How I Turned My Blog Into a Career – In Just 6 Months!

How to Make Consistent Money Through Blogging In 6 Months

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you dream of becoming a blogger/entrepreneur. You may be thinking; is it worth it, to start this journey? Is it even possible to be successful? What does it take to actually turn blogging into a career? These were the questions I had when I first started my journey. I watched others live their blogging dream life and I won’t lie, I was SO envious. I wanted to be like them. I mean seriously? Why is blogging as a career so perfect? Well for me it’s the freedom! The freedom to work wherever you want + whenever you want, the freedom to travel the world, or to just be your own boss! GOALS.  Let me tell you a little about my journey + how I got where I am today, and then I will tell you exactly how you can turn your blog into a successful money making biz, to pursue it as a career too! (WARNING – This is one of my LONGEST posts, have a glass of wine or cup of coffee ready.) *aff links used.

MY WHY + MY JOURNEY

Years ago it all started, in middle school. I was in 7th – 8th grade when youtube took off. I would always watch youtubers doing their thing! I saw how many views some of them were getting, it was shocking! I thought, wow, how fun! I would love to be like them. Time went on and now I was in high school. At this point I was obsessed with watching beauty gurus on youtube. Some days I would just binge watch for hours straight. They were all so talented and knew how to keep me entertained! I truly, looked up to them.

They would show off their life, all the beauty products they’d try out and use, and I quickly began noticing that they were making a living through youtube! This was so crazy to me. You could make a living off youtube?! I always wanted to create my own youtube channel BUT talking to a camera wasn’t my thing, not to mention being able to afford a decent camera was out of the question. BUT, all through high school I really enjoyed writing, especially creatively. I knew blogging was “a thing” but wasn’t sure how popular it was. I decided to put all of these dreams on hold as graduation became near. Why? Well, because my friends and family were pushing me to go to college. I knew that college would be a ton of work and decided to listen to the voices telling me, go to college! You need college to be successful, that’s what they all told me.

Fast forward to college – it was absolutely terrible. The whole experience for me was just awful. I was never happy, I couldn’t find anywhere to fit in, the classes bore me, and trying to find any sort of motivation to push forward was SO difficult. I began to feel depressed because I knew all of my friends and family really wanted me to complete my higher education, but how could I? I was throwing my money out the window…and let me say, college is SUPER EXPENSIVE! Did I really want to be in debt most my life for a piece of paper that gives me a “degree” in something that doesn’t even make me happy? NO.

Needless to say, I dropped out of college. YUP. I said it. I am a college dropout. Am I ashamed? Absolutely not. I believe that you can be successful WITH OR WITHOUT a college degree. But, you can’t be successful without determination.

SO – ever since I was in high school I waited tables. I had one or two other jobs that weren’t in the food industry BUT they were very temporary. Most of my career consists of serving jobs. About 8 years to be exact. Let me be the first to say, serving is NOT fun. As easy as it sounds, it can be very stressful, and it can make you realize just how badly you need a change. Here I am, a server with no college degree. I would apply to tons of other jobs and the response I would get would always be the same, “Sorry, but as much as we love your resume, you do not have enough experience to qualify for this position.” again, and again, and again. It started to become disheartening. I couldn’t even score an interview because no one was willing to give me the chance.

At this time in my life I was very discouraged and became depressed. Some nights I would burst into tears randomly because I couldn’t even afford groceries. I would go into work to have a customer yell that their fries aren’t hot enough or that they can’t get a free burger (sorry sir, but not everything in life can be free just because you “complain.”) People would decide to mess with my pay check + bill money by not tipping me – JUST BECAUSE – I know i’m worthy of a tip, I have been doing this for years now, it’s nothing new. I just knew that if I continued down this road I would always feel strapped for money and completely miserable. It was time to make a change. This is when I decided, if no one wants to give me a job – then it’s time I make one for myself.

I stayed up crazy hours of the night reading the latest “how to start a blog” tips and “how to make money blogging.” I’d research for what felt like FOREVER. Until finally, I went for it. I started my own blog.

I started my blog back in April of this year – 2017. Fast forward a couple of months – (3-4) and I started seeing my first actual income from blogging. On top of that I was receiving a ton of brand sponsorships! I was amazed. Now fast forward 6 months later, I began seeing a steady stable income of over 1,800 a month! Incredible. I couldn’t believe that all my hard work was finally paying off. I won’t get into exactly how much I make a month, because that’s personal. But I will say, i’m about to quit my full time job + take on my blogging journey – FULL SPEED.

Okay Ell, get to the moral of the story please!

This is the moral of the story: You may feel stuck right now, maybe you feel as if your blogging journey isn’t going anywhere, and you hate your full time job so much! Maybe you know there is something out there for you but you are afraid to pursue it? Let me be the first to tell you – YOU CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO. Don’t you ever let anyone tell you otherwise. I had so many who doubted my abilities. They would tell me, “blogging? Really? Get a real job! Go to college! You won’t find success otherwise!” and guess what… I let the haters be my motivators! All those who doubted me are the reason why I succeeded! And you can too!!!

I NEVER would have thought that i’d be where I am today, and I am so grateful for everything that has and is coming my way. I used to think, wow I want to be like them + here I am… Living the life I always wanted.

Of course, not everyones journey to success is at the same pace, and there are always bumps in the road BUT if you follow my advice, I promise you, you will find your success sooner rather than later.




HAVE A PASSION + PURSUE IT

First, you need to make sure your passion is in your writing and that this is your number one reason why you started your blogging/biz journey. If you don’t have the passion, you will get “sick” of your journey and you might end up giving up. Your number one reason should never be money, but of course it can be a focus point, just not the main focus. You can absolutely hope to achieve that but if it’s the number one reason, you may get discouraged in the beginning because you do have to be patient before you see the money signs.

Now, think about what it is you find passion in writing about. Is it beauty? Health and fitness? Graphic design? Self care and motivation? Whatever you write about, make sure it’s what you enjoy talking about! If you don’t enjoy talking about it, you will give up quickly. The thing with blogging is, those who aren’t passionate about it never make it to the end. Plus, why would you want to blog if it doesn’t make you happy anyway? Always go after what makes you happy! 

TREAT YOUR BLOG/BIZ LIKE YOU WOULD A CAREER

If you are ever hoping to make money from blogging then you need to take your blog seriously. This is probably my NUMBER ONE tip. You have to treat your blog/biz as if it is your job already. You can’t take weeks off of work whenever you want, therefore don’t take weeks off whenever you want from your blog/biz. I see too many times that others are wanting to take a month break to refresh their minds. This doesn’t always end well. During that month span, your readers will wonder where you went and they will slowly become uninterested. You will also miss out on a huge chunk of time where you could have been bettering your blog/biz.

Trust me, I know it gets tough and you start to feel overwhelmed and you want a break. BUT, long breaks do more harm to your blog/biz than good.  You have to be consistent and dedicated. This is seriously how I got where I am today, dedication. I would stay up late hours of the night working on my blog/biz even after long doubles at my full time job. Having a blog/biz is a commitment. If you stay dedicated and consistent you will see the money sooner. But you have to give your blog/biz your absolute ALL. This may mean, sleepless nights, early mornings, long weekends, and the loss of netflix time. If you need a break (because yes breaks are necessary) give yourself a weekend off, just like any other job. But PLEASE don’t give yourself too long of a break. It will pull you back.

INVEST IN THE BEGINNING

If you are wanting to make money sooner rather than later, you need to invest. I know it’s hard and you may feel it’s not worth it because “what if this blog/biz dream doesn’t work out.” You have to shake these thoughts because if you go into your blog/biz career with a negative mindset, you will not succeed. You are what you think you are. If you think you’re great then you will achieve damn greatness.

What should you invest in?

Self hosting

If I knew about self hosting in the beginning, I would have started my blog out that way. Self hosting is when a server “hosts” your blog. You sign up for the self host and install wordpress .org onto your self host account. This is what you would create your blog on and it’s easily the SMARTEST blog platform option.

There are so many reasons why I recommend self hosting a wordpress .org blog. From the SEO it gives your blog to the design option/flexibilty, and for the fact that it makes monetizing your blog SO simple! It’s also the most affordable option (besides free platforms which REALLY restrict you.) Also did you know that most of your readers probably use their mobile phone when reading your posts. A self hosted wordpress has the best mobile display compared to wix, blogger etc. I have a whole dedicated blog post on why I chose to self host my blog – HERE

I use Site Ground for my self host. It starts at 3.95 a month/ 48$ for the whole year via my link and in my eyes they are the BEST option out there. Couldn’t be happier with self hosting wordpress .org through Site Ground. I never recommend anything that I don’t enjoy personally. The reasons why they have been so great is because; their server speed is fast + never gives me any errors which i’ve heard is an issue at times with bluehost. I also LOVE the support team. They are quick responding and I messaged their 24/7 instant support when I was transferring from wordpress .com and they transferred everything for me at no additional cost which was amazing!! Not to mention their security is super high! Can’t recommend them enough.

Lighting

Once I invested in my lighting for indoor photography my image quality went up and so did my following. You need to put effort into your photography and take all your content seriously. As humans we are very visual. People will be more drawn to content that is appealing to the eyes, not blurry – grainy images. I use the Neewer Ring Light and LimoStudio Box Lighting . Investing in a camera is great too! DSLR cameras are the best. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR is one of my favorites!

Theme/Design

Investing in a theme/design for your blog + biz can pay off immensely. If you have an easy to navigate theme that isn’t too “busy” you will find that readers will stay and want to come back. Again, appearance is pretty important when it comes to your blog/biz. The theme I am using cost me about 40-50$ on Creative Market. They have amazing options!

Blog/Life Coach

Having a blog life coach can really help you stay on track, keep motivated, and teach you how to be successful at blogging. Make sure your blog coach is someone that you trust. I actually just started offering blog coaching services and it’s been a lot of fun so far getting to talk one on one with some amazing ladies! If you are interested check out my services page.

So now that we covered a few things to invest in, here’s my next important piece of advice:

STOP DOUBTING YOUR ABILITIES

The truth of the matter is: You are what you think you are. If you tell yourself that you aren’t good enough or that you think you are wasting your time, you will slowly begin to believe those thoughts and those thoughts will become you. INSTEAD try looking at the positive parts of your journey. Tell yourself, wow! Look how far i’ve come. Most of the time when someone doesn’t reach their success – it’s because they gave up on it. Think this; if you give up on your journey, all that time and growth is wasted! Don’t give up! Remember, you are capable of anything you put your mind to.

It took me a lot of practice to get my mind at peace. There was a time when I thought that I was never going to see a single dollar. Well I stopped focusing on the money and told myself – Lauren, you LOVE doing this so why does it matter if you make money or not? That’s when eventually, the money started to come. Now each day I look back at where I started and compare it to where I am now and feel overwhelmed with happiness. Don’t ever let all that you’ve worked on thus far go to waste.

LET THE DOUBTERS BE YOUR MOTIVATION

I know there are plenty of people out there who don’t understand the “blogging” thing. They will probably tell you that you are wasting your time. Or maybe they will tell you to “get a real job”. LITTLE DO THEY KNOW – one day this can be your REAL JOB. If you are making money – it’s a job. To this day I still have friends and family who really don’t understand just how great this is becoming for me. So, if you want to succeed, let these negative nellies be your motivation to rise. What’s better than proving someone wrong? LOL. I will continue to rise and prove to everyone who’s ever doubted me that I can achieve anything that I put my heart and soul to. You need to do the same!

ORGANIZATION IS KEY

Going after your dream of becoming a successful blogger can be a lot of work. It’s extremely overwhelming so I suggest getting organized! I love using planners and notebooks to keep me organized. I have one planner where I plan out what blog posts I want to have up for what days. This helps to keep me on task as well as visually see my blog posts for the month.

The next planner is my social media planner. This is where I plan out my monthly social posts! I find that planning out all of my posts before hand, helps me to stay organized and it helps me to never run out of things to post about!

Related: How to Stay Organized + Motivated as a Blogger 

How Can I Monetize My Blog?

So now, it’s time for the fun part! MAKING THE MONEY. It’s important to note that you may not see the money right away, and that’s okay! I started seeing a decent, consistent income 4 months into blogging. There are so many different ways to monetize your blog + i’m going to share with you each of them!

  1. Ads – If you didn’t already know, you can add ads to your blog! You get a small amount if your readers happen to click on your ads etc. In order to use ads, most of the time, you have to be self hosted! Another reason why I recommend you sign up with Site Ground and get to self hosting your wordpress blog. The ad program I use is Google Adsense. I love it! In order to get approved for Google Adsense you need to make sure you have a privacy + disclosure policy! The two sites I used – HERE (for privacy policy) + HERE (for disclosure). Once your approved (it can take a couple of weeks sometimes*) Then you create and add the ads into your blog posts! Again, the income may be small in the beginning until your following grows. If you are interested in reading my 20 Blog Traffic Boosting Tips – HERE
  2. Affiliate Marketing – This is another great way to earn some side cash and start monetizing your blog! You can sign up to affiliate programs and start using their links in your blog posts! Every time someone makes a purchase via your affiliate link, you get a percentage (at no additional cost to the purchaser). This can be a super successful way to make money from your blog! Note* You need a buying audience or large following to be successful with affiliate marketing. I have a dedicated post on affiliate marketing – HERE – that will give you affiliate marketing tips!
  3. Work With Brands – You can actually get PAID by brands that you LOVE by talking about and sharing their products. You may be thinking, how do I get brands to want to work with me? That’s a great question and I have all the answers – HERE
  4. Create an E-Course/E-book – If you blog about a specific niche that you know ALL about, create an e-course/e-book about it! As long as you have valuable information to offer, that you know your audience will love, then you can absolutely make great passive income through your e-book/course!
  5. Blog Coach – I actually just started offering blog coaching sessions and not only is it fun but it’s a great way to get yourself off the ground! If you have a lot of blogging knowledge + enjoy teaching others, then this is such a fun way to start monetizing your blog & creating your own biz! If you are opposite and need help with blogging, check out my blog coaching service details.
  6. Sell Digital Items – Maybe you are really awesome at graphic design! Create graphics such as logos, website templates, or even printables that can be purchased!
  7. Become a Social Media Manager – Maybe your forte is managing social media. If you have a social strategy that works, offer your services to other bloggers that may not have the time to put all of their attention towards their social media, and manage it for them!



JOIN SUPPORT GROUPS

One of the most helpful things I could have done, that really transformed my blogging journey is join blogging support groups. Some of my favorites include:

Boss Girl Bloggers

This is the group that I created. I originally began Boss Girl Bloggers because I couldn’t find any other blog support group that I truly loved at the time + I was wanting to inspire others who were like me, to go after their dreams! Now Boss Girl Bloggers has transformed into a group of over 21,000 amazing female bloggers + entrepreneurs who all strive to help each other be successful! It’s an empowering community. You can also follow BGBs on instagram HERE – if you use the hashtag #bossgirlbloggers you even get the chance of being featured on BGB Instagram page!

Style Collective

A favorite of mine! I actually got to interview the founder of Style Collective, you can check out the interview – HERE – But, Annie is the founder and she created Style Collective for female bloggers (especially fashion bloggers) to come together and support each other. She also offers a ton of content when you join, including – blog tips, how to work with brands, brands that work with bloggers, and a whole ton of other free resources once you join! Not to mention, I have met amazing ladies through Style Collective! They are always having regional meetups that are a lot of fun! If you haven’t checked out Style Collective yet, I would seriously recommend it!

Join Palm

This is another blogger community that I recently became apart of. They also offer products to try out at a discounted price! It’s really awesome and the community is great!

InfluenceHER

This is a community but mostly a platform where you can score brand campaigns too! Once you are accepted into the program, you have access to a library full of free blogging resources (including info on working with brands). They will also email you brand campaign opportunities where you can apply to collaborate with a brand (most being paid too!) InfluenceHER has scored me collaborations with Ulta Beauty, Clarisonic, + more!


Increase My Stats

So I know you are probably thinking, if I want to work with brands and make money blogging, my stats need to be incredible. WELL that’s not exactly true! Yes, you need some following but the numbers don’t need to be anything crazy! I started making money at 2,000 monthly page views + 2,000 Instagram followers! As long as you have an engaged following who loves reading your content, anything is possible! BUT – I can still share with you my favorite ways to score blog traffic.

  1. Facebook Groups – This is my top source of traffic but I think it’s because I am the admin of Boss Girl Bloggers. So I would suggest, creating a facebook group that is geared around your niche! It’s a lot of work but can bring your blog a lot of success! I have a whole post on how to create + grow a successful facebook group – HERE – If you don’t want to create a group that’s fine too! I would suggest though, joining groups in your niche and other facebook support groups because they can bring your blog a lot of traffic!
  2. Pinterest – It’s no secret that Pinterest can bring your blog consistent traffic! Currently I receive 1.6 million views a month to my Pinterest page. NO, not all of those views are converted into blog views but a decent portion is! SO, figuring out a Pinterest strategy that works with your blog can bring you traffic success! This is my favorite social media to incorporate with my blog! HERE is a post on how to make sure you are utilizing Pinterest to benefit your blog!
  3. Instagram – If you are a beauty/fashion blogger, Instagram is your best friend. A lot of brands will look at your Instagram when they are deciding on if they should work with you or not. OF COURSE Instagram has been real crappy lately with engagement etc. Buuuut, as much as it stinks, it can be great too! I have grown my Instagram to over 5,000 followers with engagement in less than 6 months. HERE is how.
  4. Twitter – I recently began to LOVE twitter. It’s a great way to communicate and connect with the blogging community as well as connect with your favorite brands! Retweet other’s content, engage with your favorite brands’ tweets, tweet your own blog posts when they go live, and share moments from your day. It’s really a great social media platform. Especially when trying to get a brands attention!




I hope that this helps + motivates you to keep crushing your goals! Just know that you can only fail if you give up. Pursuing your dream life is tough as hell but if you have the blogging heart, you will get there! I PROMISE!

Let me know in the comments what you think + if you have any suggestions! 

Until next time,

xx

Ell

How to make money blogging

Author: ellduclos

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  • This is such a great post. I’m still farily new the blogging world and I’ve just had one of my pins go semi-viral and it has sent me new subscribers and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It takes time, effort and a lot of hard work to build your blog and business and it definitely pays off in the end. I was one to doubt my abilities a lot and I would feel very unmotivated some days. All I can say is KEEP ON GOING. It doesn’t end here. 🙂

  • You have motivated me so much to improve my blogging and to take it more seriously! I love your posts, they are all incredibly informative and very well written! This is my favourite! Thank-you for sharing this amazing post 🙂

  • This is awesome Ell! Congrats on being able to make blogging your full-time job! You have definitely put the work into it. I still have ways to go, but my goal is to make more money with my blog. I will continue to follow and read all the awesome things you have to say in your Facebook group. Thank you for sharing all this!

  • Wow, Ell! This post is so thorough and chock full of information! I’m so glad we’ve connected and are working together. You’re a great coach and have motivated me to push myself.

    • Thank you so much! That means so much and I’m so glad that you find my content helpful! I already know you are on the right path to success!! Such a pleasure working with you!

  • I appreciate your time to write this post! Really well crafted. I also blog on passive income and have written article on “Become a Social Media Manager”, Check it out, if you want!

  • Wow girl! Great post! It’s visible you put a lot of hard work into your blog, but at the same time you like what you do! Amazing 🙂
    For sure will use some advises from you. Thank you!

  • Thank you so much for this blog post. I’m a hobby photographer looking to start blogging in 2018. Currently working on my website & social media pages. I’m currently on IG as @amber.laviolette.photos but in 2018 i’ll be starting a travel blog all about my adventures in my homestate of Louisiana. I’ve reached out to a few Louisiana travel/tourism businesses but so far they are all asking for references which I don’t have because i’m just starting out so your words of encouragement not to give up are definitely something I need to follow right now.

    Thanks for inspiring us to follow our dreams!!

    ~Amber

  • I’m two months into blogging and feeling overwhelmed so this was really encouraging. I want to become a full-time travel blogger by January. I’ve taken a couple of travel blogging classes and feel that I have all the information I need to be successful. But there’s still that voice in my head telling me this is a waste of time. It doesn’t help that my family doesn’t quite understand what I’m doing.

    I really want to get organized, decide on a posting schedule, and be consistent. It’s just hard to stay motivated sometimes, and I get discouraged when I put up a new post and only 10 people read it! I really appreciate this article though. It gave me a little boost of confidence in my decision to become a blogger. I know it will not be easy but I can see myself achieving my goals within the next 6 months.

    • Thank you!! Between writing and editing and putting the content together about 4 hours. I’ll usually dedicate two days a week to blog post writing(: