How to Become a Professional Blogger and Be Your Own Boss

It was somewhere around March-April 2009 when I decided to quit my daily job to become a professional blogger.

At the time of the writing of this post (2014) it has been five years since I made that decision, and not only am I happy, but I consider it to have been among the best decisions I have made in my life.

Becoming a professional blogger was not something I had ever given a lot of thought to prior to the spring of 2009, but somehow circumstances favored me enough (and I was brave enough!) to make that decision and create a new reality for myself.

If you want to read more about my journey to pro-blogging, here are two posts which will give you a more complete background of my blogging journey:

This article is a part of a question-and-answer series. So if you have any questions related to blogging/ WordPress / SEO/ making money online etc., feel free to send me your questions using ShoutMeLoud’s contact form.

Being a professional blogger is not an easy job. Many skills, much knowledge, and a lot of time are required to turn a blogging passion into full-time, income-generating work.

Become a Professional Blogger

A ShoutMeLoud reader has asked me the following questions:

“I want to be a full-time professional blogger like you. Can you guide me on how I can become a professional blogger? You started as a tech blogger and I have done the same. Can you tell me how many months it will take for me to become a full time blogger?

Becoming a Professional Blogger: Are You Ready?

First of all, before you decide to take the path of pro-blogging, you need to know that a lot has changed in the past few years. Blogging is not a simple or easy way to make money. However, blogging is one of the more reputable ways to earn money online, and if you are committed to working hard to learn how to do it properly, you can easily earn thousands of dollars a month blogging, as I do.  (See my affiliate earning report and my Adsense earning report.)

If you are looking to make a living blogging, you need be serious in your approach and treat it like a professional business.

When I started, there were many other bloggers jumping into the sea of professional blogging. But in 2011 and 2012 the Google Panda update and Google Penguin update  killed many blogs, and many of these bloggers began to transition to other aspects of online marketing.

The decision to become a full-time blogger as a profession involves many considerations such as your social and financial situations as well as your career background and experience.

I started blogging as a full-time career when I was a 22-year-old single man with no family responsibilities, so I was able to accept the risk involved.

I have covered the details of my transition in an article on my personal blogging journey.  In a nutshell, when I started blogging I was working part-time as a software engineer and looking forward to a new job with Accenture.  Instead, in March of 2009 I left the security of that profession behind to become another professional blogger from India.

During the period noted above, I was earning $400-500 from blogging while working for 3-4 hours a day. So I was pretty confident that if I were willing to work 12-16 hours a day, I could increase my online income accordingly.  By the time I left my job to blog full-time, my income sources were direct ads, Google Adsense, affiliate marketing and services. Of all of these sources of income, I would consider Google Adsense as the opportunity for recurring income, and the rest as variable income.

What I have learned during my own transition from part-time to full-time blogger is that in order to become a successful full-time blogger earning reliable income, many skill sets are required. Professional blogging is not only about writing content.  This could be achieved by any good content writer.

In order to earn an income from blogging this good content, we need to think beyond the development of good content to various other skills that need to be honed such as:

  • Writing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Management

If you are already a blogger, you may have already acquired many of these skills. And with a some education (including articles like this from ShoutMeLoud) and a little practice, you can acquire any skills you may be missing by reading and implementing. Indeed that is how I have learned and ultimately succeeded myself.

You need to understand the SEO basics, photo editing, grammar, writing skills, video creation, social media and web analytics we apply every day to become a successful pro-blogger and not just another blogger.

Check out this article which list habits of A-list bloggers.

If you desire peace of mind while making your own transition to professional blogging, I would suggest that you first work toward earning a fixed recurring income from your blog, and once you’re sure that you can comfortably survive exclusively on your blogging income, then (and only then!) consider kicking your 9-5 job to become a professional blogger.

Before taking this very significant step in your life, be sure to take time to create a clear road map and make a business plan for your blog.

In addition to having these important factors in place, you should also have a couple of other income sources to ensure that you don’t get trapped in the future.

Things to keep in mind before stepping into the shoes of a professional blogger:

  • What will your traffic generation sources be? (Make sure you are not only relying on search engines!)
  • What will your sources of income be?
  • How do you intend to expand your blog and blog brand?
  • Are you ready to learn something new?

The following two posts should be very helpful to you as  you look toward this important decision :

It took me almost six months to decide to become a professional blogger. It was relatively easy for me in 2009, but in 2014 the blogging world has become immense, and you need to be far better equipped in order to be able to rely on blogging as your only source of income.

A Tip for College Students:

I always suggest to college students that they start a blog of their own. College is the best phase of life for starting a blog. I tell students to have a goal of writing ten articles a month.  This way, by the end of one year you will have 120 articles published, and by the end of your college career you will have an old, established blog with almost 360+ articles. This will also ensure that you will have a side income source to help cover your bills.

Suggested reading:

Tip: They say we should “never put all our eggs in one basket”, and this is certainly true of professional blogging. If your income source is from just one blog, you need to expand your empire to ensure that in the future some Google algo change, or a server collapse or any other kind of unexpected issue will not end your career and find you without a source of income for months.

That said, typically a good blog can start making a fair amount of income within 4-5 months.

Have I missed anything? Are there any other points that you think should be taken into consideration prior to looking to blogging as a profession?  Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below.

Remember to share this post with anyone whom you think might benefit from this information and with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus!

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Article By
Harsh Agrawal is a blog scientist and a passionate blogger. He is blogging since 2008 & writes about Blogging, SEO, Make money online & tech. His blog, ShoutMeLoud receives 1 million Pageviews/month and have over 700K subscribers.

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COMMENTs ( 41 )

  1. says

    Thank you for this post! Very interesting insights. I think I’m really lucky because I am reading this valuable post. I am definitely ready to take my blog to the next level :) I would absolutely love to do what you’re doing.

    Anyone who is thinking about blogging really should read this and take note of the words of advice given.

    Have a great weekend !

  2. Lawrence Tam says

    Thanks for listing these 5 parts:

    Writing
    Search engine optimization
    Social media marketing
    Email marketing
    Management

    I also believe you gotta do those but it takes time to get good at any one of them individually

    Thanks for the article!

  3. says

    Great tips and content for beginning bloggers with tons of value. Thank You! I will certainly share with other bloggers on my team. I appreciate your great work!

  4. Sastonepal says

    Yes, become a professional and full time blogger is not easy, but it is not hard also. if we struggle for pure blogging or writing unique contents then we can win the situation. Thank you for your great content regarding to become a full time professional blogger.

  5. says

    Very nice post Harsh, but I think we can’t rely upon the single blog for making money when it comes to making a professional earning from a blog. It is even more risky if the traffic is coming from organic results such as Google. Because of changing nature and 800+ algorithms per year from them might take you all from you one day. So if somebody wants to opt for professional blogging, he should be seo expert and creating multiple source of income is the key to remain in longer run.

  6. Luis Medilo says

    Thank you for this very informative article. You are an inspiration to all bloggers out there. I am just starting my new blog and I will never give up until I make a full-time income from it. As of the moment, I’m working as a writer and editor for a US-based company.

    • Tom Lincoln says

      Move forward each day in your blogging Luis. The only people that never make it are the ones that quit and that does not sound like you!

  7. says

    Hello Harsh,
    I’m a college student and already started my blog in march 2014. But writing 10 articles/month is pretty tough for me like academics, co-curricular activities, projects etc?

    what should i do? and because of my blog i concentrate less on my studies and I’m scared these days as its my Pre-Final year ! whether i’ll able to crack the job or not.

    Hope i can make some good revenue from my blog, wish me luck :)

  8. Satbir Patial says

    Thanks a lot for putting this article. I dropped here from FB. You answered me a lot of questions which were running in my mind and I was curious to know them from a Successful Indian Blogger. I need “Patience” and to continue working on my new blog.

  9. rahul rastogi says

    Harsh.. it is an amazing guide for newbies like me who have entered the sweet world of blogging and planning to take their careers to the next level and you are absolutely spot on saying don’t put all your eggs in one basket.. As i have studied a few rich people they also advocate the same thing ” TO BE RICH.. YOU NEED TO DIVERSIFY YOUR INCOME SOURCES”… hats off to you buddy.. cheers

  10. Usama says

    alot of dedication and hardwork is required to become a professional blogger. I also want to mention that people are suggesting here that you have to be financially strong or have to quit your job. Please don’t do this, you can be a good blogger without quitting your job.

  11. Suhas says

    Hey, I want to become a full time Seo Expert. I have completed my bca, what do I do next?
    Thanks

  12. Mike says

    Right now, I am more interested in using my blog towards eventually marketing my programming on the Android. Eventually though, I do want to start earning some money from my blog. It might take me a while to get there since I don’t have anything set aside for it.

  13. Navneet says

    I am 13 years old and I have started blogging . This was a great post Harsh . You were 22 when you became a full time blogger . So maybe by the time I will be 18 years old , I can become a professional blogger.

  14. R K GUPTA says

    Love to read articles on shoutmeloud as usual. I am also a professional blogger and motivate to read this article on the same. It suits me.

    Thanks

  15. Amrik Virdi says

    Hi,
    Grеаt tірѕ Harsh! It’ѕ hаrd tо bесоmе а рrоfеѕѕіоnаl blоggеr іf уоu аrеn’t ѕurе whеrе tо ѕtаrt, but luсkіlу thеrе аrе рlеntу оf оnlіnе rеѕоurсеѕ tо hеlр оnе fіnd thеіr wау.

    Best regards,
    Amrik Virdi

  16. Amrik Virdi says

    This is great inspiration for a newbie to the blogging world. I’m in the process of honing the vision for my blog before I launch it, and this post really sums up everything I need to keep in mind before I take the plunge. Looks like I’ve got lots of hard work ahead of me!

  17. Rakesh Narang says

    It is not possible to create a full-time income online within a few weeks, or even a few months, you have to test yourself in the world of blogging to see whether it has something for you or not. That’s my advice.

  18. Arbaz Khan says

    Who says that professional blogging is tough. Its not at all hard to become a professional blogger, but there is a simple catch – you must dedicate yourself completely to become one. Then you won’t face any hurdles between you and your blogging success.

    Though it was an awesome post Harsh. I would love if you write more such posts centered around blogging. Thanks for this great article.

  19. says

    I personally think that if an employed man wants become a professional blogger then he should start a blog and should operate it side by side. He should also learn all the blogging techniques at that time (may be in the sundays or off times). And once he starts making a descent amount of money he should leave his job.
    Anyways, very nice post for those who want to be a professional blogger.

  20. sudha says

    nice points Harsh and thanks for putting my question here.
    I’ll definitely look upon ur points and try to act upon them
    Hope me too get success

  21. Viraj says

    Hi Abhishek. I suggest you to get one of your own domain name, preferably a .com or .org one, nevertheless keeping the subject of your blog in mind you can also go for .in domain name. And I also suggest you to transfer your blog to WordPress platform instead of blogspot because WP looks more professional, easily manageable, lots of useful plugins available and its SEO friendly….

  22. Pankaj Gupta says

    Every blogger have to atleast work hard for 1 year then he can enjoy the fruit of blogging.. :) Really Funny and Interesting to do it regularly..

  23. Vivek Krishnan says

    I would suggest while in college, develop two to three mini sites which keep giving you revenue. They can work as money pump for remaining life.

      • NpXp says

        Well that is true if the mini sites are making you good money regularly. Which in fact is not what the real picture is like. It may stop producing money at one point of the time..

  24. Hari says

    Yes, College time is the best phase to start. I agree on that.
    You get a lot of time.

    And even if someone doesn’t get a job after finishing college, then can always count on this :)

  25. sudharsan @ technoskillonline says

    I too trying for fulltime blogger..
    As im newbie for blogging im working morethan 12hours a day making backlink and submitting to social website but i cant reach the minimum traffic of 10k views per month..

    im soooo tired..
    Any one knows any SmaRt WoRk to achieve that target
    If so…Please…. share here :-)
    It will b very helpful for me

    • Viraj says

      Tushar “taking full time blogging profession is difficult in india….”

      Its not difficult at all in INDIA in fact on the contrary it’s very easy and much more rewarding in India. Consider that you are earning $500 per month through blogging. Now weather you stay in US or India, there won’t be much difference in your revenue generation through your blog. But if you stay in US you can barely pay your rent with $500, but if you are in India than $500 is equivalent to 25000 INR. You can have a decent living (+ some savings may be) in India with that much money. So in that way its really good to earn some extra money through blogging if you are in India. But one more thing blogging and earning money is not everybody’s cup of tea. It requires hardwork, patience and dedication like any other thing in which you want to succeed.

  26. Prasanta Bora says

    Any blogger who wish to be successful, FIRST thing he needs is to be PASSIONATE about the thing which he/she wants to blog. If you want to be a professional blogger, that means you should be very very much PASSIONATE. It is only than your blog would be having quality content with regular updates.

    First identify which are the things you are passionate about and find out how other blogs in that niche is doing. Do not turn PRO till you are assured of a higher income than what you are/would be other-wise earning. I agree with Harsh when he says following:
    “If you want peace of your mind while becoming a professional blogger, I will suggest first start making a fixed recurring income”.

    For me, I loved to guide younger ones in their careers/career exam.

    That was how I started blogging two year back. But although I am earning good, with 250000+ monthly visits, I have still not turned PRO. The reason? I would wait for that day when I am assured of $2K earning RECURRENTLY per month from my blog. May be that would require another 2 years of PASSIONATE blogging!

  27. Dana @ Blogging Update says

    You are right that the best time to start a blog is in college. In that time, people have their own time to manage, and have many resources to write.

  28. Atul says

    nice points Harsh and thanks for putting my question here.
    I’ll definitely look upon ur points and try to act upon them
    Hope me too get success :-)

    Thanks a lot’
    Atul

  29. Basant Singh says

    Blogging needs a lot of passion, creativity & confidence. On the contrary to what people think, initially it’s more difficult to earn online than your regular job. One cannot turn a Pro & expect to become a Amit or Harsh in a year :) Perhaps it needs a lot of patience than anything else. My technology blog is approx. 3 months old with a PageRank of 2 and a daily unique visit of 90. Still, I can’t see any noteworthy mention from monetization.

    • says

      Basant talking about monetization, it comes eventually with traffic and trust. Blogging is a social networking event IMO, the more you give to public, more traffic and trust you will build with time.

  30. Imran Yousaf says

    Professional blogging needs lot of dedication and efforts from you. So for professional blogging, first secure yourself from financial aspects then quit your job. Obviously you need a lot of support from your famil and friends eespecially. Without help of friends no one can be a scuccessful blogger. Build your community and then watch & see.

    • says

      Thanks for useful insight Imran and I agree with you. Before jumping into deep sea of professional blogging, one should have financial security or some kind of back up. Professional blogging is a vital decision of any one life and one should look at all the aspect before taking final decision.

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