When it comes to starting a blog full-time, there are many things to expect.
However, there are some things you may completely overlook, which can come as quite a shock later on.
Here are some things no one tells you before you start a blog.
1- Social situations will change
It's a common (often wrong) assumption that bloggers have an opinion on everything, from politics to the weather, from economy to Brexit and development economics. This is why you notice people near you are commenting on the opportunity to write about anything and let the world know.
Have an opinion on the latest football match? You should blog about it.
Received the wrong product from Amazon? You should blog about it and shame the company.
Didn't like the Brexit outcome? Write about it and publish on The Guardian.
These are common conversations you'll have with your friends and family.
It's strange that as soon as people know you are a blogger, they feel like you need to write about absolutely everything that happens in the world around you.
2- You might become a night owl
Most people who want to become full-time bloggers are either writing enthusiasts or people passionate about a topic who want to make money on their own terms. This journey often begins by researching a topic, thinking and writing about it, publishing it and doing SEO for ranking it on search engines. This means often bloggers will likely take some quiet time during their day to dedicate to writing in peace and quiet.
However, this is nothing more than a honeymoon period where their enthusiasm wins over the fatigue. And this comes to a sudden halt as soon as they need to monetize time spent writing. Bloggers often want to make money from their writing and need a lot of content to generate meaningful traffic. This will make them incredibly busy and quiet time incredibly difficult to find during the day.
This results in a lot more need for quiet time away from the hectic daily activities, which makes it easy to just stay awake at night or wake up really early in the morning. The trick is to plan your content calendar and calculate how much time you need to write your number of words.
3- You'll develop a super-human knowledge of your topic
Writing blog posts usually involve lots of research into specific, niche and very unusual information. When you have done this many times for the same subject, you can speak and write about it from every angle and you will be able to tell others things they didn't know.
You also learn exactly where to find useful information and be able to better differentiate fake and wrong sources of information from proper, sound ones.
4- You will never look at revenue the same way again
The difference between being full-time employed and self-employed as a blogger is that there is no one that will pay your salary anymore. It also means you'll never receive money on a regular basis if you decide to try different monetization strategies.
However, don't let this be the reason that stops you from becoming a full-time blogger. If you find the right monetisation strategies for your content, you'll most likely earn more as a blogger than as an employee.
5- You'll become an expert in accounting
Tough nobody likes accounting, as a freelance, you can't live without. Bookkeeping, invoices, account software, VATs they all become extremely familiar terms which you'll have to deal with more often than not.
It's always recommended you hire an accountant and they normally offer very low fees on a subscription basis. I use, for example, Crunch, online accounting software to keep my numbers in order.
6- Blogging misconceptions will change
It's a common misconception that full-time bloggers work with their laptop from a desert island, where it's always sunny and the water is blue. This raises lots of envious feelings on your friends and readers because of the wonderful life of a blogger as a career.
However, most of the times bloggers work from home, while others prefer a busy coffee shop where they open their laptop and focus on the writing.
There is no time to fly away to an idyllic destination, why would you use a laptop on a desert anyway? If anything, I would jump straight into the sea and forget about blogging.
7- You'll develop a strong love for SEO
Depending on the topic you write about, you'll find yourself in need of traffic without having to spend money on advertising. This is why SEO becomes extremely tempting. You might be thinking "well, let me see what this SEO is all about".
Before you know it, you'll start researching your keywords, learning about the latest SEO techniques, following the Moz blog or Backlinko and starting to go to SEO conferences. The life of a blogger is extremely busy and without steady traffic, you might as well shut your blog down.
It's best to start learning SEO sooner rather than later. Or, even better, start an SEO course. There is a lot of information online about which courses are the best.
8- You are successful if you focus on the content, not the money
When you first become a blogger, it's tempting to focus only on content that produces money, such as affiliations, product reviews, freelancing platforms such as Fiverr Pro or UpWork. As a result, you'll develop the temptation to become a salesman, chasing paid gigs, chasing new content writing opportunities, persuading people to buy from you.
The problem with this is that blogging is a marketing business. We get paid for delivering marketing results either to our own blog or for clients' blogs. If you don't become extremely proficient in writing for business, then your clients lose trust and you will be out of business soon.
If you notice that a client can afford to buy 15,000 words from you but their business won't profit from them, then don't oversell your services. You make more money from them in the long term, when your blogs start to generate traffic, leads and sales with very well-researched, often focussed keyword researches strategies. This means better marketing when they speak to their peers, friends and colleagues, not to mention 5-star reviews from Fiverr Pro and UpWork.
9- You'll do a lot of reading
Content research + competitors' research + topic research = lot of indepth reading and information analysis.
My content analysis tools (Excel, SEMRush, Web Scrapers) and my Google history are full of pages that I bookmark, save for later, plan to read and mark as read.
10- You develop a friendship with your clients
As you get to know your clients, keep publishing content and generating new traffic, you get to know them more closely.
Between a consultation call, a blog post submission and goal settings, your clients will start talking about their business and their lives in ways that rarely do with someone else. Maybe that's because they feel safe with you that there won't be any repercussions from what they say.
Becoming a blogger full time is more than just writing content and consulting with a client. You'll find yourself motivating, encouraging and coaching clients to success.