How To Run A Profitable Blog That Doesn’t Take Over Your Life

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(post contains affiliate links: see disclosure)

If you have ever wanted to start a profitable blog but felt like you  don’t  have the time–this post is for you. I want to show you that it is possible to help out your family’s finances with a blog without it taking over your precious family time or causing you to experience personal burn out.

How to run a profitable blog that doesn't take over your life!

My Blogging Story

I started Snail Pace Transformations back in January of 2012. My family had just finished a crazy five years of renovating three homes. During those five years I had learned how to carve out 15 to 20 hours each week to help my husband with the renovations on those homes without giving up my main priorities.

Those priorities were homeschooling my three children, keeping my marriage relationship strong, keeping the home tidy {enough}, keeping food in our bellies and clean laundry on our backs. I also made time to refuel myself through studying God’s word almost daily and exercising at least 4 times a week. I also rarely got less than 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.

I was praying for a way to continue to use those 15 to 20 hours to provide income for my family and blogging seemed like the answer to those prayers.

And it has been. The first year was rough, I made pennies an hour the first few months and by the end of it I was making only $1 or so an hour. However I stuck with it and finally last year during my fourth year of blogging I started earning a decent part-time income, it could even be considered full time depending on how much you earn at your job.

The best part is I earn it from home, working around my life priorities without hustling.  {yet I would be lying if I said I never get discouraged about my numbers from time to time–more on that in a moment!}

How To Run A Profitable Blog That Doesn’t Take Over Your Life

How to run a profitable blog that doesn't take over your life!

1.  Start Your Own Blog

Before you can figure out how to run a profitable blog without it taking over your life you–of course–must have a blog. Here are the 4 simple steps you need to take to get a blog up and running.

It is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4

Pick a domain name (blog name) and register it: I personally use Go Daddy.  This is so simple and inexpensive to do. Go Daddy often runs sales where you can register your domain name (blog name) for as little as .99 cents. You will want to spend some time on this step. I recommend first having an idea of the topics you want to talk about and then thinking of a name based on those topics {I clearly didn’t do it this way and sometimes I wonder if it leads to blog reader confusion}.

Pick a Web Host: I personally use BlueHost, which costs as little as $5.95 a month (psst…due to blog growth I will be changing hosts shortly, I still think BlueHost is a great choice for beginning bloggers though, as it is inexpensive and simple to use).

Get started on WordPress.org: I started with a free WordPress template and saved up money until I could afford Genesis with the Prose child theme.

Start bloggingI simply jumped right in (Yep–that is my first post. It makes me cringe, but I did it). I learned as I went and I don’t regret it.

Want a bit more direction? Try these books

Delicious Blogging: The Ingredients That You Need To Create A Better Blog: I wish I had read this e-book during my first year of blogging: it would have saved me a lot of time in setting my blog up to have the right ingredients for success.

How To Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul: by following the tips found in the book I was able to double my Pinterest account, double my unique monthly visitors, and double my income within 30 days.

Why I don't hustle: blogging in the margins of life.Why life priorities keep me from hustling

2.  Set firm boundaries based on your life priorities

In order to make sure your blog doesn’t take over your life, you must first set priorities based on your life values and set boundaries to protect those priorities .

It is important to take time to really think through what your life priorities are and to physically list them so that you can refer to them on a regular basis. Why? So that you can see if you really are sticking to them.

If you want an example of what a life priority list looks like, mine are listed in this article. I certainly do not expect you to copy it, we are all individuals, instead I offer it as an example to help you make your list.

Recommended reading: The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands

How to find 25 extra minutes each morning without getting up earlier.How I recently  found 25 minutes each morning without getting up earlier

3. Use Your Time Well

You might notice that in my blogging story I said I started out with 15 to 20 hours a week to use for blogging. Currently I am working on average 30 hours a week without it effecting my life priorities.

Most of those extra hours have been gained because my life season has changed. My children currently range from 13 years of age to 20 years of age and although the still need me, they don’t need me as intensely as they did years ago when I started blogging. Their older ages also mean they help me out around the home a lot more than they once did, freeing up my time to blog more.

One last way I have carved out more time for blogging can be done by anyone despite their stage of life and that is learning to handle time better. In fact, I haven’t stopped learning this one. I am always on the lookout for ways to be more time efficient.

Recommended video courses on this topic: Crystal Paine’s inexpensive Make Over Your Mornings course and her newer Make Over Your Evenings course will help you streamline your day so that your main priorities (which should include time to recharge your personal batteries) get done and the minor ones stop sucking up time they don’t deserve.

Recommended books: How To Manage 250 Things At Once, and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home

Snail Pace It: the positive side of achieving your goals slowly.Why I believe Snail Pacing is a more realistic way to reach your goals

4. Expect And Accept Slow Growth

This is perhaps the H.A.R.D.E.S.T. part about growing a profitable blog that doesn’t over take your life–your blog is going to grow at a slower rate than those who work on it every waking minute.

If you are not going to hustle, you will not see hustling results–you will see snail pacing ones.

I expected this but accepting it is a whole different matter. I really thought I would be earning enough to match my husband’s full time RN wage by now and currently I am only halfway there.

How I started making money from week one of blogging!How I started monetizing my blog from in the first week I hit publish

How To Make Your Blog Profitable

Once you have created a blog and set boundaries for it you might be wondering, “How on earth do I actually make money from this blog I created?”

Here are the things I do to make money from my blog.

Ad Networks

Once I got to 100,000 page views per month I applied for Ad Thrive and it made a world of difference to my blog income. Each month Ad Thrive provides half or more of my blogging income.

I also use media.net ads at the bottom of some posts. I don’t earn a ton of money from them, but I do earn some and little streams add up.

Affiliate Income

Currently affiliate income makes up around 10%  to 15% of my income but the number is rising.

Affiliate Umbrellas

I am referring to these companies below as affiliate umbrellas because basically within each company you will find dozens to hundreds of different companies or products you can promote and get paid for doing so in different ways. Sometimes the pay is a percentage of sale and other times it is a per sign-up fee.

ShopHer Media: (currently this is the affiliate company I make the most with)

Escalate Media

Commission Junction

ShareASale

Smaller Affiliate Programs

I also belong to a handful of smaller affiliate programs. Most of these are fellow bloggers whose sell products I really like and offer affiliate programs for them. I found most of these smaller programs by searching around the sales page for the eBook or product I liked and seeing if an affiliate program was mentioned.

Referral  Income

To me affiliate income and referral income are not one and the same. To be an affiliate of something you usually have to sign up and go through an acceptance process. You also often have to have a certain level of readership to be accepted into many different programs.

With referral programs you simply sign up, find your referral link and start sharing.  Although some referral programs do have a PayPal option, many don’t. Often my income from these sources can be kind of different from what many might be use to seeing as income.

I am paid in clothing, books, cleaning products, gift cards and more. Some might not think this is worth the effort, but for the longest time referral income was my highest income stream and today it equals close to half of my month to month income.

To view all the different referral programs I know of, click through and read this list.

Sponsored Posts

I am a member of several sponsored post companies, however, to date all but one of  my sponsored posts have come from  companies emailing me and asking if I would do a sponsored post for them. Still I have only done a small handful of sponsored posts to date.

There are two main reasons why I haven’t done more sponsored posts. First, I only want to do sponsored posts for products I use and like, and I haven’t found many sponsored post opportunities that fit this criteria. The second reason is that sponsored posts have to be done in a certain time frame and I like being able to keep my blog work as flexible as possible.

Products

I don’t have my own products yet, but I will really soon! I have an eBook that is being edited by a content editor right now.

I am very curious to see how having my own product will affect my blog income.

One Last Word Of Advice For Building A Profitable Blog That Won’t  Take Over Your Life:

Practice the 80-20 rule!

Essentially this means that you should put the bulk of your efforts into what gives you the bulk of your income.

When you are creating a blog that doesn’t take over your life, you are not going to have enough time to do everything.

Experiment and find out what methods of income and traffic driving work best for your blog, spend the bulk of your time in those areas and let the others slide if necessary–and it will be necessary.

Building a profitable blog takes time, building one that doesn’t take over your life takes…well–even more time. But it is worth it. When you make your blog behave by staying in the boundaries you set for it, you will reap the rewards of a balanced life.

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Comments

  1. The not-taking-over-my-life bit is difficult to deal with! It’s easy to say that there’s only one more thing to do right now, one more check of Twitter, checking on something else, etc. But it can’t be the only thing I do with my time – which is hard to keep on top of!
    I have yet to see any income from my blog yet, but I also am fully aware of the slow growth bit – and slow is fine, so long as there actually is growth, ha!

    • Victoria says:

      Waiting to get enough readership to really move the earning needle is H.A.R.D. Keep plugging away at it and it will happen. One thing I did that really helps me not spend my time checking one more thing was created a daily task chart as well as a weekly task chart and a monthly task chart. It helps me stay FOCUSED on what I have to do and not get lost down rabbit trails. The charts are not at all fancy I just typed them out in open publisher and printed out a master copy that I photocopy when I need a new one.

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