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Today I’m going to share with you an in-depth case study of two moms who are killing it online. Unlike case studies you’ll find elsewhere, this article contains not only their personal stories, but the exact strategies they use and actual income proof. I recently revealed on my Project Warehouse article that I was going to begin an “income case study” series, and this is the first entry.
The moms in question, Justine Grey and Heather Allard, both actually reached out to me after my last blog post. They both make thousands of dollars per month online, and interestingly have a number of similarities in their approach, so I thought they would make an excellent joint case study.
I’m going to first begin by giving you the back story on each of them, and then reveal how much money they’re making. Finally, we’ll uncover exactly how they’re making that money.
“Before I started The Mogul Mom, I invented two blankets as a solution to my second daughter’s sleep troubles. I took them from an idea in my head to store shelves in about two years and then my third child was born in 2006 and tipped the scales. My products were selling well and had been picked up by a big baby products catalog (One Step Ahead), but I just couldn’t do both anymore – raising three little kids (they were under the age of 6) AND running/growing a company.
So, I learned of a local baby products company that was going public (which signals expansion, usually) and I pitched them on buying my company. They initially offered me a licensing deal (which SUCKED!) and then a year later, I sold them my products for a six-figure sum (2008).
While I was running my baby products company and even after I sold it, I received countless emails from other moms who had invented products. They had questions, questions and more questions – so, I figured I’d start a site and a consulting program for them. The Mogul Mom was born.
My aim with The Mogul Mom is to provide content, e-courses and consulting to mom entrepreneurs to help them run a business, raise a family and rock both.”
The above picture shows the money Heather received in May 2011 for one affiliate product she promoted. She made over $10,000 in commissions. Note: The $250 payments are for people who paid for the product in monthly installments and will pay $1,000 overall.
“Create HYPE is a free weekly email blog (similar to what you discuss in CloudBlueprint) where I provide short bits of actionable content to entrepreneurs who want to promote their business effectively. I also use Create HYPE as the top of my “Product Pathway” and bring people who want to go further/higher/deeper into the mix at Justine Grey.
Justine Grey exists because I wanted a hub — somewhere that I could bring all my projects together and freely discuss them. I am really passionate about helping others learn how to build a thriving online business and in my opinion, the best way to do that is to create multiple income streams.
For me, I’ve never had a problem finding income sources online – from freelance writing to ad sales to info products to affiliate promotions – but it wasn’t until I realized the power of connecting them all that things started to happen. Building them on top of each other, optimizing them – and in some cases, getting rid of some – meant that my business began to thrive and my income started to soar.
I know anyone can do this and the reason I know that is because I’m only 25, have two young kids (4 months & 3 years) and I didn’t even graduate high school. Literally anyone can do something meaningful online if they figure out what they want to accomplish, are willing to be a sponge and learn everything imaginable and most importantly, take f*cking action.”
Though Justine makes most of her money from a process I’m about to go into, she also makes money from freelance jobs, and as a community manager for a Canadian company as well as writing for a few online websites.
These Mom’s are not only making a killing because they know what they’re talking about and are passionate about their subjects, but also because they’re following a proven model to making money online. In fact, as Justine said above, their whole strategy is a great example of the CloudBlueprint (free course) model in action.
Though they both have links to their blog articles on their homepage, the main element of their designs is focused on collecting email addresses. As I’ve said a few times on this blog, email subscribers are without a doubt the most engaged and most profitable audience type you can build. Heather and Justine are obviously aware of this, as their income figures show.
Below is a screenshot of their sites side by side, clearly showing the focus on collecting emails:
This type of page is most commonly known as a Squeeze page. I covered how to make them in this video.
The best way to collect email addresses is to give people a great offer they just have to sign-up for. Heather promotes her email list for those who want to “live & work happier, healthier, smarter & wealthier”. Justine offers free marketing training and videos in return for people giving away their email address.
Then, they’ll both continually send their subscribers as much valuable content as they can, to truly help them in their respective industries. This free content is not only appreciated by the subscriber, but it also gives them the perception that Justine and Heather are experts – which they are – at what they do.
With just some random browsing on The Mogul Mom I was able to find this great feedback on the emails that Heather sends:
Every so often – around once or twice per month – they’ll then promote products to their “list” (list of email subscribers). These can be things that they’ve created themselves or products other people have created, in return for a percentage of the sale price.
The whole process is a great case study of the CloudBlueprint model, and really shows that you can write about the things that you love and get paid to do it. The benefit of them using this strategy over any other is that new subscribers can see all of the valuable content they have to give away (unlike with blogging). You can even automate this method and send subscribers months of emails, on autopilot.
For those of you who prefer ideas in graphic form, the image I’ve made below should help clarify the process they’re following:
If you do have any questions about this, please ask them in the comments below or on the relevant CloudBlueprint video. I’m more than happy to answer them. You can apply the tactics Heather and Justine use in any industry!
Now that we’ve looked at their actual income proof and shared the model they’re both following, it’s time to get into the specifics…
Though I believe they are both following a strategy which is fairly similar to the course above, these women obviously have their own way of doing things that’s working for them. I asked them to get into the specifics of what is working for them, and they didn’t hold back.
When did you start the websites?
Justine: “These particular sites are fairly new. Create HYPE was launched in November 2010 and Justine Grey was launched just this month. My audience has, however, been built up and moved with me since January 2010.”
Heather: “I registered The Mogul Mom domain name in Sept 2007 but didn’t write much on it until 2008. I really got going in 2009. The site has grown the most over the past 12 months though.”
How often do you send emails to your subscribers?
Heather: “I typically send out emails 3 times per week and try to only send a promo email once or twice per month. If I do more than that, I get lots of unsubscribes.”
Justine: “I typically send out emails 1-3x per week, usually twice.”
Can you be ridiculously transparent and show ViperChill readers an example email you would send out?
Justine: “Of course!”
Heather: “No problem…”
What kind of money are you making?
Heather: “Over the past 4 years, I’ve tried every business model possible – consulting, advertising sales, affiliate sales, member groups, info products and even working as a publicist for a small group of mom entrepreneurs who were trying to get their products into the media. Last year, I earned $53,000 from the combination of these things. From the comfort of my own home.
Two affiliate products I promoted recently have made me over $13,000.”
Justine: “My income from December to March was less as I was on maternity leave (severe bed rest and then my baby came in February). My income averages to around $4,200 per month with the inclusion of my poor months during maternity leave or about $5,500 without.”
What are you sending to your list to make money?
Justine: “Once in a while, I’ll promote an affiliate product or launch my own info products and courses. I also use Create HYPE as the top of my Product Pathway and bring people who want to go further/higher/deeper into the mix at Justine Grey.”
Heather: “To date, I’ve had the most success (earned the most money) with creating and selling information products that myself and others have created. Today, I earn my income via info product sales (I’m currently working on some new ones), affiliate product promotions and limited private consulting.”
How are you growing your audience?
Heather: “Over the past year, I have grown my subscriber base from 1,000 to almost 4,000 by guest posting on sites like ProBlogger, Etsy, DailyWorth, Simple Mom and American Express OPEN Forum. TheMogulMom averages 15,000 monthly visits, 30,000 monthly pageviews and is ranked 78,000 Worldwide/20,000 US on Alexa.com.
It’s estimated that there are 5 million mom-owned businesses in the US, so I still have room for BIG growth.”
Justine: “My biggest source of traffic for new subs is definitely from guest posting. I’ve been doing this part time since I started so leveraging other audience’s has really helped me. I’d say about 70% of my list has come from 4-5 guest posts that sent hundreds (and in one case, thousands) of subscribers the day the post went live.”
I remember when I was first starting out with internet marketing that case studies like this are something that I just couldn’t get enough of. Not only did I learn from them, but they really showed me what is possible online and inspired me to work harder.
I would love to do more case studies like this – in different industries – but that depends on whether you want to read them. Covering topics like this introduces a slightly new angle to ViperChill so I would really appreciate your feedback on what you think of this type of content. After all, it’s you that I write for…