Becoming a Full Time Blogger
If your goal is to eventually leave your job and pursue your blog full time…this blog post is for you! I was able to leave my full time job as a marketing consultant to pursue my blog after just one year of blogging. Below I’m going to show you the steps I took to turn my dream of being a full time blogger into a reality.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know I quit my job and turned down an $80k/year job to pursue my blog. Did I mention I was a single mother at the time? Talk about putting it all out there and taking a risk! P.S. If I can do it…you can do it!
The dirty, dirty truth
Do you want to know how much I was making on my blog when I quit my job? I was making $100 a day. Now if you do the math, $100 is only $36,500 a year. Now that was less than 50% of what I was making as a consultant…BUT, because I was living below my means and following the 6 steps outlined below, I was able to make this work while I built my blog up.
One thing that you are going to have to get comfortable with is living on less money for a while. For example, if you are making $75,000 at your current job and are telling yourself that you will only leave your job once your blog is also making $75,000 you are going to be waiting a long long time. Here’s why..if you have a full time job, you will never have the incentive to give your blog all that it needs to be successful. At some point, you are going to have to take a leap of faith (and a pay cut!). You can however, do a few things to ensure that the leap will be worthwhile.
Figure out what your number is
The first step you need to take is to figure how much money you need to make on your blog in order to get by. You don’t want to go into the poor house pursuing your dream, that’s just not smart. So you’ll want to make sure that you are making enough money on your blog to at least pay your bills and necessities.
Here’s a quick way to figure out your number:
Monthly bills (Rent/Mortgage, Car payment, Utilities, Insurance, Food & Gas) + Incidentals = Your Magic Number
Now that you have your magic number which covers your bills and incidentals, divide that number by 30. This will give you an approximate amount of how much money you will need to make each day on your blog until you can give your job the old heave ho.
My magic number back then was $2500 per month…so I told myself once I started earning $100 per day, I would leave my job. After one year I did just THAT. But I waited a month to quit my job to make sure that the $100 per day wasn’t a fluke and it was something sustainable.
Create a Goal Worksheet
Now that you have your magic number. I want you to give yourself a realistic timeline of when you’d like to quit your job. Write that date down and work backwards. For example, if you are giving yourself a year to leave your job, then you will start by writing down that date and then write goals for each month up until that date. In each of those months, I want you to write down what your traffic & revenue goals are. Hold yourself accountable to those goals!
Start living on a percentage of your income
As much as it’s going to suck to cut down on your spending, the payoff of working for yourself far outweighs the pain of cutting back on Starbucks lattes.
By now you have an idea of how much money that you need to make each month to cover your bills. What I’d like you to do now is take a hard look at your spending and determine if there’s anything you can cut out or cut back on. The more you can reduce your spending, the sooner you will be able to quit your job.
One of the ways I was able to save a ton of money was by shopping with coupons. I got so good at using coupons that I reduced my monthly grocery bill from $750 to $150. That’s an extra $600 I was saving each month, just by using coupons and watching sales.
Start making more money on the side
Start thinking about ways that you can make money on the side while building up your blog. Personally, I gave coupon parties at night and charged $20 per person to attend my classes. There were some weeks that I was doing 3 classes a week and bringing in several extra hundred dollars per month.
Write down a list of ways that you can make extra money. Can you give classes? Can you sell something you make? Can you become a VA for other bloggers?
The nice thing about creating an additional source of income is that you can continue to do this once you leave your full time job while you are building your blog.
Devote most of your free time to building up your business
Now I know that between a full time job and a family to run, your free time is pretty minimal. But I’m telling you that you have to devote as much of your free time to building your business as you can. In fact the easiest way to do this is to make time. In order to build my business, I started waking up before my family (5:30 am) and would use that time to write, strategize and update my social media.
I want you to ONLY focus on blog activities that bring traffic to your blog. Read this blog post for a good starting point.
If I were you, I’d focus all of my attention on the following activities:
- Creating a community around your blog (Create a Facebook page, create a Facebook group & interact on Instagram, read this & this)
- Creating killer content that gets shared (Read this)
- Getting Email Subscribers (Use Mailchimp, it’s free for 2,000 subscribers, read this)
- Pinterest (This is the one social network that you will want to master, read this)
Diversify your blog revenue’s stream
You are not going to be able to quit your job to pursue a full time blog if you are relying on only one revenue stream for your blog. If you take a look at other blogger’s income reports, you’ll notice that they make money from a variety of sources like advertising, affiliate marketing, product development and sponsored posts. The earlier you diversify your revenue streams, the quicker you will be able to quit your job.
You will want to concentrate on the following revenue streams:
- Ad Revenue
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Posts
- Product Development (Course creation or an eBook)
Once you’ve got all of those revenue streams generating income, you will be that much closer to becoming a full time blogger. Here is a guide to blog monetization that you can reference for more details.
Now, I’m not trying to disillusion you and I’m definitely not one of those blogging coaches who promises you will start earning six figures in your first year of blogging. What I am..is realistic. Becoming a full time blogger is a lot of work, however, it is an attainable goal. So many of my friends have made the transition from part time to full time blogger, that I know it is 100% achievable for you to accomplish, as long as you put the work in.