The Internet Lifestyle Is About Freedom, Not Free Time

by Robb Sutton

I think there is a common misconception out there that making money online and the “internet lifestyle” is all about working 2 hours a day and goofing off doing whatever the hell you want the rest of the time. If you want to be successful in the long run and in life…that couldn’t be any farther from the truth. The Internet Lifestyle is more about freedom than free time and since I started making money online…my free time is no different than during “corporate life”.

What Making Money Online Means To You

Stick with me here for a second as this may change how you feel about your blogging.

Making money online is your key to choices.

I was talking to a fellow blogger/freelancer the other day that had his time cut out at his job in half. Now…if you have ever had that happen to you (I have…it sucks), you feel pretty helpless at the moment as you have to go home to your loved ones and explain that things are going to be tight for awhile. Luckily, this blogger/freelancer is able to lighten the load by doing side projects that come about through his work online.

On top of that…this blogger was hit with a decision. Do I look for another part time job, a new full time job or really make a run at my dream? Now, the answer to this question is a needs based question that is different for everyone so I am not going to sit here and pretend that I have the answer, but…the interesting part about this scenario is that this particular blogger now has more choices than ever before. It is no longer “I am at the mercy of others”. Instead, it is “what can I do for myself to make this situation better?”

The Reality About Blogging And Making Money Online

The reality about making money online is the vast majority of bloggers will never hit the big time and make 6 figures a year writing about what they love. I wish everyone did…but like everything in life there is only so much room at the top and there are only so many people that are capable of the discipline it takes to run a 6 or 7 figure business.

But this should not get you discouraged.

By supplementing your household income by doing something you love online, you can open up a whole new world of choices that would have never even been an option before!

  • You will no longer be tied to that job you hate 100%. You can have the choice to search out a better paying, more enjoyable place of employment while you supplement your income with blogging.
  • You can get the toys (for free if you read Ramped Reviews!) that you used to not be able to afford on your regular salary.
  • You can take your wife/girlfriend/kids out to dinner more often.
  • You can go on better vacations.

The list is limitless and it is all possible through your efforts online. There is a lot of focus on “full-time income” through blogging and that full-time income for many bloggers is completely different. I know a lot of bloggers that make a full-time income online and still have jobs. Why do they still have jobs? Well…2 salaries is a pretty cool thing if you can swing it don’t you think? What if they really like their job (yes…there are actually people out there like that)?!

As you look at your blogging, make your goals for the future big. If you want to make a real run at it and become a full-time blogger, I do not want this article to discourage you from that goal. Hit it full swing and go after it. The point I do want to get across is to try not to focus on the thousands of articles online all focusing on the “Internet Lifestyle” and start looking at how your blogging can start to free up choices in your own life. Who knows…by focusing on choices…you just might end up managing a 6 figure business online…

What has your blogging let your choose?

Image by PotironLight

30 comments

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30 comments

Jean Sarauer April 29, 2010 - 6:48 am

I’ve been working at home full time for a few years now, and blogging is another egg in that basket. Although my blog is newish, it’s brought additional paid writing jobs my way and given me the ability to be more selective about writing clients.

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Robb Sutton April 29, 2010 - 9:23 am

That is a great side effect!

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Andrew @ Blogging Guide April 29, 2010 - 7:24 am

Robb,

I did 3 years of part-time working on-line and blogging, while still working full-time. The blogging was my ‘bit on the side’ and it started to give me an extra income.

After 3 years, I left the corporate world and now am full-time working on my on-line business.

I earn less than the life I had in the corporate world (I was earning very well – Head of IT) but the freedom…wow.

I have lunch with my wife everyday. I walk to the coffee shop and watch people (and sometimes work). I go to the gym. None of that was possible in the corporate world – not at the level I was, anyway.

For all those who read this post – read the first paragraph again…please don’t believe the hype that blogging is easy and you can make a fortune with a few hours work each week.

Andrew

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Robb Sutton April 29, 2010 - 9:24 am

Andrew,

You are killing it with your presence online and you continually raise the bar. Awesome work.

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Andrew @ Blogging Guide April 30, 2010 - 2:50 am

Thanks Robb – I appreciate your words.

Andrew

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Angie April 29, 2010 - 7:24 am

I too blog in addition to owning a freelance business. Do I expect blogging to replace it? No (not sure I want it to). But it is a nice second revenue stream and like the above comment, it provides me money for being more choosy client-wise or getting more training, etc. so I can be.

There is too much false hope floating around out there. “Spend 15 minutes writing a blog post today, wake up with $5,000 in your bank account tomorrow.” Blogging is an online business like any other. It takes time, dedication and big dreams.

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Robb Sutton April 29, 2010 - 9:25 am

A lot of that false hope is used to sell you something. I try to stick by being as honest as possible about results. It has always worked for me in the past…so that is what I am sticking to!

Great job on building up the freelance business! With more leads…you can definitely be a little bit more choosy…and more profitable.

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Edward April 29, 2010 - 7:33 am

Completely agree to everyone. I have started blogging not a long time ago, but luckily I had my expectations rather close to reality =)
Too many people out there are telling you how they make hundreds of thousands per year working 1 hour per day just to make you buy their books =)
I have a question to you experienced guys. What can I expect from a blog like mine in lets say three six months from its start and when will it provide me opportunity to monetize it to a level of lets say $300 per months (if I manage to do it of course)?
Just be honest, I want to hear the truth and thanks in advance!

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Andrew @ Blogging Guide April 29, 2010 - 9:09 am

Edward,

There are so many ‘inputs’ to what makes blogging successful. Are you going to create your own products or go into affiliate marketing or…

I run a blogging course that lasts for 6 months and my clients expect to make a few hundred dollars a month, once they finish the course (and have taken action of course!).

Andrew

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Edward April 29, 2010 - 9:13 am

Main elements of the strategy that I will use in the nearest future (as soon as my traffic will go to any significant number and there will be consistent community): affiliate sales, ads and later on several eBooks (probably with an eCourse later).
So far I have made my first Euro from AdSense yesterday and that was pretty pleasant. I just want to know what are REAL time it may take to build an income. Not the stuff people tell you on crappy ‘Make MOney Online’ blogs.

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Andrew @ Blogging Guide April 29, 2010 - 9:20 am

Edward,

Expect it to take 6 months of hard work. Any sooner would be a bonus.

Andrew

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Robb Sutton April 29, 2010 - 9:26 am

+1 to this.

There are a lot of guys that don’t see it within that time period but…remember…blogging is very much a snowball effect. Once it gets rolling and you perfect your business…things really start to build upon each other.

Edward April 29, 2010 - 9:34 am

Thanks guys for a specific answers. I love the bloggers’ community and how people interact inside it =)

As I am pretty much a beginner I would greatly appreciate if any of you guys can take a look at my work and give some specific advice on what can be made better. Though I know that time is money and won’t offend at all if you won’t do it =)

Anyway thanks for responding and keep up the good work =)

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Andrew @ Blogging Guide April 30, 2010 - 3:05 am

Edward,

Looking at your blog, I wasn’t too sure what it was going to do for me.

“Be the Chef in the Kitchen of your Life” as a slogan doesn’t tell me what your blog is about. What specifically am I going to gain from your blog? What of my ‘pains, concerns, issues’ are you going to resolve?

Most people go on-line for information to help them with their problems. What problems is you blog resolving?

I could see no RSS or email sign-up so I could subscribe – it is worth adding.

And I would suggest you start building your own customer list by providing a free giveaway of some-sort.

Then I looked under the bonnet – i.e. your code. I couldn’t see what keywords you are targeting or any SEO type plugins installed.

You may wish to get some free guides to help you – start with Robb’s excellent Ramped Blogging guide/e-course.

I hope this helps.

Andrew

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Edward April 30, 2010 - 6:29 am

Thank you very much for this overview. Actually I have RSS subscription tight there at the right top corner, but your words show that it is not visible or clear enough. I will work on it.

Right now I am working on a PHP-List addon to the blog, but it does not seem to want to become my friend. Though I will not give it up. As soon as the first give-away ready I will sure make it a bait for subscription.

Thanks again, by the way I subscribed for your blog, so we will meet again =)

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John Paul Aguiar April 29, 2010 - 10:13 am

Robb I agree that success with your online business is when you have the freedom to do, be, or buy what you want. Freedom is peace of mind knowing your bills are paid and feel that security.

Blogging for me started as a side thing to my online business, and has now taken over my world,,lol

It is hard work,, but I enjoy watchin it grow, more readers, better rank.. it’s a different feeling to growing an online business.. more personal.. it’s a part of you.. blogging becomes an addiction pretty fast..lol

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Robb Sutton April 29, 2010 - 12:43 pm

It’s funny how that happens isn’t it! It is just another one of my obsessions for sure. At least this one makes me money instead of encouraging me to spend it!

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Karen April 29, 2010 - 10:47 am

I agree that it’s very hard work and that it takes dedication and time, like any other worthwhile endeavour. People who believe that they can only blog for a couple of hours a week and yet make a living at it are the same people who are buying lottery tickets and other get-rich-quick schemes. They are looking for an easy way out. It’s not going to happen.

But, the freedom – that’s what is so attractive. For me, it’s not so much the money, but I want the freedom. I don’t have that yet, but I’m well on my way and are farther ahead than those who are still ‘wishing’ for things to be better but aren’t taking the necessary steps to make it better.

Karen

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Edward April 29, 2010 - 11:07 am

Very well said. Good luck on your way and wish you maximum success!

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Robb Sutton April 29, 2010 - 12:45 pm

We used to call lottery tickets “The Stupid Tax”. It’s all good though…the lottery in GA paid for most of my Economics degree at the University of Georgia. Thanks Hope Scholarship!

You are right though…there is no magic ticket or secret way of doing things. Hard word pays off and that will never change.

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TonyGrogan April 29, 2010 - 11:27 am

Currently reading http://robbsutton.com/internet-lifestyle-freedom-free/ //True of most independent small businesses.

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Jim Munro April 29, 2010 - 11:44 am

I think Tim Ferriss poisoned the well by getting people in the mindset that 4-hours a week would happen over night. Don’t get me wrong, I liked his book and use a lot of the concepts in it. But I think like so many get-rich-quick hyped frameworks, there is a lot of backstory missing on what it took to get there.

I think the goals of blogging are varied and many, so the blog can be a support mechanism to doing what’s important to you.

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Robb Sutton April 29, 2010 - 12:46 pm

It’s a great tagline for a book…that’s for sure.

I think you are right though. This “illusion” of a 4 hour work week is actually false. The goal is to absolutely love what you do so it does not feel like work. But at the end of the day…you are still working.

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Curtis Chappell April 29, 2010 - 5:55 pm

G’Day Robb,

Well I’m in that “bust your ass now, for freedom in the future” mode!

I reckon it’s my niche, but I see a lot of people say “give it 6 months” to be a successful blogger…after 9 months of posting at least every other day, I’m only now starting to get decent traffic…and still not making money…yet! So keep at it gang…

For me at this point, it’s less about the money and more about building a presence and authority in the personal development space…and it’s slowly working…

It doesn’t matter if you own a blog or a cafe or an IT training company, making a 6 figure income takes planning, hard work, tenacity and a bit of luck now and then!

Write On!

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Edward April 30, 2010 - 6:31 am

Thanks for the figures. They give a broad idea of what to expect. Good luck with your blog

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Brent April 29, 2010 - 11:52 pm

The “Internet Lifestyle” is not just limited to bloggers. Think about all the eCommerce site owners, Internet Marketers, Consultants and others that make a living using the Internet but might not do it blogging.

I think the main point is that the “Internet Lifestyle” no matter what you do is more about freedom than free time. I would say more people in the Internet Lifestyle are not actually Bloggers, but business owners, developers, marketers etc..

But your point is still valid.

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Edward April 30, 2010 - 6:34 am

I’d way we are all here speaking about a business generally rather than of a MAKE MONEY BLOGGING. Blog is a kind of business, a publishing business actually and in some time (look at the Gizmodo editor’s fight) every blogger in the US can be given equal rights with journalists.

I say that blogging should not be spoken of as the only online business, it is one of many, and as I reckon most pro-bloggers are making most of their income not directly from their blogs.

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Rhys April 30, 2010 - 6:59 am

I’m an 8 year blogger who has not made really any sort of killing online. A few hundred dollars a month, probably a lot more than the vast majority of make money bloggers out there, incidentally!

Blogging has given me opportunities I’ll never got. It’s landed me two full time jobs & a part time job. That part time job is actually something I’ve always wanted to try even when I was little, professional wrestling.

It’s also given me a lot of cool stuff to review, things like video games & the like. If I treated it more like a business, then yes I’d probably make a fair bit. But when you work in IT in a day job, often the last thing you want to do is run your business on the side.

It may sound like an excuse, but it really isn’t – I’m happy with my lot & the opportunities blogging has got me.

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Edward April 30, 2010 - 7:54 am

i also have a day job in IT, but having a business of my own is actually a must more pleasant opportunity for me, but I completely agree with you that the main thing is to be happy.

I am glad for you and wish you to stay happy with whatever and wherever you are up to.

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Srinivas Rao April 30, 2010 - 9:57 am

Robb,
I think this is a really important article that people with full time jobs should embrace. I somehow managed to end up in this perfect blend of internet lifestyle and a steady paycheck. I got a job for 30 hours a week because the CEO couldn’t decide between me and another candidate. So he hired both of us, me for social media and the other guy for SEO. We’re polar opposites and thus complement each other well. But, what’s awesome is that I supplement that income with my blog and as a result I actually generate more income than I would if I just had a full time job. What’s nice is that I’ve managed to get to the point where my blog pays my rent. I think if anything, instead of aiming to become a full time blogger, some people should aim to eliminate a major expense through their online income. Imagine not having to use your paycheck every month to pay mortgage. That would be really powerful.

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