I just finished up my 4th *official* month of blogging, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic to have my first ever four-digit income month!
And although I don’t blog about blogging much on here, I think it’s important to keep track of what’s working and what isn’t. Income reports are a great way to reflect back on the month and to also set goals for the next one. If you decide to start a blog, you should definitely do a monthly income and traffic report, even if you decide not to make it public!
When I first started off in the blogging world, I loved income reports. I think I’ve read over 100 at this point, and they have all greatly helped me get where I am today.
Should You Start A Blog?
There are some bloggers out there that will say you can’t make money in blogging anymore.
This Is 100% False!!
Yes, there are a lot of bloggers out there.
However, there are a lot of everything nowadays!
You ever remember going through the yellow pages and seeing how many lawyers there were? There was easily 60 some pages in my city alone. Or how many painting companies? Ice cream shops?
There is competition everywhere, however that shouldn’t scare you.
If anything it should motivate you.
The fact that there are a million doctors, accountants, and even bloggers is because there is a market for them. That’s basic economy.
So, if you are worried about starting a blog just because there’s a 100 more, don’t be! The fact that these bloggers have found success goes to show that you can as well.
If you’re willing to put the effort.
The problem is so many bloggers give up when they don’t see results immediately. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
Take your time. Learn as much as you can. And keep publishing.
It is 100% possible to create a blog that produces a sustainable and rewarding income.
I want to show others that IT IS POSSIBLE to build a blog and earn extra money on top of their full-time jobs.
My income reports are a tool to help you see that earning money through a blog is possible and perhaps motivate you to start your own blog some day!
Now, before you think I’m anything special.. I would like to let you know I
- don’t have experience writing for a living
- don’t have experience creating graphics or blogs
- have no experience in online marketing
- am not a fan of social media (I don’t have a FB, twitter, and recently deleted the IG app from my phone)
- have a full-time job and blog on the side
So if you think you can’t create a money-making blog, you are completely wrong!
And worse yet, you’re underestimating your capabilities dramatically!
If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
If you have been going back and forth about starting a blog, you need to start it NOW. Cut the excuses and the BS you tell yourself about why you can’t and dive in.
It’s only scary in the beginning and then it becomes fun!
So, now for what you came for…..
I am so excited to have reached my first ever 100,000 page views!! And in February! Which is a shorter month.
I received a grand total of 120,914 pageviews for the month. That’s over 120% growth when compared to January’s 52,051 pageviews! AHHHHH!!
It honestly feels unreal that this is just a four month old blog. I know some might be skeptical, so I have also included a screenshot for the last five months to show that there was absolutely zero traffic in October 2018
Traffic has always been my biggest concern when it came to blogging.
My goal was to get to 25,000 sessions as soon as possible so I can apply for Mediavine, a popular (and amazing!) ad network that pays so much more than Google Adsense.
I hit that goal in early January and was accepted into the Mediavine family on January 18!
I think part of my success was having a very clear plan.
I knew from day one that I was going to try and publish A LOT. And often.
I also knew, thanks to Pinteresting Strategies, that Pinterest was my best bet of getting quick traffic to my blog in the shortest amount of time.
And I specifically concentrated on simply generating traffic. I did add a couple of affiliate links here and there, but the grand bulk of my efforts was to get into Mediavine and make some passive income through ads.
Now that I have accomplished this goal, I am going to focus my efforts more on creating another income stream and purchased Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by famous blogger Michelle Schroeder-Gardner.
Michelle makes more than $50,000 a month in affiliate marketing! And a lot of bloggers rave about her course, so I figured I’d make the investment in my blogging journey and bought it.
Mediavine – 1,347.92
Amazon – $99.38
Commission Junction – $82.00
iGains – $17.10
Total Affiliate Income – $218.48
Total Revenue – $1,566.40
Picmonkey – $7.99
Hosting (Prepaid for the year)
Total Income After Expenses – $1,543.42
I prepaid for my hosting because it ends up being cheaper than paying month to month. But even if you decide to pay for it on a monthly basis, your blog expenses (when starting out) don’t exceed $50.00 a month, and they have the potential of making you a significant amount of money in a short time frame.
Proof of Earnings
One Thing At A Time
I know my affiliate income of $218.48 isn’t very significant, but as I said previously, I was 100% dedicated on gaining traffic in these first couple of months.
Moving forward, I will be working on creating more income streams, and focusing my attention more on affiliate marketing.
I know there is a lot of potential in Affiliate Marketing because bloggers like Michelle makes over $50,000 a month using these techniques.
However, with that said, if you are interested in starting a blog, my biggest recommendation is to focus on one thing at a time.
When you first start out, there are a million things to do. You have to get a theme, write posts, create pins, post on FB, make a twitter, create affiliate posts, apply for sponsorships, create an email list, etc. etc. The list is never ending!
Don’t. Do. This! Focus on one thing at a time.
In the beginning, just try and figure out WordPress. Once you can get around WordPress, start creating posts.
I recommend you write anywhere from 10 – 20 posts before you launch.
When I launched, I had more than 15 posts on the blog and I’m sure anyone who visited this blog during its first month would never have thought it was brand new.
Once you figure out how to create posts, try and “master” Pinterest. I put ‘master’ in quotes, because there is so much to learn about Pinterest that I don’t think I will ever get it 100%, and if I do, I’m sure there will be an algorithm change (LOL).
With that said, if you want to truly get Pinterest, Carlys eBook Pinteresting Strategies is what I have used to generate the pageviews I now have (which are constantly growing).
I pin exclusively manually.
I know I have a Tailwind membership and you’re probably asking yourself, ‘why do you pay for a Pinterest scheduler if you pin manually?”
Well, simply for the analytics and the Tribes.
Pinterest Tribes have been a great source of traffic for me in combination with manual pinning. And it’s such a small investment, I don’t mind paying it.
The Tribes feature is amazing! Not all Tribes are the same, you’ll have to join and leave a couple before you find the one that’s the right fit for you and your blog, but it’s worth it.
Now that I am fairly confident in my writing and Pinterest strategy, I am moving to learn affiliate marketing.
Afterwards I’ll focus on something else, such as email marketing or SEO for google. We shall see.
But I am taking it one step at a time.
How To Get Started?
Step 1: Set Up Your Blog For Success From Day 1
You absolutely need to self-host. Self-hosting allows you to have complete control over your website and content.
For example, if I didn’t self-host, my site would be ‘www.thefab20s.freeblogsite.com’ instead of my own domain name as it is ‘www.thefab20s.com.’ What successful blogger do you know that has a site like that?
But that’s not the only dilemma.
It’s much worse:
- You don’t own your content – the blogging platform owns it and they can shut you down for whatever reason (or if they go out of business) (3)
- The web address will be hard to remember – you want a catchy, easy to remember domain name so those that love what you blog about can visit you regularly
- You can’t advertise – this makes it much harder (or impossible) to monetize your blog
Please note, all these limits apply to the wordpress.COM sites as well.
You want a wordpress.ORG blog, its the exact same software without the limitations!
At this point in time, I only use and recommend Bluehost for domain names and web-hosting.
Bluehost gets my stamp of approval because they really care about helping bloggers like you and me to get started as quickly and painlessly as possible.
WHAT MAKES BLUEHOST SO GREAT?
Nothing comes close to Bluehost in terms of blog load speed and uptime
Bluehost has great performance, they are easy to use and it’s absolutely the best pick for beginners.
On top of that, Bluehost offers a FREE Domain, 1-click WordPress Install, and a FREE SSL Certificate. An SSL certificate adds trust with google as well as with your blog visitors as well!
If you want to start blogging, head on over to Bluehost and click the green ‘get started’ button.
In the beginning, the basic plan is all you need to get started on the right foot.
Step 2: Write. A lot.
Before you launch, you’re going to want to do the work beforehand.
I wrote more than 15 blog posts before my launch. Anyone who visited my site in its early days would have never thought it was only a couple of days old.
Create a lot of helpful posts that people will want to read! You’ll notice I don’t have any posts such as ‘my daily makeup routine’ or ‘my favorite pasta dish.’ Why not? Because no one cares!
You don’t know me, so you don’t care what I eat, wear, or do.
Perhaps after you’ve created a relationship with your readers, they will be interested in your personal life, but in the beginning, you have to constantly be thinking ‘What’s in it for me?” from the readers point of view.
Write a lot but with a purpose.
Step 3: Create a Pinterest Business Account
Pinterest will be your secret weapon as a blogger.
More than 90% of my traffic as a new blogger comes from Pinterest.
You will want to make sure you sign up for a Business Account as it will be the best way for you to drive traffic to you brand new blog.
You can either use a personal picture or go with a logo. Bloggers have success either way, so if you want to maintain your privacy, don’t feel obliged to post who you are.
Once you have your business account you’re going to want to create 20 or more boards related to your topic.
By the way, I don’t think you need to pigeonhole yourself!
I don’t have a niche and I love it. I write about travel, money, and food. The riches are NOT in the niches.
Play around with different topics and see what you like and what your readers like as well.
So if you plan on writing about travel, perhaps create 3-5 relevant boards about that topic, for example:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Road Trips
- Europe Travel
- Asia Travel
Just make sure it’s a topic you will be creating multiple pins and articles for. There’s no point creating a board if you don’t pin to it often.
Step 4: Create Great Pins That Get Clicked
No matter how great your content is, if you don’t create great pins that get clicked, all your efforts will go to waste.
There isn’t a one size fits all for pins.
Some pins I think will do awesome tank, and others I’m not too crazy about take off randomly and go viral!
The only thing you can do is make sure you create a lot of pins and test them constantly.
I make anywhere from 2 – 4 pins per post. You never know which one will take off
More than that, if an article isn’t doing so hot, I will make more pins for it two or three weeks later with new keywords!
A lot of bloggers use Canva or Picmonkey.
I use PicMonkey to make my pins and pay the monthly membership of $7.99 because it allows me to use the fonts I buy on top of a lot of other nifty features.
But for the first two months I used the free versions of both Canva and PicMonkey until I decided which one I liked more and bought a plan.
You can still make great pins on the free versions!
Step 5: Learn From the Pros
There is so much to learn when you start out.
You can’t be scared of investing in a couple of courses.
The strategy I used to get my pageviews to over 100,000 is Carlys Pinteresting Strategies and it only costs $47.
I am not one to part from my money easily, but Carlys eBook is the best bang for your buck.
The guide really makes you understand what Pinterest is about, and her strategy is very useful when you are familiarizing yourself with Pinterest.
Whether you decide to invest in Carlys Pinteresting Strategies or not, you will want to constantly be learning and researching.
There are a lot of free resources online.
I spend a large portion of my free time reading tips and tricks from blogging pros. You can’t assume you know it all.
Blogging is always evolving and you have to be evolving with it.
You want to be studying successful bloggers and constantly asking yourself:
- What social media’s do they use?
- How do they get page views?
- What are the most shared articles they have on their website?
- How do their pins look like and which pins have most repins?
- How do they make money?
Curiosity and determination will get you far in the blogging world!
Step 6: Have Fun
Yes, Blogging is a business.
However, I learned a long time ago that if you don’t enjoy the process you won’t enjoy the results.
In the beginning, everything is new and intimidating but I challenge you to change your mindset towards this process.
Fear and Excitement are the same emotions. They release the same chemical balances in the body. The only difference is the name and power you give them.
Stop being afraid and anxious and feel excitement! Starting a blog can be one of the greatest decisions you make.
Learn to love the process of writing, creating pins, and getting to know your readers.
I have so much fun creating content for TheFab20s that it doesn’t feel like work. Isn’t that what we all want?
Anyways, I am so incredibly thankful to each and everyone of you that stops by my blog! From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you for reading, tweeting, pinning, and sharing this blog. It is because of YOU that TheFab20s is constantly growing! I am so grateful for you all!
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
I am beyond thankful to big bloggers that took the time to answer my emails and I will always be here to answer yours!