Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blogging As A Business


Today, five friends and I are writing about how we fit blogging into various aspects of our daily lives. This is my part of the conversation (Blogging as a business); at the end of this post, I'll share my friends' links and their conversation topics for today. I hope you enjoy your time with us and are challenged by what you read!


For some women, the ultimate dream is to set up a blog, and within a few months time bring in several hundred dollars a month. Sounds nice, huh? I've learned something in the year and a half that I've been blogging now.

Blogging as a business is a perk.

Oh sure, it's nice to make the extra money, and I do make money each month off of my blog. But if the only reason you are blogging is to make money, don't expect to be able to keep it up, especially if you a homeschooling mother.

I'll be honest and say that the main reason I started this blog was because "everyone" told me that if you own a business, then having a blog to help promote your business is a must. So I started a blog thinking I would post about deals and specials that I had running on The Modest Mom, and to share new items. That idea lasted, oh about three weeks or so :) Then I realized that there were so many things I wanted to write about, so I started writing-ever so awkwardly.

Somehow I developed a following, and quickly fell in love with my readers :) The idea that anyone would want to read what I had to say was (and is!) humbling to me. I love the nervous feeling I get when I publish a post, and anxiously wait to see what the comments from you all will be. I love your encouraging words, and the fantastic tips and ideas you leave here. Blogging has turned into so much more than a business for me. If it didn't, I don't think I would be blogging anymore.

If you really want to have a successfull blog, you must have a passion for what you are writing about. You will quickly burn out if you are strictly in this for the money. Your heart needs to be stirred to serve your readers. And believe me, some days I feel like I am serving when I am writing a blog post, as there are other things that I'd rather be doing! But I press on, as I don't want my down days to control the content I share.

Nevertheless, I do own a business, and I do blog and make money from it each month. Let me be clear, compared to the large blogs that are out there (Money Saving Mom instantly comes to mind!) I make pennies compared to them :) But every little bit helps at our house, and currently every little penny I make is going to pay for my pregnancy care with my midwife! Since my husband is self employed as well, I love being able to assist him whenever I can in lightening his load.

So what are some ways you can make money with a blog? I'm going to share how I earn money off my blog, and be completely open with you on my likes and dislikes.

1. Own a business of your own and use your blog to promote it. One blog that comes to mind is The Vintage Pearl. They make adorable jewelry and their blog is primarily used to showcase the new pieces they come out with. I'm sure it helps their business a lot. Like I said above, this blog has turned into so much more than just promoting my Modest Mom business, so I don't primarily blog about my business (though I have to admit a post is coming soon highlighting some of our new products!).

2. Build a readership and allow sponsors to advertise on your site. This comes with its pluses and minuses (at least for me). It's wonderful to have sponsors who pay you to be able to have a button on your blog advertising their business. On the other hand, just be aware that it does take time to promote their business, behind the scene email correspondence, etc. I also feel more of a pressure to blog faithfully when I know that someone has paid me to advertise their business for them. I want to drive enough traffic to the blog to make their ad pay off. Sometimes that pressure is a good thing- it keeps me on track. Other times, when I have a lot going on in my family (like going through morning sickness) I don't like the pressure it puts on me.

If you are really interested in getting some sponsors, just email the company you would like to promote and ask them if they would like to advertise on your site! Starting out, keep your rates really reasonable, as the main goal is to get someone on your site and ensure that their experience with your blog is a profitable one. As your traffic grows you can up your price.

3. Sign up for affiliate programs. I had heard so many people suggest doing that, but for some reason it took me a while to actually follow through and start signing up! Taking that plunge was one of the best things that I did for my blog in terms of bringing in income.

Some of my favorite affiliates that I am signed up for are:

Vision Forum - I love a lot of their products, so I have no problem promoting them! You can read more here about their affiliate program and how to sign up with them. They are a very easy company to start with, and the affiliate links are a breeze to figure out. During the holidays you can make quite a bit of money with them!

The Bulk Herb Store - Again, I like their products a lot (we have used their salve in our household for years and it's great stuff!) so I know what I'm talking about when I promote their company. I've found the affiliate programs I'm not so familiar with I don't do as well, simply because I don't have a personal knowledge of what I like about them.

Amazon - I think this is a well known affiliate program, but I only signed up for them a few months ago! The idea was overwhelming to me since Amazon is so huge, but I'm glad I did, as there are so many products we all use on Amazon.

4. Sign up as a consultant for a company like Scentsy, Mary Kay, Shaklee, etc. and put your button on your blog. I signed about six months ago to be a Lilla Rose Consultant, and that was the best thing I have done yet! Starting out the money was slow, but the past few months I have been very pleased with the check I have been mailed each month, especially considering how little time I put into it! You don't have to mail anything out, Lilla Rose does that for you. I don't hear this concept talked about much, but I personally think it is a great way to bring in some extra money if you like a certain company!

5. Write an eBook and promote it on your blog! I have yet to do this, but have some dreams that will hopefully become reality this year. Sarah Mae just released a new eBook called "How to Market & Sell Your eBook, everything you need to know to make money with ePublishing". She is selling it for only $4.99, so if you are interested in writing an eBook I would definitely grab this first before you start!

This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the business side of blogging. If you are interested in learning more, I would highly suggest taking the Wise Woman Consulting with Mrs. June Fuentes. I learned a lot from consulting with her! If you do a consulting session with her, please let her know I sent you along with high recommendations!

Also, if you would like to join a group of bloggers to have mentors alongside you, consider entering this giveaway to win a year's membership to Connection Network!


And before you start a blog, or venture into the advertising side of blogging, may I suggest you stop and pray about it first before plunging in? It's not a good fit for everyone, and if you simply enjoy blogging to share with family about your children, please don't start stressing about making a few extra dollars a month off your blog. Make sure this is a good fit for you, your family, and your blog.

Please click on the links below to read from four other bloggers concerning different aspects of blogging!

Like A Bubbling Brook - Blogging As A Christian
Far Above Rubies - Blogging As A Mother
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home - Blogging To Advance The Kingdom Of God

*There are affiliate links in this post!*

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13 Comments:

At June 30, 2011 at 7:26 AM , Anonymous Far Above Rubies said...

Caroline, great post with some wonderful tips. Thanks for sharing.

 
At June 30, 2011 at 8:05 AM , Blogger Raising Mighty Arrows said...

Such a great and informative post. I just consulted with Mrs. June and would recommend it to everyone as well. I'm still in the process of implementing so many wonderful techniques she taught me.

 
At June 30, 2011 at 9:01 AM , Blogger Jessi @ Candle in the Night said...

Wow! Great ideas! This really makes me want to get serious about my blogging. I love to write, but I just rarely take the time to do it. Thanks for the ideas!

 
At June 30, 2011 at 9:07 AM , Blogger Rachael said...

Where did you get that amazing picture?!!!! I love the Jane Austen style with a laptop. So cute. Really good post Caroline!

 
At June 30, 2011 at 9:28 AM , Blogger Caroline said...

Rachael,

I found the photo on Flickr! I added the photo credit under the picture so you can click through. I thought it was a neat picture!

 
At June 30, 2011 at 10:08 AM , Anonymous Gail @ The Imperfect Housewife said...

Thank you for the reminder to pray over what we do! I've found that when I first started out I would ask God to bless my endeavors. As of recently, I feel that I have been leaving that part out!

 
At June 30, 2011 at 2:57 PM , Anonymous Bambi said...

Great tips and advice! I have been blogging faithfully now for about a year, sporadically for 6 months prior to that. Focusing on good content and other recommendations I've read, but still my readership is low :( Can you tell me what you think is the #1 tip to gaining readers? I am passionate about my subject, but there are so many who blog about the same thing. I have ideas to make money but need readers first! Any thoughts? Thanks!

 
At June 30, 2011 at 4:04 PM , Blogger Mrs Mary Joy Pershing said...

Caroline,

Thank you so much for your honest words of wisdom here. You have really helped. My husband and I are blogging as a team together now and are starting to pray about how we should embark on this part of blogging.

You've given me a lot of food for thought to take back to him to discuss and pray over.

Thanks! You always inspire me!!!

Dancing together at the foot of the Cross,

Mrs Mary Joy Pershing

 
At June 30, 2011 at 6:53 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

Hi Caroline,

Thank you for making me think about whether or not blogging for a business is a good fit!

You are welcome to come and read what I've gleaned from you ladies' posts today. So much food for thought!

 
At June 30, 2011 at 9:36 PM , Blogger Jessica Heights said...

I love your honesty in this post. Like each business, it sounds like each business blog is very different!

 
At June 30, 2011 at 10:00 PM , Anonymous Head Ant said...

I just started following your blog a few days ago. I love your clothing and can't wait to see the new products.

Thanks for the tips. There are things I haven't tried yet.

 
At July 5, 2011 at 1:54 AM , Anonymous Amy @ Raising Arrows said...

Lovely! It took me forever to sign up with affiliates as well! lol

 
At July 5, 2011 at 5:53 PM , Anonymous Just Mama said...

Hmmmm....very thoughtful and definatly information I needed to add to my stirring mind when it comes to the blogging world! I unplugged from other 'social media' to begin my family blog and we've been so blessed in being able to share, keepsake memories, and much more. Then I found myself needing to blog for other, deeper reasons that the Lord was leading me to. I needed some anonimity to do so....and there my 'faith' blog was born. I love blogging, I see myself having yet another role and ministry in His kingdom in doing so. And I've been pondering about the business side of it. When? Which blog? What things to promote? Where could it fit in properly? Would it be to God's glory? So thank you. You've shared on topics that are of much importance to me! I've just begun this series tonight and I thank all of you and am grateful to find another kindred heart in Christ. I look forward to following your blog, reading more, and checking out your business! My level of modesty, and mostly femininty seems to be growing and changing as the years pass! I can't seem to find enough skirts, dresses, and just feminine clothing so I can't wait to check you out! God bless!

 

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