Every person’s life contains a number of key moments–points in time that decide how the rest of your life will play out. Some of them are obvious milestones: your first kiss, graduating college, or getting married. But others are subtler, influencing your future while giving little indication of just how momentous they will turn out to be.
For my family and I, one of these subtle milestones came in April 2014, when I first signed up to become a writer at BlogMutt.
Looking back on these past two years, it’s stunning to realize how much was different for my little family. I was working as a digital marketing specialist for a local university at the time, helping to optimize the institution’s social media, email, and web outreach to future students. My wife was working in the Annual Fund office of the same university.
I should mention the impetus for my decision to become a freelance writer: our son Alex, born 6 months earlier. Freelance writing, I thought, would give us that extra bit of income we needed to pay for the seemingly endless stream of diapers, wipes, and formula.
In the two years since, BlogMutt has become much more than a little stream of extra income. For my wife and I, it has become the reason we are able to provide for our children in a way we never thought possible.
At first, it was simply a nice income supplement. I quickly realized that my professional skill set in digital marketing qualified me for many of the platform’s clients. After the customary adjustment period, I found a number of clients that seemed to like my writing and perspective, and began to earn a few hundred dollars extra per month to pay the bills.
Quickly, BlogMutt became more. I was born and raised in Germany, and the fact that my family and friends still live abroad results in frequent trips back to stay in touch and make sure Alex would know his heritage. But plane tickets are expensive, so why not use my new freelance income for some much-needed extra budget.
Then, after a year of using the service to supplement our family income, our situation changed drastically. In Spring 2015, I accepted an offer to direct another university’s graduate marketing and recruitment efforts. This career step meant that technically, I would no longer need to write for BlogMutt in order to supplement our income.
But I had grown attached to the service. Writing digital marketing articles enabled and motivated me to stay in touch with trends and developments, a crucial part of being successful in this fast-paced field. Meanwhile, I had also branched out to clients that overlapped with personal interests, ranging from travel to new technologies. Add the fact that I have always loved the act of writing itself, and the ingredients for sticking with BlogMutt even though it was no longer financially necessary were complete.
So once again, BlogMutt turned into an unforeseen opportunity. After doing the math, my wife and I realized that my new salary put her tantalizingly close to being able to stay at home with our son. Alex had previously been under the loving care of my mother-in-law, but having to leave him each morning was painful for my wife and I nonetheless.
In the meantime, another change in our life had occurred that made a change to our routine necessary: in Summer 2015, we found out that Alex would soon become a big brother.
Given the never-ending energy of our first son and her health, my mother-in-law would simply be unable to continue taking care of our children long-term. Sooner or later, we had to find an alternative.
At this point, you might be able to guess where this is going. Calculating all possibilities, we discovered that income from BlogMutt alone would support our family enough for my wife to stay home with our soon-to-be two children. If I continued writing at my current pace, and my wife added a few posts each day to the equation, she could quit her job and stay at home.
In October 2015, after seemingly endless discussions, calculations, and Excel spreadsheets, my wife turned in her letter of resignation. Almost exactly six months later, we welcomed Noah into this world.
(Photo courtesy of the author)
In the months before and after his birth, we have become equally avid writers on the platform, who appreciate the challenge of a keyword as much as the invoice we cash in twice a month.
I have completed freelance work in the past, and am familiar both with writing for the web and the many digital platforms that connect writers with clients. But my wife was new to the entire concept, and I cannot imagine her becoming as familiar and engaged with a different service as quickly as she has with BlogMutt. She now writes regular articles for health clients, travel services, home improvement websites, and more.
In less than two years, our professional story has come full circle. While we used to come home and exchange stories about our shared work at the university, we now sit together at the dinner table discussing the stories we wrote online. Meanwhile, I continue to hone my writing skills and stay on top of industry trends, all of which helps my performance as a marketing director on a daily basis.
But most importantly, BlogMutt has given my family an opportunity I never thought possible. Our sons will grow up under the nurturing and watchful eye of their mother, while I can commute to work each morning knowing they will be well taken care of. Though I could have never foreseen the major impact of a simple decision to begin freelancing on the platform two years ago, BlogMutt has and will continue to change our lives for the better.
Editor's note: This makes me so happy. We've had writers use their BlogMutt earnings to go to Africa, New Zealand, and a bunch who've told us they've used the money they make writing for BlogMutt to go a Disney park. And we've had plenty of people tell us that they use their earnings here to stay home, but for some reason we've never had one write a post about that until now. I'm so glad we finally have done that because I found this post just magical and touching. — Scott