Bob’s Journey to Full-Time Blogging

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I have been blogging since early 2007 and have been earning a full-time living from my blogs since early 2009. And yes, being a full-time blogger is as good as you would imagine.

How it all started for me

Back in early 2007 I was talking to a friend of mine about the idea of building a website that I would put up a new article on a given topic each day. After brainstorming a bit, I found a couple ideas of topics that I was passionate about: Proverbs and Personal Finance. My first idea was to post a Proverb each day and comment on it. As I explained my idea further to him, he informed me that I would basically have a blog.

I didn’t know what a blog was, but I thought, “oh, ok, sure.” So, over the next few weeks I continued to brainstorm about my topic and I read as much as I could find about blogging. I ended up creating a blog on the topic of Christian Finance. At the time I was right in the middle of working my way out of a financially chaotic life and I was incredibly excited about all things related to personal finance. Because it was something I was passionate about, it made it quite easy to blog about it.

Over the next couple months, I started experimenting with a few blogs I created at blogger.com and wordpress.com. After getting some good advice to self-host my blog, I found a webhost, got the site hosted and officially launched my blog in June of 2007.

At this point I had thought about making money from my blog, but had no idea how and I really wasn’t very hopeful to ever make a full-time living at it. At that point I had only heard of two people in the world who were making a full-time living from their blogs. So, I threw up an Adsense ad just to see what would happen and I will never forget how excited I was when I saw that I had made my first 7 cents! After that I decided that I was going to shoot for making $100 by the end of 2007. Even without knowing anything, that was a pretty easy goal to accomplish.

Being passionate about your topic is critical because at this point I was working on my blog about 10 hours each week and making pennies. In fact, I made less than $200 for all of 2007 – so it was a good thing that I really enjoyed and saw value in what I was doing – regardless if money ever came.

Not the way I would have planned it

In July 2008 things got interesting. The company I had worked at for 5 years got bought out by a bigger fish and many departments in our company were no longer needed. Mine was one of them. Thankfully I had quite a bit of advance notice and I got a nice severance package.

By this point I was making some money from the blog, but not enough to even pay the rent each month. After much prayer I decided against looking for another “day job” and decided that after my last day I would go to work full time on building the blog. Thankfully we had paid off most of our debt, and had my wife’s income as a support to buy us some time. I decided I would try it out for a few months while we burned through the severance package and if it didn’t work I would go look for another office job.

I still remember working my first week from home- I was driving to the library on a beautiful summer day listening to the new Coldplay album with my windows down. I felt like an eagle that had been caged up (in my corporate cube with fluorescent lights) that just got set free into the big beautiful world. It was an amazing feeling. I told myself that I didn’t care if I never made more than $8/hr – having freedom and not being stuck in the rat race was soooo worth it. Thankfully, blogging has ended up paying quite a bit more than my old boss.

I never hesitate to tell people how difficult it is – but it is a different kind of difficult than I expected. And to be honest, it is hard work, but it doesn’t really seem like it when you are doing something that you are truly passionate about.

    +Bob has been blogging since 2007 and earning a full time living from his blogs since early 2009. He enjoys fine dark chocolate, learning, foosball, loose-leaf tea, helping people succeed, anything God created, playing guitar, taking the scenic route, Philippians, and Chick-Fil-A.

    • http://www.doubting-thomas.com Doubting Thomas

      Thanks so much for sharing your story & the first “how to” video! As a new blogger I appreciate the opportunity to learn from folks who have been in the trenches & look forward to more tips!

      Best, DT

      • http://ChristianPF.com Bob

        my pleasure! Stick around I think there will be some good stuff for us to share!

    • http://onemoreserving.com Kathy

      Bob,

      Initially I can remember telling my web designer to take the blog button off my site because I was never going to blog…turns out he didn’t listen and I am glad he didn’t. I find that blogging is a way for me to even get to know myself better as having three very different blogs tends to offer me three different avenues to reach out. I haven’t tried AdSense yet but am curious and really want to learn more. I also have had many people say it takes awhile to really have a blog take off and it was great to hear you say that it was few years before it all came together.
      Looking forward to more.

    • http://yooperscribe.com Louise

      Hello, Bob. I am impressed by what I’ve read so far. You write well, and the topics are interesting. I am interested in your opinion. I WANT to keep reading your blog. Why? Because it is well-written and interesting AND because there are not typos there to distract me. I am at a definite “beginner” level, both with blogging and a small proofreading business. I’ve been told that trying to address bloggers’ proofreading needs is a waste of time. I’d like to know your opinion on this. Thanks!

      • http://ChristianPF.com Bob

        Louise,
        I think the problem is that (in general) blogging is very informal and a bit more conversational. Because of that many bloggers don’t really feel the need to be grammatically correct (I have my share of slip-ups myself). Add to that the fact that most bloggers aren’t really making much money and can’t afford to invest in a proofreader and I can see how it would be a tough go. However, much more established blogs that really seem to be very polished may be interested in proofreading services.

        On a similar note, I did a podcast a while back that you might find interesting…
        http://christianpf.com/get-paid-to-proofread-books/

    • http://www.goedkoophotel.eu Danyelle Ranft

      Great info, I hope you will write more about this

    • http://www.mindofmichael.com Michael

      Hi Bob –

      Thanks for sharing your story about blogging.

      Sounds like you had a tough go at it for awhile before you got your blog really rolling along. Now its an amazing blog!

      I hope my blog will someday be even half the size of your blog. Keep up the great work!

      • http://bloggingyourpassion.com Bob

        Thanks Michael,
        as Jonathan and I always mention – consistency is key. Just keep learning and doing!

    • Jerry Tapp

      Bob: I have read several of your items and your insight has really helped. I have been blogging for about three months. I think I have a blog and topics that are unique. In reading your story, I sense that you and I have many parallel elements of our lives. I was hoping you could take a look at my blog and offer some insight/suggestions. I think it has the potential to be a money-maker and would greatly appreciate your comments. Thanks again… keep up the great work. I will definitely continue to read your stuff. Go to http://www.statsontapp.wordpress.com.

      Jerry

    • Raynetta Cage

      Your journey to full-time blogging is encouraging and helps me better understand the hard work and effort and mindset I need to develop in order to create a blog I can be proud of. I have started one several times but never launched it because I would get stuck (tech issue, content, etc.) and just stop. I keep hearing a pattern from you and other full-time bloggers of pushing through the tough stuff and moving forward no matter what.

      Thanks for sharing your story….

      Raynetta

    • http://livingsimplistically.blogspot.com Living Simplistically

      Wow, congratulations on your success! It seems God’s timing is always perfect and He planned your getting laid off at exactly the right time in your life. I’m so happy you have found success and happiness!

      Thank you for your submission to A Carnival for Saving and Making Money hosted by Living Simplistically!

    • http://Kinderblogen.com Mike

      Thank you for your blog and sharing your story and your blogging tips (and thank you for sharing your knowledge so freely and not making us buy an ebook). I found your blog two weeks ago and since then have dove head first into following your insights and recommendations in an effort to leave the rat race and cubicle behind some day. I’ve got a site up and running now (I can’t believe I did it so quickly) and am researching SEO now in preparation for when I start posting in earnest. If you were able to make a living off of blogging after only two years, then I know it might be possible for me too. I hold on to this hope and goal each day I live my “office space” life. Thanks again for sharing your story and your faith. When I read your blogs, knowing your a Christian, leaves me feeling confident I can trust your recommendations and advice! Blessings to you.

      -Mike

    • http://ChristianPF.com Bob Lotich

      Sarah, it can be whatever you want it to be, but if you really want to grow an audience, it typically works best when you stick with a particular topic – and ideally one that you have a passion for. People will sense your passion for it and it will help you stick with it through the hard times…

    • PaulVandermill

      Hello Bob,

      Nice post! I am at the beginning stages of learning what social media and blogging are. I hope that writing will help me ask many questions of myself such as what am I passionate about, how can I help others with my newly found knowledge? Your experience is very encouraging as I hope to move progressively away from the traditional corporate environment and into a non-traditional contemporary work model. The freedom which may result sounds very enticing. Thank you!