full time blogging and setting up streams of passive income

on the reader survey (um… all the way back in january), you guys said you really want a post about the different ways i earn money — so here we are! in late september! i actually wrote this post back then, but am finally realizing i should just finish all the drafts i write. as you can probably assume, blogging is not a way to get rich quick. and there’s a good chance you’ll never get even close to rich, i certainly haven’t! we all follow successful bloggers and influencers who make it look really easy, but they are definitely the exception when you look at how many people are trying. my dad calls me once every few weeks to tell me that the people on youtube are millionaires and i should have a youtube. i think the way he sees it is probably the way too many people do… totally unrealistically!

so while i haven’t figured out how to be a millionaire, i have come up with some different methods for making money, and i’ve been able to sustain a decent amount of money coming in so that i feel ok paying bills and buying things on amazon.

in all honesty i do dream of things like owning one simple shop where all the money comes in from one place and i only have to worry about one thing, and it’s all simple and easy — but that is not my sitch at the moment. and might never be because i also really love the freedom and flexibility of what i do now. and the wearing of the pajamas. 

sponsored posts

sponsored posts are what really help keep the blog running, and while most of you on the survey said you’re cool with it, i do try to only do partnerships that feel natural. they help me the most financially, but are also obviously the most work, so i would not consider these “passive” by any means. they can be really fun and creatively challenging, like i loved how the post above came out on how to throw an effortless outdoor dinner party.

at the moment, i’m signed with an agent who helps do all of the negotiating and contracts, and that leaves me way more time to work on just the content side. when i was dealing with all of that on my own, i found it pretty stressful (and awkward. i hate talking about the money stuff!)

these were almost always dedicated blog posts with social promotion to all of my channels, but lately i am getting more sponsored instagram posts than blog posts, which can be done a little quicker, obviously.

society 6 shop

while i’m not making huge money with my society 6 shop, it’s so nice to have another source of passive income coming in. there are sellers on there that are making tons, but for now i make a couple hundred a month, which is so nice to have. your actual take away commission on products on society 6 is very low compared to the price of the actual item, i only make a couple dollars max for every sale, but you do have the ability to raise the prices of your products.

i started the shop when i was pregnant as another way to earn money if i wasn’t really blogging when arlo was born, so glad i did! i don’t do maintaining whatsoever and i just add new items whenever i get some free time. the great thing about society 6 is that is the epitome of passive income. you literally upload your products and call it a day. you can spend some extra time promoting yourself obviously, but you don’t have anything to do with the printing or delivery and you just get a weekly email with your earnings. it’s very nice!

blogzilla studio

we started blogzilla studio as an etsy shop, but eventually migrated to our own site so that we wouldn’t have to give up so much of our income (since we’re already splitting our earnings). when we started the shop, there was very little competition, which is actually the reason i came up with the idea in the first place… there were so few resources for clean modern blog templates, so we started the shop and were doing really well at first! unfortunately for us, lots of competition then popped up suddenly and you can now buy a zillion blog themes that look identical to ours. it kind of made it hard to keep a passion for it, so we haven’t been releasing new themes for a while now — although we do plan to! maybe someday.

affiliate links

there are lots of different affiliate companies you can work with, i use rewardstyle, and i have for years. i am super familiar with how to use it now and they work with lots of stores so i like it. the commission rate is based on the store, so some brands have a higher rate and some have very low. when i do roundup posts, i include affiliate links so that i can earn a commission if someone buys a product that i recommend. the big time fashion bloggers using reward style are making BANK, but i make enough to help as just another source.


sidebar advertising isn’t the most “sophisticated” way to earn income from blogging you might say, some blogs don’t have any — well la de da! i don’t plan to remove the ads, at least until i am making huge money consistently in other ways. it’s additional revenue that i really do need to keep doing the blog as my job.


again, i’m not raking in the big bucks from the products that gid and i have designed i sell here on the blog, but i love selling them! would love to create more when i get a chance. i’ve now made it clear that the most passive type of products are obviously digital products that someone can purchase and download, no shipping, no printing. they are the best type of products for the truly lazy.

the baby on board stickers were so fun to make and i’ve sold a lot of them actually, but would love to sell them wholesale to other stores so i don’t have to individually ship them as often! will get on that at some point. as of now, i am shipping them one by one as orders come in.

i’ve also considered making additional products to sell, such as the rainbow wall hanging i painted over arlo’s crib, or other DIYs i’ve done in the past, but again — that’s one of those things i always think about doing but never get around to it. i also very much value time and don’t know if it would end up being worth it in the end financially. and, how is that passive?!

freelance design

occasionally, i will take on graphic design clients that follow along. i recently designed an entire wedding suite for a reader and it was so fun to do! but i don’t do this often. the timing definitely needs to be right for it to work for me because i literally always have something i could be working on, which can feel stressful when i pile up projects. i always try to make myself say no to things. lol.

soooo clearly there are a lot of different streams of income! as with any freelance work, some months are more lucrative than others, sometimes i get lots of inquiries for sponsored work and sometimes i get very little. basically i try to do my best and spend less than i earn every month. and i’m not going to gloss over the fact that having gid working full time obviously helps as well. i think that i’ve mentioned before, that security definitely gave me the boost to quit my part time job to pursue the blog.

i hope this answered any questions and was as transparent as you hoped! but let me know if there’s anything you wanted to know i didn’t mention!

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  1. Thank you for sharing! I’m a graphic designer and wanting to break away from the full time job eventually 🙂 x

  2. I’m also a graphic designer/decorator and I’m looking to break away at some point and start having kids. I’d love to know how you found an agent to work with you on sponsorships.

  3. love this post. you need to be available to hire for interior design projects obv 😉

  4. Hi Molly! Thank you so much for sharing this! I would love to one day do what you do, and this was extremely helpful.

  5. Oh my gosh I had no idea you do blogzilla!! I purchased the velvet theme when I made the switch to WordPress and I get compliments on it all the time!! Keep it up, the themes are amazing.

  6. possiblyinmichigan says:

    So honest! Thanks a lot for sharing.
    Cheers from México ❤️

  7. Hi from a fellow blogger! How do you go about getting sponsorships? Do you reach out to different companies or do they reach out to you?

  8. Thank you so much for sharing Molly! A lot of bloggers refuse to share how they can be full-time bloggers. I really love how transparent you are.


  9. Thank you for sharing Molly! Would you mind sharing where your couch is from? It looks so cozy.