Back in 2009 if you asked me whether I thought my blog could ever make more money than my day job, I would have said “Hell No!”.
In fact, my Mom is still amazed that MyWifeQuitHerJob.com is able to make any money at all. Just the other day, I had a Skype chat with my mom and she was like…
Mom: Let me get this straight. People sit at their computers, click on your ads and you make money? I still don’t understand how that works. So can you just sit at home all day and click on your own ads? Would you like me to help you out by clicking on one of your a—
Me: NOOO!!! Do not click on my ads or I might get banned!
The truth of the matter is that most people are very skeptical about blogging and the viability of running an online business.
90% of my friends and family do not realize how much money there is to be made online. 90% of my friends are happily working as an employee and do not own their own websites.
Now running an online business or a blog is not for everyone but it can be very lucrative if you are willing to stick with it for several years.
In fact, running a business online is the best way to leverage your time because a computer server does most of the heavy lifting.
Prior to running my podcast, I was spending roughly 5 hours a week on MyWifeQuitHerJob.com and I ended up making slightly more than day job salary in 2013.
This year in 2014, the earnings from my blog are poised to blow my day job income out of the water.
Towards the end of May, I had already surpassed 6 figures in profit and thanks to numerous improvements in my sales funnel and the fact that my blog revenue tends to be backend loaded, the rest of the year should be even better.
The best part is that I’m gaining a lot of new skills in areas that have been very uncomfortable for me in the past.
For example, I now consider myself a half decent marketer and salesman whereas 5 years ago I never would have thought that I could sell anything.
Deep down, I’m an engineer at heart and if you have any friends that are engineers, you know that we typically hate marketing anything let alone selling ourselves. Truth be told, sometimes I’d rather just sit in front of a computer monitor and code all day:)
But in 2013, I broke out of my shell and spoke at a conference for the very first time. My speech was very well received and thanks to PT, I will be speaking again at FinCon this year in New Orleans.
I Launched My Podcast
On April 8th of this year, I confronted yet another fear head on and launched the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. Now it’s one thing to write articles for my blog and hide behind my computer screen, but putting my voice out there for everyone to hear was pretty darn scary.
You can ask my wife just how frustrated I was in the beginning because I was driving her nuts. Episode #1 of my podcast took me over 2 weeks to record and I re-did my first episode from scratch over 5 times. In fact, it was a regular occurrence for my wife to hear me cursing into the microphone when I screwed up in the middle of a recording.
You’re listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job podcast, where we bring in entrepreneurs bootstrapped to their businesses…bootstrap businesses….strapped entrepreneurs…DAMN IT!!!…SON OF A B$%^&!!!…SOMEBODY SHOOT ME!!! WHY THE HELL AM I DOING THIS STUPID PODCAST AGAIN!?!
And even after all of that effort and frustration, my first episode still didn’t turn out as well as I would have liked:)
But I can say this. Running my podcast has forced me to meet new people and to take the initiative to reach out to other entrepreneurs. These are tasks that I’ve been traditionally very bad at doing.
For the last 5 years, I’ve been somewhat of a hermit. I wrote articles every week but everything was done in a vacuum. By forcing myself to reach out and interview other people, I have expanded my network tremendously and met many new people that I now call my friends.
Even though the podcast probably won’t directly make me very much money, the people that I’ve met and the additional contacts that I have made have been priceless.
Thankfully, my podcast has been very well received which makes me extremely happy. Shortly after launch, my podcast hit the #2 ranking in the overall business category and the #1 ranking in marketing.
In addition to the podcast, I’ve also been offering free ecommerce consults to 1 lucky winner every month. At first I was a little squeamish about talking to random people but it has proven to be a very rewarding experience for me. Here’s a testimonial I received from a recent consult.
In talking with Steve one-on-one I quickly learned that he is experienced and extremely knowledgeable in starting online retail sites. Steve and I discussed a few different ideas. With his analytical approach and market place knowledge combined, it was much more clear which idea would be the most logical to pursue. I came to our consultation with a laundry list of questions and he was able to fire back responses. Steve is extremely experienced and strategic in what he does. Talking to him for just 30 minutes probably saved me weeks (maybe even months) of pursuing my online store from the incorrect angle.
I Redesigned The Blog
After several years of having the same old, crappy design, I finally decided to redesign MyWifeQuitHerJob.com from scratch to make it more user friendly. Over the years, my goals with the blog have changed and it made sense to restructure the site to increase the level of engagement.
My first order of business was removing all of the spammy ads on the site. At the time of the redesign, I was very squeamish about taking away those ads because I was making between 1200-1600 dollars a month from them.
Would I be able to make enough money through increased engagement to replace that lost income? Was I going to regret removing those ads? Here’s what ended up happening.
First and foremost, the number of newsletter signups increased right off the bat by 108%. By giving readers less opportunities to click away from my site, my bounce rate and time on site numbers increased quite dramatically as well.
So did I miss the 1200-1600 dollars a month from ads? Well let’s just say that my blog profits are up 71.5% year over year so far. Removing the ads was a no brainer.
The redesign of my blog was also the first time that I had the cojones to contract out the design to a 3rd party developer. Normally, I do everything myself but it made sense for me to outsource the work in order to increase my productivity.
I Redesigned My Email Autoresponder Sequence
As I mentioned before, for the longest time I’ve always been afraid to sell. Even though I know my online store course is the best ecommerce course out there, I always felt awkward actively pushing my own products.
But after speaking with Dan Fagella, I realized that I wasn’t giving potential customers enough exposure to my product in order to convince them to buy it. And even though I’ve managed to sell over 700 copies of my course, there were still many ways to improve my sales funnel.
Though my exact email autoresponder strategy is beyond the scope of this post, let’s just say that my conversion rates have gone up dramatically since I redesigned my email sales funnel.
What’s In Store For The Second Half Of 2014?
Because my blog has grown tremendously in the past few years, I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding why I haven’t quit my job. Now I’ve written about this in depth in the past (click here to read about why I haven’t quit) and the same reasons hold true.
Even though I’d be fine from a monetary standpoint, I don’t think that running my blog and course full time would be enough stimulation for my brain. On one hand, I want to spend as much time as possible with my kids while they still think their Dad is the greatest guy in the world.
But on the other hand, I’m a hardware engineer at heart and I know that if I ever gave up engineering, then it would not be easy to go back.
It’s a tough decision to make and it’s been weighing on me more and more. But these are good problems to have and I hope to have it all figured out soon.
In any case, I want to end this post by thanking all of you for supporting my blog and my podcast. I really appreciate it and I couldn’t have done it without you. Here’s to a profitable 2nd half of 2014!
photo credit: jurvetson
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