A guy with a couple college degrees starts a blog that eventually replaces his income. This allows him to leave cubicle-land (his day job).
Key Points on Starting a Blog with Eric Rosenberg
- Grew up in the stereotypical American suburbs
- Attended college at the University of Colorado and got his degree in finance
- Started working as a bank manager after graduating college
- Found out that working at a bank isn't all that it is cracked up to be. He struggled under the monotony of the 7 to 7 schedule
- Quit working for the bank and started waiting tables to fill the time
- Applied to an MBA program, intending to start working as a financial analyst
- Got into the MBA program and started working in a cubical full time while he was full time on his MBA program
- Because of that, he didn't have much of a social life at the time
- He had been reading financial blogs since he left the bank and investing in the stock market
- Started writing his personal blog Personal Profitability because he got out of college debt free, unlike many of the people writing other popular finance blogs
- His podcast slowly grew and now he doesn't have to do anything but write articles for his blog
- Who is your success role model? Warren Buffet
- What is your biggest success? Having and raising his kids
- What does a typical day for you look like? Get up around 7:00 a.m., he gets his kids to school, then he has his 'commute' down the hall in his house to his office, he'll then work until he's done for the day (sometimes it's a couple hours sometimes it's for a dozen)
- What is your favorite quote? "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't—you're right" -Henry Ford
- What are your hobbies? Flying(he has his private pilots license) and being a DJ
- What is the best business book you've read? The Art of Non-Conformity
- If there was one key piece of advice you could leave our listeners with about achieving success, what would it be? Focus on what works, whether or not you like it is secondary
About our Guest, Eric Rosenberg
Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel, and technology writer in Ventura, California. He is a former bank manager and corporate finance and accounting professional who left his day job in 2016 to take his online side hustle full-time. He has in depth experience writing about banking, credit cards, investing, business, and other financial topics. When away from the keyboard, Eric enjoys exploring the world and spending time with his wife and little girls. You can connect with him at Personal Profitability or EricRosenberg.com.
- Wealth Junkies
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- 4 Hour Work Week
- 10X Rule
How it all Started
Eric's life started out a lot like everyone else's. He grew up in a small american suburb. He didn't have a very interesting or notable upbringing but it was still a good one. Once Eric finished high school, he left for college. He attended the University of Colorado and graduated with his undergrad degree in finance.
After attending college, Eric got a job managing a bank. He went in with very high expectations. He wanted to be a cool banker, who was very relateable and very good at his job. What he learned was, the banking life isn't as glamorous as it is in the movies: it is grueling. He would work from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. five days a week. He was working over 60 hours a week and they were about to make him start working on Saturday's as well. So he quit, but by working at the bank Eric learned a lot of skills that would become very useful down the line. He learned all about credit reports, approving mortgages and new credit card applications and how to run the new accounts department, the teller line, and customer service.
After quitting his job at the bank he didn't quite know what to do with himself. He started waiting tables in the mean time. It wasn't what he wanted to do with himself for the rest of his life but he learned a lot. He found the overall experience enjoyable and very worthwhile.
While he was working as a waiter he applied to an MBA program. He was accepted and started school shortly thereafter. At the same time, he also got a job as a financial analyst. He was attending both the MBA program and his financial analysis jobs full time. He's lucky his boss was understanding about his school and work schedule and he was allowed to work full time, while still going to school full time. On the other hand, his girlfriend at the time wasn't too happy with him and the whole ordeal. He was so focused on his job and school that he didn't have much time for her. Which is why she was my girlfriend at the time and not his wife today.
The MBA program was really good for Eric. He initially wondered why he was doing this? What was he going to learn about the stock market that he didn't already know? He already had a finance degree. The answer to that question is a lot. He learned a lot. The MBA program was really good for him and he made a lot of really good connections.
"I Should be Doing That"
At the time, Eric was reading a lot of personal fiance blogs. Because, as he says, "I am kind of into fiance." Which is putting it a little lightly, but around the time he quit his job at the bank he realized that he should be writing a personal fiance blog. Many of the people who were writing these blogs were in considerable debt despite them living very frugally. Unlike those authors, Eric was doing really well for himself. He had gotten through college without any debt, he was the one writing mortgages, not the people writing those blogs. He had a lot more exposure to the personal fiance world than many of those other authors and most of all, he had experience from a place of power.
Starting his Blog
So he started his blog, which is now called Personal Profitability. It's over 11 years old now and it's been around for awhile. When I started the blog he didn't realize, or ever would have guessed that it might led to a full time income someday. At the time there were so few online bloggers making much money. Even today running a highly profitable blog is very rare and extraordinarily new.
Eric got into the blogging business very early, he refers to himself as a dinosaur when it comes to blogs in general. But Eric started getting really involved in the finance blogging community. He slowly learned to turn his hobby, writing a finance blog, into a business and how to earn money off of his work. He ended up becoming really good friends with some of the other bloggers who helped him.
Growing the Blog
He's never forgotten the first time his website generated $10. He went down to the bar and got himself a beer with that money. Then he took his website from a little blogspot.com thing to a real website. He started posting more regularly then the next thing he knew he was covering all of his bar tabs with the money he was earning from the website. Which is saying a lot because this was in his mid 20's and he was a big beer lover at the time. Then the blog's income grew to also cover his mortgage, and it didn't stop there. Eric credits his participation in the blogging community and focusing on what was working for him.
He internally thought he would be like Pac Flynn, who is another online blogger but is much bigger and more popular. Eric thought his website would keep growing and growing and then he would be making north of six figures every month and riding off into the sunset on his yacht. Unfortunately for Eric, Google had different plans for him. Eric is still doing well for himself. He attends a convention every year, Fin Con, which is dedicated to finance, media, blogging, podcasts and more. By attending these conventions he networks more and he sees an increase in the traffic to his website.
Even though he thought the Pac Flynn route was going to work for him, Eric started writing smaller articles for other, smaller websites. While at Fin Con one year, he was approached by a company called Betterment. They asked him to write an article for them. That's when he realized that a lot of his income wasn't going to just come from affiliate links and adds, that free lance writing is a great way to increase his revenue.
In April 2015, his freelance writing started to take off. He was still working a day job and writing part time while he lived in Portland. He was spending about 20 hours a week on his blogging and he made $40,000 in a year. Eric realized the average person living in Portland makes $40,000 a year working full time, and he was barely doing 20 hours a week. He was making good money as a financial analyst still, he had good benefits and he was about to have another kid. But that didn't stop him from quitting his day job in 2016.
Eric moved to California, closer to his in laws and his income exploded. He learned how to build websites and code. He made his own website, then he helped some friends with theirs, then he started charging people for it and that's become a large part of his revenue. Along with everything else he was already doing.
Doing What Works
While going over his books, Eric realized something. While he thought he was making a lot of money from his website development he realized it was eating up a lot of his time. It was also very stressful for him. Even though it was taking up most of his time, he was still making significantly more money from writing than he was from website development. He remembers that he was making 76% of his income from writing while only spending 20% of his time on it. While he was only making 24% of his income developing websites and spending 80% of his time on them.
When he quit his job and moved to California, money became tighter. He had to focus more on what was best for him so he chopped off the website development part of his business. He found someone to take over the maintenance for his monthly clients and completely washed his hands of it.
And now Eric is doing very well for himself. It took him a little bit to build his income back up after cutting out some of his business but devoting more time to writing allowed him to become very successful. After a few months his income had tripled. He was making over $10,000 a month for the first time ever and it has only ever dipped below that twice since then. Once when he had his daughter and again when he was evacuated because of a fire. Even then, they only dipped down to $9000, which isn't anything to scoff at.
He has even been releasing monthy earning reports on his blog to showcase that it can be done and that he is doing it. He has only recently stopped becuase he's made the point that he set out to make. He's still working on some side projects but the blog and the freelance writing are what is really working for him.