If you haven’t heard, I said goodbye to SAHD FIRE and hello to Gig FIRE. I have 2 reasons for doing this. One, I want to spend my time a little more productively. My son is getting older and more independent now. He is at school from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. That’s a lot of downtime for me. This is the most free time I’ve had since I became a SAHD. I need to do something. Two, I want to raise $30,000 to build a beach hut in Thailand. My family has a small piece of land near Hua Hin beach. The beach is okay, but the seafood is delicious and very affordable. My dad wants to live there during fire season. There is too much smoke in Chiang Mai from February to mid-April. I’ve always wanted to live in a beach town too.
Anyway, I will try various ways to earn money and will write an update from time to time. Today, I’ll be writing about my weird job from a long time: blogging.
I started blogging in 2010. Wow, it’s been 13 years! In a few years, I’ll be more of a blogger than I was an engineer. That’s crazy. Blogging completely transformed my life for the better. I was at a low point, and blogging got me out of that fear. He gave me purpose by allowing me to focus on improving my life instead of blaming circumstances for my problems. Blogs helped turn negative energy into creativity.
In 2010, the FIRE movement and blogs were growing. It was a good time to start a blog. Also, I wanted to earn a little extra money. I wanted to quit my engineering degree and was willing to try anything. Fortunately, he was in the right place at the right time. Retirement at 40 grew enormously in the early years and gave me the confidence to retire early. For 2012, our net worth met the 4% SWR rule, but I probably wouldn’t have left engineering if I didn’t have any additional income. The income from blogging allows us to delay retirement and invest.
I was very lucky to start blogging when I did. The tide was coming in and it lifted all the boats in 2010. The first year was the only year I lost money. After that, blogging brought a good income.
Here is a graph of my blogging income over the years.
Is incredible. Blogging has brought me over $400,000 in income over the past 13 years. I never thought I would earn so much when I started. He just wanted a small income to help pay the bills. I am extremely grateful for all the readers over the years. Of course, many bloggers were more successful. Some were able to leverage their blogs into books, consulting jobs, YouTube, and various other businesses. It’s a great springboard. He wasn’t creative or hungry enough to grow the business. It’s still a blog and I’ll continue as long as I can. That is the extent of my ambition. After all, I want to enjoy my relaxing semi-retirement. I don’t want to work too much.
Here’s my rating for blogging as a SAHD side gig. It turned out very well, but that is due to a lot of luck and perseverance. I started at the right time and kept going. Your experience may be different. Most blogs don’t last long because they couldn’t get enough traction.
Flexibility – Blogging is very flexible. I used to blog at night when I was an engineer. Back then, I could stay up late… I used to publish 3 posts a week and spend a lot of time writing and researching. When I started, I was spending 20+ hours a week at this side job. Now, I spend about 5-10 hours per week on it. Another great thing about blogging is that I can do it from anywhere. I spent 6 months away from home in 2022 and was able to keep the blog going.
Money – My income from blogging has been excellent over the years. However, the first year was tough. I didn’t make a lot of money until the second year. Most people quit early because they don’t see the results of their hard work. It takes a lot of patience to work 20+ hours a week with no income. Unfortunately, I think blogs are dying. The tide is out and even established bloggers are making less money these days. It’s much harder to generate income from blogging now than it was when I started.
Potential – Blogging still has good potential. You can take advantage of a blog in many other businesses. If you are industrious, you can make it work. Blogging is a springboard now. You don’t want to just focus on writing a blog. That’s a dead end, in my opinion. My blog income is declining every year and I don’t think it will come back.
Fun – I still enjoy blogging. It’s fun to research a topic and write about it. Blogging gives me the opportunity to focus my mind. That’s good.
X Factor – Blogging has many benefits. I blog about FIRE and it motivates me to improve our finances. We are doing much better than when I started. It also gave me a bridge to full retirement. I have an LLC and have been contributing to my individual 401k. If I keep blogging until 2028, I can go out of business and withdraw from my 401k no penalty. I’ll be old enough to use the Rule of 55. It’s a great way to get early access to some of my retirement funds.
In general – Blogging worked extremely well for me. I was in the right place at the right time and benefited tremendously from starting a blog in 2010. The income is declining, but it’s still so much better than any other odd job I’ve tried. I plan to keep blogging until 2028. After that, I’ll reassess the situation and decide what to do next.
In conclusion, I think blogging is no longer a good side job. It’s too hard to gain ground and advertising revenue is trending down. However, it is a good springboard. You can use a blog to catapult your entrepreneurial spirit into other businesses. It’s worth your time.
Alright, that’s it for this update. Let me know if you have any questions.
If you are interested in starting a blog, here is my guide. How to start a blog and why you should.
Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have a lot of projects in the US so check them out!
Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you achieve financial independence.