The benefits of blogging are many, and, at this point, they’re fairly well known. Almost any small business owner can rattle off the reasons to have one — a blog is great for SEO, it’s a good way for your clients get to know you, they can be a helpful resource for your small business, and they can help build and support a strong community. However, very few bloggers create a blog because they dream of quitting their job and writing full-time.
And yet, some of them do end up doing exactly that.
If you haven’t already started a creative blog, these blogging success stories will make you reconsider. The authors behind these blogs have taken a medium and turned it into a lifestyle, affording them the ability to quit their day jobs and become their own bosses. And if they can, you can, too.
Design*Sponge: Design*Sponge has managed to do the impossible: Stand out among the many, many design/home blogs on the internet. And it’s done it for more than a decade. When Grace Bonney (pictured, right, with Marie Forleo, left) launched the blog in 2004, it was originally supposed to be a hobby. But before too long, it became her full-time job.
“I graduated from college in 2003, and started the blog in 2004. In between I worked for a tiny indie record label in Brooklyn. Then I worked briefly in PR and left to run the site,” she told Racked in June. She says monetizing the blog “happened naturally.”
“I was asked about ad placements in an email in 2005, and I first put them up for small amounts of money and didn’t even think anything of it because I knew the shop owners [advertising]. I thought it was a nice way to pay for my groceries.” she explained.
Design*Sponge is now much more than just a blog — there’s a book, a full staff, a ton of press, and even a scholarship — which is a far cry from just paying for groceries.
Smitten Kitchen: What originally launched as a dating blog called “Smitten” has become a business for Deb Perelman. Oh, and it’s also how she met her now-husband, Alex. Launched in 2003, the blog quickly morphed into an exploration of her various cooking endeavors. Now, there’s a successful cookbook which bears the blog’s name, and Deb makes her living writing about what she’s cooking.
“In previous iterations of her so-called career, she’s been a record store shift supervisor, a scrawler of ‘happy birthday’ on bakery cakes, an art therapist and a technology reporter,” reads Smitten Kitchen’s “About” section.
“She likes her current gig – the one where she wakes up and cooks whatever she feels like that day – the best.”
Blacksburg Belle: CreativeLive instructor April Bowles-Olin is a successful consultant for creative entrepreneurs, but before she started her blog, she worked as a social worker in New York City. Blogging, she says, was the avenue that helped her go from full-time work for someone else to being her own boss.
“Starting my blog changed everything for me,” writes April. “Within a few months, I had hundreds of readers. People who otherwise wouldn’t know anything about me or what I offer. I connected with my business partner, Mayi Carles, through my blog.”
Now, April speaks at conferences, leads classes, and sells copies of her ebook online — all of which add up to a pretty great living, she says.
“My blog is my place to be me, share my ideas with the world and connect with other creative minds. It’s my online home. It’s my brand.”
The Bloggess: Jenny Lawson says she started her blog because she “needed an uncensored space to say the f-word and talk about ninjas,” according to the “About” section of The Bloggess. Seven years later, Jenny has a best-selling memoir to her name and a full-time job just running the blog and, ostensibly, talking about ninjas.
“It is kind of the American dream” Jenny told the New York Times in 2012, “except I don’t know if anyone would have this strange of a dream.”