I knew when I started blogging as a business that I would want to share my income reports. Bloggers have a lot of opinions about income reports but I knew that once I made income, I would want to share it.
Income reports were one of the things that made me think it was possible to go after this dream. Seeing people that were once exactly where I was, unhappy with their circumstances and turned to blogging for a shot at making their dreams come true was so inspiring.
So inspiring that I think without income reports I never would have tried to make serious money doing this.
If you know my story, you know this isn’t the first blog I had. I started blogging fours years ago as a freshman in college to express myself and escape from the stress of school on a free platform. I blogged about the college experience and what it was like being an English major.
After about a year of offering free tips and advice about writing essays I started offering them to blogging friends for cheap and surprisingly, people bought them! I built up a decent side hustle as a broke college student. I was doing what a lot of people said couldn’t be done: make money on a free platform.
After I graduated, I was living in San Francisco and was burnt out and jaded. The big city had drained me of all my creativity. I hated working in the 9-5 world. I felt like I wasn’t able to be myself and that what I wanted to give to the world, wasn’t what “normal jobs” wanted. I worked so many crappy retail jobs and refused to go back to that world. I was left with very few options.
One night, at rock bottom, I remembered my blog.
I had made money once, I knew I could do it again.
So I started my research, and that led me to income reports. I did nothing but research for two months. I spent hours glued to the screen trying to absorb everything about blogging I could. I read and took notes, and read some more.
Then, I made a plan.
I invested the money in self hosting and was determined to make this work. $74 is a lot of money to spend on something you’re not sure is going to work out with no other job lined up, but everyone in my life was so supportive. Still, I felt like I had something to prove.
I had to make money the first month.
I set a goal to make money my first month. A lot of bloggers said it wasn’t possible. I read story after story of bloggers not making money for months, some even years, but I knew I had to make money sooner than that.
I wouldn’t waste time, or money on something that I knew couldn’t support me and my family. Either I was going to succeed or I would return to 9-5 life and learn to live with it.
That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself huh?
I’ll admit, I didn’t have the healthiest way of looking at things but when I commit to something, I get tunnel vision.
Even though a lot of people say it can’t be done, I did it.
I made money my first month blogging.
And you can too. Let’s dive in to how I did it.
Since I’m very new to this, I don’t really have any expenses yet. I use mostly free services and products to keep cost down since I’m not making a lot right now. These are the things I use currently to run the blog:
- Canva- (free) to create my pins and other graphics
- Mailerlite- (free until 1,000 subscribers) for my email list
- Hosting- ($3.95 monthly)- Prepaid
I monetized my blog from the very beginning using ads and affiliate links. This month:
- Ads (Mediavine): $0
- Affiliates: $65
How did I do it?
I’m going to walk you step by step exactly how I made money my first month. As a disclaimer I will say, I worked on my blog at least six hours every single day. Sometimes longer. I didn’t even take weekends off. Over the course of the whole month, I took three days off.
I’m not saying you should do this, I’m just being transparent. This wasn’t easy. I knew if I wanted this to happen I was going to have to work really hard. I know it won’t always be this way and as my business grows, I will not have to work as much so I was fully prepared to put in the hours now.
Most of my time was spent learning how to do it all. I spent a lot of time in Facebook groups asking questions as well as reading other blog post from everything from affiliate marketing to Pinterest strategies, I spent a lot of these hours taking notes, experimenting and figuring out what worked and what didn’t.
The other hours I had a social media checklist. Half of having a blog (at least in the beginning) is promoting it. Once you’ve gotten SEO in order and a solid Pinterest strategy, traffic flows a lot easier, but in the beginning, you have to hustle for those page views.
My daily checklist looked like:
- Spend at least 30 minutes on twitter posting in blog threads, engaging in twitter chats, and promoting new blog posts.
- 1 hour interacting in the Facebook groups that I was in, commenting and answering any questions that I could to help build relationships. I also in the beginning
- I engaged on Instagram every day (commenting, liking, following) but posted every other day.
- Manually pinned 30-50 pins every day
After I was done with my social media checklist, I worked on ideas for content and creating an optin for my mailing list. I knew if I wanted to start growing my list, I should start as soon as possible.
By the end of the month I did end up launching my email list. I got 10 subscribers in just two days and I was thrilled! Everyday I gain at least 4 new subscribers. I did this by creating an optin, something you offer your audience in exchange for joining your list. My optin ending up being my free email course on how to start a money making blog that is performing pretty well so far.
I was pretty pleased with my traffic this month. I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was to maintain consistent traffic but I feel like I’ve learned so much along the way. In my first month I recieved just over 1,500K page views. This is proof you don’t need a huge amount of views to start making some money with your blog.
Most of my traffic in the beginning came from Twitter. I quickly realized that I loved interacting on Twitter! It was easy to gain a following, everyone was so nice, and I loved participating in twitter blog link threads where everyone would comment and support each others post.
Right now, I have just launched my new course Broke Bloggers Be Gone.
It is designed for new bloggers, and anyone who hasn’t made their first $10k blogging.
In the course we cover things like:
- The biggest blogging myth that’s keeping you broke
- Blog biz basics from Pinterest strategy to writing content that your audience loves and sells your products effortlessly
- The foolproof blogging strategy that will get you to your first $10k
- Cleaning up limiting money mindset issues that are keeping you small and reframing what it means to earn income online.
- Bonuses like journal prompts and mind maps
- The relationship between mindset and believing in your business + taking practical action everyday to get there
I have built two blogging businesses from the ground up, I’m not interested in selling you some strategy that barely scratches the surface of this blogging thing to make a couple of bucks.
I am interested in changing you life.
I am interested in your soon to be full time job.
I am interested in your inevitable six figure blog.
You can click here if you’d like to check it out, it is the cheapest it will EVER be right now!
4 video modules, 4 written, over four hours of content + a 30 day blueprint to make your first money blogging or scale your current income massively.
I walk the walk and talk the talk, so if you’re interested in the kind of results I have had, check it out!
I spent a lot of time trying to nail down a Pinterest strategy. I knew after reading several posts on Carly’s blog mommyonpurpose.com and being apart of her Facebook group Blogging Like We Mean It! that I wanted to take a shot at manual pinning. Carly’s results were impressive, and I had no money leftover for something like Tailwind.
I stuck with it for about two weeks and began to grow impatient with my slow growth. I spent a lot of my time trying to join group boards and I was so tired of writing up to ten emails a day emailing group board admins so that I could get an invite to a board. Out of every ten emails, I was lucky if even one messaged me back. I knew Pinterest was a long game, but I needed to start seeing some more traffic if I was hoping to make any money.
I was searching through Facebook groups for anyone else’s experiences with Pinterest and how long it took them to start seeing traffic with it when I came across an article that seriously changed the game.
It was Crystal’s article, Pinterest Group Boards: Are They Still Relevant In 2018? that changed everything. In the article she basically goes on to say that Group Boards are becoming less and less effective as time goes on. She analyzes an interview with an Employee at Pinterest that says himself group boards were not designed to be used that way, instead they were created for sharing information between parties. Like Mom, Dad, and Daughter sharing holiday recipes.
Bloggers now use boards to essentially “borrow” each others followers and gain more exposure for their blogs. After reading this, I was blown away. Crystal’s no nonsense advice was straight to the point and was so easy to understand! I knew I had to give her strategy a try. I had nothing to lose, and everything to gain since I was only on about six group boards with very few followers.
Boy, did it work.
These were my daily impressions before I started her strategy
And these were my stats ending the month
Some bloggers swear by group boards, and maybe they really do work, but I was wasting so much time trying to get on group boards that I was getting nowhere with my traffic. Most of the group boards that I did manage to get on weren’t high performing enough to really drive me any big traffic numbers. You should check out the article here, but Crystal’s strategy revolves around making niched boards of your own and pinning your own content.
All this leads me to how I made my money blogging, which was through affiliate marketing. Not everything is a traffic game in blogging, but affiliate marketing is.
The more traffic you have, the easier making affiliate sales will be.
A lot of people think affiliate marketing is easy, and it is easier when you have good traffic, but in the beginning its tough. Affiliate marketing is a skill, and just posting links anywhere in a post doesn’t work.
I wanted to be able to offer you guys something that details exactly how I made my first affiliate sale in my first month blogging so I created this FREE mini e-book! Inside I detail my exact strategy of how I made my first sale, which affiliate networks are good for beginners, how to write blog posts that convert to sales, and lastly how much traffic you actually need to start seeing money with affiliate marketing!
You can sign up below and get it straight to your inbox!
So, final takeaways
- Facebook groups are great for community, less great for traffic. I participated in a couple of click through posts but I found it more work than it was worth as you have to click through all the posts that commented. My link was deleted multiple times (not by admin, it’s just a thing that can happen randomly) and the traffic isn’t building a strategy long term so in the end, it wasn’t worth it.
- It’s possible to get traffic without group boards. Group boards work for a lot of different bloggers and maybe it will work for you too, but this is working for me right now, so we’ll see where it takes me.
- Twitter is actually great for traffic and meeting fellow bloggers!
- You don’t need 100,000 views to start making money blogging
- More than half the battle is promoting your blog. Eat, sleep, and breath promoting your blog and getting it in front of the right eyes.
Lastly, I have 2 spots in my 1:1 coaching program!
5 months long, 3 monthly calls, Ongoing Voxer Support
We shift all the things.
The limiting beliefs around money
The limiting beliefs around business and what you think is possible
We build or tweak a blogging (or service based) biz to fill your heart AND your pockets with 5 figures months in the end of our work together.
We do it all your way. Because YOU are enough. What you have to say, your unique quirks and experiences are the gold.
I’ve built 2 online blogging businesses. Each hitting 4 figures by their third month.
I know how this internet thing works.
Let me help you in upleveling to the impact, money, and success you’ve envisioned.
If interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we’re a good fit!
That’s all for this one, next month’s income goals are:
- 100 email subscribers
I hope this income inspires you wherever you are on your journey. If I can do this, you can do it too!
If you haven’t started a blog, what are you waiting for?! Blogging is one of the best work at home jobs that can provide full time income and set you on the path to financial freedom. Started a blog but not getting the results you wanted? Check out my post on treating you blog like a business and how to set your blog up for money making success, click below to read those posts!
Until next time, don’t give up on your daydream!