A Full Time Blogging Income — When Can You Quit Your Day Job?

Every blogger has a price point.

No, not a point at which they’d sell (although they might have that also!) but a blogging income price point. The point at which their blog is officially a full-time job. This is the point at which they can quit their full-time job or make another drastic professional change (like having their working spouse now stay at home and help with the blog business).

One of my favorite bloggers, Amy, has stated that her 2011 goal is to bump up her blogging income from a part-time one to a full-time one. But what is full-time in her mind may be different in your mind — or mine, as I asked her below on her Facebook wall:

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Just like you’ll never meet your goals if you don’t set them first, you’ll never become a full-time blogger if you don’t have a price point in mind.

Do you have a blogging income price point?

In trying to find out what others thought, I circled the web. Here’s what some think:

  • John Chow – who likely now makes over seven figures a year – has a post back from 2006 where he says that $1,800 a month is “a pretty good part-time income”.
  • Darren Rowse of ProBlogger – who now does make more than seven figures (as he showed in one of his presentations at BlogWorld this year) once wrote a post saying that for some people $30,000 a year is a full-time income.
  • When Blogging with Amy asked some other bloggers what they made each year here, at least one who claims to be full time reported between $2,000-$3,000 in monthly earnings.

Depending on if you agree or not with some of the conclusions from others, you likely have a number in mind. Perhaps it’s the amount you or your spouse makes currently working outside the home. This number is not your income price point. Thus, you don’t have to wait until you get there to quit your full-time job. In fact – if you do this you might be waiting forever because you’d never have the time to take your blog to the next level!

I’ve heard Dave Ramsey talk before about the idea that when you are trying to make your side-business your full-time job, there is a point at which you have to actually quit the full-time job so you can make the side-business flourish to its full-time potential. (If you’re a stay-at-home mom trying to make a full-time work from home job, think of a similar sacrifice — say, cutting back on your husband’s hours to help you facilitate your business.)

I’ve heard Dave say before that reaching a certain percentage of your full-time income with your side business is the way to determine when you can leave that day job. So, let’s say I make $70,000 a year in my day job. I decide that I won’t quit my day job until I make 70% of that in my side income. Thus, I would need to make $49,000 before taxes on my blog before I quit my day job. This makes perfect sense.

However, I think there is another way to find the number that will get you out of a day job you don’t like much sooner.

I recommend you quit your day job when your side income reaches a certain percentage of your blogger income price point (the point at which you’ll quit your day job).

Let’s break it down:

Do you really need the $70,000 a year your outside job pays you, or could you make it on less? It’s time to pull out that calculator and start looking at all the costs that families often consider when they wonder if they can really afford to keep one parent at home. What are all the costs involved in your commute, your office clothes, your office lunches? Do some paring down and you might easily find that your blogger price point is $50,000, not $70,000. If I need to make 70% of that ($35,000 before taxes) I’ll be quitting my day job a heck of a lot sooner.

I’d say that if you’re at close to 70% — and are optimistic — you are ready to go.

So, what is your price-point?