OCTOBER 12, 2020 – UPDATE:
I first published the below article three years ago.
Every word of it is as true now in 2020 (and going into 2021) as it was in 2018.
Working from home is perhaps MORE possible than ever now, one of the few positive changes to come out of 2020 – in my opinion.
There is still SO much potential for those want to create their own job freedom.
(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
When it comes to blogging specifically, the ONE thing that may be a little different now is I would perhaps start with a niche site, rather than a “blog”, but at the end of the day it’s gonna do the same thing for you. (Learn more about starting a niche site here.)
Now, on with the important stuff:
Ever think about quitting your day job?
I’m almost sure you do!
Never waking up again at 6 am to commute, never again worrying more about someone else’s bottom line, never missing another one of your baby’s firsts… never (ever) smiling like you mean it (but really, really, not meaning it) – when you’d rather just flat out punch the guy in the throat? (I worked in customer service. Can you tell?)
Or maybe your dream is throwing your laptop in a bag and getting on the next plane – working from the beach with a margarita in hand…
I’d be willing to bet MOST of us have at least thought about it.
But you’re a responsible person. You have bills to pay, and you’re smarter than to think you can chase some pipe dream all the way to the bank. You’re gonna put in your time and do what needs to be done to make sure you’re making a decent enough living.
That’s what grown-ups do.
I get it… ‘cus I’m that way too.
No really, I really am that way – when it comes to living the dream, I am a hard sell; I am a skeptic.
But I am also a success story.
Three years ago, I was in a very different place in my life.
Here’s the abbreviated version:
I was settling in as a receptionist (at a job I loved, but didn’t make a killing at), after 10 years of terrible customer service work (at a job I hated, but made decent money at).
I was ready to accept the pay decrease to finally be happy.
About three months in, we found out I was pregnant. (Not unplanned, but still unexpected. We had been trying for a long time, and I was giving up on the idea of becoming a mom. Praise God for His many blessings ♥.)
It didn’t take me more than 5 minutes to decided that if we were finally going to have a baby, then I was going to raise the baby – not pay some strangers to do it for me. (This is not a slight against working moms – this is what I wanted for me and my family. I want to be the one there with my baby, day in and day out.)
But, I had no idea how I was going to do that. (Like none. It was blank inside my head.)
I had tried and tried over the years to figure out how to quit my job and work from home – as a travel agent, as a photographer, as a “crafter” (yes that’s a real thing). I had started a blog on a whim once… and given it about two weeks of “effort” before I abandoned it. I had considered transcription. But none of those things were working for me. They all felt a little like wading through waist deep mud – maybe this is why I am a skeptic?
Maybe these experiences had “proven” to me that working from home is a pipe dream? (Baffling, because both my parents work from home. I’ve seen it done!)
But this time, there was a reason bigger than just me not wanting to go to work
This time, I wanted to make working from home real for myself more than I wanted anything else in the world.
I had no idea where to start, what steps to take, how to make it happen.
Then a little voice inside my head said “You love to write – there has to be a way you can write”!
That first “start my blog” experience I had was pretty scarring.
I wasted 70 bucks and WordPress had made me feel about 103 years old. (Am I the only 30 year old woman in the western world who never took a single computer class in high school?) So you wouldn’t think blogging would be the thing I would choose to do.
(I honestly can not even tell you why I chose blogging… except that God must have directed me here.)
But this time there was a big glaring difference in how I approached it.
This time, I decided that I would not fail. I decided to be all in.
I did a.l.o.t. of research. I realized that if you want to do make money at something, you need to LEARN to do it RIGHT.
There are no practicing Doctors out there who didn’t graduate from medical school, no lawyers who haven’t passed the bar. Getting an education in what you want to do is usually necessary. So I invested a decent chunk of change into a blogging course. (Which I do believe is largely responsible for my success – the course was Elite Blog Academy.
And then I worked.
I quit watching TV, quit surfing Facebook, quit shopping and cooking and showering and sleeping. I worked 50+ hours per week on the blog, while still working my desk job 4 days per week. (I was on a baby imposed deadline. It probably doesn’t have to be quite this intense – HA.)
I put in the time. (And the tears, and more money. Yes, it cost me money.) And it just started to come together.
One year later, I was making a full time income from blogging. (You can read my income reports here.) I will not be returning to a desk job (or any job). I am raising my baby and working for myself from home.
(If I didn’t have kids, I could be working for myself from anywhere.)
It’s not a pipe dream at all.
UPDATE: Five years in, and blogging is better than ever. The longer I do this, the more I learn.
How to quit your job and work from home as a blogger:
First of all, start now.
Just do it. (It really is dirt cheap to get started. Follow this easy, step by step tutorial here: How to Start a Blog.)
There is no time like now. If I hadn’t started a year ago, the year would still have passed.
Whatever reason you have for not starting, it’s probably not good enough. You are capable – if you decide to be.
I am nothing special.
No, really. That’s not a self-esteem “issue” statement – I’m a pretty confident lady – it’s just a fact. I have no education, no special talents, no anything about me that sets me apart from you or from anyone else. I am not more qualified than you. (Maybe I am more determined, but that’s something that you have complete control over!) I just decided to do it, and then I did it.
As far as the secret to making a full time living BLOGGING in less than a year, I believe it really does come down to a few key things.
I go over HOW to do all these things in more detail in this free mini course, but in a nutshell:
- Start your blog the right way, (with an understanding that it is not going to be easy) and with a great hosting company.
- Invest in learning how to blog. You need to treat your blog like it is your business.
- Do not get distracted by the rest of life. Your blog needs to be a priority.
- Write ONLY profitable content that will get you clicks and views and shares – AND MAKE YOU MONEY. Don’t bother writing fluff.
- Have 25 or more AWESOME, clickable posts written BEFORE you start promotion.
- Learn how to get easy page views with Pinterest. (This was essential to my success.)
- Do affiliate marketing the right way (yes, there’s definitely a wrong way)
- Learn how to get page views from OTHER sources too. (I STRONGLY recommend Lena Gott’s Traffic Transformation Guide .)
- Don’t be afraid to jump into monetization strategies right away.
- Try ALL THE THINGS! Don’t just put up some Ads and Amazon links and call it a day.
- Have patience in those first few slow painful months. Don’t give up!
I’ve put together a FREE course on how to start a blog (and make money) to help you get going in the right direction for profitability. Starting a blog for profit is different than just “starting a blog”, and there are things – important things – that you need to understand to make money blogging. ESPECIALLY if you want to make money quickly. The free course will help you get a solid foundation set up.
I’m not saying that blogging has to be the thing for you, however.
There are lots of work from home jobs that you can approach the same way I approached blogging – and be just as successful at.
Find your thing and DO YOUR THING.
Choose to make the change. Stop whining about your job and fix your life.
I’ve always thought that transcription or proofreading looked like awesome options – more about both of those work from home ideas here.
Just start. And then don’t stop until you succeeded.
Does this apply to everyone? Does this apply to you?
Fact of the matter is, if you don’t think it DOES apply to you, then it won’t.
This only applies to you if you let it.
If you are ready to work for yourself, then do it.
Let’s be real. (There’s an awful lot of not real on the internet, and I hope you know you won’t find that stuff here.)
I am not (even though I do joke about it) working from my couch in my jammies. I am putting on pants, and choosing to work when I would rather not. I am spending every free moment I have learning more to improve the way I do what I am doing.
It is hard to work for yourself. It is hard to make something – with your bare hands – that amounts to anything.
If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
But here’s the thing. It’s also hard to hate what you do, hate paying some else to raise your kids, hate that you’re trading two hours of sleep every day for two hours on the train.
It might be the path of least resistance, but it’s still hard.
So choose your hard.