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.
After about a year of offering free tips and advice about spirituality, some of my followers started asking for paid content and sessions. I was shocked. 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 with my BA, 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 A crappy retail job, and had sometimes 11 hour days. I refused to go back to that world after graduation. I was left with very few options.
One night, at rock bottom, I remembered my first ever 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. I couldn’t believe people were making full time incomes doing this.
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 wouldn’t get any results. I’m crazy determined like that, so either I was going to succeed or I would return to 9-5 life and learn to live with it.
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
Hi from future me. Just three days later… I went on to make $275 more dollars. At the end of November I made over $1,000! Just in affiliates. That isn’t reported here because it is a MONTHLY income report and in October I only made $65. In just 5 months I went full time.
How did I do it?
I find that a lot of bloggers have these long lists of stuff for newbies to do and I might get backlash for saying this (especially since I have already gotten some less than stellar feedback on this very post claiming its “unrealistic” cue eyeroll) but a lot of that stuff doesn’t even matter.
I know you’ve probably seen posts that talk about colors, fonts, that you need a ton of traffic, etc but in my experience none of that has turned out to be true.
In fact, it was super simple.
The biggest hurdle was my mind.
I agonized over how I was going to make it happen. I agonized over how many people had failed and had been at this for so much longer than me. I worried a lot, that was honestly the hardest part.
I get so many questions and comments from people that are discouraged, and looking for help on how to make money online themselves that I created a super simple guide to help you: The 30 Day Guide To Make Money Blogging.
It answers all those questions and lays out in simple terms what you actually need to be doing to making money blogging and in your first months.
Some of the things it teaches includes:
- How to set up your blog the easy and cheap way. I give you an easy checklist to follow and go over what’s really important with starting a new blog.
- Affiliate Marketing: how to make sales on repeat the easy way, which are the best and beginner friendly, and how to write blog posts that sell your affiliates effortlessly!
- Digital Products: How to make one the easy and cheap way, how to sell them with a small audience, and all the technical stuff broken down in an easy step by step way.
- Selling Services: How to make money when you want to offer services! Over half my income comes from offering coaching and if it’s something you’re interested in blogging is a great way to get leads and get your work out there. I also go over being a Virtual Assistant, and other service ideas!
- How to get traffic using social media and Pinterest. I give you easy steps and how I built my audience quickly and built up my traffic.
This is the building blocks that I used to build my blog from scratch and how you can do this too. I’m not special, I’m just a girl who had a dream to live life on my terms instead of someone else’s. So yes, for less than weekly Starbucks you can grab my guide The 30 Day Guide To Making Money Blogging, check it out here.
I waited so long to follow my heart and the only thing I wish I could do different was start sooner.
I spent so many miserable nights at my retail job, my feet feeling like they were going to fall off and me thinking “Is this the way it will always be?”
I remember getting my paycheck feeling happy that I was getting paid but always feeling like it wasn’t enough for me to get up every day and be at a job I was miserable at.
So many of us get told from a young age that our dreams aren’t realistic. That we can’t really follow our hearts and I come to you now to say that’s not true. You can build a life and a business you LOVE. You do not have to settle. I say this to you being the most normal human being ever. I am not special, I am just someone who refused to give up and didn’t know how to live a life where I was unhappy. It made so much sense to take a chance on the thing I really wanted to do.
I had all the same fears you do.
“Will I ever make any money?” being one of the big ones, which was my main driving factor in making money my first month. I had to show not only myself but other people who wanted to start a blog and online business what was possible.
When I created The 30 Day Guide To Making Money Blogging I did so thinking about all those fears. The course is beginner friendly in every way and I have poured my heart, soul, and every bit of long hours of experimentation into this course so you can follow a clear and concise roadmap to make money blogging.
In under a year of business with this blog I have not missed a holiday or birthday, been able to travel to amazing destinations like London and Paris in February, and Hawaii in April for my birthday, and move into a much nicer apartment in a great neighborhood! In. Under. A. Year.
I don’t say any of this to brag I say it so you know it’s a possible how much your life can change in a short amount of time when you commit to your goals and move past your fear! When I was started I really questioned if I was losing my mind or not. Start a blog, and make enough money to support myself? It sounded crazy, but I did it, and you can do it too.
When you buy you get unlimited downloads of the content, and you get to keep it for life! It is an easy PDF format so you can take it with you on the go or even print it out. Check it out HERE.
Traffic & Email List
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 pleased with my traffic this month. Honestly I had no idea what was “good” traffic but I know I am far below what most bloggers have when they first start making money. I am living proof you can make money with a small audience.
There is so much fear in the blogging community.
Everything just seems so urgent. You need Pinterest or good luck ever making any money, don’t forget SEO if you ever hope to have traffic in the long run, you better have an email list or else your audience will abandon you once social media dies out.
I hated it.
It scares new and creative people away from the blogging world.
It teaches and preaches things that simply are not true.
The biggest problem I see with new bloggers (and this included me) is that they don’t think they can do it and they focus on stuff that isn’t important instead of doing the essential task that really build up your blog!
That’s why in The 30 Day Guide To Making Money Blogging I give you my EXACT to-do list that I used to make money blogging my first month. I make it simple, easy, and repeatable for you to do! You can check out the course here.
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, but Crystal’s strategy revolves around making niched boards of your own and pinning your own content. I go over my exact Pinterest strategy in the course to make it easy for you!
As you saw I made money using affiliate marketing. I’m going to break it down as simple as possible because making affiliate sales isn’t very hard.
Tell the truth, sell with your story, promote the posts with the affiliate links in it like CRAZY. That’s it. That’s exactly what I did.
Tell the truth about the product and why it helped you. You don’t need to trick people into buying or convince them or anything like that, just tell the truth, you can literally feel when someone is just sharing something that helped them.
I go over exactly how I make affiliate sales in The 30 Day Guide to Making Money Blogging. I make it easy to understand and break down how I write my blog posts that helps me make affiliate sales. Affiliate marketing is the fastest way to make money with a brand new blog because you don’t literally need any audience to do it, you just need to get those posts out there! If you want to check out the course you can do so HERE.
But for now, my best advise is to promote the blog posts that have the affiliate links in them the most. Tweet them, pin them, link them, whatever you have to do and as often as you can. I found it worked better if I had one affiliate product per post and I linked the product multiple times throughout the post.
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. I made money with affiliate marketing and in my experience that is the easiest way to make money in the beginning.
So if you’re reading this and thinking ‘Can I actually make money blogging?’ The answer is yes. And if you want to make money your first month blogging you can do that too. I have been called unrealistic before for saying this and you know what, it is pretty unrealistic.
Compared to the vast majority of the population who work 9-5 jobs and go on vacation twice a year, if that, working on the internet and making money with a blog is pretty unrealistic in itself.
I don’t really care though.
I’m not after realistic results.
I am after holy s%#% how did she do THAT results.
If I wanted realistic, I would’ve taken my college degree to settle down in a nice cubicle somewhere.
What I want is for you to know that this is possible. What I want is for you to know that not even a year ago I was scared out of mind at what to do after I had graduated college dreading having to find a day job.
I am not special. If I can do it, you can do it. Want to set up your own money making blog? Want to do it the fast way and make money blogging your first couple of months or even your very first month like I did? Grab my guide The 30 Day Guide To Make Money Blogging. I’ve mentioned it a lot here because I can’t even explain how much what’s inside changed my life and how much I know it can change yours. I will shout it from the rooftops if I have to, because I want you to know there is a different way. You don’t have to hate your job, you don’t have to just financially “get by”, you don’t have to settle.
You can do this with commitment to your goal regardless of buying my course, but buying it will help you do it faster.
After just under a year using the strategies inside I now have multiple income streams including coaching, affiliate marketing, and digital products and it’s been less than a year! (I’m writing this September 2019!)
So if you desire to stay home with your kids, or work from all around the word, or simply just make money online with a blog, you can do it. I am living proof and I have made it easy with my course. You can check it out HERE.
Don’t wait any longer to start this journey. It does not have to take a long time to start making money blogging and with my course you can start making money in your first month of taking the course!
Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams, you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to.
Until next time!