Ask 1099 Mom: Can I Really Make Money Blogging?

This is by far the most asked question I've received. 

Moms from every walk of life have heard of the prominent "mommy blogger", seen the ads on the sidebars of Facebook and Yahoo, and even attended conferences promising to "show them the money."  While I can't argue with the fact that there is money to be made in blogging, there are some hard truths that need to be exposed.

To quote Darren Rowse of
 70% of those who make money from their blogs make less than $500 a month and 30% make $500 or more.
This stat was taken from a poll that he conducted from his readers in 2009.  We aren't sure how many of these are Moms, or how many are new to blogging.  I think, however, that it gives us some insight into the realities of blogging for money.  (Most people that come to the ProBlogger site are there because they WANT to make money.)

I make about 50% of my full-time income from blogging.  Of that, only 15% comes from my OWN blog.  That means that the majority of my blogging income comes from blogging for other companies or large blogs, and the rest comes from regular freelance writing, consulting, speaking, and books.

Does this mean that you can't make a full-time living from your own blog?  Of course not!  Anything is possible, especially if you have a unique idea, a good business model, and a committment to making it work.  It will take time, however, and the majority of Moms that I talk to make just a few dollars in their first months, with many making between $1-3K annually after being in the game for many years.

What many more moms are earning is "payment in kind."  This is a hotly debated topic, but it can range in anything from free products and services to coupons redeemable for free products and services.  This is not to be confused with samples that many bloggers receive in order to do a product review.  Most reputable book reviewers, for example, DO NOT consider the book that they receive in order to write a review actual payment (that would mean that they were accepting payment from the book publisher -- which is a "no-no" for an honest review.)

Recent examples of arrangements that could be seen as "payment in kind" include: 
  • 6 months of diapers in the form of free coupons in exchange for using a Mom's blog post on a corporate diaper company web site
  • A $150 straight iron in exchange for an ad on a beauty blog
  • Free blog design in exchange for a permanent banner link on a Mommy Blog
*It is important to note that bartering for goods or services, including payment in kind, may be considered taxable.  Please consult your tax professional to see what best practice would be for handling these types of compensation.

Can a Mom make money blogging?  Yes!  Can it be done right away?  Not usually.

Blogs make the most money when they offer sound advice, quality content, and a bright personality in a unique and passionate way.  If you find blogging to be difficult as a revenue generator, consider using it as a promotional tool.  (A local soap maker could use their blog as a way to reach a larger market -- not as a means of making money, for example.)

We'll get into ways to make a blog profitable at a later time, but for now, it's just important to know the facts.

 (*Photo by brandi sims via Flickr.)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Linsey for sharing this article! I can't wait to read more on this topic from your perscpective!


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