I have an announcement to make. It’s official:
I’m going to be a full-time blogger/entrepreneur in 2015!
Before you say “Congratulations!” I should tell you this little caveat: I’m just practicing my announcement for when it really happens. 😉
Because the ultimate makeover for me this year will be my CAREER.
You know, wishful thinking…. But here’s the thing–2015 is going to be about actually making this dream a goal.
And I’m writing about it so that I’ve got some accountability from you, from me, and everyone else who stumbles upon this blog.
Before I tell you how I am going to do it, let me tell you WHY:
WHY I Dream of Being a Full-Time Blogger
My whole adult life I’ve felt a little lost. There’s this thing called “a job”….you know, that place you go to day-in and day-out that you chant to yourself each Monday, “I can’t wait until it’s Friday!!” just so you can have the weekend free to do the things that really bring you joy.
Well, that’s been my life since I graduated from college in 1999.
I’ve flitted from this job… that job… wishing I could do something creative, but knowing nothing about creative jobs that could actually pay a mortgage.
I once even started a little side business called Chandelle’s Creations (my middle name, you see), and I made hand-sew silk handbags. One solid year I pulled in $800 and felt elated! I actually made money! Well… minus all the fabric and notions I hoarded up from that little income. But still…it was income!
Then I had my first son, and I started making baby diapers and baby carriers and sold a few. I called that little business Mellow Joe (which was a super cool name!). But my lack of confidence in being able to make it a real business made me throw in the towel.
But fast forward to 2006 and the birth of my very first blog.
I had been journaling since age 15, so my first blog was a Mommy blog, detailing my pregnancy and then-birth of my first born, was a natural progression. I remember how it was password protected, and I had probably 4 readers–the members of my mom’s group.
And this was the first picture I posted–one of me (heavy as a house, I might add!) with my 5-week old son (who’s now 8 years old!)
I blogged often, about being a mom, and the funny things my son learned to say, not knowing that there were other people blogging about the same thing and making money with it (see below how I make money blogging now). Heck–I even had a password on my blog, so that people couldn’t read it! LOL. I must have been crazy! Or ignorant. Or both. LOL
I Started a Craft Blog in 2008
My second son came along in 2009, and I had decided I would blog about all the cute little things I learned to knit for him. Again, I still had no idea that people were doing this and making money. I just wanted to document what I made. No one even read it. Here’s what the site looked like!
But it’s funny how this passion in me to create has always been there, and more importantly, this desire to spread the creativity, even when I doubted there were many readers!
Then We Bought a House
I didn’t keep up my other crafting blog for long, because in 2010 we decided to sell our condo and buy a house! Yes, this house you see below. Where we live right now. And do you know what that meant??! Home projects! (Like my kids’ bathroom and my pretty little laundry room I renovated this year in this house). I was totally stoked to decorate a new house. But little did I know we would get this house that proved to be more work than I could ever imagine with 2 little kids! The wallpaper was a N.I.G.H.T.M.A.R.E!
So what’s a girl to do? Blog about it, of course!
I created a new blog called From House to Home, which later became this blog, Thrift Diving. But it was the same idea: to blog about all the stuff we did to this home. If you look back over the archives of this blog, it’s quite embarrassing to see how juvenile my posts were, with grainy pictures. But it was my journal. No one read it. I could do what I wanted.
Then One Day…
In 2012, I started hearing this talk about how to make money with blogging. What?? You mean all this blogging stuff I’ve been doing over the last 6 years could actually earn me an income?? Oh, it’s on now!
I remember laying in bed at 3 a.m. while on maternity leave, typing an email to myself, with possible blog names to change to. “From House to Home” was too generic. I needed something edgy, something that was like–BAM! BOOM in yo’ face, sucka!
And it hit me: Thrift Diving
And this, my friends, is what my site looked like immediately after I changed its name. Notice the “edgy” font? I thought I was so cool… LOL
I had been using the term “thrift diving” to tell my husband what I was up to during the day when I should have been home nursing my newborn. “Mommy’s going thrift diving! I’ll be home in a little bit!” And I’d come home with this piece of furniture… that piece… because I still needed stuff for the house. Moving from a 2-bedroom condo to a larger 4-bedroom home meant most rooms were cold and bare. Thrift stores saved us from an empty home.
Nearly Three Years Later
What I’ve learned about blogging in just the last year alone is amazing. Although I’m not money-hungry by any means, it’s impressive to learn there are some bloggers making 6-figures a year. And if not 6-figures, enough money in the 5-figures that can pays mortgages, feeds kids, and actually provide a comfortable lifestyle, all the while doing something creative.
February 2015 will mark 3 years since I started this site, and it’s been the answer to my prayers to be able to live a creative life and actually make money at it.
How Bloggers Make Money
There’s a bunch of ways that bloggers make money, from affiliate sales, to advertisements, to special events, to receiving free products. Some write and sell ebooks, too. Some have memberships sites where you pay a monthly fee to be a part of an exclusive group or get access to their membership area. You can also get paid for hosting Twitter parties (yep, seriously!). You can also make money from sponsored posts. And don’t forget selling furniture that you refinish! I’m sure there are other ways. I won’t go into them all. But there are lots of ways to make money blogging. And I am just getting my feet wet with some of them.
How Much I Made Blogging Year
Thrift Diving isn’t a huge site, by any means. But the number of people that visit my site each month has grown. And because of that, I’ve had lots of different opportunities and my income has grown. I set a goal at the beginning of 2014 to make $10,000 with Thrift Diving by the end of 2014. I’m happy to write that I met my goal! As of writing this, I have made nearly $13,000 this year (and spent about $8,000 on the blog). Small potatoes for some bloggers that probably make that in one month. But for me, it’s substantial. I remember making that goal of $10,000 and felt it was so far-fetched that there was no way I was going to meet it. But I surpassed it!
It’s one step closer to realizing my dream of being able to earn a comfortable living doing something I love: creating, inspiring people to create, and teaching people how to do it!
HOW I’m Going to Make this Happen in 2015
It’s going to be all about the hustle, you guys. You’re going to see more projects, more posts, more awesome stuff. You’re going to see more focus. I’ll get more sleep (no one can be successful if they’re sleep-deprived walking zombies, right?). And I’ll be making more connections with other bloggers and brands that are relevant to you.
I can no longer deny myself the career I have always wanted and dreamed about. It’s scary to think of giving up a steady paycheck at a comfortable “day-job.” But it’s much scarier to think of staying in a comfortable job and never going after what you want. Life is short. What will I say when I’m on my death bed, reviewing my life like a filmstrip in my mind? Will I regret going after something I want, or will I regret never having taken the chance? I think the answer is obvious, don’t you?
So this year, I’m hustling my butt, you guys. I’m striving to double my blogging income. I’m striving to give up the “day job” in fall of 2015. And I want you guys to hold me to it, just as I will hold myself to it.
And I think you guys so much for the support in helping this dream to come to fruition!
So what are your big plans for 2015?? Leave a comment below and add to the discussion!