Last Update September 19th, 2014
A few days ago I was talking to my mom about how she sometimes feels like a career change. “Can you think of anything else I could do instead?” she asked me curiously. I just stared at her for a bit before replying, “You do know what I do for a living, don’t you mom?”
One of the internet’s true wonders is that it allows people with little time, low start-up capital and minimal experience to create a business that would be impossible in the offline world.
And as Blog Tyrant grows I notice more and more stay-at-home moms subscribing and emailing me about how they can make an income while their kids are at school or asleep for that hallowed 30 minutes.
This post is dedicated to you.
The next 3,182 words are all about how stay-at-home moms can make good money with online businesses, blogs and websites. I hope you read this article and leave thinking that it is possible.
Not just for stay-at-home moms
Obviously this article is not just for stay at home moms. As I mentioned in the opener, my mom has a job that she really doesn’t like. It causes her a lot of stress and I’m told she often comes home with a massive headache and struggles to sleep at night. I often think that she, a passionate, creative and clever woman, would do extremely well running an online business.
Not for everyone either
And while this post is not just for the moms out there, I also have to warn that it is not for everyone. Some people do not have the material to make an online business work. Part of this article is going to be dedicated to discovering whether or not you think you could make it work. It is a very important question to ask yourself.
Why stay-at-home moms can still be successful business owners
Photo credit: liquene
I started this article after by being inspired by the sheer amount of moms who email me and subscribe to my list wanting to know how they can start, develop and grow and online business or profitable blog. Their quest for some independent financial freedom, while still devoting their whole life to their young kids, really touched me.
When I was born my mom quit her job as a teacher to stay home with my brother and me, but still continued to sell crafts and artwork at local fairs to earn a bit of cash. I’ll never forget going to those fairs with her and watching her earn all this pocket-money and then spend it mostly on us kids. I thought she was superwoman.
And that is why I believe stay-at-home moms are extremely good candidates for running successful online businesses: they have huge levels of discipline.
I started my online businesses when I was in high school. I’m now 25 and only just really understanding how to work a proper work day. The moms I know, on the other hand, just get it. The delegate authority well, arrange the daily tasks extremely naturally and create an automation in the household that just gets things done. Most of all, they utilize whatever time they have extremely efficiently. This might not be true of all moms but every single mother I know fits this description.
So can you make it work?
While I know that every mom has the qualities and ability to run an online business, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can make it work. Distinguishing between the two are very important. Can you:
- Dedicate an allotted amount of time to the business every single day?
Good business owners are consistent in their efforts. Does your lifestyle allow you do allocate a strict amount of time to the business each day? It might only be 30 minutes before bed.
- Deal with failure?
Dealing with failure is a massive part of being in business. Are you mentally tough enough to deal with failures, pick up the pieces and start again?
- Generate concepts and carry them through?
Are you able to generate new concepts and ideas and then have the stability to carry them all the way through to the end without getting distracted by life or other commitments?
- Reinvest a portion of the money you make?
One of the most important points. Can you set aside 20% to 40% of the money you make and reinvest it back in to the business? This can often be the difference between failure, a minor success and a very successful business.
If you just know that you can do all of these things then you are actually further along than you think. The hardest part of starting a business is often developing the qualities and discipline within yourself to make it work. If you have these skills then you are more than half way there.
Okay, so where do I start?
Photo credit: paris_corrupted
Sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start things off. You feel like you are ready to do something, to throw yourself into a new pursuit, but you aren’t sure how to kick off. I’m here to tell you that it isn’t that hard – you just need someone to point you in the right direction.
1. Start at the end
At least three times a week I get emails from people asking me how they can monetize their blog or website. Often I look at their sites and think how easy things would have been if they had just considered this at the beginning. And that is the important point here, start at the end. Before you jump in to your new blog or website you should think about exactly what will be the end product. Do this by considering things like:
- What will I sell?
What final product are your going to sell on your blog? Will it be your own product or someone else’s?
- Who am I targeting?
Are you targeting a specific group of people? Who are they? How big is that target audience?
- Have I got the material?
What are you going to do to get them to your site? If it is blog posts then do you have enough material to attract enough people to keep going?
Rather than just starting and hoping you find some direction down the track, you should begin by thinking very carefully about what you will sell, to whom and how. This is very important.
2. Stay exclusively with your passions
The second most important thing to remember is that you need to stay exclusively with your passions. Whether you start a blog or a product website or some other form of online business you need to make sure it is about something you love.
This advice can often seem really wishy washy but I wish someone had hammered it in to me as a young lad. The reason is simple: if you start an online business that you don’t love you will soon give up.
Let’s be clear here. Running an online business can often be tiring and frustrating. Sometimes you have to get up and instead of checking your bank balance you need to find out why your servers have been down all night. Or instead of looking at your new email subscribers you find that your account has been suspended. And if you are tired from being up all night with your baby or looking after the troops you will soon throw it away.
Start at the end but don’t start at all unless you love it. Think carefully about something you are passionate about, something you know and something you can see yourself doing every single day. That is a sure-fire way to make sure you succeed through the tougher times.
3. But are my passions popular enough?
A very common question that new website owners or bloggers ask is whether or not enough people are interested in what they want to write about. And the answer is, 95% of the time, a resounding yes. Why? Because Google is sending so much traffic to every little corner of the world. If you collect bark pieces that look like Elvis you can bet there are other who want to connect with you.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t do some solid and comprehensive research in to the target market first. You should. All I am saying is that you should try and make your passions fit in to a business and not try and turn a boring business into a passion. It won’t work.
The different ways stay-at-home moms can make money online
Photo credit: liquene
What I want to do now is go through a few of the main ways that moms can make good money online. By no means is this an exhaustive list. Rather, what I have done is thought about the most efficient and time saving ways that moms can explore. The idea is to get online for 30 minutes to one hour a day and make some good money after a few months.
1. Product review sites and blogs
The first online business model I want to talk about is product review sites and blogs. This is a fantastic way to gradually build up an income over the weeks, months and years. A good portion of my residual income comes from this method.
How does it work?
Basically what you are doing is setting up small mini-sites or blogs that are focused on reviewing a type of product or products that fall within a particular category. For example, if you know a lot about prams you might want to start a pram review site where you look at all the different prams that get released and review them based on common features like:
- Look and feel
- Price range
You would be surprised at how many different products you know about. You don’t really even need to try each product once you know what you are looking for. For example, if a fantastic new pram comes out you can look at a bunch of different reviews on Amazon.com and the other big websites and base your review around what other people are saying.
How does it make money?
After a while you are going to find that Google indexes your posts and you will be getting visitors who are interested in your reviews. Because you have focused your articles on reviewing products you will find that your visitors are all ready to buy – they are in a shopping mentality. For this reason you can make money with:
- Amazon.com links and stores
Amazon pays a commission for every visitor you send that buys something, even if it isn’t the actual product you sent them to. For example, if you have reviewed a new pram and have a link to that pram so people can buy it on Amazon but instead they buy a new Kindle then you will make money on the Kindle.
Although I never really advise people to use Adsense, product sites are one place where it can work quite well. By placing Adsense ads at the bottom and top of each product you review you can get highly relevant ads that pay as much as $1 to $5 every time someone clicks them. This can equate to several thousand a month, especially if you have many reviews or review sites.
If your review site gets big enough you might start attracting real world advertisers that want to be associated with your store. I know of several camera review blogs who get paid $2,000 a month to place a tiny advert at the top of their sidebar.
As you create more content and review more products you will find that the income gradually increases and increases. This is a trickle down effect where it starts off slow and builds up as you go.
2. Expert sites and blogs
The second type of model I want to talk to you about is an expert site. This is very similar to what I do at Blog Tyrant and is a wonderful way to develop a long lasting and sustainable source of income with just a little bit of work each day.
How does it work?
With an expert site you are basically writing about a particular topic that you are an expert in. For example, if you went to College and did a marketing degree you might want to start a blog about marketing in an area you are interested in. Or if you cook the most incredible dinners you could start photographing them and sharing recipes, ideas and cooking tips.
The thing about expert blogs and websites is you can make them about really narrow topics as long as you put your own spin on it. For example, I know there are blogs out there which are solely about walking. They discuss shoes, walking tracks, iPod playlists, funny walking stories, different dog leads, etc. With even a very narrow topic you can find a myriad of things to write about. And if you put a personal touch on it you will find that other people are really interested.
How does it make money?
The interesting thing about expert blogs is that you can make money with all the same methods as the review sites except you now have a second and much more powerful method to tap in to – email marketing. Sounds confusing I know but it really isn’t. It is an extremely simple, hassle-free way to make a long term income that can drastically change your life.
Here’s how it works:
- Start an expert blog
Get your own domain and web host and start an expert blog as your “home base” for making an income in whatever form it might take.
- Sign up for Aweber and install it on your blog
Aweber is an email service that allows you to capture people’s email addresses and then send them out your blog posts and follow up email automatically. Growing this list the main aim of your expert site.
- Grow a community
The purpose of the blog is to grow an active community of like-minded people who love your work. If you can be perceived as an authority you will have a good chance at making a long term income. Make sure you read this post on developing trust.
- Connect with other bloggers
In order to expand your reach you should start writing high quality guest posts and then submitting them to other bloggers in your niche. This is a great way to get new visitors to your site.
- Launch a product
The final stage is to launch a product to your readers and email subscribers. If you have a list of a few thousand people that love your work you will be able to promote services and products to them quite easily. This can be a very complicated process so make sure you subscribe to my list because I am going to be sharing some tips and secrets in this area very soon.
The wonderful thing about this style of blog is that it eventually gains some momentum of its own. Many of the larger blogs found that after about a year they could step back and let other people (guest posters, community, etc.) take care of most of the promotion and content. It is hard in the beginning but does gain traction over time.
3. A journey blog
The final blog model I want to discuss is all about sharing your journey with the world. It is very similar to an expert site except that here you are sharing your experience along the way, as you do it, as opposed to positioning yourself as an expert. This style of blog has some very distinct advantages:
- It is easier
These are easier posts to write because you don’t have to research and make sure everything is correct. You just write about your experience.
- You can be yourself
While you should always be yourself, when you are sharing a journey you can write straight from the heart and just let other people become branded to your style. It is a very natural platform.
- It is easier to get a community
If your journey blog is centered around a particular topic (and it should be) you will find that people in that niche naturally become quite loyal to you. For example, if you have just got braces and start writing about that journey you will find a lot of sympathetic braces-owners out there who want to read what your have to say.
How does it make money?
This type of site typically does well from growing an email list and the marketing related products to that list. These are called verticals.
For example, if you have a blog about your new pet Beagle you can write emails to your list promoting products like Beagle-proof toys, weight loss food and high quality training guides. As long as you are adding value to your readers’ lives you will find that they can be quite active purchasers.
Some simple but inspiring maths
The last thing I want to leave you with is some very simple maths. The idea of this post was not to give you a complete step by step tutorial but rather to inspire you with a few ideas and motivate you to get moving. This simple maths always helps me get through the tough days.
1. Set up costs
Set up costs for an online business are close to zero.
- A domain name and hosting: $4.95 per month from Blue Host.
- Total cost per year: $59.40.
For less than $60 you can start your own professional blog that can, after a few months, earn you a consistent amount of money. This is a massive difference to doing anything in the offline world.
Why Blue Host?
The reason I recommend Blue Host as your first blogging host is because they have 24/7 LIVE SUPPORT that will help you install WordPress and get started. That takes a lot of stress out of it all.
Still confused about how the set up works? I made a short video that attempts to explain how it all fits together.
2. Potential earnings
Now let’s take a look at some potential earnings from an expert style blog like Blog Tyrant.
- Get 100 visitors per day (very easy after two or three months)
- Convert 5% of visitors into email subscribers = 1825 subscribers per year.
- Sell an eBook for $37 to 20% of your list = $13,505 in your first year.
To be honest these numbers are very conservative because if you write a lot of articles on a consistent basis there is a good chance you will get a lot more subscribers. Blog Tyrant, for example, is far far ahead of this monetary schedule after only a few months.
Do you know anyone or anything?
If you know any moms or moms-to-be who might like this article I would really appreciate if you emailed it to them. Secondly, I have a feeling my readers here might have a lot of valuable and helpful tips to add to the comments section. If you have anything at all to add I would really love to hear it. Please leave a comment.
Top photo credit: mjmonty