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How Melissa Plans to Make $30,000 in 2012

This post was written by Melissa at Mom’s Plans and Fiscal Phoenix.

When I first read that Derek and Corey were challenging bloggers to earn $30,000 in online income in 2012, I almost laughed.  Then I was shocked at such an audacious goal.  Then I started thinking, wait a minute, I want to challenge myself to do that.

I quit my full-time job in June, 2011 after a leave of absence, so I could stay home and care for my two little girls.  Before I quit, I crunched the numbers and discovered that after paying daycare for both girls, I would only be bringing home $1,000 a month.  Instead, I quit and challenged myself to earn at least that much from home.  In 2011, I ended up earning approximately $12,000, so to commit to earning $30,000 in a year is quite a leap for me!

Here is how I plan to make more money:

-Start a second blog.  In addition to my Mom’s Plans blog, I have just launched a new blog, Fiscal Phoenix—Rising from the Ashes of Your Financial Mistakes.  Unlike Mom’s Plans, which contains a great deal of personal information, Fiscal Phoenix will be less personal and focus entirely on personal finance.  I have had some initial expenses with this blog such as the domain name, site development and staff writers, but I expect to begin making money from this blog no later than April, 2012.

-Launch my eBook.  I have had an eBook ready to launch since November, but we moved and then the holiday season seemed like a bad time to launch.  Other people told me January is a dead month, so wait to launch until February, which I will do.  I also have a few more ideas for eBooks.  Ideally I would like to have an online store of my eBooks, but I don’t know if I will have time to pursue this in 2012.  First I want to see how this eBook goes.

-Pursue more affiliate marketing.  I have only dabbled in affiliate marketing, with limited success, on my main blog.  I intend to pursue affiliate marketing further this year.

-Pursue private advertising.  I’ll be honest, I am uncomfortable with private advertising.  I have 6 little squares on my blog for 125 x 125 ads, and I only sold one in 2012.  I plan to research and learn how to best approach companies about advertising on my blogs.  Then, I need to step out of my comfort zone and start pitching.

-Maintain my staff writing positions.  For much of 2012, I held steady at four staff writing jobs.  In December, I had many offers come my way and accepted as many as I felt I could comfortably handle.  I am now at 10 staff writing jobs, and for 2012, I think that will be my limit.  However, with two of those jobs, I can expand and write even more than I currently am if I feel I am able.  I estimate I will make $600 to $800 a month here.

-Maintain my virtual assistant work.  My virtual assistant work has snowballed throughout the year.  Now I have a wide range of jobs that bring in approximately $700 to $800 a month.  Again, I will just maintain these in 2012 as I can’t accept more while my kids are home with me.

In sum, I plan to maintain the staff writing and virtual assistant work I currently have.  To increase my income, I must focus on my own blogs.  First, I have to make Fiscal Phoenix profitable, then I have to pursue affiliate marketing and private ads on both of my blogs.  I know many bloggers make a good income from both of these revenue streams, so I am excited to see if I can too.

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15 Responses to How Melissa Plans to Make $30,000 in 2012

  1. Derek says:

    Sounds like you have an awesome plan Melissa! I can’t believe that you have 10 staff writing jobs! That’s crazy. I currently have 3 and I don’t even keep up with them very well.

    Here’s how I figure your breakdown:

    Mom’s Plans = $1,000/mo.
    Fiscal Pheonix = $300/mo. (blind estimate)
    eBook = $200/mo. (blind estimate)
    Staff Writing = $700/mo.
    Virtual Assistant = $750/mo.

    Total = $2,950/mo. which equals $35,400! Looks like you’ve got a great chance at the $30k! Great job Melissa!

  2. Seems like a reasonable plan. I estimate that you really only need to come up with an extra $1000 per month since the staff writing and VA work is about $1500 per month. That sounds a lot more feasible.

  3. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the encouragement! The numbers look good, Derek, but I need to ramp up my earnings on Mom’s Plans because I am definitely not making $1,000 a month there. :)

    Thanks for the challenge; I look forward to achieving this ambitious goal.

  4. Melissa,

    You are doing a great job! You will be right up there with the top earners!

  5. Corey says:

    I agree with the others here. With your staff writing jobs and VA work, you will be a tough one to compete with. :) Most of my income is dependent on income from my blogs, so I am likely to have a bad month (although I hope it doesn’t happen). Even if you have a bad month, you are still at $1500. That’s a great foundation.

    • Melissa says:

      Yes, I am excited to have $1,500 as my base, especially since most of what I make above that will go straight to our debt snowball!

  6. Matt says:

    Wow – eBooks, blogs, staff writing, and being a stay-at-home mom?! How do you do it all? Good luck on the Challenge! I will be watching intently.

    • Melissa says:

      I do most of my work during nap time, at night and on the weekends. My husband is very understanding and takes over most of the household and kid duties on the weekend so I can work.

  7. Wow Melissa. You have quite the base started. Your income is already decent. I am sure you will have no problem reaching your goal.

    I like the title of your new site. Very creative.

  8. John says:

    Great plan Melissa! I know your hard work will pay off.

  9. LaTisha says:

    This seems completely doable. I’m sure you will beat that in no time.

  10. You totally have put in the foundational work already,it is just a matter of growing what you’ve already been able to accomplish!

    I think it’s great you staff write- I really have no idea how to begin with that! You just need to scale, but like I said, the foundation is there!

  11. Kolton says:

    I have no doubt you can meet your $30k goal. But here is good luck anyway!

    I have goals much of the same as you. Even though you already have 10 staff writing jobs, I am actively looking and want to establish at least 3-4 by the end of year, to help me spread the word about my blog.

  12. Hey Melissa,

    You’ve been doing a great job helping me out with the carnival submissions. Best of luck in the challenge!

  13. Another new site! That seems to be the theme to make more money in 2012! Don’t get burnt out!