(Links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See my disclosure page for more information)
Are you looking for a way to work at home? I have been a work at home mom for over 22 years now and I have tried numerous different ways to earn money from home, but my current work at home gig has been my most flexible job yet.
For the last six years I have been building a blog in the cracks of time between dropping children off at soccer practice, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and those endless loads of laundry. Sometimes that means I work several hours before the children get up, other times it has involved working in the back of the SUV parked close enough to the gymnastics gym to use their wifi.
I started out earning pennies an hour and have been slowly increasing my hourly wage–last year I earned $13 an hour and worked an average of 30 hours a week. That number is based on my gross income minus expenses, but before taxes–because that is as close as I can get it to how “traditional” hourly wages are calculated.
If blogging isn’t for you, there are many other flexible work at home jobs out there. Here is a list of 6 that you can do with the help of your laptop. You also might want to check out my work-at-home resource page for more ideas.
But if you are interested in blogging and are wondering just how I earned that $13 an hour, read on! You are also going to want to join my blogging Facebook group for moms who want to build an income generating blog in between laundry loads and shuffling kids from one activity to the next.
How I Earned $13 An Hour Last Year Working From Home
I earned my money from a total of 26 different income sources that fit into seven different categories. I listed them from my highest income earner to my lowest.
I know that many people cringe at the thought of putting ads on their blogs, but when saving money is one of your major blog topics like it is mine, ads are a great way to earn money without having to ask readers who are looking for ways to save money to spend any.
I use Adthrive for my ads and I think they rock at what they do. Which is why ads are my biggest source of revenue.
2. Point Programs And Survey Sites
I started using point programs to earn money from home back when I had three children aged six and under and it seemed like the only uber flexible job I could manage in the blur of all day diaper changes and ten times a night wakings (totally not kidding, I was not blessed with a single child that slept well and my husband worked nights so I had to deal with every screaming-in-the-middle-of-the-night child on my own).
Because of my history with point programs, they were the first thing I promoted on my blog and I continue to promote them because I think they are a great way to earn a bit of money in little cracks of time.
3. Affiliate Income
I broke affiliate income into two different categories and those that are specific to a certain brand or product are listed in number 6. These below allow me to link to and earn affiliate income from many different products and/or companies.
4. Store Credit
There are a few websites that I love so much that I will gladly take store credit earned through sharing a referral link as payment for spreading the word about their companies. (pst…you can do this without a blog too)
5. Cashback Sites And Apps
These companies offer such a simple way for my readers to stretch their hard-earned dollars. I am constantly on the lookout for new ones to try out and then, if they work for me, share.
FetchRewards (my referral code is: RE9FU)
6. Individual Product Affiliates
I don’t promote a lot of what I would describe as individual product affiliates and I would like to change that going forward. Programs like these generally offer very high affiliate rates, sometimes as much as 50% of the sale price.
Crystal Paine’s Courses
Crystal runs the blog Money Saving Mom and now also runs Your Blogging Mentor. She sells various courses through both her sites. Here are the ones I have promoted
I actually earned money two ways through Ultimate Bundles last year. I earned a commission for each bundle I sold and then an author’s bonus since my book Thrifty And Thriving was accepted into the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.
Ultimate Bundles is an excellent affiliate program to work for as they offer tonnes of free training and oodles of help during the sales.
Shopify is one of the very few companies I recommend that I don’t actually use. It is an online shopping platform that I researched inside and out before promoting. I knew many of my readers wanted solid work-at-home options and using Shopify to sell digital or physical products is a great option for doing just that.
7. Book Sales
I finally finished and self-published my first book last year, Thrifty And Thriving: More Life For Less Money. Before it was even done I applied to have it in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and that turned out to be a very good move for me earning wise. The author bonus for the one week sale and then the two day flash sale was more than I earned through selling it on Amazon from March to January.
One of the reasons my book hasn’t done as well outside the bundle sale is I never did throw a book launch for it. It published while my family was on our five and a half month road trip–bad timing on my part. During the trip, I rarely had reliable internet and even when I did I didn’t have enough time to plan and execute a book launch.
Income Sources I Did Not Pursue
As you might notice my list does not include sponsored posts. I have done a few in the past, but while on the RV trip I didn’t want to have to deal with the timeline aspect of them so I didn’t accept any requests I got for them even though a few good offers did come my way.
However, I generally don’t do more than one or two a year anyway. Why? There are several reasons. First I like being as flexible as I can with my work hours and sponsored posts usually have to be done on a set date. Second, being a thrifty family we don’t use a lot of brand name products and those tend to be the bulk of sponsored post offers. Third, I prefer spending my time on evergreen content where I can earn money day after day, month after month and year after year.
Digital Products Such As Courses, Printables And Ebooks Sold On My Site
I do want to to do this, but time simply hasn’t allowed me to. I know there are bloggers out there who can do so much more in their work hours than I can, but that isn’t me–just look at the title of this blog.
I snail pace away at this blog while sitting in my living room most days. My kids constantly come in and out of the room asking me questions and engaging me in conversation. And often I will go from blogging one minute to helping them with their homework the next. Other days I will think I am going to work all day and then my husband will come home from work early and ask me if I want to go hiking–you bet I am going!
My kids are 15 and up; soon enough I will have the living room 100% to myself, no interruptions all day and at that point, I don’t think I will regret allowing them to interrupt me presently. It will also be at that time that I think I will be thankful for keeping my marriage strong for it will just be the two of us once again and I want something to talk about!
So I am sure courses will happen, but for now I have just one product: my book on Amazon that took me over two years to finish.
Clarification: I am in no way saying that you can’t have a strong relationship with your family and blog and produce products too, many bloggers do. I am just stating what works for me and my personality. You need to know your limits and work with them to avoid burn-out.
Want To Start Your Own Blog?
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.
- Pick a Web Host: I started out with BlueHost. It costs jus a few dollars a month to get started.
- 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 blogging: I 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.
Find That List A Little Much? Have A Successful Blogger Walk You Through It
The course 5 Days to a Successful Blog Launch was created by Crystal Paine of the successful blog Money Saving Mom. This course is an inexpensive way of getting the help you need to get a blog up and running. You can find out all about the course over at this homepage.
3 More Articles That Will Help You Create A Successful Blog
- How To Monetize A Small Blog: Making Money From Day One
- What Slow Blogging Is And Why You Might Want To Make The Switch
- 15 Ways Busy Moms Can Find Time To Start A Successful Blog
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