I haven’t had a “real” job — you know, one of those 9-to-5 office gigs — since 2008.
But I earn good money. Enough that I’m able to travel the world, save for retirement, and dine at nice restaurants without ever breaking a sweat about my bank account.
And you know what? I owe it all to my blog.
You see, in 2008 I quit my newspaper job so that I could wander through the Middle East, Asia, and Australia for a few years. For the first two years, I lived on a combination of savings and occasional freelance writing assignments for newspapers and magazines.
But I hated sending out pitches. I wanted editors to start approaching me, rather than the other way around.
So in 2010 I started a blog which covers topics that interest me: managing money, designing your ideal lifestyle, and traveling the globe. For the first year, I created content and promoted, promoted, promoted. I wrote guest articles for bigger blogs, left comments on other blogs and forums, and became ultra-active on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
And guess what happened? The momentum began to grow. I hit an important benchmark: 5,000 readers to my site every month. Then 10,000 readers. Then 15,000 readers.
My subscription rate (the number of people who get my blog posts delivered to their inboxes) also grew. It started as a single digit. Then it became 10. Then 100. Then 1,000. Then 2,500.
The more my numbers grew, the less I had to promote my site. The momentum began carrying itself.
Editors began to find me. Unsolicited emails would appear in my inbox saying, “Hi, I’m the editor of Example.com. I’m impressed with your writing. Would you be interested in writing two articles per week for our website? The pay is $X per article.”
That happened again… and again… and again. I wasn’t sending out pitches anymore. Editors were coming to me.
I set up my blog so that advertisers like Google and companies like Amazon began direct-depositing checks into my bank account. In the beginning, these were small sums: $100 every three or four months from Google, and perhaps $20 a month from Amazon.
But then it grew. And grew. And grew.
These days, 100 percent of my income comes from opportunities that sprung from my blog: advertising, affiliate commissions, writing, consulting, and speaking. Every single dime of my income is thanks to my blog.
And the best part is that I can blog from anywhere on earth with an internet connection. Hawaii. California. Thailand. Mexico. The world is wide open.
In 2011 alone, I visited New Orleans five times (yes, five) and went to Florida twice. I lived in New York for a month. I spent 10 days in Nevada and another 10 days on St. Maarten in the Caribbean.
I also traveled to Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, St. Louis, Sacramento, and my former hometown of Cincinnati. And I did it all without ever having to ask for a “vacation day.”
In 2012 I visited San Francisco, Tampa, Savannah, Denver, and the desert in Nevada, and began making plans for some major trips this year, when I’ll head to Jamaica and Eastern Europe.
All made possible by my blog.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]