BlissDom ’08 Recap: The Mommy Blogger

#BlissDom08 - I spent the weekend with a group of women that refer to themselves as Mommy Bloggers. Unfamiliar with the term (even though I am a mother who blogs), or what it means exactly, I decided to look it up. In an article on BlogHER, which has a tag devoted to mommyblogging, one of the readers summed it up like this:

"I blog to remind myself that I am not alone in my daily struggles of Mommy-hood. I blog to vent. I blog to share my amazing kids with the world. I blog to keep my sanity. I blog for free therapy. I blog because I LOVE it!" -source

The one thing you dont hear there at all is "I blog to make money online". And that is the exact sentiment that I picked up from the women I met at the BlissDom '08 event. But over dinner, after the event, the conversation quickly turned to how can I make money blogging...

Interesting to note is that no one at this event knew who I was before yesterday, or that I've been making money online since 1997. Much less that it is my sole source of income, and that I make a pretty decent living at it. Said tongue in cheek of course. Those of you that read along here have a good idea of how well I do online.

Photos by @SecretAgentMamaI was asked to speak at this event, and quickly realized that this was not my usual audience. I spent the day listening, getting to know some of the bloggers, and getting a feel for their direction.

I spoke at the very end of the day, and decided to ditch my hardcore "make 5-figures per month in the next 90 days!" for a more subtle approach. Instead I shared my personal story with them, talked about the options and opportunities... and encouraged them to define their objective.

Being a parent defines many of us in a big way, especially when the children are young. But we are also individuals with outside interests. This really stood out to me as I met and talked to some of the women who invested their time to attend this event. I met women with amazing professional backgrounds, skills, hobbies and personal interests.

Some of these women confessed that they work full-time hours (or more) maintaining their personal blogs, but none of them were even earning as little as $10 an hour for their time. I have to applaud them the passion they obviously have for their personal blogs. But at the same time I knew that they were there for a reason. Right? Surely.

Did they travel, some with baby in tow, just to meet each other in person... or did they have an underlying objective, and a desire to take their blogs to the next level?

Some were very adamant about the topic, about "not pimping their kids" or "destroying their personal brand". Apparently there is a negative connotation about making money on Mommy Blogs.

Looking at it as a niche, its obvious that it is short term. Mommies turn into mothers, and mothers turn into grandmothers. Diapers and strollers are only going to be the hot topic for a certain number of years.

I'm speaking from experience - my own children are now 12 & 17 years old and I cant even recall the last time "poop" came up in conversation at my house (which was a hot topic yesterday, btw).

It seems obvious to me that being a Mommy Blogger is about having a personal blog, an outlet and a journal. And nothing more. But these women are starting to see numbers - visitors, comments... even dollars - and it piques their interest.

"Can I really make money at this?"

Over dinner is when the conversation really shifted, and I talked openly about how to make money blogging - and how to make money online in general. They shared what they had tried, what hadnt worked for them on their "mommy blogs" and we talked about why - and how to turn it around.

I shared two links with them, which were:

These women had mastered the basic skills of setting up blogs, managing communities, getting traffic from social networks, registering domain names, etc - everything except niche marketing. While most of them said they would love to earn $500/month to compensate them for their time & expenses... I could easily see some of them earning $5,000 per month or higher.

This was a real eye-opener for me, and I found it interesting to say the least. I work with people every single day that are struggling with all of those basic skills for setting up a blog, but that are starting out with the intent to make money at it. On the flip side, this group was blogging because they loved it... period.

Listening to them talk over dinner, I was hearing niche opportunity left and right. They have a college education, impressive career experience, and a huge variety of talents & personal interests. If I can make money blogging... then I know that some of the amazing women I met yesterday can achieve the same success that I have, if not more.

The main problem that I see (from my perspective) is that they are trying to identify themselves, thus the need for the term Mommy Blogger. A positive shift would be to instead define their blog and the readership that they want to attract, ie carving out a niche and becoming a "Niche Blogger".

That doesnt mean they should ditch their personal blogs. They have some very cool blogs out there. But it means that they can branch out and use what they have learned to start earning a very substantial income in the same amount of time they are already investing online.

I decided to follow-up with a free webinar series for this group, specifically for those that do want to go from personal blogger to professional blogger. The series will run for 4 weeks, one live webinar per week, and there are only 100 lines. If there is space left, I will open this up to anyone outside of the BlissDom group that would like to learn more about how to make money blogging.

If you want to get notification about this free online event, be sure to register for my free webinars at the SSWT site. This series will run on a different day & time, but I'll put out the details through that list.

I topped off my trip by meeting with Lizzie Keiper, one of my own favorite 'personal bloggers' who happens to live in the Nashville area. She has been blogging for 5 years now, and doesnt do it for pay - but rather for passion. We had an intense conversation about this, and I managed to capture some of it in an interview with Lizzie after lunch:

Lizzie told me that she would love to earn money with her work online... but says that there is a fine balance between doing it for passion and doing it for pay. "Its all about staying true to yourself, and to your vision."

Well said! Some of the most successful blogs (in terms of both profit & exposure) are written by people who have a genuine passion for their topic, and truly enjoy blogging. I could relate to that of course, as I absolutely love writing here at ClickNewz - and on the other blogs that I own. But like Lizzie said, if you can stay true to that passion and earn money doing it too... why not?!

If you have a personal blog, or consider yourself a "Mommy Blogger", I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you want to make money blogging, or what are your general thoughts on the 'title' of Mommy Blogger and making money online?


p.s. Remember to register for the free webinar series, and feel free to post any questions you have about how to make money blogging below. Any questions/thoughts you have will prove helpful as I put together the upcoming series. Thx!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»


  1. My mommy story is pretty complicated, so I don't even dwell on that too much (I am a step mom and my parents have adopted my birth daughter). I do have a personal blog that I don't really keep for the sole purpose of earning money. I just keep that one so I can have somewhere to put the stuff that doesn't fit in with my business blog.

    I don't really see a problem with people that don't have a desire to make money with their blog. Sometimes it's nice to have an outlet to vent on. I don't think people who desire to make money with their blogs should be condemned. That's a bit much. I think there should be some sort of happy medium between the two groups.

  2. Cathy Bendzunas says

    Very interesting! I would have loved to been at this group although, I'm an older mom blogger too with teens & up.
    Sounds like this was an eye oprning experience for both you & them. Hopefully it will open doors for these young moms.
    I'd love to get in on this webinar series!

  3. To Think Is To Create says

    Lynn, your story is so inspiring, and what you do is amazing and--YES--so many of us are educated and totally have the skills to be making money at this. I feel a new sense of hope about my family's own financial struggles, and I have you to thank for that.

    I'm so excited to learn more from you and see what the future holds. Thanks again for coming to BlissDom 08!

  4. Lynn, This is a great summary. I think the house was probably equally divided b/t money makers & mommy end all. But I'm not sure anyone could say that I never want to make money on my blog. Seriously! I think many of them fear failure, I know I used to fear it a lot. I personally have failed a lot. But just as in life and in running (my passion) you really have to look at it in another way... 'Experience is what you gain when you don't get the results you wanted' Failed relationship, bad run, poor business decision; it all leads to knowledge and experience gained.

    I've browsed your site and love what you are doing for people: Cutting through the chaos and breaking it down in digestible steps. I have already completed my google searches on my 2 hot topics (running & life post divorce) per your instructions. Need to read more for the next steps, but I'm excited to go farther in the near future.

  5. Lynn- this is a fantastic topic- and one very near to my heart as this is what i have felt led to do. Help other moms and encourage them through being real and looking for solutions that will make our lives easier as moms.
    Even though you don't directly blog about being a mom- you are a mommy blogger.
    And one that i believe other moms can look up to and find great advice and insight as to how to overcome their barriers in monetizing this passion.
    Personally in the beginning of the year when I joined the elite group I also had this barrier in my mind. Slowly my thinking has turned around and understood the balance.
    Your elite brainstorming sessions have helped me in doing this πŸ˜‰
    I'm very much looking forward to the upcoming webinars.
    Blessings to ya,
    Eren Mckay

  6. Very interesting observations from your point of view, Lynn. You're so right. I've interviewed over 20 mom bloggers about how blogging has changed their lives and not one has said that they blog to make money. Thanks for your insight.

  7. I'm *really* glad you were there this weekend πŸ™‚ If I can make money off the blog, great, but right now I'm finding it difficult to knit and blog at the same time πŸ™‚

  8. Thank you - great comments, and a great addition here! My mind is still reeling with ideas I picked up from BlissDom and from my conversation with Lizzie Keiper.

    As I said, I usually work with people that come at it from the opposite direction, trying to make money blogging - without all of that passion and without having those basic skills for it. I think much can be learned from those on each end of that spectrum, and everyone in between.

    The free follow-up webinar series will begin this Friday, October 24th - at 10am central / 11am eastern. The purpose of the series will be to help everyone define their own personal objectives, learn what their options are, improve their current earnings or start earning money if they arent already.

    My goal is to create success stories to be shared at the next BlissDom event in February '09!

  9. Again, so wonderful to meet you! For me personally, the money is the icing. But I'm with you - "why not?!" I'm doing this anyway!

  10. I wanted to extend my thanks to you for traveling to meet with us in Nashville over the weekend. I am very excited to have been able to network with you and look forward to learning so much more from all of your hard work and willingness to pay it forward.

    I also wanted to share with you that I crossed over and surpassed a personal goal to reach 1000 subscribers. I'm humbled that I can and do reach even 1000. I am ready to grow again in many directions.

    :::::Applause for Lynn::::::

    Yes, I am learning that we are influencial as bloggers, as women, as human beings...


  11. Congratulations Ginger! That is an awesome milestone to reach, certainly nothing to sneeze at. This is one of the main points that became evident as I was listening in during the BlissDom event - you are all seeing results (traffic, money, opportunities, etc) and it is opening the door to explore ways to grow.

    I look forward to working with you in the upcoming webinar series - and to reviewing your blog specifically. You have a great thing going on!

  12. Scott Tousignant says

    OK, so I'm not a mommy blogger... I'm a daddy πŸ˜‰ but I would love to add to the conversation if you don't mind.

    First of all you touched on two key ingredients for a successful blog and successful business...

    Passion and being true to yourself. If you absolutely love what you are doing and can talk about your niche topic all day, you've got a recipe for long term success.

    If you pretend to be something that you are not, your readers will see right through it. Just being YOU is the best thing that you can do. Don't be afraid to share your flaws as well. It will help your audience relate to you.

    I continuously read very entertaining mommy blogs and I love them even though I'm not a mommy.

    And if I see that a mommy who recently read a book to help potty train their child and I was struggling to potty train my child, I sure would hope that she would leave a link to that book and would not mind at all if it's an affiliate link. That mommy blogger just helped make my life easier so she deserves a reward of commissions.

    The great thing with this approach is that it's more of a soft sell. You are just sharing the products and programs that you are currently using and that are working for you.

    Second, I love including my kids in my workout videos, pictures in blog posts, or just discussing our family life and how we live an active and healthy lifestyle.

    My audience resonates with the fact that I keep it real when it comes to fitness and health, and I always get the best response when a member of my family, whether it be child or cat, hops into my workout video.

    Here's a video where my 5 year old daughter completely surprised me and started exercising right along side of me. Then she brought me some water in one of her plastic tea cups. My audience loved that πŸ˜‰

    If you have a mommy blog, you don't necessarily have to discuss every thing about being a mom on your blog.

    You can have your blog focused on a certain niche such as The copyrighting Mom and simply incorporate your family life into your niche blog.

    The possibilities are endless, but you really need to find your unique voice and I believe that comes from the 2 main points above... Your passion and being true to yourself.

    Stand out amongst the other mommy bloggers and let the real you shine through.

    Thanks for letting me share my 2 cents as a daddy blogger πŸ˜‰

    Scott Tousignant

  13. Awesome points, Scott - and what an adorable little girl! I just watched your video and it really made me smile. We are so very fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue a career AND raise our children... the way we want to.

    In the video I shared in the original post above, my daughter was holding the camera as I introduced the Lizzie Keiper interview. My children are a huge part of my everyday life behind the scenes, and I love that. Every day is "take your children to work day" - and I see more and more parents (moms & dads alike) taking advantage of this awesome opportunity!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I love the balance you bring to the topic πŸ˜€

  14. Lynn -

    I will echo everyone's sentiments - It was great to meet you and I really enjoyed further delving into your brain at dinner. (that sounds yummy doesn't it?? ha ha) You provided a lot of great resources to those of us that would like to pursue making some money but do not know where to go or even where to begin. Thanks for hangin' with all us crazy mommies! I had a blast.

  15. Sounds like BlissDom was a success and I bet after hearing you everyone walked away with so many ideas. The video was great, thanks for sharing.

  16. Deb Gallardo says

    I can't help but wonder how different my life would have been 20 years ago (back when AOL had the first Windows-based ISP environment and they didn't have a gazillion members) when my daughter was born. If I could have blogged about what was going on in my life, I'm guessing I wouldn't be divorced now. I would have had access to clinical depression information, found support, continued to write instead of giving up, and have an established web presence, not to mention a business (or a novel).

    But, alas, blogs were unheard of - hadn't really been "invented" yet. Still, I wonder...

  17. Wow! Happy to learn BlissDom '08 was spectacular. Your insight into the lives of the women is much appreciated. Did you find that a portion of the women who weren't making $ simply didn't know the steps of how to monetize? Monetizing knowledge is daunting for women who are in the early years of mommyhood. I'm there now, and as you mention, dirty diapers and sippy cups make "focus time" a premium. Appreciate your post tremendously.

  18. Did you find that a portion of the women who weren’t making $ simply didn’t know the steps of how to monetize?

    I did, Ashley - there were quite a few who were obviously interested, and shared what they had tried and what was & wasnt working for them. I got a lot of great ideas just talking to everyone there, and look forward to a successful follow-up series for everyone involved!

  19. I can’t help but wonder how different my life would have been 20 years ago...

    Fortunately we have a lot more options & opportunity today than ever before. Which is every reason in the world to start today and achieve success! I wake up every day grateful for it. And *hugs* to ya, Deb - I never expected to find myself divorced and raising children on my own... But we are where we are, and we continue forward from here πŸ˜‰

  20. Allison Worthington says

    You, my new friend, should have been talking the whole time. LOL!

    I am so happy that you had a chance to get to know how so many of the "Mommy Blogging" community feels. Now, you can teach us how to parlay our talent into revenue!

    Thank you so much for everything. Looking forward to learning from you for years to come.

    xoxo, Alli

  21. No way, Alli - I had tons of fun hanging out in the back of the room listening to you and Robin and Megan and all the super cool ladies of BlissDom!

    I cant tell you how many times I almost spewed my coffee while Megan had the mic haha - she is a riot!!

    Thanks again for inviting me to the event. I had a fabulous time and look forward to the webinar series πŸ˜€

  22. Secret Agent Mama says

    This whole weekend has my mind spinning. Spinning in a good way. I know I can write. I know I can take pictures. Now I need to know what I want to do. I've got a million ideas. I just need to get it started, right. And, because of what you said I am headed in the right direction.

    Thanks for speaking to us. I took it all to heart, and when I do that I am a better person for what I heard.

  23. You have a true talent with that camera, SAM (love the acronym for your name!). I was just visiting your blog last night and noticed what a talented writer you are as well. Amazing!

    You have two skills that so many bloggers struggle with - content & illustration - and from my point of view you are sitting on a goldmine of potential πŸ˜‰

  24. Lynn,
    I am a little unique to this because I come from the other side. I am a mommy blogger, but I was a person who was blogging and working online to make money BEFORE I became a mommy blogger. The professional for me came first. However, I make most my money in a service based business online (ghostwriting) and I have a ministry site as well, which I am slowly making money on from info products. I'm a member of your forums and of Mom Masterminds and started out my ventures online TO make money as my career as a Work at home mom. I met several of the ladies who attended Blissdom at another conference this past summer and since then met soooo many mommy bloggers online and I was suprised about one thing. THey consider what they do "work" but they don't get paid. That blew me away because they are so happy doing it. THey are passionate. I too am passionate, but I guess I just needed the income too. I do love everything that I do from ghostwriting to ministering to teen girls & their moms to mommy blogging. But hey this concept of making money from my mommy blog too, now that's intriguing. I will be signing up for the seminars. Thanks! Alyssa

  25. Excellent Alyssa! I remember looking at your sites, and you have a great thing going on. Its so cool to get such a variety of perspectives, and hear what matters most to everyone from the 'personal blogging' perspective.

    There are tons of personal blogs out there, not just by moms. Lizzie Keiper is not a mother, for example - but has maintained her personal blog (profit free) for 5 years now.

    Should be a fun series!

  26. Jenny from Mommin' It Up! says

    Thanks Lynn, for speaking this weekend and for this great article! Your comment that "mommies turn into mothers" has really got me thinking! Where will my blog be when my kids are older? Will I no longer be interesting or relevant? I've got to start working on my voice so my readers will want to read me whether I'm still wiping bums or not!

  27. Leisa Hammett says

    Lynn, I loved your msg. to us Sat. And I was blessed by they way you looked into my eyes and showed such genuine interest in getting to know me -- for a few brief minutes post lunch.

    I would like to respectfully disagree with a comment way above. While I agree some Moms might feel failure, some moms may truly have the intent of not earning money and just wishing to blog. I was there once (before blogging was invented) when I was still married. Actually, I was freelance writing for money, but I was content in earning only the pay and rewards of motherhood. I do think some people truly have no monetary aim and I think that's fine. Sure, some may fear failure but it's too broad of a generalization to state that all are fearing and therefore saying not wanting to earn moola.

    Also, I agree with your comment about looking back to 20 years ago. That's why I'm so behind on this. I started my business nearly 20 years ago w/ a word processor pre-baby. Baby was born with autism. And Mommy and Daddy divorced five years later. What is is what is. The past is Dead. The Future not born. All we have is Right Now. And here we are!

    BTW, I'm the self-called "VirginMommyBlogger" (not my blog name) for the day at Blissdom. You can google my name or check my daughter's website to locate me as I s-l-o-w-l-y get up to blogging.

  28. Leisa,
    Its a real pleasure to hear from you, and to get your take on this topic. I enjoyed meeting you Saturday and thought you posed some terrific questions throughout the day. You added a lot of great points to the discussions!

    I agree with you that there are many people who are blogging simply because they love to blog. Lizzie Keiper is a good example, which is why I included the video interview with this post. Lizzie is not a mother, but has been blogging passionately for 5 years now - without monetizing her work online.

    You're right - there are thousands (I cant imagine the true number) of personal blogs out there that are driven by the desire to share. I love it! I am certainly not putting the concept down, and hope that nobody mistook my position on that. I found it both refreshing and fascinating, considering my position in the grand scheme of all things blogging.

    And yes - I'm big on "no regrets". Its all about right here, right now... and where to next? πŸ˜‰

  29. Hi! You'd asked me to let you know when I'd posted my photos... they're here: Enjoy!

  30. Thank you, so much, Lynn for speaking at BlissDom. I'm still kicking myself for not dragging my baby to dinner so that i could listen to you speak more.

    can't wait for the webinar!


  31. Colleen - Mommy Always Wins says

    Hey there - another Blissdom attendee here. My issue lies in finding that niche...thus the reason I'm probably still part of that mommy blogger set! Would love to attend your webinars.

    Thanks again for sharing your story at Blissdom!

  32. Notes for the free Webinar series:

    Day: Friday
    Time: 10am central / 11am eastern
    Dates: Oct 24, Oct 31, Nov 7, Nov 14

    Login at:

    Username: (Your Name)
    Password: blissdom

    Note: Be sure to plug in your microphone or headset before you log into the room if you want to speak. There is also text chat for those that prefer not to speak through a mic. Also, the room is not very mac-compatible (it tries, but falls short).

    You'll want to make sure you are signed up here for this, and all free webinars that I host:

  33. Excellent idea Lynn! I've been a "Mommy Blogger" for 12 years now (3 yrs at geocities + 9 yrs on my own domain), since I started my personal web site. I blog about more than just mom stuff, but still blog about that too. πŸ˜‰

  34. Interesting! I've been blogging for 3 1/2 years, just for the love of it. I'm definitely a "mommy blogger". I had no idea it was possible to make that much money blogging? I'm hesitant for the same reasons Lizzie expressed, but curious. I signed up for the webinar and hope to be able to get in on that!

  35. Loved this post and all the great comments/commenters. What a great opportunity for Mommy Bloggers to learn about promoting their website. Lynn has great resources and great advice. I hate it when I HAVE to miss one of her webinars. Believe me when I say, when I am not there I had NO choice. I have learned a ton from Lynn and by watching Lynn. Thank you, Lynn, for all you do for all of us. "Follow Lynn, You Will Win" ;o)

    Live joyfully ~

  36. Thank you Janis πŸ˜€

    Part One of the series brought a full house today. I hope you all walked away with something you could use... and are busy pondering your own individual answers to the question presented. Looking forward to Part Two next Friday!

  37. LaTara - The Unplugged Mom says

    Hey Lynn,

    First off let me say this is a great topic. I have a mom blog that I love because it really does speak me. I only post about once per week and the readers love it, which leads me to think that if I did it more, traffic would increase.

    My blog is about being authentic in Christ and I have been working on ways to try and creatively monetize it without losing those people who enjoy what I write. I refuse to add Google ads because of the personal nature the blog (I get pretty deep sometimes) and I don't want to turn people off. But I won't lie and say that I wouldn't love to make money through the blog if I could.

    I had been thinking about a niche for the blog but again I thought that maybe it was too personal to do that. But reading what you wrote has really helped me to see what I may be able to do to earn and income while I share my life's journey as an unplugged mom.

  38. Niccolo Svengali says

    I think MomBloggers should be careful about how much info they put online. If you'd not want a crazed stalker or your mother-in-law to know certain facts, don't put them online.

    You'd be surprised what Masters Of The Internet can find out about one from just your 'nom de plume'.

  39. Dina Eisenberg ( says

    Very insightful- both your article and the comments, Lynn.

    Recently I attended the Blogher Reach Out Tour in Boston. I got a similar vibe about monetizing blogs. There was a real hesitation, and maybe more. One speaker said that mommybloggers could expect to make grocery money but not pay the mortgage. Absurd!

    That comment troubled me because the message seems to discourage women who might otherwise want to make money with their blogs.

    I doubt male bloggers say that to each other. In fact, top male pro bloggers like Darren Rowse and Yaro Starak both claim 6 figure incomes and teach specifically how to reach that goal.

    You know better than anyone blogging can be a real business that can support a woman and her family. And, I'm all for a gal having her own money.

    By the way, congrats on making the 50 Most Influential Powerful Women in Social Media list. See what blogging can do!


  40. I clicked through a link on Twitter and found this intriguing post.
    I am a Mommy Blogger, and I love it.
    I would love to make money at it!
    It would be a great help to my family and my conscience. πŸ™‚

  41. A lot of start-up bloggers make this same mistake: they tried to create a blog that will cover everything that they can talk about.

    This is a bad way to start.

    Instead start-up bloggers should focus on specific things, on people with specific needs and most importantly they need know how create value for those people with specific needs and interests.

    You need to focus on one specific niche and you need to push one wagon (one blog) at a time. If you'll be working on too many projects - you'll fail.

    Don't get distracted by different opportunities.
    Focus on one blog.
    Focus on one business model (at least for 90 days)
    Be passionate
    And you'll make money.

  42. I am a stay at home mommy of 2 boys a 7 year old and a 2 year old. I am looking for a way to go about getting a little income started myself. I have tryed so many things and have failed so many times. I want to be able to continue to stay at home so my boys always have me and they don't have to go to a daycare center or a babysitter. I think that staying at home with them is the best since their daddy works such long hours for the family. Since he works such very long and hard hours at his job trying to achieve what he wants i want to be apart of doing something for the family as well. I know that staying at home with the boys is a job but sometimes i feel like i haven't given enough. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make a more income for my family and to actually share my live expierences with others to help them out i would greatly appreciate the feedback. Maybe i'm going at this the wrong way that is why i'm asking for suggestions.

  43. There is no doubt in my mind this could work for stay at home moms but don't think it cannot be done without a lot of hard work!

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