How I Turned My Blogging Hobby into a Work-From-Home Job

Monday, July 3, 2017

I’ve written a few essays about how I became a full-time freelance writer. For DailyWorth, I wrote about how my freelance work really took off when my husband faced a few months of unemployment in 2016. For SheKnows, I wrote about how foreign the reaction to Rory Gilmore’s pregnancy was to me since it was honestly having kids that motivated me to to start writing in the first place.

What I haven’t explored in writing is the actual steps I took to get to where I am today. I was waiting for the right time and place to share the details in black and white.

Lara Casey asks a simple question of anyone who uses her PowersheetsWhat fires you up? It was answering that question that made me realize it was time to talk about how I turned my blogging hobby into a full-time job and it was time to talk about it in extensive detail. Thanks to the guided self-reflection I did using Lara Casey’s Powersheets, I realized I was really passionate not only about my freelancing success but also the freelancing success of other women who dream of working from home.

I know firsthand what it feels like to be spinning your wheels, trying to figure out what you are meant to do while you are mothering young kids. I remember asking myself so many questions, trying and failing at so many work-from-home plans and giving up on ideas before I ever put a plan into action.

I knew I wanted to be home with my kids but I also knew I needed to be adding to our income. When I look back on my first couple of years as a mom, I remember it being a time of desperation. I couldn’t possibly imagine a scenario where I could have a career and get to spend the time I wanted to with my kids.

When my I became pregnant with my second daughter in 2013, I started to consider for the first time that freelance writing was an option.

How My Blog Helped Me Start My Freelance Career

In 2012, as a newly pregnant mom, I started a blog to document my pregnancy and the homemaking lessons I was learning along the way. I knew there were women making money off of their blogs by selling ad space or accepting sponsored posts and that was honestly my original goal when I started blogging more regularly. To be perfectly honest, I was a terrible lifestyle blogger. I was OK with words, but no matter how hard I tried, a styled life was so not my thing.

I kept on blogging because I liked it, but I quickly gave up on the idea of making money off of my blog. I tried and failed at a few other business ideas because I wasn’t really considering what was best for me, I was simply doing what everyone else was doing. (I’ll talk about this more later.)

In 2013, when I was pregnant with my second daughter an editor at What to Expect emailed me about republishing a blog post I had written. I must have been feeling brave that day, because I responded with a quick yes and a “How can I learn more about writing for your blog?”

A few weeks later, I made my first $50 as a freelance writer.


How I Turned Supplemental Income into Full-time Income
After that, things moved slowly for a long time. I was writing for What to Expect one to three times a month and looking for other work. I picked up some work as a ghostwriter, writing blogs without a byline for small businesses.

I was making pennies a word but I was glad to be making some kind of money on the side. It wasn’t until over a year later, a few months before my second child turned one, that I had the opportunity to pick up a gig that would actually put a dent in my monthly income goal for staying home full-time.

A friend of mine connected me with the editors at Mom.me and I started writing four articles a month for them. This really changed things for us, to be perfectly honest. We were barely scraping by and now I was making enough supplementary income to help cover some things we had honestly been ignoring up until that point.

Starting as a regular contributor at Mom.me didn’t just change our finances, it changed how I felt about freelancing. What I previously saw as a chance to make a little extra cash  I could now envision as a way to replace my part time job if I worked hard enough and made the right connections.

My first year at Mom.me, I learned a lot about becoming a freelance writer. My editor was endlessly gracious to me and my poor understanding of the difference between just telling a story and using a story to get a point across. I was also networking with a lot of women who were just like me and this friendship led me to new jobs. By June of 2015, after I accepted a regular writing gig at Romper, I was making enough money to quit my part time job and stay home full-time.

It wasn’t a ton of money, but it was enough to make ends meet. Plus, working from home saved us money on things like child care, food and gas and relieved so much stress for me since I wasn’t balancing working outside of the home and being a mom very well.


I was happy with the ways things were going at that point, but eventually my part-time income wouldn’t be enough for our family any longer. Eventually, I would take my part-time writing and turn it into a full-time income (even though I don’t work full-time hours). More on this later

- Mary

P.S. I'm sharing more resources, including a list of frequently asked questions on how to pitch editors at online publications, with my newsletter subscribers. You can sign up here!

1 comment

  1. I'm really excited about this series. I've loved reading your posts on romper and Mom.me. Looking forward to following along here.

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