by Jennifer Chait
I’m occasionally asked the question above. My short answer would be that blogging is the best job in town. However, it’s not a general question. I can only give an opinion based on my experience which is… I started out writing business copy, moved on to querying magazines, and somewhere along the way took a paid blogging job and got hooked.
Six months ago I decided to blog full time and I quit querying other work. Now I have one ongoing article project and the rest of my income is blog related. To give you an idea of where my opinions come from; I write around nine blogs. I have a couple of my own blogs but my real income comes from my work with three blog networks and also ghostwriting blogs for some private clients.
For me the three major differences between blogging and other types of freelance writing include income, work load, and social aspects.
Income pros and cons:
Before I switched to blogging full-time I made a lot more money. Business copy and magazines pay so well that three or four projects a month covered my living expenses. The pro is that with blogging my pay has steadily increased each month which leads me to believe that eventually my income will exceed what I made before. Another pro is that my blogging clients pay monthly instead of scattered.
Since I’m far happier blogging and my income is growing the money issue doesn’t bug me too much. My son and I live simply so we can handle my income cut. However, if a slice in your income will hurt your lifestyle then jumping into full time blogging may not be the way to go. A better idea would be to take a few blogging jobs but continue to take other freelance jobs as well.
Work load pros and cons:
Blogging is the hardest job I’ve ever had work load wise. I enjoy my various blog topics but I do write daily; no exceptions. Since I make less money I have simultaneous blogs. This is a con that will change as my monthly income grows. A blogging pro is that when I wrote for other venues I spent less time writing and more time querying. I don’t miss the continual querying – right now I know I have constant work and that’s a nice perk.
What I miss occasionally is the end of a project. With a magazine article or a grant you know it’ll end but a blog is always evolving. You update, declutter, check links, and do a million other chores to keep your blog nicely tuned. I consider the constant evolution a pro of blogging overall but about once a week I think, “It would be cool if I could just turn these suckers in and be done with them.”
Long story short; In the beginning (at least) don’t expect many full days off. Also, if you love to check projects off on your list as totally completed than full time blogging may not be for you.
Social pros and cons:
Social pros are the main reasons I made the switch from freelancing to full time blogging. Before I interviewed sources, emailed editors, chatted on forums with other writers but mainly I felt really alone with the work aspect of freelance writing. Blogging is a winning situation for me because of the constant and usually instant interactions I have with other people. I receive reader comments, suggestions, and advice. I discuss network projects, questions, posts, and other topics with various groups of bloggers. I talk to sponsors, industry people in my niches, and more. As someone who has always been extremely social I love this aspect of blogging.
I know successful bloggers who say that they are quiet or introverted in their off-line life but that blogging allows them to break out of that mode. So, I don’t think that being shy or not is a deciding factor if you’re considering full time blogging. What does matter is that you can reach out and connect with different people and do it in a way that makes most of them want to connect back to you.
Just to give the flip side I know freelance writers who socialize more than I did. It’s not across the board but I personally feel that blogging is the more social job. For me, there are no cons to the social aspects of blogging. Whether this is a pro or con for you depends on how much you like socializing.
Talk to other bloggers before deciding:
There are other issues to consider if you’re thinking of making the switch to full time blogging. Before taking the plunge it’s a good idea to talk to more than one full time blogger because the pros and cons vary. The more opinions you have stockpiled the easier it will be to decide if full time blogging is or isn’t right for you.
By the way: Deb and I were talking about me writing a weekly blogging related post here at FWJ. I appreciate the opportunity. None of my blogs are about blogging but I do love talking about blogs so this gives me an outlet. That said I’ll likely be posting here on Fridays or Saturdays because that’s when I’ve got some time. If you have questions about blogging, blog networks, or anything else go ahead and ask in the comments and I’ll try to address it.
Back to the topic at hand what do you think? Based on your experiences which is the better job; blogging or other types of freelance writing? Why?