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How bloggers make money

Published: Tuesday, March 5 2013 5:58 p.m. MST

Sara Wells, left, and Kate Jones of "Our Best Bites."

OurBestBites.com

Kate and Sara were in the same boat in life: new moms looking for something to occupy themselves during the down times at home. Together, they created a blog as a way to share new recipes with friends and family.

Before long, they realized they could potentially make money off their blog. Their first month's earnings were a meager $7, but it has only grown from there.

Today, these two women are making enough money from their blog to contribute significantly to both their family's finances.

For many moneymaking bloggers, the secret to success is the same. Whether it's a craft blog, a food blog or a blog with insightful writing, those with a passion for blogging who enjoy whatever they write about can end up making money when they least expect it.

Millions of bloggers

A Pew Research Center study, referenced on forbes.com, found there are around 34.9 million bloggers total; 18.9 million women and 16 million men. Most dedicated bloggers, which are those who post content on their blog in a timely and scheduled manner, make money. However, it is only a few dollars a month for the majority.

The study showed that although many men have been able to earn money from blogging, they "haven't been as aggressive or profitable as their women counterparts in generating financial support from brands."

According to an article on Mashable.com, which posted results from a study performed by Scarborough Research, about 3.9 million moms in the United States consider themselves a blogger, yet only 500 of them are considered to be "influential" among others. Influential is defined as those who have enough followers and readers to make money.

Stay-at-home blogging

Melanie Gunnell of "Mel's Kitchen Café" started her food blog at the end of 2007 as a way of exchanging recipes with her mom and sisters.

"When I first started my food blog, I had no idea I even could make money," said Gunnell via email. "Money definitely wasn't a driving factor in me starting a food blog."

About a year after starting her blog, Gunnell noticed she was getting a lot of comments from people she didn't know. Soon after, an advertising network approached her, asking if she wanted to place ads on her blog. She agreed to do so.

Although Gunnell describes her revenue as "making peanuts" during the first year, eventually she was making enough to help with some of her family's expenses.

"As my blog traffic grew, the revenue grew with it and now the revenue definitely helps cut the grocery costs of keeping a food blog," Gunnell said.

Gunnell is a stay-at-home mom to four boys and one girl. Having moved six times in her 10 years of marriage with her husband, blogging has allowed Gunnell to hold onto something familiar while dealing with numerous moving changes.

Gunnell said she feels fortunate to work from home.

"I am my own boss and I create my own hours. That is probably the biggest benefit I see," Gunnell said. "Plus, the fact that I am a mother of five young children means that I can still be home with them while keeping up with my blog. It truly is the perfect work-at-home scenario for me and my family."

Blog blessing

"Make It and Love It" has become a popular blog for those who are into making their own crafts. Ashley Johnston started her blog during the fall of 2008 as a hobby for herself while her husband was in school.

Johnston's blog eventually turned into a full-time job, one she wasn't planning on.

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