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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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 🙂