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So, let me start with this. I never ever not in one million years ever thought I would be running a business. Let alone an online business. Let alone a monetized blog.
I began Home Boss to teach women how to run their homes simply and efficiently. I focused on three main topics; cleaning, organization and meal prepping. These topics are things I am interested in and things that I think I am an authority on (this made me giggle because my house looks like a trash heap right now...).
I began to read about blogging on Pinterest. Pinterest is the source of all things good and inspirational, if you ask me.
I literally stumbled across an income report from Chasing Foxes and I clicked the link because I thought it was a joke. Like no freaking way can someone make any sort of sustainable income from a freaking blog.
So I read it. And then I read another one. And another. And then I read Grace and Silas' story. And then I looked for other income reports (because I thought for sure they were the only ones!).
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And after a week or so of being completely overwhelmed and giddy at the thought of unlimited earning potential, I decided to talk about it with my husband.
Being the most awesome, supportive, and fearless guy he is- he immediately met my conversation with an astounding, "Yeah, of course you should do that. You could totally kick ass at it."
My husband and I were also discussing, at the time, when we wanted to start a family. We have two amazing pups, but no kiddos.
And with the discussion of kids, comes the discussion of jobs. And money. And where said money will come from. And daycare...diapers...formula, you get it.
So, if we were looking to have children any time within the reasonably near future, we had better get a solid savings plan in place. (We are both in finance so we like the idea of a healthy financial well being, I mean who doesn't!)
So from day one, I knew I wanted to monetize my blog and have it serve as an additional income source...but I also had a full time job.
A few things about me before you dive real deep into this thing- I was raised by two amazing, incredibly hard working people who did not have college degrees. Both of my parents had high school diplomas and essentially, worked their way up the corporate ladder. My mom was a stay at home mom until I was 10.
My parents never made college an option for me. It was not a choice. Because they had seen first hand the difficulty of getting a job without a degree, they wanted to instill a sense of urgency in me regarding education. I did exceedingly well in high school and was SO looking forward to learning more in college. I finished my 4 year degree in 2.5 years and overall, had the best time doing it. I love learning, I love school, and I love teaching.
After I got my BA in American History (heyyyyoh all you liberal arts people out there), I got a full time job that was not in my field.
The job was fine. It served its purpose, but I knew this was not something I wanted to make a career at. So I did my time, collected my paycheck, and went home.
That only works for so long. I knew I needed something more. I love to write, I love to read, and I love learning new things.
I was ready for a new challenge and additional income- enter blogging.
WHATEVER GET TO THE POINT ALREADY.
Okay, yes I get it.
Here is what I did.
Yeah, you heard me, research. (I am a historian by trade, remember).
I studied every piece of info I could find from the people making big money. I wanted to know exactly how these bloggers were making their 10k months.
Let me be clear, I studied their income reports AND I studied their posts. I want to show you how to do this, so you can get the best ideas from the best.
I immediately fell in love with Chasing Foxes because of their transparency. They seemed so real to me, I felt like I could trust them from the jump.
I immediately studied everything Allison did at Wonderlass because her brand and emails were so amazing. (Also, her course is the only one I have purchased so far and I cannot even tell you how much it has helped me, oh my gosh. Game changer.)
So my question became, how can I do this? Here is how
Study income reports not for income but for tools and resources.
How are they getting paid? Where does most of their income come from? What affiliate programs are they part of?
Read a ton of the blog posts the "big guys" put out.
Be sure to read their blog posts for their target audience, not necessarily the posts about blogging. Reading income reports is can be helpful of course, but be sure to focus on what they are actually writing and how they are writing it to get the kind of traffic the get.
See where their links lead.
Are they interlinking blog posts? Are they linking to their affiliates?
Study the layout of their posts.
How do they divide their paragraphs? Where do they put images? Where do their links fit in to their posts?
Most "big guys" have a huge email list that they engage with regularly! Respond to their emails with questions! This helps them establish trust with you AND helps you get valuable information.
Study the emails they are sending you.
What are their subject lines? Do they personalize using your name? How long are their emails? Do they link to valuable information?
I cannot emphasize the power of Pinterest for marketing. Over 90% of my traffic comes directly from Pinterest.
I use Tailwind to schedule my pins. This is an automated scheduler that allows me to maintain a consistent presence on Pinterest without manually pinning every second until my fingers bleed.
Tailwind changed the game for me, big time. I mean, you can see it in my screenshot above. Tailwind pins at the exact times that your audience is actually online. Makes sense, right? Why am I putting all of these pins out there at times when my target audience is not even on Pinterest?
Tailwind makes pinning at regular and optimized intervals possible and way painfully easy.
Join every group board you can find
Every one that relates to your topic, I mean. When you are starting out, any group board with any number of followers is better than your reach, so don't discriminate. (I mean, be reasonable, if their board is all spammy or not anything you write about don't bother, but you know what I mean...).
If you are a lifestyle blogger, I would love for you to join my group board. Just message me on Pinterest and ask for an invite :)
Guys, I really hope you found this helpful. I know I have learned SO much in these last couple of months and I hope I have given you the confidence to know that monetizing your blog is a practical and attainable goal.