How to Turn Your Blog Into Your Full-Time Job

Because Writing In Your PJs Is Awesome

The 9-5 is killing you.

You want more freedom.

You want to spend more time with your friends and family.

You are tired of your salary having a ceiling that you don’t control.

There are a ton of different things that can help with these problems, but I am going to suggest you try blogging. In fact, you’re probably here because you’ve heard the stories of average folks making a pretty good living from blogging.

Blogging can be extremely lucrative if done properly. Maybe you’ve seen a couple of different income reports from bloggers showcasing the crazy amounts of money they make every month.

Of course, not everybody makes these numbers, but there is nothing special about any of these people (I have mad love for all of them, but I gotta tell the truth). You can do what they do but it takes time and effort.

I’ve started over 15 different online businesses in my lifetime. Some have succeeded and some have failed. Absolutely none of them allowed for shortcuts.

If you’re looking to make money quickly, then blogging is not the route to take. And this is coming from someone that has made over $17,000 in the first 4 months of blogging.

You would be better off taking taking online surveys and earning a couple hundred a month.

Blogging can be extremely lucrative if you treat it properly. The problem is that thousands of people jump into it because technically it is pretty easy.

  • You buy a domain name
  • You buy some hosting
  • You install WordPress
  • You start writing

Starting a blog is not hard at all even if you aren’t a technical wizard. Seeing what other people have done to be successful with a blog makes it seem like anyone can do it.

Anyone can do it, but not everyone can do it if that makes sense.

It takes a certain type of person to be able to turn their blog into a full-time job.

What type of person?

Personality Traits of Successful Bloggers

I’ve studied hundreds of successful blogs over the years. I’ve even created a couple myself in that time. I’ve also spoken with a ton of bloggers over the past couple of years and every single one of them shares the same traits.

1. Curious

They are constantly curious about things. They want to learn more and in that pursuit of knowledge, they begin to open doors to more things.

Why is this important?

Because great bloggers understand everything isn’t textbook. I can create a guide to show you how to start a blog and make it successful, but it is still a guide written from my perspective.

There could be one hundred other ways to do things and successful bloggers go out to explore and see if those ways are actually better.

2. Action-Oriented

Successful bloggers take action.

This is probably the biggest hurdle that many bloggers experience or wannabe bloggers. They read about how someone is successful with a blog and they go out and do research because they are curious (that’s good!).

Unfortunately, all they end up doing is research because they think they need to constantly acquire this mythical knowledge before they can get started (that’s bad!).

Successful bloggers take a little bit of time to build a plan and then they attack. Some, like myself, don’t do much planning at all and just go for it.

You will make mistakes. You will make a ton of mistakes. That’s a given.

Don’t fear the mistakes. There is no mistake that you can do to your blog that will set it back to the Stone Age.

At some point in time if you want to make money with your blog you need to take action.

3. They Show Up Every Day

I work with a number of beginning bloggers and this might be the hardest thing for them.

It’s possible to build a successful blog while working full-time, but it requires you showing up every single day.

The beginning bloggers I work with work with me because they want to mirror my success. The difference between me and them though is that I’m constantly doing something to further my blog’s success. Sure I’ll take a day or two off here and there, but I don’t go weeks without posting something.

I know bloggers that have 10 mediocre posts on their blogs and start to feel bad for themselves because they aren’t getting the traffic that other bloggers get.

Is there a reason your blog deserves more recognition than the person that:

  • Write 3 awesome and valuable posts a week?
  • Spends some time every day helping others in their niche?
  • Ensures that their target audience is aware of their blog through promotion?

At your full-time job if you only show up twice a week and sometimes don’t show up at all, do you deserve to be paid? Do you deserve a raise or promotion?

If you want to turn your blog into a full-time job then guess what? You are the boss and employee and somehow you need to make that relationship work.

4. Focused

I am terrible at this. I have a million different things that I want to pursue. The best bloggers are different. They have one goal and they are laser-focused on that goal and won’t stop until it is achieved.

Beginning bloggers are easily distracted with stuff that won’t help their blog in the short term. They think they need to master Facebook Ads or SEO right from the beginning. There are so many other more important things to focus on.

Set the right goals for your blog and knock them out one at a time.

Money-Making Methods

Unfortunately, personality traits alone won’t make you any money so you need to understand how it’s possible to monetize your blog.

Before we get into that, though, let’s think about why someone buys something.

When you go to the store and buy milk you are doing so because you need it. Too many bloggers waste time on creating products or services that they think people want, but in reality, nobody needs them.

It’s hard to make someone make an impulse purchase on a product or service that is $27+.

For that reason, you need to spend a lot of time showing them value and educating them on why they need your offerings.

This is something important to keep in mind. Just because you create something doesn’t mean people are obligated to buy it. You need to spend time convincing them and one of the best ways to do that is through blogging.

Okay, let’s talk about the money-making methods.

1. Affiliate Marketing

This one is first because it is the easiest to get started. Affiliate marketing is when you promote someone else’s products and if the person clicks a link and purchases the product, you get a commission.

It’s a pretty sweet deal for a number of reasons.

  1. All you have to do is provide a link.
  2. Someone else has spent time creating a product and hopefully working on a sales page to sell that product well.
  3. You don’t have to worry about any maintenance. You can set it and forget it.

Michelle Gardner earns over $40,000 a month with affiliate marketing. Other blogs make between 4-5 figures a month as well. I make over $5,000 a month with affiliate marketing.

There is no doubt that affiliate marketing is lucrative, but you have to do a bit more than just put a link on your site and hope that people click it.

The best affiliate marketers are able to create value around a link. In fact, the link simply acts more as a supplement to something else. For example, you’ll see a ton of bloggers create how to start a blog guides and they will insert their affiliate links into that.

The reason why this is so effective is because people like to learn. A step-by-step guide to starting a blog is great and if your guide is showing them how to set up a hosting account, then there is a good chance they will click on that link and purchase an account.

It’s what I do in the Free Blogging Guide. That guide was created for two reasons:

  1. Help as many bloggers as possible build successful blogs
  2. Insert affiliate links that will help me generate passive income

Although affiliate marketing is often put under the label of passive income it still takes a lot of work to get right and become lucrative enough to become a full-time job.

2. Offering Services

This is the approach I took with Obstacle.co for the first couple of months. Offering services is one of the fastest ways to make money with a blog because you don’t have to worry about creating a product.

Instead, you set up a page letting people know about your services and hopefully some people take you up on them.

Blogging and offering services work hand-in-hand because blogging is a great way to showcase your expertise. If I write a blog post on Pinterest strategies to grow your blog then people will see that I’m an expert on Pinterest marketing. Then if they see I offer a service around building up their Pinterest profiles, I have a better chance of gaining clients.

The biggest problem with offering services is that they don’t scale. The only way you can continue to make more money each month from services is by either increasing the price of the service or getting more clients.

Increasing the price shrinks a number of people that can afford your service and getting more clients has a limit because you can only provide service to so many people at once.

3. Become a Speaker

This is a tough one to break into because your blog really has to show that you know what you’re talking about. Also, if you want to become a full-time speaker you need to spend time looking for events.

Don’t expect to speak at one event a year and retire for the next 11 months.

One of the benefits of becoming a speaker is that it can help propel your other revenue streams.

When someone has the chance to hear you speak it gives them a better feel for what you are about. That leads to a better chance of them purchasing your products or services.

4. Online Courses

If you’ve done any type of research into the blogs that make big-time money then you probably know that this one of the most lucrative things that you can do.

Ramit Sethi has turned online courses into an 8-figure business for himself.

There are courses on a ton of crazy different topics. People love courses because they offer the promise in quickly improving upon something.

What the web has taught people is that there is someone, somewhere offering a way to learn something new. People every day are realizing that they want to learn more about a new topic and go hunting for resources that will help them out.

This is why online courses will never die.

One of the best things about online courses is that they are completely scalable. You create the course and it doesn’t matter how many people enroll in it because everything is set up for them.

5. Online Workshops

These are pretty similar to online courses except they are…live. Online courses are usually broken up into sections or modules, while online workshops offer the audience a chance to interact with you live.

The way an online workshop work is that you have to pre-sell it. That means that there is a limit to how much you can make per workshop because there is always a deadline.

These can be a great alternative to online courses because it’s much easier and faster to work on a 2-3 hour workshop than a course with 20+ videos.

There is also a huge bonus with online workshops. Once you are done with them you can sell the recordings of them. That means you get a second chance to make money off of something that you’ve already done.

Pretty sweet.

6. Self-Published Books / E-books

If you want to go the route of creating digital products to make money with your blog then this is what I recommend to most people.

The reason why is almost everything you need to create an e-book is on your computer already. You don’t have to worry about getting a nice camera or microphone to record anything.

You simply sit down, open some Word Processor software and start to write.

One of the big hurdles that people have with online books is that they believe they need to be really long and cover a very large topic. On the contrary. If you can really pinpoint a single problem and write a 40-50 page book on it, people will love it.

Many bloggers also go the Amazon Kindle publishing route. It’s crazy how much some writers make from writing a lot of smaller e-books that cost no more than $4.99.

7. Membership Site

The ultimate goal for any business should be recurring revenue. Recurring revenue is money that you can count on every single month. Your cellphone provider can count you as recurring revenue because you need to pay them every month to keep the phone on.

A membership site can be a great way to create recurring revenue.

The biggest hurdle to a membership site is having an audience in place. You can’t start a blog, offer a membership site, and then think that people will join.

A membership site is only as good as its community.

Crappy community and nobody is going to waste their time.

Many Methods to Making Money

These are just 7 ways to turn your blog into a full-time job. You might have noticed that I left off ads and sponsored posts.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. These are great ways to send your audience somewhere else and never see them again.
  2. The amount of money you can make is limited and ad rates are continuously dropping.

If you’re going to spend your time building up a site that gets 100s of thousands of pageviews every single month, then you are better off focusing on ways to monetize that audience yourself.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t investigate using these two methods. A couple of my blogs use ads because it doesn’t affect the conversion rate for my mailing list and products.

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