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.