How I Started Making a Full-Time Blogging Income (Story Time Y’all)

The first time I realized I had the “idea problem” and/or the “fraud problem” was when I told a friend to email me the link to something he was talking about and he jokingly replied: “To which email account ‘Ms. I Have a Million Businesses Because I Can’t Make Up My Mind’?”

Burn. You know those people who want to discuss a “problem” they see in your life but they joke about it instead of addressing it? It hurts, because you realize they’re serious, but it’s hard to defend yourself to a joke.

And believe me, I get the joke. I’ll quickly lay out the basis of my “problem,” and then I’ll let you know why it’s not really a problem (and how you can avoid a few of my gaffes), then tell you how I finally accepted who I was as an entrepreneur and started making a full-time income through this blog.

How to Launch a Blog on a Budget

You can join the club. The club I started for the ba-gillion people I know, moi included, who don’t have 1.2 mil laying around to invest in a blog launch or relaunch. Yes, ba-gillion is a big, actual number; I’m offended you thought otherwise.

If you don’t want in on my club, that’s fine . . . weirdo, but if you do, then as a benefit of your club membership, please enjoy this guide on how to launch (and start to grow) a blog on a budget. There are 10 main sections to read through, each with resources (free, inexpensive, mid-range, and high-end –> if you want to ball out in certain areas) and tools you can start using today.

If I may say, before we get into the blog launch guide: Launching a successful blog, whether on a slim budget or super duper budget, takes a lot of work. When launching on a budget, you’re going to have to get a smidge more crafty, research-y, and DIY-y than the next person, but the process of learning and doing will be valuable. Every popular + useful blog takes a huge investment, whether it’s almost all time, almost all money, or a healthy mix of both.

Also, this guide is more like a class on how to start your blog (with a small budget) than it is a blog post. I just want to warn you that this is probably best for people who are really serious about starting/re-starting a blog, because it’s intense. Feel free to pin it or share it with someone you know may benefit from it. Thanks.


Feel free to jump ahead to any of the sections below, if you’re feeling froggy that is. {Get it? Because frogs jump. –That’s a completely original joke I just made up. I’ve never heard it anywhere else before. Have you?}

1. Planning // 2. CMS or Platform // 3. Brand Identity // 4. Domain + Hosting // 5. Blog or Theme Design // 6. Images // 7. Style Guide // 8. Making Money While Your Blog is Still New // 9. Plugins + Extras // 10. Promotion

10 Non-icky Ways to Make Money Blogging

Can I be super honest here and say that some of the ways to “make money online” just sound and seem icky. Icky* beyond belief . . . and yes, icky is my very grown up way of saying it.

Some people have Scam McScammerton written all over them and their online “businesses.” And to them I say boo, because they’re reflecting poorly on the rest of us who want to earn honest Internet monies. The kind I want to share with you today.

What this is: An overview of the multiple ways you can make money blogging (a.k.a. monetize your blog, a.k.a earn revenue through your blog). I personally use methods 3 – 7 below, as you can see on my Monthly Blog Income + Traffic Reports that I share with you.

What this is not: Magic. Sorry Charlie; this all involves hard work. By the by, who IS Charlie, and why are we always apologizing to him?

You have permission: Some people feel bad about making money online and I think it’s because there are so many dishonest ways to do so. However, I just want you to know, you have permission (not that you need it). You have permission to be amazing, to pour your heart and hard work into your blog, to spend time sharing your interests + quirks, to spend your days making the Interwebs more useful and beautiful with your art, voice, and love. You have permission to make a few dollars off of promoting products you would share anyways, and making things you’re compelled to make, even if you were doing it for free.

It’s okay when others don’t care to make money online, but if anyone tries to make you feel craptacular for wanting to do so, refer them to this post and the following message: Stop being a hater + bringer-downer of creative, hard-working people. Basically, get a life. And brush your teeth. I think your breath stinks. Thanks, Regina.

Things to keep in mind:

>> Your main focus in your blog’s early days will probably need to be creating awesome content, but having monetization strategies in place can make you a little money and get you used to managing your chosen programs early on. You will learn a lot about affiliate marketing + digital goods, etc. through trial and error.

>> Making money from a blog takes concerted effort and can take a long time. You have to try methods, assess, readjust, drop some methods, add others, and get good at creating content and optimizing your blog to make good money.

>> Multiple streams of revenue will be your friend, and I’ll explain why later. You’ve probably never, ever heard a silly little phrase about not putting all your eggs in one basket, so here’s Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald singing it, and here’s Fred Astaire + Ginger Rogers sing-dancing it. Of course, they’re romanticizing the concept, and I want you to think the opposite. Eggs in one basket = bad. Major head nod to Irving Berlin for this and many, many other amazing pieces of music that I grew up on. Love you dude. Thank you.

{and now for} 10 Non-sleazeball Ways to Make Money Through Your Blog

How to Write a Blog Business Plan (Free Workbook and All)

If you like adult homework and careful planning, this post is for you. If you don’t like adult homework or planning out the details of your blog as a business, then this post is DEFINITELY for you. If you currently (or ever plan to in the future) regard your blog as a business, or a way to make money, or grow your platform, or enhance your brand, then creating a blog business plan is essential.


“Why? Why must I do this? This is just part of your nefarious plan to keep me busy . . .” you say.

True. But, if you don’t 100% love your blog plan and me after you’re done, I’ll enter you into the “Regina wastes my time and life e-gift card drawing” for $25 to Amazon.com, because here’s the deal: I’d never recommend starting a business without a business plan, so I feel passionately about you developing a blog business plan if you’ll ever regard your blog as a business.