There is a question that I am asked over and over so I thought I’d share it with you today and then add it to my FAQs page.
Just yesterday I received an email from an online friend, she asked (like many others before her), “Do you really make money blogging? I want to do it but I’m not sure I can justify the time takes. I want to know if it is worth it.”
I paraphrased but that is the jest of how the email conversation usually starts. I always answer it. It really is my heart to help moms “stay” at home and contribute to the family budget.
The short answer is I do make money. I make enough now that I can hire other people to help me. I always made a little cash from my personal blog but recently things got much better for me. Without giving an exact figure I’ll just say that it is worth it, I do make more than I did working full time at $17 an hour (because of expenses) and it continues to grow. But… there is always one in there, right? I work hard. I have invested time and money into this blog. I treat it like a business. And no, I’m not getting rich. It is still a nice bonus every month for something I enjoy doing.
And I am a small fish. I am not what some would refer to as a mega blogger. Let that encourage you. The crazy thing is that there are other bloggers who have less traffic, subscribers, and ranking than I do and yet, they make more money than me with their blog. It really is just about learning the ropes and putting in the hard work to earn it.
Before we go any further I must reiterate that if you are not blogging because you love it then don’t. The money comes in waves and there are months where you may find yourself owing money instead of earning it and that is when you must rely on your love for it. Yes, it is a job and a business but because of the nature of it you must have your heart in it. Readers don’t want to return to a blog where the author is obviously not into it. Blogging is as much about personality as it is content.
The biggest change for me was my thought process. I never took my personal blog seriously. I grew online projects to be moneymakers but I never did invest that time in my own blog. I wanted to but I didn’t. I eventually quit those projects I was a part of because I just didn’t have the heart for them anymore. They weren’t “mine”. It wasn’t my passion. It wasn’t my voice. You burn out quick if you are consumed with something day after day and you don’t even have a passion for.
After I laid down all of my other projects I had plans to start investing the same principles I used with them on my own blog. Then the boys’ dad died. One blessing that came from that was the time I took away from blogging. After a couple of months I got online just to check on a few online friends. I wanted to read their blogs to see what they had been up to. Reading one of their blogs I saw a link where she recommended a post from another blogger. I clicked on it and read it. I loved what she wrote so I read more. I eventually read through most of her archives and went to the links of dozens of other bloggers she recommended. I started using my feed reader for my own personal benefit for the first time ever. I filled it up. I read from those blogs every day. It reminded me of what my passions are. I got excited about things again.
My passion is pursuing to have joy right where I am in life; no matter the circumstances or conditions. That joy ultimately comes from God but He delivers it to us in the little things: an item, a hobby, a date night, an eternal moment with our kids, bonding time over dinner, being able to be home and contribute to the overall income of the home. They all contribute to overall joy. He has taught me that it is a state of being. I want to share that with all of you. That has always been my passion to share but I strayed from it because of the opinions of others. While I was away from blogging I was forced to learn to live in that state of being all over again. He brought me back home and into the heart of family. Once I learned to appreciate it again then I knew that I could share it effectively.
Another thing I learned is that if I am going to make money off of my blog then I have to treat it like a business. Businesses require legal measures to take place; they require time; and they require an investment of funds. Once you do even a smidgen of those things then you are more purposeful in making your site work. Once you have the frame of mind to make it work then you have to take certain steps to accomplish it. Here is the three of the main things to do:
- Find your purpose or niche. Everybody has one. It is up to you to pray and find it. Read other blogs. Write down the ones that inspire you and excite you. Think about the things you are eager to learn more about. Blogging is about you because it has to be done from your voice and be authentic but at the same time you must hone it to fit your readers needs. Take your purpose or niche and refine it to fit your readers.
- Invest in it. Specify a certain amount of time each day to work on your blog. Use that time to improve your site, write posts, network with other bloggers, and read other blogs for inspiration. I spend about 2-3 hours a day which isn’t bad considering the payout. As my site grows I make more money and I can outsource more. I write everything that posts on my blog but I depend on others to do the technical stuff that is needed. The more I invest the more I get back.
- Post consistently. To gain readers you simply need to post on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter if it is three times a week or six just so long as it is consistent. I will tell you that the more I post the more hits I get but the more quality posts I put out the more readers I gain. My strategy is to post two anchor posts and two relevant filler posts per week. Then every other week I post something personal because that is one aspect that people crave. They like the ideas, projects, and recipes but only if they feel they know the person it is coming from.
There are a few key things to do before beginning the things I just laid out for you but we’ll get to that in a bit.
To give you an idea of where the money comes from here are my income sources:
- private sponsors
- affiliate sales: ebooks and services
- Google ads
- reviews ($25 for a guaranteed review)
- ad networks (share a sale, Commission Junction, etc)
- article ghost writing for other sites
- sponsored posts
- ad campaigns
Currently, I only receive an income from my personal blog. Other projects I am a part of are still in the red after we invested money into them. They are not making a profit yet. Occasionally, I also sell items on ebay and Amazon. I didn’t include those contributions. I also did not include what we call “bonuses”. Things like software, books, ebooks, memberships, conference sponsorships, and other products or services. I claim all of that on taxes but I don’t include it in “income”. My husband says that since the bank won’t take Etsy items as payment for our mortgage then it isn’t income.
I can teach you how to do what I’ve done. And I am no expert by any means but I don’t hesitate to learn from those who are. Lisa Boyd and I have both invested money into training and consultations so that we are in the know about what is trending and what is timeless in this online field.
That was my long answer to the question. Yes, I make enough money to justify the time I spend on it.
If you want to learn to then join hundreds of others at DIY Ministry. For $24.95 a year you have access to us 24/7 via forum and can ask any online platform related question you can think of. You’ll find lots of support too. There is much more included in that small fee but I won’t list it all here. Go check it out for yourself: DIY Ministry
The rest of the story.
I told you there was more to laying the foundation and here it is. These two online workshops lay it all out for you. One can even be free to you. Look it over:
The time is finally here! DIY Ministry is gearing up to bring you the first installments of the workshops that will change the face of your online platform. We are starting with the basics but they are not what you may think they are. This information could completely transform the way you think of and view your online purpose and expand your platform in a way you never thought possible. These are solid principles that must be applied first, before you do anything else. You have to have a good foundation or else whatever you build will crumble.
Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
The first online workshop is designed to help you discover and craft your foundation from a biblical perspective. It will be held on September 19th at 1 pm CST. Amy Bayliss will be instructing this workshop and there will be time for a full Q&A session after the initial presentation. Along with the workshop, all registered attendees will receive a free copy of Amy’s ebook, Do It Yourself Online Ministry for Christians Part 1: Foundation. You can receive free admission too! Just visit the product page for details: Embracing Online Media Workshop by Amy Bayliss
The second online workshop which will be held on Wednesday, September 21st. Rachel Meeks, blogger and indie author, will teaching us timeless principles on balancing time online and off. Her workshop is based on her popular ebook, Simple Blogging. If you have ever wondered how bloggers with large followings and professional standards accomplish it all then this workshop is for you. Along with the price of admission you will receive a full copy of Rachel’s ebook. You can register here: Simple Blogging by Rachel Meeks