How To Make Enough Money From A Blog To Quit Your Job...

How To Make Enough Money From A Blog To Quit Your Job – Kate McKibbin

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Kate McKibbin Blogging Income And Online Courses

In my third and final interview from The Pause Fest Conference, I sat down with Kate McKibbin, who is the founder of the Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily Blog. Kate is an expert in building blogs from nothing and through her own sites, she was able to quit her day job within 12 months, and make multiple income streams.

Kate is so knowledgeable in the blogging world that she started an online course called Secret Bloggers Business to share everything she knows. She was able to make a substantial amount of money from these blogging courses in a very short period.

Check out my interview with Kate on YouTube below.

Here are 5 key takeaways from the interview:


1. Start your blog lean

The temptation to go onto and hire the most expensive person you can to help you build the best-looking blog from scratch is something you should avoid. Early on, you should concentrate on finding your niche and narrowing in on your target audience.

If you waste too much money before you have got a small amount of traction, you won’t know if your subject matter and the way you present it is relevant. Once you have nailed your niche, concentrate on giving as much value as you can.


2. Build an email list from day one

The issue with building up followers on social media is that you don’t own their data; specifically their contact details. Even though this strategy has existed for ages, Kate still swears by it: make your main focus building an email list from day one.

This email list down the track will become your customer database when you turn on monetisation. Forget the naysayers who tell you email is dead because it’s not; you just have to use it in the right way, deliver value, and not overdo it.

To help build your email list, try releasing a free eBook or a free course to get more subscribers. These two methods have been around for a while, but that’s because they work the best, as long as the content is perceived to be valuable and you put some effort in.


3. Ignore traditional blogging models (monetise early)

The bloggers who are the most successful are the ones who are not trying to follow the traditional blogging model. The traditional blogging model, Kate says, is to try and build up an audience before you start making any money.

Why would you put all this time into something and then start to make only a little bit of money much later down the track?

Your goal should be to make money from your blog from day one – period!


4. Test some monetisation concepts

When you offer free content and products, pretty quickly people will contact you asking for more and that’s when you can test some paid products or services.

The best way to test a product, according to Kate, is with as minimal spend as possible. The easiest way is through a free Kickstarter Campaign or by creating a landing page and driving traffic to it through a low budget Facebook Ad Campaign.

One tip Kate insists on is never to run Facebook ads just to get traffic; always have some type of opt-in offer as part of the ad. Also, you don’t need a huge budget for Facebook Ads – try starting with $5-$10 a day.

Once you have tested a few ideas with these methods, you will then have a rough idea of what people want and you can concentrate on putting a lot more effort into some new products.

“What you think people want, and what your friends agree and your mum agrees people want, doesn’t necessarily have any baring on what actually is going to happen”


5. Sell your own product vs someone else’s

With a blog, there is always the option to sell and promote other company’s products or to sell your own products. If it’s a personal blog about things you love, then you may be better off being an ambassador for other brands.

The most effective strategy, though, that Kate recommends, is to establish your own platform to sell your own things. Otherwise, you will be helping grow someone else’s platform and only getting a percentage of selling their products.

The other advantage of selling your own products is that you can do it with a much smaller list of email subscribers.

If you insist on working with brands and promoting their products, then you should start communicating with them early on. This way, you will build a long-term relationship with them that you can leverage once your audience is big enough.


6. Try eCommerce early on

Another income stream you can earn from your blog is to trial an eCommerce store as an extension of your site where you sell physical goods and ship them to your audience. Kate tried this and for her, she wasn’t passionate about it and felt it was too much work.

Either way, you should test an eCommerce store early on to see if it works for your niche and to gauge if it’s a good return on your time. The key to putting time into an eCommerce store is to understand how it’s going to affect your lifestyle by taking time away from other things that you love to do.


7. Offer a paid course

If you’re solving a problem for people with the content you are sharing on your blog, then that can be turned into a course of some sort. Kate did this by emailing her followers and offering a blogging course to see if anyone would actually pay for it.

When people signed up and paid her through PayPal, she then began creating the content for the course. Taking this presale approach to selling digital goods is a great way to create the mental willpower needed to come up with quality course content that is valuable to your audience.

As you become a subject matter on the problem that you are solving, you may be asked to go to the next level and make a further income from your blog by being paid to speak at events. As your audience really starts to grow you could even think about running your own events.

“There is never a point where I can say this business is sorted. You have to be constantly growing, developing, and innovating. It’s all about continuous problem solving and trying new things out”

Books Kate Recommends

The One Thing – Gary Keller
Sacred Success – Barbara Stanny

Check out Kate’s blog Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily and if you want to start your own blog then have a look at Kate’s Secret Bloggers Business site.


  1. Have been thinking of starting an online business and my aptitude is drawing me towards blogging because I love information. And I enjoy writing. I take it as a good Owen storming on Tims article on Katy. Something tells me following you guys will be a great beginners guide for me. Thanks for your enlightenment.

  2. Great Article Tim and Kate.
    She really inspired me and not only inspired she shared some of the best tactics which are a bit away from conventional wisdom about blogging i have read and heard.

    Impresssed. Keep the good work going.

    • Thanks Akash for watching and glad you heard something that is different to the normal way of thinking about blogging. There are so many new revenue streams that can come from any form of online business and being creative with your approach like Kate will see you have a lot of success.

  3. Tim & Kate!

    Awesome article here, thank you for showing actionable steps about how to really build up your blog and brand.

    I’ve started with E-commerce and now am still in E-commerce, but working to build my blog so that plan has always been in the works. Just got the Formula (Joel’s book) and I’m excited to learn even more from that.

    Keep up the great work guys!

    – Evan

    • Best of luck with your online business Evan. I have read Joel’s book and there are some really great tips. It also talks about thinks from a not IT person point of view which I found helpful. Check out Gary Vaynerchuck as well who gives some great advice around social media.

  4. Perfect timing for an article about monetizing your blog! Thank you for sharing! I love the idea about emailing followers about a potential course offering and then creating the course based on demand. Smart! I may need to test this method this year. Thanks!

    • Thanks Charlene I am glad you found Kate’s advice useful. Selling a product before you have created it seems to be a trick that all great entrepreneurs use and Kate is clearly in that category.

  5. Yet again was looking for new addicted2success article while being at work, and first thing I saw was main title which got my instant attention. Smiled right after I saw who was the author 🙂

    I’ve read it at work and just watched the interview in comfort at my home. Loved it! Some really good advices and I enjoyed the openness of Kate, already visited her blog and it looks amazing. Feel the need to look into that course deeper.

    Anyway, I can feel you had a great time during The Pause Fest Conference, it also was quite a valuable experience I believe. You did a great job, Tim, so I encourage you to continue that way and do more in the future. Youtube is still a massive platform which offers tons and tons of content, for me it’s one of the main source of knowledge and positive information so I would love to see more stuff from a2s, and you in particular. Yes, it is a bit different from blogging but still adds value and can provide another perspective!

    Thank you so much for your time and desire, Tim, stay weel and have a good day 🙂

    • Thanks Toño. Kate is a very smart women and she has proven that you can definitely make money from your online passion. Pause Fest was a blast and it was cool to hang out with the person who put it all together – George Hedon.

      I’m just learning YouTube (I know I am late to the party) but I feel it’s a great way to connect with people on a different level. Glad you liked the video Toño!

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