It’s hard work with long hours, tricky clients, lots of negotiating and far too much time with your eyes glued to a computer screen.


 7. You have to explain what you do at least once a day

Get used to explaining exactly what you do when you meet someone new (or in my case, every time my career comes up in conversation with my mum). Blogging is such a new industry and people are curious as to how bloggers earn a living and exactly what it is you do all day. I love it when people are interested in blogging but it can become tiresome at parties and events when you have the same conversation again and again.


8. Working alone is tough

Working alone is one of the hardest things about blogging for me. I have lots of blogger buddies and we speak on an almost daily basis. We chat about blogging and throw around ideas, we brainstorm, we plan, we plot and we share. But at the end of the day, we each have our own blogs to worry about and we’re ultimately alone in the big bad world of blogging.

I miss having a team and other people to rely on. When I’m not travelling I often spend all day alone in my home office and this gets boring very quickly!


9. You have to be flexible, open to change and willing to learn

No, I’m not suggesting you take up yoga but a good blogger is very flexible with their thoughts, their ideas, their plans and their time. Things change and they change quickly in the blogging world.

Readers of the blogosphere have a short attention span and content needs to evolve and develop fast enough to keep up with people’s interests. This means that something may have worked 3 months ago but won’t work today. You need to recognize the change in trends and quickly adapt to keep up with what people want.


10. It can be competitive

Like all small industries, blogging can be amazingly competitive. It could be easy to get swept up in this competitive world but it’s just as easy to ignore it. I find that my best days are the days I don’t log into Facebook. I don’t get involved in Facebook blogger chat and I don’t get sucked into bitchy arguments.

Keep an eye on what other people are doing but don’t let it influence your work. It will bring you down.

20 truths about being a blogger

11. Everything takes longer than you think

You want to write a blog post about your experience in a new destination? No problem, surely that will only take a few hours to whip up? Right? Errr…wrong.

I always think I can whip up a post fairly quickly but when I think about the planning and organization that goes into doing something for the blog, then the time that goes into writing, editing, staging the right photos, editing the photos, formatting the post, promoting it across social media and a million other things you don’t think about until it’s time to hit ‘Publish’, writing a blog post takes a hell of a long time!


12. The flexibility and freedom isn’t always a bonus

When I first left my job to work for myself I thought I’d pick my own hours and have a flexible working day. In reality, I found this was difficult to maintain because I was working to a different schedule to all of my friends.

Yes, I have the occasional lie-in but where’s the fun in sleeping until 10am if it means I then need to work until 8pm when all of my friends are in the pub?

When I’m not travelling I pretty much always work 9-6 Monday to Friday. I rarely open my laptop at the weekend and I try to discourage lunch-time visitors.


13. You have to be a bit geeky

Most bloggers have an inner geek that is lurking somewhere inside them. It’s a blogger’s geeky side that makes it easier to spend hours working on blog design SEO, photography techniques, analyzing statistics, checking and double checking each written word for grammatical mistakes and teaching yourself how to use new technology.

Blogging can be hard work if you don’t enjoy the geeky side.


14. You have to be tough

I can’t believe how much I’ve toughened up over the past year, particularly when it comes to the financial side of my blog. There will always be people out there who want something for nothing and you soon learn to spot them from a mile away. Negotiating and coming to mutually beneficial financial arrangements is hard work and you need to get your game face on to get what you deserve.


15. Blogging can be frustrating

Blogging can be so frustrating that you need to cover your face with a pillow for a good 10 minutes and scream at the top of your lungs until you literally don’t have enough breath to carry on.

Frustrations come from the endless stream of people who expect you to work for free to internet trolls to friends and family members who just ‘don’t get it’.


16. Vlogging is one of the most awkward and embarrassing things you can possibly do

But when it’s done well, it’s REALLY good.

*Note to self: Learn how to vlog really good

20 truths about being a full time blogger

17. You’ll have a love/hate relationship with Google Analytics

I check my GA stats on an almost daily basis but I still get nervous every time I log in. If my stats plummet then my blogging dream could be over. I don’t know why I worry about this because it’s never happened before but it doesn’t stop me panicking!


18. Your income will be diverse

Most bloggers don’t have one source of income and will earn their pennies in many different ways. It can be daunting if you’ve previously had a monthly wage that arrives into your bank account with no chasing, no pestering and no negotiating but you soon realise it’s better not to put all your eggs in one basket.


19. Content will always be king

It’s easy to get caught up with website design and your social media following but, at the end of the day, quality content is all that matters.


20. You have to love what you do

To be a full time blogger you have to love what you do with every single cell in your body.


You might also like to read:

A week in the life of a travel blogger 

Tips to leave your job and become a full time freelancer

How bloggers get free products




Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a professional blogger and has travelled around the world in search of stylish adventure travel.Monica has recently had a baby and is now determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible!

SHOWHIDE Comments (74)
    1. I do that too. There’s always something to be done! I often find that my homepage ‘desperately’ needs a new design when I’ve got loads of boring admin tasks to be done. It’s a good way of procrastinating!

    2. I was about to say the same thing! I never have an empty to-do list. There is always something more I could do to tweak, improve and add to what I’m blogging about.

      You have to love what you’re doing because it does take up most of your thoughts!

  1. You really hit the nail on the head with this post! So true, it’s NEVER ending and it’s so hard to explain to people what I need to do. It gets a bit frustrating too sometimes because so few people are familiar with the blogging industry and simply freelance. Although, I find myself really enjoying things like SEO and topics I never knew much about before I jumped into it full-swing. It’s definitely rewarding on a lot of different levels.

  2. YES to all of these! Especially 11. Why does everything take 10x longer than I think it will? I’m still in the ‘I’m a freelancer’ stage, but totally agree with these all. I can’t wait to be a full-time blogger 😉

  3. Top post as always Monica! So many of these points rang true for me as a self-employed person not just for bloggers. Particularly point 8 – lone working can be tough especially when you have been used to working as part of a team with work colleagues. I combat this by making sure I catch up for tea with ex-colleagues so I can still feel part of something! Lol!

  4. Great post, Monica. I love reading about behind the scenes of full-time blogging. You really do have to love blogging a lot to keep motivated, but it’s great that you’re doing your dream job.
    I always fool myself when it comes to the time that posts take! The writing part is really quick, so I think I’m really organised, but then it always takes me ages to find the right photos amidst the millions of folders I have on my computer, and then comes the editing of the rough draft, and then the social media sharing, which I’m so bad at! 🙂

  5. All so true – although I’m not even a full-time blogger, it still bleeds into the rest of my writing. Although I’ve got my hands full enough I’m half plotting a site redesign, pondering vlogging, a few options to make some cash and reading lots of other blogs!

  6. Although I’m not a full time blogger a lot of this list I already practice which makes it feel like my blog is a full time thing.

    I’m also shocked at how many bloggers don’t read other blogs. Sure it’s impossible to read everything but there’s so much great stuff out there and I love connecting with other bloggers.

  7. I love the honesty here–admitting that it’s not all perfect but that you are still doing what you love. I think bloggers tend to be pretty ambitious people that make the effort to create their own empires. Living with the pressure is the tradeoff to being able to do your own thing–and do it well!

    1. That’s so true. One of the reasons I love going to blogger meet-ups and conferences is because everyone is so ambitious and dedicated. They’re always great people to be surrounded by.

  8. I’m brand new to blogging but I can’t imagine being about to do it full time – mainly because I’m so sloooow and so don’t have the time.

    I wrote 2 posts, 1 to publish, and 1 to schedule – it took me nearly all day, haha!

    1. Sounds about right! You do get quicker but I’m not much faster than two posts per day either! I now find myself writing blog posts in weird and wonderful places – often in my head while I’m in the shower!

  9. Great post and true on so many levels… I live in the Netherlands where blogging is still on the rise which is good in a way. It also is sometimes more frustrating as there are even more people that just don’t get it. But I wouldn’t trade my life for an office job ever…:)

  10. I love your post. I’m pretty new at blogging, but I want my blog to be successful.
    As you say it’s much work! You have to be dedicated and when traveling you really need to get all the information you can to write a good blog post.

    I love traveling and writing. It takes much time, but at the same time it’s fun and I love reading my blog like a diary.

    Your blog is one of the first ones I started reading, and I love how you always have great content. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  11. I started blogging in January so this was a really interesting read for me. I’d love if one day I could take my blog further by perhaps making it a full time thing, but I completely understand that only few people make it.

    Blogging for me has literally been a 24 hour hobbie, I spend lots of time reading, interacting and sharing. In-fact at times it even seems a little overwhelming! but still enjoyable, especially since I enjoy a good chin wag and a bit of HTML here and there 🙂 (still learning of course).

    I’ll definitely take some of these points away with me, and put a bit more thought into it. x


  12. Lovely post!!!! Great photos. Would you like to follow each other on GFC?! Let me know and follow me on my blog, I will follow you right back on both GFC and Bloglovin!

  13. Really interesting post Monica, I’m really enjoying hearing a bit more about what it’s actually like to do this full time. I’m writing part time at the moment and finding it so overwhelming trying to balance a 9-5 job and blogging – there is always something else that needs doing!

  14. I feel this post so much! Especially #11, I had no idea how much work running a blog would be and I’m constantly thinking about ways I need to improve. For instance, I really need to redesign my site and make it look better. To a non-blogger that comes across as a fun and light activity, to a new-born blogger like myself, “WHY IS IT SO HARD!?” haha. But I love having a platform to express myself and talk about something I’m interested in. Although I would like to perhaps one day go pro, if my blog ends up only ever being a hobby, then I will have one of the best there is. As long as I’m enjoying it and there’s no pressure, then I think I’m doing well 🙂 .

    1. In the UK you do get maternity allowance when you’re self-employed. I’m still researching it (oops, left this a bit late!) and trying to figure out the best option for me. When you have maternity allowance you obviously can’t be working at all so I might be better off squeezing in 2-3 hours of work a week and not bothering with maternity allowance. At first I thought this would be totally do-able but lots of mums have told me not to get my hopes up!

    1. So uplifting for me to read this post. I used to be a career woman as well, management roles in Human Resources, in Public Relations, and quit the corporate world, because I only wanted to work on what I really like: writing, reading, travelling, social media … but hardly any of my friends get it! They wonder what I do all day, they don’t understand how I cope with all the free time … euh the free time??
      So, I must say, I am truly happy with your post … I’ll share it with all my friends! 😉
      Milady A

  15. This is so spot on. As a fulltime student with a parttime job, you would think that its as easy as creating a blog post kn a few hours and thats that. But I find myself staying up till early morning working on school work and blog work. Its a 24/7 ordeal and you are right about no vacation time.

  16. This is so interesting – I had no idea about most of this stuff. I’m not a full time blogger but would be lying if I didn’t admit that I’d be interested to try and go down that path one day. Hats off to you dear, you’ve got an amazing site! xo

  17. Great post. I wish I could say ‘I’m a full-time blogger’. I love to write, being creative and all this things around the blog. But I think it’s a hard way to earn money with it and do this full time.. 🙂 Thanks for your experience!

    Greets from sunny Berlin

  18. I must say that you have hit the dart bang on target. Blogging is not easy but there’s one more thing I really need to know that how are you going about your point No.2, ie . spending just 10% of the time to write yourself.

    I am presently working ‘alone’ (not the right way as I learnt from your post), but if you are spending your time on all the other things, who writes it?

    Can I be in anyway included as a part of your ‘brainstorming team’? I know that’s too much to ask in a first message..but still..

    And lastly, can you help me to make my blog as amazing as yours, a little less than your’s maybe!! and OFCOURSE, all costs included, nothing for free!!


  19. Hello,
    I just read this post. I have to say most of what you are saying is true. I don’t have a job I blog. It to me is more of a fun thing than a job or future job. I can’t wait to read more of your post!

  20. Great post Monica, could relate to all of the above. And you are so right about having that inner geek, I mean really, without that geekiness our blogs may become a little bit boring!! Congrats on the baba!!

  21. Love this! I laughed about the Vlogging being awkward because I recently launched a travel channel on YouTube and always feel incredibly awkward when it comes to shameless selfies and vlogs but I just try to remind myself I’ll likely never see the people walking by me again.

  22. I agree with all in your list, but especially #5! I love reading other blogs! That is how I learned to love the blogging world and it inspired me to start my own.

  23. What a great post — I’m not a full time blogger and blogging is currently just a hobby for myself, but learning about the, to quote you, truth about being a full time blogger was extremely enlightening! Thanks for sharing!

    May x • The MaydenBloglovin’

  24. Thank you so much for writing this! I have been thinking about making a career change and I love reading blogs and writing. I really appreciate your honest take on it – it definitely opened my eyes to the realities of this career. If I want to jump in feet first I better continue to do my research as well as know that this is what I would really like to do. Thank you so much!!

  25. Totally agree with this, that’s why I am spending my Sunday reading out other blogs I love 🙂
    Apart from that, I think the main point is you have to learn a lot of things from scratch and be very versatile when it comes to your job. Writer, editor, photographer, graphic designer, videomaker, marketing expert, pr… I learned to do this and more, and yes it is stressful but also so useful and rewarding!
    Hope to see you soon!

  26. I’ve been enjoying my life as full time blogger since a few months ago. To be honest, I feel much better than ever before

  27. Great post! I’m a tech entrepreneur but the idea of full time blogging intrigues me. A few of my startup friends started a blog that seems to be doing well on social media. We have about 10k likes of FB. I can see how tough it can be to run a blog full time. Hats off to you!

  28. Just the kind of post I was looking for. I am just barely starting in the world of blogging. So much more difficult for me as English is not my first language. Writing is easy, just all the other stuff around is time consuming and I always have to bother somebody to proofread it.

  29. Hi Monica. Great post & nice website – I can see the hours of love that have gone into creating this comprehensive site. I’m fairly new at this, and am encouraged that the truths you reveal as an experienced blogger reaffirm a lot of the impressions I had about the blogging lifestyle. One thing I’d add is the importance of perseverance. While learning something new, I find myself constantly going off on tangents to learn other related things about blogging, almost to the point of forgetting what the original task was! Accepting that learning all these things is valuable and powering on towards one’s goals will hopefully reap rewards in the long run!


    1. Yes, that’s such a good point. I think it’s a really good idea to spend a week or two focusing on one thing before you move onto something new. There’s so much to learn in blogging that you could skim the surface of everything and not really learn a lot.

  30. Interesting read thanks for the tips. At the end of this month I’m taking the big plunge and finally going full time. I currently live at home, have no financial commitments and am financially stable and decided to quit my minimum wage job to give myself 6-12months to see how I can do. I’ve had my site a couple of years but only worked on it seriously last 3 months but so far everything seems promising.

    Hopefully all goes well

  31. I love this post. I only blog part-time right now but the dream would definitely be to blog full time. Even part-time though I find it hard to shut off, especially because I don’t get as many hours in the day to work though what I want. It’s a constant struggle between a social life and keeping up to date with the blog! If only the days were longer ….

  32. Beutifully written! I’ve just started but I love what I do and what I write about – travel and architecture with looots of photography – but yes I agree with everything you’ve written!

    Nancy | spacesXplaces

  33. Hi Monica,

    Its always nice to come across another fellow blogger’s story/their views on blogging. A very well put, honest post. I couldn’t agree more with every single truth of blogging. Happy traveling and blogging!
    PS: I came across your blog post while I was surfing other blogs as you mentioned in #5 😉

  34. I agree with all of these. If you’re not disciplined, emails and social media can take a big part of your day and a lot of your energies.

    I usually respond to emails after I’ve finished my productive work for the day, which can be writing, designing, editing photos, etc.

    Anyway, I’d not change it with any other job.


    This was awesome, and balm to my bu** hurt pride today! I recieved an ‘unsubcriber’ comment saying the reason for Unsub was “Blog is boring, and too many links to advertisers”…Oh. My. Head. People truly have no idea the amount of work/time/effort/blood/sweat/tears ect. that goes into what we do (always with the reader in mind so they DON’T get bored and stay engaged)! And oh yeah, the fact that we too must buy groceries and pay the rent! Unfortunately there is no great ‘Internet Boss’ out there who hands us our paychecks so our sites can remain ‘advert free’ in order not to ‘annoy’!
    Again, thank you for this. What wonderful timing to read this now!…We bloggers must take the good with the bad, be thankful for the ones who love what we offer, and grown a nice thick skin 😉

  36. Couldn’t agree more with the point 11. There are days in which I’m off and it’s 5am, I just had a cup of coffee and decide to work on a blog post. By the time I finish and glance at the clock I go (crap is it really 8pm already!?)

    I think editing photos is what takes the most of my time and revising, revising, revising haha

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The Travel Hack

The Travel Hack is a blog about stylish adventure travel and affordable luxury.

We believe luxurious travel can be affordable and isn't just for the rich. Follow along with our worldwide adventures as we share our trips and tips for incredible travel experiences on a modest budget.