After waking up to a toddler poking her in the eye, Susan leaps out of bed, rounds up her three kids, chases the brood to the breakfast table, fills cereal bowls and sippy cups, wipes jelly from sticky faces and rushes big brother and sister to the bus stop. It's another day in the life of a stay-at-home parent. Once she puts her two-year-old down for his afternoon nap, Susan sinks into the couch, breathes a sigh of relief and flips open her laptop. It's time to enter the blogosphere and make some money. (With thousands of blogs on the web, it's hard to sort the good from the bad. Find out how to pick the best, in 4 Traits Of A Top Financial Blog.)
In Pictures: Learn To Invest In 10 Steps
This is becoming an increasingly common scenario, as swarms of stay-at-home parents discover they can earn some extra dough by blogging about their lives. As a matter of fact, studies show that there are more than 20 million bloggers in the U.S., and 1.7 million of those are getting paid to blog. That means nearly 1% of American adults are blogging for cash. Even more astonishing is that eMarketer estimates advertising on blogs will reach an all-time high of $746 million by 2012.
Light-Years Beyond a Digital Scrapbook
While mommy and daddy blogs used to resemble glorified digital scrapbooks, these stay-at-home parent blogs have grown up enormously in recent years. Parent blogs of 2010 don't merely include the latest snapshots of the rug rats with cleverly written captions for long-distance relatives to enjoy.
Today's parent blogs are chock-full of hilarious anecdotes, invaluable advice, product reviews and riveting tales about the rollercoaster ride of parenthood. Thousands of moms and dads flock to these blogs, searching for relatable stories, much-needed guidance and a little camaraderie with fellow parents. The most entertaining parent blogs have readers LOL-ing and coming back for more time and time again. (Find out how to snag a career that could bring you more than money, in Social Finance Careers: Creating A Better World.)
Boring Blog Topics? As If!
These stay-at-home parents don't just blog about their loveable litters. Many of these bloggers delve into other juicy topics, like sex after kids, marital issues and their struggles to give up their professional careers to stay home with the kids.
Some bloggers serve up how-to advice for their fans, such as how to keep your skin looking fresh and young after 30, how to sew a dinosaur costume or how to keep the passion alive in your marriage. Others take a page out the infamous Perez Hilton's book and write about the latest celebrity dramas and red carpet fashion faux pas.
Some of these blogs are popular enough to attract sponsors and advertisers, and a few lucky stay-at-home parent bloggers eventually expand into paid journalism or marketing jobs. In other words, parent blogging is no longer just a hobby – it's become a full-fledged, legitimate career choice. (If your head is in the clouds, check out the down-to-earth financial advice for couples, in You Can't Live On Love.)
A Few Extra Bucks to a Six-Figure Income
So, how much does a Mrs. or Mr. Mom blogger earn? Obviously, the amount varies wildly depending on the popularity and success of a blog. A blog can generate income ranging from $25 a month to a whopping six figures a year. However, out of the 20 million or so bloggers out there, only 2% make a successful living in the blogosphere.
A talented blogger-for-hire can earn $75-200 for a good post. Then there are bloggers who are paid by advertisers to write about their products for some major moolah.
Advertisers have discovered mommy and daddy blogs attract hordes of other parents, and where there are parents, there's money to be made. If a blogging mom raves about how much she loves the latest juice box brand, under-eye wrinkle cream or fashionable diaper bag, thousands of her readers are likely to rush out and buy that fabulous product. Of course, advertisers want to get a piece of that action - and they're willing to pay the price.Reducing the amount you spend is the easiest way to make your money grow. Find out more in 5 Money-Saving Shopping Tips.)
Pro Bloggers Make the Big Bucks
Surprisingly, there's quite a bit of upward mobility in the wonderful world of blogging. Some stay-at-home mom and dad bloggers start out dishing about parenthood, and before they know it, a major corporation is offering them a full-time consultant job.
These highly-paid blogging consultants work for high-traffic sites and can earn anywhere from $45,000-90,000 a year. Of these pro bloggers, 1% score more than $200,000 a year. Now, that's certainly not chump change. However, because most of these full-time blogging consultants work up to 60 hours a week, this high-level blogging job may not be ideal for a stay-at-home mommy or daddy. (If you own a business, this may be the plan for you! Find out about its benefits and eligibility requirements in 401(k) Plans For The Small Business Owner.)
It's clear that blogging has become a viable part-time career option for parents. So, if you're a stay-at-home mom or dad looking to earn some extra dough, you should take a closer look at the blogosphere. You may make enough cash to pay for your daily latte. Or, if you're one of the lucky few, you could end up with a six-figure salary. Now that's something to blog home about.
Catch up on the past week's top financial news in Water Cooler Finance.