Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links.
You may have noticed that lately, I’ve been a little quiet in the blogosphere. I haven’t posted in a couple of months, I haven’t been emailing much, etc.
Many of my sweet readers even emailed me in concern. I received emails asking, “Are you okay? It has been a while since I’ve heard from you.”
I so appreciated each one of those messages!
Turns out there is a good reason why I’ve been so quiet. Maybe you’ve guessed it!
Yep, team Moms Make Cents is growing this year. We are expecting our second in October and we are so excited!
But despite all of my excitement I have been so so sick - if you’ve had morning sickness you know what a beast it can be.
On top of that, I struggled with a brutal kidney stone and kidney infection. Being pregnant really complicated everything. It was super scary for a little bit, but God is good and after miraculously passing a stone they said would be too big to pass on my own - my little Bean and I are healthy.
With all of the sickness, doctors appointments and hospital visits, I literally had to take an entire month off from my business. However, the opportunist in me saw it as a chance to really gauge how much of my income is truly “passive” in my businesses.
Issues with my kidneys kicked in big on February 15th. That was the first day I was totally out of commission. At that point, I was six weeks pregnant and the first signs of morning sickness were starting to creep in - but the kidney pain way overpowered it. About a week later I was mostly recovered from my kidney stone and morning sickness came in in full-force.
I don’t know about you, but morning sickness is one of my least favorite things ever.
With my first kiddo, it was pretty bad so going into it this time I knew I was in for it.
Again I was stuck in bed unable to work. Every time I tried to write a post or an email, my stomach would be in knots, and I’d have to lay back down.
Because of all of that I worked for a total of 10 hours for a solid month. That was me literally scraping by doing the bare minimum. Usually, I work 10-20x that in a month easily so letting go was hard.
Now let’s talk some numbers!
Usually, between my two businesses (this blog and my affiliation with a direct sales company - almost all of my leads for sales and recruits come through this blog) I average about $10,000 per month before expenses - some months are more, but for the most part, $10k is my monthly goal - if I hit that, I’m happy.
I knew that by literally being “hands-off” in my business would equal a lower amount of income but I wasn’t sure how volatile it would be.
During this month I pretty much only replied to emails as they came in. That was it. No writing blog posts, no working on products, just doing maintenance.
However, I added it up and from February 15th to March 15th (February only has 28 days so technically this was shorter than my average month too) - and with my minimal work I was still able to bring in $7363 in revenue.
Now, these aren’t businesses that I started last week. Passive income takes a ton of work and a lot of time to build. I’ve been actively involved working my booty off building up this income for the last two years.
If this was a younger business I don’t think it would have held so steady in my absence. The last two years I’ve built a solid foundation, created products, and systems that allow me to continue to bring in revenue even when I’m not actively able to be working.
To help you develop your own passive income plan I wanted to outline for you the systems that helped me generate revenue even when I wasn’t working.
1. Sales Funnels
If you’ve been blogging for a little while chances are you’ve heard about a sales funnel. Essentially, sales funnels are when you get someone to sign up for your email list and you give them value and information on a related topic.
Once they have some experience with you and the topic you can share a relevant product with them. This can be your own product or service or an affiliate product.
2. Promoted Pins
Promoted Pins are one of my favorite ways to scale-up a business. At a given time I have at least 7-10 different Promoted Pins campaigns running to bring traffic to build my email list and sell my products/affiliate products.
This was so important because it allowed me to continue to have a stream of traffic even when I wasn’t out promoting my posts and products on social media or to my email list (other than my sales funnels).
3. Social Media Scheduling
If you look at my social media accounts (well except Instagram because I never post on there) it looks like I have been consistently posting when in all reality it was all just set to loop in my social media scheduling tool.
I use a tool for social media called Post Planner. It runs about $10 a month and you can schedule posts based on a calendar you set or you can use their “repeat” feature to loop your social media posts. With me being so sick I’ve just had it set to looping - which completely automates the process.
Want to know a secret? I didn’t pin one dang thing on Pinterest this month - well at least not me personally. I have the entire thing set up and automated via BoardBooster. With my system, it loops my popular posts, shares relevant blog posts to group boards and even pins new relevant content for me. Pretty sweet right?
Pinterest is my #1 traffic driver for my blog (followed by organic search) and this month I literally spent no time on the platform. It gave me such peace of mind to know that my content was still being shared even though I couldn’t manually do it.
If you want to check out my entire BoardBooster strategy you can check out the mini-course here.
5. Get Help
My saving grace this month was my sweet assistant LeAnn. I hired her in October and it is the BEST thing that I could have done. She is my right-hand lady and I absolutely love her. Wayyyy more would have fallen apart this month without her help.
She organized my inbox so I only had to respond to urgent emails (she responded to all of the requests to be a part of my affiliate program, when someone was missing a video lesson from one of my free courses, etc.).
This took so much off of my plate. She also approved members of my Facebook group Blogging Newbs, and helped keep the group running well while I was gone and so much more!
Now you may not be in a place to hire help yet, and that is okay! It took me a year and a half of running my business before I could afford to hire someone but when you can don’t be afraid because it is awesome!
Having these five systems in place seriously saved me this last month!
Now you may be wondering, where did the other money go? How come you were short of your $10k goal?
I’ll admit I was curious too. A significant amount of income still came in - but why was the remaining $2-3k gone?
Here’s what I’ve figured out. Generally, with my blog, I will do some kind of promotion every month. Whether that's a sale on my products, launch a new product or do a big promotion for an affiliate. Usually, these promotions will bring in roughly another $2,000-2,500.
My Brand New Book + Course
In February I was planning on launching a new course all about how to start a successful blog called Mom Blogging Mentor. I had the ebook done in January and I was putting on the finishing touches for the course when I had my first kidney attack.
I was going to try to push the launch date back a couple of weeks but I was just too sick to get it finished and I didn’t want to do it halfway. But now that my morning sickness has eased up a bit I’ve got it ready to go! Even though I’m launching it about a two months later than planned I’m still ecstatic about it!
I've made both the ebook & course super affordable - I know how hard it can be to make investments when you are first getting started!
(Not bad for a 170+ page book and 40 lessons, tutorials, and bonuses!! 😉).
What I learned...
So what did I learn from this experience? Yes, passive income is real.
If you work for it and take the time to build a solid foundation you can build up income streams that will bring in money even when you are sleeping - or have morning sickness.
But, with that said do I think I could just stop working and that type of income would keep rolling in forever?
While some income would definitely still trickle in there are things that need my attention, like keeping course content up to date, writing new blog posts, and analyzing and improving the systems in my business.
I’m a busy body and I’ve been told I have “zero chill” so being cooped up in bed not working the last couple months or so has been hard, but it also has been an eye-opening experience.
All the hard work, sleepless nights, nap times spent hustling instead of binge-watching Netflix is paying off.
Do you have a passive income plan for your blog? What income streams are you establishing?