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 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.
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 wish I could give you some long fancy list of everything I did to make money but honestly, there isn’t one. 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…it wasn’t really that hard.
I know, I know.
I’m supposed to give you some long list and preach SEO and tell you I spent hours everyday glued to my laptop but that’s just…not true. I did spend a lot of time creating content, I also spent a fair amount of time promoting, but that was about it. I took naps. I spent time with friends. I cooked.
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 did have a social media checklist. I have a very simple formula to make money blogging and it is a three step system. Apart of that system is promoting your blog, which includes social media.
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 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.
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 posts.
So yeah, I made money my first month blogging.
And it wasn’t really that hard.
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, creative people away from the blogging world.
It teaches and preaches things that simply are not true.
It uses fear based tactics to sell one Pinterest strategy course after another.
After investing in a fair amount of courses including Pinterest courses, Affiliate courses, Blogging Bootcamp type courses, etc I can say they helped me grow my business.
But they weren’t the real issue.
The biggest problem I see with new bloggers (and this included me) is their mindset.
This course addresses something that isn’t discussed in beginning blogger courses.
You need the right Mindset to see the success you desire.
It is what separates the six figure bloggers and the blogs left abandoned in the internet void.
It is not talked about enough.
The only thing that separates you from six figure bloggers is the belief you can get there.
Broke Bloggers Be Gone is a mindset course for bloggers. Because all the big shot bloggers are talking about mindset on their podcasts, writing blog posts about it, posting inspirational Instagram posts about it….but I could not find anyone teaching it to beginner bloggers.
After I made money my first month and eventually went full time, I knew I had to teach and create this course.
It is the step by step process that took me from jobless and terrified to full time blogger.
It is what I have built my entire business on.
In the course we cover things like:
- What it actually takes to build a money making blog. No fear based BS, no complicated jargon, no waiting years and years, just my simple, step by step guide on how to start making money with your blog. I go over how to build a monetization strategy that WORKS and creates multiple streams of income for your blog.
- Addressing limiting beliefs and confidence. Are you terrified to actually see this blog thing through? Are you worried theres no way you can actually do this? We go over how to address your limiting beliefs and build your confidence so you can show up to your blog with a success mindset.
- How to build a blog quickly and the everyday action steps to do so. I go into depth the everyday actions I took my first months blogging to build momentum. I cover how to write content that converts to sales and subscribers.
- Ditching old money beliefs that are cluttering up your mind and slowing down your business. We do some money mindset work and clear up anything that is holding you back from making the kind of money you desire.
- How to set goals and actually hit them! I set big goals…and I hit them. I break down my process on how I used this process to make money my first month, grow my email list to over 500 in three months, and more!
You can click here if you’d like to check it out.
It is 4 video modules that you have access to for life including all future updates and 3 NEW Bonuses! Click HERE to check it out!
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.
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.
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.
Check out Broke Bloggers Be Gone to get my exact program on how to start making money blogging. It is my baby and my entire process in a course, I can’t wait for it to serve you like it has served me.
Until next time,
don’t give up on your daydream.