minimalism + homeschooling blogger, 16 months in, making $1000/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 officially launched my blog, This Simple Balance, February 1, 2017. I started out writing about anything and everything: homeschooling, mom life, parenting, organization, frugal living.
You name it, I probably wrote about it.
Since that time, I’ve narrowed my focus mostly to minimalism on a low income and relaxed homeschooling. I do still write about parenting and frugal living occasionally.
I treated my blog like a job from the beginning. I put in 40 hours a week or more for at least seven or eight months my first year.
I blogged while nursing babies in the middle of the night. I blogged in the middle of the day. I blogged any time I wasn’t homeschooling or managing our household.
Now, fifteen months later, I spend around 20 hours a week blogging. However, that number is going to bump back up again this summer as I work on launching a second blog in the pregnancy/baby niche next month.
I am currently averaging $1,000 a month gross income from my blog, and by average, I do mean average. One month will be $1,500 and the next, $750. The bulk of my income comes from display ads, with affiliate income making up the rest.
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 believe two things contributed the most to my success as a blogger.
First, I followed the advice of Rosemarie Groner, successful blogger at the Busy Budgeter: invest the majority of your income back into your blog until you reach $1,000 a month. While I haven’t followed her prescription to a tee, I did invest every dollar I earned my first year back into blogging education. It wasn’t until a couple months ago that I began to see significant earnings going into my pocket, and not back into the blog.
Second, I gave myself three years to make my blog a success. Other bloggers recommend a year. Personally, I don’t think that’s long enough for many mom bloggers, especially with no prior writing or blogging experience. Because I was looking ahead to the three-year mark, I was able to push through months 9, 10 and 11 that were discouraging months for me.
Q: What was your biggest hurdle to earning an income with your blog… and how did you overcome it?
A: My biggest hurdle I had to overcome was blogger burnout. I came dangerously close to quitting my blog or gradually fading into non-existence.
After a hugely successful couple of posts in the summer of 2017, I dropped back to 12K pageviews in August and hovered between 12k and 15k the rest of the year, mostly because I hadn’t realized yet that I needed to create more content around my already popular posts.
In November 2017, I realized I was on the edge of blogger burnout. I decided to take a 30-day break from looking at Google analytics. From December 1 to December 30, I didn’t once look at my pageviews.
I enjoyed blogging again for the first time in a long time.
In January 2018, things finally turned around when I returned to writing about minimalism and decluttering (my highest performing content). Since February, my traffic hasn’t dropped below 50,000 pageviews a month.
Q: Can you share you best advice for how to make money with a blog?
A: My best advice is to write and write and write, and once you find a post that resonates (measured by pageviews/comments/income), write a similar post. Then, rinse and repeat.
I used to write about whatever I wanted to. I still do occasionally, but I write far more about the topics that perform well. The rest of my content strategy is based on quality keywords that I can rank for, or requests from readers on my email list.
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