Location Independent Lifestyle & The Pros and Cons of Blogging

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2011-07-2811

Once in a while, we have to go on break in order to recharge. When you work for someone else, you’re usually given 2 weeks a year to spend as you wish. Your vacation time is scheduled and also limited. It’s a totally different story when you work for yourself, and yet another story if your work is online.

Working for yourself as a proprietor of a traditional business or of an online business will give you similar benefits, such as a flexible schedule and control over your own destiny. There are a couple of differences they share though, that I believe makes an online business even more attractive. An online business is usually cheaper to start and maintain. It also affords you a location independent lifestyle — meaning, you can live anywhere you want and you can find a base anywhere in the world for your business.

Working online can really be a boon to a lot of people: single moms, retired people who want extra income and those who live in the middle of nowhere but who have a great ISP connection can really benefit from being an internet business owner (just to name a few). With new and almost free blogging platforms available for anyone to use, the blogging fad has exploded and has given birth to the “problogging movement”. Yes, blogging can be a profession that allows you a lot of location independence, and is therefore one of the reasons everyone wants to flock on the web to set up a site. But let me share a few concerns and tips on this type of lifestyle:

Pros and Cons of ProBlogging

The problem here that most people may not realize is that it’s not that easy to make money blogging. It takes a lot of work, persistence, and an understanding of not just the matters of the web but also of running a true business. Given the low barriers to entry, it’s a highly competitive arena.

So while everyone thinks it’s an awesome way to make money, it’s also not that easy to keep going at it over the long term and to continue with a high rate of success. The web is a dynamic place that can cause your environment to change on a dime, so if you’re not flexible, you can easily be swept away or become stale. And unfortunately, unless you can reinvent yourself well enough over time, or unless you are sufficiently diversified, someone can easily eat your lunch. Which almost goes against the whole concept of going on vacation — sure, you’ve got the flexibility to go on vacation anytime you want, but why go on vacation when you’re watching over your shoulder? Well, it’s all a matter of perspective, mindset and balance. Always fall back on priorities. Avoid going nuts about everything, as slowing down and stepping back are important to keep your head solidly on your shoulders.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t take away the pluses of blogging: that you can pretty much take your work with you anywhere you want, or you can leave it behind for a while, while you go out of town. If you’re a business that’s big enough and you can afford it, you can always decide to leverage the work and hand off the reigns to someone else to deal with, albeit for that short bit of time while you’re on vacation. But many of us aren’t there yet, including me.

Despite these cons though, this form of work will continue to explode in the future. You can already see that younger and younger folks are doing well and making it big on the Internet. It’s hard not to feel the desire to join the crowd and ride these trends. Who wouldn’t want to have a commute of 1 minute (that’s mine, when I head for my home office) or have the option to live anywhere in the world?

Created December 18, 2006. Updated July 28, 2011. Copyright © 2011 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

MillionDollarJourney June 8, 2008 at 3:09 pm

SVB, i’m curious, how do you balance your family life and pro blogging? Do you have an office outside the house? We have a little one here, and I can’t imagine working from home and being able to effectively write without being interrupted time and time again.

Silicon Valley Blogger June 8, 2008 at 4:09 pm


My kids attend school for part of the day, so that gives me some focused time. I may have also mentioned I have extended family who “hang out” at our home on a semi-regular basis, who help with watching the kids! We also have a separate office for work (important to get that home office deduction!) but our kids find us in there often — can’t help that… 🙂 But I also do a lot of my work after 8pm when everyone’s asleep, and sometimes end up napping during the day when kids are out.

Talk about serious flex-time going on here…but for the most part, I try to ferret out pockets of time to do the job.

David June 9, 2008 at 7:10 am

I hope you don’t quit problogging!

Silicon Valley Blogger June 9, 2008 at 8:11 am

Yeah, I’m planning to hang on to my job as long as I can! 🙂

Brip Blap June 10, 2008 at 11:13 pm

I tried out problogging but unfortunately, I quit. 🙁 But you hit the nail on the head about school and family. We have neither, which means that my wife and I are the sole caregivers on a daily basis for two kids. I imagine in a few years both of our kids will attend day care/pre-K and then it might be possible to work at home, but having only weekend visits from relatives and no “kids out of the house” time it’s tough, tough, tough to work at home. So good for you – I know even WITH all of your ‘advantages’ it’s still not easy to carve out time, so kudos.

Plus, I’m not nearly as successful at blogging as you are, SVB. 🙂


rocketc December 3, 2009 at 11:13 am

Pro-blogging is the “holy grail” of the internet. I hope you can keep at it!

Craig Ford July 29, 2011 at 5:17 am

Since I’ve been travelling with my family for almost three months I’ve really grown to appreciate the flexibility of blogging. As long as I’ve got a laptop and a few hours before everyone wakes up I can keep running my business on the road. In the last three months we’ve been in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the States. It’s an amazing way to earn an income if you like to travel.

Silicon Valley Blogger July 29, 2011 at 9:45 am

@Steve (BripBlap),
Awww, it just takes time to develop the business. I think it does take longer than most people expect and there are peaks and valleys when it comes to growth and revenue. It’s a pretty unpredictable way to work, but if you can stomach the dynamic nature of this job and enjoy the process, then it may be worth pursuing. But I agree that problogging is not for everyone.

Absolutely! When I started to get into this, the whole idea of “living anywhere” did not cross my mind. I thought of the other benefits — no commute, flexible hours, be your own boss and nobody bossing you. But this is actually one of the biggest advantages of online work. It’s what distinguishes it from a traditional business. One other positive is the low costs to maintain it. Once you’ve got a business up and running, you don’t usually need employees, so you can stay “lightweight” and if you need to supplement your income further, the skills you earn here are pretty transferable (you can blog for others, use your knowledge to help on other sites, etc). So yes, what’s there not to like? The few downsides are that you can easily develop or worsen your OCD tendencies of being online and it’s getting more and more competitive to stay viable. I’ll even go so far as to say that it’s going to be pretty hard to start from scratch at this time. But if someone is resourceful and creative, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make it online.

Kristin July 29, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Do you have any suggestions or knowledge about Site Build It as a way to build and drive traffic to your website? I have been doing some research prior to starting an online business and am thinking of going with them, but if you have any thoughts about them (or if any of your readers do), I’d really love to hear them!

Silicon Valley Blogger July 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm

@Kristin, I am not sure about Site Build It. Why would you do it if there are free platforms available that may do the same thing? I don’t know much about it, but I heard it’s pretty old-fashioned. Someone correct me if I am wrong?

Bret @ Hope to Prosper July 31, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Last month, I blogged while on vacation from my sister’s house in Oregon. I felt guilty taking time away from my vacation, but I wrote one of my favorite posts of the year. Since my family was preoccupied with other activities, I used that quiet time to my advantage. I could definitely see myself living this kind of a lifestyle in the future. But, as you stated correctly, it’s not easy to make a living wage from blogging.

Leave a Comment