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Remember your school days when summer recess finally came? You’d wake up on the first day and lay in bed for a while, letting the idea sink in that you didn’t have to be anywhere. You were going to spend the day how you wanted to. You weren’t going to listen to a bell telling you when to get up and move to the next class, where you’d wait for the next bell.
It’d be different when you entered the working world. You’d be an adult. You’d have more independence. More control over your schedule.
But we all know how that goes. Whether you’re a house painter, a stock trader, or a store manager. You’re still punching a clock, or walking past the boss’s office when you’re five minutes late, hoping he/she didn’t notice.
You’re still counting the minutes until someone else says you can eat lunch.
You’re still merging onto your local highway, hoping there’s no backup because you’ve got your commute timed down to the minute. Or maybe you’re standing on a train platform waiting for the 5:04 train to take you home.
I know what it’s like to do the half walk-half run to the train station, joining hundreds of people heading down to a crowded, filthy platform. You hope the train will be on time, that you get a seat, and it’ll be a smooth ride home.
When I first began taking a train to work. I stood there in my dress clothes, holding my briefcase and thinking, “this is not how I want to spend the next 35 years”.
Most people who get that feeling will toss it around for years. Decades even. In fact, most people will work their entire career with that nagging feeling that there’s something better out there for them. A way to make an income on your own terms.
Imagine never having to listen to another traffic report? Never sitting at a desk an hour from home while your child plays after school sports that you’ll never attend.
What if you didn’t have to race out of the house in the morning to a job where you never actually see the value of your work?
I found a way to ease into another line of work that does give me all these benefits but didn’t cost me a fortune to start.
Starting a blog was something I thought of about five years ago, just after becoming a single parent of a seven-year-old and a ten-year-old. There were a few blogs I enjoyed reading, and at the time, I thought I too, could create content about a few different areas that might work.
But I never did anything about it.
I became overwhelmed trying to commute to my job, get both kids to their club sports games and practices, getting food on the table… Raising kids has a way of pushing other things to the back burner. Doing it as a single parent made me push almost everything out of the way.
Stop Dreaming and Take the First Step
About five months ago, I finally decided to give it a try.
Here are the two things that finally convinced me to start:
One of the sites I’d been reading is written by a guy who was laid off from his corporate job a few years ago. He had just started his blog a few months prior to losing his job. Within less than a year after being laid off he was earning more from his blog than at his former job. And now he was working from home, and doing what he wanted to do.
The other thing that lit a fire under me was something I noticed in two or three other sites. They each have a large readership and are making not just a living, but they’re each making well into five figures per month. But each of them started within the past 2 years!
Each one knew nothing about buying a domain name, getting hosting or anything else about running a blog.
They were working parents, trying to scrape together a living and decided to try blogging.They’re not financial experts or MBA’s. They had no experience working in journalism of any kind.
They’re regular people writing about everyday issues and how they go about dealing with them. And within two years (one was less than a year), each was able to significantly surpass the earnings they’d be able to make in an office.
The unique thing about starting a blog is that it’s such a small investment up front. You’re not putting down thousands of dollars or spending months taking courses. You can buy your web hosting for about $59 per year. That’s less than I spend on coffee.
And if you have your site hosted on Bluehost, I found that you get your domain (website) name free.
Once you do that, you’d install WordPress on your computer, which is the app you use to write your blog posts. WordPress is completely menu driven, so there’s no coding or fancy computer terms to learn.
WordPress is also free. You can literally have a website up and ready to go in about 20 minutes.
Here’s how I got started.
Once I made the decision to start my blog, I went to YouTube and searched on “using WordPress”. I watched 4 or 5 how-to videos where I saw that using WordPress is something you can literally jump into and start using it right away
Anything new has a learning curve, and for the first couple weeks, I was a bit slow navigating around. But whenever I needed to do something and couldn’t figure how, I’d go to YouTube and there it was. There’s probably no issue you’d run across that someone else hasn’t already experienced and has documented.
Starting a blog isn’t some get rich quick scheme. It depends on what you put into it. The people I’ve seen who’ve had success worked around their schedule. They wrote blog posts while their kids napped or slept, or when they had a couple hours on the weekend.
Within weeks, they’d become familiar with other features to add to their blog. As their content grew, people started leaving comments. They’d comment on other blogs, which would cause other people to find their blog. And within months, the readership of your blog can grow into the thousands per month.
That’s when you can begin to monetize it. You can sign up for an ad service like Google Adsense where you’d be paid when someone clicks on one of their ads on your site.
Or you can place affiliate links in your posts. Affiliate links are just links to a certain product you’ve used and are pleased with. Suppose you organized your home office and in the process, you went and bought a scanner or paper shredder. You could write an article about home organization and mention your scanner in it. When someone clicks on it and buys that scanner, you’d be paid a percentage.
You can contact companies and propose to write ‘sponsored posts’. These are posts you’d write about products you really believe in, where the company would pay you to run it on your site.
You can write posts for other blogs and get paid for them. This would do two things:
- It would put money in your pocket.
2. It would put your site’s name in front of thousands of more people which increases your readership.
The idea is that starting your own blog can open doors and present opportunities you never imagined were available.
So, what about you?
Are you or your partner commuting to a job and spending a third of your life doing work that leaves you uninspired and pays just enough – just barely enough to pay your bills?
Whether you work in a corporate office or a small store, they have one thing in common: there’s no loyalty to you. If their bottom line isn’t what they feel it should be, you can be unemployed in a heartbeat.
I’ve seen twenty-year employees who thought they’d be retiring from their job, walk out the door in tears during a lay off. Years of faithfully punching a clock didn’t save their job.
If you’d like to finally make a move to live life on your terms, rather than someone else’s, check out my step by step tutorial on how you can get your blog up and running in about 20 minutes.
Wouldn’t be nice to have an asset that you created, that you build on, and that has the opportunity to support your family? It can happen.
Don’t wait five years like I did.
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