If you want to quit your day job and start making a living through a blog of your own, I have four simple steps for you.
- Have 3 months of income saved up.
- Have a good story on what made you want to quit.
- Have a blog set up (duh).
- Lastly, and this part is important, tell somebody you’re going to try blogging for a living, for God’s sake.
I say that last part to tell someday you’re going to quit your job to blog for a living is important for a few reasons. Firstly, you kind of want to take advantage of excitement bias – meaning if you succeed at blogging the people you tell ahead of time will assume you succeeded because you quit your job and feel a part of it all, making them more willing to help you out down the road. You can also take advantage of failure bias, if you fail at blogging people will assume it’s because you quit your job, and will help you get back on your feet more readily knowing you were honest with them when you took a risk.
But that second scenario is not a scenario you have to worry about, because you’re going to succeed.
Lastly when you tell folks you’re going to do it, you have more conviction because others are expecting it. You basically put yourself on the clock for a decision you know is worth doing, and are more likely to follow through. This is real and definitely a good motivator.
But let’s break down those first 3 reasons a bit more, shall we?
Have 3 months of income saved up.
When I quit my government job to blog for a living, I was broke. Not just when I quit, but generally, at every moment I had that job. I was living on a $34,000 salary in Manhattan, walking to work, eating $1 dumplings on the way home (that part I do miss). That said, I was able to save up by being crafty. I saved a security deposit here and there, learned how to make a few bucks in wordpress taking a General Assembly course, and saved my last few paychecks like they were my last. When I quit the job, I know I’d have about $3000/mo for the next 3 months. This was money in my pocket regardless of what happened. In NYC, it’s very little (think $36,000/yr) but it helped knowing I had a few days worth of breathing room.
When you quit your job, you need to have some guarantee that you’ll be able to put bread on the table for the next 3 months. This gives you a bit of relaxation which is necessary to keep your thoughts in order and do your best work. The pressure helps too. But if you’re in debt the moment you pack up your desk, and need to find work, how are you going to write amazing blog posts and make your online business happen?
It doesn’t need to be 3 months, just enough money that you can relax, and know you’re giving yourself enough time to make this new venture work.
Have a good story on what made you want to quit
A good story on why you quit will fuel you to work hard every day with that chip on your should to prove to your old boss that he or she was wrong about you.
But it will also inspire readers to join into your email club, community or whatever camp you’re trying to build. You’re being bold, don’t hide it, share it.
In my case there was 1 very distinct meeting in which my boss told me that my work (as a web content manager) which was on top of my already solid job as an analyst was equivalent to about 33% of a new job. So I asked him if I could have a 33% raise. Which would have been a lot! 🙂
He told me to GTFO of his office.
And I did, and I never said in that moldy chair again.
I planned every day from that day on how I would quit.
And when I told HR I would quit, they said “oh that’s nice, maybe you should talk to someone about career planning, so you can figure out where else we can set you up in the organization”. And it felt great saying “no thanks”.
However you quit, do it with style, and make it a story you aren’t ashamed of sharing on your blog.
Have a blog setup (duh)
Now this last part is a bit of a no brainer.
But I don’t mean just any blogger or WordPress.com blog.
You cannot and I stress cannot be taken anything other than seriously when people look at your blog after you make this move. If people look at your blog the day you quit your job and see a mumble jumble photo collage mess with pictures of your lunch and quotes from your dog, they will laugh at your or worse, think you may have gone crazy.
What you need, is to make a WordPress website and put up a great landing page with your goals, mission statement and a few Hi-Res images showing what you plan to give people. I show beginners how you can make a website in 6 minutes quick and easy, so you have no excuse to be missing this key branding and online marketing component.
Plus, with any number of YouTube tutorials on how to make a WordPress website or blog, you can learn all you need to get a professional website running, with a few tips on how to actually write the darn stuff, if the teacher is nice at all 🙂
Knowing that you have a professional WordPress site live will actually give you a lot of confidence as you tell those real people that you’re quitting your job. You know you have a platform that can actually be monetized, a sweet blog just like the pros, and don’t have to say much else than “I’ve got a nice blog up and running that will be my focus in this new life”. Check it out.
Conclusion: Put the rush on your life, because no one else will
Once you have the above 4 component in place, you are officially ready to quit your job and blog for a living. You can do it.
But the timeframe part is all on you.
Look at it this way – the world doesn’t want you to quit. Much as people inspire and jabber on in promotional videos about how everything and one is on your side, they’re not, and it helps to understand that we’re all basically screwed if we don’t take the action we believe in. The world wants you to stay in your place and not be disrupted, because so many others like your employers and other bloggers who do have the job you could do are making out great right now. So what will you do?
The world wants you to stay in your place and not be disrupted, because so many others like your employers and other bloggers who do have the job you could do are making out great right now. So what will you do?” – @gregnarayan
When you think about it that light, you realize you really do have to do something about your situation, and do it now.
Enjoy your new life as a full-time blogger, let me know any questions in the comments below and we’ll hope that 3 months becomes 4 years (man I’m getting old).