MoneySavingMom.com
FREEBIE LIBRARY!
Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Category: Income-Earning Ideas

*HOT* Bluehost Sale: Web hosting for just $2.65 per month {Extended!}

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Get Bluehost web hosting for just $3.49 per month right now!

Thinking of setting up a website or blog? You’ll want to check out this hot offer from Bluehost that got extended for ONE more day as a Cyber Monday deal!!

Through tonight, you can get monthly hosting from Bluehost for just $2.65 per month! This sale is SUPER rare, so be sure to take advantage of it!

I have used Bluehost for some of my sites, and I know many, many people who use Bluehost and love it. It’s also what I recommend starting out with in my How to Make Money Blogging series!

My favorite reason to sign up for Bluehost hosting is because they offer such great customer service. In fact, they have 24/7 customer service help, so you can call in at any time of the day or night if you are having issues and they will help you out.

Go here to get started with blogging for just $2.65 per month!

By the way, if you’re looking for step-by-step help to set up your blog and make money from blogging, be sure to check out my comprehensive post on How to Make Money Blogging.

Valid through end of today, November 27, 2017.

MySurvey: Earn cash or rewards for taking surveys

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

MySurvey: Earn cash or rewards for taking surveys

Looking for legitimate survey companies to sign up with?

MySurvey is a company that I have used in the past and earned money from. You can redeem your points earned for cash or prizes, and every 1000 points equals $10.

Go here to sign up.

6CompaniesThatWillPayYouForTakingOnlineSurveys-Pinnable

Looking for more opportunities to make money from home? See my list of recommended survey companies here.

I’m super excited! My new site is live!

It’s taken months of dreaming, brainstorming, planning, and effort, but I’m SO excited to announce that my brand-new site, YourBloggingMentor.com is live!

Why I Started YourBloggingMentor.com

This new blog is a something I’ve been contemplating starting for the past few years. Many people have come and begged for me to write more about how to make a part-time or full-time income from blogging and I really wanted to share practical tips, advice, and strategies I’ve learned and am learning from 12+ years of blogging.

However, I wasn’t in a position to start something new when I had so many other irons in the fire. So I set the idea aside for a long time.

But last year, during my Year of Rest, after I had said no to so many, many things, I started asking myself, “What do I want to say yes to? What really sparks joy for me? What do I want to spend the next 10-20 years of my life online doing?”

I knew without a doubt that I wanted to help other women share their stories and wisdom through blogging. I have a passion for helping women live out their fullest potential and I also have a passion for blogging, marketing, and online business strategy.

Creating YourBloggingMentor.com was the perfect fit for melding both of those passions of mine into a product that will (hopefully!) inspire thousands of women in the months and years to come.

My goal in creating this site is ultimately to not only give people the tools, steps, and strategies to make a part-time or full-time income from blogging, but to encourage people to build a life and business that matters and brings joy and blessing to your life.

To read more about why I started YourBloggingMentor.com, read my post over there on Why I Started This Blog.

What You Can Expect from YourBloggingMentor.com

I will be posting one new blog post every week, sharing snippets on blogging advice on the YourBloggingMentor Instagram and Facebook Page.

Here are a few of the posts I’ve already posted, to give you an idea of what the content will be like:

We’ve also been working really hard behind the scenes the past two months on a HUGE project connected with YourBloggingMentor.com. We’re going to be launching a series of $37 courses for beginners on specific topics related to blogging and social media and monetizing your blog.

My goal is that these will give you the formulas, steps, and tools you need to set up your blog for success all at a price that you can afford when you are just working on getting your blog up and off the ground.

Look for our very first course launch in the next week!

Sign Up to Join Me on the Journey!

If you are interested in blogging, are currently a blogger, or are thinking of starting a blog, I’d love to have you come over and check out YourBloggingMentor.com. While you’re there, be sure to sign up to get my free cheat sheet: 10 Ways to Make $100 From Blogging.

In addition, I’d love for you to follow my new Instagram and Facebook Page. I’ll be sharing tips and encouragement there that you won’t find anywhere else online.

This Month’s Blogging/Business Income Report (February)

Thinking of Starting a Blog? Over the years, I’ve received many requests from folks for help on how to start a blog and how to make money blogging. That’s why I put together this comprehensive guide on How to Make Money Blogging with updated information and links.

It includes step-by-step help on how to set up your blog, get started, and make money from blogging. Go here to learn how to make money blogging and get started today!

In 2005, I discovered this thing called “blogging” and decided to try it out. I was a brand-new mom at the time, had recently quit working as a nanny, and was hopeful I could make enough on the side through online ventures to be able to replace my income and be able to stay home.

My husband was in law school and we were living on a beans and rice budget, trying to stay out of debt. We never, ever dreamed that my little blog idea would grow into what it has become.

In all honesty, when I started MoneySavingMom.com, I remember telling people that I hoped to make a side income from it. I never could have imagined that by the end of 2008, I’d be making full-time income from blogging!

And in all my wildest and craziest dreaming, I never would have envisioned that this blog would allow my husband to come home full-time, would provide the means for us to support ministries we love dearly (in the US, in the Dominican Republic, and in South Africa), and would enable us to provide incomes for our small (but amazing!) team.

How I Make a Full-Time Income from Blogging

Over the years, I’ve heard the question again and again and again: How do you actually MAKE money blogging??

People seem intrigued by the idea that our family actually makes a really good income from this blog and other related online ventures. In these monthly posts, I want to give you a comprehensive and detailed look at our different income streams and expense streams to give you a better idea of what’s working, what’s not working, and how I actually make money blogging.

I always find these posts fascinating and inspiring when I read them from other bloggers. It helps me to learn the real nitty-gritty details of what is and isn’t working, how bloggers are diversifying their income, and what they are experimenting with.

Some bloggers share these types of posts and include specific numbers of exactly how much they make every month. I’ve opted not to do that because I feel like sometimes people can get hung up on numbers and miss the bigger picture.

Instead, I want share detailed percentages of our income and expenses — not only will this give you a very accurate picture of our earnings, but it will be something that is relatable, no matter the size of your blog or the income you make.

My hope is that these detailed reports not only help give you a better picture of how I make money blogging, but I hope they inspire you with new ideas on how you can increase your income or improve as a blogger or online entrepreneur.

Ready for the numbers? Here’s our income and expenses report for the month of February 2017:

February Income

Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. All of the products listed below are products and services we’ve used before. If you have any questions about any of the income or expenses, you can leave a comment and we’ll do our best to reply.

All Revenue Streams

Affiliate Revenue Streams Detailed Breakdown

Want to know more how affiliate programs work? Be sure to check out my post on How to Make Money Blogging.

February Expenses

  • Charitable contributions — 33%
  • Payroll expenses — 25%
  • Partner & affiliate payments (Sign up for our affiliate program for our products here.) — 10%
  • Subcontracted services — 9%
  • Web-based tools (InfusionSoft*, Feedblitz, GoDaddy, Dropbox, Harvest, etc.) — 7%
  • Other (Office space rent, PayPal fees, shipping/postage fees, merchant account fees, bank service charges, utilities, travel expenses, wifi, etc.) — 6%
  • Computer, hosting, Internet expenses — 5%
  • Health insurance — 3%
  • Professional fees (for our CPA, payroll management, etc.) — 3%

Percentage of Income Versus Expenses

Recent Experiments

New Sites Coming Soon!

We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes putting the final touches on my brand-new sites, YourBloggingMentor.com and CrystalPaine.com. The designs are almost done and now I’m working on putting together content, posts, and more. I cannot WAIT to unveil them very soon!

We’re also hard at work putting together strategic email series for those who sign up for our email newsletters. We’ve never been very strategic in the past with our on-boarding process for new email subscribers and that is one thing I knew I wanted to make a big priority if I were to ever start a new site.

Working Smarter, Not Harder

One thing I changed in the last two months was delegating even more of my usual MoneySavingMom.com responsibilities so that I could have good boundaries with work and home life and also be able to devote time to the two new sites.

My sister, Gretchen, has been helping Meg with posts here every day and they’ve been doing a fabulous job of finding, vetting, and posting the deals.

This has allowed me to spend a lot less time in the nitty-gritty daily details and a lot more time in the big picture details. It’s also freed me up to have more time to devote to writing — both for blog posts and for other projects (see below!)

Brand-New Courses Are in the Works!

One of the BIG things we’re working on is putting together a series of courses for beginning bloggers which we’ll be offering on YourBloggingMentor.com. We batted around a LOT of ideas as a team for what digital products we wanted to offer on YourBloggingMentor and I’m super stoked about the final result of all of our ideas and brainstorming.

If you are a new blogger or even someone who is considering starting a blog, I can’t WAIT to share what we’re putting together. It will be affordable, step-by-step, go-at-your-own-pace, customizable, and simple. Stay tuned for more details!

This Month’s Featured Question

This month’s featured question is from Lauren at Funky Monkey Children:

Do you have recommendations for where to find VAs?

This is such a great question! In all honesty, I can’t give you a simple answer, because there are so many variables.

I think you first need to determine what type of VA you are looking for (Someone to do admin work? Someone to help format blog posts? Someone to oversee your inbox? Someone to help with social media? etc.)

Once you know who you are looking for, then determine how many hours of work you think you have for them to do and how much you can budget to pay them.

I personally start by thinking of people I know would be a good fit — usually someone who has some experience online, is someone I have a relationship with of some sort, or someone I know and trust has a relationship with. I will sometimes ask others I know and trust for ideas or names of people they’d recommend, too.

You can also use a VA service (these are usually more expensive, but you’ll typically get higher quality work) or find another blogger who has experience with blogging and who has some extra hours to devote online. Jessica commented and said that she has found great VAs through this Facebook Group.

Don’t ever hire someone whom you haven’t vetted well ahead of time. I prefer to have met face-to-face, have had some phone calls, and have some recommendations. I also always start with smaller, short-term jobs first before moving to a more permanent working relationships.

Remember, that it’s very important to vet your VAs to make sure they’re a good fit for you. See my recommendations on this past income report.

Note: Finding a good VA isn’t always about finding the most experienced person for the job. If the chemistry isn’t there, it can end up being a total flop hire. Hire the person who is reliable, willing to learn and grow with your business, and who comes through for you — even if they aren’t an expert! 

Highly Recommended Blogging Resources

Make Money Blogging

Want to Start Your Own Blog?

I’m here to help! Check out my comprehensive guide on How to Make Money Blogging with updated information and links. It includes step-by-step help on how to set up your blog, best practices for blogging, and all the details on how to make money from blogging.

Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up for my FREE 5-day course on How I Make a Full-Time Income From Home. This video course will give you an inside peek into my blogging and business journey, will share lots of inspiration and hard lessons I’ve learned in the process, and will encourage you with ideas on how you can make a part-time or full-time income from home, too.

Previous Income Reports

More Posts on Blogging

“I am a multi-millionaire!”

I read a book recently that talked about the importance of saying affirmations daily for things you want to become. The author encouraged you to speak it until you become it.

Truth be told, I’m sort of on the fence about this idea.

On the one hand, I think it’s fantastic to know what you are aiming for and I think it’s much, much more effective to visualize yourself winning and succeeding in life than to envision yourself failing at everything.

There’s a good chance you will end up making a lot more progress if you believe that you can do something than if you assume or predict you can’t do something. In fact, there’s a high probability you won’t even bother to try a lot of things if you tell yourself that you can’t do it from the get-go.

For instance, if you believe, “I’ll never get out of debt.” There is a very good chance that you won’t even be motivated to make a plan to try to get out of debt. Because, why bother if you already think it’s a hopeless cause?

On the flip side, I think that this whole repeating daily affirmations things can become detrimental or unhealthy if your affirmation is based on a self-focused premise or an unrealistic ideal.

One of the affirmations this book encouraged people to repeat over and over was, “I am a multi-millionaire.”

That just rubbed me all kinds of wrong.

Why? Because our culture is obsessed with the belief that money is the answer. That if you just made twice as much money (or five times as much money) or inherited a million dollars or won the lottery, then all your problems would be solved.

As someone who has been on both ends of the spectrum (having very little and have an abundance), I can tell you this: money is not the answer to all your problems. Money can do a lot of amazing things, but having money doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t have problems. Just like not having money doesn’t necessarily mean your life will be filled with all kinds of terribly hard things.

If you chase after more money and make more money your end goal, you’ll never, ever be satisfied. Because there’s no such thing as “enough money” when more money is your goal. If you finally end up making $100,000, you’ll then aim to make $200,000. If you end up becoming a millionaire, you’ll then shoot to become a multi-millionaire.

And on and on it will go.

Money doesn’t satisfy. Money isn’t the answer. If you chase after money, you’ll always be chasing after more

If you are struggling with this concept, I encourage you to ask yourself two questions that have changed my entire perspective in how I run my business and the choices that I make in my personal life:

  • When is enough, enough?
  • Would I be content if I knew that where I am right now will never change?

I cut back, streamlined, said no, and stripped away so much from my life as a result of these two questions. Why? Because I realized that I was chasing after more when I already had enough.

Instead of spending most of my days pursuing new opportunities, researching new possibilities, planning and mapping out new ideas, exhausting myself trying to reach new goals, or stressing over setting up new strategy, I want to spend the bulk of my time just loving the life right in front of me and embracing and being grateful for the more-than-enough life that I already have.

From first hand experience, I can promise there is much more joy, fulfillment, and life right there.

Now, let me be clear: There’s nothing wrong with wanting to increase your income, grow your business, or hit certain financial goals, so long as you have a healthy WHY in place for doing so and you have healthy boundaries in place for achieving these goals.

Instead of chasing after more or coming up with a daily affirmation or goal of becoming a millionaire or multi-millionaire, start with a WHY that matters.

Maybe something like, “I will help as many hungry children as possible have nutritional meals.” Or, “I will find ways to help eliminate hunger in our city.” Or, “I will make an impact in teen girls’ lives.”

You know what’s different with those goals/affirmations? All of them are ones that you can start right now. You don’t have to wait until you are a millionaire or a multi-millionaire. You can begin today!

Your why might be something that requires a lot of money to pull off. Some of my goals and the whys behind those goals definitely do or will require a significant amount of money to make happen. And for me, this is certainly a reason to be strategic with opportunities I accept, to work on growing the business while having healthy boundaries, and to look for ways to work smarter, not harder.

But I can tell you from personal experience that there is so much more joy and fulfillment and purpose when you have established your WHY and you’re not just chasing after something for the sake of chasing. Not only that, but it also helps me be a lot more intentional about how I spend my time, what I say yes to and what I say no to, and it allows me to embrace and enjoy the here and now instead of just focusing on trying to get where I want to go.

So, I challenge you to stop chasing after more for more’s sake, to establish your WHY behind your goals, and to begin today to embrace exactly where you are. Don’t wait until you get where you think you want to be to start loving the life you have. 

photo credit

This Month’s Blog/Business Income Report (January)

Make full-time money as a blogger!

Thinking of Starting a Blog? Over the years, I’ve received many requests from folks for help on how to start a blog and how to make money blogging. That’s why I put together this comprehensive guide on How to Make Money Blogging with updated information and links.

It includes step-by-step help on how to set up your blog, get started, and make money from blogging. Go here to learn how to make money blogging and get started today!

In 2005, I discovered this thing called “blogging” and decided to try it out. I was a brand-new mom at the time, had recently quit working as a nanny, and was hopeful I could make enough on the side through online ventures to be able to replace my income and be able to stay home.

My husband was in law school and we were living on a beans and rice budget, trying to stay out of debt. We never, ever dreamed that my little blog idea would grow into what it has become.

In all honesty, when I started MoneySavingMom.com, I remember telling people that I hoped to make a side income from it. I never could have imagined that by the end of 2008, I’d be making full-time income from blogging!

And in all my wildest and craziest dreaming, I never would have envisioned that this blog would allow my husband to come home full-time, would provide the means for us to support ministries we love dearly (in the US, in the Dominican Republic, and in South Africa), and would enable us to provide incomes for our small (but amazing!) team.

Learn how to earn money as a blogger!How I Make a Full-Time Income from Blogging

Over the years, I’ve heard the question again and again and again: How do you actually MAKE money blogging??

People seem intrigued by the idea that our family actually makes a really good income from this blog and other related online ventures.

In these monthly posts, I want to give you a comprehensive and detailed look at our different income streams and expense streams to give you a better idea of what’s working, what’s not working, and how I actually make money blogging.

I always find these posts fascinating and inspiring when I read them from other bloggers. It helps me to learn the real nitty-gritty details of what is and isn’t working, how bloggers are diversifying their income, and what they are experimenting with.

Some bloggers share these types of posts and include specific numbers of exactly how much they make every month. I’ve opted not to do that because I feel like sometimes people can get hung up on numbers and miss the bigger picture.

Instead, I want share detailed percentages of our income and expenses — not only will this give you a very accurate picture of our earnings, but it will be something that is relatable, no matter the size of your blog or the income you make.

My hope is that these detailed reports not only help give you a better picture of how I make money blogging, but I hope they inspire you with new ideas on how you can increase your income or improve as a blogger or online entrepreneur.

Ready for the numbers? Here’s our income and expenses report for the month of January 2017:

January Income

Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. All of the products listed below are products and services we’ve used before. If you have any questions about any of the income or expenses, you can leave a comment and we’ll do our best to reply.

All Revenue Streams

Affiliate Revenue Streams Detailed Breakdown

Want to know more how affiliate programs work? Be sure to check out my post on How to Make Money Blogging.

January Expenses

  • Payroll expenses — 38%
  • Partner & Affiliate Payments (Sign up for our affiliate program for our products here.) — 13%
  • Web-based tools (InfusionSoft, Feedblitz, GoDaddy, Dropbox, Harvest, etc.) — 12%
  • Subcontracted services — 11%
  • Computer, hosting, Internet expenses — 8%
  • Other (Office space rent, PayPal fees, shipping/postage fees, merchant account fees, bank service charges, utilities, travel expenses, wifi, etc.) — 5%
  • Health insurance — 5%
  • Professional fees (for our CPA, payroll management, etc.) — 3%
  • Advertising and Promotion — 2%

Percentage of Income Versus Expenses

Recent Experiments

Different Email Formats — This year, one of our big goals is to really get a handle on how to effectively use email. It’s something I’ve been wanting to figure out for years and finally have the breathing room and team in place to really make it happen.

Right now, in addition to really cleaning up our email lists and being very focused and intentional in our email newsletters, we’re testing different email formats — HTML only, HTML + Plain Text, and Plain Text only. We’re tracking how it impacts open rates and deliverability. So far, Plain Text is winning out big time, but we want to continue to test for another month before we can make a conclusive decision.

Instastories — I finally jumped on the Instastories bandwagon and am having so much fun with it! It’s a way I can really connect with my followers in more of a real-time way and give them peeks behind-the-scenes into my every day life.

Instagram — I’m also putting a lot more effort into Instagram as I feel like that’s a platform where people are really connecting with me at a deep and more personal level (Follow me here, if you aren’t already!). We’re promoting Instagram heavily when you sign up for my coming-soon site, CrystalPaine.com. (Sign up for the Crystal Paine email newsletter here for personal emails from me and then you’ll see what I mean about how we’re promoting Instagram after you sign up.)

New Sites — Both of the new site designs are really close to being completely done and now we’re working on content and email strategy for them. We plan to launch both of them at the end of March/beginning of April. Want to see a sneak peek of the design? Check out YourBloggingMentor.com and CrystalPaine.com.

This Month’s Featured Question

This month’s featured question is from Kaitlin from The Simply Organized Home:

I’ve suddenly been seeing a ton of growth in my blog traffic and subscribers. My subscribers have jumped from a daily gain of ~20 a day to over 150 a day in the past week. It’s all relating back to a post I did which gave away a budgeting printable pack.

My blog expenses are growing rapidly with my increasing subscribers but I’m not sure my income is going to do the same over the next month.What would you do in this case?

I’m thrilled to see my subscribers and page views increasing, but I’m a little scared by the financial commitment I’m making to pay out a larger sum of money without the money guaranteed to back it up.  – Kaitlin

This is a fantastic question! Seeing blog growth is a HUGE indicator that you’re doing something right. But what most people don’t think about in the early stages of growing a blog is that your expenses WILL grow as your audience does.

If you have a blog and you’re worried about your expenses exceeding your income, I totally get it. I’m constantly having to be strategic and plan ahead to make sure that our income is growing faster than our expenses! And there are definitely times when it can produce stress — especially during periods when your blog has a huge growth spurt!

Here’s what I’d recommend to Kaitlin:

  • Promote your own products to new sign-ups and regularly in your email newsletter (if you don’t have any of your own products, it’s time to create at least one or two!). As soon as people subscribe, send them a series of 2-3 emails that introduces yourself, introduces what you do, and offer a special coupon code for your products.
  • Make sure you are emailing out at least one or two affiliate links/promotional-type things every month. Of course, be sure you really love and feel you can get behind these things wholeheartedly. Email marketing is highly, highly effective when it comes to being able to actually encourage people to click through and buy something. Plus, when you’ve built a relationship with a reader and they trust your opinion and experience, they are much more likely to pay attention and take your recommendations very seriously. (Read more about affiliate marketing here and here.)
  • Set up a good followup sequence when people sign up for your email newsletter that sends them an email every few weeks that points to one of your top posts on your blog from the archives. Make sure that these top posts have great affiliate links in them.
  • Maximize your potential with sidebar advertising so that when people come to your site through links in your email newsletter, you are getting a payout for the traffic. (Read more about how to set up sidebar advertising here.)
  • Remember: Quality over quantity. A large email list is great, but if you aren’t nurturing your list and increasing your readers’ engagement by providing them good content and opportunities, your list numbers won’t reflect well in your payouts.
  • Network! Getting to know other bloggers and the strategies that work for them is a great way to increase your income-earning arsenal.
  • Never stop experimenting! If one idea doesn’t work well, tweak it and try again. Or, go back to the drawing board and try another idea. The more you’re willing to keep experimenting, the more chance there is that you’re going to find something that really, really works.

Highly Recommended Blogging Resources

Make Money Blogging

Want to Start Your Own Blog?

I’m here to help! Check out my comprehensive guide on How to Make Money Blogging with updated information and links. It includes step-by-step help on how to set up your blog, best practices for blogging, and all the details on how to make money from blogging.

Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up for my FREE 5-day course on How I Make a Full-Time Income From Home. This video course will give you an inside peek into my blogging and business journey, will share lots of inspiration and hard lessons I’ve learned in the process, and will encourage you with ideas on how you can make a part-time or full-time income from home, too.

Previous Income Reports

More Posts on Blogging