Whew! May was a BUSY month for me.
It was my birthday (yay! HBD to me) and then I went to Europe for ten days, came back, and flew to Las Vegas for an aunts 80th birthday party.
With that said, I have done VERY little for this blog this past month. I am a little upset I didn’t produce much content but I also have to #livemylife and do the best I can.
Either way, with all the madness and all I still managed to make $X,XXX from my blog in May! That’s amazing to me.
AND I had a major setback this past month where my traffic crashed (more info below!)
It’s like I’ve created a little passive income machine that works even when I can’t.
Honestly, starting a blog has been one of the greatest decisions of my life.
I was hanging out in Florence, eating waaaay too many gelatos and still making money. THAT IS HUGE!!!!
So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
— You may also like: My 6th Month Income Report Here
As always, I will be discussing ALL my online income. I have TheFAb20s and another top secret blog.
(BTW, I don’t provide the URL of this second blog because I am planning on creating a course on how to create and monetize a site quickly, so I don’t want to give this new site any ‘help’ from a more established blog as I am taking notes of everything I do, what works and doesn’t, etc, Stay tuned!)
As always, I create these income reports because they help me reflect on what works and what doesn’t.
Before I started a blog I read hundreds! And I have learned a lot from bloggers.
If you start a blog, you should keep track of your income and traffic even if you don’t publish it.
SHOULD YOU START A BLOG?
In past income reports, my answer has been a resounding YES!
However, the more and more I learn about blogging I will tell you it takes TIME and COMMITMENT. The learning curve is quite big.
And if you lack self-motivation then perhaps this isn’t for you.
BUT, if you like to challenge yourself, want to create a second (or perhaps primary) source of income, and you can put in the work when you see little to no results, then you should definitely give it a shot.
Don’t believe those naysayers who say blogging is dead. I entered the blogging game ‘late’ according to some.
But you know what…
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
Stop putting things off, or worse yet, never starting because of what others say. Statistics mean nothing to the individual.
The problem is many of us want immediate results. We live in a world of instant gratifications. Nothing about blogging is immediate, it 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…..
Sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled program, but as of September 2019, I have launched my very own course Blogpreneur Blueprint which goes into every little detail of how I grow and monetize my blogs..
If you want to know all my ~secrets~ I highly encourage you to take a peek.
Also, check out my latest income report here to see just how quickly you can turn a blog from idea to side-hustle to full-time business
I got 93,334 pageviews in May 2019! This is significantly lower than last months 124,450, BUT there are two big reasons for this.
The first is you can see a clear dip and ZERO blog traffic for 5 days because Pinterest mistakenly marked my site as spam. That means you couldn’t click over to my site or repin any of my pins (literally every blogger’s nightmare!)
I was actually in Europe when this happened, so (somewhat luckily) didn’t have time to panic as I was busy eating gelato and exploring, but it did make my vacation sliggggghtly more stressful.
I wrote emails to Pinterest every night for the five days my account was marked as spam and eventually they got it fixed (whew!)
This was a clear reminder to not put all your eggs in one basket! I have been learning SEO and slowly ranking better for certain keywords. My organic google traffic is growing!! It’s just not as immediate as Pinterest traffic.
And the second reason for the dip in traffic is we are moving into the warmer months of the year.
Summer is notoriously low season in the blogging world. People are on holiday or just spending more time outdoors, away from their laptops and phones.
If your traffic dips a little in summer, don’t panic! It’s completely normal. It should be back up in the Fall.
Everything in blogging (and life if we are going to get deep) is cyclical and has its ups and downs.
SECOND BLOG TRAFFIC
My second blog is doing SO well. I am so happy with it.
In fact, it was approved for Mediavine in May! Yay!!!!
I launched this blog on March 24, it’s barely two months old and got 155,152 pageviews in May!! Wow!
I will be documenting the entire process and including it in my eCourse so you can copy my success! 😉
This blog is also growing so quickly because I am using Carlys Pinteresting Strategies in conjunction with my own little secrets and strategies
Mediavine (TF20s) – $1,073.36
Mediavine (Second Blog) – $675.26
AdSense (before I launched with Mediavine)– $260.45
Total AdRevenue – $2,053.62
Amazon – $1,344.90
Bluehost (check out my guide on how to start a blog below!)- $100
Commission Junction – $53
Pinteresting Strategies – $68
Total Affiliate Income – $1,565.90
Total Revenue – $3,619.52
Picmonkey – $7.99
Hosting (Prepaid for the year)
Total Income After Expenses – $3,596.54
Omfg!!! Last month I barely hit the $2,000 marker and I was ecstatic.
I can’t believe I flew right by that this month and made $3,600!! Especially since I had five. entire. days. where I was practically out of commission.
I was making next to nothing those 5 days, and still, my blogging income has (quite literally) blown me away.
Who says blogging is no longer profitable?!?! Ha!
If you’re still on the fence about blogging, just look at the numbers. My expenses are tiny! When your first start, you do have to pay upfront for hosting and your domain.
Depending on what hosting provider you choose and whether you opt for paid themes (I did!), your initial investment will be about $250 to $350 dollars.
$350 is nothing in the grand scheme of things! Imagine starting a brick-and-mortar store. From renting the place to getting set up, marketing.. you’re looking at 2 years of not turning a profit. And even then, the profit would be slim.
With the beauty of the internet, you can start a business for next to nothing!
And start turning a profit *almost* immediately, you just have to be willing to put in the work.
PROOF OF INCOME
BLOG FOCUS 1
For the first couple of months of my blogging career, my income was almost 100% ad revenue.
Now, thanks to Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing I have grown my affiliate income exponentially!!
If you just look at last months affiliate income revenue, it was $359.64 and this month it was $1,565.90 (!!!!!!)
This is so crazy, in last months income report I wrote the following “My goal is to make $1,000 in affiliate income a month by the end of the year, and at this rate, I think I’ll hit that marker a lot sooner than I expected. “
And I surpassed that the following month! Almost doubled it!
So, I’m continuing on this path to keep growing my affiliate income.
The new goal is $2,000 in affiliate income, and I’m going to set that goal for this month (June 2019).
I’m going back into Michelle’s course and applying some of the tips and tricks. If you don’t know Michelle, she’s a blogger who makes over $50,000 a month (that’s right) in affiliate income, so there’s no one better to learn from.
BLOG FOCUS 2
I’m going to continue working on my eCourse. I have a tentative launch date of August *crosses fingers*
BUT I want to jam pack so much into it, that even three months seems like a stretch.
I reaaaaally want to take my time with this project and not rush anything.
Also, I’m still learning a lot myself, so every time I learn something new, I add that to the curriculum, and the course just gets longer and longer (LOL)
It’s a never-ending cycle, BUT I do promise to launch it! I always meet my goals (overconfident, yes I know) and I don’t like letting anyone down (especially myself).
So if you’re waiting for this course, you have my WORD it will be created and will be awesome.
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 [email protected]!
I am beyond thankful to big bloggers that took the time to answer my emails and I will always be here to answer yours!