You’ve probably heard the story a million times. You know, the one about being taught as a child that you were supposed to go to school get good grades so that you could get a good job and live happily ever after. It makes perfect sense when you’re an impressionable 10-year-old with absolutely no responsibilities, so you blindly spend the next 10 to 15 years working your butt off to achieve the goal of landing a “dream job” which would ultimately define your success as a human being.
Finally, after years of hard work, you achieve your goal and land a high-paying job right out of college. In less than a year, you realize that this is not the life for you and you come to the conclusion that you should’ve done something else instead of wasting four years of college preparing to be a corporate slave.
Does this sound familiar? Most of us are in this boat, and the sad thing is that most of the population won’t do a darn thing to change it. But in May of this year, I did.
I have been working in corporate America for the past 20 years, restless and bored out of my mind the entire time. I graduated from college in 1996, and by 1997 I was completely frustrated that other people had the power to control my time and the amount of money that I would earn each and every year. But I didn’t do anything about it because everyone told me that I was living the dream and that there was nothing better than the position I was in. The problem is, they were completely wrong.
Preparing my exit from corporate America
I started preparing to go out of my own way back in 2006, tinkering in a handful of side hustles that earned me a little bit of money here and there. I quickly learned that blogging and content creation was something I was passionate about (despite the fact that I was a C student at best in school), and by 2010 I had a handful of hobby blogs that I was writing in hopes of turning into a business someday. DriveAndReview.com started in 2011, driven by my lifelong passion in cars and all things automotive.
For the next seven years, I cranked away writing content for each and every one of my blogs (in my spare time outside of my day job), with some achieving more interest and traffic than others. Some completely flopped and I was never able to get more than 10 visitors a day. Others reached more than 300 daily visits within six months of launching.
To be honest, I didn’t put as much time into DriveAndReview as some of my other projects, but it was growing slowly and I earlier this year I felt like I had built it up enough to a point where I felt like I had a solid foundation from which to build a profitable business on. Keep in mind that this particular website makes very little money at the moment, but it’s the combination of all my other projects and websites that I have going on which has come together to be the start of a legitimate business – legitimate enough that it gave me confidence to leave my six-figure corporate job.
May 4, 2018 was my last day at my corporate job, a day in which I now refer to as my own personal Independence Day. I was absolutely terrified as I was walking out the doors for the last time, but I was super excited about what was to come.
Just to be clear, DriveAndReview.com is not my sole blog or business at the moment, but it is a key building block in the foundation of my overall business, and therefore I’m going to begin aggressively building it up so that it generates a steady stream of reliable income. And the best part? I’m going to take you along with me on that journey, teaching you how to build a profitable automotive blog for yourself as well.
How am I going to be making money as an automotive blogger?
As I already mentioned, I am an experienced blogger and content creator who has been earning small amounts of money with online marketing efforts for the past eight years. There are some things that I’ve been doing on my other blogs which have been working well enough for me that it makes sense to start implementing (and scaling up) here on DriveAndReview very soon. Some of those things include:
1. Digital product sales
I’m currently using both Shopify and Gumroad to earn more than $1000 a month in digital product sales for other niches. Both are key components to my overall business at the moment, and while they both do the same thing (they offer me a place to sell my digital products online), they do it in very different ways.
Shopify is a very robust and secure standalone shopping portal system which makes setting up a self running e-commerce store simple and easy for anyone. I had my first Shopify store up and running within 30 minutes, and I had my first sale in less than two days. Easy stuff.
Gumroad, on the other hand, brings the shopping experience to your existing website. This means that users don’t have to leave your website to purchase your digital products, which in many cases is the ideal solution. And just as it is with Shopify, getting started with Gumroad is very simple and takes less than 30 minutes to set up an account and start selling. I’ll go into both in a lot more detail later as I describe some specific methods that automotive bloggers can use take advantage of both.
2. Affiliate marketing
I know, it sounds kind of sleazy just saying “affilate marketing”, but it’s not going to be like that (I promise). For those that don’t know, affiliate marketing is simply a way for bloggers and content creators to get paid for recommending products and services. To break it down as simple as possible, all you have to do is put a link to a product or service on your website, and if somebody clicks on that link and purchases that product or service, you will get paid a commission on that sale – sometimes and upwards of 75% depending on the product.
Of course I’m only going to be recommending products and services that are relevant to you and this blog, and I promise I won’t be hocking underwear or fresh fish here. Only relevant offers! For those who are curious, I use shareasale.com to find products I want to promote. Really simple stuff, end it takes just minutes to set up an account of your own so that you can begin earning affiliate commissions immediately.
3. Sponsored posts
I’m also going to be working directly with brands to create sponsored content which I think will be both entertaining and useful to my readers. This is a very relevant and profitable way to monetize an automotive blog, and it’s something that I’m going to be going into a lot more detail soon. If this is something that you are interested in learning how to do for your own automotive blog, stay tuned because I will be creating content which will teach you how to do it – even if you’ve never had experience working with brands before. It’s not that hard, and you’ll see what I mean once I start laying it all out.
Making the decision to leave a very high-paying and safe corporate job wasn’t easy, but my true passion in life is content creation and blogging (and cars!), so I’m giving this all I’ve got and I’m really excited about what’s to come. I also love building brands, so it’s very exciting for me to think about how I’m going to take DriveAndReview from a small hobby blog (that I never paid much attention to) into something much larger and more beneficial for my audience.
I should also mention that the car reviews will remain the main focus of this blog. I love cars and driving in general, and I think I would stab my eyeballs out with a fork if I were to give that up and take the blog into a completely different direction. My ultimate goal is to turn this into a hub for automotive enthusiasts who want to turn their passion for cars into a career, so buckle yourselves in (ok, really bad pun) and hang on – because the fun stuff starts now!