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Have you ever said you would like to be a problogger? You know, quit that job for “the man”, blog for a living, only have yourself to answer to and watch the dollars roll in?

I have.

It sounds like a great job. You can pick your own hours. In fact, with a laptop and Wifi you can blog from almost anywhere in the world. You could even blog in your pajamas. Sweet!

I’m sure many of you know who Lorelle VanFossen is. She’s a problogger. She authors three blogs including “Lorelle on WordPress”, writes for other blogs, is on the Woopra team, teaches/speaks at WordPress WordCamp conferences, authored the book“Blogging Tips -What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging”, plus works with schools, businesses and non-profits as a consultant and teacher. She also travels a lot. Within a short period of time she was in Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Portland Oregon, and Hawaii.

Sounds glamorous, doesn’t it?

Today’s Lesson

The other day I visited Lorelles’ blog and read her post titled “Blog Struggles: I Just Need Two Seconds Of Your Time”.

In this post she describes a typical day in her life. In the second paragraph she says,

My day begins at five in the morning. I used to make time for exercise but more and more my work life creeps into those precious hours of the morning as email, Twitter, Facebook, and all my blog responsibilities demand more and more of my time.

She then goes on to say,

Even as I write this, the guilt of 150 emails still waiting in my inbox, 16 comments that still need an answer, and 6 messages on my voice mail nags me – not to mention the thirty-plus posts I have to publish every week that are slowly getting more and more behind as I feel like I’m chasing my tail.

When we think of blogging professionally it’s often common to only look at the good part. You know, the travels, the notoriety and the money. We don’t look and sometimes don’t know, or see, what goes on behind the scenes. We don’t realize just like other self employed people, the problogger job stays with them 24/7. We don’t see the demands on their time. Nor do we realize how accountable they must be to their audience. Much is expected of a problogger, and even though the fame, fortune and travels look glamorous, when we calculate their hourly wage, they may be making much less than if they worked for “the man”.

After reading Lorelle’s words, I began to wonder. If a person is a problogger, can there be a happy medium? Can you “have it all” and not have to sacrifice the important things in life? And if you do, can you really reach your full potential as a problogger?

Today’s Assignment

Would you like to be a problogger?

Have you thought of the responsibilities it entails?

Can you think of ways a problogger could find balance between work and their life?

Since I’m rethinking if I really want to go the problogger route, your answers are important to me. Please feel free to share.

.


P.S. When I interviewed Lorelle in July (2008) she shared tons of knowledge. The interview resulted in a nine part series which is recapped in the following post; Interview With Lorelle VanFossen, A Recap Plus A Bonus. Each part is well worth reading.


Photo Credit: Scott Ableman

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Look Who's Talking
  1. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I love that pic. It looks like a nice place to blog. I wouldn’t like to be a problogger – but I’m working towards making a decent income online and hopefully more – eventually. I think the term problogger is just too limiting.

    What you say is so true of any business though – a heap of time and hard work is needed. In the past, I’ve made really good money from business – but as Lorelle mentioned – you have to make some sacrifices. Going to the gym gets replaced by work.

    While I tell folk not to make it all about work, what I mean is, do 60 hours a week instead of 80. In the first couple of years in any business, you would struggle to grow if you only put in 40 hours a week.

    Cath Lawson´s last blog post..Do You Have Business Questions?

  2. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I happened to read that post too and commented there. The stress she feels, I already feel on a smaller scale, after just 6 months of blogging. If my blog “really takes off” I don’t know how I’d keep all the commitments and responsibilities entailed. It did make me worry some, but didn’t discourage me from seeing where this journey leads.

    Some of the commenters there suggested Lorelle could delegate more or re-organize her work style (i.e. hiring virtual assistants, filtering emails, etc.). You know how hard it is to “delegate” Barbara– you just started adding guest bloggers here. I think we must be willing to do some outsourcing and delegating in order to keep a nice work-life balance as our blog business grows. I think there are some things I’d gladly give up, and others I wouldn’t. And I think each of us has to figure out what works best for us.

    Don’t many of the probloggers and IM gurus have assistants and entire staffs helping them? I think so.

    I think you’re on the way to being a problogger — if you want to be one, Barbara!

    Linda Abbit´s last blog post..Funny Fridays: Because It’s Better to Laugh than to Cry!

  3. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine – That does look like a great place (in the picture), doesn’t it? So serene.

    Yes, the term “problogger” is limiting. It should be something like “Internet guru”, “Blogging Marketeer” or a “Cyber Proprietor”. What can I say, it’s after midnight and I’m getting a little ditzy. :lol:

    Yes, having a business of any kind takes tons of time. I agree, we should not devote every walking hour to work, but as you know, it’s still in the back of your mind 24/7.

    Hi Linda – Yes, it is the journey we need to learn to enjoy. As more responsibilities are added, it’s at that time we need to decide how to deal with them.

    Lorelle does have a lot on her plate, and like she said, she’s not in a position to hire others. Plus, I’m guessing so much of what she knows is in her head and most of her work revolves around begin “social”, whether on her blog, on Twitter, Facebook or other places. She is “the voice” of experience. That’s hard to “hire out” and a tough position to be in.

    I’ve read that some of the big name bloggers have assistants, but they also have advertising revenue, which Lorelle doesn’t have, so that’s something for anyone who is looking to become a problogger to consider. Where will my income come from?

  4. I would NEVER EVER go for a blogging career that demands a bulk of my life (15 hrs or more every day)! I don’t want the glory that comes with it. Just the way I am doing now, I can post 3-4 posts a week and interact with the readers over comments/twitter and at max a few emails per week.

    The current generation of bloggers (even kids) are hooked on to the PC for most part of their day. This generation is yet to see the impact (health related, mental aspects and basic social – not online- behavior etc) due to overdoing things…

    Last month I realized that I am overdoing it and hence slowed down a bit… I am healthier and happier now :)

    But I like blogging and I would do it at my pace, not influenced by other probloggers or marketing needs.

    Ajith Edassery´s last blog post..Who is your real idol blogger?

  5. sharonNo Gravatar says:

    I totally agree with you Linda. Certainly there is need to delegate some of the work, it’s hard going it alone. Being a pro-blogger does take a lot of time, new posts, comments, site design, plugins etc, not mentioning the social networking part.

    Even though I am not a problogger I do feel the pressure, so I can imagine how easy it is for the workload to pile up.

    So Barbara, the word is delegation.

    sharon´s last blog post..Ecstasy of Joy-Bob Proctor Cruise 2008

  6. Ulla HennigNo Gravatar says:

    I think there are two aspects here. First there is the question of being able to live from (off?) your blog, without being employed. I know other people who try to make a living with webdesign, or some other small business, and it’s really hard work. I have been employed for a long time, and really do not know if I would like to change that.
    Second, with Lorelle and other “blogging gurus” it is the question of meeting other people’s expectations. They expect you to blog more than daily, to answer their e-mails, to act as a speaker and so on. And if you reduce your activities there is the danger of losing the “guru status”.
    I am putting some energy in my blog, but there’s still the world outside blogging, and I want to keep that.

    Ulla Hennig´s last blog post..The cell phone that wasn’t turned off

  7. Joanna YoungNo Gravatar says:

    I also read that post and thought and shuddered. It sounded like a nightmare.

    I think a lot of the problem comes with the nature of the ‘work’. A lot of it is ‘work’ done for free – all the social media networking she describes. Where do you draw the line between what’s good for your business / reputation, and what you’re doing because you’re too kind to say no?

    I also found it interesting that in her scenario there wasn’t the money for a virtual assistant. (I got a bit confused as to whether she was describing a hypothetical blogger or herself) If you’re working that hard to maintain your network and don’t have the money to pay for an assistant – well that suggests you’re not actually a pro blogger, doesn’t it?

    Back to your question – a number of posts recently about comment rage, comment volume, needing to turn off comments have made me think – I don’t want to grow my blog to the point I feel like that. Haven’t defined what my ideal situation is though- perhaps I should

    Mainly I see the blog as a way to make connections, find clients, generate ideas for new projects, create the material that I can turn into other projects, learn about myself and the world, keep growing and developing

    Great question!

    Joanna

    Joanna Young´s last blog post..Why You’re Never Too Late To Comment Here

  8. Dave FowlerNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, I can imagine that pro bloggers approach their job as a vocation rather than a job. I don’t imagine there are too many nine to fivers out there. From what I’ve seen so far, blogging takes over people’s lives and in some ways becomes their life. There’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you want and you’re willing to pay the price.

    I don’t think I want to be a pro blogger, I’m happy just to dabble, because I think an element of part time bloggibng and social blogging will lead me to other things.

    Good luck to anyone who wants to do it on a pro basis. It’s hard enough work just as a happy amateur.

    Those who do make it have my admiration.

    Dave Fowler´s last blog post..Teaching My Children About Health, Fitness and Diet

  9. maplestarNo Gravatar says:

    “can you really reach your full potential as a problogger?”

    I think this may be the wrong question. Because to live up to one’s full potential at anything can require an overwhelming amount of time. I think the more important question would be “Can you really reach your goals as a problogger?”

    Why do you want to problog? What do you want to gain from it? Can you get that without losing the balance with other important things in your life?

    I think it would still be difficult (or else more people would be doing it), but I think those questions would be more to the point than “full potential” which is unlikely to ever be reached.

  10. Hi Barbara – Well, I’m not sure what a pro-blogger is…there seem to be a lot of manifestations that fall under the umbrella. So, yes, Pete and I might want to be pro-bloggers. Or not. We do have the goal of earning a reasonable living from online activities, but we’re not limiting ourselves to just the blog. If you look at other big names in blogging, they’re very up front that they sell other things as well. Chris Brogan comes to mind – he uses the consulting, affiliates, book reviews, collaboration, speaking engagement, and other opportunities that come his way to full advantage.

    I, too, read Lorelle’s post, and I really felt for her. But…(or BUTT – since I’m the winner of Cath’s a$$ contest)…what struck me is that Lorelle finds herself in the place that many entrepreneurs do, online or off. She is defending against incoming. There are too many competing priorities, or components, to her business that are keeping her from reaching out and doing the stuff that she does best, which is what could make her money. I really applaud her for putting that out there. With a little analysis, I think she’ll find it’s clear what she needs to do.

    Lorelle (and I’m not picking on her, it’s just a great example as you realized, Barbara) is going to have to let go of something. If outsourcing to a VA or other service provider isn’t possible, then she is going to have to make a choice. It’s her business, and she needs to decide. We’ve all been there at some point, and it’s not a great place to be.

    Barbara, I think you are smart to evaluate your options, and I appreciate that Lorelle’s example gives you realistic pause. I do think that you have the benefit of already being in business for yourself, and you know what works.

    It seems to me that going pro at blogging is just like any other start-up. You need a focused plan, and a good strategy supported by a wealth of tactics to reach the goals you’ve set. Your list yesterday was a wealth of tactics. I think you have the potential to be even more successful than you already are. Putting a realistic assessment together, with achievable benchmarks built into it, should provide you with your answer.

    Betsy and Pete´s last blog post..IN FINE COMPANY

  11. UrbanVoxNo Gravatar says:

    heya!

    I’ve been toying with the idea for quite some time now…
    I’ve been preparing MKT plans and elaborating the project of the blog(s) I would be working on…
    I have even sent a CV to3 websites that requested it since I’ve sent them a presentation letter…
    I have to tell you that the whole idea scares the hell out of me! I’ve been strugling as it is to keep urbanvox.net updated regularly for example (of course… that has something to do with my other day to day activities as well… but that’s beside the point) and have had the tragic bloggers mind-block that swipes the blogger population at least once in life…
    But you know what? I think I would enjoy it…

    If I can ever make it work. :)

    UrbanVox´s last blog post..WTH just happened????

  12. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    Set limits and live by them. Examples:

    Limit responses to comments to the only the first 20 or only those that are submitted the same day.

    Have an auto-responder for e-mail that emphasizes that you are running a business and quotes your consultation fees.

    Limit distractions like social networking to a specific amount of time each day — if you use them at all.

    I’m sure that it can be done, but only if you establish some sort of communication rules and live by them.

    Mike Goad´s last blog post..From Petit Jean

  13. Hi Barbara,

    One of the things I have learned is that writing a post is just the tip of the iceberg, time wise. You have to include promotion, answering to email, choosing your adverts, comment in other blogs, answer to comments. And so on.

    I guess that a job is a job.

  14. Barbara LingNo Gravatar says:

    Excellent article!!

    From my 11+ years of making a living online, I’ve learned that the best mixture that works for ME (and remember, YMMV) is a definitive separation of “must satisfy audience/customers” with with “must have life” with “must make money”.

    So….probloggers have to make their own personal call as to what works best with their own individual personalities/tastes/lifestyle etc.

    For me, family comes first, then customers/audience, then my own personal time. The income flows from how I treat my customers.

    Data points,

    Barbara

    Barbara Ling´s last blog post..An Unfettered EAGLE amongst turkeys – embracing your learning style

  15. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,
    I hear all sorts of excellent stuff here in the comments today. Miguel’s stands out for me – in that blogging can be much than just writing a post and publishing it. There are many other things going on – I’m finding that out every day. And it can get very hard to keep up. I sleep with my coffee pot (well, not quite…but close!). So, then – how bad do you want it, what will you sacrifice to make it a reality?

    Blogging has been wonderful and exciting and transforming for me – I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done. And yet, when I feel overwhelmed – I wonder if it’s worth it. And then I step back and look at what it has really meant – and know that it has been so worth it for me. But to take it to the next level, to business-ify it — does something get lost in the process? Something that has made it worthwhile? I don’t know…But I think it’s worth thinking about before you make the leap.

    Lance´s last blog post..Don’t Worry, Be Happy

  16. SusanneNo Gravatar says:

    Great article, thank you!

    I started my blogs to keep in touch with family and friends back home, and I’m finding myself more and more tied to the computer. However, it’s the type of work that doesn’t feel like work. It’s something I truly enjoy.

    Fifteen hours in front of the computer at home certainly doesn’t feel like 15 hours stuck in an office. I’m energized rather than drained, as I so often am after working even eight hours in someone else’s office.

    Being so busy that you need to delegate and outsource is exciting, but, of course, moves you directly into the realm of BEING “the man.” I’m not sure yet how comfortable I am with that.

  17. ru4realNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging certainly is a different kind of ‘business’ model. In brick and mortar businesses and even business blogs or website, you’re selling a product … but bloggers are selling themselves! It’s MUCH more attached to the person and the social aspect of it is much greater than most other businesses. How do you hire someone to do that? The answer is, you can’t! You have to hire someone to do all your legwork … like lawyers do with paralegals and pastors do with associate pastors. You hire someone to research your topic for you … to make your coffee for you … to filter your messages for you … but in the end YOU are the product, and you better have YOUR personality involved in the ‘business’ or you loose the interest of your visitors, because they come to be with and learn from you, simply because you have earned their trust. Blogging is more about relationship … and the bare fact is that you can only stretch relationship so far before it is frighteningly thin. That is something you definately need to consider before you start ‘one more little blog.’

  18. Being a problogger was definitely my goal in the beginning. However, this has changed. Why? a) Because my blog isn’t technical, it is hard to market niche and SEO it, and thereby, extremly difficult to drive traffic to it. b) I make excellent money at my current job, which I am not willing to give up during an inevitable transition period. c) because over the course of the last six months I have discovered that I LOVE writing fiction. So, I am focusing on that aspect of writing. I am working on an e-book of short stories which I plan to release at my 1 year blogging anniversary. From there, I just might tackle a full length book.

    Urban Panther´s last blog post..Bullying and punishing the victim

  19. Ari KoinumaNo Gravatar says:

    Others have already touched on delegation, but sounds to me like she needs to read Tim Ferriss’ “4-Hour Workweek.”

    Success means increased work load. In the book “Harmonic Wealth,” James Arthur Ray talks about how to envision your success — the complete picture. Let’s say you make $2million a year. When you provide that much value to the world, the world will want your time — and you need to protect it, by delegating. I can’t remember all the math but your time is worth several thousand dollars a day. You can’t spend it mowing the lawn or answering e-mails. His message was to envision success, but include all the down sides. And work out those down sides, so that they no longer stress you, they no longer create a conflict inside you and make you feel mixed about wanting success.

    And I have worked on that. Obviously I don’t know what challenges success will bring. But I thought of some I can anticipate, and I thought of how I will resolve them. Above all, I have confidence in myself that whatever challenges my success will present, I will rise above them and make a comfortable, happy living.

    I’d rather deal with the challenges of success than stress of not succeeding. I’d rather deal with the risk that comes with carving out my own life than the pretending that comes from having to care about my employer’s business. That’s just me, however.

    So yes, I am in this to become a professional, and to be wildly successful. I will welcome and embrace the challenges Lorelle describes.

    ari

    Ari Koinuma´s last blog post..Life’s Survival Guide for Sensitive Souls

  20. There comes a time in every solo entrepreneur’s life when you have to make a decision – do I continue to do it all or do I hire help.

    Professional blogging is no different. Which means paying some of the money you make to employing others – which means managing others – which becomes a full time job in and of itself.

    I’m not helping, am I? ;)

    Kathy – Virtual Impax´s last blog post..Steps to Starting a Small Business: #7 Your USP – Unique Selling Proposition

  21. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I am not sure I would want to become a problogger but I would like for my blog to be successful. Managing your time is always an issue when not working for the man. However, should the event of becoming successful occur, enjoy it!

    Linda´s last blog post..America’s Power

  22. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    The one thing that annoys me about professional bloggers, is you rarely get an honest discussion about the sacrifice and work hours involved.

    That’s why I’m glad you posted this (about Lorelle’s typical workday). I think more people need to see this.

    This will be a wake-up call to those who think they just have to write a little bit, maximize their SEO, and then just sit back, and watch the $$$$ roll in.

    Bottom line, is if you want to make six figures (regardless of your job), you have to work your BUTT OFF to get there.

    PS. This actually makes me glad I’m not a pro-blogger.

    Sure, I’m not my own boss. But (as Vered recently posted), there’s good things about a 9-to-5 job, too.

    Friar´s last blog post..How to Suck all the Fun out of your Kids’ Childhood.

  23. NeilNo Gravatar says:

    Very insightful post Barbara, thanks for sharing it with us. For myself I think I’d be a problogger. I don’t need to make 6 figures (though it would be nice). I’m actually rather comfortable with my current income, however I’d like to change jobs. While be a problogger (heck being an new, amateur blogger) has demands on your time, so does any job. What working from home would do is give me some freedom and flexibility with when I work.

    Neil´s last blog post..Make Saving Automatic

  24. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    My heart went out to Lorelle when I read her post. Blogging is definitely overwhelming when we try to do everything (frankly speaking I don’t think it’s possible to do everything).

    Do I want to be a problogger? Yes. There is no doubt about that. But am I willing to let it take over my life. NO.

    I know there is a balance one can achieve in blogging – which sometimes would mean giving up some blogging activities, managing time well, putting in effort in doing what gives back maximum etc. I will know when I reach there :)

    I agree with Ari on Tim Ferriss ’4 Hour Work Week’. That book would help a lot.

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..Top 8 Productivity Hacks – #3

  25. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I can’t live my life online. Cyberspace is a nice place to visit but it is so easy to get lost in. It sucks your time and you can’t get it back.

    I love blogging and doing other online activities but I limit the amount of time I spend online each day I get in, do what I need to, and get out.

    I don’t think I could ever be a professional blogger. I want to be a professional writer. I love writing and fortunately you don’t need to be online to do that.

    Still I think an online presence is important for an author in this day and age. But it can’t take up too much time or it misses the point.

    Chase March´s last blog post..Bush Babees

  26. You know I am loving this post. There is a little voice inside of my head that wonders if I should build a blog specifically to help bloggers create a balance in their lives. I think there is a niche and need!

    Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..My First Video Blog! Take Back Your Life Episode #1 – Assessing Your Actions

  27. I hesitate to say I would never want to be a problogger, however, it’s not really a “goal” of mine. Blogging is a tool I use to help me achieve other goals I have set forth for myself.

    So the question you have to ask yourself, Barbara, what is your goal? Is it blogging or is it wealth or traveling, or, etc.?

    I do have one question about Lorelle though. Is she affiliated with WordPress in any way? Or does she blog and talk about it on her own?

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz´s last blog post..Do You Have A SEO Question?

  28. I really like Mike Goad’s comment on setting boundaries, and Friar’s “Bottom line, is if you want to make six figures (regardless of your job), you have to work your BUTT OFF to get there.”

    I enjoy writing and earning money from my writing. I don’t need a full income so would never put in the work it takes to become a full time blogger.

    Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..War Is Ugly. It Hurts People.

  29. JannieNo Gravatar says:

    Hmmn, I think I may not want to be a Pro Blogger now that I see what Lorelle goes through, but I’m happy to work on the 19 steps in your post from yesterday. And write 5 more songs I like by the end of January, as concentrating equally on my music as the 19 points will no doubt bring new readers to my blog. This is clarity for me, thanks for the inspiration.

    Jannie´s last blog post..Doris to register nine

  30. Frugal DadNo Gravatar says:

    I am a “preblogger.” You know, the phase you hit before problogging. I don’t make nearly enough, nor have enough work in the pipeline, to quit my day job. So, I slave away at night after the wife and kids are in bed writing articles, answering emails and (not often enough) responding to comments. At some point I would like to work for myself, but I now recognize that if that work is blogging it is a lot of work!

    Frugal Dad´s last blog post..Quick and Easy Ways to Start a Savings Plan Today

  31. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I agree 100% with Mike. Boundaries have to be set and priorities have to be figured out.

    Ari’s suggestion to read the ‘4 Hour Work Week’ might help, if Lorelle can find the time to read it. Otherwise it’s just another to-do to add to the pile. If she can find the time, then she’s not as busy as she thinks… :-) She would have just made it a priority.

    I didn’t consider becoming a problogger when I started. I didn’t even know what that was. I just wanted to write.

    Davina´s last blog post..Small Steps To Empower Your Attitude

  32. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ajith – You bring up an excellent point. We do not know the long term effects of excessive computer use. For you to notice you were overdoing it, and make a change, was a smart move.

    Hi Sharon – Yes, delegation is very important, and is one of the easiest ways to alleviate those tasks that don’t need our personal touch.

    Hi Ulla – You’re right, blogging gurus do have expectations to live up to. And I think as their audience increases in size, it gets worse. Like you, I won’t give up my world outside of blogging. It’s way too precious.

    Hi Joanna – You’ve raised a good question. Is a blogger a problogger if they don’t make enough money to hire assistants? Or is a problogger one who has no other source of income. Hmmmm!

    That’s a great concept. Although we may not “blog” for a living, our blog can be a stepping stone to developing “another” business from which we can earn an income.

    Hi Dave – I agree. Those who blog, or who want to blog, for a living are working more than 9-5. Might the day come when a lot can be delegated or outsourced, maybe. However, for bloggers just starting out, it’s no different than self employment. There will be long hours.

    Hi Maplestar – Welcome to the BWAB community. Yes, reaching our goals is probably a better way of putting it. And, to expand on that, with blogging being in the technological field which is ever changing/improving, blogging goals would keep getting pushed higher and higher, as well.

    Hi Betsy – First, congratulations again on winning Catherine’s “butt” contest. :) , and by the way, you’ve touched on a lot of issues in your comment.

    Like you, my heart goes out to Lorelle. She’s been one of my mentors since before I started blogging, and I hate to see her in that position. And yes, reading her words did give me pause and make me re-evaluate where I want to go with my blog.

    Hi Urban Vox – It sounds like you’re looking at the prospect of problogging from all angles. If after seeing all sides you still feel it’s something you would enjoy, I say, “go for it”.

    Hi Mike – That is fabulous advice. Setting limits is crucial, and living by them is even more important.

    Hi Miguel – Isn’t that the truth? There is a lot more to blogging than just writing.

    Hi Barbara Ling – Thank you. With you having done it for 11 years, your advice is solid. I like how you stressed that it’s what works for each individual person based on their personality, tastes and lifestyle.

    Hi Lance – Sleeping with your coffee pot? It sounds like you’re already putting in some long hours (and I know you also have a full time job and family). Tread carefully.

    Taking that leap to the next level can be scary. Might things change? We won’t know until we try it, but having a good plan in place should make the transition easier.

    Hi Susanne – Welcome to the BWAB community. That’s a good point. Do you want to go from working for “the man”, to being “the man”? I wonder, do problogger wannabees think that far in advance?

    Hi Ru4real – That’s right. YOU are the blog. YOU are who people come to visit. YOU are who they want to hear from. If YOU aren’t there, people will move on.

    Hi Panther – What a wonderful story of how your blog helped you to find what you truly love to do. I haven’t a doubt your short stories will be a huge success, as will your future full length books.

    Hi Ari – I love you attitude. Knowing you are beginning down the path to probloggerhood (is that a word?) with open eyes, you will see the success you’re striving for.

    I had to laugh at the part where you said our time is worth $xx, and we shouldn’t me mowing the grass. I actually love to mow the lawn, so I won’t give that up. :)

    Hi Kathy – Nope! That didn’t help, but I hear you. We’re self employed, with employees, and I know all to well how having employees adds to the work load. Finding the right one for each specific job is one of the keys.

    Hi Linda – That’s right. Where we blog or not, time management always seems to be an issue. Working smarter is the key.

    Hi Friar – Like you, I commend Lorelle for sharing “a day in her life”. It’s not easy, but too many sites claim “all you need is a blog and MY product and you can be making six figures in no time”. Right!

    There are many advantages to working 9-5, and for self employed people like us, we feel fortunate that not everyone wants to have their own business. If they did, the employee pool would be empty. Yikes!

    Hi Neil – Thank you. Probloggers do have the advantage of working from home and picking their hours (to a degree). If a person can find a happy medium and not be greedy, I think they could made a decent living and still have time for a life (away from the blog).

    Hi Avani – Balance is definitely key. It’s knowing what we can do with the time we have. Like you said, most of our effort would need to be directed toward that which has the maximum benefit, whether that be monetary or other.

    Hi Chase – You’re fortunate knowing what you want to do. With a goal of being a professional writer, your blog is giving you a great place to share your words and gain name recognition.

    Hi Stacey – If you’re hearing that “little voice”, follow it. That’s your intuition speaking. I’ve learned to never ignore it. You’re onto something, and with your blog already building readership, you’re the gal to do it.

    Hi John – The questions you’ve mentioned are very important and I asked myself those questions even before I started blogging. In a nutshell, I want to blog to help and share with others that which I’ve learned in my life (and continue to learn), and via this medium I’d like to make enough money so my husband (who is a hard worker and fantastic provider), can retire (if he wants to) and not worry about being the bread winner. I see it as my way of “giving back” and hopefully leaving this world a better place.

    Re: Lorelle. I do not know what her affiliation with WordPress is, although I do know she volunteers in the WP codex forums and is often a guest speaker for WordPress WordCamps. As you know, she is the “go to” gal for WordPress.

    Hi Vered – Yes, Mike and Friar’s advice is right on. You’re in a fortunate position, not needing a full time income. That alone takes a lot of pressure off and allows you to enjoy the writing process.

    Hi Jannie – You’re welcome. From reading your comment, it sounds like you blog may be your stepping stone to music. That’s a passion of yours, isn’t it?

    Hi Frugal Dad – Welcome to the BWAB community. Hey, I like the term you’ve penned, “preblogger”. That’s what I am, too. :) Yes, anytime we work for ourselves, it is a lot of work. Whether is be blogging or something different, it sounds like your eyes are open to possibilities.

    By the way, I just clicked over to your blog post and love the idea of saving one dollar bills. What a great way to save money and not “feel it”. I’ll have to try that.

    Hi Davina – That’s more votes for “4 Hour Work Week”. It’s a book I haven’t read either, so maybe I’ll have to add it to my “list”.

    When we start blogging we’re not always certain where it will lead, but just like John Hoff, your blog has become a tool to launch and grow your business. I love how that works.

  33. Fantastic and thought provoking article, Barbara, and the comments here are just as interesting. What is a problogger? is it someone who makes some money or a fulltime income? And really, who gets to decide when one is “pro”. I did initially dabble with the idea of becoming an online earner and then eventually a full-time pro-blogger, but I quickly realised I don’t have the interest, or the inclination to work as hard as is required. I also like to write about whatever I want and I have been unsure how I would monetise a site as diverse as SHE-POWER.

    In terms of writing blog posts for others and getting paid for my time, that doesn’t appeal at all. The pay is terrible. My freelance copywriting jobs (mostly offline) earn me $100 an hour and I doubt many probloggers get that kind of rate of return for their time. Especially once you consider research, finding photos and SEO tweaking etc. And while I find writing for my blog fun and do it for free, blogging for others would just be work. Work that doesn’t pay as much as writing say a brochure.

    Mostly I see SHE-POWER as writing expression, community and a chance to build an audience for my great love, which is fiction. I want to be a well paid author/novelist, not a problogger. However, recently I have been considering ways I could earn some income from either my site or my online presence/expertise. Not sure how yet, but I’m open to the idea. I certainly put enough time into my online world to warrant some kind of return. Blogging is such a time sucker!

    Kelly

    Kelly@SHE-POWER´s last blog post..New Look SHE-POWER, and Reader Help Required!

  34. Dr. CasonNo Gravatar says:

    I learned quickly that I can pick up a couple of shifts and make a ton more being a doctor than blogging. But I have to say it’s tempting. Since I’m here anyway and having fun. Thanks for putting out the real life perspective!

    Dr. Cason´s last blog post..One Day, I’m Going to Miss the Banana Trees

  35. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    hi barbara,

    nah, no problogging for me, not unless i had a team of people to help me do things, not interested. i do value what little time i have left in my life, so that type of fame is not worth it to me.

    find balance? get help. delegate. don’t make too many commitments. learn to say no.

    Natural´s last blog post..Being Human In the Age of the Electronic Mob

  36. LorelleNo Gravatar says:

    This is exactly what I wanted to create with my two second post. :D A conversation about how we blog, why we blog, our expectations about blogging, and how blogging (or anything) can consume us if we don’t prioritize and control our lives.

    I’m so glad you are continuing the conversation here. I love the insights. Part of my passion in blogging is to get people thinking about how blogging really works and how they blog accordingly. There are a lot of decisions along the way that have to be made, and a lot of mistakes, but openly talking about them helps you understand that we are all in this bloggy stuff together. If we talk about them, we can understand and help each other better.

    Thanks to all for your support, your insights, and your challenging questions, especially those targeted toward yourselves. And no, I do not work for WordPress.

    Lorelle´s last blog post..The Art of the Fan-Based Blog: Competition Means Collaboration

  37. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kelly – Thank you. I know you have been doing a lot of thinking about your blog and where to go with it. It’s a tough decision, and like you said, with all of the time you’ve invested, seeing a return on that would be ideal. One thing you have done is figure out what you don’t want to do. That’s half the battle.

    Hi Dr. Cason – You’re welcome. You do love blogging, don’t you? And I know you also love sharing your photographs. I’m guessing it would be difficult for you to make a switch as I know you also have a love for medicine. All you have to do is try and figure out how to roll all three passions of yours into one. :)

    Hi Natural – I love your advice. Learning to say no is probably the hardest for most of us.

    Hi Lorelle – Were your ears burning? :) It’s good to see you here. You’ve been missed.

    Your post worked out perfect for this great discussion. As Friar mentioned, we normally don’t read what a problogger goes through on a daily basis. For that we commend you, as it shows us what to expect if we decide to go that route.

    And, you’re welcome. We all support you and all you do. You’re a true blessing to the WordPress and blogging world. For that, we say “thank you”.

  38. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I know I said I was pushed for time but I couldn’t resist reading all the replies.

    I love this new term you’ve come up with: Cyber Proprietor. :)

    Cath Lawson´s last blog post..Do You Have Business Questions?

  39. CarlaNo Gravatar says:

    The term “Problogger” is very new to me. Before I started this blog several months ago, I didn’t even read blogs let alone know what a Problogger is. I’m not sure if that’s what I want to do though I read a lot of Problogger blogs to get tips on increasing my traffic. I have a web store (how the blog got started) and would rather earn a living from that.

    Carla´s last blog post..Holiday Gift Ideas | Not Buying it

  40. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not sure if I can survive the lifestyle you’ve just described. It’s not possible especially if I intend to be there for my kids as well. As much as I enjoy blogging and being on the web, I feel that it is important to have a balanced lifestyle. It takes a bit to drag me out from my chair but I make it a point to go outdoors, meet friends and to the gym. Sure I may earn less, but I’m also less stressed!

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..My Vision Board Tops Amazon’s Bestseller List?

  41. Lorelle’s post was an eye-opener, Barbara. Thank you.

    I am not sure where my blog will take me in the future, but I know I don’t want it to consume my life.

    Jewel/Pink Ink´s last blog post..Twilight

  42. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I think these things follow our beliefs – if we believe we have to work 60-80 hours a week to earn a decent income, that’s what we will experience.

    For me, it is important to follow my passion, while trusting that money will keep coming in. I don’t earn any money from my blog – but in the past I did things that I got very little money for and it lead to the income I get now, and everyone thought I was crazy.

    I have been very overwhelmed by the time it takes to keep up the blog, but I feel I can keep tweaking various aspects to make it all work better.

    Robin´s last blog post..An Unusual Experiment

  43. I think how someone handles it depends on their personality. If you are kind and caring and have a hard time saying no then you will get more and more demands on your time. I’ve already run into this on a much smaller scale. On the weekends I frequently watch soccer and am on twitter discussing the matches with my online soccer friends. I’ve had people see me on and start sending me message about needing help with something on their site. Umm … just because I’m online doesn’t mean I’m working and I might not want to help you for free on a Saturday. I certainly don’t mind helping at all but send me an email and have a little consideration about my time. But since the person saw me on twitter I couldn’t exactly ignore the request.

    This is just a one example but must happen 100 times more to someone like Lorelle. Personally, I’ve been very impressed by her thoughtfulness and response time.

    But unless you’re having fun working that hard it really needs to be scaled back.

    Kim Woodbridge´s last blog post..5 New(ish) WordPress Themes

  44. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t really want to be a problogger anymore. It takes too much time. I still have the passion and some days I really wish I had a bigger audience to hear me, but I can’t keep up with it. I don’t think I really understood the time blogging took when I got started. There are so many people out there commenting and hoping you will reciprocate. I think I envisioned a bunch of readers with no blogs. They’d come read my wisdom and leave me lovely comments of my brilliance and that would be that. The advertisers would knock on my door asking to advertise on my blog and throw money at me (ha ha ha ha ha!) But, it’s a little late in the game for all that. It’s kind of like selling Pampered Chef. Sure, you can do it and make a little money at it, but there are so many women competing for the same business.

    I don’t know how much time you spend with blogging, but I’ve been impressed at how much you’ve grown in the time I’ve known you. Your comments are amazing and you have a great community. I’ll be interested to hear what you decide and either way, I’ll still come by and visit!

    Debbie Yost´s last blog post..Our Family’s Introduction to Epilepsy

  45. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine – The replies to this post are filled with lots of value and ideas. I’ll have to reread them and put on my thinking cap.

    Hi Carla – I’m guessing having a web store may be a lot easier, and less time consuming then problogging.

    Hi Evelyn – That’s right. Problogging could very easily make demands on your time and create more stress. Balance is key, so anyone thinking of going that route needs to be disciplined.

    Hi Jewel – You’re welcome. Yes, Lorelle’s post was an eye-opener. Knowing what can happen makes a big difference as we decide where we want our blogs to take us.

    Hi Robin – You do bring up a good point. If we can get our blogs running smooth and are more or less done with the behind the scenes stuff, we can concentrate on that which is our passion.

    And, you’re right. If we think it will take 60-80 hours a week, it will.

    Hi Kim – What a great example of you being on Twitter on your day off and people assuming you’re “there” to help them. Do you tell them to send you an email and you’ll answer on Monday, or do you help them?

    Lorelle is a real sweetheart, isn’t she?

    Hi Debbie – That is true. Blogging is more than just posting articles and waiting for the comments and/or money to come rolling in. That is probably why so many bloggers start and then quit. The competition is very stiff, and it takes time, patience and perseverance to keep doing it.

    My daily schedule for blogging varies, and I’m still not certain where blogging will take me, but it’s great to know you’ll be there for me. I truly appreciate that.

  46. I ask them to send me an email and let them know that I’m not working right now. It’s hard to not get snippy about it and I always worry that the person will be disappointed in me. So far, it’s worked out ok.

    Kim Woodbridge´s last blog post..5 New(ish) WordPress Themes

  47. Liara CovertNo Gravatar says:

    You can spend your life admiring other people and what they do or choose to evolve to listen to yourself and define a physical existence that makes sense to you. Where you are is exactly where you need to be right now. That is what matters.

    Liara Covert´s last blog post..Why resist the inevitable?

  48. No, I don’t want to be a problogger. I want to use my blog to increase my reputation so that I can sell more of my (forthcoming) mentoring services and Someday-curing info products.

    Darren Rowse in his book talked about the 14 hour days when he started. That doesn’t interest me at all.

    It’s great that you highlighted this “other side” of blogging – that it’s not all “work 2 hours a day and watch the money roll in.”

    Cheers,
    Alex

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog post..Just Get Over It, Eh?

  49. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kim – Thanks for coming back and answering the question. Not knowing exactly how Twitter works, you’re opening my eyes to what could be a disadvantage. Come on by on Monday and “tell me more”. When you see my post, you’ll know what I mean. :)

    Hi Alex – That’s interesting that Darren wrote of how he worked (and maybe still works) 14 hours a day on blogging. That doesn’t leave much time for family, friends or time for oneself, does it?

  50. Barbara, it wasn’t that long ago when I was often the first one to comment on your posts. Now I’m just getting to this post of yours 5 days later, even though I don’t have a job.

    Sometimes I don’t even know where the time goes, though lately I’ve been busy on my next ebook, which is very time-consuming for me. I can imagine how Lorelle feels to have all those emails. If I had 150 emails to answer, I don’t know what I’d do.

    Unfortunately, the only answer I can think of is to eliminate tasks. Don’t read any blogs you don’t have to. Don’t answer any comments you don’t have to. Don’t answer any emails you don’t have to. I don’t like the idea of that, but I think it must be necessary at some point.

    Hunter Nuttall´s last blog post..Steve Pavlina’s Secrets Of Truth, Love, And Power

  51. [...] A new blogger quickly discovers that blogging involves far more than just writing posts. There seems to be an endless number of things demanding our attention, and it’s no wonder that bloggers often feel overwhelmed. [...]

  52. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara: I’m sorry I can’t help you with your questions as I’m still grappling with this monster in me who has this quaint notion he can be a problogger. Ahahaha. I want my life back. Gimme, gimme. “,)

  53. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Hunter – Wow, I really missed your comment. I agree, we can try to eliminate a lot, but in the end, we may end up eliminating the important stuff.

    Hi Jan – You’re too funny. Why is it, when we start blogging we often feel like we’re losing our life as we once knew it. It’s like walking a tightrope. Can we have it all? I don’t know……

  54. No, I don’t want -RIGHT NOW- to be a pro-blogger, I want to be a writer, an author. Blogging is a secondary activity to me, now that I have secured a job. I guess the responsibilities are those common to the self-employed: work, promote your business, deal with clients and partners, get taxes done and so on.

    Get a business plan first, a real business plan I mean -not some fancy words on a fancy paper-, be realistic about the time and effort needed. Then, you can decide.

    And if it’s your dream and you aren’t struggling to pay your mortgage, then for all that’s good in the world, go for it.,
    .-= Check out Miguel de Luis´s awesome post: The Knowledge Artisans =-.