I’m so honored to interview successful bloggers who are rocking motherhood and building their online businesses!
Brooke, a mom of two, blogs about decluttering and minimalism.
In the interview below she dives deeply into what helped her become successful and grow her blog from home.
Thank you to Brooke from HappySimpleMom.com.
How to make money with a decluttering blog
Below is a transcript of the video. Slight edits have been made to improve the flow of sentences and grammar.
Hi everybody I’m Suzi here and I have an awesome guest today.
Brooke Harris from happysimplemom.com. She’s going to share with us how she’s grown her blog while being an amazing mom.
All while being there for her kids and how she’s grown this wonderful business that brings in a little bit of income every month.
Tell us a little bit more about you, we love to know.
How long it took to make real money
Sure so my name is Brooke I am the founder of happy simple mom.
I started it less than two years ago. Actually this actual domain about a year and a half ago I was working in the corporate world for most of my babies young toddler lives.
I actually quit when they started school because I wanted to be home. I wanted to be working with their schedules more than them working around mine. I wanted to start a blog actually back when the youngest was born in 2013.
I wish Suzi, I had found you then I had no idea where to start. So I started a blog and I bought the domain and the hosting. I didn’t even remember the domain name because I didn’t even know where to start.
I’m just I gave up on that dream and be really stuck in the corporate world forever.
I was the breadwinner for our family for the longest time and it just didn’t make sense for me to do something like that.
I thought as they were getting older and I started realizing I was missing out all so much like when they got sick or they had things going on.
It’s so great now that I can be home with them and take care of them.
When they started school I said, okay, this is it I want to try something new and we were financially in a better place for me to take that leap of faith.
My first blog ruined our family vacations
And so I quit my job two years ago, we moved to the middle of nowhere in the mountains and I started this blog. And I actually initially started a travel blog, my husband’s a pilot so we thought with what we’re traveling all the time this will be great.
It turns out I hated writing about traveling because it was ruining our family vacations. So I scratched that but I still wanted to do it.
I thought what can I talk about all day long that works for me?
Decluttering as a new niche
It was silly at first that I could write about this that the words kept flowing. And it was decluttering. My decluttering journey is actually what led me to be able to quit my job.
I started decluttering a year before I quit. Yeah, I started simplifying my life and I realized we didn’t need as much money.
I realized we didn’t need as much time to do things.
And all of a sudden, my values shifted and I wanted to share that knowledge and share that experience with other people.
And so that was what breeds life into my blog because I knew I could write about this for years.
I just want other moms to experience it.
First just simply declutter their homes and get rid of the clutter that surrounds them physically and then morph it into how can they simplify their lives.
How can they cut obligations?
How can they find time to spend with people they love and less time worrying about the stuff that really doesn’t matter?
I talked about how I took a simple one-year no clothes buying challenge and everybody thought I was crazy.
Like they actually tried to buy me clothes because they felt so sorry for me.
It literally changed the trajectory of our lives. We were able to move out of this house and we were able to stop shopping for a bigger house.
What did you do to grow your blog?
In my overwhelm I said, okay every single month, I’m gonna focus on a new topic because I don’t know what resonates with me.
What’s gonna help me grow? And so, you know one month it might have been “how to write a blog post”, you know, like what does that look like? And then I started looking into “how to set up an email.”
And now I really focus on Pinterest. I just dove right into it. That’s what generates most of my traffic right now is Pinterest.
I had a viral pin really early on which is exciting. Also, um, but it was also a little bad because I didn’t have any email sign ups.
I have made it my goal this year to really focus on SEO. I’ve gotten a little bit of knowledge on that.
Yeah, well just channel all of your energy into one thing and then you can kind of ignore everything else.
Pinterest strategy that’s bringing in most of your traffic
Sure what I love about Pinterest is that it keeps working for you.
I say it’s like a monster you have to feed. You do have to put some energy into it.
Though it’s great is if you need time off like with my girls being sick this week. I haven’t done any Pinterest for an entire week and I just checked my traffic yesterday and I’m like, oh gosh, it’s still working.
You know, I took a month’s vacation in June or July of this year. I had a surgery in July and it was great because again it kept working. So again, put the work into it. If you feed it monster will pay out later.
As far as my Pinterest strategy goes I try to create several new pins per week on old posts. I don’t have a fancy spreadsheet and I don’t have a fancy system. Yeah, a lot of times it’s just recirculating through my old post making new pens.
A lot of times I’ll look at like what other pins look like that are popular in my niche. What is gravitating to other people? And then I just experiment and play around with the colors and play around with the fonts. But that’s my general strategy is creating brand new pins, at least three or four a week.
I like doing it because I love the graphic design. It’s like the old days of scrapbooking. It’s scrapbooking. Yeah. Exactly. I love it. So it brings me joy, especially if I don’t feel like writing or if I don’t feel like doing all of this other stuff.
I might batch create a couple of them and then I’ll be prepared for the week to send out a couple throughout the week and just see what happens.
So that’s generally my Pinterest strategy. I do use tools like Tailwind.
That’s what I love about blogging for moms is that everything that you create now is a an asset.
Blogging is creating assest
Every blog post, every pin image, everything is an asset and it can continue to grow. I have blog posts that I wrote four years ago that are still bringing me traffic.
That’s what I tell people, don’t give up, if it doesn’t take off right at first.
Don’t give up on it the work that you’re doing.
The seeds you’re planting now are going to grow.
You might not see them right now, you might not see the progress but in time, you’re going to start seeing that growth from all the work you put into it really.
Group Board Strategy for Pinterest
Do you pin to group boards to your own niche boards or to Tailwind tribes?
So a year and a half, two years ago, it was mostly groups and that really helped me grow. But as my audience has grown it is morphing more into my own niche boards and my own personal boards. I see a lot more of the repins and the growth and the traffic coming from my personal boards now.
How to make money with a decluttering blog
Most of my income initially has been from ad revenue, which is great. I love ad revenue. But what I hate about ad revenue is that you’re constantly chasing traffic. And so I started to shift into making my own products.
I created an e-book last year and launched about halfway through the year. I’m still learning how to market it. I’m really focusing this year on how to grow my ebook.
In January my very first course launch. It was scary and it required a lot of work.
It’s terrifying putting yourself out there and asking people for a larger chunk of money, but it was so fun.
It was a decluttering course. I was called the tidy habit and I launched it to my email list primarily just to beta it.
I had such great responses for my email list. I can’t wait to see how it grows this year, so that’s a new thing for me but that this was my highest earning month because of the course and then the ad revenue as well.
That was really exciting to make $2,000 this month
I’m so excited. That my girls, they’re almost seven and eight, they can learn now that there’s this other world out there. We can harness the connectivity and creativity of the internet.
There are a lot of things that your kids can do. I know a lot of bloggers that start incorporating their children into the ‘behind the scenes’ of their to start a Roth IRA for their kids.
How to grow your email list
My email list is basically grown because of freebies. Little one-page PDFs, sometimes multiple, multiple page guides just to help them with a simple problem. Checklists do really well in the decluttering world. My most popular freebie actually was inspired by you.
I have gained thousands of subscribers from this one freebie!
What are your favorite blogging tools?
I love Canva. I think especially as a beginner it’s intuitive and it’s easy.
I love LeadPages. It helps me do landing pages.
I use Convertkit too. I love their automations and their tagging functionality. And every time I figure out something new it’s capable of doing I’m like just, that’s incredible..
I love your course. I tell everyone that Blog my Number is amazing. I tell all people to take your course. It’s affordable and it’s going to walk you through all the steps.
So finding your resources and trusting your resources and following them is awesome.
And then not giving up. Don’t be afraid to be selfish and to do something that makes you happy. Do something that gives you that creative outlet because you need that connectivity to the world has mom.
Yes. I remember the first time I had 14 people come to my site in one day. You have savor the small wins!
It’s slow in the beginning, but you are building something from just scratch. And now a year and a half later making two thousand dollars in a month!
I hope you enjoyed learning about Brooke’s journey of starting a few different blogs and then finally finding the one that worked for her!
Please let me know in the comments below if the transcript was helpful or if you just watched the video instead.