*This post is from 2014 so some links/info may no longer be applicable. I keep a regularly updated Blogging Resource page here with my current recommendations.*
Three years ago this week I was 7 months pregnant with my third son and my husband was in the midst of a year-long deployment to Iraq. I’m not going to lie, I was exhausted (and hot, so very hot, does anyone else feel like they’re burning up the entire time they’re pregnant? no?)
My older boys were 3 and 4 years old at the time and as a stay at home mom, many days I didn’t talk to anyone other than the boys all day. I had found solace in reading blogs in the evenings after they went to bed and slowly I was inspired to share my own little projects. My first post was sharing a little preschool activity I had done with my boys that week.
I had no grand aspirations for this blog. I just wanted to connect with other people who liked the same things I did-decorating, creating, cooking, and family. I never realized back then that this blog would become my career and I’m eternally grateful for that unexpected turn of events.
I thought I’d share a few resources that have helped me along the way for starting and growing my blog, and eventually making it an actual paying career.
First, a few getting started recommendations:
- StudioPress– I recommend self-hosted WordPress for anyone blogging for income, it gives you control over your own website and I highly recommend the Genesis Framework and StudioPress themes for your website, they truly are the gold standard in creating a blog design that’s functional, easy to use, and search engine friendly!
- Shoot, Fly, Shoot-The online photography courses on Shoot, Fly, Shoot seriously changed my life! I can honestly tell you that in the months following my taking their courses and improving my photography (and yes, shooting in manual mode!) my blog grew a ton. In these days of Pinterest good photography is essential for blog growth.
This Bold Girl Blog DesignMy friend Gwen designs some pretty amazing websites and can customize StudioPress themes as well. She’s also great for those techy “tweaks” that are needed every now and then, I couldn’t get along without her! No longer offering these services Blog Building Consulations with Karianne of Thistlewood Farm-Once you actually have a blog established and are looking to grow I highly recommend you sign up for a blog consult with the amazing Karianne. She is a superstar blogger and one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet-and if you aren’t motivated to take over the blog world after your consultation with her I don’t know what could help you! No longer offering these services
So now three years later I am happily a work at home mom to my 7, 6, and 3 year old boys and couldn’t be happier. Blogging is an amazing “job.” I can create, share, and am lucky enough to get paid for it!I know I get a lot of questions when people hear that I blog for a living…they don’t understand how you can actually make money from a blog. For me personally I make money from four main sources:
- Sidebar ads-I make money just by you seeing the ad on my blog, no clicking needed, it’s pay per view
- Sponsored Posts-Companies will approach me to ask me to write about their product or service…If I like them and think you will too I will share them with you via a sponsored post
- Affiliate Links-If you click on an affiliate link for a product or service I recommend I get a small percentage of the sale-this doesn’t change the price for you at all, it just compensates me for spreading the word
- Freelance Writing-I contemplated whether to include this since it’s not technically on my blog but I wouldn’t write for other sources without the exposure my blog gave me.
It can be a bit overwhelming for a new or new-to-monetizing blogger to sort through the options for monetizing so I thought I’d share my favorites! Please note, this is by no means a comprehensive list of all the options out there-these are companies that I have personally worked with over the last three years and feel comfortable vouching for.
- Google AdSense
- Rivit Media
- BlogHer no longer recommend
- Mode Media no longer recommend
- Martha’s Circle
Media Networks (to connect bloggers with brands for sponsored posts)
- Social Spark
- Social Fabric
- Linqia no longer recommend
- Clever Girls Collective
- Blueprint Social
- Pollinate Media
- Weave Made Media
I hope these resources are a help to any new or aspiring bloggers out there-it truly is a growing field and I feel blessed to be a part of it-and I couldn’t do it without you all, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining me at my little corner of the web! Have a wonderful weekend!
***Don’t forget to check out my up to date Blogging Resources Page for all of my current recommendations!***