Today I have the lovely Kathy Stowell from Mama Bliss Coaching School joining me on the blog to chat about some great ways that you can create a blogging income this new year. Grab a pen and paper and get brainstorming! Thanks for the great tips Kathy.
Nine years ago, blogging came into my life as a way to participate in show-and-tell sessions with knitters, sewers (as in sewing machine users, not cesspools), and connect with other Waldorf-curious new moms from all over. I was hooked and it became apparent after religiously blogging several times a week for several years (about crafting, not religion) that I couldn’t not blog.
So when my husband started hinting heavily that I should get a job to help pay for my organic cream intake (the secret to my stellar lattes), I began exploring ways I could start earning an income from this little hobby of mine.
Lucky for me (and you too if you’re also a mom who blogs and has to support an expensive dairy habit), blogging for business is the perfect business model for the mama that wants to call her own bliss-making shots.
You get to create your own hours. You get to do work that meshes with your life values. You get to tap into your creativity each and every day. You don’t have to sweat it (too much) when your kids are too sick to go to school or daycare. You can wear the same thing every day for weeks on end and no one says anything.
Essentially, you get to make an income on your own terms (insert roar here).
Before you put the action steps into place to run with one of the ideas below—and make 2015 the year you start bringing home blogging bacon—take a moment to get some clarity on what “on your own terms” means to you.
What does your ideal day look like? Don’t feel like you have to be married to this dream day, but right try to get an inkling of what working from home would look like to you right now, if you could do anything you want.
Would you be creating with your hands? Or would you lean on that bionic mama’s intuition of yours, as you see yourself lending your expertise to others? What will the kiddos be up to while you work?
Then, tap into the values that you want to echo in all that you do. Google your values and quotes, and keep these gems close by as you begin to post on a more professional level, as well as make decisions that will set the foundation for how you will be of service to your cherished readers and soon-to-be customers.
Ideal day vision and heartfelt values in check? Now, go mix-and-match from the list below, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself to bring in the big bucks starting this very moment. The key to creating a blogging business model on your own, unique terms is to have patience, release perfection, and have fun with the exploration process.
1 / Work with what you got and turn some of your already-existing content into a paid offering
Begin with a simple collection of posts turned into a pretty PDF. It could be archives of your best posts or posts based on the direction you want to start focusing. But you’re not just creating an ebook here. Add a few bells and whistles, such as a recording of yourself reading it out loud, worksheets that invite an experiential reading, maybe a video of you interviewing experts/besties – and you got yourself a sweet little package (insert that whistle sound now).
This is a great place to start because it’s pretty simple on a technical front (though it might be worth it to hire a virtual assistant for an hour or two when you get stuck), but it’ll bust you through that first speedbump hump of fastening on your entrepreneurial mindset for the first time.
2 / Put a “Work With Me” tab up on your Website navigation bar
No one can resist this button! Your tribe will be very, very curious as to what that might look like. And on this page, that’s just what you’re going to describe to them. If you’re also curious as to what this might look like, but have a bit of an inkling, see if you can hop on the phone or Skype for ten minutes with a few of your readers.
Just mention you have a few questions because you have an idea for a biz and would love their thoughts. They’ll be so flattered! Once you have them on the line, ask them about their challenges related to what you think you can help them with, what they’ve tried so far, and what their dream solution might be.
Their answers will offer you a hint of how you can alleviate some of their pain points, give you insight on what to call your coaching package, and offer you the exact wording to use on your “Work With Me” page. (Hint: use the words that they use to describe their grief in this area).
3 / Release your inner fan girl by promoting other people’s stuff
This has been a great income stream for me, and I’m really selective on who and what it is I promote. This translates to me gushing about programs I’ve experienced myself firsthand and mamas I’ve personally been following long enough that I know their pet’s name and trust them with my beloved peeps.
Other blogging mamas I follow find success by offering advertising on their sidebars, but I haven’t gone down that moneymaker-shaker route myself. I feel this would add too much pressure to be growing my audience so I could disclose impressive numbers to potential advertisers. I’d also feel pressure to post on a more frequent schedule.
But if you’re a blogging maniac already and you don’t mind that sort of numbers game—go for it!
4 / Re-release your pre-kid skills or career as an online version
It’ll be like a new-and-improved, home-based, online version of your pre-kid self. Meld it with the you that is you today: mommy blogging you. Our brains get kind of tweaked after mommy and blogging happen, I’m sure you’d agree…in a good way, of course.
If you have technical leanings and are pretty linear-thinking, you might want to consider becoming a virtual assistant to non-linear-thinking mamas, like me. If you have a writing background, I know ghostwriting services are appreciated by those who have their strengths in other areas and are struggling to get their messages written just so.
And with the power of Skype, you can offer consulting virtually for any topic under the sun. I had SO much fun working with a stylist who got to see the inside of my closet and help me organize it, all the way from sunny California!
5 / Sell your creations, then teach what you know
If you’re blogging about topics of the crafty nature, you could tie your posts around the story of your art. Document your creative process and what’s inspiring you these days. A great extension from that (especially once you feel creative burnout start to happen, like I did back in ’08) is offering online classes hosted on your own blog—or you could check out sites like Craftsy, teachyourskills.com, or even Etsy to market your crafty pointers to wannabe crafty mamas out there.
Remember to have fun with these starting-out points and challenge yourself to try a couple of them on for size. Keep what works and toss out what doesn’t. And have patience. It might take a couple of different income streams to gain income-earning traction.
The most important part is that your blog stays on your own terms. And this is a life skill that will always come in handy whether you end up blogging as a biz or simply for the fun of it.
And I would love to hear from you in the comments. Which one of these income-making ideas are you going to incorporate first? Or, if you already have and have some feedback on how that’s working for you, let me know. I’d love to check it out!
Author – Kathy Stowell is a certified Simplicity Parenting and Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach turned Mama Bliss Coach. She is also the founder of Mama Bliss Coaching School.
You can find more resources on how to take your first steps to blog for biz here.
Kathy’s a Waldorf mom to two handknits-laden kids and wife to a rockclimbing-obsessed mountain man who looks exactly like Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. She loves triple shot lattes made with copious amounts of organic cream, pretending she’s on Project Runway when sewing on Sunday afternoons, and spooning with her wiener dog under the covers on chilly mornings.