make money

How Do Mom Bloggers Make Money?

Until recently, I was under the impression that most moms who blogged did it just to hear themselves talk. But now that I have my own personal blog and will soon be a mother, I’m realizing that isn’t the case at all.

Most mom bloggers are actually making money with their blog. Plus, it allows them to stay at home most of the time, do something they enjoy, and raise their kids. I definitely see the benefits.

These women may also be looking to make some money during maternity leave, which is not always paid for in the U.S. (I just read an interesting article about women who are using crowdfunding to allow them to go on maternity leave without worrying about money).



But how does a mom blogger make money? There are a few different options:

Ads. Back in the day of mom-blog Dooce, bloggers made a good chunk of money using banner ads. This article explains why that became basically extinct as a money making option, thanks to the rise of mobile.

Today, tools such as Google AdSense, BlogHer, and Media.net work as middlemen, connecting you to companies looking to advertise. The flipside, especially when using tools like Google Adsense, is that you’re at the mercy of how they decide to set up the advertising. For example, Google Adsense just gives you a code to copy and paste into your website’s header. You don’t have any customization options (or any control over whether Google decides to display any ads at all).

Want to learn more about the different types of online ads in detail? Check out our Online Ads 101 blog post series!

Sponsored Posts. Sponsored posts have become popular in recent years with mom bloggers looking to generate income. The posts usually are formulated after a larger brand connects with a blogger to create some sort of offer, in exchange for product/service promotion. A lot of these brands also have programs that bloggers and others can apply to participate.

Most sponsored post bloggers are paid to write the post (which may have to meet certain rules/guidelines), no matter how many sales are generated afterward. Many bloggers will disclose to readers at the beginning of the blog post if it is sponsored (some consider this a matter of ethics). This article explains that a sponsored post’s primary goal is brand awareness; actual sales are secondary.

Aforementioned mom blogger from Dooce discusses her personal reasons for not going the sponsorship route: “The problem is I have to give my readers what they want, I have to give the brand what they want, and I have to be authentic to who I am.” Pleasing everyone in this instance can be tricky, and it makes sense that this model is not for everyone.



Affiliates. Affiliate programs’ monetary arrangements differ from sponsored posts. The blogger is usually given a specific link or code for their readers, and if someone makes a purchase within a certain timeframe (often 7-28 days), the blogger gets a certain percent of the sale.

This might be more mutually beneficial because payment only occurs when a purchase is made. The blogger may also have a bit more freedom when it comes to sharing the affiliate link.

As with a sponsored post, the writer could create one or more posts dedicated to the affiliate brand, sharing the unique offer at the end of the post. If that feels uncomfortable, they could also create a widget/button on their website that links to the affiliate. Another idea for multiple affiliates is to create a landing page of all affiliate websites (which more or less just shoves them all in the same area).  As long as the blogger is within the guidelines of the affiliate program, there can be more wiggle room in how it’s marketed.

Another idea for multiple affiliates is to create a landing page of all affiliate websites (which more or less just shoves them all in the same area).  As long as the blogger is within the guidelines of the affiliate program, there can be more wiggle room in how it’s marketed.

Creating a Product/Service. This involves a more active approach to generating income, meaning there has to be some product or service offered to readers. In order to make it profitable, the readers, in turn, have to perceive the product as something valuable.

In this Penny Hoarder article, mom blogger Suzi Whitford discusses how she gave up her engineering job to be a stay at home mom, but still wanted to contribute in order to offset household expenses. So she started her version of a lifestyle blog, but with a spin (honestly, I think this could easily be an episode of Side Hustle School). She first created an ebook to help people start their own blogs, and later created online courses. People could purchase these on her website.

There are plenty of options for mom or other lifestyle bloggers when it comes to making money. Part of the decision-making process is knowing what type of experience you want to provide readers (i.e. if you want them to experience an ad-free website), and being clear about your mission.

Stay tuned for more posts about mom blogs and bloggers coming this month!



Online Form Software: Your Options

Maybe you read my blog about forms yesterday. Maybe you are doing research on online forms. Maybe you just like this blog and think ‘maybe this nerdy post is something I can use.’ In any case, welcome!

One option you have is hosting your website form elsewhere and simply displaying it on your site. One way of doing this is using Google Docs to make a form then embedding it in your website. Here’s an example of that:

This is my local Rotary club's website which runs on Clubrunner. Can you make a form in Clubrunner software? Maybe but I wasn't going to spend a lot of time figuring it out. So I embedded this signup for our upcoming mini golf tournament on their site.

This is my local Rotary club’s website which runs on Clubrunner. Can you make a form in Clubrunner software? Maybe but I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time figuring it out. So I embedded this signup for our upcoming mini golf tournament on their site.

So technically the form lives on Google but it is displaying on this page.

What’s cool about the Google form? When someone fills it out, it automatically populates a spreadsheet:

Here is the spreadsheet that minigolf signup form is populating. Names have been blurred to protect the other teams butts we will kick.

Here is the spreadsheet that minigolf signup form is populating. Names have been blurred to protect the other teams butts we will kick.

Now I don’t know about you but I find that pretty impressive. Now all I’ll have to do is print off the final spreadsheet and we can do registration at the door and take payment. Easy!

Is Google your only option? Of course not. There are other free form software out there that allow you to create forms and display it on your website. Like this service:

If you are small time, you can totally use the free version of this!

If you are small time, you can totally use the free version of this!

Now what if you have an awesome website driven by a content management system. Can the form live and be displayed on your website? But of course!

Our meeting scheduling form not only saves lots of back and forth emails but get us paid gigs. Win!

Our meeting scheduling form not only saves lots of back and forth emails but get us paid gigs. Win!

We use a form software on our website called Gravity Forms. I love it because not only can I make the form look like how I want but can also look at conversions:

Apparently something about the contact form isn't 'wow'ing people. Good to know.

Apparently something about the contact form isn’t ‘wow’ing people. Good to know.

The software also stores a copy of the form on my server, meaning if I accidentally delete it from my email, I can log into the website and get it again. Oh and it integrates with my Google Analytics and other features I have going on the site.

What? Is my contact form integrated with our email newsletter subscription service? Why yes it is, thanks for noticing.

What? Is my contact form integrated with our email newsletter subscription service? Why yes it is, thanks for noticing.

So in the ideal world, you website software helps you make great forms that integrate with your website (and other online things you have going on). But it’s not an all or nothing proposition; even if you have an old school website you can still have a form displaying there while it lives elsewhere on the internet.

Name the business and you can have a form for that:

Landlord? Take your potential tenant’s (non confidential) information. 

Cat drawer? Let people order their cat drawings online.

Ok there are probably more but if you’ve seen an amazing use of an online form, please leave a comment and we’ll add your idea (crediting you and linking your site of course) to this list!