Thank you, Suzi, for allowing me to share my success story of starting a mom blog and the journey I took to get here, I hope that my story will encourage those of you that are struggling and feel like you can’t do this.
My name is Cheree from homemademoma.com, I started my blog in 2017 and spent a whole year before that thinking about starting a blog and researching everywhere for how to go about it when I came upon Suzi’s course Blog by Number.
I had been saving money buying groceries using the Ibotta App and had enough to cover her blog course and my host and domain name.
Originally I wanted to make a food blog and that is partly why my name is homemademoma, my focus started to change as my baby got older and I wanted to write more about pregnancy, babies, and toddlers with a little section on easy meals for busy moms. The name has stuck with me so far and in some ways fits my mommy blog, most of the products I recommend are natural ones or home remedies so it works.
Why I Started A Blog
My whole reason for starting a blog was to help other mom’s and be able to stay home with my sweet one-year-old, I hated leaving him to go work for ten hours a day in a job that I hated. I had a terrible boss that harassed me almost every day for two years, HR was on her side and I had no one to talk to or report to about it.
I have never been written up so many times for things I haven’t done or for using the bathroom too much when I was pregnant with my son even with a doctors note. Needless to say, I needed this blog thing to work more than anything because I never wanted to work for someone else again!!
My sweet little boy deserved to have his mom raising him and not the daycare he spent 12 hours a day four days a week at. My paychecks mostly went to daycare and the other half went to groceries and gas, hardly worth leaving my son in daycare for that!
My Blogging Journey
If I hadn’t invested in Suzi’s course I would have been totally lost on how to set things up and what to do, I struggle with ADD and it makes things 100 times harder for me to focus on any one thing and understand what I need to do when it comes to anything technical (it’s so frustrating) unless I follow along in a video.
I am going to share with you the key things that I did to get to the point of making money with my blog and how it is possible for you to do it too! I have been blogging seriously for two years now and I finally started making money that was consistent in May 2019, it’s a mommy blog about pregnancy, postpartum, babies and toddlers with a few easy meal ideas for moms.
I started writing about different subjects and have been more focused on pregnancy and babies for the most part, as time goes on I’m sure this will change especially after this baby is born in December.
No one told me when I first started blogging about the times that I would feel frustrated, defeated, drained and rundown because of negative thoughts or other people’s comments. I was never prepared for the hardship that followed having a blog and how to maintain that thick skin and intestinal fortitude to keep on going when I felt like a failure.
Blogging is a long term game and it won’t happen overnight, it takes working early in the morning, afternoons if you can and at night to get to where you need to be. Some of us have more time than others to do work on our blogs, I only have a few hours in the morning, nap time, and late nights ( which haven’t been happening now because I’m 4 months pregnant and exhausted).
One of the biggest things that cause people to fail at blogging is working past the negative thoughts in your head and keeping things going when the going gets rough.
It will get hard, some days you won’t feel like blogging, you may have writers’ block or someone left a negative comment on your post that got to you.
I had someone email me about an opt-in freebie and told me how terrible it was and they were going to unsubscribe from my list because I was a sham. Yup, I was down for a week over this email but I recovered and kept going.
Now when I get comments or unsubscribes I just tell myself that they are not my target audience and move on, you can’t let these people get you down and another way to look at it is that you must be doing something right because you have some haters.
I went through many days like this even some months that I felt frozen and couldn’t blog about anything because I thought my writing was awful and no one wanted to read it, this is normal and you will probably go through it if you aren’t already.
When I first started blogging I was so frustrated that I refused to look at analytics to see how many page views I was getting and didn’t want to read anyone else’s blog because I felt like mine was terrible and everyone else was doing great but me.
If you need to do these things too then do the same thing until you get things going, I believe that it helps you stop comparing yourself to someone else and keeps you focused on what you need to do.
Things will happen to get you down, it is when these things happen that you make a choice to keep going or curl up in a ball and quit because it is too hard. I choose to not quit, to find out what happens when I keep on going and pushing and learning.
I needed this blog to make money like I need oxygen and I wouldn’t give up even when my husband and friends told me it’s a waste of time!
Blogging Steps I Took to Grow my Traffic and How I Make Money
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of Suzi and her blogging courses that walked me step by step to get to this point! She is an amazing teacher and breaks each step down so that you can easily implement it and understand what you need to do.
I love watching her lives and doing the challenges each month because these are the things that make me push past what I am comfortable with and do the things I need to do.
If you ever have a question email Suzi and she will get back to you with a super helpful answer which shows how down to earth she is and her willingness to help you succeed.
1. Consistently Writing Content
One of the most important things about blogging is consistency, always stay consistent and keep doing what you need to do.
What I mean by this is to fill out your content calendar and post to your blog twice a week or however many times a week you can possibly post.
Write content that is popular and make sure to do it at least twice if not more per week, I only was able to write posts twice a week because of the time it took for me to research topics and finish each post but my point is the more you post consistently, the more traffic you will get to your blog.
Another thing about writing consistently is that Pinterest will show your pins more often because it loves new fresh content and Google will start to see you as more authoritative and index your content faster.
2. Pinterest Strategy
Pinterest is your fastest source to traffic when you are starting out, it isn’t easy to deal with but once you come up with a system that works for you stick with it and keep going.
Yes, sometimes the algorithm changes here and there and you will have to learn to go with it but it is so worth the work.
When I first started out I had no clue how to use Pinterest and that was half of my frustrations on getting traffic to my blog! If you are struggling with this learn as much as you can about Pinterest and use keywords on your boards, pin descriptions and on your pins along with the first paragraph of your posts.
The latest algorithm change has made a lot of bloggers lose traffic, I was one of them when it hit last summer but I recovered slowly after trying new strategies (manually pinning) and using Suzi’s strategy of making a new pin for an old post every day (I believe this was a challenge that she had last July) and making sure you keyword your pins well.
I also broke down and bought Pinterest Strategies which really helped me learn how to use Google analytics and pin correctly without being spammy. I use to use Tailwind until I used up my free pins and have been manually pinning ever since. It is time-consuming but it works!!
It is said that you should pin when your audience is on Pinterest, honestly I only pin in the morning because that is when I have time, the peak time for me is too busy so I just don’t pin then.
Maybe if I pinned in the evenings I would get more traffic but so far pinning in the morning has been working well for me and Pinterest is used to me pinning at the same time every day which I think helps but I can’t prove it.
3. Learn SEO
I’m sure you have heard a lot of people talking about SEO and how you need to learn how to use it so that you rank in google, I believe Suzi has talked about this as well along with keyword research.
I didn’t do anything with SEO in the beginning and had to go back and fix many of my old blog posts (a very long process) and make sure I was using it properly in my new posts. Make sure you learn how to set up a blog post so that it works for SEO and don’t keyword stuff your posts.
When I started doing more with SEO I noticed that I was getting organic traffic from Bing, Yahoo, and other searches, I know this will help you with your traffic as well. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, spread them out a little so that if the unthinkable happens and Pinterest gets shut down or Facebook is no longer you still have traffic.
A tip so that you aren’t overwhelmed when you start working on your old posts is to start with the ones that are in your top ten on analytics and work your way through those first and then go to the older ones.
4. Having Ads On Your Site
I put ads on my site last summer or maybe a little before that and finally got $100 payout after one year with google Adsense Whoot Whoot.
It’s hard to make good money with Google Adsense but it is possible! I know this because after a year and a few months of blogging and writing new posts each week I started to get $100 checks every month from Adsense which told me that it was time to switch to someone that pays more.
One of my goals was to get enough traffic to apply for Mediavine and it seemed so far away for so many months but one day I checked my analytics and about fell off my chair (I never looked at them because it always made me depressed and get discouraged), I was getting consistent traffic every month between 25 and 29k.
If you decide to go the route of having ads be aware that it takes a while to get them installed and up and going through Mediavine or Monumentric. took me a month before I had everything up and going the way they wanted me to and get through the approval process.
5. Update Old Posts
I can’t stress this one enough, I have over 95 blog posts and have been updating old posts for months now, it does take a lot of time to do but is so worth the time and effort.
Put affiliate links in your posts and recommend things that you already use, people tend to trust those that use these products over someone just selling a product without telling you why it is so great.
You should be updating your posts every six months if not before that when they start doing well go back and add things to them and make them better to help improve your content even more.
I believe that Suzi talks about this either in a live she did or one of her courses and it is the best advice!!!
I have six pages of posts and have only made it through three of them but the results from fixing the posts so far have made a big difference in traffic and have helped make some of my old posts more popular than my new ones.
One of my most popular posts that stays in my top one or two is a recipe post on goulash I made when I couldn’t find one that didn’t require tomato sauce. Another post I wrote was about night terrors and how to handle them because my son was going through this almost every night and no one had any information on it. This one is in the top search on Pinterest for night terrors and still gets traffic without me pinning it for months.
When you update some of your posts even just changing the format a little bit can help boost that post on Pinterest or in organic searches.
Final Thoughts on How to Make Money With a Blog
My blog is now making $500 a month of steady income just from ads and $120 from affiliate links and I’m working on making it to $2,000 or more so I don’t have to work after this baby is born.
I started doing the hard things that scare me like talking to my email list and starting a pregnancy and postpartum Facebook group, all of these things are moving me forward and making my ultimate goal attainable.
I hope my story has helped inspire you to keep going in your blogging journey and not let the numbers or the negativity keep you down, if I can do this then you can momma!!
Here are some final tips I wanted to share with you that will help!
- Create your goals and make a vision board of what your ultimate goal is, put it in your office so you can see it and focus on it every day when you sit down to work.
- Write down a list of things you are good at so you can look at these on days life isn’t going right and you want to give up.
Key points to remember:
- If something isn’t working try something else until it does work
- Only do tasks that will make you money and stop doing small things like fonts and themes that don’t matter as much.
- Look at the bigger picture and focus on your goal
- Ignore the negative voice in your head that says you can’t do this
If you want to reach your blogging goal you need to step outside of your comfort zone and do the hard things!
Write to your email list, do a Facebook live, make videos and keep on learning. Pick two or three bloggers to follow and only focus on those ignoring all the other advice out there.
Don’t try to do everything at once, pick a few tasks for each day and do those, any progress is getting you somewhere then just spinning your wheels!
Cheree is a wife, mom of two with one on the way and a passion for helping new moms navigate mom life. Having no idea how to take care of a newborn, in the beginning, she now empowers other moms from pregnancy to toddler life. She offers easy solutions during pregnancy and postpartum along with positive parenting methods for babies and toddlers along with easy recipes and organization tips in her free resource library on her blog homemade moma.