Career Cycle of BloggerAfter one week at my first job, making burgers at a fast food restaurant, I swore that I would one day do away with bosses and jobs entirely. I craved the ability to dictate my own schedule and earning potential, but I had no idea how to take control of my future. After a few years of studying engineering, facing the grim specter of spending the rest of my life in an office, I began searching for another option. Six months later, I quit my job and began supporting myself full-time working from home.

It all began on Hubpages, a content mill that taught me the basics of search engine optimization and also gave me my first taste of success. I only made a few dollars a day, but it proved to me that anything was possible. I started researching the mechanics and strategies involved with owning and monetizing a blog, and I registered my very first web domain soon after. In the meantime, I took up freelance writing to cover my bills during the transition period.

Of course, things never go entirely according to plan. Although I was diligent about crafting timely and search engine friendly blog posts, I never became enthusiastic about my topic and my traffic failed to translate into serious revenue. I hopped around from blog to blog, never settling for the long haul. I wrote about everything from choosing a dog breeder to affordable home renovation projects.

Then, one day, disaster struck. A sudden, brief spike in my Adsense revenue tripped Google's fraud detection program, and I found myself banned without compensation or explanation. I was devastated, disoriented and ready to quit the whole business. But I didn't. The truth is that every successful blogger goes through at least one period of crisis. The only way these people reach five, six, or even seven figures is through dogged stubbornness, and thankfully I stuck with it. In fact, losing Adsense proved to be the best thing that could have happened to me.

Instead of becoming complacent and flighty, I was forced to reconsider my strategy. I branched out. Suddenly, my blog was not just a platform for advertising. I published e-books and wrote reviews for affiliate products. I found myself a niche: self-sufficient farming practices in terms my reader could understand. Even more importantly, I began developing a brand. I attached my name and my face to my online identity, establishing trust with my customers. My earnings skyrocketed, and I never looked back.

Making an income online is sometimes painted as a life of luxury, but it requires the same skills and personality traits as any business. You need to be organized, motivated and constantly hungry for more. You must be able to sit down and work for hours, approach professionals in your niche and connect with your audience. Today, my blog generates respectable revenues, but its primary value is as a launching point for my books, which I continue to publish on a regular basis.

Since I began exploring the world of Internet marketing, the landscape has changed considerably. It's not enough to slap up low-quality content stuffed with keywords and backed by thousands of backlinks. Modern marketers post valuable information, have a clear business plan and never stop looking for new income opportunities. If you want this lifestyle, start small and don't quit your day job before you can pay your bills. With the right preparation and persistence, you too can change your own career and decide your future.

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@Maria_InMotion on Twitter is a Partner Channel specialist who has helped many bloggers with their career path and monetized their blogs. Feel free to reach out to her on Twitter for one to one advice. Maria is a web hosting affiliate associate at InMotion Hosting, a Los Angeles Web Hosting company with a range of hosting from Shared, to VPS Virtual Private Server Hosting and Dedicated Servers with US based technical support that make it a really popular host.