How This 45-Year-Old’s DIY and Home Design Blog Earns 6 Figures a Year Thanks to Pinterest


Jenna Campbell took some time away from her day job to be a stay-at-home-mom, but when her kids started school, she wanted to start working again.

A self-described introvert with little-to-know knowledge about technology, shedove headfirst into the world of blogging. She created Lantern Lane Designs

to share her home decor and DIY projects.

Today her blog is generating six figures a year, primarily from ads, and some viral posts certainly pushed her in the right direction. The bulk of her traffic comes from socials, and as Jenna says, the sky’s really the limit.

Keep reading to find out:

How and why she started her blog
Where her income comes from
When she started to really earn money
How much traffic she’s getting
How much she works on her site
Her main marketing strategy
Her thoughts on SEO
Her approach to keyword research
How she got some major backlinks
How she creates content
Her favorite resources and tools
Her main challenge
Her greatest accomplishment
Her biggest mistake
Her advice for other entrepreneurs

Meet Jenna Campbell

Hi, my name is Jenna. I live in Ohio with my husband, 3 kids, and a crazy puppy. 

Why She Created Her Site

In 2012, I quit my purchasing manager job to stay home with my kids. Six years later, my youngest was entering elementary school and I knew I wanted to contribute to our family financially again.

I also knew going back to work outside of the home with little ones would be challenging.

I have always loved all things home decor, from reading other home decor blogs to decorating and making a cozy home for our family.

For years, while I stayed home with the kids, I knew I eventually wanted to start a blog of my own, but I had no idea how or where to start, so I kept putting it off.

Finally, when my youngest was in preschool, I did my research and got the nerve to start Lantern Lane Designs

.

I knew going into this that I wanted this blog to make money, and that I had to treat it like a business.

The first year was a huge learning curve. I joke that I learned more that year than I did in 4 years of college.

I started my blog thinking I’d focus heavily on DIY projects, but after a few failed projects, I knew I had to do more than just DIY, so I started blogging more about affordable home décor ideas.

How Much She’s Earning

Blogging for money isn’t for the faint of heart. There are a lot of highs and lows, but if you stick with it, it can be very rewarding.

It took me 2 years to finally start seeing a steady stream of income after I was accepted into Mediavine. Last year, I earned my biggest paycheck, and I was amazed at what my little blog accomplished.

I had a few popular posts go viral, and that’s all it took for me to see how profitable blogging can be, whether I’m writing about Ikea furniture or interior design trends for 2024.

The sky really is the limit.

Those viral posts aren’t as viral anymore, and I’m back down to over 100,000 sessions per month, but I am still making close to 6 figures without my viral posts.

The majority of my income comes from ads on my site, and about 10% of my income comes from affiliate sales through LTK and Amazon.

I am currently in the process of creating a few digital products as well.

My traffic can vary greatly depending on the month. I average over 100,000 visits per month on my website. About 70% of the traffic to my blog is social, the other 30% is organic.

I try to treat my website like a business, so I really do try to give it at least 8 hours a day, but that can be difficult. It just depends on the season. 

When the kids are in school, I can focus more on my website. During the summer months, sometimes I don’t even turn my computer on.

The best thing about blogging is that you can work on it whenever you want. 

Her Main Marketing Strategy

Pinterest isn’t a secret, but it has really helped me get traffic to my site. From there, I can get a reader to join my email list. I’m also trying to be more present on social media.

Pinterest was the very first thing I focused on when I started my blog, and I get most of my traffic from Pinterest.

I did a lot of research on my end and found a course called Pinterest Strategies, by Carly Campbell, that teaches you how to manually pin your pins into Pinterest instead of using a scheduler.

Jenna’s Thoughts on SEO

SEO is very important, but I don’t believe it’s the only thing a new blogger should focus on. I might be in the minority when I say this, but do not put all of your eggs in the SEO basket. 

This is especially true with the most recent Google update.

I definitely use SEO on my end. 

There are so many courses out there teaching you how to use SEO for your blog. 

I think I just took a little bit of information from each course to piece together my strategy. I can’t say there was one course that I found more helpful than the others.

Keyword Research

My process is a bit laid back. I try to focus on writing for the reader and not for Google. But with that being said, I do look for keywords that I know I can rank for and try to write as much as I can about that subject.

I currently use KeySearch to help me find keywords. I also like to see what’s trending on Google and Pinterest. 

To do this, you can go into Pinterest Trends on Pinterest. I also know to start posting seasonal content months before the actual season so it can rank in Pinterest by the time that season rolls around.

Link building is also important, and something I’ve been trying to work on more. I have had a few larger websites (House Beautiful, The Spruce, HGTV) link back to my site. They just reached out to me asking for permission to use my content!

The more useful content you have on your site, the more likely it’ll get shared. Creating good content that someone wants to share is very important for link building.

Jenna’s Content Creation Process

I have written well over 200 blog posts over the years, maybe even more. If you are writing about something you love and have interest in, creating content is easy.

I use my own home for inspiration. If I am painting a room or doing a room makeover, I create blog posts related to what I am doing.

I also think about what I would like to consume as a reader and create blog posts on those ideas.

I try to publish one post a week but lately it’s been more like two posts a month. I write everything all by myself. I’m a one-person show!

All of the pictures on my blog are my own. Copyright infringement scares me to pieces so I try to use only my own photos. If I have to use a stock image, it usually comes from Canva.

Her Email List

I do have an email list, and I’m actually in the process of trying to grow it as organically as possible. 

Starting your email list should be one of the first things you do when starting a blog, and I wish someone would have told me that when I started out.

Maybe they did, I was likely knee-deep in DIY projects.

I currently have around 2000 email subscribers and I try to email them once a week with helpful tips if possible. 

Jenna’s Favorite Resources

There isn’t one specific course I can recommend, but I would suggest taking as many blogging courses as you can. You need to invest in your business to grow. 

Start out with as many free resources as you can, and then start purchasing courses that you think will be beneficial for your business.

I think I took all of the courses. I’m a course junkie!

My favorite tools are coffee, a good camera, and editing software. 

Next to keyword research and content creation, photography for me is a huge tool in driving traffic to my site.

Since I’m focused on home decor, pictures of well-styled rooms are pretty important. I use all of my own photos on my blog.

I took a course on how to use my camera and how to edit my pictures in Lightroom. 

If you go back to some of my very first posts, you will see how far I have come with my photography.

I still have more to learn, though.

My biggest tip is to make sure your photo is clear, not overly exposed, and that the image is straight and not distorted. I use a Canon EOS 6D Mark. 

Her Main Challenge

My biggest challenge has been not giving up. 

There are so many highs and lows with blogging. I have some really great days and some awful days. 

Those awful days make me want to throw in the towel, but I know if I keep on going, the good days will come back.

Blogging really is like riding a roller coaster with your eyes closed!

Her Greatest Accomplishment

A  few years into blogging, there was a little section in a HGTV magazine with a picture of my front porch on it.

Getting an email from a magazine you love to read, asking for permission to use one of your pictures, was hands-down the best little pat on my back when I first started out.

Also, somehow, the fact that an introvert like me, who barely knows anything about technology, can start a business sharing what they love to do, is pretty amazing.

What She Wishes She Knew When She Started

Blogging isn’t easy. There is a ton to learn, and being a blogger has some great highs and awful lows. 

I just know the low moments come and go. If it can get worse, then it also can get better. Sometimes those low moments give me a chance to step back and pivot.

Her Biggest Mistake

I really wish I would have paid more attention to my email list from day one. 

I can’t even imagine how many readers and followers I have lost by not getting their email from the first day I started my blog.

I actually had to start all over with my email list this past year, unfortunately. 

My old email provider made a few adjustments and I dropped the ball and lost 4000 email subscribers. I had to start from scratch this year. It was a tough pill to swallow.

Her Advice for Other Entrepreneurs

Don’t give up; just keep going. You can make a full-time income and create passive income, but it takes time.

It absolutely does not happen overnight, but it will happen if you never give up.



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