This is the million dollar question I am asking myself after reading scores and scores of articles all over the internet on how to start a blog, how to grow your audience, how to make money from your blog and never have to work a corporate job again. Back in the day, there was Problogger. But that’s about it.
I have been blogging since 2005. From 2006–2008, I was a full-time blogger.
So, how is it that now, in this time of uncertainty, I am consistently reading tips and tricks from bloggers that only started their blogs in 2014, or 2017. They offer fantastic courses at $20, $300, $2200 a pop, making 6–7 figure incomes and promising to help you do the same so you have freedom of working from wherever you want and whenever you want. Why is that blogger not me?
Short background story:
In 2006, I left my cushy job in public relations to live in Spain, learn Spanish and attempt to make a living as a travel blogger. And I did! I wrote for six different travel blogs and made enough money to pay my rent. I supplemented my income by Teaching English as a Second Language. It was the most rewarding and transformational time of my life, and I didn’t touch my savings to live it.
(Side note: In case you are interested, I pieced together all my personal blogging from that time into a book. It details the all-time highs, the rock bottom lows, and even the blah days with the goal of giving anyone who wants to do the same, a real life, non-glorified account of my experience.)
Anyway, 16 years later, a thought I cannot get out of my head is, how did I miss the wave and not make it as a full time blogger? I cannot sleep at night sometimes thinking about how I missed making what would now be for me merely “side-hustle” material, into full-time material.
I’m still trying to work it out, but this is what I have worked out so far:
· Writing to make enough money to live on was hard work: I was writing 60–70 blog posts a month across 6 different sites, yet only making about $700 / month on average. I love writing so I enjoyed getting some money for it, but I cannot deny that it was a daily grind.
· If I didn’t write, I couldn’t pay my rent: This lack of stable income created unrealized pressure for me and took away much of the joy of writing. After writing about 1800 pieces of content over two years, I was done with it and just wanted to have a lazy day here or there but I couldn’t afford it. That’s when I started Teaching English as a Foreign Language to supplement my income. The work was still hard but the pay was better. After being burnt out again, I decided to go back to a corporate job where I knew I would get paid every month regardless.
· I didn’t have the confidence to pitch for high-paying writing gigs: This was perhaps my biggest regret. If I was to do this again, I would not be concerned about pitching higher or asking for a fee I deserved.
· Perhaps I really didn’t care about making a lot of money: I was young, already burnt out from a corporate job, all I wanted was to write and make enough to live. As a single 26-year old living a bohemian life in Spain, I really didn’t need much money to live well. (Or so I thought until I had children!). I was so content doing my own thing, not dipping into my savings and living a new culture. With savings to fall back on, I really didn’t need to worry much about money.
· I was an early adopter, not in the early majority: According to Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations, early adopters are about 13.5% of the population; they tend to be out of it once the early majority (34%) come in at make the innovation peak.
So, I basically missed the wave.
I am very happy where I am in my life. I truly am. However now with two small kids and a desk job, I do wish I had some stable passive income, and more flexibility with my daily schedule.
I feel like I’m ready to manifest a solution.