How to Quit Your Job and Become a Full-Time Blogger

Back in 2015, I was a pregnant little chickadee with a boring hobby blog that no one ever read. That blog was a pleasant distraction from my sucky day job, but it was really just a hobby.

As my due date approached, I got to thinking about maternity leave, and then returning to work and leaving my baby with strangers all day…I really hated that idea. I also hated the idea of setting a bad example for my daughter: letting an ungrateful boss treat me bad and make me miserable every day.

Something had to change…

How to quit your day job and start a money making blog

This post probably contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here

How I Started My Blogging Biz

When I was on maternity leave, I started brainstorming how I could possibly make money doing what I love – writing. That brought me back to my boring hobby blog. Was there any possible way that I could turn this thing into a money-making blog?

I had almost a decade of experience in online business management and marketing, but I had no idea how to actually monetize a blog. You know >> this girl << loves a challenge! So, I decided to roll up my sleeves and figure out if this was a feasible option for me and my family. Spoiler alert: it was the best decision I ever made.

With some hard work, a solid strategy, and a little bit of patience, I was able to build my own successful blogging business and walk away from my sucky day job. And I’m here to tell you exactly what I did, so that you can do it too (if you want to)!

If I can give you one piece of advice that will actually help you, this is it: start your blog today. Don’t waste another minute. It’s cheap and easy to start a blog, and at this time next year, you’ll be wishing you had started today.

Web Hosting

Before You Get Started

There are a few things that everyone should consider before they actually start a blog.

First of all, blogging is not easy work or easy money. If you hear people spreading that nonsense about working part time and making a gazillion dollars, you should run the other way.

That is NOT realistic.

The reason that most bloggers never make any money is because of the unexpected amount of work it takes to build your blog into a money-making business. And, if you want to make money blogging, then you have to treat it like a real business, because that’s what it is. You have to work hard, you have to stay focused, you have to overcome challenges, and step out of your comfort zone.

So, keep this in mind.

I’m not promising you an easy road and overnight success. Blogging is hard work, and you need to know and accept that right off the bat.

Secondly, building a successful blog takes time, patience, and strategy. You can’t expect to just start writing today and making money tomorrow. Maybe you’ll make a few bucks, but the real success will come after some time, patience, and focus. I made $4.85 my first month of monetizing my blog. For real.

With that simple truth in front of you, I will show you how to set up a blog and make money blogging. The process is actually much easier than it sounds. Again, it takes patience, focus, and strategy…but once you know HOW to make money blogging, the whole process becomes much easier.

How to Set Up Your Blog

Here are the basics for setting up your blog, the right way.

  1. Think about who you want to write for.

Your blog must be helpful, relevant, and entertaining to your readers. And I cannot emphasize this enough: you need to be writing for a very specific, narrow audience. Before you even start your blog, you should think about what you want to write about and who you want to write for. My blog is about simplifying online business and making money working from home. Before I publish an article, I make sure that it’s useful to my readers, because blogging is all about your readers.

  1. Purchase hosting and your domain name.

This is where your blog lives and what your website is called. My website address is SweetandSimpleLife.com. I purchased hosting through Siteground, and they are the absolute best in the business. Their site speed is ahead of their competitors and their customer service is exceptional. With Siteground, you get free SSL certificate, free business email, and you can also get a hefty discount on hosting if you use THIS LITTLE TRICK!

Web Hosting

  1. Download WordPress.org

If you read my article on setting up a blog the right way, then you already know these steps, but I want to cover them again briefly. When you purchase your website hosting, you’ll login to your host account, and from there, you can download WordPress.org. This is the backend of your blog, the dashboard where you will write and publish all of your content. Watch and read the tutorials, and get familiar with WordPress.

  1. Write, publish, and share GOOD content.

Once you have reviewed a few WordPress tutorials, you can start writing blog posts. It’s a super straightforward process, and you can follow the specific steps here if you need help getting started.

Remember, focus on a blogging strategy that is helpful to your readers. It’s important to write content that will apply to a specific group of people. You don’t want to write a bunch of random posts on random topics. If you write about your favorite football player today, and the health benefits of essential oils tomorrow, then your readers will be a little confused, and might not want to come back.

This is all very important to the money-making aspect of blogging. You need to have your blog set up the right way and you need to know who your audience is if you want to start making money.

How to Make Money Blogging

There are several ways to make money blogging, but your options generally fall into these two categories.

  1. You can create and sell your own stuff (products, courses, coaching).

Or…

  1. You can promote and sell other people’s stuff (affiliates, sponsorships).

I know that sounds pretty vague, so let’s elaborate a little bit here.

Your blog is basically the voice of your business. It is the place where people get to know you and what you do. It gives people the opportunity to see what you create, promote, and sell. So, regardless of what income streams you choose to focus on, your blog is going to be a key part of your business strategy.

Let’s talk about creating and selling your own stuff first.

You can create and sell your own physical or digital products, which gives you full creative control. Physical products, like candles, clothes, supplements, subscription boxes, or toys. Digital products, like courses, e-books, software, logos, or stock photos. There are a ton of options out there.

I personally love selling digital products, like my online course, because you put in the initial work (a lot of work), and then you make passive income with just a little maintenance. And the best part? You can create a course for free on almost any teaching platform. I started on the Teachable FREE plan, and I love the platform for hosting my online courses.

Join our blogging community

If you’re not interested in creating and selling your own stuff, you can still make great money promoting and selling other people’s stuff.

One way to do this is through affiliate marketing. You work with companies to promote their products, and if someone purchases the product, you make a commission. We’ll go into greater detail about affiliate marketing, including all of the top affiliate networks to join, in my course Becoming a Blogger.

Affiliate marketing can be rewarding, but I personally got into this business because I love to write…so sponsored posts are a big part of my job and my passion too.

Sponsored posts are the articles that you write on behalf of a sponsor to promote their brand, product, or service. They require some work, just like everything else. Some research, writing, editing, marketing etc. Some people write sponsored posts in exchange for product, others charge a fee. I personally don’t recommend working for free, but you choose what your value is, and charge that.

Other Ways to Make Money from Home


Freelance writing or editing.

I love the business of blogging. I love the writing, editing, pitching, marketing…all of it. But if you aren’t interested in setting up your own blogging business, you can always consider freelance writing or editing instead. There are a lot of companies that will pay you to write for them or edit their work. And when you’re a freelancer, you can work for as many companies as you want. You’re an independent contractor, and you run the show.

Creative Revolt is an excellent resource for freelance writing, and Proofread Anywhere is an excellent resource for proofreading and editing work. You can also find writing and editing gigs on sites like ProBlogger Fiverr, and Craigslist.

Virtual Assistance.

Being a virtual assistant (VA) is a great way to earn money from home. Virtual assistants help bloggers and business owners on a variety of tasks, and they work from the comfort of their own home, or anywhere that has WiFi. VAs can do writing, editing, graphic design, email marketing, tech support, customer service, and more.

Joining Virtual Assistant groups on Facebook is a great place to start.

FINAL THOUGHTS

At the end of the day, I started blogging because I love to write, I love working from home and I want to raise my own babies. It’s a worthwhile investment if you want the freedom and the flexibility of making good money and working from anywhere.

You don’t have to spend your life working for a crummy boss, making crummy pay, and working crummy hours. You can build your own business and live on your own terms if you’re willing to work hard for it. And those terms can be anything you can dream up.

I spend a lot of time working on my business, but I also spend a lot of time chillin’ on the beach with my husband and babies.

Everything in balance, I say.

If you want to use the system that I developed for turning my blog into a money-making business, then sign up for my course here. We’ll cover everything from starting your blog, growing your blog, monetizing your blog, registering your business, building your mailing list, and more.

Did you enjoy this article? Please take a moment to share on social media! Thank you 🙂  

Web Hosting

26 Comments

  1. Ashley

    February 20, 2018 at 6:37 am

    Great article! Your previous job sounds a lot like my field of work. My main reasons for wanting to blog are to add income and have a positive creative outlet. 🙂

    1. Cate

      February 21, 2018 at 2:28 am

      Yeah, it paid the bills, but it was not fulfilling. Blogging really is a great creative outlet. I’m glad you liked the article 🙂

  2. Terez

    February 20, 2018 at 9:31 am

    You’re amazing! This is sooo helpful! This is the perfect solution for me!🙂 Thanks!
    P.s. so wish I lived in San Diego! Haha 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕

    1. Cate

      February 21, 2018 at 2:27 am

      I’m so glad it’s helpful! I’m happy to answer questions if you get stuck at any point. San Diego has some great weather 🙂

  3. Jeanny

    February 21, 2018 at 2:06 am

    This is such a great post! I want to make my move eventually to be a full-time blogger, and as you say, it’s so damn hard, but I also love it! Thanks for sharing all your tips, they’re very helpful! 🙂
    Jeanny from http://www.glitzbeautyblog.com

    1. Cate

      February 21, 2018 at 2:26 am

      Thank you for reading! Yes, it’s a lot of work, but so worth it.

  4. Leighann

    February 21, 2018 at 2:31 am

    This is a great post! Very informative! Will be bookmarking this!!

    1. Cate

      February 21, 2018 at 11:43 pm

      I’m so glad you found it helpful!

  5. Cherish

    February 21, 2018 at 4:49 am

    I’ve done affiliate marketing on previous blog projects, but I can never decide what I want to create/market for myself. I’ve heard your own product is what will bring you the most revenue. . .

    1. Cate

      February 21, 2018 at 11:41 pm

      Having your own products will definitely bring in a lot of income, if you have a solid strategy and you’re filling a need. I love to write, so I do a lot of sponsored writing for businesses and brands, but I also have an online course that helps other bloggers start making money, and it brings in a lot of income too. It’s all about what you want to focus on, and what your strengths are. Here’s the link to the course if you next extra help: https://become-a-blogger.teachable.com/p/becoming-a-blogger/?preview=logged_out

  6. Alexis

    February 21, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Blogging is so much fun, but it’s a lot of work. I really do love giving valuable tips to my audience. Thank you for such an amazing post.

    1. Cate

      February 21, 2018 at 11:39 pm

      Thank you for reading!

  7. Megan

    February 21, 2018 at 7:27 am

    I really enjoyed what you wrote here. My blog is for reviewing books and I get a fair number of views but have zero followers and making money from it seems almost futile at the moment. I’ll be taking your advice into consideration, that’s for sure! You recommend WordPress and I was curious why you suggest that instead of Blogger and other places to start a blog?

    1. Cate

      February 21, 2018 at 11:33 pm

      I think you can make money from any blog if you have the strategy and the expertise. If your focus is on books, you can join the Amazon affiliate program, and promote books for every season, every genre, every age etc. You can write your own book and sell it, or you can switch directions and write about something else. The important part is that you fill a need. I recommend a self-hosted website because that is the only way to truly monetize, customize, and create content optimized for search engines. WordPress.org is a free program that you download once you have a host for your blog. It’s only $3.95/month, so a very small investment. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about it. Here’s a link: https://www.siteground.com/go/becomingablogger

  8. Shannon

    February 25, 2018 at 12:39 am

    This is a great post. I’ve been a writer for about 12 years and am starting a blog. I’m enjoying the process of shorter projects after writing books for four years. 🙂 It’s fun to be able to make it whatever I want it to be and I’m looking forward to making it live next week.

    1. Cate

      February 26, 2018 at 11:45 pm

      That is so exciting! I used to love writing books, although I never published my writing projects. Now, I love the shorter snippets and the storytelling that comes with blogging. Send me a link to your blog when you go live!

  9. Natasha

    March 28, 2018 at 12:55 am

    What if you have a wordpress.com blog? Is there an easy way to move over to wordpress.com? Can you still make money if you don’t have your own domain?

    1. Cate

      March 28, 2018 at 3:03 am

      Excellent questions. The short answer is, you need to have a self-hosted website and your own domain to make money from your blog. WordPress.com is a free blogging platform (I used to use that platform too, it’s great for hobby blogs)! I switched over to a self-hosted platform using WordPress.org when I decided to turn my blog into my job. It’s cheap and easy to switch, just about $65-95 dollars a year, depending on which package you choose. When you’re ready to switch to a self-hosted site, here are the steps: https://sweetandsimplelife.com/start-blog-make-money/ I hope that helps!!

  10. Emily

    April 25, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    I love this post. I am a new blogger, just started in January. I get so frusterated with all the bloggers who claim it is so easy. It isn’t! It is hard work, especially as a newbie learning by trial and error. I found so much encouragement from this post, thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Cate

      April 25, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that! Yes, it’s outrageous when people act as if you gain success and money overnight, and it’s discouraging for new bloggers. I do my best to keep it real with my readers. So glad to have you here! If you haven’t joined my free blogging group yet, you can do that here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/becomingablogger/

  11. Gallantly, gal

    July 4, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    Whoa I love this supper in-depth, helpful blog post 😀
    Love the realness to it, too. It’s not a “get rich quick” scheme as you said. It’s a legitimate business. Will keep your advice and points in mind, thanks!
    xx gallantygal.com

    1. Cate

      July 5, 2018 at 1:41 am

      I’m definitely the first person to confess that it’s hard work! I’m happy to help in any way that I can, feel free to reach out 🙂

  12. Beula

    August 7, 2018 at 2:35 am

    Thank you for this post Cate… I have to admit.. when I was reading, it wasn’t like am reading something.. it’s like you’re sitting beside me and talking.. that’s really awesome.. and thank you for sharing the link…. Love beula

    1. Cate

      August 7, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      This makes me so happy to read, I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

  13. Tiffanie Perkins

    September 1, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    I really want to start blogging and making a better life for my family. I have two wonderful children of my own and would love to make things like jewelry, trinket boxes, etc. And use my blog to sell them. Any advice on this new adventure would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Cate

      September 6, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      I love this idea! I have two little ones too, and I started my blogging business to make a better life for my family as well 🙂 Building a blogging business takes some time and effort for sure. Setting up the right way, choosing a target market, having a blog schedule, and getting your content in front of your ideal audience is the most important thing. I highly recommend learning SEO and using Pinterest. Here’s an article for getting started with Pinterest: https://sweetandsimplelife.com/grow-your-blog-using-pinterest/

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.