As I was writing my next book about how to start your own business, it got me to thinking about how many mistakes I’ve made as a blogger and how much I’ve learned over the years when it comes to how to make money blogging.
I never would have dreamed 10 or 15 years ago, that I’d someday be making more than a full-time income through blogging. I never would have imagined even 7 or 8 years ago, that the income we’d be earning through our online business would be enough to support our family, support our team, and allow us to save and give generously.
There is so much possibility nowadays to make a good income online and to enjoy the flexibility and freedom that working for yourself on your own time frame brings. And I have a passion to share the knowledge I’ve learned with others.
Which is why I’d like to do a weekly post with tips and tactics I’ve learned for making money online. If you want to find a way to quit your job, work less, or be able to save and give more, I’d love to help you.
So, I’d like to open up the floor: What burning questions do you have when it comes to making money blogging or making money online? Leave a comment on this post or shoot me an email (crystal @ moneysavingmom.com) and I’ll do my best to start answering as many of these as I can in the following weeks.
Want some step-by-step help to get started making money blogging? Check out this post where I walk you through how do just that.
How long did it take you to start making money blogging?
Then how long until you were able to do it full time?
I’m on a three year plan, but not sure if I am being realistic with myself. Would love to get your advice on creating a game plan!
I’m trying to get started but am oh so NOT computer literate. I’ve got a domain name, signed up with WordPress and Bluehost but am struggling with the page design and posting. Is there a super easy “do this, then this, then this” kind of resource I could access?
Hi Karen, I found this article that Crystal Paine wrote. https://moneysavingmom.com/make-money-blogging
I just have a few questions in mind:
1. How would it take for a blog to get more organic views and become successful online?
2. I have also started blogging but still having struggle in writing each post. What are your inspiration in writing your blog? How did you maintain that focus, and develop a wonderful blog?
3. Just thinking, would it be possible to quit my full time job and focus on blogging? I just started my own personal finance blog, do you think this topic or niche become successful one day?
4. Are your pageviews affected by google panda? If yes, to what extent was your income was affected?
5. Is it better to write sponsored blog (with targeted ads) or write anything freely, and let adsense match their ads on your post?
Sorry if I got a lot of questions… I just need to ask some advices from experts like you. I also want to be successful someday through blogging. Thanks!
I have a challenge finding anything that caters to folk in the Caribbean (I reside in Jamaica). Any ideas?
I would love to hear about more reliable info about SEO. Thanks for always being encouraging.
I don’t know if this post is still monitored, but I’ve created a blog, Etiquette By Emily. I have my facebook page to get interest through it, but I cannot find someone to design my page that’s not outrageously priced. Anyone have suggestions? Also, I’d love more information on ads. I eventually want to have note card companies advertise for thank you cards, etc. or Macy’s advertise for china patterns. I know these are way off from now, but I’m very excited!
Adrienne Bogatie says
Thank you for your blog. I have two blogs, one is a year old an on beading, it has never made any money or following. I recently (this week) started a very different blog inspired by you and other bloggers on household management, organisation and cooking. I realized that a lot of the posts while helpful to Americans, don’t help me here in South Africa, except after they are adapted, we don’t have coupons and Amazon doesn’t deliver here. This new blog already has 70 followers. After that long winded explanation, I would like to ask you, when would be good to start approaching people for advertising?
Hi. I am a mom and wife from South Africa…. i’ve read the ebook you sent me for signing up. I absolutely enjoyed every bit of information you shared with me. After reading your ebook so many ideas stormed through my mind as to what I can make my blog about exactly…then I suddenly had questions popping into my head, like for instance: Would this work for someone like me in South Africa as I didn’t come accross that many blogs etc from people living in South Africa? Everything is so different from overseas and everyone from overseas make difficult and impossible seem so easy….So, the main question would be, how do I do this? A wife and mom from South Africa….
Adrienne Bogatie says
I have started a South African small version, as I had the same questions, with a section of the blog covering money saving ideas. I actually have 2 one is for specifically the Jewish community in South Africa called kasheringyourlife. Hlale to organise is the Facebook page for the rest of South Africa. If possible please contact me email@example.com
I want to start a blog, but can’t seem to narrow down a “topic.” Most blogging advice says to find a niche, how do I do this?
I am not blogging (yet) but want to give you kudos for the amazing thoughts and encouragement you have shared with all of us. Thank you for this.
Crystal Paine says
Thanks so much for your kind encouragement!
Joy Francis says
I have purchased my .com with Go Daddy(R). I have not yet set up this blog site. My goal is to have blogs written on 15 short topics and 5 long topics before I set up the blog. My problem right now is ”Writer’s block.” I have these topics already started. Do you have any suggestions you can share with us to break through this hurdle?
I had a odd question for you.
You have been a big influence with my blogging which I started doing last October but really got into it this past January. I truly love how you offer guest posts, share your life, deals etc to name a few. Anyways for us newbie bloggers it’s so hard to get our name out there. It’s equally hard to score any contributor spot from bigger blogs because they usually are looking for someone with a bigger following or amazing photography skills. I know your all about helping us bloggers out so my question to you is would you ever consider starting a spotlight feature on your blog for us smaller blogger looking to gain more exposure?
I’m not sure how this would look or what it would entail and I know your terribly busy so I wouldn’t mind helping with this in any way needed.
I love your blog and been following it for awhile now. Keep it up, your fantastic and such an inspiration to us. Thanks
Sarah-Ann @ Living Intentionally Simple
Crystal Paine says
We LOVE having guest post submissions from bloggers of any size and I’d encourage you to check out our guest post guidelines and considering submitting a post there: https://moneysavingmom.com/submit-a-guest-post
I haven’t started a blog yet, but your blog has inspired me to start one! One of my biggest concerns relates to potential legal issues. I know this is a very broad topic, but what are the best ways to educate yourself on the potential legal issues that come with blogging? Also, could you give us some examples and explain the steps you’ve taken to protect yourself?
Thanks for making these posts! They are very informative and helpful!
Advice on choosing a name would be helpful. I suppose until you put out content you really don’t know what the streams of interest are. How do you choose a name that will allow some flexibility and create interest enough to click on your blog.
I started MomsOfInfluence.com in December 2014. It is boring out of a genuine passion to equip parents to raise kids with qualities that will allow them to have a positive influence on our world. I can’t not do this, Crystal, and yet I know so much of successfully monetizing a blog comes with traffic. I am curious about what tips you have to drive traffic to your site?
Also, what are your favorite plugins?
Thanks so much!
How many posts do I need to be posting a week to “make it”? I mean, what should I be aiming for? I’m one of those all or nothing people who thinks if they haven’t been posting regularly there’s no point in trying to get back on track unfortunately, so I need a goal to aim for.
Alex Guglielmo says
I think this is a great idea for regular posts! There are a lot of us newbies out there who want to be just like you 🙂 Thank you for thinking of us!
I have just started freelance writing. I’m not interested in having my own blog but I would like to write guest posts for existing blogs. How do I begin to write for this market?
Leah @ The Frugal South says
I would love advice on how to reach a wider audience! I have a small but loyal group of readers and would love to reach more people. What avenues do you suggest pursuing to find more folks who might be interested in my content?
Faith Still says
I have been blogging for 4 1/2 years, although more part time than your blog and I have made some money here and there, but not a reliable income like I would like to make. How do you really get your blog out there without spending a lot of money on advertising? Also, how did you grow your blog in the beginning?
Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving says
I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years but just this past year, as I’ve become a SAHM, have dared to dream and devote the time to making this a supplemental income for our family. Likewise, I’d like to hear about your favorite ways to monetize, while still being true to who you are and the content you write. What affiliate programs have / do you use that you could / would recommend?
This is a great series! I’m so looking forward to it. I started my site about 6 months ago, so I’m wondering what a good first couple of steps would be for advertising (beyond creating fantastic material, of course). Thanks for writing and being authentic! I love your site and read it pretty much daily.
What are some of the books, educational courses you took, and blogs or even other sources that you feel you learned the most from? There are so many to wade through these days.
Karen Davis says
I just started a blog two weeks ago on wordpress but didn’t do enough homework first. Is it possible to go back and set up a host with the domain name you are already using?
I recently started a blog as a companion to our YouTube channel – reviewing toys and opening surprise eggs. Our primary audience for the YouTube channel is children. I’m struggling to find a voice for the blog.
What tips can you offer for really honing in on your audience and creating a cohesive message?
Also, I’m brainstorming some ideas for content pieces that I’d like to submit as guest posts. Do you have any tips on writing content as a guest blogger?
Thanks Crystal! I always look forward to what you’re doing next.
My question is also on privacy and safety. I’m starting a blog, but my husband is very concerned about blog readers “finding” us or discovering where we live and putting out kids at risk. How do you manage that risk?
I would love to hear more about how you’ve built your audience and readership. Thank you so much for putting this together!
Can I ask two questions?
1) How do you balance posts about your personal family, their struggles, faith, etc with “business” posts so that people who are looking for either of these feel engaged in your blog?
2) Is it wise to mix genres in your blog? Ex: I have a travel blog, my personal blog, a devotional blog, and a blog for direct sellers. If I were crazy enough to combine all of these into one, how do you find companies willing to partner with you when they may be only interested in one of those? (I.e. a travel partner would probably not be interested in my faith-related posts and vice versa.)
2 1/2) How do you know what to set pricing at for ads/reviews if you don’t have quite the following as say, MSM does?
How do Single Member LLCs get affiliate marketing companies to issue a check in the LLC’s business name and not the owner’s name?
The Problem I’m running into: When I fill out the W-9 form as a single member LLC, the IRS requires me to put my name on the name line and my LLC name on the business/disregarded entity line, check the individual/solo proprietor box., and use my SSN. When I do this, the affiliate marketing company will issue a check to my name (and not the business name), which my business bank account will not deposit in my business bank account as it’s written to me and not my business.
I’ve talked to an accountant who is directing me to talk with the affiliate marketing companies, which has not been fruitful thus far. So I thought I’d reach out to you and ask how you or other bloggers you know are working with affiliate marketing companies as a Single Member LLC.
I have been playing with a blog and signed up for a .com. It is a mixture of all things home and I post off and on my personal thoughts/ideas.
My biggest question is how to copyright personal writings/thoughts in case I may want to write a book in the future and include those thoughts. My other posts are not original and I link where I found the idea and give them credit….but my ‘feature/personal’ ones are
Also, how do you receive the money? A check, auto pay? Do you have a separate bank account linked to your blog?
How do you get your ratings up to generate enough income.
I write posts for a group blog-have wanted to start my own blog since I started reading blogs 7 years ago (with your blog one of the first that I read) . My question is about fitting in the time, and how much time is realistic. My kids are grown, but I have a very full time job and long commute. I love to write and can write a post quickly. I am intimidated by all of the back end stuff. What would I have to deal with daily? Weekly? If I can only spare 5-10 hours a week, is that enough to produce some income?
My question is related to this one. I am a single Mom to two teenage boys (a full time job in itself!). I work full time. How do you schedule your blogging time as far as writing, social media, increasing readership and the business stuff? I’m not looking to replace my income but it would be nice to make a little extra while helping other women.
Also, what have been your biggest challenges and how have you overcome them?
Cate R. says
Crystal, I am not sure if I can articulate a question, but it sounds like a dream to be able to make a substantial income from home instead of living on my husband’s income from a job he hates, which allows us to barely scrape by and not meet any goals at all. It looks completely impossible, but I believe in the God of the bible so… : )
My big thing is that I am a mother of 3 young children ages 1, 4 and 6 (homeschooling like you) and as we all know, this gig is more than a full time job. It’s harder for some of us than others, and I feel like I am definitely one of those women. I am still struggling with getting the dishes done AND taking a shower in the same day. I look at other moms out there who are blogging for profit or making an income from home somehow, and my conclusion is that they are just more clever than me.
Plus I am in no way a “Type A” personality. I am introverted, introspective, a creative type (who incidentally doesn’t seem to have what it takes to have an Etsy business or something like that). But I know I have talents and skills. It just seems like my personality and circumstances are too much for me to overcome in terms of having the ability to earn money at home. I would love to be wrong about that. Any thoughts?
You are not alone in this – I am introverted/creative with four kids at home because I homeschool, and feel overwhelmed just getting everything normal done. I am still working on coming up with a good schedule routine for all of us so that I could have some extra time to do other things, like earn a little money on the side. My thoughts right now are that I should try to make it a goal to treat my day time w/the kids as my “professional job” and try to not do business stuff during that time, but should try to get the homeschooling and housework done (with the kids’ help) so that I don’t have extra in the evenings. Then, to have a plan that I’ve worked out with my husband to have some protected time in the evening or weekends where he handles the kids and I can work on a business idea. I do find though that I am tired at the end of the day, so I am also thinking about going to bed earlier and scheduling more of my thinking work for in the morning.
Cate R says
I am right there with you. Just trying to get the normal, basic daily tasks accomplished is nearly too much for me. And yes even though our culture doesn’t affirm it, being a full time mom (and especially homeschooling too) is very much a real job. It could very well be that finding a way to gain a successful income from home is not meant to be for some of us. God is still good even for people who aren’t living a dream life or anything close to it. That said, a girl can hope.
I would love to read regular posts on here about making money form home/blogging. Being that I am just starting out, I would love to hear more detailed posts about when you first started. For example, how often did you post, what did you post about, how did you find the time, when did you first start really seeing your traffic increase. Also, how did you get the word out about your blog?
Thank you for wanting to do this to help us all out on our journeys! I read your blog every day and have gleaned so much from you!
Thanks for doing this! I echo everyone’s appreciative sentiments. I would love to know: 1. how to do taxes for blogging
2. at which point (i.e. how many views, visitors, etc.) that you
would suggest doing various types of ads, sponsored posts,
or affiliate marketing
3. your thoughts on a good posting schedule, frequency, etc.
Kelly Cox says
I’m curious about the taxes too! Great question! I haven’t made any money but hopefully will and I’m not sure how to keep up with that end of having an online business.
Jennifer Snyder says
Thank you for offering to share your expertise! The one thing I am struggling with is getting sound advice for a business blog. I write a marketing blog for real estate agents. It seems like there is a lot of blogging advice directed at “mom, food or DIY blogs.” What are some go to ideas or resources for us business bloggers. And how is our income stream different than the blogs I mentioned?
So my question might be too pessimistic, but I am wondering if some of us are getting in to the blogging too late. Are there just too many blogs out there to really be able to get in on it all? I have so many ideas, but then I do a little research and see that there are a ton of people already posting on these things. I feel like another blog is not needed. So how do you make your blog something people need to read? The really successful blogs either look like they had money to put into it before making money or they have been around since the beginning. What are your thoughts?
This is my question as well. How do you make money blogging when it seems the market is saturated?
Kerri W. says
Thank you for the opportunity to pick your brain! 🙂
I’ve been blogging at my current site since 2007, and only started to put more of an effort into monetizing my blog for the past couple years (mostly because I am now a stay-at-home-mom and feel such a desire and need to add to our monthly income!). My question is how to actively monetize a blog without alienating a readership you’ve grown for years. Although I know most of my readers understand my needing to make some money for the time I put into writing and creating content, I always worry about annoying people with sponsored content or sidebar ads. I started blogging when monetizing was not at all for personal/lifestyle bloggers, and keeping the readership I have grown throughout the past 8 years is very important to me—but earning some money for my family is also necessary for the time I put in.
I feel like my balance right now is fine, but I am not making much income and would like to increase both the number of personal posts I write, as well as content that will bring me income. Is there any advice on how to find a good balance? I’ve always respected how you keep things both personal and professional here on your own blog.
Thanks for any advice you can offer! 🙂
As another longtime website/blog owner I thought I’d add my comment after Kerri’s.
I created my website/blog 10 years ago. It contains 100% local information (if you don’t live in our large city the info probably won’t pertain to you – unless you are one of the thousands of families who visit our town every year) and is very popular with local families (it’s a guide to everything families need to know about our town – after-school activities, summer camps, things to do this weekend with the family – with a large, faithful following).
I make a modest amount of income from local sponsors, most of whom have been with me from the start. Their logos are posted in the footer of the website/blog. No google ads, no sponsored posts at this time. This worked fine when the blog/website was a part-time effort. However the website/blog has grown a ton over the years and I need to grow the income I make from it – it’s become a full-time job w/ very part-time pay.
September 2014, I set a goal to figure out how to grow my income from the website/blog. To do this, I’ve had conversations about this with other blog/website owners, professional web developers, and with the local organization’s that post their information on my website/blog. I’ve also taken classes (the Blogelina class was helpful – recommend it).
And while I’ve learned a lot, I’m still making the same amount I did in September 2014. I don’t think this is because of a lack of information (I’m about informationed out), motivation, or effort. It’s because I’m not sure how to take the information learned, apply it to my website/blog, and then choose the correct changes/additions necessary to generate more income.
What I’d be interested in learning is where/how to hire a consultant (I want names!) who can help me set advertising goals and then walk me through how to meet these advertising goals – kinds of ads, number of ads, placement of ads, changes I’ll need to make in the look of my website, ways to use social media that grow my readers but don’t require me to overburden my already significant workload, etc.
Crystal, I love your site. Looking forward to any advice you can offer!
I agree with other commenters about how to make $ and not seem like a salesman. Since your blog is money saving we expect to see sales and products here but how do I make it work on a slightly different platform? Creating my own products is a solution, but I read a blog income report that stated a blog made $5000+ a month from share a sale. I was like …WHAT? Seems so far in my future. How long did your pre-profit stage last?
I have the same question. Our blog is a very different topic than frugal living, so hard to find ways to make money from it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
I am so excited about this! Thank you for all you do to help others! I just started started my blog in January. I wondered what some of your favorite ways to monitize your blog? So far I just have Google Adsense. I want to be careful of what I advertise on my blog, however it would be nice to make more than $20 dollars a month off my blog.
Ellen Russell says
I’m so excited for your business book!
My question for you: Do you have any regrets with how you’ve made money blogging? Opportunities that you wished you’d taken, ones you wished you’d passed on, or any mistakes you’ve made?
Thanks so much for being open to questions! I’m really looking forward to this series.
I don’t have a specific question at the moment but just wanted to chime in that I am VERY interested in these posts and look forward to them!
Hi Crystal…I have a strange one for ya! I have a big concern with privacy. I have thought about running a blog for years on homeschooling..or cooking as a vegan with children who have severe allergies to boot. But for reasons I can’t share…I worry about my privacy. Is it possible to run a blog with some privacy??? Seems like when it is a successful blog..its a very OPEN blog for that person. So it does concern me. Would love to hear your thoughts.
I know successful bloggers who just use nick names for their kids, if that helps, but I understand your concerns.
I’m so glad you asked this! I’m curious about privacy issues also…
Faith Still says
I don’t use my kids’ names on my blog, homeecathome.com
I do take pictures of them for blog review posts, birthday parties, etc., but they are not my main blog focus. It is food focused.
I’d like to spin this question in a similar direction. I want to blog about leadership, work-life balance, etc. I work full time and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize my career. Do you use guidelines for your content that allows you to be genuine, but not offensive to people in your life who lived the circumstances first hand? How do you blog about lessons learned without damaging relationships or exposing too much?
I just can’t seem to figure out how to manage it time wise. We have three kids and homeschool all three. I feel so conflicted between needing extra income for our family and my kids/family needing me. We already have a tight budget so hiring any help for anything would be difficult.
How much time do you put in for work hours? Have you always done that many hours from day one? How much time do you think it would realistically take (daily hours wise and long term) in the beginning to begin producing an income.
I feel exauhsted at the end of the day! I can’t imagine working another two to four hours (or however much) on top of it.
Ashley, allashleymarie.com says
I just started blogging a few months ago and I’m still working on finding my perfect niche. I do have two questions, though:
How do you do your taxes when you’re a self-employed blogger?
How do you build and establish credibility to show people that you’re a reliable source of information?
The second question is something that I’m struggling with. Thanks!
How big do your traffic counts need to get before you start bringing in regular revenue?
What was the first product you sold on your blog–the first that you created yourself?
Thanks for putting a shout-out for questions 🙂
Kelly Cox says
Crystal, I love this idea to have you post tips and ideas to make money online and from home! I’ve just started blogging 2 months ago. I’m in the beginner stages. What would you suggest my first step should be to begin to make money? Also, when should I even consider starting that attempt? (Right now I post between 2-3 posts a week)
I can’t wait to hear your tips! 🙂
I just started blogging (you’re my biggest inspiration!). I have so many ideas but I don’t know where to begin. I have a couple of questions
How you decide which idea to focus on first for a post?
How do you put aside time to write your posts and do whatever activities need to be done to go along with that post? Also what do you do to not get distracted?
Thank you and I look forward to reading these posts on blogging!!!!
I second the request for information on time management/blog post checklist. Also I think new bloggers would really benefit from know what to consider when creating a site: social media, margins, aesthetics, color choice, and so on. Thanks for opening this up to us – you are going to help so many!
I’d love to see more info about how to make money online by something other than blogging. I’ve tried to blog, but it’s just not my thing. I’d love to get to a point in the future where I can work from home full time doing something online, but aren’t really sure what my options are other than blogging/opening up an online shop.
The Frugal Exerciser says
YouTube or podcasting might be your ticket.
Sarrah Black says
Combine blogging, broadcasting audio/video channels and even retail might be the answer. Try different things. At first for free then when you know more and you have more information try and invest some money. Good luck.
Blogging can bring in money once you have been working for awhile but what about all those benefits you lose from having a regular employer? And how about the hefty taxes for being self employed? How can you earn enough to cover insurance, retirement, taxes etc?
I second this request! I’ve been trying to switch to running my own small business from home, but am overwhelmed by the taxes, health insurance, etc.
Before I had my kids, I was self employed as a consultant for many years. Yes, you do have to provide for your own health insurance, there is no paid vacation, no sick leave and no paid holidays. You also have to provide for your own retirement savings. Here’s how I handled these things: I planned for 60 days a year that I wasn’t working, either between clients or days off. So, I adjusted my budget and expectations as such. Some years I was off work a lot less than that, but some years I wasn’t. I opened a SEP IRA. This allowed me to save up to 25% of my income tax deferred for retirement. At the time I was self employed (about 16 years) my husband maintained employment with a traditional employer and we got our health insurance that way. My business partner during that time was a single mom. She purchased her health insurance through a professional organization our business joined (for that purpose) in our industry.
In terms of the taxes. We were in business in Washington state. At that time Washington charged service (non-inventory) businesses 2% B&O taxes on gross revenue (which was patently wrong and unfair), it’s my understanding that they have changed that and made the B&O tax based on profit not gross rev now. As a self employed person you are also responsible or the “other half” of your social security and medicare taxes, the portion the employer normally pays, which is around 7.5% of your income. As an employee you pay 7.5% and the employer pays 7.5% until you reach the annual cap (it used to be $80K a year in income) and then no more is taken that year. As a self employed person you pay just under 15% in social security and medicare taxes, along with your federal income taxes. There are several ways to pay this depending on how your business is structured. If you are incorporated or an LLC you pay yourself as a w-2 employee and withhold taxes every pay check. If you are a sole proprietor or partnership you should make quarterly tax payment 4 times a year.
You know, now that I think about it…. I actually kind of love doing business bookkeeping, financial advising and tax prep (but not the full tax refunds). It sounds like there are some folks out there that don’t like or understand these aspects of business…..I wonder if there would be a market for to open a business doing bloggers books and tax stuff?
Danielle Cevallos says
I would love to know how you balance writing meaningful content with posts that are either sponsored or contain affiliates. How do you keep a balance between writing and earning without feeling like you are selling out?
Yes! I just started a new blog last week, and am overwhelmed. I run an Etsy store making crochet accessories and blankets, and I figured a blog would help boost my online “personality” – plus I just love to write! But I’m not quite sure yet how to make the blog itself profitable, even though I know that is a long-term goal.
You’re one of my blogging idols, so I’d LOVE these posts!
What are the best ways to reach new readers when you have a very meager social media following? Best SEO tips? I’m currently using Weebly, and it seems to have built-in SEO tools, but I’d love to know the best ways to generate an authentic audience. I want to build a community through my blog!
The Frugal Exerciser says
I have joined several fitness influencer programs and never have gotten a campaign. I have had one business lady tell me she didn’t think my audience would like her yoga pants because they aren’t cheap. I actually mentioned I don’t buy cheap clothes but well made ones on sale. It didn’t change her mind. I suspect that is one of the reasons I don’t get campaigns. Anyway, I decided to write an e-book to sell my own products. My question, how should I approach brands on my own being a frugal fitness blogger and what method should I use?