How I Made $10k Being a Half Ass Blogger in 2017

PIN IT!Let me start off by saying I hate blogs that are about blogging. They always appear to be click bait articles that lead you down a long-winded path that involves spending money on a program. That is not what this post is going to be about. I had high goals for 2017 and I surpassed those goals being a half ass blogger. No, my work wasn’t half ass but my dedication to blogging was.

Why Only Half Ass?

I’m a mom of 2 and this year we moved out of a terrible landlord situation after a 3 year lease(thank Buddha!) into a bigger, better home. We got pregnant with twins, lost a twin. My three year old knocked out his front tooth on his 3rd birthday at Disneyland. The list goes on and on but the gist is, life happened. Some moms are champs and can swing it all at once and still have hair on their heads. I, however, would have a mental breakdown if I didn’t take time away to recuperate.

Show me the Money

I know, I know, this is really why you all have come here today. How in the hell did I make $10k blogging?! To me, it’s not much because I know full-time bloggers who easily make $100k a year blogging but for newbies and those struggling, I’m sure its worth every penny. I’m going to break down everything I’ve earned and where to give you an idea of how to start generating an income.

Sidebar Ads

I know people LOVE using ads but I seriously despise checking out a blog or site that is covered in ads. Sidebar ads are totally tasteful and do not block the reader’s screen. Also on that note, do you have a subscription box pop up when someone lands on your site? Yeah, get rid of that. I personally will leave a site 100% of the time if this pops up multiple times on your site. Anyways, though sidebar ads are nice revenue if they interest your readers, they don’t make me any money really. If this changes I’ll be happy to update you all but as of now, they’re more work than they’re worth.

JORD – I made a whole $12 from them which can’t be cashed out until I reach $50 so I’ll probably never see that money.

Target – I actually logged into my Target affiliate account after realizing my URL wasn’t working…Turns out it wasn’t working all year.

Servously – This is a new ad that I’ve added to the sidebar so it hasn’t had much time to generate income yet.

Nima Kids – This is a free ad that I don’t make a commission on. I have this one posted for free to support wildlife. <3

Amazon Links – With Amazon, it can be a hit or miss. I made $20 in purchases on small products but nothing with a high return. I do get lots of click-throughs to products though.

Affiliates & Partners

The best way to get started on your trek is to search, find, and sign up for all of the networks that you can. You may be denied initially to some but keep them on your list. You will grow and you will get in with time. I have compiled a list below of my money makers with referral links for you to sign up. I would appreciate if you actually used my link to support me instead of being a dick but I can only dream.

Influence Central – $0 – I typically participate in many campaigns with them but this year their payout offerings were way too low. Sticking to my guns, I opted to pass on everything that was offered.

Everywhere Society – $625 – Everywhere Society has good campaigns and can be a hit or miss on what they offer for payouts. They are generally easy to work with though so I don’t mind it. Please put my name “Jess Holmes” as your referral. 🙂

Sway Group – $600 – Sway Group has very specific directions that must be completed to finish a campaign. They aren’t difficult but they can be overwhelming if you aren’t used to it. Please put my name “Jess Holmes” as your referral.

Activate by BlogLovin’ – $451 – I worked with one company in particular for campaigns but it wasn’t a great experience. They do offer a wide variety of campaigns weekly with a net 45 payout. Please put my name “Jess Holmes” as your referral.

Linqia – $900 – I have a love/hate relationship with Linqia. They are a PPC company so you can do really well or not so great on campaigns. For me, the more links I have to work with, the better my return was. With campaigns that had one link to promote are definitely harder to accomplish. They also promised travel vouchers that they never sent me which really didn’t go over well. Overall, they can be a great money maker.

Single Media Edition – $1,225 – Single Media Edition is a great affiliate company to work with. All of the campaigns I’ve done with them are with Babbleboxx reviews. They are great at paying on time and offer a fair pricing for the work. I highly recommend checking them out. Please put my name “Jess Holmes” as your referral.

Mom it Forward – $300 – Though I’d love to work with Mom it Forward more often, they simply don’t pay for the work. I agreed to one campaign at a low payout because I personally love the product and knew it would be easy for me to talk about. Please put my name “Jess Holmes” as your referral.

Izea – $1,000 – Izea constantly has opportunities available for pay weekly. They range from sponsored posts to social media updates and more. They are very easy to work with and have a net30 payout. I highly recommend them as a source of income for the newbie or expert blogger.

Revfluence – $825 – Revfluence is a great affiliate to work with. They don’t have a ton of opportunities but the ones they offer are worthwhile. Easy money and you can communicate directly with the company you are partnering with.

Sponsored Posts – $2085

I work with a variety of different companies from local brands to big PR agencies with sponsored posts. The best way to hop on this train is to sign up with PR agencies groups and let them know you are open to reviewing their products. If you want local attention, cover local events. Once you get your foot in the word of mouth seems to travel quickly. I went from 1-2 local events a year to 10-12 this year.

Social Media Amplification

If there’s one thing I could stress about social media, it is to grow what you’re good at. You don’t have to be a boss at all platforms, you just need to start with one. For instance, my strongest platform is Instagram. It’s what I like, its where I connect with my followers the best. Next up would be Pinterest as its the most eye-pleasing fun to participate in and grow. Not to mention, Pinterest is a huge traffic booster! I signed up for tailwind this year and it has totally been worth every penny. You can get 100 pins free and $ off if you want to give it a try using this link:

Lastly, it would be a tie between Facebook and Twitter. With Twitter, I’ve been pretty decent at gaining followers but the engagement is a bit harder. With Facebook, gaining followers is a struggle but engagement is easier.

The point is, if you don’t want to commit fully to blogging, you can totally be a micro influencer in social media. If you add a blog to that then you are only adding to your income. This year I was paid as much as $500 for one Instagram photo, yes, you read that correctly, one photo.

Goals for 2018

My goals are simple for this coming year. I hope to be more on top of blogging this year and double my income. Due to my love of social media, I am diving into the world of social media managing and can’t wait to see where it takes me. I love sharing any advice that I personally can vouch for so why not put my skills to the test? I hope to grow all of my social media followers to be double what they currently are. I’d like to see this done in 6 months honestly but we will see what our new babe decides once he’s here.

Moral of the Story

The moral of the story is that blogging can go as far you’d like it to go. You CAN grow your blog and make money but you have to put in the work and be patient. If there is anything that is unclear or you’d like to more know about, drop me a comment below. I promise I will do my best to help you with your own blogging journey. Here’s to 2018!


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  • Karen Morse

    I love it! It’s all about the effort that you put into your blog. I think you did amazing and I’m sure you’ll continue to earn more in the coming years!

  • Erika Ramona

    I never thought of getting income from blogging. And WOW you’ve gone a long way, good for you! This surely makes me contemplate on my future goals.

  • Dee Jackson

    Thank you so much for all the great info. I will definitely be using alot of what I learned this year.

  • Kelly @ trial and eater

    I loved reading about how you made your blogging money! But I would not count it as half-assed, you sound like you’ve got your hands full!

  • Sarah Bailey

    Wow it sounds like you did amazingly, I love how you have gone into details on how you made everything, I hope to make more this year.

  • Tosha Ornelas

    These sr great thanks for all the helpful info I’m def gonna save and try new stuff this year to so I can try to make more money for my family. So inspiring u seem like such a strong woman!

  • LavandaMichelle

    This is a good example of how hard work pays off. Literally. Im glad your hard work payed off.

  • Andrea

    This is all great info and I agree with you I am also one of those that dislike ads but agree with sidebar ads. These are all such great examples of how do make some side money. BTW congrats on the move and out of that reallt not fun environment.

  • Sela

    Your hard work has paid off. Success is the result of preparations, hard work and learning from your failure. You deserve it. A very interesting read.

  • KC Puentespina

    When I started blogging 4 months ago my dream was to make money out of it someday. But as time went by I realized how much dedication and hardwork it needs. So I started reevaluating my goals. But this one here gave me hope again that it could still happen.

  • Becca

    I feel like we’re veryyyy similar haha, I HATE blogs about blogging (but I don’t mind a random post about blogging here and there!) I definitely need to get my ass into gear and work on earning money on my blog, because so far, there’s an occasional adsense payout but nothing else!

  • Miah

    I like this article a lot, you share some great insight and I love that you were so open and honest xx

  • fashion-mommy

    It’s great that you are sharing your knowledge and success with others bloggers. Sharing the love is always a good thing to do.

  • Constance

    Great work that a lot of money for a newbie, this is the best detailed post (income wise) i’ve seen so far

  • Bo

    Interesting article. Actually, never thought about ANY of those revenue streams. Not sure which one’s will work for me, but definitely worth checking out.
    I agree with you on Twitter and Facebook – although FB is my media of choice at the moment.
    Just getting started with Pinterest, and Instagram – maybe later.

  • Joy

    Wow thanks for the help for fhe new bloggers .it helps us to start

  • Yolanda

    Thank you for all the great tips! I have been working on trying to get more exposure to my blog and eventually make a small income from it and this post has really helped! ❤️

  • Yashin

    I just clicked those links and registered! Thank so much! Izea actually need to copy the code and I was not able to verify ??

    Thanks for sharing

    • Jess

      I think it may automatically do it but thank you for letting me know. I will definitely double check! 🙂

  • Ashley

    ahhh! I LOVE this! Thank you for being so honest and helpful! I will DEFINITELY incorporate your tips into my blog! ❤️ THANK YOU THANK YOUUUU 🙌🏻

  • Kate

    This is the most legit post I’ve ever read on this topic. I can definitely use this info! THANK YOU for being honest and hilarious! 🙌😂

  • Ania

    Hi, I found a link to your post on FB and I enjoyed reading your ways of earning I’m still new to it, have strong Instagram, but blog hmm not really and your post encourage me to keep trying and writing, thanks again

  • AlLy

    I absolutely love this post! One of the first honest posts a out making money blogging I have ever read!
    “Don’t be a dick” really got me 🤣

  • Elyssa Sugar-Katz

    I’m so thankful for this list! It’s so hard to make it as a new blogger especially with such a specific niche. You’re really hustling so keep it up!

  • Dani

    Hi, I tried going to these websites to apply but I’m not sure I feel safe putting in my address and social security number. I’m so afraid of my information being stolen or put into the wrong hands. Have you had any trouble with that Sway Group?