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Can a Mommy Blog Make Money?
By Christine Durst & Michael Haaren
Nov. 24, 2011
We’re often asked if it’s possible to make money with a mom
blog. With record unemployment grinding on, and the economy as stagnant
as a pool in the Dismal Swamp, many moms – even those currently
working – are wondering how to generate extra income. Could a
blog be the solution?
As usual, the answer is, it depends.
“EX-MORMON MOM TELLS ALL”
One of the best-known examples of a wildly successful mom blogger is
Heather Armstrong, aka Dooce. Estimates of her annual income from
blogging, product endorsements and related activities range as high as
According to a February New York Times piece, “Queen of the Mommy Bloggers,” Dooce’s website generates $50,000 per month or more. Forbes has rated her among the most influential women in media.
In an incident that made Armstrong a folk hero to shrugged-off
consumers everywhere, when Armstrong’s expensive Maytag washing
machine broke down and she ended up in customer-service purgatory, she
finally mentioned her one million followers on Twitter. Reportedly, the
customer service agent and her supervisor blew her off anyway.
So she began to tweet about her experience, urging her attentive readers “never to buy a Maytag.”
Businesses were startled awake. Within hours, she said, appliance
stores began to contact her to make things right. Another manufacturer
offered her a free machine, which she reportedly donated to a
But that’s the success-is-sweet stage. Armstrong had to pay some
pretty big dues to get there. Depression, severe anxiety, unemployment,
fall-outs with family (over blog posts critical of the Mormon Church,
which Armstrong left). It was a long haul to the six-bedroom home she
lives in now in Salt Lake City, with a state-of-the-art home
Armstrong’s popularity is also due in large part to her having
bared her heart and her personal life in her blog. While this approach
can definitely make compelling reading – one blogger, Penelope
Trunk of Brazen Careerist, ignited a firestorm of controversy by
tweeting that she was in a board meeting, having a miscarriage
– it’s not for everyone. Spouses, children, siblings,
extended family – all can be caught up, with or without their
consent, in the turmoil of a relative’s blog.
FLIP SIDE - MOST BLOGS DON’T MAKE MONEY
While other mom bloggers such as Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman,
also bring in six-figure incomes or more per year, these examples are
definitely the exception. According to Technorati, which publishes detailed figures
on “the blogosphere,” 53% of self-employed bloggers
didn’t earn any money from their blogs last year.
Furthermore, there’s the writing. Top bloggers make many posts a
day. And these aren’t offhand ad libs, but messages that carry
distinct value for their readers. How often, you ask? The top 100
bloggers make over 20 posts per day, Technorati says. That’s real
But these caveats are meant to inform, not stop you. If you feel
passionate about some or many aspects of your experience as a mom, if
you feel the urge to share, if you can turn a phrase or an image and
you don’t mind marketing, then by all means go for it. WordPress or Blogger can have you online in minutes, and ad services like Google AdSense can have ads on your blog in a matter of hours.
And did we mention the best part of all? You can work from home.
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren are leaders in the work-at-home
movement and advocates of de-rat-raced living. Their latest book
is Work at Home Now,
a guide to finding home-based jobs. They offer additional guidance on
finding home-based work at www.RatRaceRebellion.com. To read features
by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators
Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2011 BY STAFFCENTRIX, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM