Lisa Pearson, aka mummywhispererblog.com, started blogging for fun, but won the ‘best business’ category in the ‘The Mad Blog Awards’ in 2011. Concentrating on strategies to make parenting fun and effective, her first posts were written as much for cathartic effect as anything else. Fortuitously, she started to find her voice just as her husband lost his job and consequently decided that a more commercial approach might be appropriate.
“I tried advertising, with Google ads, but the returns were not great”, she says. “The easiest way to make money, I found was with sponsored posts”. These are a little like advertorial features, in that manufacturers generally approach bloggers with products that they want reviewed. Some simply offer the product, in return for coverage. Blogs with decent traffic, such as mummywhisperer, command fees of around £100 a post. Pearson’s approach was laudably ethical – not sparing her critical judgment, and always signposting sponsored posts. Elsewhere in the blogosphere, things are not quite so cut and dried. Some bloggers keep quiet about what they have been paid to feature, others hide the sponsored posts.
With 300 – 500 daily visitors, however, Pearson has recently decided that her brand is better served by concentrating on writing books, which can be sold from her site. Her first, ‘Six Steps To A Sparkling You And Enjoying Being A Mum’ she self-published on Kindle and is currently selling enough copies to generate around £50 a month. On the strength of this, she has been commissioned to write a second book by a commercial publisher.