parenting blogger, 8 years in, making $2000 – $4000 /month
Q: First, tell us a little about you and your blog income journey –
when did you start, what do you blog about, how much time do you put into it etc. I understand that you’re not blogging about blogging, so talking about your income in specific numbers is something you might not do – but IF you’re willing to share how much you earn on average in a month, we’d LOVE to know.
A: I’ve come a long way since I started Eat, Drink, and Save Money. It’s taken years, but I now make a decent income ($2-4K a month) with sponsored posts and affiliate links while working no more than 2 hours a day. I don’t even have a huge social media following or a ton of page views, yet the sponsored content keeps coming!
I first started blogging in 2010. I’d read Julie & Julia, the book about the blogger who decided to recreate all of Julia Child’s recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I found the idea of a blog fascinating and decided to give it a shot. This was back in the day where bloggers literally just blogged about their lives. So that’s exactly what I did. My husband was just graduating from law school and had taken out a ton of loans, and we had decided to pay them all back really fast. We wanted to pay off $150K worth of debt in 7 years. My blog originally began to chronicle our journey to pay off debt while still living a comfortable lifestyle. Spoiler alert: we did indeed pay back all of our debt!
I didn’t blog consistently but always wanted to put more into it. In 2013, I quit my job as a biology teacher to become a stay at home mom to our first son. Blogging quickly became a way for me to create something in my life that was just for me. Even though I wanted to make money, I still only blogged as a hobby. My second son was born in 2015 and I realized that I wasn’t going back to work any time soon. As a teacher, I’d lose money sending the kids to daycare so I decided to really look into how bloggers were making money. I read everything I could about monetizing a blog. There weren’t as many blogging books or courses at that time so it was really hard to find good blogging tips on the internet. I’d spend hours on Pinterest looking for blogging tips, then implementing them.
No matter what I did, my traffic and ad income stayed the same. I hovered around 40,000 page views a month for a year and a half and didn’t even realize I needed to apply for an ad network. It never dawned on me, and it was one blogging tip I never read! I was stuck with Google AdSense and never made that much money.
Since I wasn’t making money through ads, I decided to find another way to make money. I’d heard about bloggers making money through sponsored posts so I started paying attention to the networks that paid. I joined every single network I could and started applying for every job. It’s a good thing I did because after a year of making $2-4K a month through sponsored content, my 3rd son was born.
Life with 3 kids is expensive! Being able to bring home extra money as a blogger and influencer has allowed me to stay home with them.
Over the last year, my traffic has tanked. I barely get 20K page views a month, but my income has remained pretty steady. I want to shout from the rooftops that bloggers don’t have to rely on page views and ad revenue. There are other ways to make money!
I’ve been really busy with the 3 kids so it’s hard to find time to apply for jobs. By keeping my social media channels authentic, I’ve had more direct offers than ever. Businesses and brands are actually reaching out to me even though my page views and social media numbers aren’t huge.
Q: Why do you think your blog is able to make money when so many others aren’t? What have you done differently?
A: I think there are a few reasons why I’m able to make money.
- I no longer look at myself as a “just a blogger”. I consider myself a digital influencer. As a digital influencer, I constantly experiment with ways to improve my social media channels because brands will pay big bucks for social media content. I don’t have huge social media numbers either, I would be considered a microinfluencer because my niche is small- fine living on a shoestring budget. Brands are willing to pay big money to reach a highly engaged and authentic audience, even if it’s small. My biggest social media campaign happened when I had less than 5K Instagram followers. I was paid $700 to share 2 Instagram posts and 3 tweets.
- I have worked hard to earn my readers’ trust. I only share content that aligns with my personal finance beliefs. I’m not afraid to say I don’t like something or that I wouldn’t waste my money on a product. By doing this, my readers are more likely to buy products through my affiliate links (BTW- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing helped me understand how to use affiliate links). I’m positive I’ll never become a Disney Social Media Mom because of this. I just recently put a post on my Instagram about how Disney World souvenirs are way overpriced. Guess what? My audience loved it. I do it for my audience, not for the brands.
- I play the social media game while staying authentic. What does that mean? Well, we all know that high quality images do best on Instagram so I only share the best photos, but I put a personal and authentic spin on it. I’ll have high quality images that depict real life because my audience wants to understand how I save money in my real life. They don’t want a fake and super posed image. I stay up to date on the best social media practices but put my personal spin on it.
Q: What was your biggest hurdle to earning an income with your blog… and how did you overcome it?
A: My biggest hurdle is time. I think we can all relate, right? Right now, I put family first. When people ask what I do, I say I’m a stay at home mom because I want to put my family first. I also don’t want to ignore my husband when he comes home every night. I’m not willing to work all night to make money. I know I could make more money if I worked more, but I’m pretty happy making anywhere from $2-4K a month taking on sponsored posts when I can.
I only work 2 hours a day. Once those 2 hours are over, I call it quits. The kids will be older one day and I’ll have more time. It would be amazing to early tens of thousands of dollars each month, but I’d rather make less money and enjoy my life than make a ton of money and work too hard to enjoy it.
Q: Can you share you best advice for how to make money with a blog?
A: My best advice is to be yourself and find out what area of blogging is fun for you. I personally love being an influencer because I’m paid to share snippets of my everyday life. Not everyone likes that though. If you love SEO, focus on that. If you love creating videos for social media, go that direction. Find what makes you happy, become an expert in it, and put your own spin on it. Once you do that, the audience will follow, and you can easily make money.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a social media influencer, you should read these two posts:
How to Become a Social Media Influencer: https://eatdrinkandsavemoney.com/2016/07/05/become-social-media-influencer/
How to Make Money as a Social Media Influencer: https://eatdrinkandsavemoney.com/2017/03/15/how-to-make-money-as-a-social-media-influencer/
I’m in the process of writing an eBook about microinfluencers. I truly believe that a small, yet highly engaged, audience is worth more than a large audience that doesn’t give a flip about what you have to say. I’m hoping to finish the eBook in the next two months! Sign up for my email list to be notified when it is available: http://eepurl.com/dk30fD
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16 thoughts on “Can You REALLY Make Money Blogging (Without Blogging About Blogging?)”
Thank you so much for letting me share my story!
Thank you so much for this massive post! I’ve read (and re-read) many of the pages.
One thing real quick. I tried to pin from one of the pages (Paul’s page particularly) but an error occurred. It said it couldn’t find any pinnable images whatever that means. Would you like me to create pins for each page for you. I could use pins that already match your brand or you could check out my pin template designs (for free) and tell me if you like any of them.
I’ll ask again on the facebook group just to make sure. 🙂
ah, yes, i haven’t made images for all the pages yet… lol.
Time is a bear. (pinnable images are SUPER IMPORTANT, do as I say, not as I do 😛 )
This is such an encouraging post! I am an interiors blogger and have been at it for two years, and have made peanuts. I was beginning to think there is no way to monetize this blog niche, but I just need to tweak some things and keep looking for the right formula. Thanks!!!
There are LOADS of ways to monetize interior design!! It’s huge – don’t quit!
Yes! It always seems like those who make money blogging are blogging about blogging. It’s one of the reasons I really enjoy reading your income reports based off your mommy niche. You’re definitely a huge inspiration, and I can tell you’re extremely sincere and honest!
<3 Thank you!!! I REALLY do try to keep it real ;) lol
I really enjoyed and appreciated that you share your story in this article. There nothing like hearing people who are succeeding in there business venture.
So again thank you so much for sharing and all the best.
So glad you enjoyed it!!
This is just what I needed to read today. I honestly come back to your blog anytime I am going through a challenging task or having low page views. It’s so inspiring to see what a little creativity and tenacity is doing for other people’s lives. I hope one day I could be one someone’s list as a success story too. Thank you for writing this detailed post! It made a huge impact on me and is helping through a slower summer blogging month.
SO GLAD you enjoyed it Olivia!
Hi Carly, awesome to hear we can actually make a living from NOT blogging about blogging. Hoping to prove you right with my parenting blog. Thanks for sharing!
I hope you prove me right too – it absolutely IS possible girl!
Hello Carly, as always I love reading your posts. Its so true if you stay focused and dedicated making money in any niche is possible.
I am about to start blogging for profit. I have seen Bluehost and Siteground mentioned in a few blogs including yours. In your opinion which is a better host and why?
Hi Carly! I’m a new mom blogger and I have to tell you, your posts and resources have really given me the confidence (and more importantly the knowledge) to be a blogger. I have zero traffic yet, But I’m working hard on implementing, and I just wanted to say thank you for everything you do. <3
If you have a second to peek at my blog, I'd love your feedback, good or bad 🙂