I wanted to find out if blogging is a profitable venture for a stay at home mom. So I searched the web for stay at home mommies who blog and after days of searching, I found the perfect mom! How lucky am I? Kendra Tierney, the creator of www.CatholicAllYear.com allowed me to interview her! She is a smart, funny and entrepreneurial mother of 8 beautiful children. She truly lives the Catholic Faith and inspires other mommies like me to do the same. Even though she has a large family and manages her own blog, she replied within hours to my email with detailed answers, she is awe inspiring! Her blog has been established for over three years and receives tens of thousands of visitors a month. Read below if it is something you’d like to do as well! Or head over to start your own mom blog!
Kendra Tierney lives in Los Angeles, CA where her interests include blogging, homeschooling, looking after her eight children, and suburban homesteading . . . in case of zombies. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and her blog.
What is CatholicAllYear and why did you create it?
I initially started Catholic All Year as a place to record our liturgical year celebrations. I still do some of that. But then my friends started sending in questions and ideas for posts, and most of that was homemaking and homeschooling and parenting questions. And it turned out there was a bunch of other pretty random stuff I wanted to write about, and it was MY blog, so I did.
How long have you been a blogging on the CatholicAllYear?
Almost three years now.
How much money did you invest initially?
Pretty close to zero dollars. I’m on blogger, which is free. I decided to buy my domain name, which I think is $10 a year? My friend Micaela from California to Korea took our header photo. I do the graphic design images myself. I’ve got the PicMonkey Royal subscription for that, which is $33 per year. I did a professional redesign of the blog page about a year in, with a company called Designer Blogs, which was a one time fee of around $200. I think I probably spend around $100 per year on the blog, on average.
How long did it take you to start making a profit?
The first money I made on the blog was through the Amazon Affiliates program. You sign up, then when you recommend a particular product in a blog post, you can get a specific Amazon link for that product. If someone clicks over to Amazon from my blog, and buys anything (not just the recommended product) I get a tiny referral fee. It was just pennies at first, but now it creates $100-$500 per month. The high end is at Christmas.
How do you make a profit with a blog?
I’m not a great model of this. I’m sure there are people who blog for business and are better at using their blog to make money. I have a couple other affiliate programs, for products I like and use anyway, like Kiwi Crate, and All About Spelling. And I sell a few ads on my sidebar. I have a blogging friend who takes care of that aspect of the blog for me, for a percentage of sales, so I can spend more time on the creative part of the blog. She also coordinates sponsored posts for me, and giveaways, for which I usually receive a flat fee, or a per click compensation.
How much have you earned in your most profitable month of sales?
I’m not really sure. I don’t really pay much attention to the money part. Maybe $1000 at Christmas, maybe a little more? The ads don’t generate a ton of income. But a lot of people ended up ordering Kiwi Crate at Christmastime through my affiliate link.
How time consuming is the job of a blogger?
That’s an interesting way to put it, because, of course, you just spend as much time as you choose. I only work on my blog when and if I want to. But I pretty much always want to. It’s more like, how many hours per week am I compelled to spend on my blog? And the answer to that is many, many hours. Probably 20-30 per week.
Can you be a stay at home mommy and a successful blogger?
I suppose that depends on what you consider a successful blogger to be. I write a very niche blog. It’s never going to be huge and mainstream. But I enjoy it. It’s an outlet for me, a place to be creative and accomplish things and connect with people and help people and evangelize. And I mostly do it in the middle of the night, so it doesn’t interfere too much with my mothering. If you’re judging by income, I really don’t think blogging is a great plan to make money. There have got to be easier ways to make money. Even on my best month I can’t be making more than a couple bucks an hour.
What are the benefits of being a blogger compared to other stay at home mommy businesses?
I’ve never done an at home business, so I don’t know. My guess is that blogging has more freedom and more community, but less potential for actually making money.
What tips would you have for other mommies interested in becoming a blogger?
My main tip would be don’t start a blog to make money. (Sorry!) Start a blog because you love to write and/or take pictures and you want to connect with a particular niche community. Blogging is a great way to make internet friends. It’s a great way to challenge yourself intellectually and creatively. It’s possible your blog will become popular and you’ll have an opportunity to make some money off of it. But I don’t think it’s something you can count on. I didn’t follow a list of particular rules to get a successful blog. It just so happens that the things I feel like writing about, are also things folks feel like reading about. I happen to want to spend a LOT of time writing posts and sharing things on Facebook and Instagram and hours and hours editing photos and making graphic images and formatting posts. I happen to have a temperament that compels me to tell folks how they should do stuff, and be comfortable sharing a lot of details from my life, and that allows me to handle criticism pretty well. I think all those things are really useful for a blogger.
A blog can be helpful as a platform for selling other things, like my book or my graphic images. That’s been more profitable than the blog. But still probably not “worth it” if you’re looking at it dollars per hour.
Here is Kendra’s book, I just bought it and can’t wait to read it for myself and for my children!
Thank you so very much Kendra for taking the time out of your busy day to answer my questions and help me. You have a huge heart and manage your time like a boss! Can’t wait to see what you post next on www.catholicallyear.com!
Want to learn how to blog? I’d love to help you!!