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The #1 Reason My Blogging Grew Into a Business

Have you ever had a moment in your life where everything changed?

You might not have known it at the time - but the moment was defining, it changed the course of some area of your life in a way that turned things upside down.

I had one of those course changing moments early in my blogging. It was a moment that resulted in my blogging moving from being a hobby that generated a nice bit of secondary income into a full time business.

It was a moment that at the time didn't feel life changing - but it was.

The funny thing about this moment is that it wasn't a discovery of some secret way to make money blogging, it wasn't the day I started one of my blogs… in fact it was a moment that didn't immediately lead to any particular change on my blogs - because it was largely something that happened in my mind - a paradigm shifting moment.

It all started with 9 words from my wife (V)

'You've got 6 months to make blogging full time.'

She then told me that if I didn't get it to this kind of level I'd have to get a 'real job'.

Up until this point I'd been talking about how blogging could one day provide us with a full time income. I'd been showing her the growth of the earnings from the blogs so far and projecting forward to what they might be in the future if things kept going.

I'd been on about it for months and things were going OK - the earnings graphs I kept showing her were trending up - I could see the possibility of one day being a full time blogger.

But I'd been talking a lot…. dreaming a lot…. creating a lot of pretty graphs…. and not really DOING a lot.

I didn't really see it (I was too close and too caught up in my dreams) but V knew it and so she set me an ultimatum - a deadline that changed my thinking and more importantly led to me changing the way I went about my blogging.

In the moments after V's ultimatum I had a realization that while I dreamed that one day my blogging would become a business that I'd been treating my blogging like a hobby.

I knew that if I were to succeed in going full time in the next six months that that had to change. I needed to start looking at my blogging as a business now - even though it was only earning a day or two a week's income.

That moment changed everything.

That was the day I....

  • started putting serious time aside for blogging
  • became more focused upon my core tasks of creating content
  • wasted less time on distractions
  • became more strategic in my thinking and set myself goals to work towards
  • began to look for new income streams - beyond AdSense
  • started hustling for advertisers - ringing up businesses in my niche and pitching my blog to them
  • began to seek out guest writing opportunities on other blogs and even in main stream media
  • started setting myself deadlines for posting a certain number of posts a day and developed an editorial calendar
  • I started networking more with other bloggers
  • began to invest more time and even money into my learning of different aspects of blogging
  • started to look for a business coach who could teach me how to look at what I do as a business instead of a hobby

That day began the process for me of looking at what I do as a business.

While not a lot changed on my blogs that day - the impact over the last 4-5 years has been significant. I've not looked back and many of the things I changed back then have become patterns and a natural part of my blogging work flow.

The #1 reason my blogging grew into a business was that I began to treat it as one.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Joe Witte says:

    Great post. Thanks Darren- one area that can really benefit new bloggers to have a professional design are the crowdsourcing sites like mycroburst -

  2. christian says:

    This article is really really nice. This is actually the first post I enjoyed reading here. I think all the bloggers have dreamed of having a good life in the future with the earnings that they’ll get from their blogs. In fact, I’m only 19 now and I really want to earn money to buy all the things I want. I will graduate on March and until now I don’t know where will I work. I really enjoy blogging. I love to write everyday but I know that I have to work someday. I’ll be very busy and maybe I won’t have time for my blog anymore. I just hope I can be like you someday. I want to be a full time blogger. Congrats and more power to your site! God bless :)

  3. Allureweb says:

    Darren,
    Thank you for sharing that with us, this post is one of the many posts that sticks out in my mind when it comes to ‘success stories’
    It really is good to see that you shifted your hobby into a focused business, which i believe is a very strong mindset especially when you are competing with the thousands if not millions of website owners and bloggers out there. Glad you are a part of the success of the many who have and are contnuing to make Blogging a full time income stream.

  4. My parents have made a similar demand to me that your wife made to you! They don’t believe in this ‘make money online’ lark – I guess it’s up to me to prove them wrong!

  5. Great post. Thanks Darren- one area that can really benefit new bloggers to have a professional design are the crowdsourcing sites like mycroburst -

  6. Dan says:

    I blog every week but I believe the idea frequency is every six days to stay friends with the search engines.

  7. ricwesley says:

    Wow! Nice done man! This is way cool.. You could be an excellent professional virtual assistant.

  8. This is a great post,

    there is some good wisdom here,
    by acting like you have a real business
    it becomes one, Great!
    Yes this is the direction to shoot for.

    This is a fantastic key you have laid
    before us bloggers, Darren,
    thank you.

  9. Great Articles on this site.

    I’ve been writing articles for my blog for a little over a year now at http://www.KeepAmericaAtWork.com and I’ll be the first to admit that it does not pay the bills because of the topic of the site.

    However, I have had a few people ask me to tell them how to develop a blog such as mine and since I’m one of those 30 million out of work, I decided to do it at

    http://keepamericaatwork.com/HarperValley/

    The reason I’m commenting here is that I am looking for things that your readers want to see in such a book that are not normally covered so that I can add that content.

    Oh yes, any ideas on how to bring home a weekly paycheck from an endeavor such as this will be appreciated too as I have no money to buy a book or to pay Google Adwords.

    Keep Up the Great Work,

    Virgil
    http://www.KeepAmericaAtWork.com

  10. BloggerGirl says:

    I do not know!
    I am trying to do my best but still nothing :( no result!

  11. It’s easy to establish your own money making websites. Granted it probably won’t be an overnight success story, but you never know. As long as you’re having fun and making smart decisions along the way, then nothing could go wrong.

  12. We need to start blogging more. We have added a blog to our forum and I am very inspired by your experiences.
    Thanks

  13. Wow these are great and motivating! Thank you so much and I hope that more people start blogging. It is fulfilling and liberating!!

  14. Ron says:

    Not all people can make their blogging into a business. But there are some that I know, who did that, and they did succeed.

  15. I often set deadlines, using my birthday bits its surprising what turns up and gets in the way. I think from reading this I need to set mini-targets for each month!

  16. Tom Bates says:

    Daren,

    I just read in a post on this blog that the search engiens liek a 6 day posting pattern… Is this correct?

    Thanks,

    Tom

  17. tips says:

    It is such truth how much influence SOs and Spouses have on our lives.

  18. Kaw says:

    I think that setting yourself deadlines for posting a certain number of posts a day with a calendar is one of the most important things for profitable bloggers.

  19. Eric Spears says:

    Fascinating. I suppose it would be nice to be paid for blogging, since I spend so much time doing it. But that’s really not my motivation. I just want to share my thoughts with people & see what they think. I invite you to drop by my blog now & take a look around….

    Thanks,
    Eric

  20. Arthur K says:

    I started with my online business just over 12 months ago because I always wanted to do something by myself and someone gave me some encouragement and showed me what wordpress was. 12 months on its a growing 2nd income. Unlikely I will ever quite my full time job but maybe I can look to at some stage work 4 days, who knows. Its fun dreaming anyway.

  21. Its not easy making money with a blog, but like any other business you need to work hard at it, and be the best in your niche.

  22. Harry says:

    Thanks. That’s really an inspiration for us all.

    For setting and track goals, I’ve been using a web-based app called GoalsOnTrack. It’s very effective in helping you keep focused and getting things done. You may want to give it a try: http://www.goalsontrack.com

  23. I’m always excited to visit this blog in the evenings.Please keep on churning out the content. It’s very entertaining.

  24. Thank you very much for sharing the reason for your blogging grew into business. I am also looking for exactly this kind of information.

  25. Wow! Powerful article indeed. It may just be one of my defining moments that gets me off my duff to beginning treating My II Sense.com as a business, not a hobby.

    Michael

  26. this story is inspirational as I have just been told by my wife i need a full time income in 6 months else i get a job too. Well here goes…………….

  27. A target really helps us in achieving our goal.. Inspirational post!

  28. Eric says:

    Definitely something to go for and take definite action on is treating your blog like a business simply because it is one if you intend to make any month with it. You have to start somewhere, the way I see it, so why not start treating it like you want it to become?

    Set your goal and see the end result you’re working toward.

  29. The sheer pleasure of writing!

  30. Incredible post, life is short and indeed one has to set his targets keeping short term and long term goals in consideration

  31. Stephanie says:

    Good post. My biggest issue is all the other things that I have to write for clients, and do for my kid, and so on and so on, so sitting down and blogging is tough to do. 2010 will be different I hope.