8 min 31 sec

Gardening Mama Monetizes Frugal Living Blog

By focusing on a specific group of readers—and understanding their core needs—a blog about natural living and saving money earns $3,000/month.
Affiliate Blog eBook Passive Income

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What It's About

Lessons learned pinching pennies during the recession leads this mother to passive income!

Business Model
Skills Required
Writing & Budgeting
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

When she’s considering a topic, Pam makes sure that it fits the needs of her target reader and it meshes with the theme of the site. For example, even though many of her readers probably watched the Super Bowl, writing about junk food snacks doesn't fit with her brand. However, if she had a healthy recipe for a junk food snack (like homemade queso sauce for chips), then that would be a good fit for Brown Thumb Mama. In other words: know your audience.

Fun Fact

Pam’s two most popular articles to date are "Homemade, Natural Febreze" and "How to Plant & Grow Garlic." Neither of those topics seemed exceptionally exotic or difficult to her, but her readers love them. Sometimes she’ll write an article that she thinks will surely be a success and it goes nowhere, like "Natural Tips for Great Sleep."

Notes from Chris

Episode 418
Today’s story comes from Pam Farley in Sacramento, California. She was a corporate marketing writer for about 17 years, but now she runs a couple of side hustles. Her main one, Brown Thumb Mama, is a blog featuring money-saving tips. She also sells essential oils, and has an ebook about essential oil education classes, which brings in passive income each month.

Pam started the blog in 2009 during the recession, when everyone was pinching pennies. Her coworkers were asking her how she supported her family on her salary alone. Her husband is self-employed and wasn’t paying himself back then. Pam figured that if her coworkers wanted this information, others could benefit from it, too. So she started her blog. It had restaurant copycat recipes, money-saving tips, and gardening advice to help other busy moms learn how to make things instead of buying them.

For the first few years, Pam treated the blog as a hobby. It wasn't making much money, and she didn't research best practices or engage sponsors or advertisers. But in the past two years, she’s devoted time and money to improving her craft… and increasing the income.

Pam now makes at least $3,000 a month from the blog, minus about $100 in expenses (hosting, email software, and supplies.) She expects her income to increase as she gets more readers—and as she better serves those readers by continuing to be consistent and by understanding their needs.


  • Brown Thumb Mama: Learn more tips and tricks on Pam's blog that will help you save money when your finances are tight
  • Wordpress: Pam used Wordpress to setup Brown Thumb Mama, and here you can learn how to install your own Wordpress site in 5 minutes
  • Google Adsense: Pam decided to try and monetize her blog using click through ads through Google Adsense
  • Mediavine: The service that Pam used for Brown Thumb Mama that searches out advertisers and places their ads on your site for you

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"Think about who you're writing your blog for, and ask yourself—what do they need help with? Brainstorm a bunch of ideas for blog articles and then ask your ideal customer if those articles interest them."
—Pam Farley #SideHustleSchool

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