9 Simple Steps on How To Make a Living Blogging

I’ve been making a living from blogging for five years now.

I have over 7 blog sites, with many of them making money.

I have two email lists with over 40, 000 subscribed combined and a Facebook group with 11k members.

I’m not telling you this to boast; I’m sharing this to let you know that I’m the real deal.

I want to prove to you that I’m a credible mom blogger that can help you achieve your goals.

(Psst…grab my free goal setting planner to get your blog ready for next quarter!)

All over Facebook, you hear story upon story of blogs making a living from their blog.

But, you also hear more stories on bloggers not earning a penny from their blog…and they’ve been blogging for two years.

How is that? Why is it easier for some people to make blogging a thing and others struggle month after month?

I feel there are things successful bloggers do that others aren’t doing or are doing poorly. I want to help you. I know how hard it is to leave your baby to go to a job that you dislike or even hate.

I worked hard when my twins were little to make income so that I could stay home. I started my own education business to help children with autism. Helping is my true passion, and while I loved helping children with autism learn to socialize and speak and share a loving moment with their parents, this job required hours upon hours away from my twins.

I needed to find a way to stay home, and blogging provided that.

So, to help you achieve blogging success in the next quarter and future years, let’s go over what NOT to do, the pre-do things you should have in place, and the critical metrics to focus on.

Do NOT Do These Things as a New Blogger

I always start these types of blog posts with some sort of a disclaimer – I will probably say contradictory information you may have read on other mom blogs. The information I share with you is proven from my course students and me.

And as such, it may not be the norm or what everyone is telling you. I feel that is because every blogger has a different journey to making a living from this.

My path as a blogger and course creator started as a freelance writing business. Not many bloggers have that same path.

Here are four things I don’t want you to do as a new blogger.

1. Don’t Do Everything At Once

Many popular and successful bloggers will tell you to start SEO in your first month or the first six months.

My advice – don’t.

Focus on your audience and writing for your audience. SEO – search engine optimization is very very long-term strategy, and while you CAN start using keywords in your brand new posts, it won’t help you, and learning SEO on day one is not going to go over well.

You’ll be overwhelmed with understanding blogging, engaging an audience, WordPress, Gutenberg, social media, Pinterest, Instagram, email marketing, and more.

Wow! That’s a lot.

When I first started blogging, I started a service-based website, so the blogs I read were about my service. I did not worry about starting an email list, I didn’t even know about SEO at the time, and I only started a Twitter account for my service.

I focussed on pitching and writing. That was it.

So, as a new blogger, focus on writing. Your blog needs a foundation, and your content is what will hold your blog together.

2. Don’t Start Selling Printables or Creating Digital Courses or Buying Thousand Dollar Courses

Look – you will start seeing how lucrative affiliate marketing is. But, then you will see how much more money you can make if you have your own products.

Bloggers are sharing their income reports and making five figures a month with selling their own products. Wow! Give me a slice of that pie!

But, as a new blogger, I don’t want you to pour hundreds of dollars into buying courses to help you launch your own eBook or course or sell printables in the first year of your blog!

Yes, the FIRST YEAR!

Jon is an influencer in the blogging niche, and he tells his students not to monetize their blog for the first year. Why? Because he wants them to succeed. That first year is all about learning about blogging and learning about your audience and their needs.

I’ve always adopted that principle. Sure, you don’t have to wait a year – 6-10 months is fine – but I know many bloggers who adopted this and are making a living today.

I did this for my freelance site and for Twins Mommy.

3. Don’t Copy Others – Learn From Them Instead

It’s hard, I know. You start a blog, and then you want to find other bloggers in your niche. So you read their content and, for some people, they start copying what others are putting out.

While there is no copywrite on our blog posts (just go to Pinterest and search for breastfeeding tips…there are hundreds of pins and posts about that topic), the angle and your story are what will make your content stand out.

I’ve had my share of others copying everything of mine – from exact blog posts, to pins, to emails and more.

The best thing new bloggers can do is be inspired by what you read and see from other bloggers. If you see one blogger use a course for a lead magnet, it’s okay if you decide to that also. But, how will you make yours different?

  • The topic will be different
  • The length will be different
  • The content medium will be different – I will send them to a video lesson instead of an email lesson

There are lots of ways to stand out and turn that around to make something new and unique for your brand 🙂

4. Don’t Compare Your Journey to Others

This is extremely hard…for me.

There are other bloggers in my niche that started around the same time as me and are making more than me and doing better than me.

I have learned to distance myself from these bloggers – and while that may have hurt my chances for collaboration – I stay in my own lane and focus on what counts – helping MY audience.

This is what I do with my freelance writing audience. Other freelancers killing it and selling courses hundreds of dollars more than my courses and seem to be doing fantastic.

Kudos for them! But, I can’t be bothered by that. Sometimes that’s hard, though. I learned that another freelance writer is creating practically the same course I’m creating right now!

Complete coincidence, but to outsiders, it will probably look like one of us copied the other! Oh well…there’s nothing to do but finish the course since people are waiting for it!

The Pre-Do Things You Need to Do

Okay – so we went over what not to do; let’s go over the prerequisites of starting a successful blog.

Let’s dive into five things to focus on.

5. Have a Plan of How You Will Make Money

Most people who start a blog want to make some sort of income. That’s part of the reason why I started my service-based blog.

I wanted to make an income so I could stay home with my twins.

So how do bloggers make money?

There are several ways, but the easiest is by displaying ads. To make a good side income – at least $500/month – you do need around 50,000 sessions if you want to be accepted into Mediavine.

This means your focus is driving traffic to your blog – not growing your email list or social media followers.

The other easier way is doing affiliate marketing. If you use a product or service and you’re happy about it, you can see if they offer an affiliate program. Amazon is the most popular affiliate program, but course creators offer affiliate programs too.

For example, for my other blog, Smart Mom Ideas, I found out that there are pregnancy journals and lactation powder products that have an affiliate program! How nice!

Email service providers and hosting services also offer affiliate programs.

But, just because you sign up and receive a special link and plaster that in your blog post, doesn’t mean you’ll earn an income.

You might, but this relies heavily on your email list, social media followers, and your overall marketing strategy.

Finally, another popular monetization strategy many bloggers use is creating their own products. This is the most intense path but can be the most lucrative path for bloggers.

I suggest you wait and take your time before you create a course. I was about two years in before I created and launched my first course.

To make money with courses having an email list is essential as well as growing your email list.

6. Write For Your Audience

I think I mentioned this early on, but as a new blogger, you need to write for your audience….even if you don’t know who your audience is!

I say pick an audience and go from there –

  • Busy stay at home moms
  • Moms with just boys
  • College kids that want to travel
  • Large families
  • Single moms
  • Homeschool families
  • Pregnant moms

Yes, the audience is fairly broad, but it gives you a path for your editorial calendar for your blog.

Writing for your audience means finding their inner challenges and problems and helping them with the answers.

For more help, make sure to check out my masterclass on creating content to grow your traffic. I dive deep into your audience and writing for them.

7. Sign Up to Two Social Media Platforms

I know it may be easy to start a Facebook page, Twitter profile, Instagram profile, and a YouTube channel.

But look –

When you’re new, you can’t try everything at once (my #1 in this post!).

Stick to two social media profiles to grow – Pinterest and Facebook are my recommendations.

Here are some blog posts to help you:

8. Make Blogger Friends

You can’t blog alone!

You won’t succeed!

You have to get out there and network. Meet other bloggers in your niche and other niches.

Get to know you who is out there!

When I started Twins Mommy, I featured other moms so that I could get on their radar.

I signed up for their newsletters and learned more about them.

I connected with them in Facebook groups and formed great blogging relationships with them!

When you connect with other bloggers, you can collaborate on future projects, ask them for help, and offer to help them!

9. Borrow Other People’s Audiences

It’s a good idea as a new blogger to leverage other people’s audiences.

You can do this easily by guest posting and doing podcasts.

I teach you how to do this the right way in my course Ready Set Blog for Traffic, but for this post, what I can share is to find brand building collaborations to guest post on.

On Facebook or by reading other people’s blogs, you’ll get a sense of the blogger would be a good person to collaborate with.

Maybe you’re in the food niche with a meal prep course, and you find a health blogger with a beginner runner guide. You can collaborate with each other, and perhaps the health blogger could mention your meal prep course and vice versa.

The One Thing to Focus On

I know you don’t want to hear it, but traffic is the ONLY way to make any of this happen.

Many people shy away from traffic and tell you it’s your email list. Your list is where the money is at.

And, don’t get me wrong – this is totally true, BUT….

How do you get people to sign up to your list?

How do you let others know about your amazing incentive lead magnet?

With traffic!!!

The first step to any content marketing strategy – whether you’re a start-up in the tech business or a mom blogger that blogs about parenting – you NEED blog traffic.

With no eyeballs to your content, you are basically writing a diary for yourself and your family.

That is why I suggest NOT to create products like an eBook or eCourse if you don’t have traffic coming to your blog.

For many, the 6-month mark is a good time to start thinking about launching a product. By this time, if you use my blog traffic recipe, you’ll have enough pageviews to make it worthwhile to create something for your audience (because you have an audience now!).

But, if you’ve been blogging for six months and your pageviews are stagnant or non-existent, you can easily change this around by creating more content and promoting it.

Yes, it isn’t the sexy traffic method or the magical guide to get you globs of pageviews.

It’s the same things you’ve probably heard from big bloggers like Jon or Darren or Neil.

That’s because it works, and it’s necessary to grow a blog.

Think of blog traffic as the heartbeat of your blog – it’s what makes it work and motor along.

And once you have traffic, you can leverage that traffic and turn it into cash.

Leverage Blog Traffic for Making Money

With an audience, small or large, you can start connecting with them and understanding them so you can serve them better.

And a simple way to do that is with an email list.

Once you have an email list, you can develop a relationship with your readers. You can communicate with them and help them on a more personal level.

This gains trust in your audience and can help them know you and like you better.

To start growing your email list, I suggest you take a look at your most popular posts using Google Analytics.

From there, you can see what your audience is craving. So, if you have a food blog, you might notice that your top three posts are dinner ideas, fast cookie recipes, and how to cook a pot roast in the Instant Pot.

From here, you can decide what a good incentive would be.

Depending on the season, a fast holiday baking recipe book might be a good lead magnet.

Otherwise, you can round up recipes for the Instant Post that only require 3 ingredients!

Remember, your incentive – what will get someone to sign up to your email list – has to WOW them and get them excited.

It also has to be a quick win and help solve a problem.

So the first idea is about fast or quick recipes, and my second idea is about fewer ingredients.

Once people sign up for your email list, you need to start nurturing your list for the “sale.”

Of course, you may not have anything to offer them that you created, but you can offer affiliate products or YOU – your brand.

I only have a few products for Twins Mommy, so I don’t “sell” with each email.

Instead, I grow my brand and credibility in the blogging niche.

Over time, you will get to know your audience, and your audience will get to know you.

And, when it’s time to create that product, you’ll have an eager audience wanting to hear about it!


Making a Living as a Blogger

The key to making a living as a blogger is to create more and do more.

Not many bloggers can “make it” with only one product. Many have multiple products – 3 or 4 courses – or they may have multiple websites like myself, or they have a team of writers and marketers to pump out content if affiliate marketing is their jam.

So, growing your income as a blogger usually means taking the next step – another course idea, hiring writers, or using other monetization strategies.

Over to you – are you a full-time blogger? What thing will you be working on to make that goal happen for you? Share with me in the comments!

Please remember to pin me!

Leave a Reply


I am loving the content in this post! Thanks for all of the great tips. I have implemented some of the strategies you discussed here, but you definitely gave me some good ideas that I plan to implement from now on! Thanks!Reply to Jennifer
Hi Jennifer, That’s awesome to hear! Making a living blogging is truly a blessing and I hope you achieve that as well! I’m here for you if you are stuck!Reply to Elna
I just have to tell you how much I appreciate all of your informative posts and emails. I have signed up with so many blogs to get advice and yours is the only one I still read! I’m just getting started but I’ve already learned so much from you passing on what you know. I’m really grateful!Reply to Alice
Hi Alice, Thank you for your kind words! I’m rooting for you to start making a living as a blogger! Good luck mama!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna I am thinking about buying your course, I am learning so much about traffic from your blog. I’m about to finish my own blog, hopefully it will be ready next week 🙂Reply to Line
Hi Line, That’s great to hear! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Great post! What I’m doing right now is contributing to highly active groups and that make people visit my website which is in facebook profile and I got 50+ leads within a month, which is great! If you’re sharing really helpful tips on facebook groups, then you can definitely make some money, in my case I do it through email marketing. Thanks for the share once again!Reply to Satnam
Hi! That’s a great tactic but I find that extremely time consuming! Glad it works though!Reply to Elna
Thanks for these blogging tips, Elna. I actually just bought your course and am loving it. I can’t wait to implement everything I am learning.Reply to Mary
Hi Mary, Oh, that’s awesome and great! Thanks so much!Reply to Elna
Wow! This is epic, Elna. I’ve always been hard on my self, thinking that I’m not doing enough. Okay, my blog is turning six months and currently receiving 1000 pageviews a month. I don’t make money off it at the moment, but it is a big lead to my freelance writing business — so crucial point is-One step at a time. Once again, Elna, thank you for this post.Reply to Charity
Hi Charity! Yes, you can’t compare you journey to others. It’s hard I know. I did it when I first started Twins Mommy and I’m learning to stop doing that! You’re doing great with YOUR blog. Just remember to think of YOUR audience and write for them!Reply to Elna
I wish I would’ve read this sooner, honestly. I just ended up taking ad sense off to make for a better experience for my readers. Thank you for these tips!Reply to Rachel
Hi Rachel, At least you know now, right? Now that you do, you can make good decisions for your blog growth!Reply to Elna
HI Elna, what a great post! I’m blogging about blogging too. And I did exactly the same – I avoided reaching out to other bloggers in the same niche. Yet, you’re the one person that I have reached out to in the past. Because, aside of having learnt a lot from you (and other bloggers, such as Jon Morrow and Adam Connell), you’ve always come across as extremely genuine. You mentioned not having reached out to other bloggers in this niche. One or two who may be a ‘little’ more successful at this point in time – I think I have an idea of one person who you might be talking about – but that’s debatable… I’ve reached out to you, and a couple of other mommy bloggers in the past, and you are hands down the most genuine. I’ve found that the others are a little too money-focused (this comes through in their emails, and their responses to questions). So, when measuring success, I don’t think it’s just about who’s made the most money. I think it’s about how many people you’ve inspired and encouraged (myself included). And how many people’s lives you’ve turned around for the better 🙂Reply to Zoe
Hi Zoe, Wow! What an incredible nice comment! <3 I truly want to help moms and others make money online. I have my freelance blog to help my freelance audience and I have my moms here! It's hard I know! There are so many ways to be successful and money is just one part of that equation! I'm happy that I'm helping people as this is my ultimate goal! Thanks again for your inspiring comment!Reply to Elna
You’ve taught me a lot, and I continue to learn from you. Thank you 🙂Reply to Zoe
Thanks for this great post Elna. I particularly appreciated the advice about not trying to do everything at once and not comparing your journey to others. As someone who is looking to start blogging, it can be both exciting and discouraging at the same time. I’m eager to learn and implement everything. It sometimes seems as though the whole world has been blogging for so long that now I need to catch up. Thanks for reminding us that everyone is in their “own lane.” It was also good to hear that you don’t have to know right away who your audience is to be writing for them. So it seems initially you would write for who you want your audience to be.Reply to Gina
Hi Gina, So glad you gleaned that info from this post. I really want to take the pressure off of blogging so that you can enjoy blogging and navigate your blog to make money. You can still make money blogging if you don’t know your audience on day one! It’s possible and I’ve done it time and time again! 🙂 So glad you will blog and figure it all out as you blog!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna. Thanks for these tips for making a living blogging. My blog only turned 1 September this year, and that same week I got my first sponsored post. It sort of gave me hope, if you know what I mean. And like you said in your posts and the Blog For Traffic Course, “write for your audience”, this has paid off for me. My traffic went down a bit but it is going up again, and some of my posts are making google first page. I’m barely halfway into the course and good things are happening to my blog. It’s all you, Elna. On a lighter note, what is “sexy traffic?” And I’m still a bit nervous about pitching for guest posts. Help me! Thanks a lot, Elna. Oh, before I forget. Your editorial calendar has put me on track too.Reply to Buayifa
Hi! So happy you landed a sponsored post so quick! Kudos for you! As for sexy traffic, I’m talking about how other bloggers are pushing lots of things like start an email list, promote heavily, start a YouTube channel etc…. But in reality, all you REALLY need to do is create content for your audience. It’s not sexy or the magic trick, it’s just what it is! Nothing crazy 🙂 I hope that makes sense!Reply to Elna
Once again, great post Elna! It’s SO hard to tune out the noise and focus on just one thing at a time instead of everything! My blog is still only several months old and I need to turn my attention to creating more great content consistently to get that traffic.Reply to Bridget
Hey Bridget! Yasss! I know what you mean! It’s hard to only focus on one thing. I still get hung up on that and want to do everything at once! I’m getting better and pulling the plug quicker and getting back into what I need to focus on! Glad you know what you have to do to grow your blog!Reply to Elna
Thank you for posting this. I really needed this information today. I have been feeling quite overwhelmed with information from the course. It’s nice to hear how to just get started, when I feel like I don’t even know where to begin.Reply to Suzanne
Hi Suzanne, So glad you stopped by! Yes, being overwhelmed is common for new bloggers. It seems like there is so so so much to learn, right? If you need more help with my course, just email me! I’m here for my students!Reply to Elna