I started blogging almost 4 years ago, shortly after I put in my notice that I would not be returning to my teaching position after maternity leave. I loved being home with my daughter, but I felt like I needed something to do – just for me. I had no idea what I was doing, but I quickly fell in love with blogging as well the amazing community of bloggers out there. I learned as I went and have kept up my little corner of the internet for four years – and discovered a whole lot about myself in the process. But that’s another story ;-)
My priority has been and continues to be my family, which means that with two children under the age of 5 I’m only able to “work” a few hours a week mostly during nap times and after bed time. I’ll be honest, my goal with this blogging thing was never to make a lot of money – just enough to support my crafting and home decor “habits.” At first, I was ecstatic to earn a few hundred dollars a month. But as I learn more and more about blogging, my earnings continue to grow even in the very little time I’m able to devote to it.
Friends, I am on track this year to make about 3/4 of the salary I was making as a teacher! There are plenty of bloggers out there that make exponentially more than that, but given that I still consider my blog to be more of a hobby than an actual job and the fact that I only work when I want to, I am thrilled with that amount of income. Being able to stay home with my kids AND have a creative outlet for myself truly is the dream job I never knew I wanted!
I know what you’re thinking. “Wait a second, this is a craft blog. Why is she talking about this stuff? Why is she sharing how much money she makes?” I realize it seems kind of off-putting. And honestly, I am a bit hesitant to hit the “publish” button on this post! I’ve learned SO much from reading the stories and income reports from other bloggers, but one thing I’ve never really seen is a hobby blogger share her story or income. I decided to put this out there for all the bloggers who are doing this “for fun” rather than as a job – those who feel just a little bit sad and defeated by reading about the success of those full-time bloggers earning a 6 figure income but knowing she doesn’t have the time or energy needed to devote to this blogging thing to get to that place. Nothing against those big bloggers at all – I am so happy for them! (And maybe a teensy bit jealous, too.) But I know I don’t really have the motivation, discipline, or time in my current life stage to make blogging a top priority. I work when I want to. I decided long ago that to avoid blogging “burn out” and do what’s best for my family, I needed to throw away my post schedule and do this for ME, and not for a paycheck. (You can read more about that decision here.) But even in making those choices and only blogging a few hours per week, I’ve been able to grow my “passive income” to a healthy part-time income that not only supports my blogging habit, it helps to provide for my family. I am still a little bit blown away by that!
The key to earning money from a hobby blog is building your passive income. Writing “evergreen content” (that’s high quality blog content that continues to be relevant year after year) is most important. The majority of my earnings come from ad income off of page views from past posts. The more quality content I create and get out there, the more it circulates on Pinterest and is shared on Facebook and other platforms, the more page views my little blog gets and the more revenue I earn. I also earn money from affiliate links, and most of that income comes from affiliate links I place in my high-traffic blog posts. I’ve created digital products (The Baby Shower Book and 7 Steps to a Handmade Christmas) with automated email sales funnels through ConvertKit that continue to see sales each month. And finally, I occasionally write sponsored blog posts for products I think my readers will love as much as I do. (I aim to do about 1 sponsored post per month, but sometimes it’s more or less.) Creating sponsored content isn’t passive income, but as I’ve built my page views and following I’ve been able to raise my rates for sponsored posts so that I earn what I think is a good “per hour” rate for the time that I put into them.
Rather than sharing specific numbers here, I thought it would be more helpful for you to see the breakdown of where my income is coming from and then give you my average RPM from the past 6 months – that is, given my total income, how much money I earn per thousand page views. It is certainly not very much compared to full time bloggers, but when you consider that about 80% of that earning is passive (that is, I could walk away from blogging tomorrow but leave my blog and other systems running and continue to earn that revenue), I think that’s pretty great. This income has greatly blessed me and my family, and I am so thankful to have this “job” – especially since I enjoy it so much!
And in case you’re curious (because I always am!) here’s a shot of my analytics from April – September. (To put it in perspective, this is actually my “low season” as the high points of my traffic are typically November through January. My RPM also increases significantly October through December.)
Now, don’t hear what I’m not saying. Blogging is certainly not a “get rich quick” scheme, there is no guaranteed earning level, and not everybody is successful. Even though I do this mostly for fun, it’s not ALL fun – I DO work hard at it. But if you feel like this is something you want to do, and something you could enjoy and be good at, I am here to say “go for it!” You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you put yourself out there and try it, and this blog is living proof of that.
Are you ready to take the blogging plunge? Or to take your blog to the next level? I HIGHLY recommend my friend Abby’s book, Building a Framework. It really is the ultimate blogging handbook, and should be a requirement for every blogger’s virtual library. She’s put together the most comprehensive blogging book I have ever seen – it takes you through how to actually start up your blog, through social media, monetizing your site, working with sponsors, and more. I really can’t say enough good things about it! Check it out here.
So, what do you think…is it helpful to read income reports from other bloggers? Would you be interested in seeing updated numbers or more behind-the-scenes blogging information on a more regular basis? I feel a little bit like I’m standing in front of the class in my underwear by sharing all this with you – but I truly hope that it will be helpful for someone out there. Trust me, if I can earn an income off this little blog that I started on a whim, so can you!
One more thing – if you decide to start a blog, please leave a comment or send me an email and let me know! I want to be your biggest cheerleader.
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This post contains affiliate links. All opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% mine.
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