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How I Became a Full Time Blogger in One Year + How Much Money I Was Making on my Blog

When I started my coupon blog, CouponKarma*, I really had no idea what would come of it. I had a great job as a social media consultant and was on my way to getting a job at my DREAM advertising agency in Portland, so I really didn’t set out to become a full time blogger. Truth be told, I kinda liked having a steady paycheck….especially since I was going through a divorce. BUT, even though I didn’t think I was going to go full time with the blog, I knew that I wanted to monetize it from the very beginning. (My husband likes to joke that I don’t have any hobbies that don’t make me money..and it’s partly true. If I’m going to spend my valuable time on something, I want to get paid for it.)

The first day I publicly launched my blog (August 2010) I made $10 in Google Adsense & coupon print revenue. This is AMAZING for a first day. All I did to promote it was announce my new website on my personal Facebook page and Twitter. That’s it. At first, I was a writing machine, blogging every free minute of the day. It helped that my ex-husband and I had 50/50 custody because I spent all of my time writing on the blog. Having a coupon blog is a little unlike having a regular blog because you are constantly posting new deals as they come..it’s almost like writing ‘breaking news’ posts for a news outlet. Over the next few months, my friends began to tell their friends and my blog readership grew quite rapidly.

In January 2011, my local newspaper, The Portland Press Herald ran an article about my couponing habits and blog. It gave me a nice little boost of readership. Then something totally unexpected happened…I began to think…maybe I should do this full time? I loved blogging, I loved couponing and I wanted to spend more time with my children.  I made a plan of action and my first vision board (they really work!) that would help take me from full time consultant to full time blogger by my one year anniversary, which was 8 months away!

Here are the three things I did immediately:

  1. Figure out how much I would have to make – This would be the amount of money I needed to make to cover my bills if I left consulting. My number happened to be $2500. This was ONLY enough to cover expenses, there was no savings or extras in that number. That number made me a little nervous (especially since I had an older car at the time), so I rounded up and decided on $100 a day. I told myself that when I made $100 a day for at least a month consecutively I would quit consulting.
  2. Spend less – This was an easy one for me because I was extreme couponing on a daily basis, so my food bill went from $750 a month to $150 a month and I was spending practically nothing on beauty and health supplies thanks to couponing.
  3. Earn more – I began teaching in-home coupon parties where I would charge $20 per person to teach them how to extreme coupon. Women loved these parties and I did too. Doing these parties REALLY helped spread the word about my blog and created a built-in readership. (Truth be told, I miss doing these in-home parties the most)

ccextreme

In March, 6 months after I started my blog, TLC’s Extreme Couponing reached out to me to appear on their TV show. They had seen the article that my local paper had done and asked me if I wanted to appear on the show. I couldn’t let that opportunity pass by, so I filmed an episode of Extreme Couponing later that month. Traffic on my website exploded the night and days after I appeared on the show. This publicity helped me reach a national audience for the first time. In September 2011, I quit all of my consulting jobs and became a full time blogger, exactly 1 year and 1 month after starting my blog.

The day I finally went full time with the blog, I was making $100 a day. Think about it…$100 a day is $35,600 a year. Less than I had ever made, but happier than I had ever been. The best part is that this was just my starting point. Now that I was a full time blogger, I could dedicate more time to monetization and traffic building. I eventually went on to double and triple that before I sold the website in early 2015.

Now I want to emphasize for those of you who may be thinking to yourselves, “well she got help from being on the show”…that I would’ve never gotten on the TV show had I not started that blog. You never know what kind of opportunities that will come your way when you start a blog. I feel so grateful for all of the people I have met, that I have helped and that have supported my career as a blogger. This my friends, IS the power of blogging 🙂

*I sold CouponKarma in 2015 and no longer have any affiliation with it.

Chrystie is a mom of 3 kids and wife to one. She's sold 4 blogs in the last 10 years and now helps other women start their blogging empire. Her love for really bad reality TV is only trumped by her love for margaritas without salt. Her other addictions include spray painting everything gold and embarrassing her kids at the bus stop. #thatmom

This article has 13 comments

  1. Gertrude

    Hi Chrystie,

    That is a truly increbidle story. And I love how to mention at the end that it took you work UPFRONT. If you had never built your website, Extreme Couponing would not have found you and you wouldn’t have gotten all that publicity. This is such a crucial thing that a lot of people miss when they look at successful bloggers as yourself.

    Hard work upfront THEN success !

    Thanks for sharing your story. Coming over from the Blogging Boost FB group.

    • Chrystie

      Hi Gertrude! Yes, a blog is a lot of work upfront. I sometimes get frustrated with seeing so many “6 Figure Blogger” strategies out there. Being a blogger is being committed and ONLY then will you see the fruits of your labor 🙂 Thanks for visiting the blog!

  2. Sheila Jo

    Way to go, Chrystie!

  3. LaKisha Riddick

    This is very inspirational. This is what “your gift makes room for you” looks like. You took your passion and ran with it to not only help yourself, but others. Then the opportunities came! Congratulations on your success!

    • Chrystie

      “Your gift makes room for you”..I’ve never heard that before. I love it!

  4. Dia @ All The Things I Do

    Really inspiring story. I think that is a great way to go about becoming a full-time blogger. That is my ultimate goal and I think deciding how much I need/want to make is a good way to figure things out. I’ll have to check out some more of your story. I love reading bloggers who have done what I’ve wanted to do 🙂

    • Chrystie

      Thank you Dia! Good luck on your journey to becoming a full time blogger! 🙂

  5. Angel the Alien

    That is awesome! I hope someday I can do that! You are living the dream!

  6. Jess | Make and Do Crew

    Was the dream job at W + K perhaps? 🙂 I work in advertising too. I’m a copywriter. I’ve been freelance since had my first daughter three years ago. I love meeting other people who have applied their advertising skills to a new, more satisfying path. Thanks for sharing an inspiring story!

    • Chrystie

      Haha! Nope! Wrong Portland, I think. I was talking about Portland, Maine 🙂

  7. Michelle

    Hi Chrystie,
    My name is Michelle and I just started my own blog about three or four weeks ago. I have been trying to get the word out and get suggestions on what my audience would like to read about. Unfortunately, this has been a struggle since my audience is little to no people. I was just wondering if you have any tips on how you got your friends to share it and where you actually started from. Right now I am going through WordPress, but I was just curious if maybe I could get some pointers on where to start and how to get people excited about my blog. You can check out my current website at newmomwithablog.wordpress.com and leave any tips or feedback on what I can improve on, but I know your busy so if you don’t I completely understand! Your story was amazing to read!

  8. Megan Kelly Botha

    I recently noticed you followed me on Twitter and your bio caught my eye. I have been between two worlds: blogging for passion vs. monetizing my blog. In reality, I do a bit of both and what’s confusing me is if I really want to just keep it as a hobby or make this into something. I really liked this post and found it SO useful. Excuse me while I get lost in the rest of your blog xxx

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