Leaving your day job to be a full time pro blogger? Here’s a few things you need to know…

How many people do you know that would kill to work for themselves doing something they love? How many would love it even more if they could do the job from their own home – even from their couch?? Like most things, the grass always looks greener on the other side. The reasons that most people aren’t successful working online aren’t any different than the reasons why most people aren’t successful opening their own brick and mortar businesses. It’s hard work, long hours, sacrifice – and raw talent and a bit of money can go a long way.

Did you think I was going to tell you something different? I’m not going to tell you how you can work just a few hours per day and make thousands a month with google or eBay. I’m not selling my “personal success system”, my consulting services, ebooks, or software. I just another guy trying to make money online being completely honest about how I go about it.

I started this blog a little over a year ago. I now have 153 posts, 23 pages, 48 drafts, 25 categories, 124 tags, and 799 approved comments. This blog is now ranked 80,876 in Alexa and I have a Technorati rating of 362. A LOT has changed in the last year. I started working online about 2 1/2 years ago. I started this blog to write about all my struggles and mistakes and things I learned over time. The first post series I ever wrote was How I started Blogging Part 1.

Here’s a short list of advice I can give you as a full-time blogger:

  • Most new blogs won’t get comments until you have 30-50 quality posts
  • Don’t expect comments if you don’t leave them on other blogs
  • Concentrate on blogging about what you have the most personal experience about
  • Article Marketing and forum posts build links quickly
  • Monetize from Day #1
  • Anything that seems like it’s hyped too much probably is
  • Nearly all eBooks contain information freely available on the web, you’re just paying to get it quickly and all at once
  • Most software or scripts for web sites over $100 isn’t worth the money
  • Very few services are worth paying a monthly fee for
  • Learn a little SEO every day
  • Never pay a web host for more than a month at a time
  • Buy a dot com name every time if you can
  • Don’t monetize with a service or place an affiliate link for products you yourself wouldn’t buy or use
  • To make money you have to spend a little money
  • If you’re not organized – you’re losing money (almost daily!)
  • Don’t be stupid – diversify your monthly income as many ways as you can
  • Have two months or more backup funds available at all times
  • It can take 1-2 years to get established and become successful working online
  • Making a few thousand dollars per month is not success – you have to pay taxes, self employment tax, health insurance, and your own retirement

Sometimes on this blog you may not hear from me or see a post for a few days, or even a week. That’s because I’m working. If I was constantly working on this blog I wouldn’t be diversifying my income would I? When I was first getting this blog off the ground I was working on it for the bulk of the week. Then after awhile I realized I was neglecting my other blogs by paying it too much attention. I also noticed that some of my favorite bloggers wouldn’t posts for 3-4 days at times and sometimes for an entire week. Then they would post about what they had been working on. I’m now trying to do the same. It’s surely not like I don’t have enough material to blog here every day, I have enough backlog drafts to go on for 60 days without a new idea.

I’d also like to share with you a bit about being organized as a full time blogger. I’ve found that the key ingredients for success are focus and tracking. You don’t know where you’re going without a plan, and you don’t know how well you’ve done if you don’t keep track. I’m not even that good at this and I’ve been more successful since I tried to develop my own work planning methods.

My suggestion to you is to use Google Docs. Signup if you haven’t already (it’s free!). Start a new spreadsheet. Enter everything you need to work on. For me, I own 37 domains, so I entered them all in one column. Then in the following columns I enter what the post frequency should be (2, 3, 4, or 5x per week), the type of site (WordPress, Drupal, BANS, static, etc), the status (parked, live, half-setup, not used, not setup, etc), what I actually did that week (blank, posted x times, setup, etc), the next column is “linkbuild” and I enter what I did that week (blog comments, forum posts, article market, etc), the next column is setup/update (upgrade wordpress, plugins, monetization, etc), and the last column is “to-do” (add privacy policy, change theme, add graphics, etc).

Here’s a screenshot…

google docs work plan

Your online workplan doesn’t have to be the same, but make a spreadsheet outlining what you work on, what you need to do, and then log in what you actually did for the week. Then revise for the next week. Over time you’ll become more diligent about your work habits because you’re doing your own assessment and self-review. What I plan to do is start adding things in like the amount of money made per day or week so I can directly begin to tie my work to profit. It’s easy to work harder when you’ve proven to yourself that certain types of work make more money. If you’ve not been that successful, creating your beginning spreadsheets should blatantly show how you are spending your time and it should be easy to regroup and concentrate on more revenue generating activities.

Do you have different methods for being successful online? Do you plan your online work?