In 2014 I read that blogging is dead. Still I started my first blog Devdactic.
Over the next years I should discover that this assumption was wrong and you should never trust anything you read (and think).
Within 3 years I went from a simple blog with tutorials to a business that allowed me to quit my full-time job and live from the money my lifestyle business is generating every month.
If you find it hard to imagine how you can honestly earn your income online let me show you how a blog in a super crowded area went from 0 to a consistent 4 figure income today.
1. The Start is Hard
The Devdactic blog began simply from the idea to share my learnings as a young software developer. I enjoyed using new technologies and found them somehow tricky sometimes. That’s why I initially started sharing helpful guides and “how to” articles with the coding world.
It’s hard to imagine how this can turn into a real business at this very early stage, but you have to keep confidence!
Back then I hoped to make some money from the side project with ads or perhaps a digital product later, but I didn’t count in the countless opportunities that would come up.
After a few months of blogging I started to see more traffic to particular topics which were on a rather new technology. There was not much content out there so my visitors and subscribers began to grow as I focused on this special topic.
I connected with fellow bloggers in that area, shared guest posts and tried to just deliver value to my followers.
During that time I made close to no money. You can really not make a living from ad revenue unless you are a super big site with millions of views every month, but it was never something I wanted to achieve.
After half I year I was reading more about online courses and how they were all the rage at that time, so I figured to give it a shot. Experimenting with new chances is one of the big fun with your own business and project!
2. Digital Products
Back then a platform called Fedora came up which easily allowed to create online courses. This company has grown to become Teachable, one of the best platforms out there to create your own courses.
As I had already built a little email list on ConvertKit (affiliate Link) at that time, I launched a basic video course for free to see if people were interested. Seems like they were, and I let a lot of money on the table at that time.
Anyway, this initial interest of my followers was enough to motivate me to create more video courses over the next months.
My second course was more like a flagship course and has generated a bit over 5k$ to this day.
This may seem like a lot, but it’s not close to enough to quit your job of course!
After 1 year I was making like 200$ a month from these sales and eventually interest from my side dropped. I was close to shutting down the whole project many times.
Software developers in general are not very happy to throw all their money at you because most information is free out there today, most of them are still young and don’t have that much money and this special group really knows how to use Google (or turn on an Ad blocker).
Luckily I pushed through those times and hoped for the big success one day, as I had now seen that there was money to make online. You just have to try to find what works for you!You just have to try to find what works for you! Click To Tweet
A fellow blogger brought out an eBook and had massive success that allowed him to actually quit his job and travel full-time. Wow. I guess I need to write a book..
So that’s what I did in 2016 – I launched my first eBook. It was not the best book on this planet, still I created a little buzz and used all the learnings from my previous launches to pre-sell my book and finally had my first 4 figure launch!
After that launch the sales dropped again, and the following months made around 500$ – still nothing any near to what I need to quit my job! It can feel like you are doing everything you can and still this online business thing doesn’t work out for you.
You follow all best practices and you know that somehow it is possible to achieve your dream.
“When you decide what the future will be, you want to get there as quickly as possible.” – Tim Cook
Don’t become impatient at this stage. Belief in yourself and always trust the process!
At that time I had to decide how to make more money from my huge list of about 10k subscribers. People with similar lists were generating massive amounts of money, why not me?
For some reasons I ever wanted to get into membership sites, but never had the courage or time to start one.
In early 2017 I finally decided to approach this new project, which finally lead to…
3. Monthly Recurring Revenue
The holy grail of startups and online business! People give you a monthly amount of money for access to specific resources or services. It’s more predictable than a launch and doesn’t come with the spikes of product launches.
Of course I had never done something like this, but we live in a golden age and pages like the Member Site Academy teach everyone how to do it!
With my list I created a buzz around the opening of this new site, more than 500 people subscriber to a waiting list so I knew the interest was real.
During the opening of the Ionic Academy I actually made 5 figures including people who signed up for a full year of membership.
Prior to the actual launch I quit my job because I felt that with more time, I could scale this blog business into something I could live off.
Over the next month, the members count grew to currently around 260, which brings in enough money every month to live on my own terms now!
4. Opportunities & Growth
While this one project is making almost enough, of course I’m interested in making a bit more to save some money for bad times.
You should never underestimate the opportunities that will come up with being active online and having your own presence.You should never underestimate the opportunities that will come up! Click To Tweet
Currently I get work inquiries, get to talk on conference or hold trainings. Next to it, I’m always working on ways to grow my membership site and perhaps also offer other digital products to the rest of my email list.
So that’s how you can turn a simple blog into a serious lifestyle business!
Looking back all the steps sound quite simple and logical, but of course you can’t connect the dots looking forward 3 years ago. And I also don’t know what the future holds.
But I know that I can influence it. I can build it. I can shape the course of my future.
The possibilities are endless, and this is just one way of building your lifestyle business from a blog.
What about you, where are you in your journey?
Leave a comment and tell us your story!