In 2007, I literally changed my life by starting my own blog. I know it sounds crazy, but it really did. I’m going to take a break from my typical technical and tips articles to share a bit of my personal story with you, in hopes that it may inspire and encourage you to create your own blog and hopefully change your life was well.
My journey began in a crisis …
After all that I’ve been through
Now I realize the truth
That I must go through the valley
To stand upon the mountain of God – “Mountain of God” by Third Day
In 2006, my wife and I were facing a financial and life crisis. My job was in question, we were living paycheck to paycheck, and had more than $50,000 in debt, excluding our mortgage. If I thought about it too much, I literally couldn’t breath. We decided enough was enough and that we just couldn’t live like that anymore. Thinking back, we were really overwhelmed and it almost seemed hopeless. While this time in our life certainly wasn’t fun, I’m glad we went through it. Those trials put us where we are today and started me on a blogging journey that has literally changed my life.
Faced with our life crisis and financial struggles, we struggled for answers and for direction. We turned to our faith and to others for help. I began reading as many articles on financial help that I could find on the web. The two sites that helped me the most were Get Rich Slowly and The Simple Dollar. I also found Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover and read it front to back in a day. Dave’s book gave me hope that with a great deal of hard work, we could change my financial life. The two sites that I found I would later learn weren’t just sites, but blogs run my normal people like myself.
Create your own blog
Not only were blogs helping me with my finances, they were also intriguing to me. I thought it might be fun to share what I was learning with others. If I was searching for answers, I’m sure others were as well. I figured nobody would ever read my blog, but at the very least a blog would provide me with a single location to store everything I was learning. I began to think of a name.
That evening, I was doing my daily Bible reading and was working through Proverbs. I read Proverbs 13:11 – “He who gathers money little by little, makes it grow”. That was it, that would be the name for my blog: Gather Little by Little. I ran straight to the computer to create my own blog. I reserved the domain name, installed WordPress and wrote my very first article.
The start of my blogging journey
Long story short, Gather Little by Little (GLBL) grew and grew fast. Within 3 years, I had more than 3,000 subscribers and was in the top 10 personal finance blogs on the internet. Who knew? I learned so much during those 3 years about how to run a blog, how you can actually earn money, how to grow and build traffic and how important social networking is to your success. Most importantly, I continued to learn about personal finance and used what I was learning to slowing get our personal finance struggles under control.
I also learned that I wasn’t even close to be being alone in my quest to get my personal finance life turned around. Many others joined me as readers on GLBL and together we improved our financial situations. One of the unexpected things Gather Little by Little did for me was hold me accountable. I had over 3,000 readers and they expected me to practice what I preached. They helped me stay focused and stay the course to getting my finances under control. Accountability was a totally unexpected benefit of blogging and as I learned one of the big benefits for me personally. Accountability drove me then on GLBL and drives me now here on Side Income Blogging.
A fork in the road
In 2009, I had been writing on GLBL for more than three years. During that time, I had started helping others start their own blogs and being a technical person, was even doing some custom programming on the side for them. I saw this as a feasible business, but with the time constraints GLBL placed on me, I just couldn’t get it going as a full side business.
I made the tough decision that same year to sell GLBL so I could move into the next phase of my blogging journey. I sold GLBL for an amount that to this day still surprises me. While I can’t disclose the actual amount, I can tell you it was a five figure number. I used that money to finish paying off our credit card debt and one of our cars.
Selling GLBL was bittersweet. The financial injection into our debt snowball made a huge positive difference in our lives. Selling it also allowed me to start Empty Cabin Media and ultimately Side Income Blogging (Empty Cabin Media and Side Income Blogging are now merged together).
I do regret selling GLBL, and in hindsight I shouldn’t have sold it. Instead, I should have kept it, and just hired a few more writers and I could have provided content as I had time. What I failed to recognize at the time, was how much personal stake I had in GLBL. GLBL was the result of me stepping up and making a huge change in my life and as a result helping many others do so as well. I have a personal connection with that GLBL that is a little hard to explain and while this may sound a little weird, I miss it. I miss the site, I miss the community, and I miss all of the blogging friends and reader friends I made.
The combination of my development and consulting work along with writing here on Side Income Blogging keeps me really busy. Not to mention the other authority niche sites I run and strive to keep profitable. I earn on average about $2500.00 a month online from a combination of my websites, and services work. My goal for 2016 is to double that to $5000.00 a month.
Over the past 7 years, since starting Side Income Blogging, I’ve helped many different bloggers start and grow their blogs along with assisting them with their technical needs. I’ve also shared lots experience and tips here on Side Income Blogging to help you with your blogging journey.
Starting a blog, literally changed my life. I got my finances under control, began a new blogging career, and started a side business. Starting a side business was always something I had dreamed of, but never thought possible.
Want to change your life? Start a blog, and become and internet entrepreneur.
Four reasons you should create your own blog
1 – Blogging is fun
Blogging can certaining be a great deal of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. I personally love creating something and writing on a topic I’m passionate and knowledgeable about. I enjoy constantly tweaking and changing my sites and watching them grow. I find all of this very fulfilling and rewarding.
One of the great things about blogging is that you can work on your blog when you want to and when you have time. You don’t have to show up to work everyday or work any particular number of hours. If I don’t feel like blogging one day, you don’t have to. Working for yourself is truly a rewarding experience.
2 – Make money blogging
While I certainly didn’t start blogging to earn money, I found that you certainly can. When I sold GLBL, it was earning in excess of $1500.00 a month for me. That money really helped with getting my debt paid down and getting me to a point of having more income than expenses. I mean $1500.00 a month can make a big dent each month in that debt snowball.
Now, let me be clear that earning this much isn’t something that happens overnight and it takes a great deal of effort, but it can be done. I personally know many full-time bloggers that make six figures blogging.
One additional benefit of earning some money by blogging is that you don’t have to rely so much on your full-time income. With the current trend of company downsizing and layoffs, none of us have the job security we once had. Having some extra income from a blog can certainly help to minimize the impact of this happening to you.
3 – Help others and make a difference
For me personally, this is the most rewarding aspect of blogging. I really enjoy helping others and making a positive difference in the world. When I was blogging on GLBL, I would constantly receive comments and emails from people sharing their stories of debt and financial struggle and how much my blog had helped them. It always warmed my heart to read these stories and even further encouraged me to continue writing. I write here on Side Income Blogging for the same reason, to help you.
4 – Accountability
I mentioned accountability earlier, and cannot emphasize enough how important accountability is and how much a blog can make you accountable. To be successful in anything, you must set goals. You must establish milestones to measure your success and track yourself against them. A blog and your readers can help you do that. Take it from me, there are few things more difficult than establishing yourself as an expert in personal finance, serving as a example of how people should do something, then making a complete blunder and having to fess up to it on your blog with more than 2000 readers. But while difficult, it drives you in a way that’s hard to describe.
Don’t hesitate to create your own blog
Whether your interest is personal finance, cooking, being stay at home mom, software development, photography, model trains, whatever…We all have goals. Start blogging about your hobby or interest. Not only will you benefit others, you’ll hold yourself accountable, learn more about yourself than you thought possible, have fun, and even earn some extra money. Who knows, maybe your blog will become your full-time job – It happens everyday.
Have you been thinking about starting a blog? Well, stop thinking about it and start a blog right now. The best way to learn is to just start blogging. Learn how to start a blog in less than an hour.