When Abby Lawson was 28 years old, she was a stay-at-home mom to two young boys.
And like many women, she loved her family — but couldn’t help wanting something more.
“I needed a project that wasn’t all about my kids,” she says. “Something I did for me.”
So, at an anniversary dinner with her husband, she sheepishly revealed her desire to start a blog.
Lucky for both of them, he was supportive — and nearly four years later, that little project is earning more in a single month than many people make in an entire year.
Here’s her story.
Just a Girl… and Her Blog
The name of Lawson’s site is Just a Girl and Her Blog.
Because when she started in January 2013, she couldn’t even decide what to write about. She just knew she had an English degree and writing skills she wasn’t using.
“At the beginning, [my posts] were all over the board,” she says. “I kind of had to write about everything and figure out where that intersection was of what I loved and what my readers responded to,” she says.
Eventually, she found it: home decor, with a focus on organization.
She’d always been organized and creative. In her own words, “I like to make things and make things look beautiful.”
With both her boys still at home, she worked during their naps and after bedtime.
“I didn’t get very much sleep myself,” she admits with a laugh. But she kept at it, because it energized her.
“When I was putting my boys to bed, I could feel my adrenaline start pumping,” she says.
At first, her husband thought she was crazy, but he soon changed his mind…
How This Little Blog Earns More Than $25K per Month
Up until January 2015, things were chugging along smoothly. Then, two years after Lawson launched her blog, her husband lost his job in the oil and gas industry.
Although it was “terrifying,” they decided he wouldn’t seek another job — and would instead devote his full attention to helping grow the site.
“All of a sudden, everything for our entire family rested on this little blog that I started kind of by accident,” she says.
But in the end, she says his layoff was “the best thing that could’ve ever happened.” When his business sense was added to her tenacity, the blog exploded…
Like really exploded: In their latest income report, they reveal a profit of $27,241. In a single month.
So far this year, they’ve grossed more than $340,000. (And there are still a few months to go!)
Their income stems from the sale of informational products — about starting a blog, writing an ebook, simplifying your life and making your home paperless — and affiliate links.
When asked about her recipe for success, Lawson says: “We try to get better, even when we don’t feel like it… It’s just putting in the time and putting in the work.”
So You Wanna Start a Blog?
Before running off to start your own blog, Lawson wants you to know: As lavish as it may look from the outside, it’s no cakewalk.
“Everybody makes it look so easy, like there are these beautiful pictures of food or homes or whatever and it looks like I just woke up and snapped this,” she says. “But really every post out there represents hours and hours of work.”
Think you’re ready for the challenge?
The first step is to purchase a domain name and sign up for hosting; Bluehost is one company Lawson recommends.
“It’s extremely affordable,” she says. “Bluehost really makes it accessible for everybody to get in the door — to not have to invest a ton and then see where it takes them.”
After that, you can select a theme and customize the look of your site, and set up your email list.
The next step: Start posting — even if everything isn’t exactly to your satisfaction.
“None of my stuff looked perfect,” Lawson says. “I just got in there and I started writing and putting stuff out there.”
Afraid? You’re Not Alone…
As exciting as it is, starting a blog can definitely be scary. It was for Lawson, too.
“The only reason I could bring myself to push publish on my first few blog posts is because I told myself that nobody would ever read them,” she says. “That didn’t work out — but I’m glad it didn’t.”
For Lawson, whose goal was never to become an entrepreneur, her blog’s success is beyond her wildest expectations.
“I just can’t even put it into words,” she says. “We still pinch ourselves every day that we get to do this.”
Your Turn: Have you ever thought about starting a blog?
Sponsorship Disclosure: A huge thanks to Bluehost for working with us to bring you this content. It’s rare that we have the opportunity to share something so awesome and get paid for it!
Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.