Moms Turn This Hobby Into a Money-Making Business
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Turning a Profit
Market research commissioned by H&R Block puts the estimated number of mommy blogs in the United States at about 4 million. But only a few thousand of them are likely to turn a profit.
What makes the difference?
Advice from the Experts
Considering starting a blog? Find something you are passionate about and go from there. Blogs need to inspire not only your readers but also you! What would you blog about for free?... and if the money comes following your starting point, then great!
“You can play office all day long and not make any money,” said Pensacola mom blogger Lynsey Jones, who writes at MoscatoMom.com and also teaches other moms how to blog. To be successful, “you have to treat it like a business. What you put into it is literally what you’re going to get out of it.”
Jones said mommy bloggers have to focus on the “profit-producing activities” — writing useful and compelling content, growing traffic through the use of proper search-engine optimization and making strategic pitches to brands.
Mommy bloggers typically start off doing reviews in exchange for free products, then gradually add revenue streams such as advertising or affiliate links to their blogs. The most profitable option for mommy bloggers is sponsored content, in which brands pay them to write about specific products, product lines or promotional campaigns.
Depending on a blog’s audience size and social media influence, payment for sponsored content can range from $25 per post all the way up to $2,000 or more for some of the top blogs.
It can be a fine line to walk, giving truthful reviews of products while not alienating the paying clients. Most of the bloggers said they deal with that by sticking to products they trust and already use. Regardless, they have to be careful to maintain readers’ trust — and meet Federal Trade Commission regulations governing compensated bloggers.
“It’s expected that we give our honest opinion about stuff,” Jones said. “The brand is taking a little bit of a risk … even if there’s a payment, we’re going to give our honest opinion.”
Getting Into the Mommy Blog Business
Best said she started by partnering with small mom-and-pop Etsy shop owners to do blog giveaways. Once she had an audience, she pitched Suave and started writing reviews of the brand’s hair care products.
Advice from the Experts
Lynsey Jones, moscatomom.com
If you treat your blog like a business, it will pay you like one. Do not be afraid to reach for the stars — they are closer than you think!
That led to other opportunities — including a promo with Honey Nut Cheerios that got her face on a cereal box — and eventually to writing sponsored content for brands such as Disney and Nutrisystem. She also integrated display ads into her blog.
Even after taking an extended period of time off because of a death in the family, she is still seeing year-over-year revenue growth from her blog, she said from her home near Panama City.
“It kind of evolved,” she said. “But it was a lot of work, and a lot of hours spent in front of a computer screen.”
Sometimes the success is more sudden.
Ashley Langston was a fifth-grade teacher on maternity leave from Gilchrist Elementary in Tallahassee when she started her blog in 2008.
She called it Frugal Coupon Mom, and at first, it was open only to family and friends who’d asked her to share how she saved so much money on groceries and drugstore items.
Two months after making the blog public, U.S. News & World Report wrote a profile that referred to her as a “coupon master.” The next week, she was invited to go on the “Dr. Phil” show to talk about grocery budgeting.
“I didn’t seek it out, it just fell in my lap,” she said.