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Day Job or Full Time Blogger? I Need Your Opinions

Have you ever thought about quitting your day-job for something you love? I can’t say I’m quite there yet, but what if this next year of blogging proves to be as profitable as I think it will be? I’m starting a couple of business partnerships and already have a few extra blogs in the works as well. This could really be a huge year! So, if it goes well, do you think it would be wise to eliminate the full-time job? Or, should I continue to climb my way up that corporate ladder? Before you answer, let me give you the details.

My Day-Job

I currently work for an incredible company. They’ve been around for over 100 years and it seems that they’re still going strong. I don’t mind my job at all, and it actually seems like there’s plenty of room to move up in the company.

I recently saw a chart regarding the impact of retirement on our company and I was speechless. Within the next 10 years, 30% of the workforce will be retiring. Do you realize how huge this is for my potential within the company. With so many people leaving, climbing that ladder should not be overly difficult. I assume there will be higher-level openings all over the place!

For this reason, I’m actually considering going back to school for my Masters Degree. With this, I should be incredibly marketable and I may even get into an executive position before the age of 35. This could be a great move for me financially – both for the salary and for the benefits!

My Blogging Business

While I have not been able to share my most recent online ventures with you yet, I expect them to be huge! Within the next year or two, I think it’s very possible that I’ll be making $10k per month. If I was able to do this, and was having a fun time doing it, I might consider going after some more online ventures on a full-time basis.

The only problem is, how long is this blogging thing going to last? I mean, technology is changing so quickly that surely something will replace the blogging business in the future, right? It’s most likely not something that I can depend on in the distant future.

Your Thoughts?

So those are my main positives and concerns about these two options. I would love to hear your thoughts! What would you do?

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78 comments to Day Job or Full Time Blogger? I Need Your Opinions

  • You hit on the main concern that I would have. You have a business model that can change based upon the whim of a search engine algorithm vs a company that has been around for 100 years.

    Blogging full time would not necessarily be a bad idea. See what this next year brings and use the proceeds to create other, unrelated income streams like owning real estate free and clear or dividend stocks so that should the blogging revenue change, you won’t be stuck.

    Then once you have three separate and totally unrelated streams that could support your family, you can eliminate one of them and still have a backup.
    cashflowmantra recently posted..Sunday Night Links and Carnivals

  • Catherine

    In many ways blogging is as much about networking as it is about anything else. But, getting your link spread around can be tricky in the networking part because simply leaving your link around after you make a comment, for example, on someone else’s blog, is considered taboo by most. I think the best results I have experienced so far in getting my work out there is HubPages. It is essentially a social group with a good mixture of a lot of different talents, ideas, and PEOPLE, and plenty of opportunities to include links to other articles, blogs, or any websites you may wish to spread the word about. This typically will help to increase traffic to your blogs and other Internet offerings. Patience is key as well. It takes time to build an audience and you have to be good at writing as well. Not saying you’re not. Just saying it’s not all about traffic. The content still must have something the other blogger’s do not, and must stand out, be professionally and intelligently written, and must appeal to a particular audience.
    Catherine recently posted..penny stocks

  • I will second that. Blogging relies so much on algorithm changes that are out of your control. If you are able to diversify more, then I would consider it.
    John recently posted..How To Donate To Charity Even If You Don’t Have Much Money

  • While I really am not a huge fan of the corporate world which would take up a whole blog on my view there alone I will say this. You are making more in a month right now off of blogging than we are earning in the 9-5 world. You state a very valid concern of how long it will last? I think for you when weighing the options is that yes blogging full time would be possible but do not make the same mistake Michigan has made always putting all it’s eggs into one basket. I think the key would be here if you chose to blog full time find other pursuits you love as much. Diversification would be the key here but then I am a believer in multi streaming so that when one money venture is in a down cycle, hopefully one of the others will be in an up cycle!

    Whatever you decide Dereck, will be great, there is no losing situation here as the company you work for sounds great! I think with time, you will have your answer you truly want to follow
    Carrie Hetu recently posted..Setting 2012 Goals

    • I like your thoughts Carrie, and it really makes sense to diversify (by that, I mean truly diversify, not just have 3 blogs instead of one). I would most likely try my hand at real estate, but that will be down the road. I think the wise thing to do at this point would be to stick with both and save up a ton of cash for my next investment.

  • I recently quit my job and am making a go of the full-time blogger thing. Now, I did it all backwards. I didn’t like my job, and I don’t make enough money to support myself with the blogging, so I’ve taken a part-time job while I build the blogging. If I had the opportunity, I would have liked to have stayed at the job and built the blogging until it was a good income. I didn’t get that opportunity.

    If you can manage both, and you like your job, there’s no reason to not do both until you can’t. Use the blogging income to set up as many passive/semi-passive income streams as possible and then decide if you still like your job enough to keep working at it.
    Beating Broke recently posted..Save on Health Insurance with these Tips

    • Congrats on quitting your day job! I don’t think it’s a bad thing that you took a part-time job. Maybe that would be a good option for me down the road. Have some “just-in-case” money from the job, but have enough time to really build my online empire!

  • Very interesting decision. While I would love to work full time as a blogger, I still the internet will be changing a lot in the next few years and what works now might not work then. So, keeping your day job is a must, at least until your income actually reaches the point where you can make it online.

    • I’d be a mad-man, but what if I could do both along with the masters? Then I could move up the ranks with the job and increase my revenue online. If I could keep this up for 5 or 10 years, I could be set for life! At that point, I’d only be in my mid-30s – not too shabby! ;)

  • Derek, There’s certainly an inherent risk to expect a steady income blogging. Can you make 10k per month and continue to work your day job? If so, I’d say do that as long as you enjoy it. If one scale tips and shows you can do a lot better, then it’s time to lean on that side a little further. But if you can do both for a few years and bank the extra money, your decision becomes much much easier a year from now when emergency money is not as much of an issue.
    Car Negotiation Coach recently posted..When is the Best Time to Buy a Car?

    • I like this plan CNC! It’s what I’ve really been leaning toward all along. It’s going to be a tough road, but it’s really a win-win (aside from the lack of sleep). I’d love to do both and will most likely make an effort to for as long as I can.

  • I think you should definitely keep the job until you figure out a stable income with blogging. I like blogging but to me it is still a hobby where I make a couple hundred every now and then. I hope to increase the advertising and am growing, but I don’t think I would ever leave my full time job simply because of the amazing benefits.
    Newlyweds on a Budget recently posted..The Biggest Myths about Marriage

    • I hear ya NOAB, and I think I would stick with my job until I was making $10k or so, but what if I was consistently making $10k and felt I could earn a lot more by ditching the job? After all, that would be an extra 40 hours a week to work on everything. ;)

  • Mrs Mom

    Well, in my opinion I would keep the day job! Not only for the income but for the benefits that come along with it! Those are a big expense to purchase on your own. Plus it sounds like a challenge for you to be able to ” move up the ladder”. There is a lot of experience gained in what you are doing at your say job. I like the idea of taking classes to gain a higher degree! Will your company support your education plan, help pay for your continued education? This could be a great opportunity for you! I think your experience in the work place can be helpful in your “blogging”. Staying involved in the “real” world will keep you more in tune to what is actually going to help you communicate and help in your blogging. Blogging sounds like it is fun for you and a challenge. Keep up the good work but do take time to enjoy life too. Life can get pretty busy too! With just the 2 of you there is plenty of time for both! What if your situation changes? Keep that in mind too! Good luck on your new ventures!!

    • My company would actually pay for 100% of the education, but I first have to prove that I’ll stick with my degree of choice before I start the program. I could most likely start in 3-6 months I figure. I think this route would be fun, but it is a huge time commitment! Perhaps once our house is fully renovated I can start taking some classes. ;)

  • If you can generate $10k a month blogging, I would say you should leave your job.

    For most people I would say that there’s uncertainly both in blogging and working for someone else. Which do you have more control over?

    I’ve always looked at blogging as just a piece of the puzzle to building several income streams. Are there ways you could diversify beyond just blogging, too? I think there are many services you can offer that are complementary to blogging.
    Jeffrey Trull recently posted..Spruced Up: Countdown to Christmas Edition

    • I see only one issue with your advice – If I quit my job and then blogged on the side as well as own a business which supports bloggers, then I’m out of work if the blogging business goes south! I should probably have a completely unrelated 2nd gig, don’t you think?

      • I think an unrelated 2nd gig would be ideal but maybe not essential. For example, I do SEO for non-blogging sites.

        Have you seen any real indication that the blogging stuff won’t last? I can’t say I have, and clearly a lot of people are banking on it already. I know you’re just being cautious (and you should be!)
        Jeffrey Trull recently posted..Spruced Up: Countdown to Christmas Edition

        • Sounds like you’ve got yourself in a pretty good situation there. Nice work! I guess since I’m super cautious, why not just go for the gusto and give everything a shot? I could probably get the Master’s degree done in less than two years, and then I should have a pretty wide open door of possibilities.

  • I think you know where I stand – if you end up building an online income that matches or more than replaces your income, why not invest more time in that. If the internet takes a turn, you can always go back and get a job (theoretically). Plus, you aren’t dependent on the income if your expenses are low and you have two incomes…
    20′sFinances recently posted..Yakezie Carnival – Mighty Ducks Edition

  • It seems like you are actively preparing to take advantage of more opportunities in both your day job and online. I would stick with both for now as I think the skills are probably complementary
    Hunter – Financially Consumed recently posted..Facebook IPO And Your User Experience

  • If you can handle both, then I’d say do that. I’m sure as you grow in both ventures, it will be difficult to keep both going at full speed unless you spleep 4 hours/night. Good luck!
    retirebyforty recently posted..Best of Money Carnival #132: December Todo List Edition

  • Here’s my honest opinion Derek. KEEP your full time job. I personally would never quit my career if I made a million a month. The main reason is security and my belief in income diversification. Online income could be gone tomorrow, there’s no guarantee it will be gone forever. I say do both, especially with the health/401k benefits of working for an employer.
    Jon | Free Money Wisdom recently posted..Ditch Your Bank and Join a Credit Union

  • If you’re curious about the masters look into it by talking to an adviser or taking a few no credit courses. For me, blogging is an income stream that I can use to meet goals that I dont want to contribute more cash flow to – perhaps a bit riskier investments than normal, I guess you’d say.
    Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog recently posted..Food in a Split Household

  • It seems that you have made the decision to stick with both for awhile, if you keep at both you will have your decision in time. But definitely build up your diversified (unrelated) revenue streams. :)
    World of Finance recently posted..How to Make Money on Black Friday

    • I would love to have 4-5 different income sources in 2012. Along with my wife’s 2 sources of income, I think we’re pretty safe in the event of another economic downturn. ;)

  • I think you have to put your efforts where the returns are highest. An advanced degree can never hurt you! It also gives you more options.
    krantcents recently posted..$12K Will Make You Rich

  • I hate risk so my immediate reaction would be to cling in some way shape or form to the day job, but really selfemployment is just as if not more secure as a ‘regular day-job’. I would be interested in the education-aspect though, that would be a great opportunity. I’m a big fan of self-improvement and learning and having the chance to get your masters would weigh pretty heavy on the keep-the-job-side of things.
    Andrea recently posted..The temptation of STUFF

    • It would be pretty tough to give up the free education, I must admit. Plus, I love to learn. And, the degree would most likely be in business, so it could actually benefit me in more than one way! :) Thanks for tha comment!

  • As long as you are a “wage slave” your income will always be limited. If you are happy with that then I’d say stay in a job. If you’d like to earn unlimited income then you need to go out on your own. Blogging is one way but you do need to have different sources of income.

    There is no better MBA than actually starting and running your own business.

    I’m sure you will excel in whatever you decide to do!
    Kanwal Sarai @ Simply Investing recently posted..How Can You Sleep At Night With All Your Money In Stocks?

    • Good tips Kanwal! If I would go back to school for my Masters in Business, obviously it would make me more marketable at work; do you think it would help improve my online ventures as well? This would really be a win-win.

  • shyla

    Hmm, this is a tough dilemma. I think it comes down to what is most important to you and what your end goal is. If I was in your situation, I would continue to work at your current job and do my masters PT in an area that would make me more marketable for the higher ranking position in the future. I would continue to blog as much as it fit into my schedule. My end goal in your situation in the long term would be to have the credentials and experience to speak at conferences and events in my area of expertise, possibly write a book and travel the world as a ground braking expert… maybe speak at Ted.

    I am a recent college graduate in an entry level position, so my perception might be slightly idealistic. But that is what I would do if I was you.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Shyla. I’m fairly new to this Corporate world myself (I’ve got 3 years experience or so), so your perception is still quite valid to me! I actually think you hit the nail on the head. I will continue to work my job for at least the next 5 years or so, and I’ll be re-investing the income from my business to generate some passive income. At the 5 year mark, I’ll probably have quite the stash of cash (not to mention equity in my business), and then I’ll be able to consider this topic once again.

  • Sam

    Do both for as long as possible. You can def make $5-10k/month blogging after several years.

    Sam

    • That just seems crazy! I remember when I thought I was big stuff making $200 a month. Now I’m in the $1,500 range and you’re telling me I can make 5 or 6 times that amount! On top of that, I’m reading about blogs that are selling for over a million dollars!!! Crazy!

  • I wouldn’t quit your full-time job unless you had an 8 month emergency fund AND your income becomes several hundred dollars MORE than your expenses. Be sure that if you quit, you’ll be able to continue to max out an IRA account, since you’ll no longer have a 401(k) to contribute to. However, keep in mind how much you love your job. If you love the job, I’d suggest working until you no longer do. Work until your love for blogging takes over. Bank all the extra income when you get pay raises. Take advantage of employer matches to 401(k). Also look into how long before those matches are 100% vested. Have you reached that point? If you haven’t, you’re best waiting until you’ve been with them long enough that you won’t loose the money they’ve contributed to your 401(k). Those are just my random, off the top of my head thoughts on leaving your job. No matter what you choose, good luck!
    Lauren Sainz recently posted..Dec 5, How Being Married Impacts Your Financial Planning Options

    • Those are great points Lauren! Before anyone quits their job to become their own boss, they should consider the amount their getting for their 401(k) as well as the cost of insurance. I think I would have to make over $10k blogging before I even considered it. But even then, until my wife and I have kids, why not just bank some serious cash. Then one of us could stay home with our kids rather than shipping them off to daycare. Thanks again for the words of wisdom!

      • Sounds like a great plan to me! Daycare is expensive! If you can afford to save up enough cash to cover the cost of one person leaving their job to raise the kids for a few years, that would be well worth it. Well planned, Derek!

  • You have received tons of great advice here, but let me throw in my 2 cents as a full-time internet marketer.
    1) The amount of money you make blogging is very different from the amount of money you will take home as a salary from blogging. You will incur expenses, although they will be nothing like if you were running a brick and mortar business
    2) No 401K to contribute to? Only if you don’t want to. I contribute 10% of my salary to a 401K and make my business match 3%.
    3) Jeffrey from MoneySpruce hit the nail right on the head. Blogging is just one part of a bigger puzzle. SEO services is one option, but think about branding the blog, eventually putting out a book, leveraging your blog to offer services in areas you have expertise in, and so on. There are lots of things you can do with a blog. It’s not just about the traffic Google sends you
    4) Get incorporated and hire a payroll service to issue you regular paychecks. They will take care of all the withholdings. You will then get a clear picture of how much you’ll be able to take home. Once again, to take a personal example, if I want to pay myself $2,000 on a given pay period, my business’s cash requirements are about $2,400; and of that $2,000, my net pay is closer to $1,400. So do NOT get all excited just yet, lol
    5) That being said, I have never understood the concept of “job security”. But that’s just me. I wouldn’t jump blindly but I would definitely be laying the groundwork to make the leap to self-employment.
    Will recently posted..I Don’t Regret My Mistakes!

    • This is some awesome advice Will! It will definitely keep me grounded for the time being, but gives me great options for what I could do in the near-future as well. You’re right, there are plenty of other opportunities out there for blogging other than Google traffic. Thanks again!

  • As a financial coach I was often asked this question. Simply put, I can’t answer it.

    But you can.

    Forget the cash. What do you prefer to do? The most finite commodity you have is TIME. Don’t waste your life worrying about what the company wants or what the blog wants so you can make a few extra bucks. Be five years old again, when your choices were a fire fighter or the President.

    What makes you most happy? Although you might not be able to jump completely to that choice now, you’re a gifted-enough planner that you can lay groundwork to go toward “true north” with your life compass.
    AverageJoeMoney recently posted..I’ve been there, Christie: How to Pay an Ugly Overdue Tax Bill

    • Thanks for the check-up AJM. The decision shouldn’t always be money-based. I get it.

      I like to analyze and talk about finances (and also make money). Blogging just fits that need perfectly! I’ll still continue to work my day job and blog, but I think I have a great future with my online ventures! :)

  • I am someone who has very secure job that I like less each day. I dream of the day I am financially secure enough to leave this job (unfortunately I am a long way from this at the moment). At the same time, the benefits are great and it’s very secure. I have never had a business venture and to be honest don’t the first thing about it. Based on what you shared on you personal situation, if it were me, I would stay with your company (go back for your masters and see how things work out). If it’s not as good as your thought it would be, then quit, and start your online ventures. The difference between you and I is that you like your company :) . My two cents. (I wish I am in your shoes…I hope to one day :) )
    Simple Rich Living recently posted..Gift Giving is Overrated

    • Hi SRL! Since you’re just getting started in the blogging world, you probably don’t know what’s possible, but it can be incredibly lucrative! If you work hard at it, $10k/month is not out of the question (this is what I hear from my fellow bloggers – I’m not quite there yet). Thanks for the advice, and good luck on your new ventures!

  • [...] this so-called reality check for people who want to blog full-time. Thankfully, there are more positive takes on the [...]

  • Coming from an overly cautious person, who is a wife and Mom whose hubby brings in the main money, I would say keep the day job. If you are doing so well on the side, then keep it as a side job, and a creative outlet. Keep the steady job with the huge possibilities for the future. If there is ever a time you hate it, and want to leave, then you can make blogging your career.

    That said, I am hoping to turn my blog, and my craft business (and trying to figure out other sources of income too), so that when my youngest is ready to go to school I won’t have to go back to work. I like working from home, and want to keep that going.
    Shairbearg recently posted..Holiday Baking: Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Festive Twist

    • Thanks for the two cents Shairbearg! I’m pretty sure I will keep the day job for quite a while, even though I think my online ventures will yield quite a large profit in 2012. All of the extra money will go toward my mortgage, and then who knows what? A property investment perhaps? ;)

  • [...] Life and My Finances: Day Job Or Full Time Blogger? [...]

  • Glenda Oneill

    I didn’t get that opportunity. I guess since I’m super cautious, why not just go for the gusto and give everything a shot? Don’t waste your life worrying about what the company wants or what the blog wants so you can make a few extra bucks. Derek, There’s certainly an inherent risk to expect a steady income blogging.
    Glenda Oneill recently posted..Cancer Tattoos Tumblr

  • In your shoes I would probably not quit, but would go for the executive level if I thought I could do it!

    In general though, there is no right or wrong answer, and it all depends. Maybe someone leaves a job, goes independent for a while, then goes back in the job market with that much more experience. Who knows! :)
    Invest It Wisely recently posted..5 Ways to Avoid Debt This Christmas

  • Benson Rivera

    It also hit it on my mind, especially when I’m fed up of my work that I felt it’s not making me improve my capabilities as an employee. But for now, I’ll to my full time day job and as a part time blogger. I still need to improve to write and need more experience in blogging.
    Benson Rivera recently posted..My Arowana Is Not Eating No Matter What I Do !!!

  • Online jobs could solve most issues facing students needing to work to pay bills. Working jobs online part-time, could easily make as much or more than working full-time.But, where do you begin searching for online job opportunities while in college? That’s the easy part! However, you will need a computer with internet access to take advantage of online jobs. With a little research, you can find the perfect fit for yourself.

  • It’s great that you’ve gotten to a point where you could feasibly quit your job and blog full time. Besides the algorithms changing in the future, I think the best way to be a good PF blogger is to maintain your life in the work world, because then you will have new stories to share that are not just about numbers, but about people in the real world. You should focus on outsourcing the growth of your blogging business part time and building a team so you can keep your day job, but also profit from what you know to grow a blogging business. Then you can retire early and enjoy the good life.

  • I too did things backwards. I got married had 2 kids and became the stay at home dad or as I like to say the babysitter. I was building my photography business which has been growing nicely along with my blog but I always say with my blog and my photography business I have great side businesses now I need a day job. :)

    Jai
    Jai Catalano recently posted..The Yakezie Challenge

    • Ha, sounds like you have a pretty interesting life! I’m tossing around the idea of becoming “the babysitter”, but I bet I could advance quite quickly in the company as well. It’s going to be a tough call in a couple of years. For now, I’m definitely holding onto the job.

  • If you have a full-day job, when do you blog? During the working hours or after midnight?
    Alexander Collins recently posted..Scalping in Forex: Small Steps to Big Money

  • You need to ask your wife to help you with writing. For hands are better for blogging.
    Alexander Collins recently posted..Scalping in Forex: Small Steps to Big Money

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