There was a time when stay-at-home moms would wait for the wee ones to take a nap so they could jot down their thoughts about motherhood and post them as blogs. Mommy blogs, as they came to be known, started as ways for women to reach out to other women about the challenges and joys of motherhood. Over the years, however, mommy blogging has evolved into a multibillion dollar industry.
New mommy bloggers entering the arena now have aspirations of creating and selling products, while veterans of the field have become powerful influencers and product endorsers.
Mommy bloggers become multi-level marketers
Not all women who write blogs about motherhood will be able to create multimillion-dollar empires. In fact, most won't break even. But bloggers can make some cash by learning from bloggers who have succeeded. (Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to Kim's latest eBook about starting a blog and monetizing it.)
Last year, Money Magazine reported that the mommy blogging field was expected to generate $10 billion by 2020. The money doesn't come from writing. In fact, blogging on some money-making mommy websites has become secondary.
The most successful women in the business were those who took their blogs, successfully marketed themselves to get millions of followers and then leveraged that to become influencers. In other words, companies looked to these top bloggers to sell or endorse their products. The more entrepreneurial women created their own products to sell.
So where does that leave the women who couldn't reach the top levels of power? BuzzFeed News researcher Kathryn Jezer-Morton said the mommy-blogging business has become a complex web of powerful bloggers and affiliated, smaller bloggers. In essence, mommy blogging has grown through multilevel marketing.
What are "printables" from mommy blogs?
Jezer-Morton has found that the money comes from "printables" -- relatable content ranging from single sheets to entire binders that are then sold. Printables often include calendars, to-do lists or meal planners.
How successful are these printables? Enough for the blogger who initiated the original printables to sell them through links in small-mom blogs for a commission. Think of it as selling Tupperware for the Internet age.
Some mega-mom bloggers sell their products and advice directly to smaller bloggers. Buzzfeed reports that one popular mom-blogger sells a binder full of printouts about how to build a Shopify business for $300.
This type of marketing obviously doesn't make every mommy blogger powerful and profitable, but many are taking advantage of the network to make much more than just a little pocket money.
Thinking about starting a blog to make extra money? Before you quit your day job, download Kim's eBook, "How to start a blog and make money online," from Kindle now. It covers the technical aspects of launching a blog, as well as tips to promote and amplify your content.
How to make money online
Looking for a way to supplement your income online? This post contains 20 ideas for earning a little extra cash online. You'll find opportunities for bloggers, online education, data entry and more.