Oh my god.. This has been a long time in the making. Welcome to my first ever Blog Traffic/Income Report!
I had been toying with the idea to start a blog since 2015, in fact, I bought the domain TheFab20s.com two years ago and just let it sit there. I was convinced I didn’t have the time to get into blogging, and I felt there was such a learning curve.
But I finally left those excuses behind and did it!
I *officially* launched my blog on October 26, 2018, and from Nov 1 to Nov 30 got a grand slam total of 33,035 Pageviews!
Why Publish These Income/Traffic Reports?
I honestly believe to be successful at anything in life, you need to hold yourself accountable and constantly be learning. Before I launched my blog I read well over 100 income reports to see what works and what doesn’t for my favorite bloggers. I’m going to state a bold goal for this blog and that goal is to make a minimum of $5,000 a month one year from now.
So, in December 2019, I hope to link to an income report where I am making $5,000 a month.
I like making big and bold goals for myself, and by publishing them out to the world, it’s a huge force of motivation to keep going, through the highs and lows.
And more so, I will continue to publish these income/traffic reports for the following reasons:
- These reports will allow me to see what is and isn’t working.
- See where I can improve
- Help YOU not make the same mistakes as I made
- And most importantly, to show what blogging is really like
And since I love reading bloggers income reports, it just makes sense to publish my own.
Also, I have noticed that most bloggers start publishing income reports once they are successful and making a decent sum of money, which is great, but not very helpful for us newbie bloggers.
It also sets unrealistic expectations for many. I’ve seen income reports that read “how I made $1,300 my 2nd-month blogging,” and I truly don’t believe you can get to that level without having prior knowledge. It’s just NOT likely. There is so much to learn in the blogging world. Learning WordPress. Figuring out plugins. Creating content. Creating Pins. Using Social Media. Promoting. Driving Traffic. Monetizing. It’s a lot, you guys!
With that said, I do believe anyone (myself and yourself included) can make money blogging, and I hope to prove us both right with these reports.
So whether I make $0 or $10,000 I will be publishing these reports to learn from myself and hopefully help you as well.
My First Month
So to be completely and humbly honest, this was technically my first month blogging BUT I spent about two months prior creating content and reading ebooks about driving traffic.
I am a very practical person and like to be overprepared. So I wrote about 25-30 blog posts before launching. I wanted to make sure that if anyone came to my blog, I didn’t just have one blog post up. I wanted it to look like an established blog. In fact, I doubt anyone who visited my blog during the month of November even thought it was a one month old blog.
At this point in time, almost 100% of my traffic is from Pinterest. I have 14,842 sessions and 33,035 page views. Those two numbers make me very happy because it shows that people stick around on my blog. They don’t just read the post that drove them here and leave, instead, they tend to wander to other blog posts I have, which is a great thing.
Traffic, especially Pinterest traffic, tends to fluctuate, but overall it looks like it is steadily increasing. In the future, I will probably take a course on SEO or Facebook to master other forms of traffic, but I am just now getting my feet wet with Pinterest so one thing at a time!
I know some might not believe I got 33,000 Pageviews my first month, So I’ve also included a screenshot of October to show you I was not blogging or actively promoting. Traffic was nonexistent. I was (however) creating content and actively pinning other peoples pins to grow a presence on Pinterest and be more ‘established’ for my launch.
To be honest, I didn’t go into this month with a plan. I want to write about a couple of different topics and see what my audience like, reads, and shares. Your readers will be your guide.
What I learned thanks to this is that my readers love all things frugal and saving money. My financial posts did great this past month! Some other posts, like this round-up, completely flopped. I assumed because I liked round-up posts that others would too, but that is not the case! Or at least, I haven’t figured out the correct way to promote these posts.
So moving forward, I might narrow my niche down a bit and do fewer food roundups. I haven’t made a firm decision on this yet because one month worth of analytics isn’t enough to decide whether or not it’s worth it. I’ll probably have a decision in the December income report though.
What I Learned: It’s important to not niche yourself down so much. If I had decided TheFab20s was exclusively a food blog, my traffic wouldn’t even have reached 1,000 pageviews. I think when you’re starting out you need to cast a wide net, review your analytics, and make a game plan for the following month based on what you’ve learned. Also, I do believe the more posts you have, the higher your traffic will be. I DON’T recommend publishing just for the sake of publishing, but if you can try to publish 2-3 blog posts a week, you will definitely reap the rewards.
I have been exclusively focused on Pinterest this past month. In the months leading up to my launch, I started a Pinterest page and started pinning content to boards. I also requested to join more than 100+ group boards and got accepted to many of them. I thought I would need to be more established to be accepted since I had few followers and no real blog yet, but I found as long as you’re a quality pinner, most bloggers won’t have a problem adding you. It is, however, incredibly tedious to request access to group boards. I would normally segment about one or two hours a week to finding and emailing the board owners
I believe being on group boards and consistently pinning made a big difference in my first month of blogging. However, I credit most of my success to this ebook by Carly. Her ebook is quickly becoming a classic in the blogging community and for good reason, it’s full of great little nuggets and you get to basically look over her shoulder and see how she pins.
I learned a lot from her pinning strategies and for this month, 99% of my traffic came from Pinterest. In the future, I will focus on Organic Traffic or maybe play around with Facebook, but for now, I want to master this one platform.
Do I Schedule Pins Or Pin Manually
I pin 100% manually. I do however have a Tailwind account for the Tribes feature and because of the analytics but I don’t schedule pins. I decided to fully commit to Carlys eBook and see how that works for me. I agree with Carly that you can’t fully understand a platform if you’re not immersed in it completely. Pinning manually has given me a much better understanding of how a platform works.
I did find manual pinning to be tedious in the beginning but now I feel like I can kind of glide through it without much thought. I pin manually about 1 or 2 times a day and occasionally on my phone. It doesn’t take me more than 30 minutes.
I don’t believe you need to be on Pinterest every hour of the day, pinning constantly. This ebook taught me how to create pins that naturally get traction, choose keywords, and get outrageous amounts of page views with few followers.
My goal for this blog is also for it to be manageable and a steady flow of passive income, I don’t want to spend twelve hours a day pinning. That’s just not my idea of a viable business. That’s why Carly’s strategy is so appealing to me, she also only pins about 30 minutes to one hour a day and makes over $4,000/mo in ad revenue just from her Pinterest traffic. Her ebook is my number one recommendation if you’re starting out. However, her strategies work best if you have 30 to 50 blog posts already. That’s why I recommend creating content before launching in addition to using her strategies.
I know all bloggers recommend starting an email list from day one, and although I agree that an email list has a lot of benefits, I decided not to start one my first month. I want to keep my blogging costs low in the beginning and I have instead invested my money in courses to better educate myself.
I might eventually make an email list, but for right now I’m still figuring out how to consistently create blog posts, pin, and drive traffic. Also, I want to have fun in this blogging process and an email list stresses me out. For the time being, I would rather not have a list because it’s an added pressure that I don’t need, even if that means I’m leaving traffic and money on the table.
I know this will most likely change in the future months once I get more comfortable with blogging, but I’m a firm believer in doing ONE thing at a time. Although I am technically doing two (creating content and trying to master Pinterest) but I won’t be stressing myself out with a third thing until maybe January or February. Once I’ve been blogging for three or four months and am more comfortable with the whole process.
Again, you don’t have to follow the pro bloggers. You can create your own path and test things out. Yes, they have an abundance of experience but they also have assistants and have been doing this for years. If you’re starting out, I think the best thing is to focus entirely on one or two things at a time, or else you’ll suffer from blogger burnout.
One of my main monetization goals with this blog is to get it to 25,000+ sessions and apply for Mediavine. If you don’t know, Mediavine is an ad network that pays much better than Google Adsense. I always liked the idea of ads because I personally don’t mind them on other sites and it’s such a passive form of income.
This month I got 14,842 sessions so I’m confident I will be able to apply for Mediavine within the next three months if I keep growing consistently.
I also plan to use affiliate marketing. I will be investing in this course that so many bloggers swear by. Michelle makes over $100,000 a month with affiliate marketing! So I figure, if anyone will know, it’s her. I will follow up on this topic in the upcoming reports.
I will be posting my income as it is earned, and not as it is paid out. For example, I may earn x amount of dollars with Amazon in November, but that money won’t hit my account for about 60 days. Most companies you work with as a blogger pay out 45 or 60 days after the income is made.
What I especially like about this is that once I start making a significant amount of money, I will know exactly how much money I will have in any upcoming month. For example, I can create a perfect budget for March, because I know how much money I will be getting, based on how January did. Get it? There are never any surprises and you have plenty of time to accommodate for the income you will get. I don’t know about you, but I love this. Being a blogger/entrepreneur means you have to be ok with a variable income, but knowing ahead of time is such a great thing.
Anyways, mini rant over. Here is how much money I made my first month blogging, with proof.
- Google Adsense– $72.09
Affiliate Income –
- Amazon– $19.37
- iGains – $13.60
Total Income: $105.06
Total Income After Expenses: $82.08
I am so incredibly proud of this amount. I know maybe $80 isn’t a lot to some of you, but imagine if you start a business tomorrow. How much is your rent? Your cost of merchandise? Phone and Internet Connection? Advertising? At a bare minimum, you’re spending $2,000 a month to get that business up and running, and chances are it’ll take you approximately 2-3 years to gain a profit.
The beauty of blogging is your expenses are so low, you can have a profitable month your very first month of blogging, like me. I have a lot of faith in this blog and blogging overall.
These $80 prove to me that blogging isn’t dead or oversaturated. You can launch a blog in 2019 and grow it.
Goals For December 2018
Content: Create and Publish 20 Blog Posts (That’s approx. 5 posts per week)
Pinterest: Get to 2,500 Followers (currently at 1,309)
Traffic: Get 60,000 Pageviews and/or 25,000 sessions to apply for MediaVine
Income: Make $500 before expenses
I think these goals are 100% attainable, and although December is a hectic month for me at my full-time job, I will still place the bar high for myself and this blog.
Main Takeaway and Moving Forward
Overall, I believe I had such a successful first month blogging because I was prepared. As I said, I created many posts before my launch, I invested in Carly’s eBook to learn Pinterest, and I created multiple pins for the same post. You never know what pins are going to take off.
Another big thing is I never got too busy for my blog! I went away for a weekend and couldn’t work on my blog at all, however, I would get on my phone and manually pin two or three times a day. There were also days I was working long hours at my full-time job so I would get home late and didn’t have time to write, but I would at least, try to create a new pin for a post that isn’t doing so great.
Always, always try to work on your blog daily. Even if you can only dedicate ten minutes.
I will be investing in Michelle’s Affiliate Marketing course. If you’re in the blogging community, you know how popular Michelle and her course are. She makes over $100,000 a month (yes, a month!) blogging, most of which is from Affiliate Marketing, so if anyone’s going to teach this course, it’ll be her.
Although my main goal with this blog has always been to qualify for MediaVine and earn a revenue with ads, I won’t turn my head up at affiliate marketing. I made $32.97 in affiliate income this month simply by promoting products I believe in, so why not take advantage of that.
Start Your Own Blog
If you are interested in starting your own blog and joining me on this journey, you can read my super comprehensive guide to starting a successful blog and the basics of WordPress.
A lot of blogs will just promote a host and that’s it. That’s no help to you! I walk you through the whole process. From purchasing a domain and host to figuring out how to upload plugins.
I spent so much time just figuring out WordPress. How to create posts? Where to upload a theme! Hopefully, I am taking away that headache for you as there is a lot of information about starting a blog that most bloggers won’t tell you. In fact, a lot of the information I wrote about (like connecting your site to Google Analytics) is scattered all over the web. I took a lot of time creating that guide and I cover everything I could think of that’s necessary to start a successful blog.
Hope you enjoyed this post! Can’t wait to see what December 2018 has in store!