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Meet the How I Make Money Blogging Challengers

This post may contain affiliate links.

Since I am not subtle, I bet you have noticed that I launched an eBook last week, How I Make Money Blogging:  The Beginner’s Guide to Building a Money-Making Blog.  In an effort to show my book’s value AND to help a blogger grow even faster, I also reached out for a volunteer to “test” my eBook out.  There was a lot more interest than I had thought there would be!  So I decided that we all might think it was interesting to follow along with a handful of bloggers in different stages of their blogs.  🙂

How I Make Money Blogging Challengers

Here are the five HIMMB Challengers that will be chronicling their journeys for the next few months at least!

Weird About Money

Weird About Money is owned and ran by Brett.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB:  Brett had not started blogging yet.  He said that he had been interested in blogging for sometime, but hadn’t found that “one thing” to finally get him started yet.

From the Blogger:

First off, a little about me.  I’m 30, a proud father of a two year-old and husband. July 7th was our 5 year wedding anniversary.  We have been through career changes, a lay-off, and a mountain of debt.   We are finally on “the other-side”.  Working as a freelance computer programmer and web designer, I’m not paid regularly and that has taught me some very valuable lessons about where my money goes and how life interferes with the best plans.  My college background is in business finance and my wife and I have made the decision to change everything and get “weird” about how we manage our money.

My blog is about how “normal” is not working anymore.  “Normal” is used to describe living pay-check to pay-check.  Praying for the weekend and dreading Monday morning.  WAM, is a tip and technique blog made up of a hodgepodge of resources and covering many topics to show how life happens to a budget and how we have made it work.  Our principles are based on Dave Ramsey’s plan for personal finance mixed with life experience and how you can make things work in your families finances.

The Budget Professional

The Budget Professional is owned and ran by Wendy.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB:  Wendy had also not started her blog yet.  But she is super pumped to get started.

From the Blogger:

Hello!  My name is Wendy, and I am delighted to partner with Crystal and help you make sense of your money.  Do you often have more month left after the money runs out?  Ever sit down over your checkbook, head in your hands, trying to figure out how to rob Peter to pay Paul?  How many times have you struggled to buy the kids new shoes for school while at the same time keep the electricity turned on?  Do you despair because you don’t have a retirement fund, and you’re afraid Social Security won’t be around when you retire?  If you’ve done any of these things, you know the answer at the time was, “I need more money!”  I am here to tell you that you can have money, and you should!

I’ve owned small businesses for years, and have parlayed that knowledge into business coaching and consulting, helping many small business owners set up shop and go on to great success.  I am a professional tax return preparer, and have taught tax law and tax preparation classes for the federal government and the private sector.  Using my tax knowledge, and experience gained as a professional bookkeeper and accounting clerk, I was instrumental in developing and writing professional training materials used by the federal government to train employees.  My solid business background has served me well in my current writing career.  I am a writer at heart, and a few years ago decided to leave corporate work and do what I’ve always loved, which is write.  I am a free-lance writer and a professional copywriter, and it feels only natural to take this step with Crystal, set up my blog dealing with personal finance, and pass along my finance secrets!

Come on over to visit!  I look forward to getting to know you, answering questions, and putting “out there” what you need to know to build your financial future!  I’ve also got a lot of friends – fellow accountants, CPA’s, tax preparers, small business owners, copywriters, and more – and they will be guest posting once I get this blog rolling!  As Crystal told me this weekend:  “This is going to be fun!”  Yes, it is!

Come join the fun!  All you need is money.  Let’s see what we can do about that …

Contented Momma

Contented Momma is owned and ran by Helen.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB:  Helen had bought the domain already but hadn’t started blogging yet as of the beginning of July 2012.

From the Blogger:

Hi! I’m very thankful Crystal has selected me as one of her “challengers” – I have thought about blogging for a while now and am finally ready to get serious. I hope to turn my thoughts into a bit of side income for my family.

Currently I work full-time outside of the house. I have been married for almost five years and have an almost two-year-old. We are also expecting baby #2 in late January! At that point I hope to be able to stay home with my children, but it will be a little tight on the budget side of things. Since becoming a parent I have become very passionate about learning more and more about bringing up children and I think blogging would be an excellent way to get my thoughts out there and learn even more from commenters. And if it can bring in a few extra dollars to help me with my dream of staying home? Even better!

Motivated Madison

Motivated Madison is owned and ran by Madison (yeah, surprise, surprise, lol).

Stage of Blog before HIMMB:  Madison just started on June 24, 2012.  She had a few posts up before joining the challenge at the end of the first week of July 2012.

From the Blogger:

Hello! My name is Madison, and I’ve recently started a blog called Motivated Madison. It’s a silly title, really, and maybe a bit misleading. So let me set it straight.

See, I have a terrible habit of thinking ‘I should be a better cook, let me go buy tons of cookbooks and nice pans!’ and then a week later I say ‘you know what my calling is? Sewing. I bought some fabric and tomorrow I’m definitely going to start!’ Guess what? The cook books were barely used and the sewing machine gathered dust in the spare room with the fabric sitting in the shopping big untouched. Whoops? Have you ever made those ever-popular cake balls? I have. They looked nothing like the pictures on the internet, that’s for sure. And don’t even get me started on all of the ‘how to do your hair/makeup like this’ posts online. I pretty much fail at those every time.

So you can see that I sure am motivated to try something new! But my downfall is being a little overly ambitious. My blog will mainly be a personal blog showing off my overall goofy, geeky self. I’ll also document my projects whether they are a success or a complete failure. And chances are there will be more failures than successes because that’s apparently just how I roll. Or maybe I’m cursed; I haven’t completely ruled that one out yet. Either way, it should be entertaining, and I hope you will join me in my sillyness. 🙂

Call Me What You Want, Even Cheap

Call Me What You Want Even Cheap is owned and ran by Shondell.

Stage of Blog before HIMMB:  Shondell started on Blogger in September 2011 and switched to WordPress April 23, 2012.  She was already posting about 3 times a week, but she wanted to dig in and grow faster.

From the Blogger:

The name of my blog, although quite long, comes from many years of friends and family calling me cheap. As long as I can remember, I’ve kept a close eye on my money and have watched how I spend my pennies. Maybe I do go over board at times, like when I compare the milliliters in a bottle of soap with the price, to see if it makes sense to buy one bottle over another. Please tell me I am not the only one that does this! Lol!

Anyway, in 2009 I started to seriously track my debt. By 2011 I paid off a total of $95,778.52, which included my car loan ($15,087.21), and mortgage ($80,691.31). It feels absolutely wonderful not to have that mortgage or car loan anymore, so I thought why not blog about it and talk about some other interesting money topics as I try my best to gain financial independence one cent at a time.

I haven’t monetized my blog nearly as much as I know I can, so taking this challenge with Crystal is a dream come true. Follow me on my journey as I follow Crystal’s plan to make money from blogging. I will also post my updates on my site, so feel free to pop on by anytime.

Stay Tuned

Please remember to stay tuned so you can watch as these bloggers move forward!  I am really excited to see what happens!  Hopefully we can all learn something from each other along the way too.  🙂

And because I am human, here’s one last link to my eBook in case you would like to dive in too – How I Make Money Blogging.

Any starting advice for the challengers?  Are you in any similar circumstances as any of the challengers right now?



FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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23 thoughts on “Meet the How I Make Money Blogging Challengers

  1. CMWYWEC I do that too so don’t feel bad. Bigger isn’t always cheaper.

    To the new bloggers: starting out it is slow but things will pick up so don’t get discouraged. I have been blogging for 2.5 months and am having a blast. Comment lots and connect with others in your niche. Also consider joining the yakezie challenge.




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  2. @Helen, thank you for participating!

    @Lance, good advice. My first action plan steps after your blog is up and running is to comment like crazy and start reaching out to others. 🙂

    @HS, the book isn’t passive. It actually writes out what to do in order to grow faster like commenting and networking. So it does help make it clear how to succeed. I’ve made $42,000 in the last 2 years just on BFS.

    @20s Finances, thanks for reading!




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  3. Being that I’m also in the infancy of my own site, I’m intrigued by how each of their journeys will unfold. Good luck, participants.

    I also bought this eBook last week and found it to be worth every penny — Crystal is an excellent mentor, and the contenders are in good hands. 🙂




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  4. I have subscribed to all these blogs(Brett’s feed does not appear to work although that may because he hasn’t posted yet). Look forward to seeing the progress!




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  5. @Adam – Thanks so much for subscribing! I’m really excited to follow my fellow challengers as well. And of course to follow Crystal’s ebook!




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  6. Thanks so much for this great opporutnity, Crystal! I’m really excited to get started and see how all of us do!

    CMWYWEC, I totally do that too. Especially when I just don’t have a preference about one over the other. 🙂 I’ve noticed that sometimes the smaller sizes are cheaper than the ‘value’ sizes!

    @Adam, thanks so much for subscribing!!




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  7. I’ve bought the book and I look forward to implementing its suggestions. Good luck to the challengers! I’ll be following your progress as well. Thank you, Crystal, for being so generous with your knowledge.




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  8. Good luck challengers! Those that are just starting out please don’t get discouraged if you aren’t the next Crystal…blog b/c you love it not because of the idea of fortune. If you do the latter you will burn out and quit




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  9. @Jennifer, awww, thank you!

    @Adam, awesome!

    @Motivated Madison, you are more than welcome! Thank you for participating!

    @Drew, me too!

    @Call Me, thank you for participating! And no, we buy shampoo based on cost per ounce…

    @Buck Inspire, Nell at Housewife Empire actually started this ball rolling. 🙂

    @Cari, thank you for your purchase! Please let me know if you have any questions!

    @Evan, that’s exactly how my book starts – telling everyone to pick something they love because that’s the most important part.

    @Jacob, let me know if you have any questions along the way!




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  10. My husband and I recently started our blog. We had posted a few articles and photographs but really had no direction for what we needed to do next. However, we bought HIMMB this week end and immediately went to work, using Crystal’s step-by-step instructions. We have already learned so much because, thankfully, her book is user-friendly! We would wholeheartedly suggest this book as a must-read, especially for newbie bloggers!




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