SPI 048: How a Part-Time Blogger Landed His Dream Job—An Interview with Leslie Samuel

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In this session of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, we get into the story of Leslie Samuel, a good friend of mine who I consider to be one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.

Leslie is a part-time blogger, full-time teacher who has a number of interesting blogging success stories under his belt. His motivation to help people and his passion for blogging is what helped him succeed and actually land his dream job, which is incredibly motivating! Blogging isn’t always used to break away from the 9 to 5 – it can be used to further advance the career that you already have.

He also shares very specific methods and strategies for getting stuff done for his blogs while working a demanding full-time position, which I know a lot of the readers and listeners can relate to. His productivity strategies are not complicated and they’re not ground-breaking either, it’s just smart and he sticks with it, and it’s obviously working big-time for Leslie.

As many of you may already know, Leslie also runs a successful blog and podcast about blogging at BecomeABlogger.com, which is a site that was actually created by Yaro Starak and Gideon Shalwick who have “passed the baton” to Leslie for reasons he reveals in the show.

What’s cool is that Leslie’s most successful and most inspirational blog came from a blog he built after he started blogging about blogging, putting his own advice to the test and proving his strategies to his audience and himself, which is not what a lot of people who talk about blogging or making money online do.

In this session, Leslie and I chat about:

  • How Leslie earned his first dollar online and how that influenced his decision to start blogging.
  • How he jump-started traffic to his blog on day one.
  • Leslie’s experience purchasing a forum (including the price) and what that did for his blog.
  • His strategy for getting thousands of subscribers and over 2,000,000 YouTube views in an incredibly broad and competitive niche.
  • Exactly how Leslie monetizes his blogs, including one unknown strategy for bloggers in the education niche.
  • The role Leslie’s blog played in impressing a potential employer, and what you can learn from it.
  • 3 tips and strategies for blogging part-time when you have a demanding, full-time position elsewhere.
  • The true power of blogging and what it really should be used for.
  • Plus a lot more…

Right click here to download the MP3

Items mentioned in this podcast include:

DISCOUNT for Smart Passive Income Fans!

As Leslie mentions near the end of the podcast, he offers a generous 20% discount to all Smart Passive Income fans for the premium level course at BecomeaBlogger.com. To get that 20% discount, just use the coupon code SPI at the checkout page.

To fully disclose, I’m actually NOT an affiliate for this product because I have a strict policy (and I just don’t feel comfortable) making money by promoting stuff that I actually have not used myself or know well enough to provide immediate support for. But, I just want to mention that I do support this blogging product. I personally know Leslie, Yaro and Gideon and know that all of their material is always of the highest quality, and if you are looking for a blogging course to fast-track the learning process, this is definitely one to look into – and don’t forget about the discount if it’s something you’re going to check out.

I hope you enjoyed this session, and look out for the next one (session #49) where I interview someone who has put many of my own strategies to the test in a niche that will definitely surprise you.

Until then, thank you for listening! Cheers!

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Click Here to Download the Transcript for Session 48 (PDF)

  • http://www.ithuit.com Perry Hua

    This is a very influential post! I think everyone looking to blog first starts out writing part time but as time goes on and more passion is put into it then their blog starts to pick up speed as more valuable content is produced. Thanks Pat and keep it up, you’re a great inspiration to the aspiring self employed!

    • http://getfreepremium.com/workfromnohome/ Ben Troy

      I couldn’t agree more with you; sometimes I feel like the writing I do in a part-time sort of arrangement is better too then the one I do full-time. I think having breaks away from what you’re writing is more stimulating and thought-provoking somehow? I know it works for me because it’s like the “illicit love affair” syndrome, you know? If I’m sort of sneaking around, “stealing” a few moments to brainstorm for my story or my characters or etc while I’m doing something else, I get more creative and the results are always more entertaining

  • http://notordinaryblogger.com Okto

    What an inspiration. I myself is part-time blogger and I believe many bloggers start as part-timer too to see blogging business as a trial and error process.

    Thanks for share it Pat

  • http://www.jasonloveslife.com Jason Love

    Pat, I put my vote in for you already. Good Luck!

    My wife and I are expecting our first child in November; which is good motivation to crush it.

    Great story! As an artist who enjoys teaching others and the education process it is very motivating to hear Leslie has been able to help others and make money through his videos/website.
    -Jason Love

  • http://www.becomeablogger.com Leslie Samuel

    Dude Pat,

    It was an honor to be on your podcast. Thanks for allowing me the time to share my story with your audience. I enjoyed listening back to the interview. You’re a great host :)

    • http://www.jasonloveslife.com Jason Love

      It was great to hear your story Leslie.
      Thanks for sharing. The idea of giving away free education through videos is an awesome and noble idea. The fact that you have monetized it is inspirational.

      • http://www.becomeablogger.com Leslie Samuel

        Thanks Jason. Glad to hear that you enjoyed my story so much. I love sharing it, especially when it can be used to inspire others!

    • http://valueofsimple.com/ Joel Zaslofsky

      Separate from enjoying your story and how you’ve achieved what you have, I smiled more during this SPI podcast than any other I’ve listened to. You exude warmth and gratitude like few other people I’ve ever heard. And that in itself is rewarding to be a part of. Thanks for joining Pat for another fantastic podcast!

  • http://www.cleanseandblend.com/detox-your-body-review-of-dr-alejandro-jungers-21-day-clean-program-diet/ Andy

    Wow, Pat and Leslie,

    What an great podcast! It was extremely inspirational to hear. It really resonates with me and I’m sure a HUGE part of your audience that you can make blogging work part-time.

    Not to mention Leslie that you found a regular, non-online/passive job that makes you happy enough that you want to do it. I think this is great as well, because I’m sure many people aren’t entrepreneurial enough to want to go it completely on their own. I just talked about this with some family members and friends, and many people out there want the comfort of a regular paycheck. So it’s nice to see that you were able to do both Leslie.

    It’s also refreshing to hear someone say that they’re more concerned with helping people than making money. I think that’s a very good mindset, and one that many people are striving for. I know I am, and I’m hoping that my website will end up helping many people.

    Cheers guys!

  • http://www.kfm24.com Kenny Fabre


    Leslie story is very amazing, I mean just like your story. The power of blogging, and also Leslie’s become a blogger podcast is very solid, I’ve been able to use some of his strategies to improve the traffic of my blog.

    • http://www.becomeablogger.com Leslie Samuel

      I’m so glad to hear that you are benefiting from the podcast Kenny, and that it’s helping you get more traffic. That’s just AWESOME!

      • http://www.kfm24.com Kenny Fabre

        yep Ive been doing very well with my traffic, and it just goes to show the power of blogging, because the first time I saw your biology blog I was like wow.

        and the fact that your interactive biology blog is successful

  • http://www.michaelcharalambous.com/ Michael Charalambous

    What I’d like to know is why you have no linked out to the podcastawards.com website? They will be potentially give you an award, and you are encouraging visitors to go there. Surely that warrants the link, or am I looking at this from an SEO perspective because I’m a nerd…

    Please explain Pat, thanks!

    • Pat Flynn

      Totally my mistake, lol. I could have sworn that I hyperlinked the url in the first paragraph, but for some reason I didn’t. Thanks for catching that for me! No weird tricks or anything like that – just a human error!

      • http://www.michaelcharalambous.com Michael Charalambous

        Haha, fair enough. Well in that case I’m glad to have helped – keep up the good work!

  • http://www.plusengineer.com Eyram Sotome

    No words describe this one.

    Seriously. It was that AWESOME!!

    As a person who listen to both your podcasts (The Pat interview was just as awesome, btw), I really appreciate the exchange of ideas you guys had today.

    @Leslie I didn’t know you did freebie trading! Long story short, I used to do it too. I’m happy that you and Pat are able to have such encouraging conversations for all of us. I learned a lot from Interative Biology too (both for blogging and education). Keep up your joy and influence!

    @Pat Dude, you rock. My favorite thing about the way you do business is not only your honesty, but the fact that you stick with what you like (which only you can have as a preference) and feel is the most useful to your audience. Keep it up, Sensei ^_- !

    On my side, I got tons of work to do (because I have both of your (Leslie and Pat) negative traits: fear of success and not being balanced) but I’m really excited about my niche and I’m sure it will blow up to be something just as awesome as you guys because I’m PASSIONATE about it.

    Thanks again for the great tips, Pat and Leslie. You guys really made my day. I’m voting for Pat and you guys can be sure I’ll be listening for the next podcasts on both ends.

    Take Care,


    P.S. Look out for my launch next week ^^

  • http://newmansplan.blogspot.com/ Steve

    This sounds good – can’t wait to hear it!

  • http://www.merrychristmasfromsanta.com Jason

    2,000,000 views, that is freaking crazy.

    • http://getfreepremium.com/workfromnohome/ Ben Troy

      uhm, That’s the power of viral marketing

  • http://www.alaininternetmarketing.com Alain

    Great interview from my two favorite pod casters.

    You got my vote. Most of my learning are coming from both of you.

  • http://www.smartbusinessrevolution.com John Corcoran

    I voted – good luck!

    Leslie is a cool dude – and it’s been fun watching his ascendance, which was quite rapid. He’s a very giving person, like most teachers I know anyways, so I’m happy to see his success.

    BTW, I’ve been completely lame and have been struggling over the tech involved in launching my own podcast for many months now. Lame, I know. So I’m really looking forward to your tutorial next week on podcasting.

    • http://www.becomeablogger.com Leslie Samuel

      Thanks John,

      One thing though – it might seem like it has been quite rapid, but I’ve been toiling away at this blogging stuff since 2008, and that doesn’t include all the failures I’ve had before that. Too much to get into in one comment though.

      I’m reminded of a statement I’ve heard somewhere before which goes something like this – You work your entire life and then become an overnight success 😉

  • http://www.medical-marijuana-mentor.com Tomoko

    Good luck in the Podcast Awards! Voted for both categories. You so deserve to win. Your content is top notch!

  • http://listsleverage.com/ Royce

    Hi Pat, great stuff. Good luck in the Podcast awards. I hope you win. :)

    Pat, regarding your DMCA policy, do you use a service to to monitor your stolen content at the same time send DCMA takedown letters to the one who steal your content?

    I’m starting to create my own products and I’m still clueless how to put the privacy policy, terms and conditions and earning disclaimer, etc. that kind of stuff.

    If you have time, I hope you can do a blog post regarding this subject. 😉


  • http://www.freedommakingmoneyonline.com Dan

    Hey Pat!
    Another great podcast. Perfect length too, fit right into my lunch today. I am a part-time blogger as I have noticed a lot of your following is too. We are all trying to make it one day in our own way.
    It was encouraging that Leslie did all this while keeping a full-time job. I just started a new cubicle dwelling position and been finding it ever more difficult to get a lot accomplished in the few hours I have available on my nights. With laser-like focus I know I will make it though.
    I also just wanted to point out and thank Leslie for sharing his priorities.
    God first, and God bless to you all.
    It is so easy to get lost in the internet business world and forget about why we are even here to begin with. Thanks Leslie for speaking the truth and being someone we can all learn from.
    And Pat you’re the man! Keep being everywhere and killing it online.
    All the best!

  • http://www.ehowguide.com Navjot Singh

    Hi Pat……….! I have nominated “The Smart Passive Income Podcast” in the Business category, because i think that you are only person who deserve this recognition. I have received the following message on submission:-

    Thank you for submitting your nominations for the 8th Annual Podcast Awards. Your nominations will be reviewed at the close of the nomination period.

    Best of Luck !

  • Cornelius

    Wow! You can feel Leslie passion through the speakers. I love the fact he used his Interactive Biology website to land him his dream job. Pat really did a great job in interviewing him. I love the tips he gave in managing his time:

    1. Priortize the things that matter most to you — balance life
    2. Batching your task
    3. Outsourcing tech stuff to Virtual Assistants

    When your a family man and have a full-time job starting a business or blog can be extremely difficult.

    Thanks for giving this insight and making this goal a reality for everyone.

  • http://appsmillionaireschool.com/ Raphael@how to make money with iphone apps

    Hello Pat
    Thanks you for sharing this episode,It’s very hard when someone work 9h-5h.Leslie Samuel have a strong motivation to do this.Congrats.

  • http://www.ayounginvestor.com Aaron @ Intangible Investor

    Once again, another great podcast Pat (nominated you). It’s because of you that I went into the online business world. Keep up the great work!

  • http://www.dylanvarian.com Dylan Varian

    Awesome podcast Pat, as usual. Voted for you in the podcast awards.

    • http://www.thuthuatwordpress.com/get-started-with-micro-niche-websites/ PhuongLe

      I did it,too :)

  • Joe

    Hi Pat and Leslie,

    Great podcast, I really learn a lot from you guys and hope one day to be successful at blogging like you.! The way you guys teach with your own style and awesome content shows me first hand what I need to do too!
    Watch this space!

  • http://www.teamaguilar.com/ca_real_estate/encinitas.html Alex Aguilar

    Excellent interview – Leslie knows what he’s talking about and sounds really passionate about blogging. I too have nominated the Smart Passive Income Podcast in the business section at the podcast awards. Hopefully you have better luck this year!

  • http://www.zzneo.pl Teresa

    Hi Pat and Leslie,
    Very interesting post. It’s really amazing how many people have full-time job but want to change that and start blogging. Or start blogging for many other different reazons. Crazy world.

  • http://www.onlineincomestartup.com Dr.Spencer Jones

    Hello Pat, First of all I nominated you for the podcast award. Second, really enjoyed the podcast, really love the way Leslie built up his authority blog on interactive biology, also stopped by his become a blogger blog and was happy to read his transparency report. :)

    Also commented on his blog, asking the best strategy to drive the most traffic. I wanted to ask the same question to you. What’s the one strategy that drives the most amount of traffic to SPI?

    I never written a guest post, but thinking about doing it. Pat, Did you write a lot of guest posts when you started the SPI blog ? What part did guest posts play towards the overall success of SPI?

    Dr.Spencer Jones

  • Gillian G

    Great session, Pat and Leslie.

    Have voted for you in the podcast awards – fingers crossed for this year.


  • http://www.epreneur.tv Tehmina Zaman

    Very inspiring podcast, highlights not only the power of blogging but also sticking with it. Love the fact that passion has been so key for Leslie :-) Tehmina

  • http://getfreepremium.com/workfromnohome/ PhuongLe

    My preference would definitely be to write full time partly because there’s more time built into each day for staring out the window, and pondering, and of course, being able to do that without feeling so tired all the time would be wonderful.

  • http://www.medical-marijuana-mentor.com Tomoko

    Leslie, you are a ROCKSTAR! You are amazing and so motivational. you have been able to find your niche and absolutely OWN it. I love the passion in your voice and I get excited along with you! And the fact that you put God first is proof that He can take you to amazing places. Keep up the great work and best wishes for your future endeavors.

  • http://www.ingeniousinternetincome.com Steve @ IngeniousInternetIncome

    I really enjoyed the interview. I actually have come across Leslie’s work in the past and it wasn’t until halfway through the interview that I remembered. He’s got some great information and I sure appreciate your including him in this podcast. I was going to send Leslie some information and I had forgotten. This helped me remember to do that.

    Also Leslie, congrats on your new job. That’s just amazing how you got where you wanted to be.

  • http://www.igeeksblog.com Dhvanesh

    Hi Pat

    It was an awesome listening for a blogger like me. Thanks for motivating and inspiring podcast.

    BTW… I have nominated you in the Business category as you truly deserve it.

    Thanks… :)

  • http://www.payable.com/service/server/server-configuration Linda

    Good share, really an inspiring and motivational post.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.southernhomerepairs.com James

    Very inspiration Pat! Now need to share this with my fellow bloggers.

  • http://www.rodneyapps.com Rodney Butler

    Vote is in…. Best of Luck!

  • http://www.fitdeskjockey.com Matt

    It’s wonderful to hear you both on the same podcast! :) Most of the success that I’ve had online can be directly attributed to one of you, and in some cases both of you.

    I actually discovered Leslie over a year ago because I clicked to his site, which at the time was Learning With Leslie, via a comment he’d left on SmartPassiveIncome.com. I was so impressed with his honesty and excitement that I think I’ve taken just about every course he’s offered, including being a member of the first group to go through Become a Blogger 2.0.

    I’ve had my site for 2 years now, and I STILL use my access to the Become a Blogger course to jog my memory on certain technical subjects.

    The two basic currencies in life are time and money, so if you have a little money but are short on time I’d definitely recommend the BOB course. I also highly recommend Leslie’s podcast. One of my favorite episodes is – #38 “How I got so much traffic that it crashed my server!”

    Hope you win this year at The Podcast Awards Pat! You’ve got my vote 100%


  • http://www.platformofwomen.com.au CaAtherine

    What a fantastic podcast. Definitely re-enforces “be everywhere”. Thanks Pat and Leslie.

    Pat – votes are in! All the best this year.

  • http://www.smartflighttraining.com Andrew Hartley


    I haven’t even finished listening completely to this episode, but it is already quite possibly my favorite one yet! Leslie is doing with biology what I want to do with flight training – including teaching at a university level and “being everywhere” with his interest and passion!

    What an inspiration you both are!


  • Nate Guggia

    I loved this interview. Leslie’s happiness is contagious.

    Does anyone know what theme and platform he uses for his Biology site?

  • Navdeep

    Pat’s post and research has always been thoughtful and inspirational, even now i am seriously considering of starting my adventure for generating money online.

  • http://www.ContractorRegistry.com Chris the Home Contractor

    Another great podcast.

    I do not blog and do not have an interest but it was good to hear.


  • http://www.midlifeupswing.com Phil

    Pat, thanks for the informative and inspirational podcast. Both you and Leslie serve as reminders that great things happen (and doors magically open) when you:

    1) Work hard
    2) Are clear about what you want
    3) Help others

    Thanks again for everything. My Podcast Award vote is already in…

  • http://www.outlived.co.uk Helmuts Meskonis

    hummm… sorry, but I think that this was your worst podcast as you let dodgy IM-er to talk. I really didn’t like this freebie crasher, even despite the superb 2nd part where he explains how he has sorted his life.


  • http://ktm-blogger.blogspot.com Kanchan

    Sounds cool…. Surely going to hear this as soon as I can!!!

  • http://TheMarketingView.com [email protected]

    Just stopped by was looking for your references on recording tools if you happen to see this post, maybe you can point it out with a quick email…

    Yes, I took the time to read a post, in fact I just heard Google, say, he has been on there for a little while, maybe it was a good article…

  • http://www.pollutionpollution.com Mi Muba

    Great stuff; passive income is the dream of everybody especially of lazy people who are in abundance on planet earth. Joke’s apart everyone want to add his or her sources of income. In this way this interview is a kind of great help and guidance for those who want to get an extra source of income after little effort. Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts buddies.

  • http://gridthirtyone.com Casey Dennison

    One of the most inspirational Podcast I’ve heard. Leslie, you truly are an inspiration! Thanks Pat!

  • Jim Leaf

    Well, I sure learned a lot about you, Leslie!
    Usually stories about how anyone got started don’t do much for me, but once again you knocked it out of the park.

  • Mitchel

    Motivating story about pursuing passion and giving it your all. My son really likes his interactive bio site.

  • http://myhealthline.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-is-benefits-of-garlic.html Ademu Anthony

    I really enjoy your story. This is like a challenge for me to pick and an encouragement to back me. Thanks for sharing this info

  • Kris

    Hi Leslie,

    I started my blog in March 2013, thanks to a role model of mine and my traffic has increased slowly, but surely. Thank you for sharing these tips with us, I might apply some of them.

    What was interesting to me when hearing the interview was the neurobiology part. I’m also fascinated with that subject, so that’s cool.

    In case you would like to see how I write, here’s a link to an article I love: http://8lightwarrior.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/my-pathway-to-zen/

    The main topic on my blog is: zen.

  • http://www.kevllar.com/ Kevin La

    I’ve just started listening to Pat this year and this is definitely one of my favourite episodes. So inspiring and you can really hear the enthusiasm coming from Leslie in this session. Congrats to him and Pat on their success! They should team up on an epic project together. Love supporting such genuine and helpful people in this space.