How to Run a Blog with a Full-Time Job

How to Run a Blog with a Full-Time Job

What up de$troyers? I know some of you saw a few months ago that I was featured in a Reuters article by Kathy Kristof (bad@$$ financial writer that does killer work). The site had been doing alright until that point, but right afterwards my traffic took a major (for me) jump!

I flew past 1,000 views/day, hit 50,000 views/month for the first time ever, and my traffic has been consistently growing ever since. I’m seeing more engagement from my social media, and WAY more organic traffic from my SEO efforts (backlinks from Forbes, Marketwatch, Reuters, and International Business Times help a lot obviously).

Also – the site is making way more $money$. I get advertising/sponsorship offers daily now…which doesn’t suck!

 

If you are interested in starting your own blog to make money online, check out my free blog creation guide! You’ll be set up in 15 minutes or less, and with my exclusive link you’ll get a free domain name as well.

The “flood” of new readers has been legitimately awesome. It feels good to have hours and hours of work start to pay off. You guys know me – I am not shy about wanting to turn this thing into money making empire. I’m a long way from it, but I think I’ve got a base to create something special now.

Now for the point of the post – how to run a blog with a full-time job!

I had an ORIGINAL reader email me something over this past weekend that was as humbling as it is cool. Here’s why:

  1. This person has been following me since I started M$M 18 months ago.
  2. They’re from freaking AUSTRALIA (land of the scary animals). M$M is global baby!
  3. Kris had a great question that I haven’t focused on yet. Check it:

“Hi M$M,

Have been following your blog for 18 months now and love it. I’m from Australia, and while the particulars differ a little the principles you write about are just as relevant.

I was having a look at your “How to $tart a Blog” article reading some of your posts relating to that as I have been authoring a blog for around 18 months also. However after an initial 6 month effort prior to the birth of my son (which changed things a little) I have been sporadically blogging all the while going between wanting to dive deeper, or closing the thing down.

I guess the question that is on my mind is how frequently were you blogging prior to quitting your job, and what steps did you put in place to maximise readership while still working full time etc? 

I understand there is only so much you can do while still working a job, I guess I just want to gain a better appreciation of what I need to do to get this thing going.

Kris”

Let’s dig in. Running a blog with a full-time job is hard work, but you can have success without being a nut job like me and quitting.

In fact, I would suggest you DON’T do things exactly like I did. I want to get this out of the way:

Blogs don’t instantly make money.

They really really don’t. I had to start a digital marketing company to keep food on the table after I left my teaching job last year. I didn’t make a DIME for almost 3 months after I left my job. I was lucky to find a great first client that was looking for someone to help them out. I would suggest you grow your blog income until it matches your current income and THEN bail. 🙂

You need to sleep less.

My band directing job was heavy on the hours. I clocked 60-80 a week easily. I started M$M in the nights after I got home from work. I got back anywhere from 6-8:00 pm, ate, and then started writing articles and researching on blog building till 11:00 pm. Then I woke up at 5:30, rinsed, and repeated. Every. Damn. Day.

There is no way around it – you will need to cut back on your sleep if you really want to do this blogging thing right. Find the perfect balance for how much sleep you need to function during the day while being able and sit down and write/hustle whenever possible at night.

Forget the weekends.

Well…kinda. I just had to learn to tell my friends no from time to time. A lot of you know that I’m an avid boater, so the weekends were important to me. But honestly, I just didn’t have time to go out on the water whenever I wanted when I was doing my job and building this site up.

You have to sacrifice things you like in the short term for the things you want in the long term. Thats’s basically the whole theme of M$M.

*****STAY CONSISTENT*****

This is bold, capitalized, and in red for a very serious reason. If you stop putting out posts consistently, your traffic will get absolutely screwed. See example 1A below:

full-time job

Example 1A

At least one post a week is my general advice for bloggers. No exceptions unless you are trying to turn the blogging world upside-down by getting less readers. Good luck with that homies.

Find breaks during the day and utilize them.

In-between class periods. While I was in the school parking lot before school started. At lunch. After the last class of the day ended. Before and after our staff meetings. On breaks at rehearsal. After rehearsal. At red lights. <-Don’t do that one. Not smart, but I never claimed to be. 

Any time I had 3-5 minutes I was on my phone tweeting articles, posting on Facebook, creating post topics, following and unfollowing people, and reading blogs. Everything I could think of honestly.

I was maniacal when it came to growing my social media following and learning more about this business.

Eventually I learned to post my articles automatically with Buffer, which saved me a bunch of time every day. But you need to realize this about blogs, the mentality of content-consumers (readers), and the age we live in:

Your social media presence is like air to your blog’s lungs. You have to mega active in the beginning.

Our millennial culture and digital-aged society is similar to a crackhead experimenting with a cocktail of meth and cocaine for the first time. IT’S FREAKING ON 24/7, and people expect a ton of valuable content to give a crap about you. Feed em’.

Be patient.

I mean seriously, where are you going, right? Don’t expect overnight results or you will be consistently disappointed and stop blogging. If you stop, you won’t make any money doing it. Pretty simple.

Play the long game, because humans SUCK at playing the long game and you need to out-human people to make blogging work. We just aren’t wired to work hard at a business that doesn’t do jack for years.

Kris,

I hope this helps. The last thing I’ll leave you with is to value every single reader. Remember that they are humans and much more than just numbers on some analytics program. Keep your goal centered around helping those people with your message and you will win…eventually.

Much love,

– M$M

Ask your questions about blogging with a full-time job below and I’ll answer them ALL!

 

Live differently, your bank accounts will thank me later. 

 

37 comments… add one
  • Raj Jun 29, 2016, 6:17 am

    This blog posts seems to be intended to me instead of Kris from Australia.. although I have kicked of a healthy start I have lost the motivation of blogging for no reason, now its time to organize things and start out strategically.. Thanks for your advice.. M$M.

    PS: I will be consistent this time and will update here once I am back on track.

    • Millennial Money Man Jun 29, 2016, 7:56 am

      Hey Raj – I think this is a good one for a BUNCH of bloggers/side-hustlers. It’s just hard to run a business with a full-time job, there’s no way around it. I’d LOVE to see where you are at in a few months!

  • The Green Swan Jun 29, 2016, 6:41 am

    I second that, running a blog with a full-time job is not easy at all! I’ve had a blast starting up my blog and generating a decent level of readership. It has been great interacting with readers and other bloggers. But the struggle is when things get really busy at work or things pile up at home (you can only push off mowing so long…) it can be hard to find the time. Thanks for the tips and congrats on your continued success!

    • Millennial Money Man Jun 29, 2016, 7:58 am

      I’m serious – you are the best I’ve ever seen at consistently commenting on blog posts at the top! I suck at it haha. Any idea what kind of traffic that generates?

  • Matt @ Distilled Dollar Jun 29, 2016, 8:35 am

    Great article and thanks for taking the time to write it!

    This line summed it up for me, “Play the long game, because humans SUCK at playing the long game and you need to out-human people to make blogging work.”

    This works for both blogging and anything, really. I’m glad you also made that point earlier in the post. This attitude is what helped you succeed at creating two sites AND helped you eliminate debt.

    As a reader and new blogger, I defienely appreciate the transparency as it is inspiration and food for thought.

    • Millennial Money Man Jun 29, 2016, 8:44 am

      Hey no problem Matt! This stuff is hard – just takes so much time and effort to do it “right”. I still have a long way to go, but I think I’m at a happy medium between mega bloggers that seem to have unachievable results and people that are just starting their blogs!

      And yes – it’s all about the long term approach. The people that miss that are the ones that never make it (becoming debt free, a business success or otherwise).

  • FinanceSuperhero Jun 29, 2016, 7:56 pm

    It is as if you are channeling my inner-thoughts when writing your posts this week, Bobby. I had been sitting around yesterday morning, finishing my coffee before getting to work, and I thought to myself, “Am I doing anything wrong with the blog?”

    In truth, I’m probably doing a lot wrong, and some day I will be able to look back on it and learn from my mistakes. However, in that moment of reflection, I felt pretty good about what I had done with the blog in just under three months.

    Like Matt, the reminder to play the long game stuck out to me the most. This idea aligns well with your previous post on the stonecutter’s credo.

    Congratulations on the great traffic spike, BTW.

    • Millennial Money Man Jun 29, 2016, 9:54 pm

      I’m not sure if there is a right or wrong, but it’s hard to tell what’s going on in the moment for sure. If you’ve grown in the first three months, then heck yeah be proud! If you haven’t, evaluate why and tweak your strategy! You seem to keep popping up everywhere and that’s half the battle. Keep it up!

      Thanks for the traffic thing – it’s been a fun ride so far 🙂

  • Kris Jun 30, 2016, 10:38 pm

    Thanks for this.

    You have given me a lot of food for thought. A particular area of weakness had been social media strategy, but mate do I have some work to do.

    Love your work 😃

  • Millennial Moola Jul 1, 2016, 12:51 am

    How do you differentiate between ads and partnerships you’ll consider vs ones that you dont respond to via email solicitation? Minimum for me is entering my first name right on the contact form they send. I’m at about 1/5th the viewship you’re at, with about 6 months less on the blogging journey. Very little from affiliate income, mostly from consulting clients on student loans.

    Other question. On Twitter you follow so many people I’m assuming its a tit-for-tat follow that happens. How did you decide who to follow and have you noticed significant returns from your large list of followers on that site? What about Facebook? Is there a reason you prioritized Twitter over the Facebook medium? Thx M$M

    • Millennial Money Man Jul 1, 2016, 8:30 am

      I only consider very large companies with recognizable names – with a few exceptions on some of my affiliates that I believe have a great product that helps my readers (LandEdu being one of them). The serious ones will at least get your name right! 🙂

      Consulting clients on student loans – pretty cool. I’m not big on actual financial coaching (there is a lot of money to be had there), but I’d rather give that away for free and create a super loyal reader that will tell 10 people about me instead.

      As far as Twitter – yes I used a targeting following strategy to get started. I get decent traffic from Twitter, but that wasn’t necessarily the goal. Social media following = legitimacy. That’s why I’ve been on a lot of the cool money sites early on. Another thing – personal finance journalist types hang out on Twitter. Period. It’s the major social media platform for writers. Facebook does ok for me, I plan on growing it quite a bit but not through likes. I target readers with ad campaigns and will get much more aggressive with that throughout the year. Hope that helps!

  • Matt Spillar Jul 1, 2016, 3:55 pm

    So many great tips in this post, thanks for writing it! Definitely will take these principles to heart as I try to grow my own blog. Seeing your success is inspiring, and it’s helping a lot of people out there!

    • Millennial Money Man Jul 1, 2016, 4:39 pm

      No problem Matt – thanks for reading my site! Glad it’s helping, it really just takes a lot of work, some writing “talent” (sorta), and patience!!!!!

  • Finance Solver Jul 1, 2016, 8:51 pm

    Fantastic advice. Have to hustle extra today to have breathing room later in life. I’ve been having the luxury of not working full time during the break between when my job starts but I will be feeling it once I start working full time. Not giving up at all, though! Just have to work that extra harder to make my dream a reality.

    • Millennial Money Man Jul 1, 2016, 9:30 pm

      Yeah that’s basically it – I was relaxed a little when I started making money online, but now I’ve realized there is so much more potential with what I’m doing that I’d be a fool to waste it. Gotta work harder and try, fail, try, fail, etc.

  • Tyler @ I Am The Future Me Jul 5, 2016, 12:00 pm

    This came at the perfect time for me. I just got back from a week with no electronics and have decided to out more effort into my blog. This is exactly what I needed.

  • Elliot @ Our Growing Wealth Jul 6, 2016, 3:05 am

    Another here trying to manage a blog while working full time! I try to make the most of my commute each day (an hour each way) to think and write about blog posts and read what else is out there. Social media is definitely a tricky one though. While I’m happy with how my Twitter profile is going, my Facebook and Google + pages have barely taken off! Oh well, early days! Thank you for sharing your tips, much appreciated!

    • Millennial Money Man Jul 6, 2016, 5:11 pm

      No problem – I don’t even have a big Facebook following and kinda ignore Google+. Facebook is harder than Twitter with the continual organic reach limitations. An hour a day is great!

  • Latoya @ Life and a Budget Jul 6, 2016, 10:33 am

    You are SOOO right about that less sleep thing. I have two kids, a hubby, I freelance part-time, and I have a full-time job on top of running LAAB. There are nights when I hit the sack around 1 am, but ironically those are the mornings where I’m super energized because I’ve been productive the day before. Don’t let me get into lazy mode and try to slack off, it always carries over into the next day. Consistency is key, definitely!

    • Millennial Money Man Jul 6, 2016, 5:11 pm

      You have to be consistent. There’s just no other option honestly! Sounds like you have a crazy schedule but you’re killing it!!!! Very cool 🙂

  • Martin - Get FIRE'd asap Jul 10, 2016, 4:55 pm

    Yeah, totally agree with all of yours and your readers comments. I’ve been blogging for around 4 months now (from Australia by the way) and am only now starting to get some decent (I think) hits on my site.

    I do add comments to other bloggers posts and on Facebook and Twitter because I enjoy being part of this community. There are some great people I’ve met (virtual meeting) through my blog.

    I don’t think it’s going to be a particularly viable money spinner but that’s not why I started it anyway. I find that writing about FIRE helps keep me focused on my own goals.

    And for that reason alone it’s worth the time and effort.

    • Millennial Money Man Jul 10, 2016, 10:41 pm

      Yeah from the Oz! I definitely have more people reach out to me from there than any other country (besides the US). I try to comment on other bloggers sites, but sometimes it just feels forced and fake to me. Just my opinion – clearly it’s a good strategy though!

      Don’t count yourself short – I made ZERO dollars from this the first year I was doing it, and now I’m starting to see a few thousand dollars a month. Hopefully I can turn that into much larger amounts as the site grows!

  • Paige @ Live, Laugh, Budget Jul 10, 2016, 5:32 pm

    Great advice! It is definitely a juggling act between a full time job, running a blog, and hoping to have sleep and/or a social life. It truly comes down to your priorities. If you want your blog to succeed, you will find the time. Just preferably not at red lights lol.

    • Millennial Money Man Jul 10, 2016, 10:39 pm

      Yeah the red lights were a bad idea haha. Honestly, I just got obsessed with growing this thing. I’ve always figured that if other people can make $1,000,000 per year doing this…then I can too. Just a combination of talent and hard work.

  • Erica Jul 11, 2016, 4:08 pm

    This is exactly what I needed to hear! I am in the Air Force, and the past 9 months have just been crazy. For ten weeks I was in a pretty strict training environment from 0430-11 and weren’t allowed to be up past lights out, so I just pretty much stopped all things blogging. I kind of got back into it after moving to Italy but got worn out with a new job. But now I am in training again and have ALOT more free time. Stumbling upon this article of yours reminded me that hard work and dedication pays off and that just because i fell off the horse doesn’t mean it’s too late to get back on! …Atleast I hope 😉 thanks for being so transparent and real!

    • Millennial Money Man Jul 11, 2016, 4:34 pm

      1) Thanks so much for your service. You = way more bad@$$ then I’ll ever be.

      2) The hard work DOES PAY OFF. It just takes forever haha. I would say that it’s never too late to jump back in. You basically just throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks. Maybe it’s blogging for you, maybe it’s Youtube…who knows! No problem on the transparency, I don’t have much to hide in the blogging world 🙂

  • Troy Vayanos Aug 2, 2016, 1:13 am

    Great post Bobby,

    I look forward to working with you shortly. I have learnt to survive also on less sleep by getting up early and working on my blog. Over time I haven’t missed that little bit of extra sleep.

    Cheers

    • Millennial Money Man Aug 2, 2016, 10:34 am

      Thanks Troy! Looking forward to our blog coaching session too 🙂

      Nothing wrong with a little extra hustle in the morning!

  • The Money Wizard Aug 10, 2016, 10:08 am

    Great advice M$M.

    I definitely think you’re spot on about consistent posting. I only put up one new post last month, and I’ve got the sharp decline in site traffic to prove it. Currently putting in a lot of work to find that steady posting rhythm and hoping it will pay off.

    • Millennial Money Man Aug 10, 2016, 10:09 am

      Yeah it’s crazy how quickly it drops right? My theory is that people have short attention spans and will forget about you if you aren’t posting regularly!

  • The Savvy Couple Aug 30, 2016, 4:06 pm

    Another great post. Thanks! Congrats on all the success. I’m sure I’m not the only one that is thankful for your motivation. Keep up the great work.

  • Ashley Sylvester Sep 20, 2016, 12:38 pm

    This is great. I struggle with sitting at the office all day and thinking about the blog. Then I’ll start tinkering with this or that and next thing I know I’ve spent an hour of work time. Oops. When did you finally know to jump ship? I think if I came home full time, I could grow more of the digital marketing side in the very least. Also, where do you/how do you find marketing clients?

    • Millennial Money Man Sep 20, 2016, 3:08 pm

      Thanks! I was a little crazy and jumped ship before I was really making any decent money blogging, so I wouldn’t follow my example on that. It’s a GREAT side-hustle, and if it matches your current salary, then you may start thinking about making the leap.

      The best way is honestly to email a client and tell them about your blog, how it relates to their marketing needs, and go from there. Most will say no, but you can definitely find clients that way!

  • Steven McMillian Sep 21, 2016, 3:03 pm

    Hey,
    I read this. I struggle with being consistent on blog posts. I have a lot to learn about blogging and work to do with it. But when I get home, I get tired and don’t want to do anything. I’m lazy. I have to find out what I need to do and stick with it. I get less than 10 readers a post. Thank You for your advice.

    • Millennial Money Man Sep 21, 2016, 3:07 pm

      Glad it helped – consistent posting is one of the most important things about blogging.

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