I've got to admit – one of the worst/weirdest things about being a full-time personal finance blogger is actually explaining what I do for a living. Most commonly – people just assume that I'm a college student studying freakishly hard for a test or writing a term paper.
There's a coffee shop that I go to quite a bit to write, and for weeks they thought I was studying for a final before actually asking what I was actually doing there. When I told them, the first question was: “Do you actually make money doing that?”
…I get that one A LOT haha.
Then there's the weird realization that the dude in flip-flops actually kinda makes good money when they look up the site, and they almost always feel bad that they treated me like a kid (which isn't really a big deal…since I do look like a total scrub on most days).
It's been a little strange seeing how random people treat you when they think you're broke vs. when they realize you actually make money, but I digress.
Every personal finance blogger's goals are different
For a lot of you that have been following my story from the beginning, you probably know that I got super fired up about money a few years ago, and actually wanted to start a personal finance education company when I left my teaching job.
Somehow, that evolved (or devolved?) into running this site full-time, and it's been pretty freaking awesome since. If you've ever wanted to start a blog, you should! It can be a little tough in the beginning without any help, so I definitely suggest you take my free course if you want to learn more about what I do.
Since I started doing this professionally, I've been super fortunate to meet a ton of other people that talk about personal finance for a living.
For my normal readers that aren't bloggers – you might be a little shocked to find out that there is literally an entire industry of people like me that write about money professionally (Google “FinCon” and be amazed).
They all do different stuff and have different goals. Some are also personal finance authors, speakers, on national news programs all the time, etc. There really are a ton of different ways to take this career and SEVERAL ways to make money (if you're good).
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I've done some TV spots and do the occasional speaking at conferences, but ultimately I enjoy running this site and my marketing business as well.
A lot of you have asked what my day looks like, so why not peel back the curtain? 🙂
Here's MY daily “routine”:
My wife wakes up ridiculously early at 5:30 am, so I'm usually semi wake up at this time. We have two cats, and they have this unbelievable skill of messing with blinds and jumping on us to get us awake sooner so someone will feed them.
So, when my wife gets up, I'll usually check some emails and answer comments on Facebook and Twitter for a few minutes until I fall asleep again.
I really wake up at about 7:30 am, and start lazily working in bed on my laptop.
On posting days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) I check to make sure that the posts go up correctly, look for any mistakes, and then send the newsletter email that a lot of you receive in the morning.
I TRY to get that out at 7:30 central…but I'm sure some of you have noticed it fires out at around 7:45..because my ADD kicks in and I get distracted.
This is usually the time that I check all the emails that have rolled in, which is one of the biggest battles of being a full-time blogger.
For whatever reason, a lot of people that do this get buried in emails. I try so so so hard to get to all of them, but inevitably some slip through that cracks. My system for emails has definitely gotten more efficient as time has gone on, but I do still have to do about an hour of email work per day.
I also spend an obscene amount of time answering and liking Facebook comments.
Some of you have noticed this already, but making the Facebook page very interactive has been one of my main goals lately.
If you take the time to respond to something with a comment, I feel like it's my responsibility to at least like it, but also actually read what you wrote and respond with something relevant.
Depending on the amount of comments, it probably takes 1-2 hours per day of just answering them. The good thing is that it's generally spread out through the day instead of all at once!
Read also: Why I Quit My Job to Blog
Lately I've been eating lunch at home to save money, and then I'll drive to one of several coffee shops that I have on a rotation.
Several of them know me as “the blogging guy” now, so I guess that's kinda cool.
This is when I do the bulk of my marketing client work, and then ultimately all of my writing.
I LOVE writing, but I do have to be in a very “Zen” mood to get it flowing. Currently, I write about 20 articles per month (split up between staff writing, this site, and client work).
Usually evenings are a mix of a little bit of everything, but I make it a point not to write during this time unless I absolutely have to.
This part of the day is filled with more email answering, Facebook comments, and some random Twitter humor if I think about it.
Back when I first started, I had a horrible habit of working until 10:00 pm or later. It's still something I've struggled with, but I'm starting to set more boundaries with this so I don't get totally burnt out (which surprisingly can happen pretty easily when you are self-employed).
Rinse and repeat
Honestly, that's kinda it. Even when you work from a computer, you tend to get into a rhythm and build a lot of the same habits that you have when you work a normal job.
Read also: 10 Ways to Make Money Blogging
There's definitely more control of your schedule when you blog full-time, but overall my job is still a job (even though it is REALLY fun)!