How Stay-at-Home Moms Can Make Good Money with Blogs & Online Businesses

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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.

HELP: I would love it if the amazing Blog Tyrant community could drop by the comments section and leave any tips you can think of that would help stay-at-home moms fast track their blogging business. Think time saving. You could really help a new family out.

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

Phone Home
Creative Commons License 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?

mum
Creative Commons License 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

Clever Girl
Creative Commons License 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
  • Materials
  • Safety
  • Price range
  • Etc.

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.
  • Adsense
    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.
  • Advertising
    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

98!365
Creative Commons License photo credit: .thana☃

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

 

Ramsay WROTE THIS

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153 Comments... Leave yours.

  • Shaun

    I’m not nearly as time efficient as a mom, but I’m keen! I see it as an opportunity for lifestyle design, work on something you enjoy doing and make some money at the same time. There aren’t too many businesses around that you can start up for under $100!

    Thanks Tyrant, great post


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks man!


  • Pete Carr

    Hey BT,
    Allow me to be the first to add to your amazing breakdown of ways to earn money.
    Writing for other blogs can pay a good amount of money, anything from $20 – $50 per article.
    When you are starting your own blog this can be a great way to hone your writing skills and also bring some money in until your blog starts earning itself.
    Lets say you wrote 1-2 articles per week for your own blog, you could then write maybe 2 articles per day for someone else. This would give a small amount of income for 1-2 hours work.
    It is just an idea, but for the people that find writing easy then not a bad idea.
    I know because I did it when starting out.
    Pete


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Hey Pete.

      Great idea. Actually, in the early days I would stay up til 3am writing paid posts in order to pay the bills and finance my others things. Seems to have worked!

      Maybe I should add a section about that?


      1. Radu

        Definitely! Actually, you could make an article about how you managed to be so successful, all the steps that you did.


      2. Maria

        This sounds like a great way to get the $4 coming in the door to finance some ideas we have – but where does one find these opportunities, and for what types of “experience” or qualifications are they looking?


        1. Pete Carr

          Hi Maria,
          I will hunt out some places that employ bloggers to write paid articles and post a link here, if that is OK with BT,
          or BT can do a follow up post and include some there.
          I am sure we could work something out.
          Pete


          1. Sandy

            I would really appreciate that too. I am doing some feelance writing for aol’s patch.com in my town, but I am looking for more ways to start writing online, and eventually driving traffic to my photography site. I am also interested in the “journey blog” idea mentioned above, since I am “involuntarily in transition” and trying to figure out my new source of income and fulfillment.


  • Bilal Kamoon

    Can you believe this? My mom just read this article and she wants to start her own blog now!! I’ll tell you when it’s on :D


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Wow! That was fast!


  • Jo

    Great article as always BT. I’m a stay at home mum who also writes freelance travel articles for magazines and newspapers. I’m fairly new to Austrlia and although my blog doesn’t yet make me any money, it’s really helped me position myself in Australia as a writer. I’d say that apart from the fact that blogging is a potential source of income for savvy stay at home Mum’s, it’s also something that might act as a platform to open other interesting doors for them too – because blogging imbues you with confidence, gives you an interest, often gets you ‘out there’ meeting new people, and keeps you up to date in a fast paced techno world. ‘There are two ways to kill a cat’, as the saying goes say, and blogging is one of them.


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Jo that is so perfect. Again, another section I missed! Blogging has got me so many other jobs and gigs over the years. I totally forgot about that!

      If you know anyone else who might benefit from the article please do send it on. Or if you know anymore mums who might be able to chime in…


      1. Jo

        Sure will :)


  • Mark Dryden

    A very interesting article that I think my wife would be very interested in! She is a fairly new mum and would be interested in doing something like this to stimulate her mind now she is at home and also potentially bring in a little bit of money with some thought out strategy.

    Thanks for the article!


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      No worries Mark.


  • Blog Negocios Dinero

    Hi BT,
    certainly the worst part, at least for me, is the tech part. Sometimes you are really inspired writing about a great topic and suddenly you see something is not working: the server, the WP upgrade, a plugin,etc. I am particularly “obsessed” with security. I’ve hear many horror stories.

    But all the things you learn while blogging, all the people you meet online, all the things people tell you… That’s the main reward. And it helps you forget about the tough times.

    Thanks for your tips!


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Great comment! Its probably a good thing to be obsessed with security.


    2. Paul Odtaa

      Your concerns can actually help you promote your blog.

      Look for technical support forums and join. Obviously make sure there they allow a link back to your website. Daniweb, an independent support site, is generally quite helpful.

      One word of warning don’t spell out you have a security problem as there is a slight possibility you’ll alert a hacker.

      State your problem or concerns clearly and generally people will help you. Though some forums, WordPress is noted for it, are a bit rude to people asking for something obvious and could have been found in a simple search.

      Where you have a specific problem on a specific page then post the link. You’ll be surprised how many people will love to show you how to solve it.

      Another good thing is for you to help solve the problems of newcomers. The techie people will note this and will be more supportive of you when you have a problem.

      And not only are you being nice but, as most technical sites have a high page rank, you are developing some high quality back links to boost your own site.


  • Dipesh Patel

    Great!!!

    Your website is full of knowledge and positive energy. Your about section says that you like to HELP and you are sticking to it through your post. B.T. you will go way ahead then others. I have shared with my friends and family. :)

    All the best
    Dipesh Patel


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks Dipesh.


  • Heather@Family Friendly Frugality

    Okay…I’m going to try to keep this short and try to remember that it’s a comment I’m posting and not an article LOL.

    First of all, I love this post. I think there are a ton of stay at home moms out there that have no idea that there is earning potential in their computer time. Most stay at home moms I know spend a considerable amount of time on Facebook (not Twitter!), if they could push that time towards making a blog, they definitely could make some money.

    However.

    I’ve had my money making niche mom blog for a bit over 5 months now though, and I don’t think (other then Christmas Day) that I’ve ever spent less then 4 hours a day at the minimum on my blog (or blog related tasks). Most of the other mom bloggers I know (that are successful), do the same.

    The mom blogging niche can be VERY lucrative, but it’s also very crowded and getting on the map can be very difficult. So while you say 30 minutes to an hour a day…I’d argue yes for blog posting and blog maintenance (although I spend way more then that…but that’s also because of my niche). BUT I’d also tack on another 30 minutes to an hour for promotion, blog commenting and contacting companies for giveaway and review opportunities.

    Not to mention, the other opportunities that can arise from your blog. In 5 short months not only do I have my Money Making blog (Family Friendly Frugality), I’m also launching a weight loss blog (A Southern Mom), I’m a city advisor for Savvy Source (a preschool deal a day type thing) and the section editor & featured writer for the What To Buy section of Momtastic. All opportunities made possible by the little blogspot blog I started in August.

    I have a full time job now. All because I started a little blog 5 months ago thinking I would just work on it during naptime. So yes, start small…but know what you could be getting into.

    I am not complaining at all. I got an enormous box in the mail yesterday filled with cupcake making supplies from Wilton…for free. Just in time for my daughters 2nd birthday. I also get to give away one on my blog after I review it. My life definitely does not suck LOL. But I spend way more time/money/energy on my blog then 30 minutes to an hour, and every other successful mom blogger I know does as well.

    In the past few months I’ve seen so many new blogs crash and burn because the moms I know have been surprised by how much hard work it was. I told them it would be hard work, they’ve seen how much work I put into mine…but still they thought they could achieve what I have quickly and with less work.

    If you treat your blog as a business from the start, you will create a business. If you treat your blog as a mom blog from the start, you will have a mom blog. Nothing is wrong with having a mom blog, I’ve had one for YEARS…but it doesn’t make me a dime.

    I babbled again :(


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Great comment as always Heather!

      Very true about the time frame. Perhaps I was being a little bit generous with 30 minutes.


      1. Rachelle

        I also agree with heather about the time frame, but, the time is more flexible that a conventional job where you have to show up and be there. I have a laptop, I can blog while my son is watching a show, in between meals, after diaper changes and rescuing a toy from the toilet etc. Sometimes it feels like it takes 5 hours to write a one hour post. But it beats the heck out of listening to Sesame Street for the millionth time. I blog while watching tv and so on. So it’s very flexible which is what moms need.


      2. Sandy

        This brings up another thought for me–B.T., I love your site, but in another post you basically said that blogging was NOT necessarily the way to go if you want to make money online. So, I guess I am back to not being sure if blogging is where I should be spending my time.


        1. the Blog Tyrant

          Hi Sandy.

          What I meant was that it can become a serious distraction from other ideas and ventures. It is still a good way to make money online.


    2. lisa

      Thanks so much for that Heather,I have had our blog up and running for two months now and am getting the tech stuff sorted and finding my feet (along with planning to move to Italy to live in May with my husband and two young children (6 & 8)and finishing off renovating the house to sell before we go).

      I am treating our blog as a business right from the start and that has helped enormously. So as a business I am creating a structure for my day to include working on the blog in the morning and networking, commenting etc in the evening.

      The hardest part so far for me has been the set up and technical side – FB, twitter, google analytics, amazon, flikr, adsense, SEO, RSS the list just seems to get bigger. We just put a thesis theme on the blog so something else to learn. Time to outsource I think, is that what you did?

      I am off to have a look at your blog.
      ciao for now
      Lisa0


      1. Heather@Family Friendly Frugality

        I have outsourced very very little. Contrary to most advice, I decided very early on that my blog would be self sustaining. It only grows as my income grows. The only things I have outsourced:

        My header, but I got a total steal on it only paid $10. Would like to upgrade eventually, but once again need to wait until I can afford what I want.

        My move from blogger to wordpress. To date my most costly expense but worth every penny.

        Every other bit of it I’ve done by myself. I learned how to do my own coding, I do my own social media and article marketing. It really is all me. One day, maybe I can outsource more. I’m not opposed to it, but it’s very important to me that I don’t use anything but blog money for my blog.


  • Rick

    Need more motivation? Check out the two ladies that run AffiliateBlogOnline.com. The amount of money they pull in is staggering! They appear to make the bulk of their income as Amazon affiliates and promoting their own product on how to succeed doing the same.

    BT, another great post!


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      I’ve never heard of that one. Cheers.


  • Kim

    I have to agree with you about the biggest issue with most moms who want to work from home is that they don’t realize it is actually work. They do not understand it is a J-O-B like any other and they can’t spend most of their day on Farmville or a venting in a forum and expect to have a modicum of success.

    Starting your own site has expenses and it requires hard work. It is not going to happen overnight unless you are BT and rock the world. For the rest of us, we have to learn and grow and build our readership.


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Am I rocking the world Kim? I wish. ;-)


      1. Kim at Work At Home Mafia

        You are certainly trying to but look just at your recent guest posting. This goes right into this article about niche marketing and establishing yourself as an authority in an area.


        1. the Blog Tyrant

          It is borne from an unhealthy desire to impress people.


  • Barry 'Baz' Morris

    The part about advertising is always a stumbling block for beginners. They, perhaps, see the ‘passive’ nature of Adsense and think it’s a no-brainer. But the opposite it actually reality.

    I also believe it’s important for new bloggers to understand that they need a strong business idea before jumping into a blog. They need to know their target audience, where to find them online and off, what keeps their audience up at night, and a definitive set of solutions to those problems.

    Blogging is a platform for a business, not necessarily the business itself.

    We’re always selling something. Find out what that it, and blog yourself silly! :-)


    1. Kim at Work At Home Mafia

      You are so right. I see so many blogs that have no clear voice and you have no real idea what they are about. So hard to get a following and be an authority when you are all over the map.


  • Peggy Baron

    Great post, and one near and dear to my heart! I like how you broke it down into how each makes money.

    I’m a SAHM who started with a kids cooking newsletter paid subscription product in 2003. It was a physical product that I set up a website for, just to support it.

    Then I looked around at all the opportunities online and was amazed and excited. So many possibilities!

    I finally settled into a business model that works for me – writing and selling PLR. It’s a good fit because I like to write articles and it makes me feel good that I’m helping others – I know how much people need content.

    To get it set up takes work, I won’t lie, but after that it’s: write articles > notify my list and others via various marketing methods > make sales > do it again.

    Thanks,
    Peggy


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks Peggy. Love to see someone making it happen!


  • temi

    Hi
    Great article! The only issue of course is how long it will take to make money. Setting up a website doesnot mean it’s an overnight cash machine. How does one build traffic to the levels where you can actually earn an income? How long does it take?


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Hi Temi.

      It all depends. Blog Tyrant is only a few months old but already doing extremely well. Other blogs I have had were earning rent-paying income after a year, others two years. The only sure thing is that the best time to start is yesterday.


  • Kaitlin

    Thanks for the great post, BT. I’m not a stay-at-home mom, but I am kickstarting a new food/lifestyle blog after my two year old food blog lost its sparkle for me. Anyway, it’s been difficult to find “blogging for bloggers” content that’s relevant to food bloggers. After reading this article, I think I’ve been looking at it wrong. I never thought of a food/lifestyle blog as being an “expert blog” – but you’re totally right. This gives me a new perspective with which to read all of the “blogging for bloggers” content that I subscribe to. Not to mention it’s great to read specific income streams that pair well with expert blogs.


    1. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

      If your new blog can teach me how to make the cheese sauce creamy for my jalapeño bacon mac n’ cheese instead of a little gritty then you have a reader. (I blame the inconsistent heat from the electric stove) ;)


  • sonyamacdesigns

    a blog is a web log and to make money at it one must LOG … so simple, but yet so hard.


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Agreed.


  • Lisa Angelettie @ Article Marketing

    I think it’s important to realize that there are two kinds of moms who work from home. There is one type whose primary job is to raise their children and do a little what I call a “side hustle” to bring in extra cash (like ebay, affiliate marketing, some blogging) and then there is another type of mom who is an entrepreneur but happens to run her business out of her home. While both are great – they are very different – and it’s important that you know which one you are.

    I also think it’s worth mentioning that if you have very small children who are at home 24-7, it is very hard to get a lot done online. Many techie things have a learning curve that need your undivided attention and new moms or moms with really young kids just don’t have that type of time. But if you’re serious about this — hire a babysitter/nanny for a few hours:) That’s what I did when my kids were babies.

    Now that my kids are school-aged I have almost as much time as someone who works outside the home to dedicate to my business and I have seen tremendous growth because of it. I love working at home now because I get a lot done while they are at school, but I am in the house when they get home at 3 to do homework, cook, and bond with them.

    Blogging at home can be fun and lucrative – just know what you’re getting into and how much time you really want to devote into growing your community.


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Great and valuable comment Lisa. Things I would never have thought of.

      Do you find you get enough done before 3pm?


      1. Milehimama

        I have little kids and I also homeschool my big kids. Most of my “quality” work – i.e., writing posts, design work, contacting PR, email replies happen after bedtime- for a couple of hours, not 30 minutes.

        I do promote, tweet, link, comment on other blogs in dribs and drabs throughout the day; those can be done in a minute or two.


        1. the Blog Tyrant

          Good point. Perhaps I should revise the timeline.


  • Jacqueline

    I do not have anything brilliant to add but I want to say Thank you. This article was really helpful. I started blogging just for fun (it needs a lot of work)but if my blog can supplement my income that would be great! thanks for sharing your knowledge.


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      No worries Jacqueline. Glad it helped.


  • Liz

    I am a stay-at-home mom in the process of starting my own blog. This post, as usual, is very helpful.

    Thank you!


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks for stopping by Liz.


  • chris

    When you say research your niche extensively would you use noble samurai or a free site like googles’ keyword site?


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Market Samurai is by far the best I know.


  • Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

    I would just add two points:

    1. If you’re going to start a blog, evaluate whether you have the writing skills to be successful. (Not everyone is a natural born writer, but *everyone* can learn to write well.) Review the blogs/websites you currently read. Do they have giant blocks of text void of any punctuation? Or do they break text up to make it easy on the eye and keep proper grammar in mind.

    Typos happen to everyone – even professional writers. What shouldn’t happen though is blog post after blog post written the way one would send an IM or text message.

    2. Set goals for yourself. Anyone can set up a free Blogger or WordPress blog and call themselves a writer…and they often do. If you actually want to make a business out of it, you have to set benchmarks and work until you hit them. For me, I set a daily income threshold and I wrote and wrote and wrote until I hit it. (I wrote for others primarily.)

    Maybe yours is a traffic goal first. Or a comment goal. It doesn’t matter, really, as long as you’re setting a goal right from the start and working towards it. Otherwise, you just aimlessly float around.

    *Note: comment is NOT my shining example of how to break up text or use proper grammar. ;)


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Hi Jen.

      So true about the writing skills. Every now and then you encounter a blog that’s like watching the first week of Idol.


      1. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

        Agreed. The sad thing is that the blogger may have something worthwhile to say, but I’ll never know. I leave as soon as I see the wall of text or when it becomes obvious they didn’t bother to even spellcheck. :(


  • Joanna

    The hard part, I’ve found, is getting your foot in the door. I’ve been blogging for a year and a half now, and I still have a very small audience and have just started connecting with companies. It feels as if I can’t get a hold on what I’m not doing to improve my traffic and bring in some income. I would greatly welcome emails with some constructive criticism if anyone has the time. I’m at http://mommyinsuburbia.blogspot.com.


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Hi Jo.

      Check out my last post about Sex and SARS. Connecting with those hubs are the way to do it.


    2. Dorothy

      Joanna, from all I read, “they” say you get more traffic with a WordPress blog. Don’t know why. It’s been five months since I started my “expert” blog with a WP theme and I’ve yet to get more than a handful of readers and no subscribers. But then, I’m probably not be working hard enough.


      1. the Blog Tyrant

        Hi Dorothy.

        I’d seriously consider changing your text to something more commonly seen – black 10pt to 12pt arial or verdana. The blue is quite hard to read.

        BT


        1. Dorothy

          Thanks so much for that feedback on type BT. I have wondered how it came across to others. I usually use 12pt for text, but wondered if it was too small on that theme which has to be no more than 125%. I really appreciate you pointing out this fixable problem.


      2. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

        Dorothy, are you using good keywords in your titles, section headers and sprinkling them through out the text? I’ve only had my content on a new site for about 2 1/2 weeks now and I’m already getting search engine traffic from it. One of the first writing assignments I took (and strangely enough, the best paying) was keyword writing. Totally boring to do, but finding a way to weave one keyword string into each paragraph has always helped me rank well in search engines.

        Also, I don’t know if it’s related, but it took your site *forever* to load for me just now. (Google Chrome browser) I notice you use a lot of pictures – which is good for your subject matter. You might consider limiting the amount of content on the first page so that it loads faster and you don’t lose impatient searchers.


      3. lisa

        Hi Dorothy,
        Yep I would change the bright blue font. I would also like more images of childrens rooms, and more inspiration.
        Think like a mum with a new baby, what are they looking for?
        Lisa


    3. Rachelle

      Read every thing you can about writing better titles.

      For Example – Pumpkin Smoothie or 10 easy steps to the best pumpkin smoothie you’ve ever inhaled.


  • Stephanie @ The Travelling Tastebuds

    Great post! Depending on the type of blog you have… you may want to join a publishing network that will pay-per-impression {this is my favorite way to accrue income!!!}. Also… I write for Demand Media Studio and this allows me to earn a decent income while my blog continues to grow & increase in readership.


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Great tip Stephanie. Does PPI do well for you?


      1. Dorothy

        Tell us more about PPi and the other, please.


  • Sue Tamani

    Hi Tyrant – another great blog which applies to more than stay at home Mums. Because I am new to blogging, I currently have ProBlogger feeding in to my blog. Can I do the same with yours? If so, which button do I press??? Sue


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Hi Sue.

      I wouldn’t really recommend doing that. Google sometimes bans or penalizes blogs if they have duplicate content.


      1. Peggy Baron

        It’s my understanding that the duplicate content penalty has to do with using the same material more than once on your *own* site, not that the material is on your site and someone else’s site.

        Peggy


        1. the Blog Tyrant

          Hi Peggy.

          I think I am going to have to politely disagree on that one. Here is the official version from Matt Cutts (Google Spam Director):

          “I would be mindful that taking all your articles and submitting them for syndication all over the place can make it more difficult to determine how much the site wrote its own content vs. just used syndicated content. My advice would be 1) to avoid over-syndicating the articles that you write, and 2) if you do syndicate content, make sure that you include a link to the original content. That will help ensure that the original content has more PageRank, which will aid in picking the best documents in our index.”

          The unofficial version of that, according to many SEO experts, is that if you syndicate content a lot you are automatically devalued because you aren’t the producer of the original content.

          From what I understand this is Google’s way of preventing people from stealing copyrighted content.

          Hope that helps.

          Tyrant


          1. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

            My understanding/research mirrors yours.


        2. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

          From personal experience, posting someone else’s work on your site – even when you give them a backlink and byline – is theft. It violates copyright and fair use. In most cases, it’s in direct violation of the terms of service of your host.

          Why is it theft? Because you’re trying to divert traffic away from them to your site, thus taking money out of their pocket.

          If you’re just posting an excerpt…usually not a problem. But taking the entire article to post on your site? Unless it’s like ezines or an article directory that gives away content for the masses to repost, you’re in for a headache.

          I’ve had my content removed from other sites dozens of times once I found it. In the case of someone who really didn’t care that they stole my work, I went directly to their host and the host shut off their website until they removed my copyrighted material. (No, I don’t mess around when it comes to article scraping and theft. If I can take the time to write something, so can they. My work is mine.)

          It’s really just easier to write your own content to populate your blog than to risk losing your entire site over ToS violations. At that point, it won’t matter what Google’s position is…


          1. the Blog Tyrant

            That’s very interesting Jen.

            Personally I never use anything copyrighted (my girlfriend works in the music industry and is passionate about anti-pirating) because I believe it is stealing.

            That being said, sometimes it works in the favor of the owner. For example, Adobe has gained massive popularity with its Suites because so many people pirated them. There is no way they would be able to sell $1000 image editing programs without the buzz from all the pirate users saying how good it is.

            Similarly, Leo from Zen Habits made an “uncopyright” where he said you can use his stuff for anything. It got him a lot of press.

            The most interesting one for me, nowadays, is artists like Mumford and Sons who release tracks to the torrent sites and embed a code for a pop up asking people to join their mailing list. They are making hundreds off of concert tickets from the mailing list as opposed to the cents they would have made if the person bought the song legally.

            I wonder if syndicating content, as Sue has done, is really theft? I’m not so sure.

            Great discussion.


          2. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

            Tyrant –

            Technically, Darren could send Sue a message demanding the removal of his content from her site. If she didn’t comply within the time he specified, he could have her host shut down her website…and they would. The stuff from ezines is fair game though and not considered theft.

            Would Darren care enough to demand his content removed? Probably not. Problogger has so much authority built up that she could repost every article he ever wrote and it probably wouldn’t matter.

            It’s the small content producers who are hurt most by it. They don’t have high page rank, they don’t have gobs of traffic…they don’t have much of anything but their words. Several of my friends create content for sites that pay them (pennies!) based on traffic. Every time someone lifts their article, they lose traffic and thus, money.

            The sad thing is that most people probably would allow their content to be reposted if anyone bothered to ask them, but no one ever extends that courtesy. If someone genuinely thought their readers would benefit from something I wrote and asked me to repost, I doubt I’d say no. When I become the hub of my niche…I won’t care either way.

            Oh…it’s also a reputation thing. For most of us, our names are our brands. The last think we want is to have our brand appear in a way or on a site we’d never associate with.

            Now…back to looking for zombie pictures…


      2. Sue Tamani

        From memory, I followed a suggestions on ProBlogger to have it feeding into my blog. It is fed in in it’s entirety with all original links, so no need to acknowledge. I can pick which articles I want to appear and use 2 or 3 between my own articles.


        1. the Blog Tyrant

          Ah very interesting. The plot thickens!


        2. Sue Tamani

          ‘a creative thinker understands the evolutionary chain and that ideas don’t just drop in from ‘a clear blue sky’. Today, an idea is falsely thought of as a stand-alone conception constructed by an independent creator. This fallacy is perpetuated by modern ‘ownership’ concepts of patents, copyrights and trademarks. As art historian Lisa Pon has pointed out, during the Renaissance, artists freely copied the works of others but were expected to ‘improve’ the copy as it evolved. … (Creation) is an evolutionary thing that makes use of previous ideas to give birth to new ones. … Borrowing isn’t really intellectual theft; it’s the core creative thinking technique. Great thinkers throughout history – Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin Bill Gates, Steve Jobs – have understood this and used it to their advantage. Excerpts from “Borrowing Brilliance” by David Kord Murray


          1. the Blog Tyrant

            Very true. The idea of lineage is somewhat lost on modern people.

            That being said, the pursuit of financial reward is what fosters so much creativity and that is lost if people aren’t reserved the right to own and control their products.

            Very interesting stuff here.

            Thanks so much Sue.


          2. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

            Umm…everyone gets that I’m not the one clueless person left on the planet who honestly believes all the thoughts in their head are 100% original, right? It’s doubtful there are many, if any, truly original concepts left in the world. The issue is not whether the *concept* is the same or similar, it’s whether the *words* are verbatim the same.

            Borrowing for creative thinking purposes would imply that someone reads something by someone else, thinks about it, then creates something brand new based on their thoughts about the original work. Copying and pasting, on the other hand, is neither creative nor evolutionary, it’s just…copying. It also does nothing to improve upon the original work.


        3. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

          If that was the post from within the last two months or so, I read it as well. It also suggested bloggers seek permission before reposting the content if they weren’t 100% sure it was okay with the source.

          Actually, it suggested seeking permission before importing a feed multiple times in the article. News sites, article directories, niche giants like Problogger…99% of them won’t care…especially when it’s only an article here and there. Individual content creators will.


          1. the Blog Tyrant

            I know you’re not the one clueless person left on the planet Jen – that is me.

            Love this discussion.


        4. Darren Rowse

          Actually I’m not sure you would have read how to do this on ProBlogger as I don’t recommend syndicating other people’s content onto your blog.

          I actually used to track down other blogs who did this and asked them to stop (at times issuing DMCA legal notices for those who didn’t). I offer an RSS feed for people to read my content – not publish it.

          However it’s become so widespread that I’ve given up and now embed links in my feed back to my blog in the hope that Google works out where it is originally from.

          I don’t get upset about it any more as I know my blog has decent authority in Google so shouldn’t be penalized but I wouldn’t recommend doing too much syndication of other people’s content on a blog as you do risk Google looking at your site and seeing it as something that just had duplicate stuff.

          Ultimately the best way to build a successful blog is to create unique and useful content. Republishing others stuff without any of your own thoughts doesn’t really count on the unique side of things.

          A better method for me when you see content on other people’s sites that you like is to use a ‘quote and add’ approach. Take a quote or two, link to the full article and then tell your readers why you’re linking, share your own experiences, add to it, point out what might be missing etc.

          This is a Win/Win for everyone. Your readers get your own unique and useful insights, the other site doesn’t feel you’re ripping off their stuff and gets a more relevant link and traffic, you get content that isn’t considered duplicate content in the eyes of Google.


          1. Darren Rowse

            Perhaps this was from a guest post? We did have one recently that covered it but they also talked about asking permission before doing it which I guess would be a decent way to do it.


          2. the Blog Tyrant

            Thanks for stopping by Daz.

            I was amazed at how many people auto-syndicate your content. Whenever I guest post I get close to 10 or 15 back links from straight copy sites. It would be really interesting to know whether Google just straight penalizes them or how it actually works.

            One thing I also noticed is that the Digital Photography world has a lot of sites just using other people’s reviews. I wonder how some of them stay indexed so well.

            Thanks again.

            (Pretending to be cool when I’m actually really excited you commented)


          3. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

            It was a guest post. I remember having to furiously scroll back to the top to make sure because it didn’t sound like something you’d say.

            Actually, it was a post on the technical aspects of *how* to import feeds into your blog, evaluating – I think – 3 different plugins.


          4. Rachelle

            Another great thing about linking to an article you admire is that the blogger you are linking to gets a pingback and 99% of them will go check out your site and what you said about them and their article.

            It’s a great way to get the attention of a “hub” that’s for sure.


          5. lisa

            Hey Darren, just showing my husband how awesome your site is and your name link doesn’t connect to your site. It’s missing the .net

            ciao for now
            Lisa


  • Dorothy

    Hi Ty,
    Another great post/comments that held my interest when I should of been cooking supper. I think you inherited your mother’s teaching genes, or maybe you got it through osmosis. Whatever, you are a teacher, no doubt.

    I liked your approach to stay at home moms, but there’s another group in their category–retired women like me who aren’t ready to give up producing quite yet.


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Good to hear Dorothy! I love the energy!


  • Bec @ Bad Mummy

    I’m a stay at home mum who writes an expanded “mummy blog”. I haven’t taken the standard “write within a niche” path and have found a lot more success this way than in the literal years (I’ve been blogging since 2002) I blogged with a narrowed niche.

    If there was one piece of advice I wish I could give myself back when I was starting out it would be “No, really, think outside the box”. Especially in the beginning I looked to other bloggers to see what I should be doing and writing about. The trouble was I didn’t realize this was devaluing my posts because I was just rehashing what was already out there.

    By expanding I can continue to add value to my site without having to continually write about parenting.


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks Bec. That is fantastic advice.


  • the Blog Tyrant

    @Jen

    Continuing down here because we ran out of threads.

    No doubt Darren could ask to have it removed but I wonder if that constitutes theft? There is an attribution link there.

    Do you think a full article is too much, even with a reference?


    1. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

      Is it okay for me to reprint a novel if I stick the author/publisher’s name on the cover? Just because an article is on the Internet doesn’t make it public domain…as a cooking magazine recently found out the hard way. If the copyright/license doesn’t state attribution is the only requirement, yes, the entire article is too much.

      In this case, Darren’s copyright is All Rights Reserved. Some blogs specify how their content can be reused. (Mine almost all do.) It’s the same as it is with pictures. Just because they’re under Creative Commons doesn’t mean you’re free to use them all any way you wish…there are still guidelines.

      Without obtaining prior permission (or pulling from a site that as an “uncopyright” – love that), it’s content theft. Fair Use talks about using a reasonable portion of the source. 100% is all, not a portion and not reasonable.

      While I can see both sides of the attribution argument, one really doesn’t have much incentive to click the link if the article told them what they needed to know. If the full article appears on an adsense site, there’s zero incentive for the reader to click on the attribution link to click on my ads (if I use adsense on the site) istead of the reposter’s ads.

      The same could be said if they’re selling an ebook or an online course. The reader would never know that I’m offering that as well. Instead, the reposter in this case is trading off my knowledge, reputation and keyword optimization to make their sales.

      (To be clear…I’m speaking in general now, not about Sue’s blog.)


      1. Heather@Family Friendly Frugality

        I think I agree with Jen here. Of course, if you have permission then who am I to judge.

        I have been syndicated for payment in the past and it was absolutely thrilling. For someone to syndicate me (in full) for only a link back…well there would have to be something in it for me. Why not just post an excerpt and link back to me? Why do you need my whole post? You loved my post but not enough to send some traffic my way for it?

        I’ve actually gotten a lot of trackbacks to me where people have really enjoyed a post of mine and expanded it into a post of their own. I, personally, think that’s the greatest way to share content online. It makes us a community and it creates conversation.


        1. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

          BIG fan of trackbacks like that as well… :)


          1. Sue Tamani

            not sure which ‘reply button to hit here LOL
            I posted this earlier, not realising there was another thread. I’m sorry if anyone read into my quotes that I thought you believed everyone’s articles were 100% their own ideas. Having just read Borrowing Brilliance, I couldn’t resist quoting from it.
            Another reader here gave demandmedia as a good place for earning money blogging. I just had a look and they syndicate heaps of blogs. And I think I read an article on your site Darren that explained how to have your site feed in – there’s no way I would have known how to do it on my own!


  • Ainslie Hunter

    For anyone looking to find post writing on other blogs I would suggest @aliventures book “The Staff Blogging Course” for $19. Excellent resource with suggested sites to look at and templates of emails to send to prospective sites when looking for writing gigs.

    I am now a paid writer for a number of sites becuase of this post – and it paid for itself after just one post.

    You can see it at http://www.aliventures.com/shop

    Ainslie


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Very nice!


  • vanessa

    This article is so helpful. One thing I’m curious about is writing the e-book. It sounds so simple in theory. I have some ideas floating around of what I am going to write about. I normally get around 70-80 visits a day, but only have 38 subscribers. (I did get featured on something this week, and it’s bringing it a lot more views.) How big should the e-book be, and how do we even start? I would really love a post on that. It would help me tremendously. Thank you so much for your time, and articles.


    1. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

      Ditto. I’d love a post on that as well…


    2. the Blog Tyrant

      Hi Vanessa.

      It doesn’t matter if it is 1 page long or 1000 as long as it meets a need or want of your readers. Make it as useful as possible. The more valuable it is the more people will want to subscribe to get it.


      1. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper

        Does the same hold true for books you’re selling as opposed to giving away? Or do people naturally expect it to be longer to be worth the money?


        1. the Blog Tyrant

          Unfortunately not. Size is hugely related to value for a lot of people.

          That being said, you can alter the perception of what size is. So instead of having a 200 page eBook you might have a 5 page module sent out once a week for six weeks. That seems like a lot.

          Remember, we must talk in terms of benefits, not features. So if the benefits are big often the content appears to be.


          1. vanessa

            Thanks for responding so quickly. So the one that is free can be any size. But, the one that is for sale should be long. So essentially we a re writing a whole book that is a couple hundred pages long. It seems a little daunting to write a book, but I’m sure the rewards from it will be worth all the hard work.


  • Paul Odtaa

    If you have a website then don’t be shy about talking about it – but no to much.

    I did a talk on blogs to a local group and ended up earning quite a bit cash helping people sort out their computers.


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Nice one Paul! I like it.


  • Darren Rowse

    on the guest post – yep – found it and have added a few thoughts. It slipped by while i was on holiday so I’d have done that earlier if I’d seen it.


    1. Rachelle

      A reader alerted me that one of articles had been copied one time. I was initially flattered that someone thought my article was worth copying… then I emailed the guy assuming that he didn’t know any better than to copy my article and told him it was bad form to just copy other people’s writings and that he should add his own thoughts and link back to the original article. So he added my link to his article and I even got a little traffic from it.

      If the blogger is new they may not know better, I run a blog carnival too and you’d be surprised how many people don’t know how to link.


  • Rachelle

    It’s no mistake that I started my own blog I was at home with my 2 year old because my husband was ill.

    Raising a child is rewarding in it’s own way but it’s not exactly an intellectual pursuit. It’s even worse if money is a problem.

    Personally I would suggest that mom especially professional ones like myself is to leverage their already existing knowledge and set up a blog about that. This is because if you’re like me you will be by yourself in an arena that has absolutely no competition. There are many professions that have great potential to be great money makers. You can also set yourself up to provide consultation services and be seen as an expert in your field.

    For me when I initially started my goal was just to provide assistance to other people with the information I had while I was idling my professional life. It has proved to be the best thing I ever did for my business. Is it easy? No way. Even now I post almost every day. Is it rewarding? Yes it is. Every day I get calls and emails from people I help, people who think my writing is great, and people who hire me of course.

    I now have a dual career, one as a blogger and one as a property manager. The better I am at blogging and the more I learn about SEO and copy writing the more coverage I get and the more people find me. The more posts i write the more long tail keywords help people kind of randomly find my content, my idea and of course my business and services.

    My philosophy has been to give the best of my professional knowledge to my readers. My mom asks me why I do this…people can go out and do it themselves. Don’t be afraid of this as a blogger. Does reading a car book make you a mechanic? No way. But people do appreciate the information but in no way can this information ever replace years of experience in real life.

    I find that writing the information down also makes me better because there are many things I do on autopilot. Writing it down makes the entire process more cognitive to me and helps me improve myself.

    I hope every mom blogs as a way to keep in touch and stay cerebral at a time when performing a repetitive, often lonely, sometimes mind numbing but oh so crucial task as raising our frustrating, delightful and demanding children.


  • Franck

    Great article. 1 minor comment:

    I think you should be computing somehow the hours spent on the project + the other premium services that you are suggesting. The P&L does not look “trustable” with only 100 bucks of set-up costs. far too much imbalanced for my tastes (and reality)

    I would personaly also add the cost of a mentoring program to help dealing with newbies fears and generally reduce the learning curve, risk of failure due to no proven tecnics/providers. This is fundamental to me when jumping from theoretical numbers into a real project


    1. Milehimama

      Well, most “mentoring” for mommy bloggers is free. There are entire sites dedicated to helping, twitter hashtags devoted to it (#savvyblogging, for one).

      You can actually set up a blog and make a little $ at it for $0- I know because I’ve done it ($100 month or so.) However, in order to make anything substantial you really do need your own hosting and domain. If you buy your domain through bluehost and buy a year hosting, it’s less than $95. I know, I’ve done it. I did eventually reinvest some of my gross profit to purchase a premium theme, but I used a free theme and free online tutorials and a free graphics program (paint.net) to set up my blog initially and blogged with that for over a year. I used a free program (OpenOffice) to create my media kit and create .pdfs. I used a digital camera I already had to get images from my blog, as well as copyright free images and public domain images. I’ve managed to find free plugins to do what I want to on my blog, I haven’t paid for a plugin, yet.

      Of course there is the monthly internet fee; in my case we would pay that whether I was blogging or not.

      BUT – yes, the time commitment is intense (just as it would be starting ANY business from the ground up.) If you calculate hourly wage at the beginning- it’s very low, a pittance. But that is true of any start-up.

      If someone really only wants to commit 30 minutes a day, that won’t work. You have to invest either time (doing it yourself) or money (hiring someone).


  • Stuart

    Good God, that’s a lot of comments already!

    I wish I can get my Mum to read this; she has a number of part-time jobs, and though she earns a fair bit considering the amount of total hours she works, there’s a lot that she can pick up from reading this article.

    Hell, I did, and I’m not a mum!

    Thanks for sharing BT, I must admit, I’m impressed with what you’ve presented, time after time :-)


  • Carolee a.ka. Blogging Biz Mom

    I posted about this a few days ago and spoke about work at home on my radio show..there are a few different ideas in them, as well as the good, bad & the ugly about work at home- GRRRR….:

    Bits and pieces of income

    and

    Working at home- How to get started


  • chris

    I’m normally chiming earlier but I’ve had a crazy busy week. With that in mind…

    I’ve been through the highs and lows of having my own site. I’ve seen sites that were great and those that were terrible. The biggest tip I can give…scratch that, here are the biggest tips I can give…

    1. Use a great looking site theme (graphics fonts, colors). WordPress offers a lot of free ones. What’s more important is your logo. A great wordpress theme with a crappy blurry/pixelated logo looks bad. Either pay someone a little change for a logo or just forgo the logo altogether.

    2. Use wordpress (or similar CMS) plugin’s for people to easily tweet or facebook post each of your articles. This helps get visitors early on when you don’t have the content for the search engines. And once the site is full of content, easy tweeting is still vitally important because it carries with it a trust level of the person sending the tweets.

    3. Buy the problogger’s scorecard. This helped me write better articles. Better meaning well-formatted, targeted to my visitors, more likely retweeted, etc.

    4. Either commit to the site or don’t even try. If you commit to your site and work consistently, you’ll be rewarded. However, if you slack off or don’t put in the time, your site will suffer and you’re more likely to give up.

    Bonus: Create a posting schedule such as twice a week on tuesdays and thursdays. My writing articles on a regular (and expected) basis, your visitors know when to return to your site.


    1. chris

      Oh, and whatever you do, plan everything out before you start the site. Name, topic, how’s you’ll make money, competing sites, forums and other related blogs where you can drop links etc. Don’t try navigating while your driving…have your route mapped out.


  • chris

    Run a site with this in mind…
    “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
    Thomas Edison


    1. Heather@Family Friendly Frugality

      LOVE that. Thanks for sharing. I always say that I’ve failed WAY more then I’ve succeeded so far. Rejection after rejections, but it makes the successes so much sweeter.


  • Brandon Yanofsky

    I’m so glad that you included a section on finding if your passion is actually viable. I think it needs a bit more emphasis though. The worst is starting a blog you are passionate about hoping to make money and there just isn’t a market for that category.


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Very true Brandon.


  • TJ

    Tyrant, you’re great and now I know why — I LOVE YOUR MOM! She must be super proud.

    Glad you didn’t refer to us as “mommy bloggers” even though I sometimes find it sweet, I equally want to lash out with a big karate kick for some reason.

    New mom bloggers might want to remember to always put their laptop on top of a magazine at the kitchen table. In case of spills you’re still typing high-and-dry.

    And you gotta watch the power cord (obviously with toddlers in the case of strangulation) or just wild boys running laps in the house and tripping. I always try re-charge when kids are NOT around. HAH – re-charge in more ways than one!

    I’m going to put a link to your post in my artist Facebook group. There’s plenty more where I came from!!
    Your fan in germany,
    tj


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Yeah my Mom is amazing. No doubt about it.

      I was really worried about the title appearing condescending. I hope no one took offense or thought it was sexiest.


  • RandyNose

    Well, I think there’s hope for me yet.

    I’ve got so many ideas bouncing around in my noggin’ that if I don’t write some of them down, they get drowned out with others. – I know a GOOD portion of my problem is staying focused. I’m sure that If I can develop the right style of blog, I could do well. But I’m still struggling with different ideas, and what to focus on… etc.

    I tried to do a web site, aimed at other truckers, using Chris Farrell’s site as one of the core business models, but soon came to realize that when a trucker is busy, he’s going to be to burnt out at the end of the day to put in a lot of training on something new, or something he doesn’t understand well. I know that on days that I drive 500+ miles or 12 hrs driving, I’m not in any shape to learn something new.

    I’ve given up on that idea or that kind of site. I’m still looking at ways to develop some form of online business. I still have my Aweber account. I have two blogs, one is more aimed at open source, the other is more of a life’s journey blog… And I could probably roll the Open Source blog into the first… hmm… but should I?


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      I wonder if some sort of phone App might work better for truckers?


      1. Tj

        As a Minnesotan in Germany I’d read a trucking blog in a hot second! Even one of those Tmblr blogs with just photos…
        Think about everything those guys see! Everything from sunsets to broken down rigs, filthy toilets, wildlife. As a reader it would be so fun to go “on the haul” with ‘em!!
        BT- can people make money with only photo blogs?


        1. RandyNose

          TJ, check out http://www.tachoblog.com/tachoblogs-view-cab-21111/ I contribute to TachoBlog’s #VFTC on twitter almost every week. I also am doing a contest on Facebook for Some Frosty Fenders for the 2010-2011 winter on this side of the equator. http://www.facebook.com/photo_search.php?oid=181059561908961&view=all is the link to the Facebook Group…


          1. TJ

            Thanks Randy, your FB group looks great but I couldn’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t be better as a FB Fan Page. That way people such as me could just “like” it and your updates would come right into my news feed (instead of asking to become part of a group)… just an idea!

            Tyrant, I hope it’s OK we’re going back-and-forth in here. I don’t know the commenting etiquette and this is your air space! I totally want to respect that…


        2. RandyNose

          Just start searching Twitter for Trucker, OR also following some of the other drivers that I’m networked with.


      2. RandyNose

        BT, I’m not sure what you mean with a Phone app? You mean to post to the Blog? Yes, I can do that, as an email to the blog from the phone. But it’s not very efficient.

        I’m normally home each night, but some days, I’m really burnt out.

        Today, I have been told to sit by my phone, and wait. When I do get a call, I’ll know if I’m going to be gone for 4, 14 or even 40 hrs… I get frustrated, as I’ve ideas, that I’ll start on, not finish, and then I give up. I guess I just need to pick up where I left on on some of the ideas.

        One such idea was the Postcard from somewhere else, Blog idea. My wife even said she’d do it, but I’ve got to make up the page, and find the postcards for her to send. I’m also concerned about copy-write issues of posting images of the postcards..


    2. Tj

      Randy I love a blog called “Munich daily photo”. And they take the term daily pretty loosely. I’d read a trucking blog that even posted a photo a day.


      1. RandyNose

        So, TJ, you’re saying that If I were to post 1 picture each day from my phone, to my blog, you think that it would attract readership? – That’s a brilliantly simple idea. :)


        1. TJ

          Oh yeah! I’m homesick so somebody truckin’ across my country and posting pics would be right up my alley. But Randy, you didn’t mention the postcards before. Forget the front-side man! Your wife could be at home posting a photo of the handwritten backsides of your postcards — aww it would be an awesome blog!!

          You could start a FB fan page where truckers anywhere could post amazing pics of their journeys to your wall.

          Something like that would have to be interesting to retired truckers, home-bound people — or people really into maps and journeys. Plus it would be a beautiful visual record of all your hauls.

          I can just see people hitting your site to see how far you’ve made it thru the latest snowstorm, etc. COOL!


          1. RandyNose

            TJ, I’m not an Over The Road driver anymore. I do drive, but usually, (and there’s exceptions) not more then 4-5 hrs out from Cleveland, Ohio.


  • Mary

    After working out what you know, the next thing to consider is what the competition is like: setting up blog in a niche where there’s lots of competition is a lot harder than in a niche where hardly anyone is writing.

    Also, I’d recommend that the first blog isn’t about the topic that you want to dedicate years to and make serious money from. Make the first blog about something you’re simpply interested in. Use it to learn how the whole thing works. Then use the lessons you’ve learned to make a 2nd (or 3rd or whatever) blog about the topic you’re passionate about, and get it right from the beginning!


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      That’s an interesting idea Mary. That way you can not be too worried about mucking it up.


    2. Dorothy

      I like your thinking, Mary, about labeling the first blog exploratory in your own mind. But, if you use your real name, it seems you’ll be making or not making a reputation for that name? That’s what bothers me about fooling around too much with my first blog.


  • Allison @ House of Hepworths

    You are my new hero! I’ve been following your blog and adding your ideas to my blog and it seems to be helping. Thank you for all your great info!

    Do you by chance know how I can make my comments threaded? When I switched to my new template it seems to have overridden my threaded comments feature and I can’t make them threaded now. This has been terrible for keeping a conversation going in my comments section. Do you think I’ll need a new template that allows this, or is it just a change in code?

    Thanks so much!

    ~Allison @ House of Hepworths


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Hey Allison.

      Installing threaded comments is hard when it wasn’t in place from the start. I’d recommended hiring a coder to do it.

      You can try some wordpress plugins or maybe Disqus comments but I think either way you might run in to a few hitches.


  • Tim

    I could be wrong, but I thought you were in Oz, BT?


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      I surely am.


  • Leigh

    Great article, thank you. What I like most about the proposed options is that almost plans all are easily scalable for growth.

    Scalability is SO fracking important! If you doubt that, read on.

    I started LeastLikely2Breed.net in 2007 (2 months after my kid was born.) It’s not a blog but is a niche online site selling handcrafted balms to gen X parents.

    I’ve been lucky enough to have been featured in/on: about.com, parents.com, coolmompicks.com, designmom.com, babble.com, boingboing.net, Pregnancy & Newborn magazine Feb.08, thedailystroll.com, rarebirdfinds.com, Pregnancy Magazine May 08, Pregnancy Magazine Style & Gear Guide 08, DailyCandykids.com etc. The press has been good to me.

    I think my proudest online business moment has been in supplying the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) with custom lip balms for President Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

    Small and large stores {blush} were contacting me to carry the line. For a little while my business was hot stuff.

    I didn’t advertise. I didn’t twitter. I didn’t have a mailing list and people were STILL buying and talking.

    Sounds great right?

    Except it wasn’t.

    I made a HUGE mistake that ultimately ended my business. Demand was high but I had failed to plan for scalability. I was lost in a maze of barcodes, channels of distribution, contracts, and worse, defending my intellectual property from infringing online retailers.

    This was not my dream. This was not my plan.

    The last straw came in April 2010 — my hands were cramping in agony with from repetitive labor stress, I had the client from HELL to deal with, my 3 year old was yelling at me to pay attention to her and I still had 1,700 lip balms to make and 50-75 packing orders to fill that week.

    I couldn’t keep up. So, I finished all the orders, posted all the balm recipes on the site for free, transferred my wholesale clients to a fellow bath and body crafter, closed up shop and began planning a new scalable online business directory site for therapists.

    I know that was long and I’m at the bottom of long list of comments but, if any SAHM’s read this I want you to know that whatever you do, you will be better off for having a sustainable plan for success — please don’t wing it.

    P.S. As an interesting FYI– LeastLikely2Breed has never received tons of traffic (embarrassingly low by BlogTyrant standards) However, the site converted extremely well because it had such a narrow focus.

    Now, I’m here at BT to figure out how to build traffic and grow a mailing list :)


    1. Sue Tamani

      Wow Leigh – what a shame you couldn’t sell it. But I know exactly how you felt – you did well to finish those last orders! I had a similar experience but with a trad biz, not online. I’m sure people will respond here with what you SHOULD have done but they had to be there to experience that feeling of drowning. Glad you’ve recovered!


      1. Leigh

        Exactly Sue — sometimes you just don’t know until you experience things.

        Thanks for the support. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who imploded under pressure!


        1. the Blog Tyrant

          Love the story Leigh. You obviously have a knack for starting a business. Looking forward to your next big thing!


    2. Brandon Yanofsky

      It does suck. But like Sue said, it’s great that you recovered. Just remember, it’s a learning experience. The next thing you have going will be just that much better!


  • Priscilla

    Thank you for the great post! It was very insightful. I have had a successful blog (meaning hits) for over 2 years but have been unable to make any real money at it! Your tips were extremely helpful. Can you give some insight on how I can get started selling ebooks. I am familiar with them, but I’m not sure how to go about selling them on my site. Also, I think I have enough traffic to my site to warrant bigger advertisers, but I don’t know how to go about that either. Any help that you can provide would be greatly appreciated!


    1. Brandon Yanofsky

      Hey Priscilla

      Have you considered selling a product or service to your audience instead of advertising?


      1. Priscilla

        I just started by selling t-shirts, but that hasn’t been hugely successful. I am going to change the design next month.
        Do you have any suggestions for me for a product or service? I appreciate your input!


        1. Brandon Yanofsky

          Priscilla,

          Send me an email: brandon at blistmarketing dot com

          I have a bunch of suggestions for you!


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