A dad’s guide to building an online business for his family and his freedom Part One
Working Online Give Dads Family Time
As loving fathers, we all want to maximize the quality time we have with our family. We want to feel purpose in the world, and at the end of it all to feel like we have made a difference.
Unfortunately, the sad truth is that we all spend way more time at our jobs than we do with our family. And according to latest statistics, the majority of us are unhappy at those jobs that steal from our family time.
What if I were to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way?
In this article I am going to introduce you to the world of online business - what it is, why it is reshaping the professional workforce, and how you can get started.
Quick disclaimer - this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. This is work, but it is work that revolves around your passions. Work that you can accomplish while your toddler crawls around your feet. And work that you can look back on many years later with pride and know that you made the world a better place because you were here in it. Sound good? Let’s begin. Who am I (and why should you listen to me)?
When I Quit My Job...
On December 22, 2018 I retired from my corporate job to become a full-time blogger with my wife and three beautiful children all under five years old. I was 30 years old at the time. My wife and I began blogging 4 years prior to making the leap, never expecting to retire with it. But as we learned more about online business, we were able to quickly grow our website’s income to exceed my salary.
We were helping real people solve problems, and we were proud of our efforts every time we worked on it.
Our First Blog: Start A Mom Blog. Now it's Dads Turn!
Our main blog has helped over 40,000 moms learn the technical skills needed to create beautiful websites that can turn into businesses.
And now it’s time for the men to learn too!
Now, my wife and I are not special - the number of self-employed and freelance workers in the UK has increased by over 50% since 2001. And the US expects 43% of their workforce to be freelancers by 2020.
Advantages of Freelancing
- Freelancers find their lifestyle has several benefits:
- Increased flexibility
- More exciting work
- The ability to select the projects they do
- Being in control of income levels and destiny
- Earning more than standard employment
- Builds a stronger professional network
In this article, we are going to focus in on creating valuable websites called Blogs and how this business model can achieve all of these benefits with minimal investment and risk.
What is a Blogging Business?
When most people think of a blog, they think of an online diary where they can chronicle their life’s events.
But that is not a blogging business.
A blog becomes a business when it dedicates its effort to becoming a leading source of information on a particular topic that attracts an engaged audience.
Let’s say you love working on your car on the weekends. You could created a website called WeekendGarageTips.com where you could create tutorials of different repairs, put videos on Youtube of how to do your first oil change, write review posts of different fan blades, etc. As you continue to serve the community with your knowledge, your blog can make the transition from a hobby to a real business that is able to grow and scale very quickly.
The 5 best ways to monetize a blog
Ok so you put up tutorial blog posts and maybe a few Youtube videos… but where does the money actually come from? There are 5 main ways to monetize your blog:
1. Ad Revenue
This is one you are likely familiar with.
If your blog attracts a ton of visitors every month, you can make a decent income by displaying ads in the sidebar or throughout your blog posts. Advertisers pay you for the privilege of getting their message in front of your audience. This is an easy way to monetize, but it is hard to earn a full time income from it.
This is the “finder’s fee” of the internet, and it is an incredible way to get started.
Continuing with the example of weekendgaragetips.com: if there is a particular car part or tool that you love and recommend to your friends, you can become an “affiliate” of the product. If someone clicks on a special link from your website where you recommend the product, you can get anywhere between 5% and 50% of the price of the product as a finder’s fee.
You can easily put affiliate links throughout your blog’s content and create a passive income stream from day one.
While you build up your affiliate income stream, you can also offer your services from your blog.
If you like to edit videos, write, or really do any skill - your blog becomes a perfect place to advertise those skills. As readers visit your site, they will build a relationship with you and will come to your “Work with me” page. A couple emails later, and you could pick up contract work doing the things you love.
4. Sponsored Posts
As your blog grows, companies in your topic will start reaching out to you and offering to pay you to write a post about their product.
They will also usually send you free samples to help you with your article! This is a great way to monetize your passion. Get products you love for free, and get paid to share your thoughts on them.
5. Selling Information Products
This is the holy grail of monetizing a blogging business.
As you build your blog, you will start to hear common themes from your readers. Maybe it’s a specific problem that most struggle with when starting out. That is a perfect opportunity to write an ebook or create a more premium video training course to solve that problem in an accelerated way.
You can package up this knowledge into a product and sell through your website using technology to automate the sales and follow-up process.
And the best part about selling information products? The costs are minimal so it is almost pure profit!
There are several other ways to make money with your website, but I’m sure your head is spinning already with the possibilities with the 5 methods listed above.
Why are blogs an incredible business model?
So now we’ve covered several different ways that a blog can make money, but that doesn’t make it a great business model on its own.
There are at least 6 different reasons that make this business model shine for almost anyone who wants to build their own business.
Your Blog is Built on Passion
Think of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. Their passion for their business helped change the course of human history.
When you have passion for what you do, you don’t stare at the clock waiting for the day to end. You don’t beg for the weekend to arrive. You become alive when you work on your passion - and it’s through that energy that great things happen.
We all have a topic that we are passionate about. We willingly pay our own money pursuing our hobbies. Blogs allow you to flip the equation and actually get paid to pursue your passion.
A blogging business is low cost & low risk.
When you hear “starting a business,” you probably envision business cards, office space, inventory costs, and employee salaries.
But with building an online business, your costs are minimal. Get a website for a few dollars per month. Invest in a bit of training so you can learn the ropes. And get started serving your audience!
The low cost of this business model make it the perfect side project to build up while you are still working your main job. As time passes and your skills grow, you will start to see the income from your blog increase and (potentially) surpass your day job wages.
It’s a beautiful feeling.
Flexibility - don’t be tied to a desk or a schedule
How many times have you missed a child’s dance recital or your son’s practice because it was during your work schedule?
Because blogging can happen on your own schedule, wherever you have internet, you never have to miss those moments again.
Remember, this is a real business - so you will need to put in the work. But you can do it in the middle of the night just as easily as you can during the day. You can do it from your vacation rental just as easily as you can from the home office.
You can choose Active or Passive income streams
You might imagine bloggers as sitting quietly in a dark room typing on their computers for hours every night. Some may choose to do that, but you certainly don’t have to.
Extroverts can build a business interviewing experts in their field and sharing knowledge with their audience.
Travellers can use a blog as a platform to sell speaking arrangements around the world.
Others love helping clients one on one with freelancing, consulting, and other contract work.
And yes, introverts can use their blog to make a living without ever having to speak to another human being. But that’s no fun.
The beauty is having the choice to build the business that you love.
Blogs give you the ability to scale easily
As an employee, how do you raise your income? Work hard, play the political game, impress the right people, and hopefully get a raise at the end of the year. Unfortunately, the average wage growth in the UK is barely above the rate of inflation.
Let’s compare that to a brick and mortar business owner.
When you run a car repair shop, how do you grow your business?
More employees. Bigger office. More supplies. More advertising spend. More hassle.
Scaling a brick and mortar business is costly, time consuming, stressful, and risky.
When you run an online business, on the other hand, scaling happens automatically. Each blog post you write or video you produce becomes another asset in your business. Each article can bring you traffic for years. #
So as you go from one article, to two, to twenty, you are exponentially growing the reach your business has.
And as you start to sell your own products, there are methods to automate the entire process so you can sell around the world, around the clock, without a single employee swiping credit cards.
The world is changing faster than ever
Technology is constantly changing, which levels the playing field for blogs. Don’t worry if there is already an established website on the topic you are passionate about. There are always changes happening that allow you to adapt more quickly.
Consider the battleship and the tiny tugger. Yes, the battleship is bigger and more powerful than the tiny tugger, but the tugger can turn on a dime and zip around more quickly.
When opportunities rise in your industry, your new website will be better positioned to capitalize on it.
In the next article, John will start to delve into the mechanics of how to actually go about starting your own blog. If you can't wait then why not hop over to his site Income Mesh and take a look at his Youtube channel.