How to Make Money Blogging – How I Built a Six Figure Blog in Just 18 Months

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Two and half years ago, I watched as the blog I had spent years building slowly died. Adventures in Coupons, while it was great in its heyday, simply had not survived the fall of couponing and deal blogs. For me, it was a sad, heartbreaking time since I loved that blog, but it was also time to make a decision. Adventures in Coupons had always provided my family with an income source. At times, “she” made as much as $18,000 per month (before taxes and deductions), but at the end, the income had dried up to a mere $1,200 per month. To put that into perspective, it wasn’t even paying for itself at the end. I had to decide whether I was going to simply pack everything up and call it a day or whether I was going to change how I did things and rebuild what had been lost. I chose the latter and in June 2015, Six Dollar Family was born. It was only after that rebrand that I did something I never thought I would do. I doubled down on re-learning how to make money blogging and because of that, I built a six figure blog in just 18 months.

How to Build a Six Figure Blog in 18 Months - In 2015, my old blog died a horrible death. By the end of 2016 though, I had created a six figure blog! Let me show you how to make money blogging so you can do it too! It's the perfect way to work from home!

I do want to be upfront and totally honest with you about something before we continue; I didn’t work for the majority of 2016 or 2017. That isn’t hard to see if you take a close look around here. My marriage was falling apart and I had a couple of major life changes happen so unfortunately, this blog took a backseat. When you make money blogging, your income is directly tied to the amount of work that you put into it. Because of that, my income did drop a bit. Am I still a six figure blogger? I have no idea. I haven’t finished my books for 2017. Either way, 2018 will be much higher and yes, I will be using the tips in this post to re-build anything that I lost.

How to Make Money Blogging – How I Built a Six Figure Blog in Just 18 Months

With that said, learning how to start a blog and learning how to make money blogging is well worth the effort that you’ll put into it. Blogging has taught me things that I never expected to learn or even knew that I needed to learn. It has given me a set of skills that I never expected to have let alone knew that I would love doing. There is no other career that I could have where I would be able to interact with amazing people like I do now or be able to help people in the way that I do now.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that building a six figure blog is easy though; it is far from it and you will need to actually work. It isn’t as simple as writing a post and bam! Blog visitors and income.

Lord Almighty, I wish it was.

Don’t be discouraged. With the tips in this post though, you will be well on your way to learning how to make money blogging and your very own six figure blog!

One last thing before I get down to it; this post is written assuming that you already have a blog. If you don’t, you can head on over HERE to learn how to start your own blog quickly and easily. It takes just 15 minutes and can be done for as little as $2.95 per month.

Have an amazing blog host 

 

A good blog starts with an amazing blog host. If you’re already with a hosting company, take the time to consider whether you should make a change or not. Does your site have a lot of downtime? Does your server run slow? Do you have more issues than success? If so, the answer is probably that it is time to switch. If you are new to blogging, you can give yourself a leg up by starting with a great host instead of getting a so-so host and having to change later on.

No matter which group you fall into, I recommend that you sign up for blog hosting with Bluehost. Bluehost fits all of the criteria I have for an amazing host and they’re budget friendly! You’ll pay as little as $2.95/mo to start a blog with Bluehost and will get a free domain name for a year with your hosting order when you use THIS link.

 

Related: How to start a blog in just 15 minutes

 

Work with reputable companies 

 

One of the worst ways that you can try to build your blog is by working with companies that are not reputable. Not only could this cause you to lose income since not all of them will pay you, but it could make you come across as spammy to your readers which will destroy your relationship with them. I am very specific about which companies I will work with and which blogging tools that I will use. Having the best tools for bloggers on hand and ready to go will only serve to set you up for success.

 

Be Real –

If you take nothing else from this post; take this with you – You can have the most amazing blog posts written. You can have the most expensive social media manager in the world. You can have an amazing design and all the bells and whistles you want, but if you are not being real with your readers; they will know and they won’t hang around. As a blog reader, I would much rather see a blogger admit to a failure or show me their sense of humor than to have them come across as high, mighty and untouchably better than me. Don’t fake who you are and above all else; never lie to your blog readers. If you ever hope to make money blogging, your readers absolutely must trust you. If they catch you lying one time, they will go find another blog to read.

If you think that it really doesn’t make a difference, know that I have lost count of the number of times I have received emails from readers telling me that they follow me simply because I am real, I am “just like them” and I am honest. Those words mean the world to me because they let me know that I am doing something right.

 

Utilize Social Media 

 

No matter how much we might not like it, social media can be ‘where it’s at” for a blogger, but it can also drive them insane. Your blog needs a social presence. You should have a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, a Google Plus profile, an Instagram and a Pinterest profile where you can share your blog posts. This doesn’t mean that  you will get millions of views from your social media accounts. Is it possible? Yes, but making social media your only means of getting visitors to your blog is a surefire way to get your heart broken. Not only that, but while that profile may say your blog’s name at the top, you don’t own it nor do you own the people that follow it. This means that it could go away at any time.

Social media can take a huge amount of time to keep up on, so if you’re using social media for your blog, sign up for HootSuite HERE so you can schedule Facebook and Twitter and create a Tailwind account HERE for scheduling Pinterest.

Side note: Are you following Six Dollar Family on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and Instagram? You should be!

 

Grow your email list 

 

As I said above, you don’t actually own your social media profile or your followers on them, however, when you take the time to grow your email list, you own that list of names and emails. No, you can’t email them without their permission, but this means that if something happens to your email list provider, you’re free to export your list and take it elsewhere. For great email list hosting, I recommend that you sign up with Active Campaign HERE.  Not only is their service above par, but they also offer everything you will need to manage your list effectively. They can be a bit confusing to set up in the beginning, but their help files are amazing at helping.

 

Related: Home Based Business Ideas to help you top living paycheck to paycheck

 

Keep organized 

 

Keeping yourself organized is a must-do if you’re looking to try and make money blogging. Chances are you will have multiple companies to work with on a regular basis. If  you aren’t organized, you will get lost, lose posts, fail to meet deadlines and more. Each time something like that happens, you lose money. Having an editorial calendar for your blog is a must for keeping organized as well. It will allow you to see in one glance when your posts are scheduled for, which need to be moved from draft status and more. If you don’t use an electronic editorial calendar, make sure to pick up a planner that will allow you to plan the way you need to.

 

Be consistent 

 

Last, but certainly not least, consistency is probably the second most important thing you’ll need to do to become a six figure blogger. Yes, it is one that I have failed at over the last 18 months because of those family issues, but it is the one thing I know without a shadow of doubt that built my blog. Your readers get used to whatever posting pattern you have given them. They will come back when they know there should be a new post. If there isn’t one, you lose them slowly. Over time, you will a large portion of that loyalty that you built. By giving them the consistency that blogging requires, they know they can visit your blog whenever they want and there will be new content, new advice and new things for them to explore.

Content Is King 

 

Cash is king for your finances, but when you’re learning how to make money blogging, you need to understand that content is king. If you aren’t providing your readers with great content that keeps them coming back, they will go some place else to get it. Take a reader survey to find out what types of content your readers would like to read. Dig into your analytics to find which types of posts do best for you. Write well and in an engaging way. If you’re giving them the best content you can, the rest will come.



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Stacy Ott

Stacy Ott is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family as well as The Genealogy Queen and a few others.By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence, and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

I earned over $100,000 blogging last year! Click here to learn how to start a blog and make money blogging!
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Comments

  1. Rosann Pavlov says:

    How inspiring to hear your story, gives me chills to think how you overcame your life gremlins.
    I’m old enough to be your grandmother, I’m just starting out though learning to create an extra income for repairs on the house. I am so proud of you and how you’ve made lemonade out of Lemons! Great attitude and now I am looking forward to learning more from you and helping other woman in dire straits. If there’s any quick tips to help guide me along, I’d appreciate your advice and kindness.
    Sincerely,
    Rosann

  2. PEstrada says:

    Are you & your daughter still doing that extended stay hotel experiment versus renting a house or apartment? Curious because I found your earlier story about that fascinating.

    • Stacy Ott says:

      We actually are, but are moving into a house later this month. We have been traveling for 4 months and won’t be settling back in the Austin area. We love the DFW area though and got lucky to find a home that isn’t much over the cost of living in a hotel full-time. I’ve got quite a few posts planned though to help those that want to take that particular plunge though. 🙂 Thanks for asking!

  3. Hi Stacy,
    This is what I needed today. I’ve reconsidered the direction of my blog too and your post is a great inspiration! Thanks for putting this together!

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