Would you believe that more than half of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs? Forbes reported that “53 percent of Americans are currently unhappy at work.” If you too are unhappy with your job, you may have found yourself looking online at some point for a way out of your 9 to 5.
Odds are, you stumbled across blogging as an option. However, you might have dismissed it as a pipe dream. Well, I’m here to tell you that not only is it possible to leave your 9 to 5, but you can make a full-time living blogging from your computer anywhere that you connect can connect to the internet.
I’m Living Proof You Can Quit Your Job and Make Money Blogging
While I would never tell anyone to quit their jobs and try to make a go of blogging full time, that is exactly what I did. Well, that is what I did along with my co-founder Lauren.
Let’s go back in time for just a brief moment to when she and I were working soul sucking 9 to 5 jobs just like you probably are right now. We knew that we wanted more out of life, and so armed with only a year’s savings, we quit our jobs to try this blogging thing.
Fast forward to today, and after one miserably failed blog, launching a new one, a lot of burning the midnight oil, and countless sacrifices, we now make $100,000 a month as full time bloggers.
Okay, so it isn’t exactly that cut and dry. There is a lot more to it. You can read our full story here, but I know that our background isn’t what intrigued you to click through to this article.
You want to know the meat and potatoes of how we did it. Fair enough. Since this isn’t a bait and switch piece, I’m going to spill the proverbial beans, and tell you exactly what you want to know.
Buckle up, because I’m going to give you a crash course in how to quit your job, blog, and make a great income. Are you ready for it? Let’s dive in.
Quit Your Job, Start A Blog and Make Money – Not Necessarily in That Order
Step 1 – Come up with an idea for a blog
Every good business starts with an idea. For us, our first blog was in the health and wellness space. I worked in that field, and it just was a natural fit. In fact, even though that first blog failed, this niche was also the basis for our successful blog Avocadu.
Now, that is not to say you have to blog about something you know about. However, it will help cut down on the research time. The important thing is to come up with a good idea.
Sit down with a piece of paper, or open a Word document and just brainstorm all the ideas you have for what could be a good blog. You don’t have to commit to anything just yet, but give yourself permission to explore the possibility of creating a blog.
Step 2 – Narrow your focus to a profitable niche
Here’s the unfortunate truth about blogging no one likes to talk about – not every niche will be profitable. It’s just the way it is.
Do some research around the ideas you are considering before committing to one. If there are no blogs about the niche you are thinking about, it could be a sign that there won’t be enough of an audience for it to succeed.
Blogging is one business model where competition is a good thing. Why? Because it means people are interested enough to be reading about the subject. And, a potential audience is something you are going to need to actually make money blogging. More on that in a moment.
Step 3 – Take yourself out of the equation
Though you want to start a blog, and you will be the one that has to put in a lot of hours to make it successful, the harsh reality is that this isn’t about you. What I mean by that is, whatever blog you decide to launch, you can’t be the focus of it.
Truth be told, I believe that it was too much focus on ourselves that caused our first blog to fail. You must create a blog about what other people want and need. That is the true key to success. Give people exactly what they want, and they will pay you for it with readership, and later with their hard earned dollars.
Step 4 – Commit to an idea, and begin the process of a launch
This step actually has multiple steps within it. Once you have settled on a blog idea, it’s time to think of a blog name, secure a domain, get hosting, and the list goes on. All of this happens before you ever write your first post.
Now, you might be thinking, you don’t want to spend money on launching a blog. It’s scary to put out an investment when there is no guarantee of success. The good news is that blogging is a business that doesn’t cost a lot to launch in the beginning.
You could buy your domain and your hosting, a few other things, and be in business for less than $100. Considering that microbusinesses cost an average of $3,000 to launch, a mere $100 is actually pretty small.
A word of caution on launching too cheap or for free: You could launch for free on a platform like WordPress.com or Blogger.com. The problem is that it’s harder to secure sponsorships, ad revenue, and make money in general with these platforms. You also don’t exactly own what you post, and your blog won’t be taken as seriously as a business.
In my opinion, it’s not worth it. Instead, just bite the bullet and pay for at least a domain and WordPress hosting. Then, once you start making money, invest in the blog and keep investing as you grow. This could lead you to success that much faster.
Step 5 – Write several posts before you start promoting
Before you start shouting from the rooftops that you’ve put a blog online, you should write a few posts first. Somewhere in the neighborhood of five to ten is a good start, though some experts believe 20 or 30 is a better number.
The reason you want several posts live before you begin promoting your blog, is that you want your new readers to have more posts to read if they like the first one you wrote.
After you have a healthy number of posts online, it’s time to tell everyone about your amazing new blog. Should you post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and all the places? Well, you could, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Instead, focus on just one platform for your promotions. The reason for this is you are going to be spending a significant amount of time on your blog, and spreading yourself too thin in the beginning gives you a one way ticket to burnout. That’s one land no one wants to visit.
Our personal favorite platform is Pinterest. In the health and wellness niche, it provided the best traffic for our blog. Will it work for everyone? It depends.
Like there is more to a successful blog than writing, there is much more to success on Pinterest than throwing a bunch of pins online. We’ll save that for another article, though.
Bottom line – pick one platform to promote yourself on. As you build your fanbase, and after you’re making some money, then you can revisit the idea of other platforms for promotion.
Step 6 – Keep creating content and promote, promote, promote
In the beginning of your blog, you’ll have to write a lot. Perhaps a lot more than you expect. After all, the goal is to whet the appetite of your readers and get them hooked on all the amazing stuff you have to say.
How much do you need to write? There is no definitive answer on this. Some blogging experts think you should write three to five posts per week in the beginning. Others say once a week. If you’re still working in your 9 to 5, your hours may be limited. The point is though, that as you’re building your fan base, you need to consistently give new visitors a reason to return.
Step 7 – Start an email list
Even if it’s a cheap or free platform, start an email list. This step is critical, and one far too many bloggers wait too long to start. An email list is something you own. It’s your direct line to your readers that you can later use to announce your products and services for sale to. Which brings us to our next step…
Step 8 – Ask your readers what they want and then give it to them
This is perhaps the worst kept secret of how to be successful in business. Yet, it’s one people still struggle with every day. Asking people what they want, and then giving it to them is the fastest way to make money.
Step 9 – Keep writing, asking, and delivering
You may have figured this out by now, but this article is an incredibly simplified list of steps for a successful blog. Write, build an audience, ask them what they want, and deliver it. Then, rinse and repeat. Simple right? Notice I said simple, not easy.
There are several more elements to quitting your job to make a full time living online that I couldn’t cover here. To learn more about how to make money blogging, and see these steps broken down into better detail, read our full free report here (no opt-in required).
About Alex and Lauren
Alex Nerney and Lauren McManus, former personal trainer and CPA, quit their full-time jobs in search of time and financial freedom. After starting their first health and wellness blog, Avocadu, and taking it to six figures in its first year, they started Create and Go, where they teach others how to build and monetize blogs. The strategies they teach relate to Pinterest traffic, affiliate marketing, and course creation.