I set a goal for myself. I told Jordan that if I could make $1.00 on my blog in two months, I would like to be a full-time blogger. Jordan was understandably skeptical, but supportive. It’s not like I was quitting a job to try this; I was already unemployed!
The past two months were spent researching and executing different strategies, long-tail keywords, and increasing page visits. All of this was so foreign to me; I had no idea how complicated blogging was. There are countless success stories online from people who seemingly found success early into their efforts. I would read income reports posted by a full-time blogger that documented how much they made monthly. Other bloggers talked about “printing money” once they learned the “secret” to blogging. It didn’t seem that easy, but it did seem like something I could do.
Immediately, I started dreaming about creating passive income and getting away from the standard 9-5. I imagined myself working in a small coffee shop in a new city. Creating a lifestyle that allowed flexibility and rules on my own terms. Traveling the world and documenting our adventures. I could finally be the person who runs errands in the middle of the day during the week. I have always dreamed of being a CEO or being my own boss, and this blog could be the way I do it. It was possible and I could do it. I could be a full-time blogger.
It was time to take my head out of the clouds. I started taking concrete steps to meet my goal. First, I focused on improving my following on Instagram as well as creating a presence on Pinterest. Then, I learned about SEO (search engine optimization) and all the different pieces and factors that go into being ranked on Google. Next, I created an Amazon affiliate account to try and earn money from people’s purchases.
Side note: If you have a US Amazon account, please use this link the next time you purchase something from Amazon! I need at least three orders for Amazon to review my affiliate account and validate it. You can also click on the banner below.
The weekdays would fly by. My head was glued to the computer. I would spend my days reading different articles, sleuthing Reddit for success stories, and creating content. All while I was having fun and enjoying learning something new.
I went all in.
They say the first $1.00 is the hardest to make, and I was willing (and able!) to put the hard work, time, and energy into it. My logic was that if I could make the first $1.00 in this time frame, I could succeed as a full-time blogger.
So, how did I fare? Did I earn $1.00 and meet my goal? Will I be a full-time blogger?
Let’s look at the data over the past two months.
I am proud of these stats, even if the numbers are small. These numbers show growth and effort. They show that I am reaching others and making small steps towards meeting my goal of making $1.00. It reflects some of the hard work and energy I put into my blog.
But, even with all that time and energy invested, I made a whopping $0.77. I did have a brand reach out and offer a free watch, but I did not accept it.
I fell short of my goal of $1.00.
To be exact, I was 23% short of my goal. All that time and energy, and I didn’t even make enough to buy myself a baguette from the boulangerie.
While the amount of time I have spent trying to make a return on investment of $1.00 is laughable, it’s not for nothing. I have taught myself new skills and kept my mind busy. That is invaluable. I don’t consider this effort a failure. I’ll be able to look back at this time and say, “I tried” instead of “what if.” I can be proud that I gave it my all, even if I didn’t meet my goal. Maybe my goal wasn’t even obtainable within this time frame. I’m growing, and I’m learning about myself, and that is what is most important.
Throughout this process, I have found something that I love to do: writing. The extent of my experience has been writing meaningless papers in college classes. I have never journaled or tried any creative writing. One time, my friend Casey and I wrote a children’s story, but we goofed around a lot on our lunch breaks at work. It wasn’t a serious effort!
So, it’s time to find a “real” full-time job and be a blogger on the side.
Jordan’s employer has set me up with an outplacement service for the next nine months in Lyon. Rule number one of the expat contract: keep the wife happy. Well, that’s the unofficial rule. Although, studies show that if the wife or accompanying spouse is not happy, the expat assignment will fail. Jordan’s employer initially offered this service, but I did not need it when we first moved to France. I’m thankful to be able to take advantage of it now!
My first meeting with the outplacement service was this week at an office not too far from our apartment. The consultant will work with me one-on-one for up to nine months, or until I get a job. I will learn how to present myself, determine my “professional project,” craft a resume, and identify my skills, all based on French standards. Pre-virus, they offered in person workshops, but these have moved online to mitigate the in-person risk. There is also a coworking space available that I can use while job searching.
The French standards are very different than US standards. Resumes in France have to be written and styled differently. There are different rules on what should be included and where to place things. One main difference is that you have to state your job title or profession in large print on a French resume at the very top. While my resume is optimized for US employers, I’ve got a long way to go to meet the French standards.
For example, my meeting’s first five minutes was setting it straight that my name is Laura and not Shane. Apparently, this piece is not clear on my resume. The consultant and I went back and forth. She stated, “I am called Corinne, you are called Laura,” and I repeated, “Yes, I am called Laura, and you are called Corinne.”
She showed me examples of optimized French resumes. I was surprised to see resumes that listed the candidate’s age and included a headshot. This would not fly in the US! But, since we are not in the US, I am willing to give it a try.
The consultant then gave me homework for the weekend before our next meeting. I have to find at least thirty job requisitions in the profession I want and analyze them. Then, I have to find the top recurring themes in each. Those themes will be the “expertise” required and will be what I put at the top of my resume. If I have met the requirements to consider them my “expertise,” of course.
It’s a good thing that it will be a rainy weekend in Lyon! My head will still be glued to the computer, but for job searching instead of blogging.
P.S. Thanks for all of your support and kind comments over the past two months. I will continue blogging regularly, just not with hopes that I can be a full-time blogger.
P.P.S. I have posted updated our photos page with pictures from Lyon, Gap, Les Baux-de-Provence, Apt, Colorado Provençal, and Arles. I am creating a new Hiking section and will have that posted along with Norway photos next week!