As Seen On:



«« Why You as a Mother Are Right… Even When Other Moms Disagree   |   Native American Nursery- How to Save Thousands on a Nursery »»

How to Make Money Blogging

 

How to Make Money Blogging... advice from a blogger herself.

Today’s Money-Making SAHM is ME! Yep that’s right. I, Anita, am the author and owner of LiveLikeYouAreRich.com. I began thinking and researching blogging in July & August 2013. I decided to start a blog in September. I got it up, running, and launched by November 4th, 2013. My blog has grown very fast and now has consistent traffic. I am very appreciative of my readers!

Here is my interview with myself…perhaps a little weird I know, but for consistency purposes, I’m just keeping the same questions and format as all of the other Money-Making SAHM interviews.

Q. What inspired you to begin working?

A.  I had many random thoughts come into my mind to start a blog. The same thoughts kept coming back to me over the course of a few months. I began researching what a blog was (yes, I didn’t know), and found that it was something I really wanted to do. I am a religious person, and I felt like I was inspired.

Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position? 

A. I began by doing hours and hours of research. I bought a few eBook’s on how to blog; I read blogs and lots of tutorials on blogging, etc. More information on this below…

Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar?

A. Do research. Start off doing things right, because it is hard to go back and change afterward. For example:

  • Think long and hard about your title. Choose something that you can get a .com URL for. You can get them through BlueHost or through HostMonster.
  • Use WordPress.com plus a theme. Themeforest is a great place to find themes you like.
  • Start off as self-hosted. It is much easier to start off self hosted using wordpress than switching from blogger or wordpress.org. Please believe me when I say this. I’ve seen too many blogging friends make the switch later when they have good traffic and tons of posts to move from one host/site to the other.  If you get good traffic and want to make money, you will eventually have to make the switch–a painful and somewhat pricey process. My friends would have saved a lot starting on WordPress and their own host. A few companies I recommend for hosting are:
    • Bluehost is a good option for beginners to intermediate bloggers,
    • Host Monster is great for beginning to intermediate bloggers. I used Host Monster when I began and switched to Digital Ocean when my traffic exceeded 200k UV a month.
    • DigitalOcean is for larger high-traffic blogs and is an unmanaged server. So anyone who uses DigitalOcean needs to have a lot of programming experience or a programmer who can put them on this private VPS host.
    • Amazon hosting is something that I’ve heard is very complex to set up but is great for people who experience a lot of viral and variable traffic.
  • After you are set up, focus on content. Content is King in blogging. Put your focus there.
  • Collect emails from the get go. Email lists are yours, you own them. Social media followers are only partially yours. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter etc. can take them or change algorithms so your followers don’t see your stuff. I’d recommend using MailChimp until you have to start paying and then switching to InfusionSoft. I’ve been using InfusionSoft for years and it really is the most amazing CRM on the market!
  • Create high quality images. If you don’t have something high quality on hand, use stock photos. I get mine from adobe.
  • Learn all you can about marketing and social media. Don’t be afraid to self promote. You have to market and post on social media a lot in order to grow your blog! Just be genuine and don’t take self promotion so far that people think you are narcissistic.
  • Be consistent. Post 3-4 times a week. Twice is the minimum I’d recommend.
  • Learn to write well. Use bullet points, numbers, lists, etc. Make the content easy to digest for the reader.
  • Continue to learn. Things are always changing in the tech world. Try to stay ahead of the curve by taking some time each week to learn a little about blogging, WordPress plugins, affiliates, etc. This book, How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul, by Ruth Sokup from LivingWellSpendingLess.com is awesome. A great website on blogging info that is up-to-date is TheBlogHelp.com.
  • Share information with a few great friends. Join blogging groups on FB and support one another.

More detailed tips on making money below.

Q. How many hours do you work a week or how much of your time does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?

A. I worked about 50-60 hours a week when I first began blogging! Yes, I know that seems like an awful lot! I worked for hours in the morning before my son woke up, during nap times (he was napping twice then), and I worked at night for hours. It was pretty crazy. For the first 5 months I poured my heart and soul into my articles to build up good readership and content. I quickly found I was passionate about blogging!

How to Make Money Blogging

After 5 months, I started spending less time on it, about 35-40 hours a week.

Currently, I work about 25-60ish hours a week sometimes more, sometimes less. I work Monday-Saturday.

My hours are very flexible. If I need to, I can skip a day. I can also work whenever I have a computer, cell phone, or laptop.

Q. When/how do you find the time to work?

A. I work in the mornings before my (now boy and girl) get up: answering comments, emails, checking stats, etc.

When they are awake, I write down ideas as they come to me (which only takes a minute when an idea strikes).

When they go down for their naps, I write my posts.  I do work on Saturdays. Sometimes I work while my kids are occupied as well.

Although I consider this a full-time job, I try to keep a good balance.

I set times when I do not work on my blog at all: all day Sundays, and for a few hours of play time and education time with my kids are all times when I DO NOT work on my blog.

Q.  Are there certain tips/advice you’d want to share with others who want to start working like you?

A. Blogging (with the intent of making money) requires a lot of work on the front end. Building up a good base of content takes a LOT OF TIME!

You also will need to learn multiple things: marketing, editing, grammar, Photoshop or Pic Monkey or Canva, social media, photography, how to work with brands, programming, ad network lingo, etc.

It seems like there is always something I’m learning or changing. At first I felt I was drinking from a fire hose, but after about 5 months, I started to get a hang of it. Additional knowledge is much easier to acquire now that I have a good handle on things. The up-front learning curve is super steep.

Don’t expect immediate results! Many bloggers take 12 months to a few years to start making good money or building up a good readership and great content. Be patient.

You have to love to write. You write and write and write and write and… you get the point. Almost every day you have to write something if you want to post consistently (which is necessary at first if you want to be a professional blogger).

Think VERY long and hard before choosing a niche. My blog is a lifestyle niche so that I can blog about multiple different topics. Although the overall theme is how to live a great life on any income, I have the freedom to write about multiple topics that interest me. Don’t box yourself into a blog topic that you will get tired writing about.

I highly recommend blogging if you are passionate about sharing information with others, love writing, enjoy being creative, are patient, can handle negative comments/feedback, and only if you are okay sharing a lot of your personal life with the online world.

Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?

A. Yes and no. In order to blog efficiently there are a few skills you need (or need to learn or hire out). Typing, marketing, Photoshop, correct grammar, editing, photography, and some programming skills as well.

Most of these skills can be hired out if you don’t want to learn them right away. I hired a programmer to help me set my website up. I hired an editor (who is off and on) and helps me to correct the typos I make in most of my articles. And the rest I’ve learned and am still working on perfecting.

I watched a lot of YouTube tutorials on Photoshop, did lots of research about how to write, how to market, how to use social media, etc. I have also attended a few blogging conferences where I have learned a lot.

If you choose to do it all yourself, you will need to learn many of these skills to get your blog launched and going. That said, you don’t have to perfect them all at once.

Q. What is the income percentage you bring in? or Does the income help a little, medium, or is the main source of your family’s income? 

A. The first few months I was in the negative (as most businesses are). You can get started for very little, but because I hired a few things out (web design, programming, editing), my startup costs were about $500-$1500 per mo. (not including my time). There are also monthly costs involved in blogging (hosting, software, internet, others). Month 4 I broke even. Now (month 8) I am making a profit. Update (Month 26): I’m still making a profit and am still working 25-60 hours a week. I’ve never not made profit since month 8th.

As your blog grows and you use opportunities (ad networks, affiliate links, sponsors, partnerships, etc.) to make money, your income will grow. But along with that income your expenses will also grow. Since my blog is bigger, my monthly expenses are over $1,500 a month.

I could support my entire family, mortgage, bills etc. with my blog (as long as we are budgeting well). I have heard from many bloggers that it takes 2-3 years to start making a profit like that. My blog grew very fast. So it is different for everyone. You may grow faster than LiveLikeYouAreRich.com, or it may take a year or two to get to the point where you are making a great income.

A lot of bigger bloggers make over 6 figures a year. If you are patient, dedicated, produce good content, and are hardworking you can make blogging profitable.

Hosting Q. How would someone who wants to do something similar get started?

A. Well I mentioned these above, but I’ll post them here again plus more details on how to make money.

  1. Get WordPress and a theme you like.
  2. Get a .com URL for your blog.
  3. Focus on content.
  4. Start off as self hosted. Start with WordPress rather than switching from blogger or wordpress.org. Please believe me when I say this.  Here are a few companies I recommend for hosting:
    •  Bluehost is good for beginners to intermediate bloggers;
    • Host Monster is great for intermediate bloggers;
    • DigitalOcean is for larger high traffic blogs and is an unmanaged server. So anyone who uses DigitalOcean needs to have a lot of programming experience or  a programmer who can put them on this private VPS host.
    • Amazon hosting for viral traffic (when you get there).
  5. Create High quality images. I often use stock photos. I get mine from dollarphotoclub.com. Other sites are: Bigstockphoto, 123RF, Pixaby, and more.
  6. Start consistently writing posts and sharing them to your social media accounts.
  7. Once you have some traffic begin applying for ad companies and put ads on your site.
    1. Google adsense
    2. Amazon ads
    3. Barons Media
    4. PadSquad and many others
  8. Sign up for affiliate programs. I’m affiliated with many of the following:
    1. Amazon
    2. Escalate
    3. Coupons.com
    4. Shareasale
    5. Beware of Commission Junction. I very much dislike this company and feel they are not honest in their reporting.
    6. Walmart
    7. Shopstyle
    8. CentsofStyle
    9. Affiliate Window
    10. Many companies have affiliate programs so contact them if you are interested in promoting their products.
  9. Begin applying for sponsored networks (they will match you with brands who will pay you to write sponsored posts).
    1. TapInfluence
    2. IZEA
    3. FindYourInfluence
    4. OnetoOne Network
    5. The BluePrint Social
    6. SITS girls
    7. Collective Bias
    8. Mom It Foward
    9. Influence Central
    10. Social Fabric
    11. Contact companies you love and ask them if they’ll pay for sponsored posts.
  10.  Start collecting emails/subscribers immediately. Subscribers are your own list your own social media followers that no company like Facebook or Instagram can take from you. It’s important to follow the rules of email subscription and opt outs. I recommend starting with a free service like mail chimp and once you have to pay, switch to a service like Infusionsoft. Also, if you move to InfusionSoft, be sure to take a training because the options they have are vast and very helpful!
  11. Be consistent. Post 3-4 times a week until you have a good base of content (over 300 posts) then you can slow to 1-3 times a week.
  12. Create products. Sell a course, ebook, or product. I would recommend using InfusionSoft for this. You can get affiliates, sell items, and collect helpful sales data using InfusionSoft. I co-wrote a book with my sister, “Living a Rich Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom” and I also have products I sell found here.
  13. Learn to write well. Use bullet points, numbers, etc. Make the content easy to digest for the reader,
  14. Continue to learn. Things are always changing in the tech world. Try to stay ahead of the curve by taking some time each week to learn a little about blogging, wordpress plugins, affiliates, etc.  This book, How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul, by Ruth Sokup from LivingWellSpendingLess.com is awesome. A great website on blogging info is TheBlogHelp.com.
  15. Share information with a few great friends. Join blogging groups on FB and support one another.
  16. Hire out help. When you get to the point where you can afford it, I highly recommend hiring someone to help you do things that you aren’t the best at. For example, ever since learning German, I am a horrible English speller. I have hired an editor to correct my grammar and spelling mistakes. I have hired some other contractors to help with scheduling social media posts, etc.
  17. Attend blogging conferences for more information and to learn more.

FINAL WORDS-

Diversify. Diversify. Diversify.  The more streams of income you have, the more monetarily secure your blog. For example, I have over 50 ways I’m making money (some a few dollars, others substantial amounts) on my blog each month or year… and I’m always looking for more.

Besides getting multiple streams of income, I highly recommend periodically looking over your income data—in great detail. Base many decisions on what is working for you monetarily and what isn’t.  Just be sure to not shift your main focus from high quality content to money making. Without content there will not be income.

hostmonster

Go for it.

Do you have any specific questions? If so, I’d love to answer them so please comment below. And good luck in deciding!

Anita Fowler Blogger at LiveLikeYouAreRich.com
Anita Fowler is the author and owner of LiveLikeYouAreRich.com and the book, Living a Rich Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom. She is a single mother of two. Her family strives to live a Christian lifestyle, and they love to travel and meet new people.

Other Posts in the Money-Making Stay-at-Home-Mom Series:

Introduction to Money-Making SAHM Series

Series 1: Medical Billing

Series 2: Starting an Online Business

Series 3: Housecleaning

Series 4: Cosmetology

Series 5: At-Home Airline Assistant

Series 6: Become an At-Home Employee

Series 7: Make Money Captioning through Rev

Series 8: Freelance Writing

Series 9: Run an at-Home Daycare

Series 10: Write and Self-Publish an eBook Part 1 & Part 2

Series 11: Teach Music Lessons from Home

Series 12: Distribute a Product You Love

Series 13: Blogging

Series 14: Become a Virtual Assistant

Series 15: Buy and Resell Cheap Finds

Series 16: Become an Editor

Series 17: How to Make Money as a Transcriptionist

Series 18: How to Write and Publish a Paperback or Hardback Book

Series 19: Do Online Tech Support from Home

Series 20: Graphic Design

Series 21: Sell Your Own Sheet Music Part 1 and Part 2

Series 22: Start a Preschool from Home

Series 23: Start Your Own Boutique

Series 24: How to Make Money on YouTube

Series 25: Take Legitimate Online Surveys

Series 26: Open an Etsy Shop

Series 27: Become a Photographer

Series 28: Become a Property Manager

Series 29: Make Money Locally Teaching a Talent, Sport, or Hobby

Series 30: Substitute Teaching

Series 31: Make Money through SwagBucks

Series 32: Review Websites for UserTesting

Series 33: Tutoring—coming soon

Series 34: Become an Affiliate with Spark Naturals Essential Oils

Series 35: Quilting and Embroidery

Series 36: Make Money by Doing Laundry for Others through Laundry Care

more coming…pin or bookmark for more.

Anitasignature

For other ‘rich living’ and Money-Making Stay at Home Mom case studies please subscribe, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Pinterest.



«« Why You as a Mother Are Right… Even When Other Moms Disagree   |   Native American Nursery- How to Save Thousands on a Nursery »»

27 Responses to How to Make Money Blogging

  1. Natalie says:

    What a helpful read! Thank you for sharing your tips. I’ve toyed with starting a blog for a while now and I think I’m finally ready to start one that I’ll dedicate time to. Congrats on your blog success!

  2. Amber Keech says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience! I started blogging in June as a way of sharing my expertise while I finish school. I had previously worked as a wellness coach and really missed helping clients meet their health goals. I started doing some freelance blogging in August and realized I really wanted to take my blog to the next level. It was reassuring to see how many hours, over how many months you had to put into your blog. I have already set up my own website and have been blogging for a few months, would you still suggest the book “How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul” to learn how to take my blog to the next level or was there another book you think would be useful?

  3. Ashleigh says:

    Thank you so much! I do have one question, my daughter is 22 months and takes about 3 naps a week (30 min-1hr) what would suggest for the busy mom trying to blog?? Thanks for any advice!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Blog whenever you can. When she is napping, when she is having playtime, playing outside, after she goes down, before she wakes up. Truthfully you will need to put at least a few hours a day in minimum to get your blog started and growing. I blog during the daily movie I let my son watch as well. But I’m blogging for profit/as a job. So if that is your goal you will need to set aside a good chunk of time almost every day and dedicate it to your blog. I hope this helps.

  4. Amber Lynn says:

    Thank you so much for this long list of priceless info!! I have taken 3+ years to nail down a name for my blog and was determined to find the perfect name for me before I jumped in… I mean, the name is something that can’t just be generic, it HAS to reflect the blogger and what they do. I’m happy to report that the name came to me last week, and here I am :) Researching all I can about how to jump into the blogosphere. Your article particularly has been inspiring and very helpful.

    Congrats on the amazingly quick (and very much deserved) success of your blog!!

  5. Sarah C says:

    Hi Anita! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. I enjoy reading your blog. Do you have any suggestions as who to use as far a programmers or web designers go? I would like some help setting up a blog and a website that will be a bit more complex than a blog.
    Thank you for your input,
    Sarah

  6. sheetal says:

    Hi Anita,

    It was very inspiring post for me, as I have just started my blog. I have 15 months old daughter and sometimes it becomes so exhausting for me that I feel like giving up everything. I am an architect and was always enjoyed my profession, it was my passion, till my baby was born. I made a choice and left job to be a stay at home mom, I am happy for that decision but sometimes I remember my work and sometimes I even feel terrible, I feel like cry loud. Now I am thinking of starting part time working as I am feeling I can not be happy without my work. But I have one question for you that how you manage everything. Like we have to do cooking, house cleaning, laundry etc. etc. so how you find time to work? Even when my baby is sleeping I see so many works around. Please help me.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      I’m so sorry you are feeling down about not working in architecture! To answer your questions I can’t do it all. Sometimes I don’t get everything done. I’ve had to hire help to do it all. The first 6 months of starting my blog I didn’t have help and that was VERY tough! I have to be efficient with my time, get help, and let things slide. I use the crock pot a lot and throw stuff in at lunch time so I have meat and veggies cooked for dinner and then I make minute rice or minute mashed potatoes, or toast or something to go with. I do laundry but let all the clean clothes pile up and then hit it all at once. My house is never as immaculate as it once was. I don’t spend as much time doing other things that I used to. It is difficult. The rewards of being with my kids do outweigh the sacrifices I make but like you sometimes it is hard. You need to take time to rest and relax because motherhood is a 24/7 year round occupation…and I dare say blogging can become that way too. I let my kids watch a movie in which time I get housework/life stuff/bills done, then during nap time I get blogging stuff done. Blogging is never ending…there will ALWAYS be something you could be doing more, things left undone… you have to get used to that. Just work as hard as you can with the time you have allotted to it and let the chips fall where they may. It is the hardest—yet most flexible job I’ve had. I wish you the best! This is a post I wrote on how I try to stay balanced: perhaps it can be useful.

  7. zoribrida says:

    Hi Anita!
    Your post is so inspiring! I’m actually reading it for the third or fourth time this week. I’m an ex-actress and I miss theatre sooooo much that I’ve never been quite able to feel happy with my current job. Right now I’m staying home with my baby boy, but soon I’ll have to make a decision what to make with my life. I’ve been thinking about blogging and your post was the first one that got my attention. I actually followed your advice, read “How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul”, researched the topic a lot (and continue researching) and right now I have a pretty good idea how a blog should be made in order to function. But I’m terrified!! What worries me the most is the fact that English is not my mother language. Of course, I will try to hire someone to correct my mistakes but doing it all the time will be too expensive for me. That’s what’s pulling me back. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that your post was fundamental for my decision to start a blog (hopefully, one day… hopefully, soon…). Thank you so much!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      You’re welcome. That’s really cool that you are an actress. Don’t be terrified!! I’m sure you’ll be very successful. See if you can trade someone to do your editing or pay someone still studying who doesn’t have official ‘credentials’ yet to correct your grammar. I pay some one but they work a few hours a month so I’m not out a lot of money but my articles do eventually get edited.

    • Lydia says:

      Just say that English is not your 1st language and that you are trying very hard to share information! If folks judge you for not having perfect grammar that would be a shame, but at least you will be upfront and give the reader an opportunity to be compassionate and accepting. This is America and we are a melting pot of cultures. If we can’t accept that it is just too sad. I am envious of anyone that can speak more than one language- it is simply amazing to me. So pursue this if you are passionate about it and do the best you can- laugh at yourself if you make a mistake- what difference does it really make? I hope you are successful!

  8. Kristen says:

    I am running around in circles trying to make some extra income while at home. I’ve been back and forth with myself about blogging but honestly I have no expertise, and can barely follow my own advice. Is it possible to start a mommy blog and not get lost in the internet world? I just want to make enough to help my husband with some of the bills.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Kristen- I’d try another way of making money on the list I’ve provided. To make money blogging you have to dedicate a huge amount of time (at least 4 hours a day for 4 months to start churning a profit). Many of these other work at home jobs you can start earning immediately with much less overhead, time, and investment.

  9. Paul says:

    Hi Anita,

    I really enjoyed this post, and I appreciate your honesty with your progress; very inspiring!

  10. Kelsey says:

    Great tips Anita! Happy that your blog has grown so fast!

    http://www.kelseymarie.co

  11. kelsey says:

    thank u sooo much. i been thinking to write my blog about travel too. I am a travel entreprenur. I am working on a major big project! travel and save and even earn

  12. Annalisa says:

    I am 80% done with your book, and I just downloaded it yesterday! I have been in a rut as far as what want/need to do as a wife, mother and individual person. It would be easy to get a part-time job on my husband’s days off, but I want to do something that I love and see long-term. This morning I had a revelation on what to name my blog and how to make it unique. Now I can’t wait! Thank you for your inspiration, I am determined to use your tips in ALL aspects of my life. One day at a time :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Simple Share Buttons
Simple Share Buttons