Blogging as a Career?

Jason Kottke has given up his job and is going to live off the proceeds of his blog.

I’ve been self-publishing on the web for almost 10 years now, first with a little site on my school’s web server, then on various ISP accounts, then 0sil8, and finally kottke.org for the last 7 years (almost). Looking back on it all, this little hobby of mine has been the most rewarding, pleasurable, maddening, challenging thing in my life. I’ve met so many nice, good people, formed valued relationships with some of them, traveled to distant lands (and New Jersey), procured jobs & other business opportunities, discovered new interests, music, movies & books, and lots of other stuff, all for putting a little bit of me out there for people to see.

And yet, I almost quit last spring. The site was getting out of hand and wasn’t fun anymore. It was taking me away from my professional responsibilities, my social life, and my relationship with my girlfriend. There was no room in my life for it anymore. As you can imagine, thinking of quitting what had been the best thing in my life bummed me right the hell out.

After thinking about it for a few weeks, I had a bit of an epiphany. The real problem was the tension between my web design career and my self-publishing efforts; that friction was unbalancing everything else. One of them had to go, and so I decided to switch careers and pursue the editing/writing of this site as a full-time job.

I am seriously jealous that he can even consider this. I seem to spend a greater and greater amount of time on my blog, and I have been running for months, let alone years. I dread to think how many blogs I will have to read after ayear of this, and even if I just comment on a few and link blog the rest, it’ll still take up a large chunk of my time, which as an ‘amateur’ – by which I mean not only that I don’t blog for a living but that I am not in a job where blogging is exactly part of my job description… – I don’t have a great deal of.

Here’s some other views on this:

More to come as I see them.

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