Greg Johnson is a personal finance and frugal travel expert who leveraged his online business to quit his 9-5 job, spend more time with his family, and travel the world. He is the co-owner of the popular blog Club Thrifty, where he teaches others how to spend less and travel more.
Is Blogging Really Worth It?
So, you’ve decided to become a blogger. Congratulations!
Now get to work.
That’s right, blogging is work. If you want to succeed, you need to treat it as such.
Don’t get me wrong, blogging can be a heck of a lot of fun. I love what I do, and our blog would never have been successful if making money was the only goal. Enjoying the process helped us survive those lean early years.
But, if you’ve been doing it for a few months, you’re likely realizing that this blogging thing ain’t as easy as it looks. Real work from home jobs rarely are.
Maybe you bought into the myth of instant blogging success. Perhaps writing consistently doesn’t come as easy as you thought. You may even be wondering if you’re wasting your time and if continuing your blog is even worth it.
Trust me, I’ve been there…and I believe it is. Here’s why.
How we turned our side hustle into a full-time business
For those who don’t know me, I’m Greg from Club Thrifty. For the last three years, my family’s entire income has been earned through online pursuits. My wife Holly earns about $200,000 a year as a freelance writer while I manage our six-figure blog.
Now, this isn’t some chest thumping brag of a piece. The point is this: Blogging can lead to a successful career. We earn an extremely nice living on our own terms, and it all started with our blog.
When I say it that way, it sounds so easy. Let me be crystal clear: It wasn’t.
Less than six years ago, Holly and I were both in the mortuary business. I was a funeral director, and she handled most of the office work and our special events. It was rewarding work, and we earned decent incomes. On the flip side, it was extremely draining on our time and emotional energy.
Worse, we were frittering away the fruits of our labor. We found ourselves wasting money by trading in cars, eating out, and spending on a bazillion other things we didn’t even realize we bought. After realizing that our financial situation was getting out of control, we decided to get serious about budgeting and living a more frugal lifestyle.
That’s how the idea for Club Thrifty was born.
A few months after we started the blog, Holly began taking freelance writing jobs to earn extra income. I’m not gonna lie, that was a crazy time in our lives.
We were both getting up between 5 and 6 AM to work our new side gigs. When we weren’t at work, we’d spend our evenings and weekends trying to figure out how to build a successful blog – which, at the time, was barely making a dime.
Oh, and we did all of this while raising two children under the age of three.
Eventually, Holly started earning enough as a freelance writer to replace her salary. At that point, she made the bold decision to quit her day job and give full-time self-employment a go.
Over the years, she built a killer portfolio, developed fruitful relationships, and honed her skills. Now, she earns about six times her old salary – and she gets to do it from home.
As for me, I spent a few more years working in my (non-traditional) traditional job while Holly carried the brunt of our online load.
With Holly’s freelance career continuing to grow, it became clear that we needed to devote more time to the blog if we were going to take the next step. The problem? We didn’t have any time left to give. That’s when I made the decision to quit my job and make Club Thrifty my full-time focus.
These days, Holly and I both work from home doing what we love. It’s been a long, hard journey getting here, but we have no regrets.
From our blog’s launch, it took just under three years to make it a full-time gig for two. Truth be told, it happened faster for us than most – due in large part to Holly’s successful freelance career. (Shameless plug: To learn more about building a successful freelance career, check out Holly’s writing course at EarnMoreWriting.com!)
So, is starting a blog worth it? It was for us!
Our lifestyle became possible simply because we started a blog and stuck with it. People thought we were crazy…sometimes we thought we were crazy. But we didn’t give up, and here we are.
Pros of blogging
Obviously, starting a blog turned out to be a great move for us. But, that doesn’t mean it’s for everybody. Here are a few pros and cons to keep in mind:
Blogging provides the potential for you to earn extra money, but there is no guarantee. It doesn’t come easy, either. Still, once you figure it out, you can use the side income it generates to achieve your own financial goals. Maybe that means paying off debt, building an emergency fund, or saving for a vacation – either way, the extra money you earn from your side hustle can help get you there.
It is fun
If you love to write, starting a blog is a great way to release some of your creative energy. Blog because you enjoy blogging, not for any reason other than that.
Those who manage to turn blogging into a full-time job earn the benefit of setting their own hours. Being in control of how and when I work is maybe the best part of this gig.
Satisfaction that comes from building something that’s yours
When you work for someone else, you generally earn a wage or salary, regardless of how the business performs. When it comes to a side hustle like this, you put in the effort and you reap the reward. There’s something really satisfying about that.
Cons of blogging
It eats up a lot of your time
Building a successful blog requires a lot of hard work and boatloads of your precious time. Time is a finite resource, you only have 24 hours in a day, and you need to decide how to best spend them. Is building a blog worth it to you? That’s a question only you can answer for yourself. The answer might be no, and that’s ok.
Hustling isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes discipline to come home after working all day and get to work on your own projects. The fact of the matter is that it’s gonna take a lot of energy to get your blog going. That’s why I always tell people to blog because they enjoy it. There are much easier ways to make money than this.
It might be slow going for a while
Get comfortable with the fact that it is going to take time to get your blog off the ground. Outside of freelance writing, we made practically nothing our first year of blogging. That’s not unusual. Forget the myth that blogging will help you make a quick buck. Instead, enjoy what you do and start working toward more long-term success.
So, is blogging worth it? I think so, but it depends on your mindset.
When you invest a lot of time and energy into something, it can be discouraging to not see results as quickly as you’d like. Be honest with yourself and consider whether this is something you can accept.
If you’re blogging simply to make a quick buck, you probably should start looking elsewhere. But, if you enjoy the process and want to stick with it regardless of the monetary outcome, you’ll eventually have success.
And remember, success is defined differently for everybody. Try not to compare yourself with others and find out what success really means to you.
Good luck and keep working! Your results may pay big dividends in the end.