It was less than a year ago where I had the idea to start The Ways To Wealth. I didn’t set out with the goal to become a full time blogger.
I enjoyed working for my employer. Things were trending up. But there was something about full time blogging that always called me.
It’s a blast helping a lot of people improve their financial life. I love the freedom my new schedule provides.
I also couldn’t stop thinking about this article. By the time my kids graduate high school, I’ll have spent 93% of the time I spend over my life with them. This made me think hard about what my ideal career would be.
The more I thought, the more I realized if there ever was a time to have a career that would provide more flexibility it was now.
So, made the jump to full time blogging.
I was lucky enough to achieve this in a year. As I do post income reports, I’m often asked about what it takes to become a full time blogger. Here’s my best tips and advice.
Note: If you want to get more strategies and tactics for succeeding as a blogger–sign up for the free email course: How To Make Your First $1K Blogging below:
How To Become A Full Time Blogger In Less Than A Year
Know Your Margin of Safety, Then Spend The Next 12 Months Increasing It
In investing there’s a concept called margin of safety. Warren Buffett best explains the concept by saying:
If you’re driving a truck across a bridge that says it holds 10,000 pounds and you’ve got a 9,800 pound vehicle, if the bridge is 6 inches above the crevice it covers, you may feel okay; but if it’s over the Grand Canyon, you may feel you want a little larger margin of safety.
It’s wise to take this same philosophy in your career–asking yourself:
What would I do today if I lost my income, the value of my home cratered and my portfolio dropped in half? (or whatever your financial doomsday/worse case scenario may look like)
What’s important is that there’s a lot you can do to change your answer. If you want to become a full time blogger, your goal is to make your doomsday scenario not so bad.
The basics include:
- Having a few months of expenses saved up
- Keeping expenses low
- Not taking on any more debt or any other commitments that would increase your expenses
But there are more advanced strategies as well. This can include:
- Taking on a few freelance gigs you can fall back on.
- Developing relationships willing to help you out. This could be a freelance gig, help in promoting your blog, or some advice.
- Starting a new project at work–you’re vital in that your boss may keep you around to consult.
Start thinking about how to increase your margin of safety today.
The larger your margin of safety–the faster you can become a full time blogger.
At the time I went full-time, this blog and my wife’s part-time job was enough to cover our expenses with a 10 to 20% buffer.
If it wasn’t for…
- Having a large emergency fund
- Experience freelancing and quality connections with potential clients
- My Wife also having opportunities she can pursue if necessary
… I wouldn’t have gone full-time in less then 12-months.
Picking The Right Niche
If your goal is to start a successful blog, it’s important to pick the right niche. What makes this decision hard is it’s the first thing you have to do.
When considering your niche, the first question you must ask yourself is this,
“What topics could I think about everyday?”
What you’re trying to identify is not only what you’re passionate about but something you want to think about everyday. e.g. I love pizza but I can’t see myself thinking/writing about it everyday.
As a blogger you’ll be writing and researching a lot inside of a topic. You want to make sure you enjoy doing it and the topic has enough depth.
Another good question to ask is, “What magazine would I buy at the airport if it was the only thing I could read on the plane?”
Magazines generate revenue from advertisers. If there’s a magazine catered to your niche–chances are it’s a profitable blogging niche.
Here are some popular blog topic ideas. By no means complete, it’s enough to get started.
- Home Improvement
- Personal Finance
Keep in mind, you don’t need to be an expert in any of these topics. Part of the fun of blogging is watching someone go from novice to a success story while they catalog their journey. Some of the most popular personal finance blogs like and started when their founders were heavily in debt.
While there are a few exceptions here, e.g. don’t start a law blog if you’re not a lawyer, don’t let not being an expert stop you.
Picking The Perfect Domain Name
Your domain name tells your visitors what your site is all about.
When considering your domain name, an important question to ask is: What is the long-term vision for your site?
For myself, my long-term vision was to build a site around all things money. Because of this broad niche, I picked a broad domain name.
Now, compare this to a site that wants to be about only retirement investing. A domain name like The Ways To Wealth wouldn’t be a good choice, as it doesn’t tell a visitor what the site is about.
Another good tip, is to include a benefit in your domain name. The idea is to have a reader instantly get what your site can do for them.
If you’re not 100% sure of your niche, my recommendation would be to take the topic you’re thinking about and choose a domain name around that broader niche. For example, say I was thinking of starting a blog about dairy free cooking. Instead of choosing a domain like dairyfreereceipes.com, I’d pick a domain like allergyfreecooking.com (already taken but you get the idea).
This way, you open yourself up to new niches in the future.
Here are 3 more tips to selecting a good domain name:
- Make sure it’s easy to spell
- Avoid numbers and hyphens
- Select a .com domain name
Starting Your Blog
If you want to go full time blogging, you want to begin your blogging journey ASAP.
The quicker you start your blog–the quicker you’ll start learning.
To get your blog setup, there’s very little you need to know on the technical side. I actually laid out a easy tutorial, that allows you to start a blog for less than $4 a month in as little as 15 minutes. I’ll also show you how to get a free domain name, which will save you around $15.
There’s no perfect time to start a blog. You’ll never have the perfect plan in place.
But if you want to become a full time blogger you’ll need to actually start a blog. Use this tutorial, to help get you setup today!
Be Prepared To Invest In Yourself
I’ve purchased blogging courses where I found free information that was superior to what’s inside. I’ve then invested in courses that changed my entire perspective on what I thought was possible.
For me, Making Cents of Affiliate Marketing was that course that changed this blog’s trajectory. It allowed me to understand how I could actually make a full-time income much sooner then I thought.
There’s no question in my mind I wouldn’t have been able to go full-time without this investment.
I’ve then made some other purchases that were not so great. I’ve purchased a few courses on Pinterest marketing. After immersing myself in the subject–I found that the best material on Pinterest was from a free podcast.
It’s important to invest in yourself. But my advice would be to not go crazy buying every blogging/marketing course.
Pick 1 or 2 and take a deep dive. Revisit them often.
There are many ways to drive traffic to a blog. Why I reccomend Pinterest is the speed at which you can drive traffic.
Pinterest is a social media platform where followers are not the driving force behind generating traffic. This means that a high quality pin from a new account, with high quality content behind it, can drive a lot of traffic.
This doesn’t mean to neglect SEO or Facebook. More so, Pinterest is a great platform to dive into first because of the speed at which you can succeed.
Become An Expert In Monetization
As the goal is to support yourself through your blog–you’re going to have to learn how blogs make money. Ideally, you want to become an expert on this topic.
To get started, understand there are three main ways to generate revenue from a blog:
- Affiliate – You get paid when someone signs up or buys a product. e.g. when someone clicks on a link from my blog and goes to Amazon and buys something, I make a small percentage.
- Advertising – Advertising you see on a blog generates income for the owner. This can come from many forms, such as a sponsored post or an image ad.
- Products – Selling your own products, such as an ebook or course.
I invested in the course Making Cents of Affiliate Marketing to better understand how bloggers make money. Michelle makes over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing (and over six figures total) and has laid out an excellent step-by-step course on how she does it.
I’ve also learned a lot from other bloggers income reports as well.
Whatever your niche is–type into Google:
“blog income report + niche”
To see how other bloggers are generating revenue in your space.
There Is A Learning Curve
My first few weeks on Pinterest I had no idea what I was doing. But then the lightbulb went off sometime in February.
It’s easy to spot the “Aha Moment” in the below chart:
Whether it’s Pinterest, Facebook, SEO, or even WordPress–there is a learning curve. Expect a lot of mistakes at first. But work through them.
If others are having success on a platform, it’s possible for you to have success.
Realize though that very few have success right away.
Here’s what my learning curve looked like, as demonstrated by my traffic numbers.
Publish Unique Content
It’s important to publish, unique content.
When I launched this blog, I had a few unique articles in mind.
Here’s the three posts that allowed this blog to gain some traction:
Looking back it was worth the effort to put together and market these posts. It brought in links from some very respectable blogs, which has helped with SEO.
It also brought visitors back wondering what was next.
Expect To Put In The Hours
I put in somewhere between 10-15 hours a week blogging over the past year.
My routine was getting in a few hours in the early mornings of weekdays. It’s important to have a routine that allows you to commit at least 10 hours a week.
Beyond setting a routine for your blogging, understand that you need to give blogging time.
My reccomenation is to commit to blogging for at least a year.
The first three months are going to be very hard. Very few people will read your blog. You will still be finding your voice as a writer. You’ll still be in the early stages of understanding WordPress, Pinterest, Facebook, etc..
Don’t expect the monetary rewards to come quick.
Before Going Full-Time, Ask Someone Who “Gets It” If It’s Time
A blog is a passionate project. Then there’s the whole aspect of leaving your job–which can have a “me against the world” feeling associated with it.
When there’s a lot of strong feelings associated with a situation, facts and wisdom can get put aside.
My advice to anyone considering leaving their job–go ask someone who “Gets It” whether it’s a good idea.
It’s important to ask the right person. Ideally you’d ask someone who has done something similar before. Someone who has your best interests in mind and won’t B.S. you.
If you want to get more strategies and tactics for succeeding as a blogger–sign up for the free email course: How To Make Your First $1K Blogging below: