How I Built My Business with No Money to Spend

How I Built My Business With No Money to SpendThis is a guest post by Paul Cunningham of BloggingTeacher.com.

In 2008 I was standing at a cross roads in my journey as an online entrepreneur. My wife and I had one child already and a second one on the way. We were also getting ready to sell our apartment and move into the new family home that we were building.

To say money was tight would be an understatement. We were literally counting our money to the last dollar and starting to make a list of people we could stay with if the new house wasn’t ready in time.

Meanwhile, I was working on my blogs outside of my day job hours and trying to build them into a viable online business. I knew I needed to do it without spending a single dollar of our savings, but my blogs weren’t making any money yet.

The Revenue Stream That Saved My Business

The solution to my problem came at just the right time, in a way that I totally was not expecting. I spotted an ad on the Problogger Job Board for a tech blog that wanted to hire freelance bloggers to write for them. I decided I had nothing to lose by applying, and so I sent them an email with a brief overview of my experience and some links to blog posts I had written recently.

I wound up getting the job and a week later I submitted my first post to their blog. I wrote one new post each week and at the end of the first month I sent them a PayPal invoice and they paid me. I still remember how excited I was when that first payment came in.

I went on to write two posts each week for different blogs. The pay rates varied from blog to blog and each month was a little different than the last, but most months I was getting paid at least $600.

In fact in the first year I made over $8000 for what amounted to just a few hours of work each week.

Getting Paid To Blog – Is That Passive Income?

You might be reading this and wondering why I am talking about getting paid to write blog posts.  After all, that doesn’t sound very “passive”, does it?

You’re right, it isn’t.

Freelance blogging is definitely an “active” income stream. But the point of my story isn’t about the freelance blogging income itself; rather it is what I was able to do with it.

If you’ve followed Pat’s blog for a while now you would have noticed that he mentions a variety of different products that he uses, such as:

Not to mention other costs of running his business, like:

All of that costs money, and for me that was money I simply didn’t have until I started freelance blogging. Once I started getting that freelance blogging income each month I was able to start growing my business the way I wanted to.

Freelance blogging paid for all of the products, tools and information I needed to get my business to the next level.

How Freelance Blogging Helped My Business

So how exactly did this money help my business? After all, you can get some pretty good WordPress themes for free and a lot of free information about blogging, marketing and SEO is available if you just know where to look.

That is true, but it wasn’t working fast enough for me. I was spending too much time finding reliable information and not enough time putting it into action. But once I could afford to invest in good tools and information things really started to accelerate for my business.

For example, I had always created my own blog designs. They were basic and did the job but they didn’t look amazing. So I invested in new logos and branding for my two main blogs and quickly saw a positive reaction from my visitors. One of my long-time readers even said that they saw my blog as more authoritative with the new branding.

I was also looking for ways to improve my blog’s ranking using SEO. I watched Pat’s Market Samurai webinar and was excited by how powerful the tool was.  The old, broke me would not have been able to afford to pay for Market Samurai, but instead I was able to buy it and start using it straight away (and start ranking immediately for quality keywords in my niche).

The Ups And Downs of Being a Freelance Blogger

I’ll be honest with you, being a freelance blogger is good money for the work involved. But, it has some bad bits too.

The best part of freelance blogging is simply that when you write a blog post you get paid. No waiting months or years for your blog to become successful before you see any revenue.  Freelance blogging is a nearly instant return for your efforts.

Another great thing is that your job is very simple. You write the blog posts, respond to some comments from readers, and that is pretty much it. Every other aspect of running the blog such as upgrades, comment spammers, link building, ad sales and promotion are someone else’s job.

But it isn’t all easy money either. Freelance bloggers work to deadlines, and that means you need to be disciplined and professional about it. Writer’s block can also be a problem from time to time, but once you set up the right systems to keep generating blog post ideas that becomes a very rare event.

How To Use Freelance Blogging To Finance Your Online Business

So you want to start freelance blogging, and earn some extra income to help build your business. Here is what you do.

First you should establish a portfolio that demonstrates your ability to write good quality blog posts of different styles, formats and topics. If you have your own blog already then all you need to do is make a list of your best blog posts. Otherwise, set up a small blog and write a few samples, it only takes a couple of hours.

Next, work out how much you want to charge. This is actually one of the hardest things for a lot of freelance bloggers to decide on. I like to recommend aiming for roughly the hourly rate of your day job if you have one. Otherwise just start at around $20-$25 for 500 word posts.  Once you get started it is a lot easier to work out where you draw the line between profitable and being too cheap.

Now you can start applying for jobs. There are blogging jobs advertised on sites such as the Problogger Job Board and Elance, but some of the best jobs come by searching for sites that accept direct submissions. Guest posting is another strategy that can land you paid blogging jobs, if you target your guest posts at larger blogs that use freelancers or staff writers already.

Once you have been accepted for a blogging job the only thing you need to do is write good quality blog posts and deliver them to your editor on time. Most blogs will provide you with guidelines for topics to write about and how they like the posts to be laid out. At first the editor might help you adjust your writing a little to suit the blog, but once you get going you should find your posts get accepted without any changes needed. You can even create your own cheat sheets and templates to streamline the process at your end which can really improve the return for your effort.

The last tip I will give you is to make sure freelance blogging doesn’t get in the way of your own business aspirations. There are two strategies you can use for this:

  • Don’t take on too much freelance work. If you have 5 nights each week to work on your business you should only give up one of those, or an hour each of two different nights, for freelance blogging and keep enough time free to keep building your business on the other nights.
  • Avoid creating a conflict of interest by targeting freelance blogging jobs that are in complimentary, rather than competitive niches. Better yet, if you can leverage skills or knowledge that you have that is completely unrelated to your online business, then try to do your freelance blogging on those topics so that you are completely clear of your online business niche.

Freelance blogging helped me build my business to where it is today. Can you think of any ways that a steady revenue stream could help your business grow?

Paul Cunningham is a blogger, internet marketer, and the author of How to Become a Successful Freelance Blogger, the ebook that teaches you how to turn your knowledge and passion into a real income stream.

  • http://experimentsinpassiveincome.com Moon Hussain

    Paul, excellent post. By taking on these freelance writing gigs, you built your online businesses. I guess I’m too stuck in my ways but this definitely gives me ideas.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hi Moon, glad my story was able to generate some ideas for you. There are lots of other ways out there for people to use their skills to bootstrap their business.

  • http://www.viperchill.com Glen Allsopp

    Congrats on getting a guest post here, Paul. I’ve worked as a freelance blogger for some of the biggest blogs online and had a lot of fun doing so, so it’s definitely a route I advise people to at least try out.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hi Glen, I thought I knew your whole story but I never knew that about you. I’ve had a lot of fun doing it too. Its work, sometimes *hard* work, but I’ve enjoyed it.

  • http://www.aliventures.com Ali Luke

    Great post, Paul; it’s really interesting to hear your story. I got started by freelance blogging too (I still remember how excited I was when I wrote a guest post and got asked if I wanted to be a paid writer for that blog!)

    It’s a great learning experience if you plan on having your own blog; I still freelance for a number of big blogs (even though I make money from a fair few other sources now) because having a big audience there keeps me on my toes. :-) Plus I get some lovely comments and emails from readers who’ve found me via my freelance work.

    Like Glen, I’d definitely advise that bloggers give it a go – if you’re a good writer, it’s a great way to make some money right from the start of your blogging career.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      I learned HEAPS about blogging from freelancing. Probably the best thing I learned was how to set up systems that keep a steady stream of ideas coming in, so that I always had something to write the next blog post about.

  • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

    Thanks Pat for letting me share my story with your audience here.

  • http://www.bestselfemploymentideas.com/ Travis

    Great post. I have found that doing a little freelancing not only earns money but also builds motivation and momentum. My online projects are not earning money yet, which can be discouraging. So I write a few freelance articles sometimes to see money coming into my PayPal account. That makes me excited to work on my business again.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Discouraging… thats how I found it as well. I’m not sure if I’d still be doing anything online today if I hadn’t found a way to make some money back then.

  • Russell

    Pat,

    Who did you use to do the design work on your site logo and graphics work?

    Thanks

  • http://www.youngprepro.com Onibalusi Bamidele

    Awesome post Paul,

    I have never given the idea of freelance blogging a trial but you wrote this post in an awesome and compelling way that makes me want to be a freelance blogger almost immediately.

    I’ll definitely take action on this.

    Thanks so much for the awesome post,
    -Onibalusi

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hey Onibalusi, thanks for the compliment about the post. If you give freelancing a try I hope you find as much success with it as I did.

  • http://qualityplrzone.com Kelly @ Quality PLR Zone

    I’ve been writing freelance articles for a while, which is where most of my online income comes from – I’m still working on making it more passive. I didn’t know about ProBlogger – thanks for the tip.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Actually Kelly, since Pat’s podcast about PLR content I’ve been thinking about shifting some of my writing time towards resellable PLR instead of just one-shot payments for blog posts. Seems that might make the efforts generate a little more passive income, what do you think?

      • http://qualityplrzone.com Kelly @ Quality PLR Zone

        That’s precisely what I’ve been doing. Not only is the income more on the passive side, you get to avoid those nasty deadlines.

        • http://www.bloggingteacher.com/?utm_source=comment&utm_medium=comment&utm_campaign=comment Paul Cunningham

          Really interesting. Might be something for me to look into after the holidays.

  • TrafficColeman

    This is great full useful to people who are looking for some income now, you website isn’t making any money so writing for someone else might not be an bad idea.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Can’t hurt to try, even just for a short time.

  • Ron

    Paul, thanks.

    I’m really considering taking this route. Making money online has been a fun ride, but inconsistent (so far). Freelance writing on the side has helped me a lot during this journey, even though I’ve only done it through http://www.constant-content.com/ so far.

    Once they approve you (if they approve you), it can be a pretty sweet gig if you price your work competitively. But I like your idea of working directly with blogs looking for freelance writers.

    I’m curious though, is it okay to use a pen name for freelance blogging or is it frowned upon by the blog owners and their readers? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      I can’t see that it would be a problem for most blogs if you used a pen name, as long as the owners knew who you really were. It would be one of those case-by-case things. I actually did some ghost writing in the last few years where my name isn’t on the article at all, so that is kind of the same thing.

    • http://qualityplrzone.com Kelly @ Quality PLR Zone

      Ron – if you like writing for CC, you should look into Demand Studios, Break Studios and Associated Content. The first two pay straight fees for articles – $15 and $8, respectively. (I like Break – less money, but more entertaining topics with a 250 word minimum). AC pays a smaller upfront payment, but also pay per page view. So if you know a little SEO, you can get a tidy little sum coming in each month from your articles.

      • Ron

        Hey Kelly, thanks for the suggestions. I don’t think Demand Studios is going to work though. Last time I checked they only pay out to US, Canada, and UK writers. Unfortunately I don’t fall into those categories….which sucks, but oh well…

  • http://www.megabizflakes.com samuel

    Awesome post Paul! Cool story man. Glad that you made it through. Freelancing is not on my mind for now…but i will give it a shot as times goes on. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • http://jeffbeer.net jeffbeer

    Such a refreshing perspective of an entrepreneur’s beginnings! I started my freelance career through blogging as a ghost writer, which I realize now was a mistake. It never gave me time (nor did I have the energy) to start-up my own site/bog.

    Paul, I just started my website (5 years in the making!), and I can attest that it is blogging that is the main to for branding an online business.

    Awesome post, Paul. (Thanks Pat!)

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hi Jeff, I had the same problem for a little while there, with the freelance work nearly taking up all of my available time. But once I found the right balance it started to work really well for me.

  • http://howtomakemoneylegally.blogspot.com/ GAYLE MCLAUGHLIN

    Thank you, Paul, for telling your story. It was very encouraging to an aspiring freelance writer like myself. You were very informative and encouraging. I want to hear more from you!

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Thanks Gayle, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • http://www.my4hrworkweek.com Eric | My 4-Hour Workweek

    Great post, Paul. I never even considered freelance blogging as an option to generate an additional cash flow. I think the bottom line here is that people need to find those additional cash flows and use them to invest in their own business.

    Whether it’s freelance blogging or something else, it’s important to find those sources of “extra” income to put back into your own business and help it grow. Sometimes our “day job” income is only enough to pay the bills, not grow a business.

    Thanks for this guest post Paul (and Pat) – it’s some good food for thought.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Eric, that is very important. If I’d just spent the money on gadgets or DVDs or something and not invested it back into my business then I would not be where I am today.

  • http://www.devinelder.com Devin Elder

    Paul – great story, thanks for the post!

    I think a lot of people looking into making money from the Internet are starting from ground zero, and it can be hard to boot strap that into some cash flow. Hard, but not impossible, obviously. There is so much demand for good writing right now, the steps you outline are a great way to start.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com/?utm_source=comment&utm_medium=comment&utm_campaign=comment Paul Cunningham

      Definitely a lot of demand right now Devin. I think there is probably even more demand starting to appear for extra skills like video production, infographics, that sort of thing. Freelancers who can diversify their talents a little should have no trouble finding work if you ask me.

  • http://www.gutsnglam.com Chiane of Guts N Glam

    you have a nice story. what’s great is that you never gave up. you have started the right way.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Oh I gave up plenty of times Chiane ;-) Fortunately I always changed my mind the next day and kept going.

  • http://ultimateorigami.net/ Peter Saydak

    I think I’m going to have to look into this freelance blogging. I’m still relatively new to the whole Internet thing and this is something I hadn’t thought about so thanks a lot.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com/?utm_source=comment&utm_medium=comment&utm_campaign=comment Paul Cunningham

      Hi Peter, good to hear. The startup costs are basically zero if you already have a computer and internet connection. All you need is a bit of a portfolio site and then start applying for jobs to see if it is right for you.

  • Bob

    I’m always baffled by the 99.9% positive response rate to everything posted here. Are we just overlooking how misleading the title of this post is?

    “How I Built My Business With No Money To Spend”

    Um, he got a second job so that he did have money to spend to build his business. Perhaps a better title would be, “How Freelance Blogging Can Provide A Second Income To Fund Your Business”

    I was expecting to see some really creative solutions here but it turns out he just bought the same tools as everyone else.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hi Bob, sorry to have disappointed you. You make a good point, I hadn’t considered that the title might be interpretted a different way. You’ve got me thinking though, maybe I should write a little more about the free/cheap alternatives that people on a tight budget can make use of. Thanks!

  • http://www.healthmoneysuccess.com Vincent

    It is a good idea to start out freelancing while working on our own business. Cashflow can be a problem and freelancing can help out with the bills and bringing food to the table.

    I think Problogger job board is cool but I don’t know about Elance. It seems a bit too competitive over there.

    Cheers,
    Vincent

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Most of the job boards are highly competitive. The best freelance jobs are the ones that aren’t advertised. You find those through word of mouth, networking, cold applictions, guest posting, that sort of thing.

      There are people doing really well out of sites like Elance but I think for most of us the better money is made elsewhere.

  • http://www.wpkube.com Devesh

    Hi Paul,

    Glad to see you here man and awesome post.
    Interesting story. I’ve done lots of freelance work and it’s one of the great way to make money online.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome Post. Great work Paul.

  • http://unlockthedoor.net Stuart

    This is a great post Paul; to be honest, I hadn’t really thought about freelance blogging before, but as you’ve said it’s definitely worth a try.

    I’ve got a blog up and running, and I think it’s worth getting the experience of blogging (and a bit of a following) to start ‘making it’ in the freelance blogging world. Everyone has got to start somewhere, and by doing what you love, even for nothing, you’ll start getting your just rewards :-)

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      You can “do what you love” for no money for a looooooong time though :-)

      • http://unlockthedoor.net Stuart

        True. I guess its all about perserverance and how you act against the problem in front of you. No good if you back down and give up ;-)

  • http://www.webdesignability.com Terry Dunn

    I love reading success stories. They are always inspiring and great when I begin to flag or I’m trying to do too much. Freelance blog writing isn’t something I’d thought about. But perhaps I should…

    Terry

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Terry, I think we all know that feeling of trying to do too much and starting to flag.

  • http://missiondrivenbrand.com Rob Pene

    Nice post Paul…”Don’t take on too much freelance work” is great insight and advice! Keep up the great work brotha!

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com/?utm_source=comment&utm_medium=comment&utm_campaign=comment Paul Cunningham

      Hey Rob, thanks I appreciate it.

  • http://www.murlu.com Murlu

    Awesome Paul!

    Ya know, you mentioned that it may not be passive income but there’s so many things that you’ve got out of it that takes you way beyond just landing some side income – you’ve picked up a lot of skills that you can port to your own work and you’re able to network with people that create those connections that truly implement passive income.

    Inspiring work man, keep at it :)

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com/?utm_source=comment&utm_medium=comment&utm_campaign=comment Paul Cunningham

      Hi Murlu, yep spot on. I just thought of one example actually, one of my editors started feeding me search terms they wanted to rank for and asking me to write the content. I’d never really written content for SEO before, so I learned a lot that I was then able to use on my own sites.

      • http://www.murlu.com Murlu

        That actually reminded me of another benefit of it all, Paul.

        When you’re writing for others, you end up writing about subjects you may have never touched on before. You’re essentially getting paid to learn :D

        Sure, the work may be a bit more difficult but sometimes it can be really fun when someone needs an article on a topic which you’ve always wanted to learn about.

        Once you do get everything down pat, you can later write in that subject proficiently on your own time which greatly expands your portfolio.

        I’m sure you’ve experienced something like this :)

        • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

          Yep, I have done exactly that, learning a new topic through research so that I can write about it. The things I learned helped me out quite often later on.

  • http://ineeddiscipline.com Dean Saliba

    I am someone who is blogging to make money, not spend it so I refuse to pay for premium plugins, themes and products and will use free ones that I believe work just as well. :)

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com/?utm_source=comment&utm_medium=comment&utm_campaign=comment Paul Cunningham

      Dean, I used to say exactly the same thing. Then one day I realized I could save a lot of time by paying for the *right* things in a strategic way.

  • http://www.makepassivemoney.com/2010/10/blog-mastermind-review-membership-forum-and-mentoring/ Mike @ Blog Success Resource

    Paul,

    Great to see your guest post here, I know I am somewhat where you were, so I totally can relate. Yes having some of these tools and services will speed up the process but many things can be done manually while we still are on our way to make money. Good message for many to know.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Yeah the cheap-skate in me still tries to do things the free way first :-)

  • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

    Hey Paul,

    That is a very inspiring post. It is always good to invest in your business to make it grow. The mentality of making money and then spending it immediately will make one have to work more and more and then it ends up being a rat-race all over again.

    thanks for sharing your story….

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hi James, you’re someone who definitely understands how to invest in your business ;-)

  • http://www.idearella.com Bon “Idearella” Crowder

    I’ve been teaching college algebra on Saturday mornings to pay for mine. They pay about $35 an hour. But it requires me to be gone about 4 1/2 hours, which is prime family time. A $25 blog post that takes 15 min. pays much more per hour. And I could do it at 3 AM, right before my normal Idearella blog time.

    I’m totally quitting the teaching gig.

    Thanks so much, Paul!

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com/?utm_source=comment&utm_medium=comment&utm_campaign=comment Paul Cunningham

      Oops, my reply to you didn’t thread properly…. its down there somewhere.

  • http://www.vvdenman.com V.V. Denman

    Excellent information. I’ll be getting your book ASAP.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com/?utm_source=comment&utm_medium=comment&utm_campaign=comment Paul Cunningham

      Hi VV, thanks, I hope you find it useful.

  • http://www.pauldurotimi.com Ireti Paul

    Hi Paul (sharing my name), really like your post because it’s straight to the point and helpful. I need some clarifications please – is writing for sites like hubpages & infobarrel and freelance blogging the same? Which is better among the two?

    Thanks

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com/?utm_source=comment&utm_medium=comment&utm_campaign=comment Paul Cunningham

      Hi Ireti, sorry I replied to this last night but I think something went wrong. Anyway, those sites are fine but my opinion is they tend to be lower paying than other freelance opportunities out there. On the other hand some of them offer recurring revenue options, which are worth looking into. Overall I think they are a fine place to start but keep your eyes open for bigger opportunities.

  • http://ninetowhat.com Fernando

    Nice post Paul
    I’ve never thought of freelance blogging, I better hurry up before everyone starts doing the same as well Hahaha
    Thanks for the awesome article.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com/?utm_source=comment&utm_medium=comment&utm_campaign=comment Paul Cunningham

      Hi Fernando, it seems more and more bloggers are getting into freelancing to earn money but demand also keeps going up so hopefully it won’t run out any time soon.

  • http://www.bloggingteacher.com/?utm_source=comment&utm_medium=comment&utm_campaign=comment Paul Cunningham

    Ha, your poor students! What have I done!?! :-)

    • http://ninetowhat.com Fernando

      Haha, crying out loud!
      Hey Pat, How did you opt-in your Newsletter on the comment section?
      I’m talking about the “Subscribe to my Popular Newsletter” opt-in.
      Thanks in advance!

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      That comment probably looks a bit wierd there, it was supposed to be a reply to Bon a few comments up. Clicked a wrong link I guess.

    • http://www.idearella.com Bon “Idearella” Crowder

      Maybe I’ll write freelance for a math blog.

      Regardless, I’m turning this ship!

  • http://www.laurenashleymiller.com Lauren Ashley Miller

    This was exactly what I needed to read tonight. I’ve been having a confusion crisis over exactly how to start monetizing my blogging, and this is a great way to start! Thank you for the advice and the direction.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hi Lauren, glad you found it helpful.

  • http://mazakaro.com Rahul @ MazaKaro

    i appreciate the fact you shared your experience with us , i really do believe earning online money neede some efforts , and i believe that it is possible to get the money you want, you just need some time to know more and skills to get !! the informations were great , and i bet that was very helpful for evryone

  • http://www.affiliatetemple.com/ Jgar

    I find blogging really time consuming, there’s no way I could do it for a living. Too much of a perfectionist! I keep going back to them and trying to improve, but I suppose you need to train yourself to knock them out.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Jgar, I hadn’t really thought about it, but it is probably true that freelancing made me a lot more efficient at writing and publishing posts. I bet I spent a long time tweaking and polishing my own stuff before then.

  • http://www.passivejourney.com Shawn | PassiveJourney.com

    I find blogging extremely time-consuming as well… UNLESS it’s a subject that I’m passionate about. One thing that helped me to make some quick money when I lost my job was Ramit Sethi’s earn1k.com (though it’s still active income, for the most part).

    On a lighter note… I got fired yesterday! I just wanted to come in and let everyone celebrate with me. One way or another, I was just handed the gift of freedom. Read the post: http://www.passivejourney.com/what-to-do-when-you-lose-your-job/

    Passive income or bust, right? :)

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Shawn, I just read your blog post. Bummer about the job. Hope you can use the opportunity to build the business of your dreams. Best of luck!

      • http://www.PassiveJourney.com Shawn | PassiveJourney.com

        Thanks, Paul. I guess it’s one of those things that happens to everyone at some point in their lives. It doesn’t make it any easier, though.

        We’re actually moving in with my parents in another state until we can get back up on our feet.

        If you’re reading this, let it be a lesson. Stop dreaming about passive income, and start ACTING right now. You never know when you will need it.

        Now, I’m gonna’ go shake it off and get to work. :)

  • http://inventionaddict.com/blog/ Stephen B. | InventionAddict

    Paul,

    Inspiring post. I totally know what it’s like to “be able afford” Market Samurai. My business is struggling so when I get a bit of positive cash flow I am very judicious how I spend the money.

    It is so different from when I worked at Motorola and I could get almost whatever I needed.

    I created a list of free software tools that I use for my blog and other business ventures. I figure other folks starting out probably like free as much as I do. For example, Camtasia is $300, CamStudio is free and does a great job creating screen casts for my YouTube videos.

    Check out the list (with links) in my free eBook. It’s on pages 27-28. http://www.inventionaddict.com/inventing-ebook/

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hi Stephen, I’m always looking for quality free versions of stuff to build sites. I’ll check out your ebook, thanks for the heads up!

  • http://master-dayton.blogspot.com Master Dayton

    Wow – great post! The sheer amount of detail you go into about active versus passive income, how you got started, and the pros and cons of both really stunned me. This post really went above and beyond what I expected from most blogs. Very well done!

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Thanks, I appreciate you saying that. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • http://www.sc2review.com Eric | Starcraft 2 Strategy

    I loved this article because I’m right where you are at the start…just got married, thinking about a kid, and not a lot of money to spare. I just started a blog about something I love – Starcraft 2 – and am hoping to make affiliate money from it, but so far I haven’t made any. The idea of freelancing for some spare cash until I get there with my blog is really appealing…thanks for the motivation!

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hey Eric, I would say two things to you:

      1) Do as much as you can BEFORE your first kid arrives. Pat might agree with me, having kids is great but eats up way more time than you’d ever anticipate.

      2) For your Starcraft 2 blog, check out Pat’s latest podcast with Chris Guthrie. He says some stuff about the difficulty of making money off a market that has already bought the product (ie the game). You might find some useful tips from it.

  • http://www.akilbrown.com Akil

    Hi Paul,
    Great article I can use this information if I decided to pursue freelancing as a past time to gain extra income. At the moment I am building up my content for my site and will keep your post in mind if I decide to go down the freelance route. You have provided useful tips that anyone new would find of use.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hi Akil, thanks for your comment. If you’re considering freelancing, but also want to focus mostly on building your own site, just be careful not to take on too much freelancing work at once.

  • http://www.ehowtopreventsnoring.com Peter

    Excellent post! I’ve never concidered freelance blogging as an option for earning! Thanks Paul!

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Thanks Peter, I appreciate it a lot.

  • http://www.earnmoney-fromhome.com/blog2 Bryan

    Hey Paul,

    Very valuable insights into freelance blogging. I’m also having a day job now.The struggle is trying to find time managing my own blog and also trying to do some freelance work. I know that there are quite a number of job boards out there about freelance blogging. I think you’re right also about not choosing too many jobs otherwise you will run into trouble of not completing your task and ruin your reputation. Not a good thing to do if you are new.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hi Bryan, thats one of the problems I had early on, balancing my time. I’d say if you just start with one job for a couple of weeks and see how it goes before trying to get more, then that would be a good approach.

  • http://cashcampfire.com Christina Crowe

    Hey Paul,

    I’ve been considering freelance blogging for a while but never really got into it. However, this sounds like an interesting thing to try, and I’ve been blogging for a number of years. I might give it a shot.

    I’d have to finish building my portfolio though (it’s half way done), and I’ll need to put up some writing samples, though that probably won’t be a problem. It will also help my businesses in the long run, since I’ll be building exposure and making money to put back into my businesses – money that I sorely need.

    Thanks for sharing your story with us! It was very motivating. :)

    Christina

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hi Christina, yes definitely get that portfolio finished. It doesn’t have to be huge it just has to *look* finished so that it looks like you’re taking it seriously. You can always bulk it out with more samples over time.

  • http://islaminsidetheheart.com/ IslamInsideTheHeart

    Quite a good post Paul. Thanks for sharing your great story with us. You have done a great work.

  • http://www.thevantagejourney.com tariq

    Hi Paul,

    Very inspiring post! Thank you!

    Me and my girlfriend just launched a blog called thevantagejourney.com in last October. The blog is all about life lessons we learn & share almost everyday (we are still working on some pages of the blog).

    I started to work full time for our blog in last September and my girlfriend plans to quit from her current job soon. This is because we want to really focus on our blog since we both love blogging and sharing information we have with other people.

    Your post has inspired my girlfriend so much and has given confidence to her that everything is going to be fine by being jobless (actually jobless from her full time employment as an english mentor) as she can still earn some cash money as a freelance writer online.

    I would also like to thank you for sharing the tips and steps for us to start a freelance writing/blogging.

    I believe this idea is the best idea for us to generate cash flow to support our dream to achieve passive income in future.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Hi Tariq, thats a nice looking site and pretty cool that you’ve launched it together like that. Hope you find the freelancing helps you get your business up and running!

  • http://www.blogincomeforwomen.com/blog/ Krizia | Blog Income for Women

    Paul, I agree with you … Market Samurai in an insane tool. I cannot live with out it!

    This is a great candid post – thanks for sharing.

    Krizia

  • http://shantara.wordpress.com Anita Martin

    I never thought of freelance blogging as a way to buy services for my blog that would help it’s rankings. I can’t even remember how I stumbled across your blog, but I’m glad I did. I am in business for myself, (got fired from my real job I’d had for 12 years over one year ago) and business is slow for the one business, (farrier for horses) and for the other business, (making and selling goats milk soaps), I don’t have the cash to buy more supplies that I need to make more soap that I know will sell this holiday season..GRRR Over the next few weeks I will have a lot of time to devote to my blog and online business. Glad I found your blog to give me some sense of direction. I have truly been floundering and not nearly enough money is coming in to support our small farm. Thanks again.

    • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

      Anita, bummer about your job, I also lost mine due to the global crash around that same time. I bet with those topics you know about you could easily find some freelance writing gigs if you needed the money to help out your business. Best of luck!

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    Thanks for sharing your experience! I’m sure that in case you really want to build your business and you want to be independent and don’t live through cash advance loan services online then you will find a way to achieve your goal. Moreover that thanks to the Internet we have a lot of opportunities for building online business. Also I think bloggers give us a good example. People write posts about their interests and if they are really original and readers like them then they become popular and blog owners start making good money!