the lively show – full-time blogging & breadwinning with nicole balch


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Happy Thursday to you!

Today’s episode of The Lively Show features a beloved blogger and friend that you most likely already know (and follow!), Nicole Balch of Making It Lovely.

In this episode, I talk with Nicole about how she became the sole breadwinner for her family as a blogger. We go into detail about the ins and outs of how she makes money through blogging and why she diversifies her income streams.

She also discusses what it’s like being the breadwinner while being a mom and shares about her stunning new home in Oak Park.

So if you want to make money as a blogger, or hear how Nicole juggles being a mom and the “bacon maker,” this show is for you!




  • Why Nicole’s stationery shop, Pink Loves Brown, launched her blogging career.
  • The reason Nicole later closed her shop to take Making It Lovely full-time.
  • How her husband’s job loss turned her blog into a breadwinning business.
  • How to diversify your blogging income streams effectively.
  • The “fall back” career Nicole has to maintain her financial stability in an ever-changing blog world.
  • Details about her new Victorian home in Oak Park.
  • The readership transitions that can occur on blogs over time.
  • Nicole’s predictions for the future of blogging.
  • What Nicole would tell someone just starting out on this journey.




The Sequins & Stripes Lively Show episode about pitching sponsors

Nicole’s income breakdown

Better Homes & Gardens column

Cesarstone column

Glidden column

Grace Bonney / Design Sponge article about the changes in blogging

Nicole’s post about becoming the breadwinner






Want more? Check out past Lively Show episodes here.


PS – Like the show? Please leave a review on iTunes (this helps more people find the podcast on iTunes that may not already know about it).

Thank you so much!


This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. This was so great to listen to! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about pumping up my blogging to make passive income from advertising and sponsored posts…and learned much more about it after this podcast. I can definitely see the risk involved, but the reward of building it on your own is amazing within itself (which of course can be a bit frightening too as your sole income). Thanks for the podcast, and can’t wait to listen each week!

    1. That is so great to hear, Angela!

      You might really like Liz’s episode #3 (if you haven’t listened yet), too. There is a lot of active work that goes into making money such as pitching, etc. but it can be done!

      Best wishes and thanks for listening!

  2. Jess, thanks for sharing. This was really interesting. I don’t follow Nicole, but I love hearing that she doesn’t always think about the numbers when she’s creating good content. That’s probably why many “bigger bloggers” get so big is because they are staying authentic while providing high quality work.

    As a small blogger who doesn’t make any money at it, it’s interesting to think about the ways I could approach blogging to earn a little money with a bit more intention, design work and some new skills. I’m always curious what the good sources for online training would be on topics like SEO, advertising, etc.

    1. I totally agree, Lauren!

      The kinds of conversations you are talking about often happen at conferences like Alt Summit. I’d suggest looking into blogging conferences that are near you/places you’d like to go. Also, you can check Alt has some online classes that might repeat this kind of content, too (beyond googling around for sources on things like SEO, of course).

  3. I am LOVING your podcast Jess! It has been such a positivity-booster on the commute. You’ve chosen very cool interviewees and I’m excited to see who’s next.

  4. This was excellent! Thanks for sharing, Jess and Nicole! Really appreciated your honesty about blogging and income here.

    1. That is so great to hear, Lauren! I’m glad you enjoyed Nicole’s thoughts on blogging and money. : )

  5. Sarah Blinco

    Loved this!! Thanks so much ladies, you’re a wealth of inspiration. Will persevere with the blogging – helpful to know we all experience the ups and downs 🙂

  6. eunice

    This has been SOOO timely. I’ve been struggling with choosing where to spend my time and how to generate enough revenue through various sources. And a big part of it is the stress that comes from not having any other source of financial support in the form of a spouse or family (i.e. kinda like a breadwinner), which sometimes skews my decision making, like taking on jobs that I don’t like because I have to cover my overheads. It’s nice to see (or rather hear) someone who’s made it work and find encouragement to stay on this path I’ve taken.

    1. I’m so glad Nicole’s story inspired you so much, Eunice! Follow your gut and you won’t go wrong. : )

  7. Carmel

    I love your podcasts, Jess! Especially the ones on blogging. Keep them coming! 🙂

    1. That is great to hear! There will definitely be more blogging podcasts thrown in, no worries!

  8. lexi

    Great show, as always! Nicole sounds so genuine and I definitely agree with her blogging goals. 🙂
    xx Lexi, Glitter, Inc.

  9. maresa

    Hi Jess! I’ve just found your podcasts and decided to start near the
    beginning with this one. I love how authentic and down-to-earth Nicole
    sounds! She has some great tips. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to
    listening to interviews with many more of my fav bloggers 🙂

    1. That’s lovely to hear! I hope you take some time to listen to some others, too! There is so much great info shared in them all. : )

  10. This podcast was wonderful! Nicole was so honest. I love that at the core of her success, she attributed hard work and her family as her motivation. She was resilient and fought through obstacles. Thank you for bringing on someone who makes it clear that you don’t have to be a “one hit wonder” viral internet sensation to do what you love online and make it a passionate, substantial career.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed Nicole’s journey, Ina! You summarized the takeaways perfectly. : )

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