In 2014 we decided to start a blog to encourage and equip moms (and family-oriented individuals) on this crazy parenting journey we are all on. We had no idea the blog would also become the sole income of our family, making more than quadruple what we were before.
Blogging can be a really great side hustle or even full-time income (depending on which you’re looking for and how much time/energy you’re willing to put in). I’m sharing the numbers, how to start and more below.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, it’s important that you start a self-hosted blog. Self-hosted means that you own your site, it’s more professional and easier to make money on. You can start a self-hosted blog for as little as $2.95 a month if you use our link. That’s a special price for our readers and also gets you a free domain ($15 value) free. If you need help setting up your blog click here for a free tutorial.
Why Share our Income Reports?
A few months ago, we started publishing our income report to show you the behind the scenes of this blog, that way if you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog hopefully this will help answer some of your questions and provide the clarity you’ve been looking for.
Blogging has been a huge personal outlet for me, a place where I can find myself, explore my talents, and be something other than “mom.” Don’t get me wrong, I adore every moment of being mom but I also need moments for me.
Sharing my income reports helps keep me accountable and also lets me pass on my love of blogging to others.
Today’s income report is extra special because we are wrapping up the year, sharing December’s income, total income for 2016, and total all-time blog income.
Before we dive in, I thought I’d share our blog’s philosophy, the glue that keeps this blog-turned-business together. For us, knowing our philosophy and vision helps keep us focused in the busyness of day-to-day tasks.
Family first. Always.
When it comes to blogging (or any business for that fact) we live by the philosophy that, family and business can go hand-in-hand but your family has to come first and your business needs to benefit your family.
When you’re suppose to be working, work, and when you’re supposed to be playing, play.
— Gary Keller
Our blog vision is to teach what we know (and what we’re learning). Because what is knowledge if kept to one’s self?
We want to make our lives transparent so other family-oriented moms can create stress-free, beautiful lives while raising beautiful, godly kids.
We hope this income report helps spark ideas for you on creating extra income to support your family and an outlet for yourself at the same time.
A Year In Review
One of my favorite parts about blogging is creating streams of passive income for my family. I put in the time and hard work in the beginning and now have a strong foundation of posts that I can rely on to bring in a certain number of readers and pageviews each month. Those pageviews then convert to income (through ads, affiliate income, product sales, etc.).
What this means is that we can work minimally one month and still make X amount, let’s say around $4000 (I’m ballparking here, passive income does still fluctuate a little). That $4000 is passive income that I can expect regardless of how much I work that month.
There were a few months this year, when we did just that, worked very minimally. An example of this would be January – March right after our second child was born and August – November, when we decided to sell our house, move into an RV and travel the US.
On a normal working month, between Corey and I, we work between 15-20 hours a week. On these normal working months, our income is always larger because we are writing sponsored posts, promoting posts harder, growing our passive income, etc.
On the months we took off, we made less but still made $4000 or more because of passive income.
If we had our old jobs, taking off those significant chunks of paid time off wouldn’t have been possible.
It’s worth noting, that even on our normal working months, our income still fluctuates because of what season it is (advertisers pay more in December than they do in January), how many sponsored posts come in, posts going viral, product launches, etc.
Here’s a look at the last 11 months and then we’ll jump into December’s income.
January — $5,724
February — $4,658
March — $5,896
April — $11,080
May — $6,256
June — $7,497
July — $10,478
August — $6,368
September — $6,639
October — $4,656
November — $5,941
A detailed look at December’s income is below.
In December we made $9,592.
Not quite as much as April or July but still a great way to end the year.
Here’s the breakdown on where all our monthly income comes from:
Affiliate Income: $1,270 — This is income I earn by recommending stuff I adore — companies give me a small percent as a thank you for referring customers to them. And the price of the product is the exact same for my readers.
Display Ads: $4,623 — These are the advertisements that you see on my site in the sidebar, etc.
Sponsored Posts and/or Social Shares:
Sponsored Posts and/or Social Shares: $2,165 — If you are a blogger looking for sponsored posts, 2 great companies to get started with are IZEA and TapInfluence.
175 Best Date Ideas: $1,436 — The book I wrote in month 24 of blogging while I was on “maternity leave” with E man.
Successful Startup — Proven Systems and Strategies to Create a Successful, Money-Making Blog Quickly and Efficiently: $99 — This is my course where I teach others how to create and run their own blogs the right way.
This total is before expenses and taxes. As our blog has grown our operating expenses have grown but still minimal compared to a brick and mortar company. Currently, they are around $800-$1000. When we first started it was only $2.95 a month (for hosting), then we slowly added services we could afford, like a newsletter service, etc.
I also try to set aside a couple hundred a month for taxes. Some people suggest self-employed individuals set aside 25-30%.
Still, even with expenses and taxes aside, the blog continues to generate more than enough to pay our families bills without working the typical 40 hours a week.
Total 2016 Income: $84,785
If I’m being honest, we could have made more but more often than not I got distracted writing and connecting with readers and forget to focus on the numbers and business goals.
To help overcome this struggle is 2017, I handed over all CEO responsibilities over to Corey, he’ll now take over watching the numbers and planning the overall objectives for the year. And he already has some big things planned for us.
All Time Blog Income
Each month, I add up our total all-time blog income. December was month 34 of blogging.
It still blows my mind to watch the number grow. In less than 3 years, The Realistic Mama has generated $174,375.19.
Not bad for a start-up.
Not bad for a mom whose kids don’t go to daycare and only has so much available time.
Again, I am so excited about 2017. I would not be surprised at all if we double our total income in the next 12 months. The endless possibilities of a blog are out of this world.
The best part, there is totally room for new bloggers in the blog-o-sphere.
If I was starting at the beginning stage right now, this is what I would tell myself.
Don’t doubt yourself. Be the courageous person that God made you to be. You have valuable things to share, a different perspetive and voice then everyone else. Most importantly, you’ll never know your potential unless you start.
How to Start a Blog
When you’re ready to start a blog, here is a link to a step-by-step tutorial.
I promise it’s way less intimidating than you’re probably thinking.
If you have questions leave a comment or email me and I’ll try my best to help you!
Keep in mind:
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, it’s important that you start a self-hosted blog, the tutorial talks about this more as well. Self-hosted means that you own your site, it’s more professional and easier to make money on. You can start a self-hosted blog for as little as $2.95 a month if you use our link. That’s a special price for our readers and also gets you a free domain ($15 value) free. If you need help setting up your blog free tutorial for all the basic set-up. I hope it serves you.
If blogging is something you’ve thought about, try it.
You got this!
Our Goals for 2017
Corey and I still need to sit down and have an official team meeting for 2017 and figure out our exact financial goals.
What I do know is this. With Corey working on the CEO stuff, I can focus on what I love (writing, connecting with readers, brainstorming new projects). He’ll work on running the blog like an actual business, while I’ll work on continuing to make sure our blog is benefiting our readers more and more each day.
At the end of 2017, I hope I can look back and know that even more lives were encouraged, inspired and changed through of The Realistic Mama.
I hope you’ll join us on the crazy parenting journey and subscribe to our newsletter.