Sharing Secrets for Success So That You Can Succeed Too
In a recent article, we walked you through nine ways you can earn money blogging. Maybe you’ve read it and are inspired to launch your own blog built on your personal passion, but maybe you need some more inspiration. If you’re like most women, you need to see something to believe it. So we’ve combed the web to find a group of three awesome and normal moms just like you who’ve ditched their 9-5s to start new careers (and lives) as bloggers.
About the blog: Julie’s Freebies is exactly what the name implies – a one-stop hub for everything free on the internet that a woman could want. Julie, who started her blog after finding her own self passionately searching for freebies on a daily basis for personal use, wound up making her site a full-time job once she realized how in-demand the service was. Since then, she’s scoured the web on a daily basis to bring her audience the latest and hottest free deals.
Why she did it: Before Julie started her blog, she was already spending hours on the web looking for deals. She was also posting them to her Facebook page to help her friends score freebies too, and realized just how much people were eating up her service. Like any business woman would do, Julie saw an opportunity and seized it.
How she did it: When Julie realized blogging is what she was meant to do, she truly lunged headfirst into her business. In the beginning, Julie used a paid template for her blog, which she said cost less than the price of a laptop. Though startup expenses weren’t a huge cost for her, she has reinvested in her business as it grew, spending thousands of dollars on marketing over the years. Julie has also fueled her growth through elaborate social media marketing, and sends out a newsletter 5 days a week to drive traffic back to her blog.
She’s also been attached at the hip to her laptop, and says she has been known to pull over her car in a parking lot to update her site so that her readers can have instant access to the hottest deals.
How it earns money: Julie makes her money from advertising revenue and also receives compensation from companies for promoting certain offers.
What it earns: Though her lips are sealed on exact earnings, we image that with over 22,000 Facebook followers, her earnings are quite promising. She did say that with no college education, she makes more than a college graduate would with 10 years of experience. If that’s not an incentive, we don’t know what else is.
- Find something you’re passionate about and love to do on a daily basis. Once you find that passion, the money will come. “When starting out it can be very discouraging as you see other blogs with bigger audiences but you can’t let that get in your way,” said Julie. “I have a few sites in my niche that I eye from time to time, but I never look at them as better than me. I simply look at where I could be and it helps me to keep pushing on.”
- Don’t focus on the money. According to Julie, if money is your motivation than your audience will see through you. “The money is nice and there is a lot of money to be made online, but you should never let that be the factor that steers your blog along. Blog because you love what you are blogging about, don’t blog for a paycheck. “
- Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. Though Julie recommends starting out with low-cost methods of startup and promotion, she said that once you start making money, start investing. “All businesses require some sort of investment and if you see that yours is headed in a direction to become profitable, by all means, put money into it.”
About the blog: Karen Hoxmeier started MyBargainBuddy.com in 1999 before mommy blogging reached the magnitude it is today. My Bargain Buddy is a resource for the best deals on the web.
Why she did it: After having her first child, Karen was a stay-at-home mom for 5 years before jumping back into the workforce to dabble in some part-time work. But when Karen’s boss tossed a guilt trip her way when Karen needed to be home with her sick child, she called it quits and turned her love of couponing and bargain shopping into a full-fledged business. Since then, it’s been featured in Woman’s Day, Entrepreneur, Family Circle and other top media outlets. Not only has she raised a thriving business, Karen was able to raise her three kids with the philosophy that they always come first, thanks to the flexibility of her career.
How she did it: When Karen first launched her blog, it was truly a shoestring business. Karen coded it herself using html, and it started as a single page of coupon codes and online bargains. As interest and revenue grew, Karen also grew the site. She reinvested her money, switching to a free WordPress template in 2007, and hiring a professional web designer for $5,000 in 2010. In the early stages, Karen would spend a great deal of time on her website. Now, she has the flexibility of spending 2-3 hours per day on it, and still continues to generate a solid income through both the blog and consulting other entrepreneurs.
How it earns money: Karen earns money through affiliate programs.
What it earns: Her dedication to her business has paid off over the years, and she currently brings in around six figures annually.
- Find your passion. Karen says that moms should start blogs centered on things they love. “Her passion will come through and it will attract like-minded individuals,” she said.
- Be an expert. Karen notes that these days, standing out in blogging is a hustle. “You really need to make sure you’re an expert in your niche,” she says.
About the blog: SkinnyMom.com is a community focused on healthy living for moms developed by Brooke Griffin, a former Fitness Universe Champion and NFL cheerleader. Skinny Mom touts itself as giving moms the latest “skinny” on fitness, food, fashion and family.
Why she did it: Brooke had her first child in 2011. After gaining 68 pounds, she took her frustrations with weight loss to the web to find other like-minded women, only to find absolutely nothing. So, what did she do? She created it.
How she did it: Brooke’s story is truly one of those inspirational entrepreneurship stories. This fabulous mom started the Skinny Mom brand with a small amount of savings, $3500 to be exact, and used it to purchase the website, domain and logo. Through the months, traffic started growing but so did cost associated with it. With $500 left in her checking, Brooke struggled to keep up with the cost of business. On a whim, she decided to enter the Cincinnati Innovates Regional Innovation Competition and ended up receiving the grand price of $25,000.
How it earns money: Skinny Mom currently earns money through advertising, grants and selling the Skinny Mom brand.
What it earns: Skinny Mom earned about $25,000 in its first year. With that revenue, Brooke has been able to hire on a staff including an Editor, Marketing Director, and writers to aid in increasing revenue.
- Make good use of social media. “Through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest,” Brooke says, “you can attract many new readers to your blog and remind those that have been there that they should come back!” She says to lure them in with enticing posts that are delivered directly to their computer screens through status updates, tweets, and pins.
- Network, network and network. According to Brooke, it’s important to meet as many other mommy bloggers as you can, even if it’s just a virtual meeting. She also thinks it’s a great idea to let people guest post to your blog. “Skinny Mom grew at an overwhelming rate once we chose a mommy blogger from each state to contribute to our blog. But choose wisely! Don’t let just anyone post on your site as it is a representation of you and your business.”
They Did It – Why Don’t You?
If you’re reading this article, you’re obviously interested in blogging. So why not do it? Reading through the stories of these three powerful women, it’s easy to recognize the qualities they have in common that have bred success for each. Hopefully these stories have inspired you as a mom and have taught you that with passion, intelligence, perseverance and confidence, you can also create the career and life that you really want.
If you have a story to share with us, we’d love to hear from you in the comments so you too, can inspire others moms to chase their dreams of self-employment.
What new insights did you get from these women?