TechCrunch’s Arrington Talks Manic Work Schedule, Letting Go

Ever think about launching that blog that will get millions of hits, netting you millions of dollars? It’s a wonderful thought, but you might want to realize the type of effort it will take to accomplish the dream.

arrington.jpgMichael Arrington, the creator of the tech blog TechCrunch started his site five years ago just to share his research on Silicon Valley start-ups. It has ballooned, boasting 9.5 million unique visitors a month. But in a post for Inc magazine, Arrington shares just how much he obsesses over the blog, explaining his workdays. If you want to start your own successful blog, don’t expect to sleep much.

“I try to get up at 9 a.m. every day. One of the things my doctor wants me to do is regulate my sleep. A year ago, I’d work until I passed out, and wake up eight or nine hours later, which might be 4 p.m. or 3 a.m. Then I’d work again until I passed out. That was my life for four years-it got really bad. I missed a lot of social things. I didn’t keep up with friends. I was a mess. I actually gained 50 pounds in the five years since I started TechCrunch. So now I’m working with a doctor and trying to get reset.”

He goes on to talk about the number of sources he speaks to in a day, and then describes what it was like when he first started TechCrunch, and how he got hooked on blogging.

I’ve always been manic about it. You know that experiment where the rat hits the lever and the treat comes out? By the third day of writing, I got my first comment from somebody who wasn’t my mom. That’s the treat. Then people started subscribing to my RSS feed. Every day, that number would go up-10, 13, 100. That constant feedback is my reward.

But with that, Arrington has started to realize he doesn’t have to do everything or be everywhere for the blog. It’s a tough realization, when you’ve created the site on your own.

I went to Hawaii for a month and didn’t bring my computer. Page views went up; everything was fine. That helped me realize that I am not nearly as important as I thought I was-and that the team I hired is really good. I’ve really let go since then.