3 Steps I took to Start Monetizing My Blog

If you’re a blogger, chances are you would like to get paid. Even if you don’t want to make a full-time income from it, if you’ve blogged for more than a day you know it’s a lot of work and getting some type of compensation would be really nice.

Am I right? 

Although I knew you could profit from blogging, it wasn’t necessarily my goal when I started this blog. My goal was to be a writer. But in order to be a writer, I needed people to read what I wrote and in order for that to happen I had to actually promote my blog. Which is work. A few months into blogging, I decided that I wanted to monetize. Not just to be compensated for my time, but because I love blogging and I want to continue to stay home with my son.

It seemed like a win-win to me.

Although I knew how people monetize, I wasn’t really sure what that meant for me. As I started to research, I found that many bloggers have invested a lot of money into their blogs. One day I read about a stay at home mom that makes a 6 figure income from blogging. This really inspired me, so I bought her book which only cost me a few bucks. I was so excited!

I was almost immediately deflated when I read that she was “broke” and invested her last $6,000 into her blog.

$6,000??!?!  I barely had $6!! 

3 Steps I Took to Start Monetizing my Blog

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information.) 

The more I researched, the more I found that this is very common. And why wouldn’t it be? Blogging is a business and financially investing into your business is important. But, the good news is you don’t have to invest thousands or even hundreds of dollars into your blog. (If you have it, by all means… do it! I guarantee you, I would.)

A $6,000 investment may help you monetize more quickly but it absolutely is possible to make money without breaking the bank… or robbing one!

Here are 3 (FREE) steps I took to start monetizing my blog: 

1) Got rid of all the buts in my life. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard bloggers talk about how they “wish” they could make money… but. But I don’t have enough traffic. But I don’t have enough time. But I don’t have enough money. Can I let you in on a little secret? I don’t have any of those things but and I have money in the bank right now that I’ve made through blogging (and more on the way this week). No, it’s not thousands of dollars but it’s a lot more than nothing which is what I was making up until a couple of months ago. It wasn’t until I decided to stop with the buts that I started to make money. I decided that I wasn’t going to wait for more page views, more time, more money, etc. Because the truth is, the only thing I really needed more of was hustle

2) Started applying for sponsored posts. 

Since I had no more buts there was nothing to lose and I got to work signing up with sites like iConnect , Linqia, Social Fabric and Socialix that connect bloggers with brands. Some sites (for example, Linqia) require a minimum number of followers or page views. Instead of using that as an excuse, use it as a goal.  In the mean time, go for the sites don’t have minimums and start applying. 

3) Changed my affiliate strategy (which was no strategy). 

Like many bloggers, for me being an affiliate meant putting up a banner on my sidebar or linking to Amazon when I talked about products I love. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this but you need more of a strategy than that. This is still a work in progress for me but I started by reaching out to my Shareasale  affiliate companies, first to ask for product to review and second to ask for help and guidance. How would they like me to represent them? What has worked well for other affiliates? 

Next, I set a plan to represent them beyond a single post, a banner or the occasional links in posts and I started keeping track of each communication, post and mention. My goal is to have an ongoing relationship with my affiliates which means I need to actively engage with them and promote them.

I still have a ways to go but by taking these three steps, I went from wanting, wishing and waiting to actually making money from my blog.

What buts have gotten in your way? And, more importantly, how can you get rid of them? 

5 Things I Learned in My First Year of Blogging

Ok, so, the title of this post is slightly misleading but to be completely accurate would have been way too long of a title (and it’s already long). I have blogged for much longer than one year. I started way back in 2007 but I usually would post “regularly” for like  a month (maybe two) and then I would disappear for a year (maybe two). I did have a beauty blog that I was semi-consistent with for awhile but, ironically, when I started working at Sephora I blogged less and less. Then, I got pregnant and just didn’t feel like doing a beauty blog anymore. It’s still there, horrible pictures and all. It wasn’t until May 2015 that I did more than write some posts to share with my friends and family (a couple of friends of mine are the ones that convinced me to do the beauty blog). Sometimes I look back at that beauty blog and wish I had known all of the things I know now after a year of blogging more seriously. Maybe that’s why I keep it. It’s either that, or I want to remember that I used to brush my hair every day. Who am I kidding? It’s probably the latter.

5 Things I Learned in My First Year of Blogging - Diary of a New Mommy - Mommy Blogger

Here are 5 Things I learned in my (sort of ) first year of blogging:

  1. I have to put myself out there. I was actually way better at sharing my inconsistent blogs than I have been with this one. I blogged for about four months before I started promoting my blog, other than occasional tweets. And the only reason I tweeted was because I never used Twitter and didn’t think any of my friends did, either. (I know, I’m weird. It’s ok.)  I still rarely share my posts on my personal Facebook page. But, I’ve learned in this past year that I have to get over myself and put myself out there. I have to let people know that I’m here, otherwise, they may never know. This also goes for working with brands. I used to think I had to wait for some astronomical page view number to get paid but that’s really not true. Sometimes, you have not because you ask not!
  2. I have something to say. I think number one is directly affected by this one.  The more confident I have become in knowing that I have something to say, the more I have been able promote my blog. The reason I was able to promote my writing in the past was because I was confident in my voice on those subjects. But, a mommy blog? (That I started before I was a mommy.)  I had no authority in that. But, I’ve learned over the last year that while I am by no means an expert, I do have something to say on the subject. First of all, and most importantly, it’s my life. It’s what I do day in and day out. Second, I worked with children as my career for 14 years. I do know some stuff about kids. Third, at the time I started my blog I was working as a peer counselor in a crisis pregnancy center. I was surrounded by pregnant ladies and new mommies.  I had plenty of information on the subject. Lastly, I am a researcher by nature… I mean, I can google and pin with the best of them!
  3. Blog groups are awesome. If you are not  a blogger you may not know this but there are a ton of Facebook groups for bloggers. If you did know that, then, well I guess I’m even more lame than I thought! I did not know this. I thought Facebook groups were for direct sales parties when someone wanted free stuff but didn’t want anyone in her house. (By “someone” I mean me.) I had no idea that there were groups I could join to meet other bloggers, ask questions and promote my blog. I came across a blog that I really liked (via Pinterest, of course) and I learned that the blogger was starting a Christian Blogger repin group on Facebook (it has sense been renamed to Christian Blogger Community) and I decided to join. Through that group, I started realizing that blogger groups was a total thing. I’m now in a whole boatload of groups and even started my own last month! Joining these groups has been a total game changer for me. I have learned so much from other bloggers and I’ve been able to grow as a blogger. Also, I’ve made some virtual friends. Which, for a stay at home mom who doesn’t get out much, this is huge.
  4. Comparison is for the birds. When we compare ourselves to other people (in any facet of life) we almost never have the full story. When we see an over night success story, very rarely do we realize that it’s actually an over hundreds of nights success story. When we see what other people have, we generally don’t know what they started with. Sure, some people start with nothing. But, others start with plenty of resources.  There are bloggers that invest thousands of dollars into starting their blogs. Other bloggers have professional social media marketing experience. Some bloggers even have time. I invested $14 in my blog. I have zero social media marketing experience (unless you count posting my every move on Facebook for a small, regrettable, window of time) and my boss (aka my baby) gives me very little time for breaks. My successes, and your successes, will not look the same because we come from different places. We have different strengths and different struggles. There is no comparison.
  5. Blogging is work! I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again. Blogging is work. You don’t just write a post and off you go. You have to create images, promote the post, reply to comments, manage your social media accounts, work with brands, respond to emails, research and the list goes on! I could easily spend a full work day on blogging. (And I might be more successful if I did but I won’t compare myself to the bloggers that can!).

What have you learned from blogging?

First Year – Top 12 Posts

May is birthday month around here. My birthday, my son’s birthday and my blog’s birthday! One year ago, at 38 weeks pregnant, I decided to start novicemommy.com. I had blogged on and off for years but it was basically a way for me to write some thoughts down and (sometimes) share them with my friends and family on Facebook. I’ve always loved to write and since I was a little girl, being a writer was my dream. As I was nearing the birth of my son, I realized that I had to make that dream a reality. With my whole world (and Pinterest boards) being overtaken by all things baby, it seemed like a no brainer… and novicemommy.com was born. Just a couple of weeks before my son! It has been a crazy, busy, awesome year with both of my babies. As I look back at how I defined being a writer, a year ago, I can say I have achieved that dream. Thank you for being a part of my dream come true! In honor of my blogging birthday, I have made a list of my Top 12 Posts from my first year. Take a look and see if there’s something you missed!

image of top 12 posts first year diary of a new mommy

  1. 10 Interesting and Fun Facts About Newborns (check out an updated version that was published on HuffingtonPost)
  2. Baby’s First Easter Basket Ideas
  3. Budget-Friendly Labor & Delivery Nurse Gifts
  4. 9 Quotes for Mother’s Day
  5. Let’s Not Make Meternity Leave a Thing
  6. How to Balance the Blog Life and Mom Life
  7. This is Why I am A Stay-At-Home Mom
  8. 4 Ways to Support Your Friend, the Blogger
  9. 5 Chick Flicks to Binge Watch on Netflix
  10. My Labor Playlist
  11. Tips for Treating Dry Skin in Pregnancy
  12. 3 Tips on Relationships for Moms

Bonus: There were a couple of ties, so to break them I chose posts only written by me. Here are two guest posts from Real Moms Talk that tied in the Top 12 but didn’t make my cut. Real Moms Talk Losing the Baby Weight  and God is Still Faithful and He is Still With Me (Our High-Risk Pregnancy)

4 Ways to Support Your Friend, The Blogger

4 Ways to Support Your Friend, The Blogger

If you are alive in 2016, chances are you know someone that has a blog. Blogging is used by both business and individuals. It is used as a creative outlet and as an income generator. Whether a blogger is doing it purely for fun or to make money, I guarantee you he/she wants some support. Blogging takes time, more time than most people realize. And there’s so much more involved than writing and hitting publish. Though, the writing itself can be pretty time consuming, bloggers also have to research, make visually appealing images and promote their posts (all of which are more involved than you probably care to hear). The promotion part often takes just as much if not more time than putting the post together! All this to say, bloggers want people to read no matter what their reason for blogging. If you have a friend that is a blogger, there are several ways that you can show your support. 

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to disclosure for more information.)

4 Ways to Support Your Friend, The Blogger

  1. Click – Don’t have time to actually read your friend’s latest post? It’s fine. Seriously. Every page view counts, so just click the link and stick around long enough for the page to load (and maybe a little more, sing Mary Had a Little Lamb or something). Have you noticed ads on your friend’s blog? If there’s an ad that interests you, click it to find out more. In most cases, simply by clicking you could be helping your friend earn a commission. 
  2. Share – Did you enjoy your friend’s post? Do you know someone else that might enjoy it? Share it! Didn’t get to read it? Pin it for later! Hopefully your friend has share buttons to make it easy for you but if not all you have to do is copy the url and paste into the social media platform of your choice. (You can also text or email it to a friend.) By sharing posts, you are helping to broaden your friend’s reach. Trust me, any blogger would be extremely grateful for the help in getting the word out. 
  3. Comment – If you have a few minutes to spend, make a comment on your friend’s post. What did you like about it? How can you relate? Was there a quote in there that you really like? Commenting will not only encourage your friend but it will help build the blog’s community. People are more apt to comment when they see that others have done so. Go ahead, lead the charge! Also, if your friend works with brands (or would like to) comments will help with those relationships. Brands want to see interaction. 
  4. Follow – I recently had a conversation with two people about my blog within minutes of each other. The first person, an aspiring blogger, immediately asked about my traffic numbers. The second person, a professional blogger, immediately asked me about social media following. Social media is a vital component for blog growth. You can help your friend out by following the blog’s social media platforms. Much like commenting, this helps build community and it helps with brand relationships. The majority of my blog’s brand relationships have come directly from my Instagram account. When you follow your friend, it’s more than just another number – you are also connecting him/her with other potential followers. (Have you ever seen “suggestions”?) 

These are all really easy ways that you can support your friend’s blogging endeavors. Of course, you could take it a step further by purchasing products directly from the site or through affiliate links like Amazon. But, by doing any (or all) of the 4 things above you are helping your friend out in a big way… without spending any money! 

//

How to Balance the Blog Life and Mom Life

How to Balance the Blog Life and Mom Life
I have blogged off and on for several years but never anything too serious, or serious at all. When I was 38 weeks pregnant, I decided to pick up blogging again and this time I meant business!

Even though I had blogged before, the only thing I really did was write and occasionally share on social media. So, really, over the past 8 months I’ve been learning the blog thing and the mom thing simultaneously.

Neither is an easy task.

If you want to blog consistently, monetize and/or increase traffic then it takes a lot of time, attention and care. And being a mom… well that takes everything you’ve got!

So, how do you balance blog life and mom life? (And any blogger will tell you it is a life.)

I won’t pretend even for a second that I have this figured out but I have learned a few things that help me in this balancing act.

//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js


//

How to Balance the Blog Life and Mom Life:

  1. Do what works. If you want someone to tell you to wake up at the crack of dawn, make breakfast, have coffee, shower, put makeup on, read your Bible and write all before your little one(s) wake up… I am not your girl. I don’t do any of those things. I mean, I do them (except the crack of dawn one) just not at the wee hours of the morning. Though, my routine may be more relaxed than a lot of other moms, or it may start later, I still have one. If you want to accomplish anything of significance, having a schedule is a must but the most important part of a schedule isn’t how great it looks like on paper, it’s that it works. Waking up early doesn’t work for me. As of right now, my son and I co-sleep (I know… gasp!). While he will go down alone in the bed and sleep perfectly fine for hours, once I decide to go to bed there is no escaping. If I wake up before him and try to get stuff done, he wakes immediately. Then he’s cranky and it’s  a whole ordeal and nothing gets done anyhow.  I’ve read so many blog posts telling me to wake up early and do x,y, and z but, realistically, it doesn’t work. I don’t know anything about your household, so I would never tell you what time to wake up and go to bed or anything else for that matter. Only you can know what works for you. So, create a schedule that fits your life, something that will work. Write it down and stick to it!
  2. Make lists. I love lists with all of my heart. I’m one of those people that adds stuff to my list that I’ve already done, just so I can cross them off. Lists make me happy. You may not be a list person but making lists will help you maintain balance. Lists will help keep you on track. I think this is especially important considering that almost everything we do as bloggers is on the internet. The internet is a wonderful place but it can also eat up two hours in what seems like two minutes. If I don’t keep lists, my time is easily wasted. I keep a list with two columns “now” and “later”. I write all of my daily tasks down in the “now” column and as other things pop up, I jot them down in the “later”.  I make sure to complete my “now” before moving on to the “later”. If I don’t get to a “later”, it simply moves to a “now” for the next day.
  3. Put your phone down. This is one I’m seriously working on. I could literally work on blog stuff all day long. There is always something to be done and many can be done from my phone. There are certain times that I need to walk away from my phone so that I don’t get distracted from spending quality time with my son or even a simple mommy task like putting his laundry away.
  4. Multi-task when possible. Ok, so this might seem like a contradiction to number 3 but it’s not. I promise. There are certain times when multi-tasking blogging and momming (I know, totally not a word) works. Determine what those tasks are and go with it. For example, some blog group threads that I participate in are tasks I can do while my son is happily playing alone (and by “alone” I mean as long as some part of me is touching some part of him).
  5. Prioritize. I love writing. I love blogging. I could easily lock myself away all day and work on my blog and freelance projects. As much as I love it, though, it is not my top priority. My son is. One of the things I love about the blog life is that I can earn a living from it and stay home with my son. But if it’s taking all of my time and attention that really doesn’t matter. When I notice that blogging is taking priority over my son, I know adjustments need to be made. The scale needs some tipping, so to speak. Also, I have other priorities besides blogging. Being aware of these priorities, helps me make decisions that will keep my life in balance.

How do you balance being the blog life and mom life?