I’m Elna, and I started Twins Mommy as a passion project over eight months ago. I can’t believe it’s almost a year since I started this blog!
You might be wondering, how to make money blogging.
I’m so happy that I did start a blog. I absolutely LOVE blogging, and that’s probably why I’m a freelance blogger! If you’re new to Twins Mommy, then you may not know that I’ve been chronicling my blog’s growth since last April.
Part of that growth was trying to monetize this blog. I had a plan to grow my traffic and list first and then try my hand at affiliate marketing.
But, I failed.
I have a lot on my plate as a freelance writer and of course I have my twins to take care of. They aren’t even in school yet!
But, this is a New Year with a brand new spanking plan. I have a new focus for Twins Mommy. It’s becoming more and more of a business for me instead of a weekly passion project.
And for a lot of mom bloggers out there, I’m sure you can relate. You’ve started a blog, wrote some posts and even probably signed up for some affiliate programs, right?
But, it’s been several months, and you feel like a failure. Please don’t feel like that! Everyone has a different journey to monetizing their blog or just trying to get some cash with this side hustle. And you know what? It never works on the first time!
Every blogger – even those big bloggers you read about – failed a hundred times or more before they “hit it big.”
So, even if you feel like you’re not making any headway, turn that into a lesson and learn from it. Find out what isn’t working and change it.
That’s what I’m doing with this new blog plan. While last year I was focusing on growing my blog, this year I’m focusing on profiting from my blog. Don’t get me wrong; I still have to grow this blog, and you’ll see that in this new plan.
If you’re still new to blogging, go ahead and use the same plan as me to monetize your blog! We are all doing this together, and I love helping out other bloggers! What’s great about sharing my plan is showing my success and failures so that you can avoid the things that don’t work.
Before I get into my epic big plan, if you’re reading this and you don’t have a blog, but really want to start one, I have a step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog!
Okay, let’s get to it.
How to Make Money Blogging
My Big (hairy audacious) goal for traffic is: To get 100,000 pageviews by the end of 2017. As for January 2017, I have around 24k pageviews.
*2019 update – Twins Mommy’s traffic is at 100,000 pageviews (95,000). I know for some bloggers, they achieve this status in a few months, but it took me longer. Fortunately my other two blogs have also generated 100,000+ pageviews!
Boy, oh boy, that’s a monumental goal, but I like to aim high. I believe I can hit that goal (or close to it) by December. There has to be a lot of focus and a great marketing plan to see these results.
I’m working hard on that focus right now. Since Twins Mommy isn’t my only blog, I do have to divide my time between this blog and my established blog that’s already monetized.
So, what’s my plan to reach that goal?
I whole-heartedly believe that Pinterest can help me grow my traffic. It’s already my #1 source for traffic, and I know the traffic that comes from Pinterest is my target audience.
They convert into subscribers, which is part of my goal and plan for this blog. I’m going to attack Pinterest by using group boards, honing my descriptions – and make sure they have focused keywords – and play around with new graphics.
I recently unveiled some new Pinterest graphics for my latest blog posts:
If you notice, there’s more white space on these images, and I am using a new font that’s bolder, and I’m also making it bigger. Below are my typical pin graphics.
These pins have small fonts and the white box inside, and it may be hard to read in the feed (well at least for me it sort of seems that way even though these pins get thousands of repins). With my new Pinterest graphic template, it looks like it stands out a bit more.
I’ll see if this new template will generate more click-throughs. I’m also creating alternate graphics for the same posts, and that’s been working for me to get more traffic to my site. I usually make three graphics total for one post, but with this new plan, I’m going to try to create up to 10 pin graphics for each post!
As for pinning, I’m still using Tailwind. I know there are a lot of bloggers out there that absolutely LOVE this automation pinning tool because it has helped them explode their traffic. So, I’ll keep using it.
Currently, I schedule 100 pins a day using Tailwind, and I’ll continue to keep this schedule. I’m pinning around 80% mine and 20% of others. Sometimes I pin more of my things, but overall it’s between 80-90%.
*2019 update – Right now I’m scheduling around 30 pins a day – up to 95% mine and the rest 3rd party pins.
I’m also going to dig more into Tailwind Tribes. I belong to a lot of them (well under 12 I think), and I view these tribes as sort of like an exclusive group board. Since tribes are smaller – fewer people – it’s more likely that your pin will be repinned – and I’m banking on that factor.
Right now I have over 6k followers (and I’m following less than 200 people). My goal has always been to gain 1k followers every month, and I will keep that goal.
*2019 update – I have reached 30,000 followers! Yay! The growth on my Pinterest profile has been explosive. When I I first started sharing my Pinterest profile with Twins Mommy, I didn’t know how fast that profile would take off.
I had to move my original blog I was sharing (Elna Cain) to a new Pinterest profile.
I recently started guest posting. While guest posting does take a lot of time, I know in the long run it will help me reach more people.
My goal is to guest post or be invited to do a podcast at least 2x/month. For me, podcasts are a much better time saver for me since it only takes under an hour to do a podcast and up to three or more hours to write a stellar guest post.
I don’t have a requirement for guest posting, but they do have to be in my niche. Ideally, if they have more traffic than this blog, then I’m more likely going to pitch a guest post.
I typically find guest posting opportunities by Googling my niche + “write for us.” I’ll also see where other mom bloggers are guest posting and pitch to those blogs as a way to save time.
I’ve already lined up a guest post for January and I have my podcast about email marketing in February! So I’ll have to drum up two more guest spots to fit my goal.
I have a new Facebook group for moms that want to be mompreneurs. One of my goals for this group is to drive traffic to this blog.
I will do that by doing Facebook Live sessions and linking to a freebie to get on my list. I’ll also use our promo days (Tuesdays and Saturdays) to promote my content.
I’ll also make sure to promote my blog posts on other FB groups and try to add my help to other people in those groups. I totally believe that to get noticed you have to be helpful. I’m all for giving as much help as I can to anyone who asks 🙂
I also have a Facebook page and right now I don’t have anything big planned yet. I might try to do some affiliate marketing on my page, but not entirely sure.
I’m going to also be a bit more strategic. I believe I belong to a lot of FB groups, but Facebook only shows some groups on my feed.
I’m going to leave groups that won’t help me reach my traffic goal and stay on ones that have promo days and ones I can participate in. I’ll make an excel sheet and make sure to hit ALL promo days on ALL FB groups I belong to.
Right now, I’m probably only promoting on around 60% of Facebook groups that I have.
*2019 update – I have over the year or so removed myself from most of the Facebook groups I am in and only promote my content to other Facebook groups sporadically.
I’m finding that my Facebook page and group are all I need to help me grow my blog!
I’ve mentioned in my blog recap post that I had a big fail on this task. I’ve always had blog commenting as a goal of mine (comment on at least five blog post a week) but never accomplished this goal every month.
But, I know how important it is to reach a new audience as well as connect with other bloggers. And, it’s a fantastic way to grow your traffic too.
So, I’m going to carve out time during the day to visit blogs and comment on them.
My goal is to comment on ten blog posts a week. I know, if I can’t do five a week, how can I do ten a week? Well, hopefully scheduling some time to do this will help me achieve this goal mama!
This week I’ve commented on at least five already (mostly from the promo days on my FB group).
2. Affiliate Marketing
My Big (hairy audacious) goal is to generate at least $1k/month from promoting products by April 2017.
Right now I make less than $30 a month on this blog barely promoting my two affiliates – Tailwind and OptinMonster. I’ve mentioned before that affiliate marketing wasn’t something I was focused on since I was – and still am – generating income on my other blog.
But, I want to diversify my income and eventually make more money blogging or with my product(s) than with my service based business.
Now that my twins don’t nap anymore, I have very limited time for any side hustle and writing (i.e. my client work) takes up a lot of my time (which leaves me little time to blog).
So, what am I going to do differently to make money blogging?
Convert 1% of My Traffic
To achieve $1k/month from affiliate marketing, I need to convert at least 1% of my traffic into money. So, that means I need at least 100 visitors a week to come to certain blog posts that have affiliate links.
This gives me a focus because when I was using my affiliate links on my blog before, I didn’t have a metric to go by. I didn’t know how many visitors I needed or even how much money I wanted to earn.
Now, I can focus on the numbers, which will help me figure out what I need to do more of to reach my goal.
Become an Affiliate For More Products
This time around, I’m going to promote more products. This includes:
- Siteground for hosting – Anywhere between $50-125 per sale
- ConverKit for email service provider – $9 /month recurring
- Thrive for conversion focused software (not currently accepting affiliates)
- Tailwind for automation pinning – $17 when I sell an annual subscription
- OptinMonster for email capture software – Anywhere from $21-$69 per sale
I’m bummed that Thrive isn’t accepting any affiliates into their program. I’m hoping that they will soon so that I can promote Thrive’s products since I’ve used them in the past on my other site and love how easy it is to use.
I may become an affiliate for more products in the future, but for now, I’ll focus on these.
Create a Start a Blog Post
I get a lot of emails from my subscribers telling me that they don’t yet have a blog but are going to start one soon. Other people ask me for help in starting their blog.
This tells me that I should probably have a resource on my site about starting a blog (cue D’oh moment). Since a lot of other bloggers have a post like that, I have to make sure that mine stands out a bit more so I’ll have to think about how I will market this post to appeal to a lot of people.
In this post, I’ll have a link to Siteground as a way to monetize that post. I may put a link in my navigation bar or side bar to promote this post since I won’t be having this post on my blog (it will be on a page on my site since I don’t want to flood my blog with affiliate posts).
***Update: I do have a tutorial on how to start a mom blog! Yay!***
Create Tutorial/Guides for My Affiliate Products
A great way to promote your affiliate links is to write about that product. People may not have heard of what you are promoting or may not know how to use that tool or software.
By providing an in-depth guide or tutorial on using your affiliate product, it’s more likely you’ll get a sale. So, since I don’t have any tutorials or guides on any of my affiliate links, this is something I’m going to create hopefully in January and February.
3. Email List
My Big (hairy audacious) goal is to grow my email list to 10k by September 2017. As for January, my list size is 2702.
*2019 update – My email list is at around 17,000 for Twins Mommy. I didn’t reach the 10,000 mark on September 2017. I don’t remember the month, but it was in 2018.
My original goal was to reach 10k by April (that would have been a year since starting Twins Mommy), but I have a feeling that won’t happen that fast. That’s why I am saying by September I can grow my list to 10k.
This means I need 7298 subscribers by September. To break that down even more, I need around 912 subscribers every month, or 30 subscribers a day.
Looking at my conversion rates on ConvertKit, it looks like I’m consistently hitting that mark since the holidays.
I’m ecstatic that my list is growing so much since I moved to ConvertKit. While I love MailChimp and I’m still using them for my other lists, my Twins Mommy list wasn’t growing that fast.
Part of that reason was challenges of creating a content upgrade or a new incentive opt-in freebie to grow my list. I needed help from my husband to create new lists and groups and tags, and since my husband runs his own business, it was not on his list of priorities.
Now, that I moved to ConvertKit, however, I can easily create multiple free incentives to grow my list.
So, what’s my plan to grow my list to 10k subscribers by September?
Put More Opt-in Forms on My Blog
I’m sure you’ve heard the most recent Google Update about mobile popups. If not, Syed, creator of OptinMonster, tells you exactly what it means for your blog. Go check out that post before January 10th when this rule comes into effect.
To break it down, Google wants a nice user experience for your blog on mobile (and desktop, but they are specifically targeting mobile with this announcement). They want to make sure that when people visit your site on mobile that they aren’t being distracted by interstitial, scroll mats, time-triggered popups, or things taking up (or over) the whole screen.
This also means any huge opt-in forms on the top of your blog that would take up the whole screen on mobile aren’t recommended under the new update.
For example, my big blue opt-in form for my Mom Boss Vault takes up the whole screen on mobile. This means I should move it down the page, so content shows up first (or at least make it much smaller) when people visit me from their smartphones.
So, for me, I’m going to move my images down or make them smaller for my mobile visitors.
But, what about all my popups? If you click on my content upgrade in a post (they look like this):
When you click on the image, a popup form comes up. This is okay in Google’s eyes because it’s user initiated. Google just doesn’t like popups that are delayed or pop up at a certain time without a user imitating it.
Recently, I put an announcement bar – or some people call it a hello bar – at the very top of my site. Announcement bars like this that slide down when you visit a site is considered intrusive in Google’s eyes. Under the new rule, you can have an announcement bar, but it has to be more fluid on your site.
For now, for mobile users, with OptinMonster, however, I can set display rules to only show this announcement bar on desktop and not on mobile.
In OptinMonster, under Display Rules, you can set that rule for each opt-in form you have on your blog.
For my new blog plan, I want to add more ways for people to join my list. Since I’m also using ConvertKit, I can use their opt-in forms at the end of my blog posts, which is easy to do. This means I can have dozens of opt-in forms on my site if I decide to put a form on every blog post (or a content upgrade).
I’m also going to create pages for each of my incentives (like this one), so I can pin that and promote that on social media.
Create Landing Pages
I’ve been blogging for over two years, and I haven’t used a landing page on any of my blogs, and I have no idea why! I know how powerful a landing page is to help you grow your email list.
Now that I can create landing pages easily on my own, I’ll experiment with some on this blog to help me grow my list. Landing pages can be shared on Pinterest too, which I think will totally help me reach that 30 a day subscriber goal.
Incentivize Potential Affiliate Leads
Part of my money-making plan is to create big guides for my affiliate products. I’m hoping I can convert them to purchase what I am recommending. But, what if they don’t?
One way to keep these people warm is to funnel them into my email list. I can create a separate list just for affiliate leads and develop email sequence that will lead to a sale.
I’m not sure what or how I’ll go about that, but that’s my plan to grow my list and to make more sales.
4. Product Creation
My Big (hairy audacious) goal is launch one course by April 2017.
Okay, mamas! It’s finally here 🙂 For the longest time, I was drawing a blank whenever I was thinking about creating a product for Twins Mommy.
So, instead I tried my hand at creating a planner (but that never came about), and then I decided to do some Pinterest marketing, but that failed too.
So, when I thought about creating an eBook or course, I still had no idea what to focus on. My blog’s niche is a demographic niche, which means I speak to a demographic – mom bloggers or those starting an online business.
So, my blog helps these moms with growing their traffic, list, and income. I just couldn’t think what to focus on that could help people and that people would want to pay for.
But, just recently I finally figured out a topic/theme, and I’ll probably do a course. I have some ideas on two other courses too.
This course will be totally perfect for moms that want to get their blog (and business) noticed. It will cover the best strategies to help you achieve that so you can build a successful blog and earn some sales.
I know. That’s a bit vague, but I don’t want to mention too much in case I pivot and create something totally different!
My Big (hairy audacious) goal is to hire a VA by April of 2017.
*2019 update – I have not hired a VA, but I do hire writers to help me with my blog content on all the blogs I own.
I’ve wanted to hire a VA for some time now, but my family has been sick, and I’ve been preoccupied. But, for the New Year, I know I’ll need to hire someone to help me with outreach and miscellaneous tasks like managing guest contributors and my Facebook groups (so I’m not distracted by FB all day!!!). I also need a VA that understands how to use various tools and software like ConvertKit, MailChimp, Google Analytics, Zapier, Asana, Google docs and more.
Right now, my husband helps with the behind-the-scenes things and the web development and integration for my course. His goal is to remove himself from these tasks to focus on monetization strategies for our business.
How to Make Money Blogging – My Plan
I’m gearing for a fantastic 2017 for my business and family. Right now my family is recovering from a month long of sickness and colds (flu up in here). My twins’ birthday is later this month, and they’ll be four so I’m hoping that by that time, our family will be well and we can hit the ground running!
Now tell me mamas, what is your blog-mazing goal for the year?