This post is for my sister farmers.
Let’s get real. Farming is never going to make us rich. If it did, everyone would be a farmer, right? If we actually put pen to paper to figure our salaries, we would figure out that we probably make about .25 cents an hour. Because if we are not working, we are thinking about what we are supposed to be/need to be doing. Therefore I would estimate that we probably work at or think about farming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Do you agree?
About 2 years ago, I decided to start my little blog: www.SheFarmsBama.com. I majored in American Studies and minored in English at The University of Alabama. Writing came naturally to me. I hoped that sharing my experiences in farming through a blog would help other women to see a relatable side of farming. Perhaps it would inspire others to take on a hobby farm. Maybe other sister farmers would find encouragement from me in this sometimes-lonesome career. But mostly, I hoped to find a way to supplement my farm’s income. Because let’s face it, farming alone is never going to pay the bills.
Are you interested in supplementing your farm income by blogging? KEEP READING!
Starting a blog is an enormous undertaking. I’m not going to lie – building my website took a lot of grit and determination. The only class I failed in college was an HTML class. If that doesn’t give you some encouragement that you can do this too, then I don’t know what will.
If you are interested in starting a blog about your farm, I encourage you to at least explore it. Before investing a lot of time and money into building a website, you may want to try one of the free blogging sites like Blogger.com to see if you enjoy blogging. However, if you want to start a blog with the intention of making money by blogging, I recommend you purchase your domain name through a webhosting company that will upload WordPress to your site.
Here are the tools that I used to build my website:
In the beginning….
- “What the Tech?” by Lesley Clavijo. If you do not read another word of this blog post, know that this resource is the reason why my blog exists. I have read, listened to, and bought from other blogging instructors, but Lesley is HANDS DOWN the best instructor out there. Not only does she give you “What the Tech?”, which holds your hand every step of the way through creating your blog, she has a Facebook group where she answers your questions, should you have any. The “What the Tech?” Facebook group is so supportive of each other, it is not unusual for another group member to chime in to your problem before Lesley even knows you’re there! The “What the Tech?” Facebook group is only accessible if you purchase the course. However, if you are curious about this blogging thing, but you’re not quite ready to jump in, head over to Lesley’s free Facebook group called “The Launch Room“. You can join there and see how other bloggers and business owners use the power of blogging to support their businesses.
- “Building a Framework” by Abby Lawson. Abby developed this course to help you organize your thoughts for blogging. She teaches you how to discover your blog’s purpose, how to develop content that will interest your readers, and how to make money though blogging. “Building a Framework” is the perfect companion to “What the Tech?”. I used both resources to develop my site.
- Karthost is my site’s webhosting service. There are less expensive hosting services out there, but I can guarantee you that there is not a service that is more customer-friendly than Karthost. They handled my domain name purchase, and the WordPress.org installation in a snap! On the few occasions I have had an issue with my website, all I had to do is open a ticket, and they have responded within minutes. Rapid customer service is especially important if you are selling a product from your website. Website down = no $$ making!
Bringing your site to life….
4. StudioPress is where I bought the Genesis Framework that powers my WordPress site. Lesley explains the nuts and bolts of the Genesis Framework in “What the Tech?”. She compares it to the “engine” that runs your website whereas the theme (as described in 5 below) is the “paint”.
5. Restored 316. My website theme is from Restored 316. Lauren Gaige has developed some of the most beautiful website themes. Like Lesley, Lauren has a Facebook group for those who have purchased themes from Restored 316, and their response to any needs voiced in the group is super quick!
Building a Following…..
- ConvertKit. Any blogging instructor will tell you to start building your email list right away. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest change their algorithms constantly, so you cannot depend on them to grow your following. I use ConvertKit for my email list building platform. It is a bit pricy compared to other email systems like MailChimp that are free, but I am in this for the long haul, and I didn’t want to chance having to move my email list when my list grew in number. (How’s that for optimism?)
- Social Warfare. Have you ever read a blog and scrolled over one of the pictures and the little Pinterest icon showed up? Do you see the little bars at the beginning or end of this post that have the Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter share buttons? Those are there because of the Social Warfare plug-in. You will need this plug-in in order to add that feature to your posts.
That’s all great Melanie, but SHOW ME THE MONEY!
I thought you’d never ask.
How do I make money blogging? By joining companies as their affiliates, and sharing links to their sites with you.
Do you see all of the links referenced in 1-7 above? Those are all my affiliate links to those websites. If you click on those links and make a purchase, I will make a commission at no additional cost to you. Some companies offer higher affiliate commissions than others, but pennies make dollars, and dollars pay the bills. That is one of the ways I supplement my farm income.
Some bloggers post their income reports to their sites to prove to you that all of this is true and that you can make money blogging. I choose not to do that because I don’t want to give you a false sense of what your income may be should you choose to blog. Just like you have to spend lots of time cultivating your fields and growing your crop before you see monetary results, you have to put a lot into writing your blog content and growing your email list before you begin to make money.
I will, however, offer you a word of caution–Be wary of these bloggers who promise you can make thousands of dollars in your first month of blogging. Yes, you may have one month where a post goes viral and you make lots of money, but you can have months where you do not have as much traffic as well. You have to post good content consistently, maintain contact with your followers, and put a lot of effort into building your following through an email list.
I hope my blogging experience has encouraged you to consider blogging about your farm. There is a growing interest among the general public to know the source of their food. People are genuinely interested in what we do, and I hope you will want to share your farm life with the rest of the world.
Disclosure: Some of the links within are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase some items, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Also, 100% of any money made from this blog is put back into the feed, care, and well being of our cows and bees, as well as the care of the land upon which they are fed. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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