Escape the rat race in 2021 as a blogger, you say? Is that even a possibility these days?
Yes, it’s certainly possible to take charge of your working life and thus rely on your website full-time.
But what exactly is the rat race? Well, the definition largely depends on your perspective.
Generally speaking, this refers to the routine of working a mundane job, living paycheck to paycheck, and hardly having the time for anything else in life. Rinse and repeat.
That being said, your ultimate goal is not necessarily tied to riches, but rather to experiencing a great life and having enough time to live, as opposed to merely existing.
Today’s article focuses on escaping the so-called rat race and helping you achieve results that you had only dreamed of up to this point.
Define Your Blogging / Business Goals
Assuming financial freedom is a major goal, you still need to break things down a bit more…
- Do you wish to start an online coaching business?
- Create a writing service similar to Upwork and others?
- Educate readers while earning from your own products and/or affiliates?
Your end goal will ultimately dictate how you’re going to focus your time, energy, and skills to make it happen.
This is an important step, otherwise you’ll be working toward your goal aimlessly, thus sabotaging your chance of success.
Create a Master To-Do List
Once you reach this early stage, it means drastically altering your current lifestyle whether you like it or not. But don’t dread it – rather, embrace it.
A to-do list should consist of broad goals you expect to achieve over a long period, broken down into smaller, short-term steps or goals. Note, however, that people approach this step in different ways (and that’s okay).
If one of your long-term goals is to receive 100,000 blog visitors, you can then create a weekly set of tasks to slowly reach that goal. This could be:
- Creating three SEO-optimized articles per month
- Doubling or tripling your social media efforts
- Guest blogging on 2-3 niche websites each month
- Befriending three niche bloggers each month (with moderate / high recognition)
Identify Your Resting Habits
The above to-do list should also include some rest days or downtime during any given day.
Note that everyone functions differently and has different ways to cope with burnouts…
Some people are most productive earlier in the day. Others are more dynamic, choosing to take breaks at random hours to refuel for the rest of the day.
Resting habits are entirely up to you, but you *must* abide by them. Don’t get too comfortable, but listen to your body to help prevent burnout and resentment over your goals.
Live Below Your Means
Now this conversation is getting serious, and this is where many people refuse to change.
You see, my brother and I used to spend $150+ on expensive dinners throughout the month, sometimes feeding our friends in the process. These days I can’t even imagine spending that much money unless it’s necessary.
Identify unnecessary expenses and cut back on everything that’s merely optional. For example:
- Do you really need fast food three times per month instead of just once?
- Are you paying $20/month on a gym membership that you barely use?
- Are you subscribed to multiple streaming services as opposed to just one?
- Are you overpaying for cable / internet with extra speed (or channels) you’re not using?
- Is your video game backlog getting needlessly big?
Be honest with yourself, otherwise you’ll continue sabotaging your own success and this whole endeavor will lead nowhere.
Identify Areas for Improvement
This is where you must take actionable steps in the business itself, so they’ll feel more tangible and potentially overwhelming.
Along with the aforementioned to-do list, you must strengthen or gain any skill that would otherwise set you back.
Here are some skills an aspiring professional blogger might need to pick up:
- Learning to use WordPress or another Content Management System (CMS)
- Improving your photography skills if your blog pertains to that niche
- Learning to write better copy if your goals involve the sale of products / services
- Improving video editing skills if you wish to have them alongside written content
Therefore, as you can see, your success largely depends on that to-do list and making the time to follow through.
Refer to BloggingPro’s extensive blog post archive (especially those on self-employment) to learn about blogging in general, as well as other experts within your chosen niche.
In fact, services like Lynda are ideal to learn many technical skills which can drastically help you succeed in the long-run.
Pick Up a Side Hustle if Necessary
Quitting the rat race is a scary thought, which means picking up more work is likely necessary (at least for a while).
For starters, you should save enough money to cover at least six months worth your salary before quitting. Chances are you won’t be able to achieve this under your current conditions (after all, you want to quit the rat race for a reason).
Thankfully, these days you can make extra money by doing just about anything. What are you generally good at?
- Consider signing up as a food delivery driver (DoorDash, Uber Eats, and others)
- Pick up a writing or editing gig
- Complete tasks for people around the city
- Look for technical gigs that involve web development on places like Upwork
A side hustle helps increase financial security down the road (again, saving a lot of money is crucial before escaping the rat race).
Finally: Apply, Tweak, and Repeat
Now it’s time to follow through with that rigorous schedule while modifying them as needed.
Remember, finding success is not that complicated; meaning, each step isn’t rocket science. It’s difficult, but the roadmap is fairly predictable.
It’s mostly about repeating the above steps (obeying your publishing schedule, connecting to new social media followers consistently, and so on).
The trick lies in your discipline, or your ability to not veer off track.
Then, ask yourself these important questions along the way:
- Is your blog traffic growing?
- Is your social media following increasing at an acceptable rate?
- Have you networked with XYZ influencers this month? How did it go? Do you need to improve your communication or outreach skills?
- How’s that affiliate product or service going? Could the landing page use better copy to increase sales?
Once you start taking action, the remainder consists of analyzing your current results and making the necessary adjustments.
Tip: Don’t expect quick results and give up after merely 12 months. Quitting the rat race takes massive effort, which could mean sacrificing several years depending on your needs and ultimate goal.
Other Important Notes
Invest additional time or resources into expanding later down the road to create additional income streams. Most successful bloggers also have a successful YouTube or Instagram account, for example. Don’t expect to diversify successfully all on your own.
Consistently remind yourself why you need to escape the rat race. Read related books, listen to podcasts, and surround yourself with all the resources that would potentially keep you on track.
Surround yourself with successful people, even if you only do it virtually.
The fact is, most bloggers only earn a measly amount of money each year. Can you truly win against virtually impossible odds and make money strictly from your creativity and entrepreneurial spirit?
The answer is a definite YES, but it all depends on your actions. Save this article for future reference, perform every step necessary and constantly aim to improve. Then, and only then, you can finally kiss the rat race goodbye.