Charleston Crafted

Sean McBride, Founder

Charleston, North Carolina
Charleston Crafted Charleston Crafted
The condo that launched Charleston Crafted

For Morgan and Sean McBride, a two bedroom condo became the unexpected catalyst that solidified their passion for home improvement, but also what pushed them to launch, a successful home improvement and DIY blog that changed their family dynamic for the better.

From 2012 to 2016, while living in the condo, the McBrides shared renter-friendly tips on their website and delighted in testing home improvement projects themselves. With each article and project, the McBrides shared how their readers could use DIY projects to cut down on cost while customizing their home.

But it wasn't until they attended a DIY and lifestyle creator conference in Atlanta in 2016, that they nailed down a strategy around their blogging approach.

"That's when we realized we were putting out so much content that no one was seeing. We thought quantity was the answer and we didn't realize you had to do SEO," Sean explains.

After meeting with brands and representatives from Google Certified Publishing Partner, Mediavine, they changed tactics, implementing SEO, AdSense and developing more robust content that showcased projects. The couple supplemented their posts with downloadable PDFs for DIY projects they sold online, further establishing their presence in the field.

In 2018, as they continued to grow Charleston Crafted, their son was born. The McBrides were both working full-time, and lining him up for daycare when Morgan had an epiphany: what if she quit her job to focus on Charleston Crafted and raising their son?

The risk paid off.

Charleston Crafted experienced steady enough growth that after the birth of their second child in 2020, Sean was also able to leave his job and join Morgan to continue boosting their DIY passion project that went from side gig to full-time job.

"Being able to put two full-time efforts into this has been totally worth it," Sean said.

“Ad revenue has helped us achieve financial security and the ability to be entrepreneurs. We are now both full-time content creators supporting our family with the income generated from our business.”
Crafting a business

The McBrides have used the lessons they've learned from building Charleston Crafted to expand, implementing SEO tactics, ads, and analytics to explore other possibilities.

Their website now gets more than 2 million page views a year, and about 200,000 page views a month. Ad revenue has also increased, going up about 80% in the last three years.

After the success of Charleston Crafted, they've launched three other websites that they monetized in a matter of six months on topics related to kids activities and product reviews and curated color palettes, as well as Keep Your Plants Alive, where they publish care guides for indoor and outdoor gardening.

Now, Morgan isn't just a conference attendee, but a speaker. This year she gave a talk titled "How to make more money from your website right now," focusing on both short and long-term strategies for online content creators to grow revenue and decrease costs.

Charleston Crafted
Building family foundations

The success of Charleston Crafted has allowed the McBrides to accomplish their most important goal: being present in their children's lives.

"Ad revenue has helped us achieve financial security and the ability to be entrepreneurs," Sean says. "The lifestyle is great for us - we can keep putting out new content and spend a lot of time with the kids - they don't realize that other people's parents go to work and leave for 9 hours a day to come home and see them only for dinner."

The McBrides have strived to make DIY both accessible and as simple as possible for their audience - and keeping their content free is a large part of the effort.

"That's how we build relationships, and how people come back to our site over time," Sean explains.

From their uncertain beginnings to honing in on a focused strategy that has produced consistent results, theirs is a story neither of them expected.

"It's been such an interesting process to see how much time we spent doing this making no money and not even having Google Analytics set up, to then learning about home improvement and the online space, and that it's something you can work at and perfect."

About the Publisher

Sean and Morgan McBride live in Charleston, South Carolina with their two young children, Luke and Rory. They met in 2011 and later moved into a condo where they began doing crafts and small makeovers before creating all the decor for their wedding. They later purchased their first home where they began true home makeover projects and building furniture. They created Charleston Crafted to empower others to try DIY to turn their homes into their dream home. They share their experiences on their website to show easy ways to make a huge impact on your home.
Charleston Crafted