Meet Ashli:

lifestyle blogger, 2 years in, making $5000+/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’m Ashli. I’m a mommy of a sweet little boy, wife of a soldier, and full-time blogger (among many other things.) I started my first blog, The Million Dollar Mama, in August 2016. For the first 6 months, I spent every single spare moment I had working on my blog. I’m talking around 50 hours a week, which included staying up until all hours of the night, waking up super early, every nap time, etc. I no longer share my online income reports, but I make a full-time income from my blog (if you’re interested in my old online income reports, you can read them here.)

Q: Why do you think your blog is able to make money when so many others aren’t? What have you done differently? 

A: This is a tough question because I obviously don’t know exactly what everyone is/isn’t doing with their blog. It’s probably easier if I write down the things I did/didn’t do:
  • Contrary to what a lot of people recommend, I started my blog specifically with the intent to make money online. So from the very beginning, I had that mindset, and viewed my blog as a business.
  • This meant that I immediately got a self-hosted blog, a premium theme and invested in blogging education.
  • I set myself a goal that I would work my ass off for one year, and if I wasn’t making $1000/month from my blog, I would reconsider if blogging was for me.
  • I not only took online courses, I implemented what I learned from them.
  • I was willing to constantly change things up, without having my heart set on certain things. I’ve changed my blog design many times, I’ve created tons of different opt-ins, changed my pin designs, writing style, etc. If something’s not working, I’ll switch things up.
  • I don’t waste hours in blogging groups on Facebook. While there are definitely some valuable ones (like yours!) I think it can be very easy to spend too much time talking about blogging without actually blogging!

Q: What was your biggest hurdle to earning an income with your blog… and how did you overcome it?

A: My biggest hurdle was probably figuring out how people actually make money. I knew that people did, and I’d heard of things like “affiliate marketing” but I didn’t know how it all worked. I overcame this by investing in my education.

Q: Can you share you best advice for how to make money with a blog? 

A: My best advice for how to make money with a blog would be:

  • Always write your posts with monetization in mind. Of course, you can write journal/diary style posts if you want, but you can make money from a post if it’s not monetized. So that means, always have a relevant affiliate product/your own product you can recommend to readers, or use the post as a way to funnel people to your email list.
  • Don’t be afraid of ads. It’s fine if you don’t want them, but honestly, most people don’t even notice ads anymore because they’re just so used to them. Ads are a very easy way to monetize, because they’re just there, you don’t have to do anything. You can start with places like Adsense or Sovrn, then apply to Mediavine or AdThrive once you reach the threshold.
  • Don’t just focus on Pinterest – search engine traffic is much more valuable when it comes to both ads and affiliate conversions.

(Note from Carly: Ashli makes most of her income on Amazon, up to 10k per month! Learn her Amazon affiliate strategy here!)