How to not quit your job and still make the most of Travel Blogging



Lot many times people ask me - 'Why don't you get into full-time blogging' and other similar questions. There are multiple reasons why I don't do it and why my current state is the best for me.   Around 10 years back I developed interest in Photography & Blogging. Many times, I see people struggling to find time to invest in their interests and do something which can give you some sense of achievement. I have been very lucky on that front and have always tried my best to use my time in the best possible way. When I say that I am one of those corporate guys who spend days & nights on job, but we also get weekends. If we calculate carefully, we have about 30% of our waking time available to us to do whatever we want to do, and 30% is a huge number. Ultimately  it depends upon us how we utilize it. Just to clarify I am not talking about compromising with work, and at times your work may take 5% of this weekend time as well, but still 25% is huge number.   Apart from time & interest, you also need right people around you, which is completely in your control. In my case, I was lucky to find all encouraging situations all through. My office & colleagues have a huge role to play when it comes to Photography & Blogging. And today I feel that I have accomplished enough in both these spaces. Be it in terms of recognition, skill enhancement, or making some money from these passions.   Today when I have a very busy life in office and hardly get time for many of the FAM trips or other photography opportunities, I feel bad at times. But I am happy most of the time, because I use my time very productively - whether I am on job or doing some blogging/photography assignment.   The biggest factor is that I choose my projects and do them on my terms. Since I don't have enough time to do all the projects coming my way and my job ensures that I have the financial freedom too to be choosy, I only take up the assignments that add value to my blog or to me. Most of the times, my charges are more than what others would charge and I can do it because I don’t have a fear of loosing those projects. In the end, if I do good work for these clients and give them appropriate value, these relationships yield much more than what I would have achieved otherwise. I don’t believe in bragging about the revenue numbers, so am choosing to not put any numbers here. All I intend to say is that blogging professionally with a job is a very good deal if you have good readership and organic traffic. If fundamentals are strong and you have good negotiation power, you can do much better than full-time bloggers.  Gradually I have some partners who put in lots of efforts in curating content and just focus on viewers & their needs. This pays off in the longer run.   Another important aspect is logistics. When you get into such things full time, you not only focus on the blog but also need to take out bandwidth for a lot of other things and I find payment resolution as one of the biggest hurdle. So choosing clients myself and doing things on my terms resolves these issues. As a full timer, you need to think about the continuous inflow of business and that means that you may need to make some compromises.   There is a flip side too. I had to miss lot of FAM trips, which certainly is a loss in my opinion because essentially I love travelling and that's the prime inspiration for my blog. But the good part is that I can utilize my time well by choosing the most compelling FAMs instead of all. It's enough if I manage to do 1 FAM trip in a quarter and apart from that I can plan my personal trips accordingly on my holidays & weekends. Essentially I have a better control over the places I want to explore, although ye dil always mange more :).   While I am writing about this, I always hear this debate about 'a person should do what he is passionate about'. Sounds perfect but that doesn't mean that you can't be passionate about what you chose to do. So, in my opinion, it's both ways. I am not trying to justify my high paying job or anything but it's more about the sense of fulfillment you get from anything. I have been pretty happy with things I do in corporate world and I believe that I am always passionate about things I have done. So for me it's not limited to Travel or Photography. And if you notice, passions change over a time and gradually you leave few and keep following few. So it's also about experimentation and not only about sticking to your current passions.   When I say all this, I don't mean to say that full-time blogging isn't a good option. In the end, it's personal choice. We only see one side of all these things and on the basis of what we see we make few things glamorous in our head. It can also be glamorous that you follow your passions along with your full-time job that you love. Be it running, cycling, photography, travelling, music etc. At the end, it boils down to your commitment for things you choose to do and do them well. I have many good friends who are into full-time blogging and enjoy that life. Certainly this trend is new and there are plenty of new challenges that we typically don't encounter otherwise.   While compiling this post, I have tried to express my thoughts and I would like to hear your thoughts in comments below.   Let me quickly summarize the Pros & Cons of part-time blogging and full-time blogging (And I am talking about blogs of same scale in terms of statistics, quality of the content and other relevant parameters to evaluate a blog/website).  Pros - 1. You plan your travel as per your convenience. 2. There is no pressure of earning your bread. 3. You choose the best projects, which bring that maximum possible value to your blog or to yourself. 4. You can focus better on quality associations with brands. 5. You can make more money by doing lesser number of projects. 6. At a broader level, you choose things at your convenience.   Cons - 1. You lose many FAM trips (travel opportunities). 2. You miss lots of networking opportunities.  3. Your growth as a blogger is slower than full-timers, who can build better network & can leverage more marketing opportunities.   That's just my opinion and it can be seen in different light, but certainly I would love to hear thoughts from other full-time and part-time bloggers on this.

Lot many times people ask me - 'Why don't you get into full-time blogging' and other similar questions. There are multiple reasons why I don't do it and why my current state is the best for me. 

Around 10 years back I developed interest in Photography & Blogging. Many times, I see people struggling to find time to invest in their interests and do something which can give you some sense of achievement. I have been very lucky on that front and have always tried my best to use my time in the best possible way. When I say that I am one of those corporate guys who spend days & nights on job, but we also get weekends. If we calculate carefully, we have about 30% of our waking time available to us to do whatever we want to do, and 30% is a huge number. Ultimately  it depends upon us how we utilize it. Just to clarify I am not talking about compromising with work, and at times your work may take 5% of this weekend time as well, but still 25% is huge number. 

Apart from time & interest, you also need right people around you, which is completely in your control. In my case, I was lucky to find all encouraging situations all through. My office & colleagues have a huge role to play when it comes to Photography & Blogging. And today I feel that I have accomplished enough in both these spaces. Be it in terms of recognition, skill enhancement, or making some money from these passions. 
Today when I have a very busy life in office and hardly get time for many of the FAM trips or other photography opportunities, I feel bad at times. But I am happy most of the time, because I use my time very productively - whether I am on job or doing some blogging/photography assignment. 



The biggest factor is that I choose my projects and do them on my terms. Since I don't have enough time to do all the projects coming my way and my job ensures that I have the financial freedom too to be choosy, I only take up the assignments that add value to my blog or to me. Most of the times, my charges are more than what others would charge and I can do it because I don’t have a fear of loosing those projects. In the end, if I do good work for these clients and give them appropriate value, these relationships yield much more than what I would have achieved otherwise. I don’t believe in bragging about the revenue numbers, so am choosing to not put any numbers here. All I intend to say is that blogging professionally with a job is a very good deal if you have good readership and organic traffic. If fundamentals are strong and you have good negotiation power, you can do much better than full-time bloggers.

Gradually I have some partners who put in lots of efforts in curating content and just focus on viewers & their needs. This pays off in the longer run. 

Another important aspect is logistics. When you get into such things full time, you not only focus on the blog but also need to take out bandwidth for a lot of other things and I find payment resolution as one of the biggest hurdle. So choosing clients myself and doing things on my terms resolves these issues. As a full timer, you need to think about the continuous inflow of business and that means that you may need to make some compromises. 

There is a flip side too. I had to miss lot of FAM trips, which certainly is a loss in my opinion because essentially I love travelling and that's the prime inspiration for my blog. But the good part is that I can utilize my time well by choosing the most compelling FAMs instead of all. It's enough if I manage to do 1 FAM trip in a quarter and apart from that I can plan my personal trips accordingly on my holidays & weekends. Essentially I have a better control over the places I want to explore, although ye dil always mange more :). 

This can be another interesting read for you - Why should a Brand pay to Bloggers, when others are available for FREE

While I am writing about this, I always hear this debate about 'a person should do what he is passionate about'. Sounds perfect but that doesn't mean that you can't be passionate about what you chose to do. So, in my opinion, it's both ways. I am not trying to justify my high paying job or anything but it's more about the sense of fulfillment you get from anything. I have been pretty happy with things I do in corporate world and I believe that I am always passionate about things I have done. So for me it's not limited to Travel or Photography. And if you notice, passions change over a time and gradually you leave few and keep following few. So it's also about experimentation and not only about sticking to your current passions. 

When I say all this, I don't mean to say that full-time blogging isn't a good option. In the end, it's personal choice. We only see one side of all these things and on the basis of what we see we make few things glamorous in our head. It can also be glamorous that you follow your passions along with your full-time job that you love. Be it running, cycling, photography, travelling, music etc. At the end, it boils down to your commitment for things you choose to do and do them well. I have many good friends who are into full-time blogging and enjoy that life. Certainly this trend is new and there are plenty of new challenges that we typically don't encounter otherwise. 

While compiling this post, I have tried to express my thoughts and I would like to hear your thoughts in comments below. 

Let me quickly summarize the Pros & Cons of part-time blogging and full-time blogging (And I am talking about blogs of same scale in terms of statistics, quality of the content and other relevant parameters to evaluate a blog/website).

Pros -
1. You plan your travel as per your convenience.
2. There is no pressure of earning your bread.
3. You choose the best projects, which bring that maximum possible value to your blog or to yourself.
4. You can focus better on quality associations with brands.
5. You can make more money by doing lesser number of projects.
6. At a broader level, you choose things at your convenience. 

Cons -
1. You lose many FAM trips (travel opportunities).
2. You miss lots of networking opportunities. 
3. Your growth as a blogger is slower than full-timers, who can build better network & can leverage more marketing opportunities. 
4. You may not be putting max possible efforts, unlike full-time bloggers. This may keep you behind the trends. 


That's just my opinion and it can be seen in different light, but certainly I would love to hear thoughts from other full-time and part-time bloggers on this. It would be awesome to hear more pros & cons. 

Comments

Parnashree Devi said…
I buy each point you have expressed in this post. I took a break from my job one and half years back and got involved in fulltime blogging. It's been a roller coaster journey so far. Though if you ask me honestly as how much I am earning, I would say that it's not even half of my salary each month. Everything looks very glamourous from far, but reality hits you hard when it comes to finance. It's a wise decision to blog with having your own job as it gives you financial liberty which is very important in today's world. You do miss on Fan trips, but if you are financial strong, you can visit those destinations on your own at anytime. This is great post.
Renuka said…
I think if you have a good full-time job that pays you well, stick to it. I quit my full-time job and moved into full-time blogging, because I wasn't really making great money through my job and the transition happened naturally. I didn't plan it. To each his or her own. Different things work for different people.
VJ Sharma said…
That's a valid point Renuka !

Money is important factor when it comes to aligning interests and you are sharing a very objective way to take a decision. Thanks, your input is very well aligned with this topic and helpful.

Please feel free to drop any blog-link where you share your experience in full-time blogging. Thanks again !
VJ Sharma said…
Parnashree - Thanks for your inputs. I think experiences in this space are mixed. If we purely talk about money, everyone has different set of needs and that's how people align their priorities. I know you have experimented a lot in both the situations and you can better comments on this.

Please do share your link, if you ever plan to write about your personal experiences around this topic.
Really Great article sir. I am thinking to start my blogging.but confused about full-time blogging or part time, and financial issues. I got some answers with your post..thank you
VJ Sharma said…
Interestingly this post is getting lot of traction and I believe it's not because of the title or the content, but majorly because of the photograph used.

Just want to state that I never talked about this topic on NDTV. It's just that I had to put a photograph and chose this one. I thought I should clarify this.

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