I stood before the judge. He told me that I needed to get a REAL job outside the home or ELSE…
It was shortly after my husband of 14 years had abandoned our family when I would start this blog.
The “or else” the judge in the divorce hearing was referring to, was losing tens of thousands of dollars in the settlement. Get a job and leave your kids with a babysitter, or ELSE, suffer the consequences. Lose tens of thousands of dollars in alimony and other costs.
But, I stuck to my guns. Scared as heck, I told the judge that I would NOT get a job outside the home. That my kids were the most important to me and that I KNEW I could make money from home.
Everyone laughed at me. All my friends, my lawyers, everyone BEGGED me to get a REAL job. “Just get a real job and stop fooling yourself,” my mom said.
But, I’m a strong-willed kinda girl and I believed in myself and what God was leading me to.
When I told the judge no, he asked me calmly how soon I could make money and how much. I told him I believed I could make $1,000/month in one year’s time. Now, please excuse me while I tear up.
By the end of year one, exactly 12 months later, I was making 10 times that amount….10 THOUSAND DOLLARS. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that blogging could lead to such an enormous income and I stand here, telling you this story and living my dream life beyond what I thought was ever possible.
A little skeptical a blogger can make this much per month? Get my full income report here where I lay out all the details!
If you want to make a fantastic full time income blogging, you’ll need to know these top 9 tips…
How I Started Making $10,000/month My First Year Blogging
Know the plan
For me, it was God’s plan. God wanted to show the world that He could do it. That a single mom COULD stay home with her kids and it’s my highest passion to help every mom who wants to be home with her kids, to do just that. Whatever the plan is for your life, you have to know it in order to obey it. Step by step in my blogging journey, I listened and obeyed. When God led me to do this, I did it, when He led me on another path, I took it. After all, it was Him who led me to blogging in the first place.
Invest back into your business
If you have the mentality that you don’t have to invest back into your business, you will never make it until you change that philosophy.
How can I possibly be so confident as to say something like that?
Because I’ve worked the last 17 years from home and I know what it takes and what it doesn’t. I know the things you can get away with and the things you can’t. I know what the successful people are doing and what they are not. In ANY business, it’s always the same, you MUST invest back into it. Usually a good rule of thumb is 10-25%. Taxes and other legal fees, like setting up an LLC, getting blogging liability insurance, investing in more training to grow yourself and your platform, etc. is about 10-25% and then you get 50-80% for yourself.
Now, for the first year in ANY company, most likely, you will have to invest 100% back into it and not take a paycheck. That is the reality of it. Are there exceptions? Yes, when you’re making $10,000/month, you don’t really have to invest THAT much back into it, you can take a paycheck, but the point is, you need to be prepared to make $0 your first year in ANY business, whether it’s blogging, starting up a new company, anything. It’s a pretty standard rule of thumb amongst successful entrepreneurs.
That doesn’t mean you just go out and spend willy-nilly. You must be strategic and invest wisely.
Treat it like a job
My entire first year of blogging, I was working 80-120 hours a week. I was basically not sleeping. All my time went to the blog and my kids. There were times when I skipped meals out of sheer busyness. Would I recommend that? No. But, I knew what I wanted and I knew I was WAY behind all the other bloggers and I needed to catch up, so no sleep it was. Now, that things have settled down, I make more, my kids are home for the summer, I’m able to relax a bit more.
I’ve hired out some tasks and have a fantastic team, one that I couldn’t do all that I do without them, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t work 60-100 hours a week. I figure that’s about how much I will have to do until I’ve been blogging 3 years and I’m about a year and a half into this. Then, my plan is to go down even more, depending on the season. When my kids are in school, I can work more and when they are home, I’m with them more. It’s definitely a balancing act.
Focus on ONE thing at a time
It can be pretty distracting as a blogger with everything going on. There are so many things you want to do, so many ideas you can implement, but you do yourself a HUGE dis-justice when you try to do all those things at once.
Slow down and focus on ONE thing.
If you’re wanting to earn money, focus on just one aspect of monetizing your blog. My favorite is ads because they are the most passive income on a blog. Learn them and learn them well.
You can join AdThrive after you have 100,000 pageviews a month and I highly recommend going through them, but be sure you know ads placement before hand and what works best for YOUR blog. I make more money with them because I already had things set up to optimize my ads the absolute best before I went with them.
The #2 thing I focused on, monetarily speaking, was affiliate marketing and it’s something that I’m still playing around with to get it perfect. Once I get it down PERFECT and am making killer money through that avenue, I will add on more products and delve into the product world.
It’s all step by step, completely methodical. Don’t do something if you can’t ROCK it. If you do 3 things (ads, affiliate, and products) and don’t learn it inside and out, you make $500/month. If you really learn each revenue, you can make 10 times that for each one!
It takes longer, but it’s way more worth it in the end, and you want to have your foundation set for when you start getting into the bigger traffic numbers. I tend to take the stance, “If you build it, they will come….” …and you have to be prepared when they do!
Be firm on sponsored post pricing
For the love of Pete, seriously. When you take a lower amount, you are not only hurting yourself, but you are hurting other bloggers. Advertisers know they can rip off bloggers and get away with paying a certain amount, so then THEY are firm and all bloggers lose!
A long time ago, my dear friend Kelly from Smart School House told me that if you ask more for sponsored posts and are firm in that, you will make more money and work less hours overall. I believed her theology and took it for a test run.
Here’s how it works (these aren’t actual numbers for my blog, but they give you an idea):
You could do 3 sponsored posts per month at $200 each and make $600/month OR
You could do 1 sponsored post a month and ask $600 and make $600/month and work 1/3 of the time.
Keep in mind that a good rule of thumb is $100 for every 100,000 page views. So, if you get 200,000 pageviews a month, you can ask $200 for each sponsored post. If you are getting a million pageviews, you can ask $1,000 per sponsored post, and yes, it’s true. I know many bloggers who use this rule of thumb and several making $1,000 per sponsored post and even into $1,500.
Does that happen overnight?
No. It takes time and it WILL take you being patient. I usually only do one sponsored post a month, but it’s better income. But, when I first took Kelly’s advice, I did have to wait about 2-3 months in being firm and sticking to my guns. She was right and I’m so glad I stuck it out!
Here’s why…first of all, I’m not a fan of sponsored posts at all. I feel like unless the company really lines up with what you’re doing and where you are going and your readers interests AND you can really talk about the company 100% honestly, you SHOULDN’T do it. Secondly, if I’m going to “bug” my readers, it BETTER BE worth it.
I can make $30 as a VA selling content to other bloggers per hour. A sponsored post takes me about 6-7 hours to complete a quality post with all the rules and regulations and checklists and details (ugh, I hate all that). So, if the post is paying $200 and I can make $30/hour as a VA for 6-7 hours is $180-$210, why should I bother my readers and promote a company. I’d rather do VA work and no one has to be affected by it.
Sponsored posts are the biggest way to lose an audiences trust. Yes, blogging is about money, but for me, my readers trust is more important long term. EVEN THOUGH, I only do 100% honest words and they don’t pay me to say something specific, it’s all my own words, it doesn’t matter. Most readers don’t know that.
They see it like we get paid to like something. That is not the case, but it is a temptation there and bloggers CAN and DO go overboard. I personally know bloggers who never post anything EXCEPT stuff they are being paid for and it just loses trust super quick.
In blogging, you have to think long term, not a quick sale! Never post more than 30% of your content as sponsored posts. I like sticking to 5-10% myself.
DREAM BIG…SET GOALS.
Making goals is extremely important and I highly encourage you to have an accountability partner in your goals. Each month, you check in with your accountability partner. It really does help.
Here’s how I make my goals attainable…
Let’s say you want to earn $10,000/month in 1 year of blogging and you’re in month 1 now.
$10,000 divided by 12 (12 months in one year) = $833. So that means that in month 1, you need to make $833. In month 2, you’ll need to make $833 more, so that’s $1,667. In month 3, you’ll need to make $2,500….and so on, until you reach your goal. Using that plan, if you successful complete each month’s goal, by month 12, you will be making $10,000/month.
Whatever goal you have, break it down by month. I do this with all my stats. Right now, I focus on Pinterest and my newsletter. So I have it broken down month by month until the end of the year for my goal. So far, I’m on track and I think this really, really helps. If around the 20th of the month, you see that you’re not going to make it, start figuring out how you can! What can you do to make more money, get more Pinterest followers.
Focus on that goal for the remainder of the month completely and see how far you can get. You will really surprise yourself!
Have a Media Kit and redesign your site
It just looks more professional and advertisers take you more seriously if you have your ducks all in a row.
GOOD BLOGGERS INSPIRE THEMSELVES.
GREAT BLOGGERS INSPIRE OTHERS.
Helping others is my main goal. I chose people over money every single day. I honestly make a lot less money than I could if it were the other way around, but for me, I am a girl who loves to serve and so it comes naturally to me. It is my honor to serve and help others and I believe that it does come back around. God shows me favor when I show favor to people He cares about. I don’t specifically help others for favor or to try to trick the “system.”
I do it out of genuineness and when you do, more people want to be around you, because they SEE you are genuine. If my readers do not know anything else about me, I hope they know that I am 100% transparent. I think about them more than I think about myself when it comes to this blog and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Try different things
When I first started blogging, I thought there was a secret sauce out there and once I found it, I would know and have everything. The truth is that no two audiences are alike, same as kids.
You have two kids, even twins, and they are completely different in their personalities, even if they look the same.
Same thing with a blog. Every blog is different. Every audience is different. What works well for one blog may tank on another.
While it’s a good idea to glean principles from other blogs, it’s never a good idea to copy. You MUST do the work yourself. YOU MUST try different things.
A baseball analogy: keep swinging until you hit the ball. If you keep swinging your best swing, you WILL eventually hit the ball. Once you do, keep doing that exact same thing, but change it up a little bit, so it doesn’t get boring.
Last and most importantly, you need coaching. If you think you don’t, you need it more than others! It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of Yahoo, there is SOMETHING you can improve on.
There are a couple ways you can go about this…
The first is to purchase a personalized coaching package by a top blogger. Their expertise can really help catapult you to the next level.
Just make sure it’s PERSONALIZED one-on-one coaching. Every blog is different and what works for one, may not for another. Thus, why personalized coaching is so important. Secondly, be sure whoever you go through has a low Alexa score. The lower, the better. If it’s high, you know that they are most likely not who they say they are.
The second way is to bug the heck out of another blogger. Find a blogger that you honest and genuinely, truly admire and don’t give up. Stalk them like crazy. Comment on their posts, email them once a week, follow them on social media, and make yourself known there. Try to be the first comment they get. Do what it takes to get noticed by them. After a while, they will know who you are and you might just make a friend.
Keep in mind that top bloggers get this a lot…where another blogger or a person in real life, just wants to be their friend because of what they can get out of the friendship. Top bloggers shut off a lot of communications because of this, sad to say. There are just SO many piranha out there. Don’t be one of those bloggers. Follow someone you genuinely like and want to get to know, not because you can get anything out of it, but just because you want to be their friend.
With that said, friends who have each other’s trust, usually share. Again, just be sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, you like them, not because you want something from them. Be prepared, this could even take months, and sometimes years, but making connections with other bloggers is important. There are so many things that non-bloggers don’t understand that bloggers do. It’s a whole new world and if you’re a new blogger, you want to share that world with other like-minded friends.
Related: How to Start a Blog the Easy Way
There you have it. 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.
Wanna see the full income report broken down with REAL numbers? Click here to see my income report.