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My story to a full time blogging income isn’t a quick one. In fact, I didn’t realize I will end the year earning a full time salary from my blog until I recently ran some numbers: I totaled the money I have earned so far this year and then projected what I should earn the rest of the year based on what percentage my income has gone up during the last quarter of the year in previous years.
Now, I am in no way close to earning a six figure income, but I am earning more than minimum wage earners make for a 40 hour work week. I took my projected gross yearly earnings, took off what I reinvest into the blog, divided it by 12 months, then by four weeks and again by 40 hours. I came up with a before tax, full time hourly wage of approximately $12 (yep, I am a bit of a numbers geek). $12 an hour for a job that lets me work my own hours (which is more like 20 to 30 hours per week than 40) makes me feel very blessed.
There is no way my hubby could quit his job and have my blog pay all our bills, but thanks to the blog income, our rental income and lack of debt we are in a much better place financially than we have been in a long while.
My blog has not been an overnight success. I have been working on it for four and a half years now and as I said, it wasn’t until just recently that I realized I will hit full time income status by year’s end!
My realization has me feeling very thankful that I found the courage to both start my blog and continue it even when I was earning just pennies an hour. It also has me regretting not doing a few things that could have gotten me to earning a full time income sooner.
How I found the guts to start and continue
I had to push through so much fear to press publish on my first post. But the fear did not end there–in fact, it hasn’t ended.
I remember being just a few months into blogging, standing in my basement in the midst of a very large pile of dirty laundry, thinking about all the extra hours my husband was working that week to keep us afloat and feeling so mad at myself for not figuring out this whole make money from a blog thing yet.
I was working for pennies and pennies don’t pay the bills. Right then and there a light bulb when went off in my head–most of my friends and my husband didn’t start out earning a full time income from their careers either. Instead they started off with 4 years where they paid people to teach them what they needed to do the jobs they wanted to earn an income from.
Why would I think blogging would be any different. Right then, right there I mentally enrolled myself in a self-made “Blogging University”. I committed to making time each week to learn how I could improve my blogging skills, apply it and thus–hopefully–see an increase in income from those improvements.
When I got discouraged along the way I would remind myself, “You’re not finished with your degree yet, just keep improving.”
I got discouraged A LOT! But I stuck with it and I am so glad I did.
How I think I could make it to a full time income sooner if I was to do it again
One major thing I could have done to get to full time earnings faster would have been to spend more hours per week blogging, but I don’t believe in hustling–I am a hard core family and health first gal. So I don’t regret the decision to not burn the midnight oil just to put more hours in on my blog and I don’t regret often putting blogging work aside so I could spend more time hanging out with my kids, husband and close friends.
However, I do think there was one other way I could have reached a full time blog income faster–I could have invested more money back into the blog from day one. Here is why I didn’t and why I regret that decision.
Although my husband now fully supports the work I do on the blog, he wasn’t 100% sold on the idea that I could make money from it when I began–and most days neither was I.
Because of this in the first year and a half of blogging my husband and I did not invest any money in the blog– with just one exception.
We agreed to purchase a laptop, camera, and beginners blogging conference ticket for me with some inheritance I received at the year one mark of my blog. We both viewed the equipment as items we could use even if the blog flopped and the conference ticket as some much needed get out of the house time for me.
Beyond that we insisted that I should learn from free sources and give as much of the profits from the blog to the family as possible. After all, the whole point of me starting a blog was to help out the family financially and both of us felt that the blog should “prove” its worth before we gave it anything more.
There are a lot of great free resources for improving your blog out there, but once I had read my first NOT FREE eBook I realized how much more in-depth paid for materials are compared to free material–with few exceptions.
That first paid for book? Blogging For Profit Without Losing Your Soul. I spent a whopping $1.99 on it during the launch sale. I read the book and doubled my income in 30 days. My husband and I then became convinced that perhaps we should re-invest a small portion of the blog funds. We agreed to a 10% re-investment into the blog, which we later raised to 20% once we saw that a higher level of re-investment would help me grow my income at a faster rate.
How to make your blog investment money go further
I am thrifty at heart. I mean seriously, $1.99 was the price of my first paid for blogging eBook, you can’t get much thriftier than that! I apply my thrifty nature to blog investment just like I do to every other area of my life. These tips below have saved me hundreds on blogging materials and I am sure that number will soon climb into the thousands.
These tips are not hard to apply–any other blogger can do them and save a significant amount of money. In this article I have focused on purchasing blogging know-how materials, but you can apply these tips to blogging help, blog design, and product creation too–with a little out of the box thinking.
1. Have a clear goal in mind before you purchasing anything
There are so many products out there to help improve your blogging, eBooks, e-courses, blog reviews, coaching, etc. And then those are all divided into different areas of help, social media, product creation, post writing, etc.
If you just see a low priced deal and grab it before setting goals for your blog, you might be wasting your money. Instead, before you even look at “blog better” products know what your major goals are for your blog at this time. Stick to looking for products that deal specifically with achieving those goals.
The only exception to this should be bundle deals where your goal topics are covered in the bundle and the price makes it worth getting books not specific to your goals.
2.Purchase products with gift cards from point reward programs
This is how I got started in investing in my blog. I used Amazon gift cards I earned through Swagbucks or InstaGC to purchase eBooks on blogging (psst…these reward programs also often have Paypal options, meaning you could cash your points in for Paypal cash, which would allow you to purchase just about any course material you want).
3.Watch for launch sales
To make the most of my gift cards I would store them up until I heard about a launch sale of an eBook that covered the topic I wanted to improve in. Often eBooks sell for as low as $0.99 to $1.99 during these sales.
This tip doesn’t apply just to eBooks, many creators of online courses often have incredible launch sales that help you stretch your re-investment money further.
4. Keep an eye open for bundle deals
Bundle deals are where a bunch of eBook authors or e-course authors put their products together and create a “bundle” that they sell for an incredibly low price. Usually you save 75% or more by buying bundles.
Now, you can end up with a lot of products that you won’t use so you do have to make sure to take time to go through the entire bundle and make sure that you will more than recoup the cost from products that will help you reach your goal.
A few more posts on blogging….
- How To Monetize Your Blog From Day One
- How To Run A Profitable Blog That Doesn’t Take Over Your Life
- Blogging Tips From A Blogging Student