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How and Why I Left My Job to Blog Full-time & How to Make Money Blogging
A brief history…
From the time I was in first grade (I'm not kidding), I always knew that I wanted to go to law school. And so I did! I graduated from law school in 2002 and became a litigation attorney. For the first 3 years, I practiced commercial litigation in Florida. For the past 9 years I practiced mostly professional malpractice defense litigation in North Carolina. I liked the work and was good at it. But, it was STRESSFUL, especially after having our twin girls because I had to travel a fair amount and Joe works 24-hour shifts. Scheduling was tricky. The work also didn't satisfy my desperate need to create pretty things, so in late October, 2013, I started this “little” blog as a creative outlet and so that my friends and family could easily follow our progress as we renovated our home one room at a time. That's all I thought this “little” blog would ever be. Boy was I wrong.
The lightbulb moment…
In Spring 2014, I started hearing people talk about monetizing their blogs. Wait, what?! You could make money from a blog???? I was seriously shocked, but I was VERY interested to learn how to make money blogging. At that point, I had migrated my blog from Blogger to WordPress (you can learn more about that here) and had some small expenses and I wanted to figure out how to make money blogging to cover those expenses. So, I monetized my blog. I worked on some sponsored posts and began running ads on my site. I even started adding some affiliate links to my posts, though I honestly had no clue what I was doing with affiliate marketing until much later (it's since become a HUGE money maker for me and I've written an eBook about it–you can check out Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers here). So initially, I made very little money, but it was enough to cover my expenses and I was happy.
The unexpected growth…
Y'all, by September 2014, my blog wasn't so little anymore! It had grown to over 200,000 monthly page views by that time; I was doing the best I could to promote my blog posts through link parties and social media but I knew I could be doing more. That said, as my traffic grew, my income grew a bit more, but I still didn't totally understand how to make money blogging. It was around this time that I started thinking that MAYBE, just MAYBE, I could start earning a modest living from my blog. The problem is, I was kind of stuck. I was feeling overwhelmed by keeping up practicing law full-time, being a good wife and mom, and blogging! I needed some guidance. I needed a more experienced blogger to guide me through the process of a successful blog and show me step-by- step, exactly how to grow your traffic and generate a sustainable income. That's when I signed up for the first ever Elite Blog Academy course, created by Ruth Soukup of the blog, Living Well Spending Less. I was super skeptical, but since there was a 100% money back guarantee, I figured I had nothing to lose. Turns out it is the best decision I ever made.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase the course I will receive a percentage of the sale AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU. But I assure you, I would STRONGLY recommend this course to you no matter what–it is amazing. Read on to learn just how it taught me how to make money blogging (so much in fact that I have been able to make blogging my full-time career)!
My Elite Blog Academy journey…
I jumped into the course right away when I purchased it in September 2014. I immediately learned about creating awesome content, perfect pins and going back to optimize old content. Y'all, it was A TON OF WORK. Truly, I have never worked harder in my life, especially since I was still working full-time as a lawyer! Blogging is HARD WORK. Results do not come for free and Elite Blog Academy is not magic. It will not do anything for you if you don't put the work in. But I put in the work in and this is what happened.
Effect on Page Views
My Elite Blog Academy journey and the impact it made on my page views is more easily summed up with a graphic, so here it is.
CRAZY, right?! Certainly, some of the growth can be attributed organic growth that would have occurred anyway. But MOST of my blog growth following my purchase of Elite Blog Academy can be attributed to my hard work coupled with the strategies and information I have learned through the course. What Ruth taught me about heavily promoting evergreen content in the course has had had the biggest impact on my blog growth. Just check out those analytics. I NEVER dreamed I would see numbers like that!
Effect on Earnings
That sums up what a HUGE impact Elite Blog Academy had on my page views. But more importantly, Elite Blog Academy finally taught me exactly how to make money blogging! So, let's let's take a look at what an impact it has had on my blog earnings. Despite fairly high page views before beginning Elite Blog Academy, I was barely earning any money after monetizing my blog in the first quarter of 2014. After I began Elite Blog Academy, things started to change because I learned exactly what to do to improve my content, promote my content and optimize my earnings! Again, I prepared a graphic for you to make things clear (bear in mind that the January 2016 earnings are reported as of January 27, 2016–4 days prior to the end of the month).
I learned SO MUCH through Elite Blog Academy about how to to make money blogging and maximize my earnings several different ways. One of the biggest impacts the course had on me was learning the importance of launching your own product (my Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers eCourse). Y'all, I never would have even thought about launching a product if it hadn't been for this course! Seriously…I couldn't imagine that anyone would want to purchase anything from me, but I was wrong. I launched my eBook on September 1, 2015 (almost 1 year after purchasing Elite Blog Academy) and it has earned me over $41,000.00 so far. That's is a wonderful addition to my blogging income. The tips Ruth gives on how to launch a project are HUGELY helpful.
For those of you who want more hard and fast numbers, here you go….my total income from my blog in 2015 was $73,794.96! Can you believe that?! I can't. Here is a screenshot from Quickbooks to show you exactly how that income breaks down (the “sales of product income” is referring to my eBook–I think everything else is self-explanatory).
UPDATE: My blogging income for 2016 more than doubled, partly because I joined the Elite Blog Academy VIP program! My total blogging income in 2016 (well, through December 27th) was a whopping $187,919.71! And believe it or not, the last few days of December brought in a lot of payments, so I actually finished the year at $195,509.27.
My Transition to Blogging Full-time
Okay, let's go way back in time for a bit. I began my career as a private practice litigation attorney in 2002. I started blogging on October 28, 2013 and got really serious about it in early 2014. At that point I basically had 2 full-time jobs, plus young twin girls, plus a husband who I adore and was neglecting way too much in light of my 2 jobs (PS- no husband on the face of the planet has ever been as patient and supportive of such madness). I was basically working from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm almost every single day, taking a couple hours after my traditional “lawyer job” to spend with my family before my girls went to bed, and then it was back to work. Y'all, I was tired. But here's the thing… Once I realized how much earning potential my blog had, I realized that it turn into a new career for me. A career that would enable me to spend more time at home with my sweet girls and set my own schedule. That kept me going.
After working full-time and blogging for 18 months, I decided to reduce my hours at my law firm. I was nervous, but took a leap of faith and transitioned to part-time work as a lawyer, which allowed me to focus even more on my blog. Later, I decided to take an even bigger leap and “retire” from the practice of law as of January 1, 2016. I'm only about 1 month into my new reality as a full-time blogger and I feel so blessed. I won't say I feel “lucky” because this journey has been such hard work, but I know I am blessed beyond measure.
What the Future Holds for Me and You
If my blog earnings continue on the path that they were on the second half of 2015, I expect that I will surpass what I was earning as a lawyer with my 2016 blog earnings (UPDATE: see above! I did surpass my lawyer income in 2016!). I still can't quite wrap my head around it. At the risk of sounding cheesy, with everything I learned through Elite Blog Academy I believe the sky is the limit for my career as a blogger. And you know what? The same could be true for you. Stop shaking your head and thinking, “no way!” I thought that, too! Your journey may be shorter or longer than mine, but it can be done if you have the passion, great content and you put in the work. I am proof of that. You just need the tools to help all the pieces of the puzzle fit together and Elite Blog Academy includes all the tools you need, so grab it while you can.
What You Can Expect from Elite Blog Academy
Most of us know all too well how overwhelming it can feel to juggle the day-to-day demands of writing a blog with the big-picture strategy of creating a profitable business. Have you ever wished someone could guide you through the process of a successful blog and show you step-by- step, exactly how to grow your traffic and generate a sustainable income? That is exactly what Elite Blog Academy was designed to do.
Through a powerful combination of effective videos, practical and insightful handouts, purposeful assignments, and interactive live webinars, Elite Blog Academy will empower, enable, and inspire you to take the specific steps necessary to refine your message, grow your audience, monetize your platform, and transform your blog into a successful and profitable business. It will teach you how to make money blogging, but it will teach you SO MUCH more than that. It will teach you how to build a blog that you are proud of, that your readers love and that really and truly helps people in some way.
- Eliminate blog confusion by creating an organized framework that sets the stage for everything you do.
- Discover the secret to harnessing Pinterest, the most powerful free marketing tool in the world.
- Understand what is not working in your current monetization model and instead develop concrete goals and a solid plan for achieving them.
- Dramatically increase your site’s passive income by mastering the four key strategies of optimizing ad network revenue.
- Take advantage of the critical—but often ignored—connection between SEO and ad revenue.
- Overcome your fear of private advertising and instead learn to approach brands with confidence.
- Learn what it really takes to earn a six-figure income from your blog, then develop your own product along with a successful marketing plan to sell it.
- Create a solid working business plan to take your blogging business to the next level.
Here is what the course includes:
- 12 Comprehensive Unit Videos
- 12 Detailed Unit Workbooks with Video Outlines
- 16 Powerful Handouts
- 30 Purposeful Assignments
- 4 Live Webinars
- Accountability & Community within a Private Forum
Elite Blog Academy is designed to be self-paced, but should not be completed in LESS than 12 weeks. Blogging is not for the faint of heart, and this course requires a willingness to buckle down and get to work. That said, for those who are willing to do the work, it also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. The money-back guarantee is the only reason I shelled out the money for the course, and knowing what I know now, I would have paid four times as much for it without blinking!
The good news is that before the doors open, Elite Blog Academy always offers awesome FREE training, eBooks and guides. All you have to do is sign-up to join the waiting list and tons of FREE valuable blogging info will be sent to your inbox. You'll want to get on the waiting list anyway, because enrollment only opens ONCE A YEAR. So, it's tough to get into and you don't want to miss your chance when it opens again in February, 2017. If you are on the waiting list, you'll get an email when enrollment opens so you don't miss your chance.
There aren’t a lot of blogging resources I can recommend wholeheartedly, but I can say without a doubt that Elite Blog Academy is the BEST investment I have ever made into my blog and my life.
Who is Elite Blog Academy for?
Believe it or not, Elite Blog Academy will provide a ton of value for new bloggers who want to establish their blogs and for intermediate bloggers looking to grow. I also think it would also be HUGELY beneficial to professional bloggers who are already earning an income and are beyond the “intermediate” stage, but still feel like their income should be higher and/or that they need help improving their content. In fact, I am going to go back and revisit some of the units myself this year to pick up tips I may have missed my first time through the course, since I was in a totally different head space and had very different analytics back then.
What if I still have questions?
Ask away! Seriously. Send me an email. I am happy to give you more info about my experience with the course or to answer specific questions you have. My email is tasha(at)designertrapped(dot)com. Please be sure to put “Elite Blog Academy” in the subject line so that I can get back to you ASAP!
If you want to receive more blogging tips from me, be sure to subscribe to my blogging newsletter by clicking the image below! In it, I share tips, tricks and blogging advice and resources that have been invaluable to me! And of course, it's free! And you can check out all of my other blogging related posts here.
Now, I promise you, there is enough traffic and income for ALL BLOGGERS, so let's support each other and spread the word about this amazing course by pinning it or sharing it on Facebook?