Starting a Blog in a Recession: How to Do it and What you Need to Know

I first published the below article five years ago – back then it was titled How I Quit My Job to Become a Blogger.

Every word of it is as true now in 2022 (and going into 2023) 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 the “pandemic era” – in my opinion.

There is still SO much potential for those want to create their own job freedom, and as we hear more and more rumors of massive recession… maybe there is more NEED than ever, also.

One of my good friends in this blogging space has been making money online as a blogger since 2009 (wayyyy before me!) – and she told me once she started because of recession. 

I can imagine a lot more people starting blogs this coming year for the same reason.

And it still works – it’s still a real way to create your own job. (Not overnight, no, but over time. It takes around a year for most blogs to find their legs.)

Starting a blog in a recession is the same as starting a blog any other time – it has the same requirements, the same steps… and the same potential, which is perhaps the most amazing part of all this.

So to answer the question – “should you start a blog in a recession?” – the easy answer is “YES”… but the longer answer is that you need to know that blogging won’t be immediate income, so you should start your blog with plans for it to become an income over the course of a year or so.


Now, on with the important stuff, this is the story of how I quit my job to be a blogger:

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.

Six 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.

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.

Six years in, and blogging is better than ever. The longer I do this, the more I love it. There are ups and downs with my income, sure – but it still beats a “real” job.

And going into a recession, I’m not as concerned about my job as many others are. Will my income go down a but? Almost inevitably, as advertisers pull back their spending.

But will it go away entirely?

Wildly unlikely.

How to quit your job and work from home as a blogger:

First of all, start now.

Just do it. (It really is cheap to get started. Follow this easy, step by step tutorial here.)

There is no time like now. If I hadn’t started six years ago, the time 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 a year or so, 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 course, but in a nutshell:

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.

If you’re looking for other work at home suggestions, consider becoming a virtual assistant, or try freelance writing.

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.

Related: Stay at home mom jobs: the ultimate guide to earning an income from home

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. 

Related: How to Start a Blog and Make Money From Home
Related: 4 Secrets of People Who Successfully Work From Home#blogging #workfromhome #blogger #blog #startablog



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140 thoughts on “Starting a Blog in a Recession: How to Do it and What you Need to Know”

  1. Do you recommend the “Daily Productivity Guide”? I purchased the Bundle and then they offered the Guide at a reduced price.

    Thanks so much for this info!

  2. This is awesome a lot of the same skeptical questions I have, But you did it and I love how you just say to do it! I know I need to just launch it already!

    • YES! Just launch, and learn as you go. Honestly, there’s no other way !

  3. This is a great post! I’ve been blogging since 2015 and am seeing a steady increase in income and traffic. It does take a lot of hard work and dedication. I love how you easily explained everything in this post. Thank you!

    • So glad you enjoyed it Jeremy! All the best in blogland to you 😉

  4. Hi Carly,

    Great post and so glad that you were able to see success so quickly. I actually picked up your eBook so I can start implementing your manual pinning strategies.

    I’ve only been using the strategies you shared for a week today. I can definitely see an increase in my Pinterest traffic. I have to admit that I’ve had the eBook for a while, but I was too lazy to implement it.

    I am still using the automated schedulers but I figured I would test it out to see if I can see an improvement in my stats just by using manual pinning.

    I can definitely say that it is possible to improve your traffic by taking the time to pin manually. While I don’t pin anywhere near 70 pins, I am only manually pinning 10 pins.

    I just don’t have the time to pin that many pins manually. I’m testing this method for 30 days and if I see a huge improvement in my traffic, I may just have to increase the amount that I pin manually.

    Thanks for sharing your tips with us and this is the reason that you’re having such huge success. I’m currently working on getting my page views up on my blog. I still have a long way to go, but it’s nice to finally see it climbing.

    I should’ve started using the strategies when I bought the eBook. Oh well, better late than never right 🙂

    Just wanted to stop by and say thanks.

    Have a great day 🙂


    • HI Susan! I am SO excited to hear that you are already seeing an improvement with the ebook 🙂 Thank you so much for letting me know!

  5. Hi Carly!
    What a great post! I just started my blog and was so excited until I hit a bump with a few things. It immediately popped my “I CAN do this” bubble. After reading this, however, I have my motivation back to keep at it. You’re right, I have to put in the work and time if I ever want anything to come from it. Thank you again for sharing!

  6. This post is so awesome and inspiring. Your words definitely lit a fire in me and is giving me that extra push to try to make this whole blogging thing a success. I’ve worked in customer service for years and I am soo done, so I’m really going to try to keep learning and implementing the things i’m learning so that I can quit and be my own boss! Thank you for sharing your experience!

  7. Hi , I am sooo more motivated. Am such is far place from my baby having to do A job I do not like for some little stipend.. I just can’t wait to learn how to monetize my writing becos I love to share my reality experiences of life with people.

  8. Wow your dedication is so impressive, I think that is the part holding me back not really being consistent and dedicated 100%

  9. I’m really impressed by your motivation to succeed! I started my blog really recently, and have it self-hosted since the past Thursday only! I quitted a job I wasn’t happy with mid-June and decided that while doing my online course in digital marketing, I should also work hard on my brand new blog
    I’m still trying to figure out how everything is working (including promotion, etc), because right now, I can’t get any followers on Pinterest… it’s just not working at all… So I’m doing a massive amount of research and try to get this work as I would love to live from blogging and not from a 9-5 job.
    I’m also a bit nervous as I am not an English native speaker and I’m a bit scared of people’s reaction to my blog posts…
    Your post gave me some courage and motivation, so I will make sure to continue to invest time and efforts in these directions!

    • I wish you ALL THE BEST! blogging cab be a little scary and slow to start, but it’s totally worth it!

  10. Hey Carly,

    Awesome post, thanks for sharing.

    I just wanted to provide some additional info to help encourage your readers (even more than you’ve already done!) that it 100% is possible to make a full-time living (and more!) from blogging.

    I recently shared a blog post with my audience that compared the income reports of six trusted bloggers to see how long it took them to reach a full-time income. (I decided on $4,168.97 for the monthly full-time income figure, which was based on the average annual United States salary for 45-54 year olds divided by 12).

    I found that the quickest time to achieve this full-time income was 12 months, while the slowest was 36 months. The average time taken by the six bloggers was 21.67 months (much shorter than I had imagined!)

    I found that the biggest factor in how long it takes you to earn more than hobby-money from your blog is the income strategy you choose. 2 of the 3 blogs that achieved full-time income the quickest used affiliate marketing almost exclusively, as it is usually more profitable than advertising, and it’s much faster than creating products.

    That’s not to say that advertising can’t be quick, however, as one blogger managed to reach a full-time income in only 13 months almost exclusively using advertising, but in general, it will be the slowest income earner available to bloggers.

    And you know what’s fantastic? It doesn’t take a massive number of page views either, provided you choose a more efficient way of making money from your blog.

    The lowest number of page views in my study was 51,367 which earned $5,968.79 (using 100% affiliate marketing), while the highest number of page views was 893,672 which brought in $5,474.71 (using 94% advertising).

    Such a huge difference in page views for not a massive difference in income, eh?

    Anyways, I’ve rambled on for too long. I hope this helps encourage your readers!

    Keep up the awesome work.


    • Thanks so much for sharing that Jonathan! This is super interesting info!!

  11. This is so helpful and gives me hope that it can be done. The end of my job is on a deadline, so my goal is to have by blog making at least what I do now within that time frame (I have about 6 months) With hard work, it just might be possible! Thanks for your post!

    • 6 months is a good chunk of time to make a solid start – I wish you ALL THE BEST!!!

  12. This is what I aim to do for my blog honestly your whole blog is goals and I am so inspired right now this was super helpful. 🙂

  13. Wow! I’m inspired! You give the basic plan of action in such a relatable way. I guess I’m worried I can’t do it, so I keep shoving the idea aside. But you make it seem possible, even with an income. I would love to make at least $5k/mo but could certainly get by with less. Thank you..

  14. Hi Carly!

    Thank you for this article. I feel that motherhood is a journey and it takes time to figure out your groove. One thing that stood out was how you knew that you wanted to be at home and raise your baby BUT still provide for your family. My business partner and I are passionate about having moms choose their own path and creating a new path with equal pay. Thanks for encouraging me and your Internet fans to keep chipping away at our dream life! Many blessings!

  15. There is not 100% chance to be successful in blogging, leave the job, it can be a mistake if we don’t have proper knowledge of blogging

  16. Congratulations on your success! We recently started a blog/website all in the making money online niche to bring about many strategies to make money from beginner to advanced. While the website is no where near complete. We are dedicated to making this a success. This post has been very motivational. Thank you!

  17. Hi Carly, This is a great and inspiring post. I guess you need to have a reason for the dedication. Your baby for instance. I have been at it for a year but not with a lot of dedication. My problem is that I do not want to keep pushing money into a blog that is not giving me anything in return. Guess this is my mistake. But now I have to change my strategy because my hubby will be out of a job next year and that may be my reason.
    Thanks for this. ;))

  18. Thank you for the article and sharing – a timely reminder for me to kick myself into working on my content. Definitely not easy for you but you made it!


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