6 Real Ways to Earn Money From Your Mom Blog


Even though it seems hard to make money on your blog, it really isn’t that difficult. Let that soak in! It’s really not that hard to earn money on your blog. This is especially true if you have a loyal readership. Make no mistake about it, the only way you are going to make money on your blog is if you have readers. A lot of people poo-poo the importance of traffic to the earnings equation, but honestly, it’s the way the online world works. If you have Dooce traffic, you’re going to make a lot of money. If you have significantly less (and I mean significantly less) traffic, you’re not going to make that much cash.

So, how do you make money on your blog?

You must write a blog that people remember and want to read. Period. How do you create a blog like that? I believe it’s a three-fold approach:

1) pen great stories or share useful advice
2) establish a consistent voice and point of view (let people know where you’re coming from)
3) have a beautiful blog (people like pretty!)

1. Private Advertising

Once you have worked on creating the best blog you can and are ready to accept advertising you should start selling private ads. Small businesses are always looking for affordable advertising options. Make sure they know you are accept ads. Why? Unless you have a lot of traffic, being a part of an ad network is not going to net you a lot of money and you have to wait for your checks to arrive. Also, affiliate advertising won’t work that well either unless you are clever about placing them in your posts or on your blog where there is also full disclosure.

Private advertising is effective because companies pay for ad space up front and you have complete control of the advertising that runs on your site, unlike on ad networks. If, however, you have a lot of traffic, then an ad network is an optimal option for you. Ever since I started creating sites in 2003 I have always sold my own ads. I use AdSpeed.com to monitor impressions and clicks, which companies — large and small — really like.

Bloggers Who Sell Private Ads You Should Look To: Gabrielle at DesignMom.com, Stephanie at Adventures in BabyWearing,  Amanda from SouleMama.

2. Write An E-Book

If you have advice to share that you think is valuable to your readers, you should capitalize on your know-how. Writing an e-book is never a task to be taken lightly, however. Due to the sheer volume of competition, your e-book needs to have fresh content, be well-written, and be packaged professionally. And you never know, your e-books may turn into a book deal. Just ask Australian blogger, Sarah Prout.

When you sell your e-book, consider using e-junkie. They provide an easy way to sell your downloads and even help you accept affiliates as well.

3. Sell Your Wares or  Merchandise

If you are creative, be sure to sell your wares. Your readers will love supporting you and will be happy to own something you’ve created. Use Etsy ArtFire, or Bixbe to sell your handmade products.

Or, if you have a loyal following and readership, you might want to sell merchandise that your readers can purchase where you earn money on each sale. CafePress has been a leader in the custom merchandising arena for several years. You can sell everything from mugs and t-shirts to totes and journals either with your unique branding on them, or you can create designs from templates they provide.

4. Write for Others

Establishing a strong point of view eventually gets you noticed in your niche, no matter if you blog about family life or are a gardening guru. This is particularly true as large blogs and traditional media sites clamor to discover new voices to make their editorial presence stronger. For example, if you are a really great book reviewer and write an exceptional literary blog, it is only a matter of time before a large media site asks you to blog for them about books and pays you for your words. Think about all the bloggers who now blog for Lifetime Moms or CafeMom’s The Stir.  Or, take Josie from Yum Yucky, for example, who was asked to write for her local newspaper about her quest to live sugar-free.

Aside from media sites, brand and product web sites are also realizing the importance of creating their own original content for their core consumers. This is going to be an area that balloons over the next few years. And who is creating quality content on a day-to-day basis? Mom bloggers! It’s you and other mom bloggers who brands will tap to lead their editorial efforts. For example, as a Land O’Frost ambassador, I contribute monthly posts to LandoMoms.com and blogger/writer/author extraordinaire Jen Singer has been writing original content for Pull-Ups for years. Even Kellogg created a microsite called SnackPicks.com and staffed mom bloggers as freelancers.

This is all to say, keep writing and developing your voice and expertise because there is going to be ample opportunity to spread your writing far and earn money. But first, you’re going to need a springboard and that’s a well written blog with a strong point of view.

5. Dabble in Vlogging and Podcasting

Extending your voice off your blog to other media platforms is also a way for you to earn money. It’s never an easy move to create another project aside from your blog, but give vlogging and podcasting a try. They could earn you money in the long run.

Just like selling private ads on your blog, you can also sell private ads and sponsorships on your vlogs and podcasts. Visit Kimberley Blaine, the Go-To Mom, who has partnered with several brands like Yahoo!, Sony, and Vimeo as a vlogger.

And, if you want to aspire to the success of the mom podcasting juggernauts, visit MommyCast.com and ManicMommies.com. They have built their audiences over the years and both work with major brands as sponsors and advertisers. While you won’t become MommyCast  or ManicMommies overnight, you can always start small and attract small advertisers and then grow bigger as your following grows on both your blog, podcast, or vlog.

6. Create a Community

I am a huge believer in Ning. Ning allows you to grow a robust community for your blog. Just look at what I’ve been able to do with the Mom Bloggers Club. When I started MBC three years ago, I had no idea moms would even join the club. I am here to tell you you can create a community for your blog if you are consistent. Unfortunately Ning is no longer free, but as you grow your community the amount you pay to host your site is far less than you can earn as a community owner. And Ning will soon offer easy ways for you to host skyscraper, leaderboard, and footer advertising on your community.

Also, consider adding a forum to your blog. Giving moms the opportunity to talk to one another on your blog is a clever way of creating more space to sell advertising. Check out what Amy did with MomSpark.net for inspiration.

One final note: The skills you learn as a mom blogger easily translate into areas where you can also earn money in the corporate world. Companies often look to mom bloggers as consultants when launching new campaigns and when they are in the product development phase. The social media skills you are developing organically is already in high demand. Brands also are increasingly working with mom bloggers as paid brand ambassadors and spokespeople.

62 thoughts on “6 Real Ways to Earn Money From Your Mom Blog

  1. Great post, Jennifer. I love all the specific examples you’ve given. I’ve bookmarked this to come back later and check out every link. I’m doing some of these already, but you’ve provided a lot of food for thought here. Thanks!

  2. Love it! Great tips Jennifer!! I wish I didn’t already have a full time job so I could REALLY take the time to try and develop these things. Baby steps though… Maybe one day I can blog full time :)

  3. Incredible, Jennifer! I met you at The Bread Art Project luncheon (I’m a friend of Kim Coleman’s) and I’ve been addicted to your stuff ever since. Thanks soooo much for this advice. I’m a fairly new blogger, still finding my way around and this was extremely helpful. Pleaseplease come visit me sometime! (Don’t know if you even do that–after all, you’re just a little bit busy, right? :-)

  4. Readership sure does make a difference in making money for your blog. I also think it is about more then just blogging but being social in other areas online and offline. Advertising does equal money and for me I make the most selling my own advertisements -the bigger money comes from good content, affiliate sales and sphere of influence when working with companies. I haven’t really done with my Ning group what I want to do and I’m really making some changes and plans for the future with their upcoming changes.

  5. Thanks, Jennifer, you’re giving me a nudge to offer private advertising! I currently make money through just 2 ways on Freely Educate: Google Adsense and Sponsored Posts. I stopped working for free (reviews, giveaways) for companies this year, which leaves me feeling far less taken-advantage-of, and gives me a little pocket change.

    I’ve tried other ad networks, but for my very niche demographic (educating parents & teachers), Google Adsense does well. It did terribly, though, on my Just Pure Lovely blog, which was harder for Adsense to define, I guess. In summary, a network like Adsense works far better on a niche blog.

  6. Such great advice and you make it very easy to see the necessary steps and why you need to do them with a bit of how to get it done. Thank you! Very encouraging indeed~

  7. Great doable ideas! Also, when writing and keeping a blog, aside from generating traffic, one must be consistent with providing readers with worth while information. Consistent quality is not always easy to produce, but value is what readers look for (like this article!).

  8. This is a wondeful post filled with great practicals Jennifer. I want to stress that it is becoming more important for bloggers to become comfortable with vlogging. It’s not my thing, but I’m learning it…simply because it opens up more potential income streams.

    • Yeah — I’m not comfortable at all with vlogging, but it’s ad gold to some people. I do like audio though.

      Thank you! And I cannot wait to read your posts on your new blog!!

  9. Great post and advice, definitely will help many mom bloggers! Two years ago when I started blogging if someone told me that I would do what I do today with my blog I wouldn’t believe it, but here I am and happy that I can do this full time :)

  10. These are so great steps. I think growing readership takes a lot of time, sweat, and sometimes tears… You can do everything right and follow all the “rules” and it can still take months to get a strong readership.

    I do think it is important to have a blog that has quality useful content. I just narrowed my niche to selling kids clothes on eBay because I was originally just writing once a week about it but come to find out my readers wanted much more. SO I am slowly but steadily seeing my numbers grow.

    • @Heidi Thank you for reading. Glad you enjoyed the post!

      @Firefly Congrats! Yes, you have done a lot with your blog. Keep up the great work!

      @ThisMama: I totally agree…readers like content they can use and apply to their lives. Thanks for the Stumble :)

  11. Great ideas and chalk full of examples! I am going to look into Ning. Do you think that the cost for it outweigh the benefits-or is it worth it? Just curious about your POV on it. Keep on writing!

    • I think it’s worth it particularly if you run several ads at once. Communities allow you to offer potential advertisers more placement opportunities. So, let’s say a company wants to run an ad on your blog, you can also tell them that you will run the ad on your blog and on your community. The advertising definitely pays for itself.

  12. Hi Jennifer,

    A great post…including links for example was awesome, very helpful. As we all know we need readers, followers and a great way to get some is by creating a Squidoo Lense or even a Hubpage on your “thing” getting them interested in what you are all about. These are free and a great way to drive people to your Blog.

    Manon

  13. This is all great advice, and the links to bloggers employing some of these methods is really helpful. I’m anxious to find the right opportunities for myself as a blogger, and while I”m still working to grow my readership at this phase, it’s encouraging to see so many moms really making it happen.

  14. Jennifer, I’ve been wondering what you think of collecting email addresses, like for a newsletter, but really with the goal of having a captive readership that doesn’t forget about you, and to whom you can offer something for sale in the future (such as an ebook!).

    I offer feedburner subscriptions for my blogs, so don’t also have a newsletter subscriber list on the side, but have a friend who is making 6 figures with a list of over 20K subscribers to her newsletter lists. The downside to having only feedburner subscribers is that I cannot contact them without posting on my blog (ie., I cannot email them directly).

    Could you write an article on this, or post a few thoughts?

  15. P.S.

    Thank you for saying it’s important to write well and have an established readership that is invested in you- that’s something that isn’t easy to explain and isn’t something you can really teach someone how to do, because it has to be unique and individual for each writer.

    Steph

  16. OMGosh! This is so helpful. I’ve been really worried about what I’m doing wrong with my blog and why I’m not making any $$$. Turns out I have a lot of work to do. lol.

  17. As someone who doesn’t focus all that much on the “business” side of blogging and doesn’t really even understand how I would, this was the BEST post I’ve read on the subject.

    (that was supposed to be a compliment)

    I guess I’m saying that I always want to remain authentic, to be writing good content for me and to let the chips fall where they may. This is going well, even thought it’s not all that savvy, but lately I’ve been thinking I could be a whole lot smarter about the whole thing if I tried. That’s what I loved about this post. Instead of giving a bunch of information focused only on SEO, etc, it teaches how to go about being authentic while being smart. So kudos and thank you very much.

    This is an excellent resource.

    Heather

  18. Jennifer, as usual, your posts are golden and filled with valuable information. I read every single word you write then forward it to all my mom blogging friends. You have a fan in me. Thanks for the shout out :-)

  19. This is like a million dollar post. Imagine if we all of successfully applied one or more of the concepts you present in this post. How much income could we generate as a whole? Eh, we’ll never know, but ideas you’ve outlined can definitely be accomplished by those who are serious, organized, and business-minded.

    And thank you for mentioning me. I’m actually working on a freelance assignment this weekend. :)

  20. Great information Jennifer! I’m pretty new to blogging so am really glad that I stumbled across your writing and advertising tips. Also, now I’m following some more awesome moms on twitter!

  21. Pingback: Tweets that mention 6 Real Ways to Earn Money From Your Mom Blog « Jennifer James Online -- Topsy.com

  22. Thank you so much for mentioning me in your piece! You will always be a rock star in my mind because you were extremely helpful when I first started blogging.

    I love that you share your experiences publicly in an effort to help new bloggers. Most successful bloggers will not do that. Basically, you rule. :)

  23. It is all about the eyeballs. If you can gather them in one place businesses will want to reach them. You did a nice job of illustrating that with this post.

  24. Really great article with tons of great tips. It can be frustrating though, I have seen in the past six months my followers on Twitter and other various sites grow, but with so many networks and communities to join, tweets, posts, I often feel bogged by it all and find it hard to keep it organized. I try to write great content from the heart on my family, local news, parenting, product reviews and more. Maybe I should stop or I’m doing something wrong but nobody comments ever! My page views read over 1000 unique visitors a month but nobody says anything. Not sure what to do, except keep at it I suppose.

  25. I love this post – very specific and to the point with great ideas too, especially for new bloggers – well….I’m new to CONSISTENTLY blogging! – like me! I’ve been working on a post about blogging that discusses “studying” other blogs to see how it’s done – I may have to link to this great post for an example of excellence! Thank you!

  26. Excellent advice, Jennifer! This is another solid piece – helpful for both new and experienced bloggers.

    P.S. I also sell my own ads and it sounds like AdSpeed might be something worth looking into. I’m going to head over there right now…

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  29. Jennifer,
    I go through huge swaths of time where I neglect my blog (I know, bad blogger! But I’m recommitting myself, once again!) and I’ll have hundreds of emails waiting for me when I do come back. Most are deleted – Mom Bloggers Club are the ones I save AND read. Because you are always giving me such great information on the business of blogging. Thank you so much – I was always be a loyal follower!

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