Seventeen months ago I had just finished working on one of the 2010 congressional campaigns (my guy lost, for the record). I had done this before, so I knew the next few months would bring about a nervous, sometimes frantic, search for my next campaign, the next candidate; in other words, the next paycheck.

Such is the life of a campaign worker. I had basically lived on the road for the last 6 years and while I loved my job, I knew that I wanted something different. I wanted something steady. I wanted a home.

I’m Kyle Taylor from The Penny Hoarder. I couldn’t be more excited to join Yakezie as a full member this month and for my introduction post, I’d love to share my journey to becoming a blogger and my plans going forward…

The Penny Hoarder Launches

“Professional Blogger” was never something that I had pictured on my resume, but like many of you, I was drawn to the idea because of the freedom it promised working at home.

I figured I’d give it a go for a few months and if it wasn’t for me, I’d start applying for jobs on that summer’s local, municipal campaigns (ugh!).

The decision about what to blog actually wasn’t that difficult for me. While it would have been easy to write about politics on a daily basis, I knew that I wanted to write about something different. Something that wasn’t already being written about on millions of other blogs.

I’ve had a knack for finding extra ways to make a buck since I was a kid and I knew right away that’s what I was supposed to be writing about. So I launched the on December 12, 2010.

Now, I’ll stop right there, because I know what you’re thinking… “There are thousands, perhaps millions of blogs that focus on how to make money, how is THAT writing about something different?”

Well, The Penny Hoarder is all about being different. Really different. And while I’m sure you’ve tried making money some of the same ways I have: Ebay, mystery shopping, online surveys; have you ever tried cricket farming? Or made $5,000/mo buying beer as a part-time checkout auditor? Or made $100 spying on the mailman? I have. And that’s just 3 of the 227 ways I’ve shared so far… :)

I Found Yakezie

I got lucky my first few months. The combination of a couple of viral posts brought me a hundred thousand visitors in the first 90 days. After those posts became buried, things got a little harder. The traffic leveled off and with it, the ad revenue.

I wish I could remember how I found Yakezie, but once I had, I knew it was exactly the kick I needed to take my blog to the next level. I started the Yakezie challenge in July 2011 and it is by far the best blogging decision I’ve ever made.

The first couple of months of the challenge I found myself obsessed with the forums. I barnstormed through the archives and soaked up anything and everything I could read. And while I still participate in the forums regularly, what I’ve come to appreciate most are the connections I’ve made with dozens of Yakezie bloggers.

After all, they say that relationships are the most valuable commodity a business can have. And that’s definitely proven true for me, but even more importantly than the business deals my Yakezie relationships have helped ink, it’s the Yakezie camaraderie that’s helped keep me inspired and motivated to keep blogging.

Sticking With It

As many of you know, working from home is often easier than it sounds. While I love coming to work in my pjs, it’s easy to get sucked into a daytime TV show or be persuaded by friends to go play tennis in the middle of the day. I do love having the flexibility of doing that occasionally, but convincing myself not to do it on a regular basis can be tough.

I obviously want my blog to be a huge success, so in addition to using Yakezie to stay motivated, I follow a personal commandment that hasn’t let me down so far. Have vision.

By having a vision of what I want my blog to look like in a year, 5 years, 10 years, I’m able to stay on track and push myself each week. And I’m not talking about setting goals. I’m a huge fan of setting short-term goals, but for me, that’s different than having a vision. My goals are the step-by-step version of how to achieve my vision.

My long-term vision for The Penny Hoarder is to not just be a blog about weird ways I make money, but to create a site that actually connects people with their own, real opportunities to make extra money. Sort of a for those of who already have, don’t want, or can’t get a “9-5.”

For example, next month we’re launching a job board that will give folks the ability to find & share different gigs in their own town. We’ve developed a business resource page so that would-be entrepreneurs can start their own weird & wacky business and we’re giving away some serious cash every month in our WIN series.

And finally, my vision is to develop a community of readers that help and guide each other to develop new methods of income. And I couldn’t be more proud that the founding members of that community are my Yakezie family.

Thanks everyone!

YMC Note: This is the last of the Yakezie Delta Class Member Posts!  Congrats to the entire class for making it through.  We look forward to the next round of Members in late August!