2016, the year that was! What a whirlwind ride it’s been.

I started this blog back in February and I’ve learned a heck of a lot along the way. But there’s one thing that trumps them all, and that’s the way I started making significant money online.

When I first started blogging I was halfway through my maternity leave and staring down at an impending return to work.

Cue the doom and gloom music.

There was no way I wanted to go back to a job I didn’t like for pennies on the dollar while someone else got to enjoy my baby’s company.

I knew that it was possible to make money online. (I’d done it before.)

So, I threw myself into blogging. I learned everything I could and then some more.

I tried on all different directions for This Mama Learns, looking for the right fit.

As a result, things have gotten a bit crazy ‘round here at times!

I was determined to make this work.

Even though sometimes I had no idea what this was going to be.

Should I start a t-shirt business?

Should I make something crafty and sell it on Etsy? Or ebay?

Should I become a professional competition enterer?

Should I try Swagbucks? Ebates? Am I even eligible?

Should I start an affiliate review site?

What about ads??

In the end, I tried something almost by accident. And it worked.

It’s the fastest way to make substantial money from your blog.

Ads? You need a lot of traffic to make it worthwhile.

Affiliates? Yep, traffic again, and an email list.

Sponsored posts? Traffic, traffic, traffic, followers, and subscribers.

Courses and products? You need a whole lot of traffic and subscribers to make it worthwhile.

So… what does that leave?

A service?

I’ll admit. I was TERRIFIED of offering a service. The idea of being responsible and accountable for a piece of work outside of the bounds of an actual office was scary.

Plus, it’s not like I wasn’t already busy. My little one keeps my hands full pretty much the entire time he’s awake. What if someone wanted to Skype me? I don’t even know how to Skype!

But I took the plunge and started my freelance writing business.

I went from making $50, if that, a month in affiliate income to making $800+ a month, within my first two-ish months. That was less than 6 months ago. This month I’m almost going to make it to the $3K mark.

Awesome, right? I’m on the path to replacing my full-time income in the next couple of months.

And by the way, if you’re reading along right now, there’s no reason you couldn’t do the same.

I’m NOT a unicorn.

Everything I touch doesn’t turn to moonbeams and pixie dust.

It’s taken a fair bit of work.

It also only really started working for me once I put some skin in the game and joined Elna Cain’s course, Write to 1K.

Things got busy

Now if you’re wondering why I haven’t been posting as frequently, well… it’s because things have gotten pretty busy pretty quickly.

I’m learning more about organization (and discipline) than I ever thought possible.

So what now?

Where’s This Mama Learns heading in 2017? Well, I realized as I was making my plans for 2017 that it makes exactly zero sense NOT to talk about freelancing on the blog considering that that’s how I’m currently making an income. So, expect more on freelancing.

I also have a few more income ideas I want to test this year. Freelancing is a very active form of income, and I’d like to explore other options as well.

I also intend to start a new blog using everything I know to ‘growth hack’ it and start monetizing right away. I’ve got a crazy idea in my head to try get it to at least $1K within two months.

But why?

I mentioned my story above – on maternity leave, not wanting to go back to work, but needing an income to stay home – I’ve done it! And I’m crazy passionate that moms should have that option too.

I’m incredibly lucky that I was able to have nearly an entire year on leave with at least some income from my job, and another year unpaid.

I know other moms aren’t as lucky and have to go back to work within weeks of birth…

I can’t even imagine what that would be like.

Mom’s deserve to have the choice.

Phew. Finally got that out!

You know the longer you wait between posts the harder it is to post something? It’s like the expectation bar just gets higher and higher.

I’m going to post this now. It’s a bit different from my usual posts, so uh, I hope y’all like it.

Hi, I'm Cath

Hi, I'm Cath

Blogger. Freelance Writer & Pinterest Manager. Mom of one. Keeps me busy! I’m also a corporate escapee, determined to help moms create options so they can stay home with the little ones and contribute to the family finances.

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