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Today marks 40 weeks, 1 day of this pregnancy. I’m officially overdue. BLERG.
I’m sick of talking about pregnancy, birth, babies. BLAH. So today, I thought I’d share with you a little bit about how I plan to earn money with a blog as my babies grow bigger.
Why Stay Home With the Kids?
For the last 10 years, I’ve been happily employed at a church, taking on various roles from Youth Pastor to Administrator to Executive Pastor. The work is quite fulfilling and enjoyable.
But It’s not super-conducive to the non-breadwinner in the family. The hours are long, and people are messy. Pastors deal with that mess and it’s very stressful. I found even with my oldest (now almost 4), I just didn’t have enough energy to be the best mom I could be to her at the end of those stressful and long days.
Then we got pregnant with #2. There have been a lot of health things this pregnancy that have left me in bed, wishing for everything to be over so I can continue on with my life.
Though our combined income is fantastic and we provide a great life for our child (soon to be children!), I believe the loss of income is worth the tradeoff for me to be at home with the kids as they grow into going to school and becoming their very own people.
I am very blessed to be living in Canada and have an entire year of paid maternity leave. The plan is to stay at home with them once my leave is up. I’d really like to make this all possible by monetizing my blog, as writing and being an internet maven is something I truly enjoy.
Because I’m on EI for my first year of this blog, I can’t earn any income without having to give it back. I will be injecting any money I make back into the blog- be it taking courses, upgrading services, buying my dream WordPress site, etc.
Hopefully, by the second year of blogging, I’ll have enough income to fund things like extracurricular activities, upgrading our home, funding our retirement accounts, the kid’s college and paying off our home (we are die-hard Dave Ramsey followers- see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of our Debt Free Journey!)
My Blogging History
I dove back into the world of blogging in the fall of 2016 after a very long hiatus. Boy, times have changed! I was moderately successful with my first blog in the space of youth ministry (my initial career) and really struggled to find a niche that I was equally as passionate about.
If you’re interested in starting a blog, I’d definitely recommend trying a cheaper host over a free platform if you’re just getting your feet wet. I decided to use Bluehost, and so far, it’s been great.
If you are a mom and want to start a blog in the mom blogosphere, I’d highly recommend reading this ebook.
It was my first stepping stone back into blogging and has saved me from making countless mistakes. It’s so good that a few months in, I will go back to it to see if I can glean anything else and apply it as I understand more.
My original vision was and still is to help moms win at home with their littles, prepare for birth and win with money (all things I think I’ve done moderately well).
And now? How on earth do I earn money with a blog?
I’m learning that this question is far more complex than I had ever hoped or imagined when I started this blog back in September 2016. I honestly thought I could write, be funny, post useful content, do some affiliate marketing and watch the money roll in!
After a few months of just dickering around, I decided to get serious in January 2017 and have learned so much. I hope I can share my journey with you and inspire you with your own Stay-at-Home journey as well!
You Need An Audience to Earn Money With a Blog
One thing I’m really learning about is that I need to build an audience with this blog. I really want to be able to look back at these posts to see how far I’ve come, so I’m going to be vulnerable and share some statistics with you for my first month of serious blogging in January 2017. I may add or delete stats as months go by and I place heavier importance on different things:
Pageviews: 1625 (not too shabby!)
Pinterest Followers: 301 (started using Board Booster on January 23, 2017) Follow Me on Pinterest!
Facebook Page Followers: 3. Two are related to me. Yikes. Follow me on Facebook!
Email List: 0 (started in Feb).
Instagram: 0 (started in Feb- not for full-on blog promotion, but to show my everyday life!) Follow me on Instagram
Posts in January:
- UGG Pregnancy is Hard, Y’all
- Our Debt-Free Journey Part 1
- Our Debt-Free Journey Part 2
- Mentally Preparing for Your Last Month of Pregnancy
- 10 Reasons to Hire a Doula
- Planning a Visitor-Free Delivery and Hospital Stay
- Our Debt-Free Journey Part 3
- Mentally Preparing for the First Week with a Baby
- 2 Baby Carriers That Saved My Sanity
January Goals and What I Learned
- I didn’t have any large overall goals for January, as I basically just decided to jump back in and take things seriously, which meant creating content.
- I spent a lot of January learning how Pinterest works. I enjoy graphic design a lot, so I thoroughly enjoyed making pinnable images.
- I purchased the smallest plan for BoardBooster so that I could back off of pinning so much on Pinterest. It’s been a real timesaver. The growth on my Pinterest account and number of pin views was immediate! So worth the $5 per month!
- One goal I did have was to join as many Facebook Blogging groups and Pinterest Group boards as possible. I succeeded with joining a dozen group boards in my niche and about 25 FB groups for bloggers. I’ve learned that I can get a lot of promo out of both the FB groups and group boards, which definitely was the reason I was able to see so many page views in month one.
- Social Media: I didn’t focus on any promo other than in my FB groups and on Pinterest. In February, I decided to turn on my Instagram, get an email list up and running (with no plan yet to grow it), and have an official page on Facebook for my blog (still almost no followers).
- Because I’m due to give birth this month, it’s going to be another month of just finding an hour or so here or there to create and promote content, which I don’t think is bad, overall. I really want to put content out there that connects with people. I’m hoping for 5-10 posts.
- If I have time: grow my Pinterest account by 50 followers
- If I have time: grow my email list to 10 subscribers
- If I have time: post to Instagram once a day
- Brainstorm products I can create for my blog audience (preliminary)
- Focus on being a mommy (sorry blog readers!)
Monetizing My Blog
All of the advice I’ve read about monetizing a blog talk about creating little seeds that need to be watered and nurtured into income. With that in mind, here’s what’s on my list to nurture and to start eventually.
- Google Adsense: It’s those ads you see on the corners of my page. In the month of January, I was able to earn my first $1 with Adsense. It’s slow, and I don’t expect to make a lot of money doing it unless I can get mega-pageviews. But every cent helps! I don’t intend to nurture this little seed much further. I basically just plugged it in and will likely forget about it.
- Amazon Affiliates: Amazon is one of the world’s largest online retailers and offers a commission for selling recommended products on your website. I’m learning that writing an affiliate post without sounding too sales-y is a bit more difficult than you’d think. My aim is to write a post aimed at Amazon Affiliates once or twice a month using only products that I personally use and recommend.
- Other affiliate products that I use: Bluehost, Blogbynumber & Boardbooster (haven’t made any sales yet!)
Other seedlings I’m investigating:
- Shareasale- I was accepted into the program, but haven’t found products yet that I’d heartily endorse
- Affiliatewindow: You can upsell Etsy stuff on there, but I haven’t had time to put anything together yet.
- Selling my own product: I have it on my long-term goals to create and sell an e-product of some kind, probably an e-book or course. I don’t think I have enough know-how yet to do that!
- VA services: I want to do this for sure. I’m very well versed with WordPress, graphic design and social media. I am hoping I can get some clients and help them with their businesses and blogs! Email me if you’re looking for help!
- Freelance writing: I really enjoy writing and hope I can turn that into a small freelance business as well. I’ll let this one sit on the backburner for a while though.
- Etsy- I’m in the process of figuring out a product that I could sell on Etsy. I enjoy making things and would love to learn more about the Etsy store world so that I can grow more VA skills to serve clients!
So I’ve learned after on month of serious blogging that it’s far more work than I realize. Even putting out good content is something that is on my mind constantly. I really want to use 2017 to earn money with a blog. I will definitely have to get more organized, more determined and more focused to reach that goal.
Thanks for joining me on this new journey! I’ll be back with regularly scheduled posts soon, I’m sure. Please leave a comment if you have a similar story, or are maybe a few steps ahead and are seeing success! I’d love to hear from you!
Now to get this baby to come out!