How I Work Full Time and Make $5k+ Per Month Blogging
If you would have told me three years ago that I would be writing a blog post for another blog about how I work full time and make $5k+ per month blogging, I would have never believed you.
And here I am doing it.
[This guest post is brought to you by personal development, finance, and money blogger, Natalie Bacon.]
It all started when I graduated law school with over $206k in student loan debt.
I was so mad about my debt when I graduated because I didn’t know I had taken out that much, and I was shocked to find out that my income wasn’t enough to pay it off quickly. That was when I started listening to money podcasts.
Randomly, I decided to start a blog.
Why I Chose to Blog About Money
I chose to blog about personal finance for young professional women when I first started because that was the pain I was feeling. I was a young, professional woman who knew nothing about money.
I thought I did everything right – followed everyone else’s advice – but I still ended up in a really bad situation. So, because I felt that pain about it, I wanted to share my experience.
My blog was called “Financegirl” and the URL was theFinancegirl.com (someone was sitting on Financegirl.com, and I was not about to pay for it).
I didn’t read blogs before I started mine. I didn’t know about anything related to blogging or money.
Looking back, I think I would have been scared and maybe not started my blog had I looked into it more beforehand. There were already so many amazing personal finance blogs out there.
It never dawned on me though.
All I knew was that I was a financial mess and I wanted to share my journey and help others learn about money, too.
What I Blog About Now
Over the last three years, my blog has transformed.
I rebranded to my name – NatalieBacon.com and my focus is not only about money, but also about personal development and blogging.
The money posts are a lot about budgeting and making money.
The personal development posts are mostly about goal-setting and designing a life you love.
The blogging posts are about how to start a blog and how I monetize my blog.
My blog is an evolution of my journey, but more importantly, it’s an evolution of my readers’ journeys. What I mean is that I pay very close attention to what they like and I write more of that.
For example, I decided to write a lot about happiness over the last several months and even created a happiness freebie (an email course).
What I found was that people didn’t really resonate with it as much as they did my productivity posts. So, in the future, I’ll create more content around productivity and time management instead of happiness.
It’s all about finding the audience you want to serve, then figuring out how they want to be helped.
How I Make Money Blogging
- My first year blogging I made about $8,000 in [gross] revenues.
- In my second year of blogging, I made about $30,000 in revenues.
- By my third year of blogging, I was up to $45k in revenues.
And the last few months, my income increased to over $5,000 per month, which I expect to continue going forward.
I did this all while working full time (first as a lawyer, then as a financial planner).
I started monetizing my blog very slowly. First, I put up ads with Google Adsense.
Then, I decided to start freelance writing online.
I knew I needed to invest in my blog because I wanted it to be a business, but I didn’t believe I could justify spending the income from my day-job because I had so much debt to pay off.
So, I started freelance writing and made pretty good money that way (up to $350 per post).
Over time, I added affiliate marketing to my blog. There came a point (maybe after a year or so), where my freelance writing was getting in the way of making money from my own blog.
I was always very aware of the results I wanted – to make money blogging as passively as possible.
So, I quit freelance writing. I even quit writing for Forbes because it didn’t pay! Talk about being ruthless with my goals. I knew I had to focus on monetization.
From there, I focused solely on affiliate marketing. As my affiliate marketing income grew, everyone started talking about how important video is now. So, I made that a goal – to start a YouTube channel.
That is where I found Alex and Lauren.
How I Found Create and Go and Why I Took Their Six-Figure Blogger Course
One of the recommended videos that came up for me to watch was an income report video from Create and Go’s YouTube Channel. I immediately was impressed by Alex’s honesty and openness.
It felt like a friend was teaching me about blogging instead of some unreachable professional who was really stuffy, and I couldn’t relate to.
I hopped over to their website and almost immediately opted into their free email course for making money blogging.
That free course was longer and better than any free course I’ve ever taken.
I wanted to take Six-Figure Blogger, but I had one hesitation – was it really going to help me since I already had made some money blogging?
I didn’t want to take an intro to blogging course.
I reached out to Lauren, and she let me know that there was some information about affiliate marketing, but that the bulk of the course was about how to monetize by creating your own digital products.
With that in mind, I decided it was worth it. I bought Six-Figure Blogger and got started right away!
The Results of Six-Figure Blogger
Six-Figure Blogger changed the trajectory of my blog forever.
It’s hard to put into words the value I got from it because it’s way beyond the technical stuff.
Some of the most important lessons that I personally learned from the course included…
- What it takes to scale a blog that makes money randomly into a six-figure blog
- The mindset you have to have to make this happen
- The importance of having an end-goal in order to truly create and build a profitable business
The other courses I had taken talked a lot about branding, networking, writing, etc. I had done all those things and got really good at them. But I still hadn’t become super duper profitable in the way I wanted.
This course changed that for me. I learned – step by step – how to build a scalable, profitable blog.
And then there is the technical side… Some of the actual steps that I took from the course include…
- Created my first product!
- Designed a sales page for that product
- Created an email sequence to sell my product
- Redid all of my previous email sequences for my freebies
- Changed my content strategy around affiliate marketing
Most importantly, I have a plan for scaling my income with other products in the future.
I have sooo many experienced blogger friends that are making mistake after mistake with their affiliate marketing, email marketing, and sales page strategies.
I tell them all the time that they need to take this course. Everything you need is in this course.
But it’s not enough to take the course.
You have to actually do everything in the course.
It only works if you do the work. You have to do all the work.
I have been implementing strategies from this course for over six months. My income has gone from $3k per month to over $5k per month, and I just released my first product a few days ago (meaning, I expect it’s going to go up much more!).
I have plans to release two more eBooks this year, and then create two courses. This year is the year of producing digital products for me.
UPDATE: Guys, Natalie has since created her very first course, and it’s AWESOME!
It’s called Design Your Dream Life Academy, and it’s all about how to become a BOSS at mastering your mindset, emotions, productivity, time management, goal-setting, and habits!
Natalie is incredibly passionate about her blogging business and she lets that passion totally drive her. She has the time management and productivity skills NAILED DOWN.
The thing is… All the strategies in the world won’t help you be happier, make more money, get that promotion, etc. if you don’t know how to IMPLEMENT those strategies.
That’s why we think Natalie’s course is the perfect complement to our blogging courses. Even our strategies on how to make money with your blog… It’s a whole lot easier to read WHAT to do than to implement and work through HOW to do it.
You can check out Natalie’s course here: Design Your Dream Life Academy
How I Find Time to Blog and Work Full Time
I’m asked a lot about how I find time to blog and work full time.
There are two parts to making this happen:
I am 100% committed to making money blogging. That doesn’t mean I think it will be easy while working full time.
I know and expect there to be failures along the way. But I don’t waver. I’m all in.
This is important because with this mindset, I feel successful already. I expect to make money blogging.
I don’t “hope” it will happen – I expect it will happen (the difference here is huge). I take action and get results based on feeling successful already.
When you control your mind, anything is possible. I literally create the results I think and expect to happen. I ignore the fears and the doubts.
The second part of this is the planning. I plan the results I expect to get on my calendar. I plan my months, weeks, days, and hours out.
For example, I write blog posts on Mondays, so on my calendar, I have “Write 1 blog post” from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. I don’t plan the activity. I don’t say “blogging” from 6pm-9pm. Instead, I plan the result – I will write 1 blog post during that time.
Planning the results teaches you to measure based on what you’re producing (productivity), not based on what you’re “busy” working on.
I also get up at 4:30 am or 5:00 am (I go to bed around 9:30 pm).
A Final Note!
Blogging has allowed me to switch careers. I quit practicing law, taking a 50% pay cut to become a financial planner. I wanted to learn about money and truly be an expert.
Blogging has allowed me to pay off over $100k in student loan debt. Doing this while taking the 50% pay cut was only possible because of my blog income.
Finally, and most importantly, blogging taught me about being an entrepreneur.
I was raised to go to school and get a job. I didn’t know about business. I never want to be a business owner. Now, I love business, entrepreneurship, and designing a life on my own terms.
It’s magic. And blogging did this for me.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from my journey so far is to take responsibility for your life.
Instead of trying to get out of my debt, or go on some income-driven repayment plan, I took responsibility for my debt and created a business from nothing that is paying off my debt for me.
And along the way, I’ve become a completely different person.
I love my life, and I’m so grateful for my debt because it gave me the gift of blogging.
Blogging is the best thing that has ever happened to me. 🙂
If you’re interested in taking the course that Natalie took to scale her current income and create a serious action plan to CONTINUE scaling it, you can check out our Six-Figure Blogger Course.
You don’t necessarily need to be earning any income on your blog yet to take this course, but it’s not designed for brand new bloggers either.
You should at least have an established blog with some steady and consistent traffic coming into your blog each day.
Author Bio: Natalie is the blogger behind NatalieBacon.com, where she writes about personal development, money, and blogging. Natalie’s mission is to help people make and save money and design a life they love. She’s been featured in CNBC, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more. You can find Natalie on Instagram.