My husband had just abandoned us….again…and I went into selling on eBay full time. It seemed like a natural fit. It’s what I knew, since I had been doing that lightly for a while and I knew I could make good money from it.
It turned out to be good income, one that I could provide for my family as a single mom. My income was about $18,000/year at that time and I thought I was rich. No seriously! I lived in THE MOST sought after subdivision in my area, had a 3 bedroom home, fenced yard, 2 car garage. I was living the good life for sure. No debt, just me and my kids.
My friends kept asking me how in the world I was able to live better than they were on an income that was far less, poverty-level, to be exact.
The questions were flooding in and so I decided I would start up a thing called a blog. I figured it would save me time. Rather than telling each one of my friends all the answers, over and over and over, I’d write it down as emails to my friends and share the links whenever I’d get the questions.
Seemed simple enough, right?
I didn’t have to worry about blogging because the “posts” were just emails to my friends in a semi-private place. I didn’t spell check, I didn’t even capitalize the beginning of sentences. There was no structure, no form or correct paragraphs, nothing.
In November or December of that year, I stood before the judge in the divorce hearing. He asked me why I didn’t have a job yet. I told him that I did. He asked what I did. I told him that I was selling on eBay and doing well and that I was starting a blog.
I’m not talking a little bit wrong. It was like the sun fell out of the sky, jaws drop, WRONG answer.
To put it mildly, he didn’t like that. Insisted that it was unstable work for my family. Told me point blank that if I didn’t get a job outside the home to provide for my little ones, I could forfeit tens of thousands of dollars in the divorce. He acted like I didn’t love my kids, because I wasn’t willing to put THEM first. Because I wasn’t willing to leave them with a stranger all day long while I went out and worked a job.
I get it. I have plenty of banking experience. In my field, I’m pretty high to the top with a college education to boot. It’s not that I can’t work. It’s not that I can’t make good, stable money working. It’s that I WANT TO BE HOME WITH MY KIDS!
The world doesn’t understand that.
I told the judge that I wasn’t going to leave my kids, my husband already did that, and that I believed in myself enough to know I could make money from home. Enough to squeak by. He asked how much I could make. I told him I thought I could make $1,000/month in profits. In my head, I thought, if I could make $500 from Ebay and $500 from the blog, I’d be okay. I could live on $1,000/month plus a little child support if granted.
He went on to ask me how long it would take to make that and I told him one year.
Give me one year and I will make $1,000/month from home, I said. My lawyers, my Pastor, my friends, family, everyone in my life all told me to get a job. They BEGGED me. But, I knew in my heart, God was convicting me to start a blog and so, on Dec 23, 2013, I turned my blog ON. I clicked the button to go LIVE to the world, no spell check, no sentence structure and all. I figured all I had to do was make $500/month. Easy, right?
Wrong. It was HARD. Although I started getting a ton of traffic right off the bat…more than 10,000 pageviews my first month and on to over 100,000 a few short months later, I wasn’t making as much money as I was putting in. I was losing money. I was spending money in all the wrong places, doing all the wrong things. I wish I could go back and hire me as a coach back then! I would have saved thousands of dollars!
My stats kept doubling and soon I was at nearly a million pageviews and December the next year, my 12th month blogging, I made a hair over TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS income.
When I figured out my income for the month, I cried hysterically. God did it. I did it. They were ALL WRONG!
My life has changed since that day, though I haven’t changed at all. The only thing I’ve done differently this year was move into my dream house. A 5 bedroom, 3 bath, 3 car garage, 2 story, granite kitchen countertops, garden in the backyard dream house. Still a single mom, I still live on little and am currently saving up to buy a house with cash.
I haven’t gone on a clothes shopping spree in who knows how long, I still drive my 2003 car that just hit 137,000 miles. I still have the same life, just a nicer home. I still keep my bills low and live like I did before…frugally!
I’m not going to tell you that it has been an easy road getting to this level of success or that I feel I am anywhere near capping out or done. I know that in a year or two, I’ll triple that amount! I have no doubt.
But in the meantime, I’m here to tell you to go after your dreams. Even if they are silly and stupid to everyone else. YOU go after them. YOU make them happen. If they don’t work out, at least you know you did your best and it’s far better to try and fail, than to not try at all!
If you want to know more about the details of the income, where it comes from, where it goes, etc. keep reading…I’m putting the actual numbers below, for you to see how REAL this is. I’m not saying it will happen for every new blogger, but I AM saying that it IS possible. Even if it takes you 3 years to get to $10,000, getting to $10,000 is still worth it! I eventually stopped selling on eBay, sometimes I will still list a few things here or there, but not like it was.
Also, there are a few things you should read if you don’t have a blog yet. One is How to Start a Money Making Blog. A guide to helping you make all the upfront decisions before starting a blog and How to Start a Blog the Easy Way, where I take you step by step and show you in the video tutorial, how to set up a blog for yourself. You can find those two posts here:
I’ve also created a post that goes in depth on How I Made $10,000 My First Year Blogging, which is a guide that I wrote to accompany this income report, to help you get from whatever point you are at in your blogging journey to the next point. You can see that article here.
Now, before I get into any numbers, please know that I only share this to inspire you and to show you what’s possible, not to make anyone feel bad. We ALL grow at different paces and according to our subject matter, previous expertise, and a hundred other variables. I’ve also been working this blog 80-120 hours a week since I started it and have posted almost every day since going LIVE. If you’re putting in 10 hours a week, you can’t expect the same results. But….it’s not all about time either. I was spending a lot of time in the wrong places, so do your due diligence and figuring out where is best to spend your time on your particular blog, will do you well.
In December of 2014, I made $10,015.60.
That came from many different sources and for the companies privacy, I’ll just lump them into categories. This does NOT include any companies that I am in for network marketing, including essential oils (I’ve been using and selling essential oils for about 5 years now), Younique, and Biomat (been with these guys about 3 years). All companies I absolutely love and personally use daily.
A few of my favorite affiliate companies are:
Having trouble finding affiliate programs to join? I hear ya! You can spend weeks searching for different affiliate products to recommend and make money on OR you can click here to get my free eBook, Huge Affiliate Products Resource List for Lifestyle Bloggers!
I use these ad networks:
- AdThrive – Update: I no longer go through them
- Google AdSense – Find the two ads that do best on your site and keep them. Delete the ones that don’t do as well. There’s no point in showing an ad that doesn’t make you GOOD money!
- Media.net – What I love about Media.net is that you can put the ads where you want them. I like to put them in some of my more popular posts. You can customize the ad colors any way you want and Media.net will automatically A/B split test them to get you maximum results.
Products/Coaching (just started coaching): $208.97
VA work (I actually did this just so I could hit the $10k mark): $200.00
Sponsors (I’m not a fan of doing sponsored work, so it’s very rare): $440.00
With running a blog comes expenses…
- Advertising: $30
- VA Work (I hire my daughter for a few things as well, as she is fantastic at pictures and business coaching; she’s 9! This blog is definitely a family thing): $758
- Host/Email/Etc. (I use Madmimi for email and ViralTag for Pinterest): $205
- Technical Support: $56
- Photography (supplies, photos – I use BigStockPhoto and PicMonkey. BigStockPhoto does not require attribution, so I still use and love them): $264
There are other things to consider like office supplies (ink, etc.) and training, conferences, etc.
Expenses came to: $1,313 (not including those misc. things).
Profit came to be $8,702.60 that month.
If you’re thinking about blogging, you definitely should start a blog! You never know where it can lead you!!!
My top posts for this month were:
- Gift guides that I wrote for Christmastime
- 10 Easiest Ways to Earn Extra Income from Home
- 2 Organizing Tips That Will Change Your Clutter Forever
- 6 Ways to Organize Your Life in the New Year
- Essential Oils DIY
- Why You Should Never Shop Walmart or Dollar Stores
- One Simple Trick Saves Me $125/month in Groceries
- Money Saving Tricks: 30 Days to a Better Life
- 2015 Free Printable Calendars
What I’ve changed since December:
- Discovered a huge key to Pinterest and since then, my traffic and followers are blowing up (in a few months, I’ll be writing a book with more findings; I currently get about 6,000 followers a month)
- Quit promoting several affiliates that wern’t worth my time and focus more on the ones I love and are profitable
- Hired two assistants that help me a lot
- Started spending even more time with my kids
- Working on an eBook that will be releasing on August 29, How to Become Financially Free
- Stopped selling Younique. I still LOVE and use their products daily, but 3 companies proved too much for me
- Rebranded from a money saving blog to a mom blog
What I’m still doing since December:
- Producing quality content
- I still do VA work on very rare occasions when I’m trying to hit a goal (I am VERY goal oriented)
- Posting 7 days a week and I still feel this is one of the keys to success
- Taking one platform or program at a time and learning it fully before moving on (I learned monetization of ads and rocking Pinterest. Now I’m finishing up learning affiliates. After that, I’ll start working on products)
- Hire out tasks that I hate to do or don’t have time to do
- Sell essential oils and Biomat
What my goals are for the next year:
- Currently working on learning more about affiliates until I can completely ROCK that income stream
- Add more products. I have a complete in-depth plan of bringing 1-2 new products to my readers EVERY MONTH. This is not the way I’ve seen anyone else go and I think it’ll be really profitable
- Get to the $15,000/month mark by June 2016
- Keep working on building my newsletter subscriber base. I’m at 16,000 currently and my goal is 30,000 by January 2016
- Start making more YouTube videos and being more personable to my readers
- Double my Pinterest followers that I receive each day by next month
- Post a lot more about blogging and making money from home on the blog, giving my readers a lot more of what they want
- Be more strategic about what I post about. Instead of just going by what I like or am inspired to write, doing posts that I know my readers will really enjoy and focusing on what they want to learn more. Not that I’m a selfish blogger, but that I don’t put forth a TON of effort into it, and I’ve begun to do that more as I plan my editorial calendar for the remainder of 2015 (if there’s anything you want to learn about specifically, let me know in the comments below)!
- Conquer my public speaking fears and begin speaking to small groups by 2029. No, just kidding. Soon. 🙂
Have you ever considered how much blogging income you can bring in? Has this post helped show you what’s possible? How does it inspire you in your blogging journey?
If you are interested in creating a blog of your own, I made a step by step video tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own on the cheap, starting at only $3.49/month for hosting (you can only get this lower price through my link). You will receive a free domain name ($15-$200 value) if you purchase at least 12 months of hosting. Of course, you want to be self-hosted, especially if you are wanting to make money blogging and this is the most cost effective way to go. My post here will walk you through everything you’ll need to do to get up and running in less than 5 minutes!
If you’d like to learn more tips about how to make a full time income blogging, see my post, How I Started Making $10,000/month My First Year Blogging. This will help you get a better understanding of how to get to the next level in your blogging journey. If you’d like a complete, step-by-step road map of how to turn your blog into a six-figure money making machine, be sure to check out my new ebook on Amazon here.
Are you ready to start your blog?
If you are, you’ll want to click here and sign up with BlueHost. They are the most economical with fantastic customer support you can get when you are first starting out and they make everything completely easy for you. When you go through my link, you are sure to get the best specials and deals that are available at that time.
Click here to see a video of the process and get more information about how to go about starting up a site, and don’t forget to read this post here on all the things you’ll need to think about when starting up a blog. Still not convinced you should? Read my post on 47 Reasons to Start a Blog to see if it’s the right decision for you.
Still have more questions? Check out the Most Common Blogging Questions Answered by clicking here.