Bloggers set up blogs for a variety of reasons. Some just have a passion for a topic and want to pass that passion on. They are not in it as entrepreneurs.
But, more and more, bloggers are in it for the money. And there are some huge success stories. The success, though, was not overnight, and there were peaks and valleys in that climb to success.
If you are in it for the money, earning enough to eat and then being able to save is a challenge indeed. But it can be done. Here are some tips that will help you put money away.
1. Don’t Quit Your Day Job – Save First
When you start blogging, you will not make anything – accept that. But if you have a job with decent income, start a saving plan if you have not already. Set goals – maxing out your 401K, upping your savings from 10 to 15%, and cutting your expenses to the bone.
Your goal is to quit your day job and blog fulltime. You can’t do that without a healthy cushion. To get that cushion you have to bring in more than you spend. And that “more” must be saved.
2. Save Every Penny that You Begin to Make from Your Blog
Keep the day job even as your blog begins to bring in a bit of money. Solicit advertisers – they will come as your following grows. Also, if you are in touch with other bloggers (it’s a growing sub-culture), you will find those with monetized blogs that want to sell their blogs and get out. Buy them, keep those blogs going, and pick up that ad revenue.
All of this money, you can save.
3. Commit to Exhaustion
Yes, if you have a 9-5 and you are maintaining your own and purchased blogs, you will be blogging nights and weekends. But keep your goal in mind. You are bringing in money you don’t need – it all goes into a savings that will allow you to quit that day job at some point. Won’t that be a nice feeling?
4. Take Some Side Gigs
Particularly if you are only maintaining one blog, take side gigs and put that money away toward your “quit the 9-5 gig.” Let’s say you are fluent in your native tongue (of course you are) and also in another language. There are lots of individuals and small businesses that need stuff translated into a foreign language. Maybe you have mastered a musical instrument. Give a few private lessons. These side gigs will add variety to your life and make you a more balanced person.
5. Do Not Change Your Lifestyle
When your blog begins to bring in a nice income that is steadily growing, and you have enough saved to finally quit the day job, the only lifestyle changes you should make involve spending less, not more. Do not go buy a new car or a house – you can’t return them. That savings you have accumulated might look tempting, but remember you no longer have a retirement plan from work.
6. Make it a Game
There will be ups and downs in income. Advertisers may drop you; you buy a blog that turns into a dud and you shut it down – more loss of revenue. When these things happen, play a game with yourself. What can you cut back on so that you can still keep saving the same amount you did last month? One blogger decided she could eat Ramen for lunch every day for a month, and she did it! She also quit her gym membership, used household items as weights, and took up jogging. She shopped only at thrift stores, and sold a lot of stuff on E-Bay. And she made it through.
Ask yourself what you can do on the side to pick up extra cash until the bump is over? Hire yourself out as a freelance writer; write your posts during the day and wait tables in the evening. The experiences alone will broaden your horizons, and you may even be able to work them into a couple of posts.
7. Question Every Purchase
We all love our luxuries, even the little ones, like that softer toilet paper that costs more. But if you can develop a mindset of asking yourself these questions before every purchase, you will find that your weekly/monthly expenses are less, and there’s more to save.
- Do I really need this right now?
- Will this serve a purpose for longer than right now?
- Can I substitute something cheaper?
When Can You Stop?
This is such an individual decision. Only you can determine what your long-term goals are. College for the kids? Age for retirement? These things will factor into how much you need to save and for how long.
And, as the kids grow, finish school, and move on, you will be able to save less, and spend more – hooray!
A Word About Savers and Misers
Healthy savings is all about developing goals and sticking with them because you have future plans. Those plans may include a second home on the beach, early retirement, travel, etc. The key is to know how much you need and to have a scheduled plan of saving.
While this is not a problem that most have, people can go overboard with their savings. They develop a pattern of extreme frugality early in life and can’t break it as they become more affluent. They save for saving’s sake alone. These are misers for whom quality of life is not important. Don’t be a miser. Never make savings a goal of itself.