How to “quit” your day job sounds rather harsh.
I liked my day job a lot.
… but, I also have a side hustle I love.
At the start of 2022, I set a goal that I wanted my side hustle to earn at least $30,000 this year.
$30,000 a year is admittedly not that much, especially after taxes, but I do have savings and I’m not risk-averse.
My part-time blog surpassed that goal.
Which made me think:
What if I quit my day job and made my side hustle (or online business) my full-time gig?
I took a leap of faith and quit my day job.
Here’s how to quit your day job and make room to do something you’re (even more) passionate about.
Step 1: Start Your Own Business
Other than dog walking or babysitting, the most cost-effective way to start your own business is by starting an online business.
The kind of “online business” that I’m referring to is basically a blog about something you’re passionate or knowledgeable about.
Who doesn’t like to talk about things they’re interested in?
That could be you with your own blog!
… and you could be making money by doing it.
Your niche is the most important part of your online business, so take the time to carefully choose a niche that you’ll stick with for the long haul.
Step 2: Keep Writing and Add Some Monetization
When you reach 1,000 visitors a day, you’ll want to think about monetizing your blog.
If you don’t already know, blog monetization can be divided into these two categories:
1. Passive Monetization
This means that you do a bit of work upfront and then make money from that work.
2. Active Monetization
When you use active monetization, you actively work on your business, using the content in your blog as a lead magnet to secure customers.
When you’re still working a 9-to-5 job, passively monetizing your blog is the simplest way to go.
The easiest method?
Adding AdSense or other contextual ads to your site.
This is the epitome of “set and forget.”
The upfront work is installing the code, but in the background the ads on your site will earn you income without you having to do anything… except to write more blog posts to get more and more traffic.
Another simple method to make money from your side gig is affiliate marketing.
However, if you want to make a lot of income by affiliate marketing, you’ll have to consistently write about products or services that are relevant for your audience and where you have an affiliate relationship.
Step 3: Build Your List
OK, maybe this should be 2.5, instead of a third step, but building an email list is a big task that’s full of rewards in the end.
Essentially, as soon as you start to get traffic, you’ll want to begin a newsletter list.
This means setting up a system to capture your visitors’ email addresses.
We have a great guide with 64 best practices for email marketing success that I encourage you to check out.
Step 4: Monetize More
At this point, your blog traffic has likely been increasing.
… and it’s the perfect time to consider a new rule of thumb:
The 1:1 Dollar to Visitor Ratio
So if you have 3,000 visitors a day, aim to earn $3,000 a month.
For example, if you deal with high-value niches like selling real estate or cars, then that’s an exception.
“But I’ve already maximized my monetization!”
No, you (likely) haven’t.
Are you selling an online course? Ebooks? A physical product?
There are so many ways that you can make more from your online business. I get it, though. Time is still a limiting factor — which lends itself nicely to Step 5…
Step 5: Quit Your Day Job
By now you’ve seen the light.
Your side hustle is earning enough for you to start ruminating about the decision to quit your day job.
There are a few more practical things to keep in mind before you send in your notice, like…
Is Your Side Hustle Earning the “Right” Amount Consistently?
The optimal time to leave your job to focus on your business is when you’re consistently earning what you think is “right” for at least a year.
That way, you’ll know it isn’t a flash in the pan, and that you’ll earn at least whatever is “right” to replace your full time job’s salary.
For example, in 2021, my side gig earned just over $20,000 for the year. At the time that was good enough for me, but I still wanted to save more money from my day job as a safety net.
Towards the end of 2022, when my blog earned over $30,000 and I had enough in savings to feel comfortable, I decided to leave my day job.
Even though your side gig isn’t your main source of income just yet, you still need to pay tax on the income you earned from it.
You’ll likely want to set aside 20-35% of the income earned to cover income taxes.
How much will your side hustle bring home after you pay your taxes?
Is it enough to still make focusing on it full-time worth it?
Day to Day Schedule
Having your schedule totally cleared to work on your passion project sounds amazing.
… but what will your day look like?
Sketch out what your ideal new workday would look like, then decide if you’ll be able to get things done without any hard deadlines from a boss or superior.
How Could You Earn More Focusing on Your Side Hustle Full Time?
Let’s go back to Step 4. Can you earn even more from your business if you can work on it full time?
What sort of new monetization methods could you add?
… or, what else can you focus on that takes a lot of time that you currently don’t have?
More articles? More social media work? More frequent newsletter issues?
The buck stops at you now… but, you knew that, since you’ve already dedicated so much time towards your side gig.
The Great Resignation…
You’ve made your way through Steps 1 to 5 of how to quit your job.
Your online business is now up and running, you’re making money from it, building an email marketing list, and starting to explore leaving your “real” job.
At this point, you’ll know for sure if it’s the right time to resign from your day job and focus on your side hustle full time.
Only you can make that call, but if you need an extra push, here are some other real stories of real people who make a real living blogging.
Ready to begin your own journey to online success?