On Full Time Blogging - Skillful Cook
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On Full Time Blogging

Woman cooking.

A few months ago, when Bjork was putting together another one of the income reports, we both had this realization moment: at this point I earn more from blogging than I do from my day job.

Day job = elementary school teacher.

Potential new job = stay at home blogger.

How was that even possible? I started think about what it would be like to actually quit my day job and spend my days at home working on recipes, photography, new products, and generally developing Skillful Cook.

And honestly, I was confident that that’s what I wanted to do. I thought: if I had that kind of opportunity, I would totally take advantage of it. Work from home, be my own boss, build and grow my blog, the whole deal.

Cause it’s fun, right? Like, you can sleep in and then sit around in your sweat pants. Maybe you can sneak a nap in between eating Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars and watching Arrested Development. Just one episode, of course, cause you’re “working”. And then you can write blog posts whenever you feel like it. For example, from midnight to three in the morning. Totally glam. (This is me joking.)

Woman on a computer.

In all seriousness, as I thought about making the switch to full time blogging, the thing that captivated me was the idea that I could work really hard and my hard work would directly affect how successful I would be. With everything from traffic, to photography skills, to better recipes, to income. I loved that I could have a flexible schedule. I knew I would wake up in the morning with motivation to get work done. I could stay home with our kids. Of which we have none, but still. I had visions of real weekends where I wouldn’t have to do any work. Say what?!

But here's where the story takes a turn. In May, as I tried out the life of an almost-full-time blogger, and as I got a teaching job offer that made my heart feel unexpectedly giddy, I remembered this about myself: I love teaching. I believe in teaching. And for me personally, teaching gives me spiritual and emotional income in a way that food blogging just doesn't.


So after running through lots of possibilities for work this year, I've accepted a part time teaching position as a reading interventionist at my elementary school. This is the school where I know kids, and kids know me, and when I come back after a year of being gone they present me with little bracelets made of paper clips that spell “love”. Best ever? Yes, I think so.

I’ll be working with small groups of struggling readers during the morning hours AND I’ll still have a few afternoon hours left to devote to Skillful Cook. Or eat snacks. You know how it is. A few of you have asked what’s next for p-o-y, so now ya know! I’m a teacher and a blogger, and I am feeling so incredibly blessed. Now if I could just find a few hours in the day to teleport back to the Philippines… yeah, that.

I would be so excited to hear from any of you - bloggers with day jobs, full time bloggers, food or otherwise. What are the perks or the downsides of each? Are you happy to be where you are? What makes it work?

Thanks for letting me talk. Type. Whatever. I feel like we’re friends and it makes me smile. ->  🙂

Filed Under: Life

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    That sounds like the perfect combo! I’ve been enjoying teaching and blogging for the past two months, and next year I’ll be going to grad school full time and blogging. I’d love to just blog, but I make about twenty-five cents a day…

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Been there (with the 25 cents part)! 🙂 That’s awesome that you’ll be able to do both grad school and blogging. Seems like a great combo.

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hello Becky,

      I am the same way. Although I would love to be a full time blogger someday, I am not in a position where I can quit my full time job and do this full-time. I too make about $25 per day. I think the biggest check I had was for about $77 from a blog affiliate and $180 for a promotion I did. I was excited about the income but would be even happier when it multiplies three fold. I have only been blogging for about a little over a year so I still have a lot of learning and developing of my blog to do, but I hope to get there.

      My full time job is me working from home and I like people too much to be here all day. I like marketing and work in the higher education industry and I do like it. So you can get lonely and bored. But I’m sure if I was blogging it would be different because I would have more control of what I wanted to do day-to-day.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congratulations on the new job, what a wonderful opportunity and I can’t even imagine how rewarding it will be. I think making a leap to full-time blogging is something that a lot of people dream about but I know that I need the routine of having a ‘proper’ job as well however hard it may be to balance at times. I think the reason why I love blogging quite so much is precisely because it’s not my proper job. I really look forward to seeing what comes next for you guys!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Isn’t it funny how that works? Like maybe we stop loving it so much when it’s our “real” job. 🙂 Who knows. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    How exciting!! I love seeing people’s hard work pay off. I don’t have a lot to add to the conversation since I’m just now trying to start my food blog, but you totally deserve both opportunities. And your little school kiddos are lucky to have you. Have a great weekend!!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Great post, it was really nice to hear your honest perspective on blogging and jobs. I’ve only just started blogging, and I don’t know what my plans are for the future. I agree with your point that as a full time blogger, you have much more time to be productive in ways that will affect your blog’s success. However, I once read a post from Joy the Baker where she wrote “Live a good life. It makes for a good blog.” I think this probably applies to more than just blogging.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    YAY! What a great combo of your two loves! And it makes me really happy to think that there are teachers out there like you teaching our children. REALLY HAPPY 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    I Love my day job (nurse). But I work in the clinic as an LPN so I don’t make the big bucks. It’s worth it tho to be off by 330 every day and never work holidays or weekends. Being hom with the family is way more important than the money!! I love my clinic too makes a huge difference when your job is rewarding!!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I definitely dream of a day when I can blog full time. That being said, I think working full time + blogging might be a better balance! Just for those days when you need someone else to hold you accountable for getting out of bed on time…

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Those kids are so lucky to have you!
    I work full time as an Assitant at Starbucks in Seattle…great job but it’s long days with a healthy commute. There isn’t alot left of me at night so I try to keep my blogging to the weekends. I love my blog…my blog loves me…I would like to spend more time with it!
    I’ve yet to master the money making side of blogging…when and if that happens…who knows!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congrats! I’m a stay at home mom & blogger & I’m often reminded that I need to fuel my days with things that fuel me (about 80% of the time that is- of course we have to do things we don’t enjoy sometimes!) It’s important to spend lots of times fueling our deepest passions & ok to have those adjust to the seasons we’re in. Sometimes blogging is more of a passion & sometimes it’s not & it’s fine to let those things change over time. Enjoy your new job!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    How exciting to teach and blog!! If you check out my latest short post, you can see I am struggling with blogging and working full time. I am in education, working in providing and supporting school districts with their professional development. (in an organization similar to Michigan’s ISDs) I am thoroughly enjoying your blog growth and advice. Not sure where I want my blog to go…

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love that you decided to stay and work part time in a job that gives you such emotional fulfillment. I believe there’s real danger in letting our hobbies become jobs. Because then what do you do as a hobby? I need to find a way to “switch off” frm my regular day- and as anxiety ridden as blogging can occasionally be, it’s still my refuge. I don’t want to have to find another one, you know? Kudos to you for following your heart and living a life of your passions, Lindsay!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I blog part and work full time, I love blogging so much that I really wouldn’t mind doing it solely. If my blog really grows and great opportunities comes from it I would totally be a fulltime blogger

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congratulations on your new job! It sounds like it will be a perfect balance. Right now, I work full-time and occasionally on the weekend at my second job and try to keep up with my blog. I’m running myself ragged but I really love the feeling that comes from creating and photographing something great. I would love to work part time and do the blog part time so that I could still interact with people because I think I might miss that.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      WHAT?! That’s crazy! Totally agree with you on the interaction part. That’s a big reason for why I wanted to keep teaching. 🙂

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congratulations on your new job! I know what you mean about the specialness that comes from working with children, It can’t be replaced! I have worked full time while trying to grow my blog over the last couple years, its hard and unfortunately my blog is what gets the short end of the stick. When you spend all day at work, there is no time left to try out new recipes, no daylight left for photographing, and any energy from the day is gone. Which leaves the weekends to, on top of all the other things that you couldn’t fit in during the week, get some blogging done. The result is that your blog doesn’t grow the way you want it to, because you are no able to put in the time and the posts to make it a success. I started recently working a couple less hours on Fridays, and you wouldn’t believe the amount of things I can get done in a couple of hours! Eventually, I hope that I can devote more time to my blog and less to work, but I’m just not there yet. Someday. {that was a whole lotta words, sorry about that!}

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    That is so awesome that you can pursue both of your passions – blogging and teaching! I can’t wait to follow your blog now that you’re back in MN and see what tasty treats you come up with 🙂

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    Really interesting post. I was starting to wonder if you would go full-time! Not really sure if it is even fair for me to weigh-in because financially it is a TOTALLY different ball-game but I always wonder about the future, and what will come of blogging/etc. I guess I like the security, challenge and people that a office job brings. Oh, and the insurance/benefits. It sounds like you found the perfect solution that give you the best of both worlds! Congrats!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I agree! Bjork and I have both said that once blogging becomes your only income, then maybe it becomes more of a stressor and less of a hobby or passion. And the insurance benefits from a “real” job? REALLY helpful. 🙂

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    As a teacher myself, I am so with you on the fulfillment that comes from working with and teaching learners that blogging doesn’t offer. They are different professions and different ways to serve and contribute, and I’m so glad you’ve found a great fit for you.

    Honestly, that sounds like an ideal situation. As I enter my 4th year as an assistant professor, I find I can keep up the blogging end (making recipes & posting), but just don’t have the time to connect in the blogging community like I used to. This part-time approach is brilliant and I am thankful that you have the opportunity to use your gifts and talents in that way. God provides in great ways, doesn’t He?


  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh I love that you found the balance! I work full time and blog for fun and as a an escape (I’m not pulling in money from it). If I were and switched to full time blogging, I don’t know that I would like it as much and I would definitely miss my job. I find your blog to be so professional and well written. I love your pictures and how easily you share your thoughts and feelings. I know that takes a lot of time, so I’m happy that you will have the time to put into Skillful Cook AND teach and help kids!

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh I’m so happy for you! Part-time work sounds perfectly fulfilling for you!
    For me, I blogged while I taught full-time for one year (blogging on the weekends and constantly fighting waning light in the evenings) and now I’ve blogged as a stay-at-home mom for a year.
    As a side note, I have LOVED being at home with Owen and wouldn’t go back to teaching for the world at this point. Anyway…while it’s true that being home affords me some more flexibility in working on the blog, having a kid (and working w/in naptime parameters) has presented it’s own challenges.
    Glad you seemed to have found a solution for this year (and with kids you already know!) What a blessing!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I am excited to talk to you more about this when we (eventually…) get together because I totally see blogging as something I would do “full time” while staying home when we have kids. But like you said, with all that comes with being a SAHM it’s definitely not a walk in the park. wanna email me some dates you and Eric are available? 🙂

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      This is totally me. Blogging is a nice little (but growing) source of income for me as a SAHM. However, it isn’t easy to shoot pictures of blueberry pancakes when you have a 12 month old crawling around shaking your tripod. Even harder is trying to cook/bake and develop recipes with a teething baby who screams and cries every time you set her down. Myliferightnow. LOVE Her, but rough on the blog. Lol…

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congratulations on getting this job! It sounds perfect for you. I don’t have a food blog (…yet), but still have a related experience. A couple years ago, I worked as a teacher at a Christian preschool. As well, I worked as a clown entertaining at birthday parties and other special events. I earned a lot more as a clown than I did as a teacher, and loved that job more. I quit the preschool job and pursued more clowning. I quickly learned that there’s not much demand for clowns during the week. Plus I missed “my kids.” So I found a job as a nanny. I’ve been working for this family since September, and love “my kids.” It’s good to have a job you love and work with kids, even if your side job pays better.

  21. Skillful Cook Logo

    I could definitely see myself being a full-time blogger. And then I remember I have three kids. So much for that idea. I can’t say at this point that blogging is a job, ’cause it pays the same as the SAHM gig, but it is nice to have a “hobby” that works around my own hours. I think for you, at this point when you still don’t have kids, doing both part-time is the best of both worlds.

  22. Skillful Cook Logo

    That’s wonderful that you’re passionate about both of your jobs. So many people do the daily grind and they’re not doing what they love at all. I am a stay at home mom and just started blogging in September of last year. With workouts, errands, house cleaning, and volunteering at school, etc., it’s hard to believe I still don’t have more time during the day while the kids are at school to work on my blog. Some day I’ll get a system down….I hope! It’s a lot of work, but I love every minute.

  23. Skillful Cook Logo

    Reason #96 of what I adore about you:
    You write phrases like this… “teaching provides spiritual and emotional income…”