How I Grew my Smallholding Blog into a Full-time Income
Many of you have been sending me emails and messages about blogging lately. You’ve been wanting to know more details and many of you are keen to start your own so I thought I'd write a post. If you are ready to get started but don't know how take a look at How to make money from your blog, get a following and sell more products.
Since rural enterprise, diversification, homebased business is one of my (many) favourite subjects I am more than happy to oblige in talking about this.
It's relatively easy to turn your little blogging hobby where you talk about every thing you love in to a full time income that can produce much needed income for your smallholding.
This year blogging has become a big part of my life, it’s been an essential part of my business especially since the lockdown’s and losing my entire service business because of covid.
I started blogging many years ago about 6 months after I moved in to my first smallholding. I loved writing and sharing our smallholding adventures but I never had a plan, had no clue how people would find my blog and never started it to make money.
I started The Woman That Farms on a whim. And honestly? I’m not even sure why.
Although I’d written a blog for years but it fell by the wayside as life got really busy and I just didn’t have the time to write anymore, eventually the domain name expired and it disappeared.
Then just 12 months ago I got the inclination I should start writing again. I didn’t know what I was going to call the blog, what I was really going to write about or how on earth I was going to find the time!
Out of the blue the name The Woman That Farms came to me, I searched to see if the domain was available, when I found it was - that was it! I found the time and in December 2019 I shared my first post on my brand new shiny blog.
I have NEVER done social media for business or personally, I had a social media manager for my business pages so I had no idea how it all worked! Starting with zero followers I set up my The Woman That Farms pages and very slowly started to grow a following of likeminded folk.
Just three short months into my blogging journey covid hit and I had to close everything down losing all of my income this year. I had no idea how I was going to get through this and already heavily in debt I’d be lying if I said panic wasn’t setting in.
Over the years I've sold online courses and hosted workshops at my smallholding but neither were ever a serious income or something I really pushed. It occurred to me in early spring that I could put my skills and knowledge to good use and get my workshops online.
So, I moved my blog on to a more suitable platform for selling digital and physical products and started putting my courses and workshops together as well as building an online store of physical goods.
It all took time and I was learning even more new skills, setting this up as a business is something I haven't done in the past, there was a lot to learn but I had the time since it was lockdown!
Like any business turning your blog in to a money maker is not a get rich quick thing! It takes a lot of time and effort to get up and running and get a following of people but with that time and effort it is totally doable.
I am living proof that you can grow your blog in to something really special that you can use as tool for good and in turn make a really good living from – but – You have to be prepared to put in the work!
Within five short months of starting my little hobby blog I’d turned this website into a fully fledged business and it started making money. The only thing I had to sell at the time were online courses I sat and wrote every evening when I’d finished my other work.
If you are already writing a blog you know you have something to give to the world, you have skills and knowledge that other people would like to learn.
Everyone has a skill that someone else wants to know about
For transparency…. I have written and sold online courses off and on for about 15 years so I already had an open mind and knew this was definitely worth exploring and when alls said and done, at that point I had nothing to lose!
It didn’t take long before I saw my first sale come in, it was for my herbal tea blending course that I sell for £25. I was so excited when this first sale came in, it gave me the energy and drive I needed to keep going.
It takes work to get set up but once you've got going it's really not that hard or time consuming to keep your little online business going.
Think about all the ways you could use your blog, you can add physical products as well as digital, these days there's podcasts, youtube to help you add interesting content.
A few of my income streams include:
- Online Courses— this is my largest income stream and honestly, the one I enjoy the most as I have had the privilege of developing relationships with many amazing people as I’ve helped them learn new skills and even develop their own businesses.
- Physical Products— I have a few physical product businesses too and have developed a couple of other lines to add to my inventory, all made on the farm and I sell the products on the blog and offline too.
- Mentorship programs— These are a big seller and for people who want a more in depth learning experience that also get to spend some time with you.
I don’t however do banner ad’s, affiliate links etc on my blog – it’s a personal choice, I personally dislike them on websites and find them immensely annoying! The revenue isn’t great and it’s time consuming to set up and run.
But, this is an option you could explore if you wanted to.
How Do You Find the Time?
It’s been a journey. I had a lot of new skills to learn including taking decent photographs – something that’s never been my forte!
During my first couple of months of blogging, I worked many evenings in to the wee small hours getting it set up, writing content and studying.
As the blog growth started to snowball, I wanted to devote a little more time to developing it further so called in reinforcements to help me. My sister came and helped out, that meant I could pass over work from my other businesses and not worry as much about time.
In a short space of time I took this little farm blog from a hobby to generating a full-time income for my family. I believe if I can do this anyone can.