When you think about how to make money blogging, it’s easy to think that it’s all about making money directly through the blog itself. Yes, that’s definitely one option but it’s only one part of how I ended up making a full-time income from my blog. The key factor is that my blog has been the starting point and foundation for where I am today.
I was listening to Darren Rowse’ podcast last week called ‘How to make $30,000 a year blogging’ and thought I’d write a post on how I did it, make a full-time income from my blog. Take me back a couple of years and I didn’t think it was possible. Actually, back then I wasn’t even planning to make money from my blog or even do anything related to my blog workwise…but, I fell in love with it all.
It’s also possible to make a decent income without having huge blog numbers. Numbers are important to some degree, but I personally feel that having an engaged audience, building your brand and online presence is more important. I believe that making money from a blog requires a smart approach, it requires you to branch out and think outside the square as well as consider what it is you’re good at and then using your blog as a starting point.
Darren’s podcast delves specifically into how to work out the dollar amount you need to reach a full-time income but what I want to write about is how I ended up using my blog to eventually earn a full-time income.
One thing I will say is that never did I start my blog with a view to making money nor did I ever expect to be where I am now. I started writing because I was a bored stay-at-home mum with nothing to do while my baby was asleep. I look back at my first blog posts and cringe, but it was something to do. I kept writing and I got hooked. My blog has grown since July 2012 through consistent posting, decent content and a lot of networking.
Looking at this blog income map from ProBlogger, the methods I used to get to my current point include freelancing, coaching, finding a job via my blog connections, ad networks, sponsored posts, consulting.
Here is what I did to eventually make a full-time income from my blog:
Social Media Management & Consulting
This is where it all started, I ran my own business called TMM Virtual Solutions (TMM = The Multitasking Mummy). This is where I managed social media accounts for small and medium businesses and provided social media coaching via skype. I’d been using social media with my blog for a while and had taught myself a lot , likely hundreds of hours reading, listening to podcasts and watching webinars, so I decided to jump in the deep end and give it a whirl. I made sure I got as many testimonials from my clients as possible.
I wrote for free
I really wanted to get into the writing side of things but apart from my blog, had absolutely nothing to show. I never studied any form of writing at university, but I wanted to get my foot in the door, I wanted to create some sort of portfolio and so I decided to write for free. I honestly think writing for free is something you need to do if you don’t have any experience.
I opened a writers account
To continue building my portfolio and profile, I opened a writer’s account at Weekend Notes. Weekend Notes is a website where you register and submit your review of things to do locally. I reviewed different parks and things to do with kids around my local area and published them on Weekend Notes.
Weekend Notes pays writers a share of the revenue so if your article does really well, the more money you’re likely to get. I’m not talking huge amounts here but a nice little bit of pocket money for some new shoes.
I was discovered
I had only written a handful of articles on Weekend Notes before I was contacted by the Marketing Manager of Must Do Brisbane, a successful Brisbane ‘things to do’ website. They loved my writing and asked me to start as one of their writers, conducting reviews of cafes, restaurants, playgrounds and so on around Brisbane. The best thing was I got paid and got to eat for free! Little did I know that this experience would also be a stepping stone to bigger things.
I applied for article writing work
I had a taste for writing and I wanted to freelance. A friend of mine was writing for a particular company that specialise in ghost-writing for other business websites and I decided to apply. I interviewed, got the job and was writing even more each week. I was now a freelance writer.
I networked like a boss and scored opportunities
I’m a huge believer in ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. I have always made sure to be part of online blogging groups and have attended as many conferences or networking functions I can because opportunities always pop up in there.
One opportunity that really changed things for me was that of a trainee copywriter. It was a freelance opportunity that popped up in one of the blogging groups and although I had absolutely zero copywriting experience, I thought ‘why not, what’s to lose’. I was interviewed and got the job based on the small amount of writing I had done, including my blog. This job really built my confidence and made me realise that perhaps I actually was half decent at this writing gig, especially when I got positive feedback from clients for the copywriting work I produced.
Yet another opportunity popped up for a social media manager in another blogging group. It was at this point that I was a lot more confident about my social media abilities and was hugely excited about the opportunity to be the Social Media Manager at Kids in the City Magazine and Kids on the Coast Magazine. Actually, I think excited is an understatement. I interviewed and I got the job.
My hard work paid off
After 4 months of managing the magazines Social Media an opportunity arose and I moved into the Digital Editor role for the magazine. My hours doubled, I let go of my freelance writing work and directed my focus to my Editor position and The Multitasking Mummy. This is where I am now and I wanted to show you how I got here, all through my blog. My blog was the starting point, it was what introduced me to all of these wonderful opportunities.
Direct blog income
To make up my total income, my blog itself generates a small side income through Adsense, sidebar ads and sponsored posts.
To break it down, this is how I currently make my full-time income through my blog, both directly and indirectly:
- Digital Editor/Contract Consulting
- Sponsored Posts
- Product Reviews
- Google Adsense
- Sidebar Advertising
I’m now very close to rebranding my blog in order to widen my audience and tighten my niche, I’m hoping this will start to bring in even more opportunities.
Some wisdom I’d like to share from my blogging journey
- Your blog is a tool to get you places
- Your income doesn’t have to be directly related to your blog, think outside the square.
- You don’t need huge numbers to monetise
- Your blog experience and know-how will help you make money blogging
- Don’t be afraid to take risks
- Treat your blog like a business
- Network like a boss
See, it is doable and I started with absolutely no professional writing or social media experience, just a huge amount of focus and determination.
If any of this is something you’re interested in learning more about, perhaps as a webinar, video, email series, or ebook series, please let me know what you’d like to learn and how you’d like to learn it as I’d love to share more tips with you.