People called me “mom” in high school. No joke.
Maybe it was because, being 1 of 8 kids in my home, there were always littles running around that I helped take care of.
Whenever friends would come over they’d see me in that role, so the nickname stuck.
And I actually liked it! From as far back as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mom, so when I had my first son it felt like the most natural and right thing in the world.
Like I was doing exactly what I was made to do.
I’m also a multi-passionate dreamer. I had other deep interests, skills and gifts that I wanted to use outside of the scope of motherhood.
I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but I also wanted to be more.
To work at something that was just mine. To grow and be challenged in an intellectual and entrepreneurial way. To serve and help others.
Now nearly 8 years later, I’ve made money from home in a gajillion different ways: website design, virtual assistance, freelance writing, blogging, online marketing, affiliate marketing, consulting, ecommerce and network marketing (MLM).
But my favorite way to make money from home, hands down, is BLOGGING.
While there are a lot of great ways to make money from home, blogging is the most versatile and accessible and has the best potential for making money without super fancy degrees, business skills, or sales experience.
You get to write about what you know and love, help others along the way and make money in the process. It truly is a “learn as you go” home business that you can do on your own schedule, as much or as little as you like.
So if you’re curious about blogging and want to know if it’s right for you, here’s what we’ll cover in this Mom Blogger Get-It-Done Guide:
1. HOW bloggers make money (5 main ways + the 1 easy way no one talks about)
2. How MUCH money bloggers make (with real-life blogger incomes)
3. WHAT you should blog about (with a quick 3-minute trick to validate your idea)
4. The 9 profit-killing MISTAKES new bloggers make (and how to avoid them)
5. HOW to set up your own blog TODAY (>> Skip ahead to the setup)
6. The NEXT STEP you need to take (to start actually making money with your blog)
Alright, let’s do it!
How Bloggers Make Money
All this talk about working from home on your own time and schedule is nice and all, but you need to know how to actually make money blogging before you jump in.
In this section, I’m going to break down the 5 primary ways most bloggers make money from home, and also reveal the one extra way that almost no one is talking about!
Ads are the most common method that bloggers try when it comes to making money. It’s quick and easy to put Google AdSense or other ads into your blog sidebar, so it’s the route that a lot of new bloggers take.
And if you have an established blog with lots of consistent traffic (usually 50k pageviews a month minimum), then ads can be a nice boost to your income.
However, if you have a new blog or low traffic, ads are most likely not going to be the best income stream for you, since they are dependant on pageviews.
Takeaway: If you have at least 50k monthly pageviews, you can give ads a try and see how they perform for your blog. However, if you have a new blog or low traffic, forget about relying on ads for income.
#2: SPONSORED POSTS
A “sponsored post” is when a company or brand pays you (the blogger) to write a post reviewing or focusing on their product.
In exchange for a write-up and link back to their site, they will pay you either a set dollar amount or with perks like products or discounts.
Sponsored posts can be a great way to boost your blog income, but like ads, do typically require significant traffic numbers (and s healthy social media following).
In addition, it can be difficult to find brands that are a natural fit for your audience and is a lot of work for a fairly low, one-time payout.
Takeaway: If you find a good brand match, have the traffic and social numbers to boot, and have the extra time to write sponsored posts, it can offer a nice boost to your income each time you write one. On the other hand, if your blog is still new, sponsored posts typically won’t work well.
As a blogger who is constantly publishing content on a specific topic, you have a level of credibility with your audience. This can lend itself nicely to offering related services via your blog.
Some examples might be: virtual organizing, graphic design, social media management, coaching, virtual assistance, meal planning, etc.
The positive side of offering services is that it’s something you can start to do right away, and doesn’t rely on having a lot of traffic.
The downside is that it requires a lot of time and effort and keeps you in the cycle of trading hours for dollars. And for us busy moms, that can be stressful.
Takeaway: If you have extra time in your schedule and a service to offer that fits the needs of your readers, offering services can get you quick money right away. If you’re already overwhelmed with your schedule and want to earn money from your blog in a more passive way, offering services isn’t the best way to go.
#4: SELLING PRODUCTS
When it comes to selling products from your blog, you can take the physical route or the digital route.
Physical products are things like t-shirts, planners, artwork, crafts or other products you create or source to sell on your blog.
Digital products are things like online courses, ebooks, and information products (videos, PDFs, etc.).
The advantage to selling your own products is that you have complete control over pricing and it can be a very lucrative source of income.
However, if you don’t already have a product to sell, it can be quite daunting to figure out and create exactly what your audience is going to love. There is a lot of research, setup and maintenance to ensure your products are a success.
Takeaway: If you have a solid grasp on exactly what your audience wants to pay you for, offering a product on your blog can be very profitable. If you’re just starting out, you should get to know your audience at a deeper level before investing a lot of time and money creating a product that may or may not succeed.
#5: AFFILIATE MARKETING
Affiliate marketing can be done in many different ways, but for bloggers, it typically works like this:
You share an offer with your audience through a blog post, email, or social media update using a unique link that has been assigned to you. If someone makes a purchase through your unique link, then you make a commission of the profit.
Since you’re not selling your own product (you’re sharing someone else’s instead), there’s no time wasted creating and maintaining it. You also don’t have to worry about the payment logistics or customer service. It can also be very profitable if done right (many bloggers earn thousands of dollars each month from affiliate commissions alone).
The downside to affiliate marketing is that many bloggers do it wrong, resulting in little to no sales and lost trust with their readers. If affiliate marketing best practices are not followed, you won’t see much success.
Takeaway: If you’re short on time or have a new blog, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to start earning passive income. Be sure to learn affiliate marketing best practices before diving in to ensure you’re doing it right (I’m going to help you with this)!
#6: NETWORK MARKETING (The one no one talks about!)
Network marketing, direct sales, MLM business… whatever you want to call it, this monetization strategy is a natural fit for making money with your blog, and so easy to implement.
One of the big hesitations people have about starting a network marketing business is that they think they’ll have to hound their friends and family to buy stuff and spam their Facebook wall. But when you have a blog, you can steer clear of those strategies all together!
By using strategic blog posts and promotional strategies, you can use attraction marketing to get your products and business opportunity in front of exactly the right people. People who truly want what you have to offer.
Takeaway: If you’re in network marketing and are struggling to grow your business using old-school tactics (or want to get involved but have been holding out), blogging is a great way to get customers and grow your network!
Bloggers Make HOW MUCH Money?
You’re going to be blown away in just a sec when you see how much money bloggers can actually make. Blogging is no joke!
Now, these bloggers didn’t get there by accident – it took consistent work and following a smart blogging plan. But it’s absolutely possible to make a “full-time income” or more from blogging. Here’s proof:
- I Heart Arts and Crafts – http://www.iheartartsncrafts.com/
Niche: Craft blog
Income: $4k+ per month
- Organize Yourself Skinny – http://www.organizeyourselfskinny.com/
Niche: Health & Fitness
Income: $13k per month
- Chasing Foxes – http://www.chasingfoxes.com
Income: $10k-$19k per month
- Making Sense of Cents – http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/
Niche – Budget blog
Income: $100k+ per month
- Tasha Agruso – https://www.designertrapped.com
Income: $30k+ per month
- Lena Presley Gott – http://www.whatmommydoes.com
Income: $7-$10k per month
- Rosemarie – http://www.busybudgeter.com/
Income: $100k+ per month
- Jennifer Roskamp – https://www.theintentionalmom.com/
Income: $6k+ per month
- Pinch of Yum – http://pinchofyum.com/
Niche: Food blog
Income: $90k+ per month
- Arts & Classy – http://artsandclassy.com/
Niche: Interior Design
Income: $7k+ per month
- The Modest Man – http://www.themodestman.com/
Niche: Men’s Style
Income: $9k+ per month
- Easy Baby Life – https://www.easybabylife.com/
Niche – Motherhood
Income: $4k+ per month
What to Blog About
So much advice out there tells you to “just be yourself” when starting a blog and you’ll be able to make it blogging online.
And while that’s not bad advice per se, it can be misleading when you’re just starting out.
I see so many moms start a blog and just start writing about whatever strikes their fancy.
They write about what they wear, like, hate, do, cook, and believe, rather than taking the time to organize their ideas and consider what their readers might actually want to hear about.
Recommended Free Download: The Blog Structure Blueprint (a simple template for an organized blog)
Don’t get me wrong here; it’s your blog and should absolutely reflect your interests, personality, and perspective. In fact, it’s this uniqueness that will eventually attract your ideal readers to your blog.
But if you dive in without organizing your thoughts and framing them in a way that helps your readers, not only will you be doing your readers a disservice, but you’ll be making it a lot harder on yourself to actually make money down the line.
In fact, one of the most valuable nuggets of advice I learned from Elite Blog Academy is that your blog is not about YOU.
Your readers will be much more engaged (and inspired to act & buy) if you’re sharing your goodness in an organized way that helps them solve a problem or reach a goal.
Take the time now to choose a blog topic that you’re interested in and that has the potential to attract readers and make money.
Here’s how to do it in just 2 steps:
Step #1: Make 4 Lists
Write down your skills, knowledge/experience, interests, and curiosities (things you’re interested in learning about/mastering).
Create a 4-column table (like the example below), set a timer for 20 minutes, and just start filling in the table with anything and everything that comes to your mind.
- Playing guitar
- Finance degree
- Parenting toddlers
- Lost 40 pounds
- Thriving after Postpartum Depression
- DIY home projects
- Swim mom!
- Ireland/Traveling abroad
- How to make money from home
- How to use habits and systems to create a life of ease
- How to get more organized
- How to become a better parent
- How to lose weight
- How to learn Spanish
Some columns will naturally fill up more easily for you, and that’s okay. Don’t edit yourself at this point – nothing is too crazy. Just let your mind wander and write every little thing that you can think of. Duplicates, silly things, things you think are too hard or crazy… everything.
Ready? (I’ll wait). Go!
Okay! Now that you have all of the ideas out of your head, choose just three from the list that excite you the most and move on to the next step.
Step #2: Validate Your Idea in 3 minutes
When I first started blogging, I racked my brain and Googled for days to try and come up with ideas that no one else was writing about. Little did I know that I was shooting myself in the foot.
The real truth is this: if there are several other big and successful blogs about your topic, you’re on the right track. In fact, this is actually a quick and easy shortcut to validating your blog idea for potential profitability (aka. to see if it can actually make money)!
Once you have your top 3 topics (from Step #1 above), do a separate Google search for each with the words “your topic + blog” (and similar phrases) to see what comes up. If there are several established blogs about your topic, you’ve got a winner 🙂
If not, try one of your other top 3. If more than 1 of your top 3 ideas are good, then go with the one that excites you the most.
Now that you have your blog topic down, you’re ready to move on to the next step: setting up your blog.
Blog Set-Up Guide: Step-By-Step
Since you’ve taken the time to thoughtfully come up with a blog topic that’s both interesting to you AND has profit potential, you’re ready to take the plunge and set up your own blog!
And even though this is the most intimidating part for a lot of people, it’s actually the easiest thing you’ll do on your blogging journey. Just follow the steps below and you’ll have your new blog set up in less than 20 minutes.
Step #1: Choose your blog name
Your blog name will be your domain name (like www.myblogname.com).
Choosing a blog name often trips up new bloggers, but it doesn’t have to be complicated! Here are a few dos & don’ts for choosing a blog name:
- DO: Use a name that describes your blog topic or audience. This helps make it crystal clear what your blog is all about. Here are a few blogs that use this method:LivingWellSpendingLess.com, KidsActivitiesBlog.com, andSmartMomBlogger.com (<– that’s me!).
- DO: Use your own name. This is a great choice if you want to establish a personal voice and brand for your blog. Here are a few blogs that use this method: RebekahRadice.com, MarieForleo.com, and MelyssaGriffin.com
- DON’T: Use numbers, dashes, or alternate spellings in your blog domain name. This makes it hard for people to remember or type your domain name (or even get it right in the first place).
- DON’T: Be too clever or cutesy. Even though you may “get it”, someone else might not. It’s too confusing and can make people feel like they’re not “part of the club”.
Step #2: Set up a self-hosted blog
Alright – here we go! In this step, we’ll be setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog. If you’re not tech-savvy, don’t let that last sentence scare you away! It’s a lot easier than it sounds & I’ll walk you through it all, step-by-step.
Every blog or website requires hosting in order to be “live” on the internet. Don’t worry too much about the technical details – just follow along with the screenshots and instructions below and you’ll be on your way!
Quick side note: There are “free” blogging platforms available, like Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress.com, but these are primarily for blogging for fun/hobby. If you’re serious about making money with your blog, then you’ll need to get your own hosting. There are no profit limitations or restrictions like the free blogging platforms have, and you’ll have complete control over the growth and profit of your blog.
Set up blog hosting
Click here to get set up blog hosting from Siteground. While you can use whichever hosting provider you choose (there are hundreds available), I use and recommend Siteground because they’re super affordable, reliable, and have excellent customer service. You can get start your own blog for just $3.95 per month.
Select the StartUp plan
It’s the cheapest and will work great for a new blog. You can upgrade later if needed as your blog grows and you start making money, but for now, the StartUp plan is perfect.
Choose or transfer blog domain name
Enter your blog name (from Step #1) right here! If you already have a domain name that you purchased somewhere else already (like GoDaddy), just click the “I already have a Domain” option and SiteGround will transfer it to your account for free (another reason why I love them!).
Enter account info and payment details
Next, you’ll need to enter your account details and credit card information. Be sure to pay attention to the options at the bottom and check/uncheck the upgrades as desired.
Unlike many other hosting providers, SiteGround discounts apply to any of the initial periods chosen during the sign-up process, which is a great bonus (most other hosting providers only apply the discounts to the longest sign-up periods, costing you unnecessary extra upfront expenses).
Step #3: Install WordPress on your blog
Once you’ve created your hosting account, it’s time to actually install your blog. In this step, you’ll install WordPress on your new hosting account. The really cool part about this is that SiteGround does it for you for free! It’s yet another reason I use and recommend them.
Just contact SiteGround via chat after you set up your hosting account and let them know you’d like their free WordPress blog installation service on your new hosting account. They’ll be happy to do it for you and you can save yourself the time.
If you want to do it yourself instead, you can just select the “WordPress” option from your cPanel once you log in to your new account (will look like the screenshot below), and follow the on-screen prompts.
Once you get word from SiteGround that your site has been installed, that means your new blog is LIVE mama!
11 Common Blog-Killing Mistakes New Bloggers Make
Before you jump into this whole blogging thing, I want to make you aware of 11 common mistakes new bloggers make that keep them from ever being successful. Take a quick note of the list below, then hop over to the full post where I outline them all in detail (and share how to avoid them)
1. YOU WASTE TIME ON THINGS THAT DON’T MATTER
2. YOU DON’T HAVE A REAL WORK SCHEDULE
3. YOU DON’T HAVE A BLOG GROWTH AND PROFIT PLAN
4. ADS ARE YOUR ONLY MONETIZATION STRATEGY
5. YOU DON’T KNOW WHO YOU WANT TO SERVE
6. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO CREATE POWERFUL, SHAREABLE CONTENT
7. YOU’RE TRYING TO DO IT ALL (AT ONCE)
8. YOU HAVEN’T SET SPECIFIC GOALS
9. YOU HAVEN’T DEFINED YOUR DEEP “WHY”
10. YOU REFUSE TO INVEST IN YOURSELF AND YOUR BUSINESS
11. YOU TAKE IN TOO MUCH RANDOM ADVICE (AND DON’T TAKE STRATEGIC ACTION)
Read the full article and how to avoid these newbie mistakes right here >>>
The NEXT Step
You’ve just started your blog! Can I just pause for a second to say something? I’m seriously so proud of you. Most people won’t do what you’ve just done. They’ll think about it, then decide it’s too much work or that they can’t possibly do it. But you know better. You’ve taken the most important first step, and you’re now ready to make an impact!
There’s much still to learn, but you’re in the right place 🙂 Be sure to also join the free Elite Blog Academy waitlist to be among the first to know when the program opens. It’s the top-rated and most popular blogging program available – but it’s only open once a year, so your best chance at getting in is to join the free waitlist (you’ll also get some free blogging goodies when you sign up).
Join the Elite Blog Academy Waitlist
Elite Blog Academy is the top rated and most popular blogging course available, but it’s only open once a year. If you don’t want to waste time trying to figure it all out on your own (and start earning an income from home), you should jump on the free waitlist now so you don’t miss it. Plus, you’ll get a free Blog Structure Blueprint (and some other free goodies) when you sign up.