Pretty much never.
That’s about how often I talk about blogging here on the blog. Why? Well, because I know you come here to read about chickens and mason jars, not WordPress and HTML.
But to be perfectly honest, blogging is a big part of my life, and it consumes just as much time as my milk cows and deep mulch garden, in fact. I just keep that part of my life a little quieter.
However, many of you have been sending me emails and messages about blogging lately. You’ve been wanting to know more details and some of the nuts-and-bolts stuff. So I decided to take a small detour from the homestead stuff today and focus on the blog for just a bit.
Now, I realize this topic may be horrifically boring to some of you, and if that’s the case, feel free to skip this post altogether and go read about no-knead pizza dough instead. You won’t hurt my feelings at all.
But if you are a bit of a blog-nerd like me, then grab that cup of coffee (or tea, or raw milk) and let’s get started!
Sometimes I look back at my blogging journey and I don’t know how the heck I got here… As much as I’d like to say that I had the perfectly laid-out vision of what I wanted my blog to be before I started it, that’s simply not the case.
I started The Prairie Homestead on a whim. And honestly? I’m not even sure why… Although I suspect it had a lot to do with my need to share all that I was learning about raising farm animals and whole foods at the time, and my friend’s and family’s eyeballs were starting to glaze over. So I did what any normal person would do, and started to spew it all over the world wide web instead.
(And I only had one tiny baby and an extremely minimal to-do list back then, so I was also a wee bit bored, I think.)
Several months into my blogging journey, I had a lightbulb moment when I realized I could encourage folks everywhere that homesteading was possible–regardless of where they lived. It wasn’t just about ME and MY journey anymore, but there was a bigger picture. I realized I could show people they were never stuck in their situation and they could always do *something*. It as a powerful revelation for me, and really gave me the “oomph” I needed to keep going and get a little bit better every single day.
I’m not sure I’d recommend that people follow my exact path to “success” since it’s a pretty crazy one with a lot of detours. The journey will look different for everyone– your path will be unique. I could have definitely benefited from having a clearer plan, but I’m still thankful for my bumps along the way, as they taught me some priceless lessons.
So, how do you make money from a blog?
That’s the burning question when it comes to blogging, isn’t it? People always seem to be the most interested in the money-side of things. Most folks can’t seem to quite wrap their mind around concept of making money from a blog, and quite honestly, I couldn’t either for the longest period of time.
Here’s the deal– blogging is NOT a get-rich-quick sort of thing. If you start a blog and then get frustrated two months later because you aren’t making money, you are looking at it all wrong. I saw a statistic the other day stating 81% of bloggers never make more than $100 from their blog. And I believe it. It ain’t easy.
It took me well over a year before I saw a single cent from my blogging efforts. And even then, the paychecks were in the $10-$15 range. (And yes, I was totally excited!) There has to be something driving you to blog that’s bigger than the money… Because frankly? It’s HARD WORK with not a lot of return at the beginning.
The key to making any sort of income from a blog is multiple streams of income. Don’t put your eggs all in one basket.
A few of my income streams include:
- Essential oils— this is my largest income stream and honestly, the one I enjoy the most as I have had the privilege of developing relationships with many amazing people as I’ve helped them learn to use essential oils effectively.
- Ebooks— Writing Your Custom Homestead and Natural Homestead felt like I was birthing a baby. I love being able to share this more concentrated level of content with my readers. And there is a huge piece of me in both of those books.
- Affiliate programs— Some of my blogging colleagues have some incredible ebooks and online classes, so I love sharing those when I get the chance, as well as the occasional ebook bundles. I usually get a small cut of the sale if someone purchases after clicking on my link. I also participate in the Amazon affiliate program, and sometimes I included Amazon links to items that I mention here on the blog or recipe ingredients.
- Banner ads— The banner ads I have sprinkled across the blog pay me a teeny bit when someone clicks on them, and that money goes towards paying the blogging bills.
How Do You Find the Time?
It’s been a journey. During my first few years of blogging, I tried to only work on blogging stuff when my kids are asleep, which made for a pretty hefty work-load during nap times.
I would work about 30-45 minutes in the mornings before the kids wake up, 2-3 hours during nap time, and another hour after they went to bed at night.
But as the blog growth started to snowball, I found I was running myself ragged. I finally had to hire a babysitter two days per week so I could keep up. It was hard for me to admit I needed help, but boy oh boy, it was the best decision ever. Now I can knock out all my blog work in those two days and be more present with my kiddos the rest of the week.
I take blogging extremely seriously. It’s not a hobby for me– it’s our livelihood, and I treat it as such.
Does blogging complicate my life? Yes it does.
But it’s worth it. My blog is generating a full-time income for our family, and I enjoy the challenge of it. And I love my interaction with all of YOU!
My Top 3 Tips for You
The professional-blogging thing isn’t for everyone. A lot of folks are content with keeping a smaller, more personal blog, and that is totally cool. But if you are wanting to grow quickly, these are my absolute best tips:
1. Use the Right Tools. If you want your blog to end up being your career, then don’t be afraid to spend a little money to get the tools/software/programs that you need. Trust me–I have an incredibly powerful frugal side, but after limping along for about two years, I finally decided that it was high-time to get a theme that worked, and a design that was cohesive. My blog growth exploded when I finally became willing to invest in the right tools, design, and training.
2. Be Consistent. Wanna know the magic formula to successful blogging? Consistency. Hands down. Write quality content consistently. Interact with your readers consistently. Use social media consistently. You might not see a pay-off right away, but you WILL reap the rewards of consistency in the end. I sure have.
3. Don’t quit. Oh yes, there’ll be days you’ll want to. There’ll be days when no one comments and you’ll wonder why you’re still plugging along. But don’t give in to the urge to quit. Little consistent actions repeated over a period time with stopping have the capability to produce massive results.
Sometimes when I look at my traffic analytics, I still can’t believe the numbers I see. This little ol’ blog, that I started one day on a whim, is seeing over one million page views each month… Becoming a blogger has been a wild ride, but I have to say it’s also been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life.
Because I had so many people asking me how I was able to turn The Prairie Homestead from a hobby blog into a source of income for my family, I decided to create something for those of you who are wanting to follow in my footsteps.
- How to lay the foundation for blogging success with proper planning
- The proper place of social media in your blogging efforts
- The art of creating unforgettable content
- How to implement multiple income steams into your blog
- How to cultivate quality connections with other bloggers
- Which tools I use to make my job a whole lot easier
- And much more!
The course is self-paced, so you can watch at your leisure, and the lessons never go away. You also get a downloadable workbook so you can have everything in print, and FOUR bonus videos.
There are also upgrade options if you are looking for more personalized feedback from yours truly.
See all the options and pricing levels by clicking below—>
Get blogging help from Jill in Blogger Blueprint >>
Wanna know more? Check out the Old Fashioned On Purpose podcast episode #60 about How I Grew My Homestead Blog Into a Full Income HERE.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with your readers. I’ve been following for a long time and really enjoy your content. I recently started my own blog, and while it would be nice to earn some money, I really feel like what I’m writing just needs to be shared. I never knew writing could be so cathartic and inspiring to me. I’m really glad that you pointed out that you have to love doing it, it’s not easy work. Congratulations on all of your success and the hard work you put into it!
Jill Winger says
Thanks Ashley! Yes, writing can be a great outlet, huh?
Oregon Squashking says
Hello I think your awesome I just started blogging my goal. Is. Not to make money its to share my knowledge about homesteading and growing heirloom Vegetables I make my money selling those I just wanna share my knowledge sort of on going support for my customers
Hi Jill, I am presently taking the Institute of Nutritional Leadership Course with Dr. Axe and one of the assignments was to model ourselves after someone we admire and follow. Well, for me, you are one of those people. I do have a question, do bloggers such as yourself have to get a business license? Thanks for all you do!
Jill Winger says
Oh wow Sonya, thanks! I don’t have a business license, although I do have an LLC and S-Corp set up. 🙂
Prairie Wife says
Great advice! My favorite tip, and what’s paid off the most for me as a blogger is consistency. When your readers and businesses know they can rely on you to post on certain days and your “brand” it helps bring more people to you 🙂
Jill Winger says
Yes– consistency is KEY!
Rachael @ Wingate Farmstead says
Hi Jill, I greatly appreciate your story. I like you grew up a little misplaced. I mean what is a farm girl at heart doing in a city. My dad will tell you from a very early age that I dreamed of living in a big white farmhouse on a working farm. Though I am not quite there yet, I am on my way. Your stories of homesteading are an inspiration, and now your blogging story as well. I am in the planning process for my first attempt at blogging and hope to go live in May 2016. Thanks for inspiring!
Thank you for this post. When will the next Blogger Blueprint Course be? I devastatingly missed the last one in March and would love to get onto the next one!
Tasia @ The Frugal Farm Girl says
I love that you shared this on your blog. Everything about it is extremely well explained and smart! As a blogger myself I just started making a full-time income a whole entire year later. It was with blood sweat and tears and I think many people forget that. I struggle with sharing my blogging income reports to encourage others but the struggle is to not discourage others. I love everything about your blog. We just bought our 1850s farmhouse and starting with more than chickens. Our mini pig is our newest edition! Adventures with farming, kids, and blogging for sure!
Jill Winger says
Wow– good for you for making a full-time income from your blog– not many people can say that. Huge accomplishment!
Rachel Shelley says
I’m oh-so happy to have found your blog. I have a full-time career as a Leadership and Development Professional and have wanted to blog about my experience, knowledge and understanding for such a long time now. Currently, I have taken to writing articles on LinkedIn, which has allowed me a creative outlet. I have published one and have two more in-process. But it would be nice to post my articles from my own platform to LinkedIn rather than from my professional page.
I look forward to taking your course. That is such a fantastic idea to provide your own online class. If you ever progress to creating more “how-to” computer based training, you may look into Adobe Captivate and linking your finished product it to your website. It would take some learning, but it would rocket your modules to the next level.
Good luck and God bless! Rachel
Jill Winger says
I’m glad you found me too, Rachel! And thanks for the tip about Adobe Creative!
When signing up for your email newsletter I believe I saw that you are using a program called Click Funnels, is this correct?
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this program. We have a Vlog and trying to offer new digital products and a email newsletter as well.
Do you use Click Funnels? If so ca you give us some info on it and can you reply with an affiliate link?
Thank you soooooo much!!!!
Awesome content i have read above. Full regards!
Cindy Crawford says
I signed up and have been receiving your Toolbox and I love it. How and where do you sign up to receive your blog? Thanks! Cindy
Very Fascinating Story & great tips. Thanks for sharing.
I clicked on the link and it says the blogger blueprint is no longer in service. Is there another online tutorial or blog that could help with me learning how to make money from a blog? I really need help with this. Jill, can you open up the class just for me? 🙂 Thanks from Iowa!
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I’ve been following you on FB for a while. We have purchased a 10 acre homestead last year and moved in 3 months ago. I’ve opened an Instagram page and also post those Instagram comments to my FB page. I’ve had many people say they love following my photos and comments and one also mentioned I should start blogging. I’m really unsure where to start. Can I have more information about your course. Thanks
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Appreciating the persistence you put into your site and in depth information you provide. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.
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Hi Jill, thanks for sharing these tips. I’m sad the Blueprint content isn’t available anymore! I’m not new to blogging, but new to making it more professional looking. ?
Can I use your website as a source for my school paper? I’m writing a paper in why homesteading should be the main food provider for everyone in the United States. Thank You!
Jill Winger says
you bet! Good luck on your paper!
Is this course no longer available? I interested to know what web hosting service you have found to be most successful?
Lauren McAndrew says
hi I have been following you for years now one of the first blogs I started to follow I live in Australia and I am starting a blog of my own as there is not many sites/blogs about our country and weather conditions I thought I would like to start one for anyone here that might be interested. I love reading your stuff but of course not everything applies here, where I live there is no snow we have summers that reach weeks of 45.C and all the gardens need to covered with shade cloth as direct sun will kill plants. I am a chef by trade that has just left the work force this summer to fight the bush fires (volunteer) and this is something I have always dreamed of doing my husband and I moved our family to rural NSW and it has been the best move we ever made thankyou for sharing this post love reading your stuff and youtube videos. had a lot of trouble trying to understand just how to work the sites to make a blog (still learning) but I gave myself 1 year and if it doesn’t work I go back to work lol. when it is up and running I will send you the address maybe you can let me know what you think
Mary Ann says
I was wondering the same thing as Tracy, above. Do you have any suggestions on updated blogging instruction/support even from another source?
We are weighing the decision of whether to finally press forward with having a working homestead after 14 YEARS of limping along with a small “farm” that we’ve only been able to keep going on weekends. Work, chronic illness, etc kept interfering. Now retired at 58 and making that decision from a whole new perspective. Wanting to chronicle that if we move ahead. Writing is one thing, blogging another. I know I need help which is a big deal, as I tend to think I have to figure out everything myself.