Powered by Blogger.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Blogger to Business- My Blogging Journey #BloggertoBusiness

Blogger to Business- My Blogging Journey #BloggertoBusiness via www.Productreviewmom.com


I wanted to write about my blog journey since I'm starting to receive a lot of emails asking me about starting a blog and turning it into a business.  I turned my blog into a business after I started making a full time living from it.  I wanted to share with you how I got started blogging and how I became where I'm at now with my blogs.


I want to start off by saying, blogging is something you got to be consistent with and passionate about- you must treat it like a job in order to turn it into one.  It takes hard work, dedication, consistency, trust, honesty, and passion to make blogging work for you.



Productreviewmom.com is actually not my first blog.  My first blog is Earningfreemoney.com that I started back in 2008 that I shared with my readers how I made extra money doing online market research surveys and completing paid offers.  I loved doing paid online surveys because it brought my household extra money.  We were living paycheck to paycheck and those paid surveys helped out tremendously.  Also, I really enjoyed learning and testing new products that were not out on the market yet and me providing my opinions and later seeing those products on shelves really felt rewarding because I helped brands create a product that consumers wanted.



So while I was sharing my knowledge of what I was learning about making extra income from home the unthinkable happened, Mr. M lost his job which made my income the only source of income coming in.  My job was not enough to financially support a family of 4 and we started growing deeply in debt with credit card bills.  We used the credit cards to pay the bills.



A lot of sleepless nights and tears of wondering what will be our next move, will we still have a roof over our heads?  Mr. M decided he would just work for himself and that is what he did.  I continued writing on Earningfreemoney.com sharing my knowledge and trying to grow it.



My writing skills were lacking and I wanted to find more ways to bring traffic to my blog and I ran across a couple of writer's platforms called Squidoo and Hubpages.  Hubpages wasn't very helpful for me since I wrote about paid surveys and that was against their rules so they kicked me off their platform.  I turned to Squidoo and a couple of their members laughed at me when they read my first article I published because it really sucked.  I was so embarrassed by this that I left the writer's platform.



I worked up the courage to go back on Squidoo after several months of absence and Squidoo staff offered me to attend their writer's bootcamp on their platform.  I gladly accepted and that's where I learned how to write fluently, learn about SEO, making money from my writing on their platform, and affiliate marketing. 



I graduated from Squidoo's bootcamp and put all that I learned into my blog.  I found affiliate programs that fit my niche and applied it to my blog.  In order for me to really start earning from my blog I needed more traffic coming to it and I went about it the wrong way by posting my blog url everywhere and accepting guest posts from anybody just to always have new content on my blog.  Boy did that hurt my blog badly, Google penalized my blog!  I was making a few hundred bucks a month and all that disappeared in a blink of an eye!



My rankings of my blog plummeted and never fully recovered.  I was very depressed by this because I thought my blog was going on the right track.



While wondering what my next move would be since I lost all my affiliate money that was coming in, I decided just to make a new blog.  I had a passion about learning and testing new products so I decided to create a blog about doing product reviews and Productreviewmom.com was born in 2012!




I put all my focus on Productreviewmom.com and monetized it through affiliate marketing and sponsored posts. This blog began to grow quickly and so did my blogging income. Thanks to Google, I'm getting thousands of free organic traffic a month and even making money while I'm sleeping!  I became the lead in my niche!  All of this started getting the attentions of PR companies, brands, and magazines.  With the money I'm earning from this blog, I went back and invested in it by hiring a graphic designer, hiring writers, hire a accountant, purchased a lap top, purchased a camera, invested in blog conferences, got a business license, etc.


What has become of Earning Free Money blog?  It has now became my income diary.



As for Mr. M, he is the top leading distributor here in Atlanta and his business is going very well and continues to grow right before my eyes, I'm so proud of his accomplishments!



I continue to learn and put my heart and soul into Productreviewmom.com.  I'm hoping it continues to grow to new heights and leads to a business that I could pass down to my daughters.  If it doesn't happen that way I'm still proud of all that I've accomplished.


And guess what, I did all of this these past 6 to 7 years while still having a full time job.  My job allows me to be on the internet so I took that time to read, learn, and write my blog posts.  I even did this post while at my job.  Some people ask me why I don't quit my job and the reason for this is because I still need to pay off debt that my family accumulated while Mr. M was unemployed and I still want to keep our health insurance and 401K a little while longer.  Never give up your job to blog full time if you have debt, pay all debts off first.



My job does holds me back from doing a lot of different things with my blog like traveling to different events for brands but I find ways to go to different events on the weekends.



I'm going to say this, if you want to start blogging find a niche that you like and be the leader in that niche. Like I tell everyone, people use search engines to find answers to their questions and your blog must be the place to answer those questions.  Here are some other tips:



  • Don't follow others, stand out from the crowd.    

  • Be yourself and people will love you for being you.  

  • Don't give up!  I wanted to give up plenty of times but dusted myself off, learned from my mistakes and moved to a new direction.  

  • Don't compare yourself with other bloggers, all that will do will make yourself upset and want to quit.  Everyone's journey is different so don't get caught up with numbers.


Pros and Cons of Blogging

 

Pros

  • Blogging does not take a lot of start up money

  • You can make a living from doing it

  • You're free to be yourself

  • Get to meet people you probably would have never met before

  • Work with top brands

  • Blogging is fun to do


Cons


  • Making money with your blog takes time

  • You may start getting negative people who disapprove of your blog

  • Takes a lot of writing and research

  • Always need to come up with new ideas

  • Blogging can burn you out 

  • In order for your blog to make a full time income you will need to invest in it



Need blogging advice?  I'll be setting up blog consultations to help you with your blog.  You can also check out my blogging tips.


Thank you all for continuing following me on this journey and cheering me on, if it wasn't for the support I wouldn't continue to blog.  XOXO!




Do you blog?  Do you have a blogging journey you'd like to share?


Want to Earn Extra Money Each Month?

Get paid to become a product tester. Complete fun surveys for cash. Get paid for the stuff you do every day.

Paid Product Testing

Join Now

Paid Surveys

Join Now

Get paid for what you do every day

Join Now

Make money using apps

Join Now

44 comments

  1. Thank you Louida for opening up and being so real about your blogging journey. It's truly inspiring. Once again, your post is packed with so much helpful information and encouragement for new bloggers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Ashely! And thank you for following along my blogging journey all these years. I really appreciate it!

      Delete
  2. Thank you so much for sharing your journey Louida! You always share so many great tips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Paris! I love your DIY tips on your blog, you're so creative!

      Delete
  3. MissLou you will never understand just how proud I am of you, I feel such a connection as if we were related -aka- the niece that I'll never have and the girls are such a blessing to you. May your success continue not only monetarily but in your "coming in and going out" #oldskool. Stay blessed lil sis and I look forward to meeting you one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww that means a whole lot to me Antionette, it really does! I'm so happy you had found me and we became such great bloggy buddies! I, too feel a great connection with you like you're my big sister! I always love hearing about you and your family and the love you share with them. I know one day we will meet up, I'm really looking forward to that!

      Delete
  4. Louida, for what it's worth I am so proud of your husband and you for thinking outside the box and working to create the lives you want! You clearly put a lot of thought into your path of progress and I admire you for "looking before you leap," in regards to making sure all of your debt is paid off before abandoning your other job to blog full time. You are truly an inspiration to so many who want to make it in this arena of blogging for life. Thanks so much for sharing the reality of the struggles you faced and obstacles you have overcome! You have a fantastic attitude and I love knowing you and your blog and following your family on social media.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Candy, you are such a wonderful spirit! I'm so glad I've met you in the GSMM's group. You are one of the most caring, humble person I have met in that group and you're one of the reasons why I stick around because at first some of the people weren't as supportive towards others. I really enjoy watching your family going on adventurous adventures and having great bonding moments. That's what I love seeing, families spending time with one another. I really hope I run into you during Type-A Mom conference because I would love to meet you in person!

      Delete
  5. Thank you for this post. I work full time and blog and you have given me the inspiration I need to keep on going!! Sometimes blogging seems time consuming but it is soooo worth it in the end!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep going Ricci! I love your blog! You are yourself and that's what stands out about your blog. What you'll need to do is find balance between your job and blogging. When I don't have time to blog at work, I find the time on the weekends to write up my blog posts.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for sharing this post about your blogging journey Louida. I have been blogging for almost a year now I don't think I fully realized how hard it would be. But I love doing what I do and have learned to be true to myself and my voice and not try to be someone else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it's hard Heather but if you write about what you're passionate about in-which you do about running, writing posts would come a little bit easier for you. You need to learn how to start monetizing your writing.

      Also it's great you're being yourself and not duplicating someone else. This will help you stand out from the crowd. There are millions of blogs and you have to find a way to stand out from the rest.

      Delete
  7. Thank you for sharing your journey :). In your post you indicated that it is not good to leave your url all over the place. Are you referring to commenting on others blog posts? Thank you in advance :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is not good to place your URL in the comments section like this one. You do this a lot and you'll look like spam and get penalized by Google. Also, I was putting my URL in places like AOL articles and MSN Articles. I could've gotten myself blacklisted!

      Delete
    2. Thank you for explaining, I learned something new today!

      Have a beautiful week.

      Delete
    3. You're welcome! Have a beautiful week as well! :-)

      Delete
  8. Great post! I appreciate you being honest and sharing. I'm still on my blogging journey and hoping to do this full time one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ashely! I love your blog girl (as you can see I'm always stopping by)! You keep it so real and not afraid of being yourself. I love your style and I see you going far with your blog. Own it girl, you definitely will be a full time blogger!

      Delete
  9. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I am at the beginning of monetizing and it certainly can be frustrating. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pascha! It is frustrating, and it takes some trial and error to see what works for you. Don't give up!

      Delete
  10. This, my friend, was phenomenal!! I always love reading the back-story behind how people arrived at the path that they're on now...

    Such valuable information you have here, Louida, and I know countless people will be helped by it.

    Kudos to you.

    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Courtney! Hard work always pays off!

      Delete
  11. Thank you for sharing your blogging journey. You have inspired me and I too hope that maybe one day my hobby will turn into a full-time job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Keren! Continue working hard with your blog and look into affiliate programs that fits your niche. You may also look into doing YouTube videos.

      Delete
  12. Thanks for sharing your blogging journey. It is awesome that both you and your husband have been able to create your own businesses. I hope to one day earn an income from my blog, but I know I have a lot to learn before I get to that point. I need to learn more about SEO and my writing skills could also use some help. I don't really feel like I'm "a writer" but I do enjoy blogging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sonya! My writing skills are not the best but when you continue to write at least every other day you'll start getting better at it. Yes, it is important to learn SEO so you can start getting organic targeted traffic. SEO helped out my blog a lot.

      Delete
  13. Louida, thank you so much for writing this. New bloggers or discouraged bloggers will both gain so much b\y reading it. I am pinning this to my Blogging Tips board for others to find as well,.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sinea! Although I started blogging in 2008 before the blogging boom, there is still ways for newbies to turn their blog into a career. It can take a long time to turn your blog into a full time income but you have to stay consistent.

      Delete
  14. Congratulations on your success - and thanks for sharing these tips! I found this at the #googlecircleshop

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello Louida,

    It is really nice reading your blogging journey. I, myself have been blogging for a while but I had some setbacks. However, I firmly believe in never giving up. This will be such an inspiration to bloggers because many people don't believe it's possible to earn money blogging. Bloggers such as yourself are proof that you can. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I really enjoyed reading it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Maketta! As you can see I had setbacks too and had to learn from my mistakes. Just like anything you do you have to set forth and learn what will work for you. If you fail at something, pick back up and keep going.

      Delete
  16. Blogger burn out is such a real thing. I totally understand that feeling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah the burnout is real! BLAH!

      Delete
  17. Thanks for sharing your story. I've been blogging for awhile now and recently my Google search #'s have been slashed in half. I've been considering rebranding and moving my blog from Blogger to WP. Do you think I'd be better off taking time off to write and research content then start a new blog or to go ahead with my rebranding move to word press plan?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Before moving to Wordpress, have you checked your Google Webmaster Tools? That can show you if there is a problem with your blog. I found out I was penalized from there and they sent me an email.

      My blog that was penalized is on Weebly platform and no following all the links is a hassle so I went to Blogger and created this blog. But I recommend first going to Webmaster's Tools to know what the problem is so it won't happen if you do rebrand and go to Wordpress.

      Delete
    2. Getting my blog's verification to work was kind of a project, but the good news was google does not have a problem with my site. It did find 6 errors, but nothing I can't fix with a dead link checker. I guess my sites stats are just naturally down - boo.

      Delete
    3. My stats are down too. You got to think, summer vacation is over and people are returning to school, work, etc. If you write about the holidays then it should start picking back up soon.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:53 AM

    Found you on Pinterest very interesting blog. I blog and I am the product. I'm a great writer and pride myself on being witty honest and real. I always felt that a book was the next step but I'm enjoying blogging. I'm also leaning toward freelance and ghostwriting. I would love your input. aj1120.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want to freelance/ghostwrite, go for it! It is always good to have multiple streams of income coming in.

      Delete
  19. You're so right about blogging taking time.
    I have friends who think they can throw up a website tonight and the money will start rolling in and that's far from the truth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I have people I know think the same way too! It took me so many years to make a decent income from blogging, it's a lot of hard work.

      Delete
  20. Louida, this is awesome! Thank you for being honest and sharing your journey. I've been blogging since '08 as well, but still have a long way to go. I'm not "there" yet, but on my way sis!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Stacie! I love your blog! I see you going far with your blog girl, keep up the good work!

      Delete