HOLY GUAC ? I can’t believe it’s been a whole year of blogging.
It’s incredible how my life has done a complete 180 ever since I decided to start this blog!
I have learned so much in this past year about what it takes to build a blog and business, but I know I have SO much more to learn.
I think that’s why I love blogging so much. It’s always changing, growing, and there’s always a new ‘beast’ to conquer.
Every job I’ve ever had became repetitive after a couple of months, but every site I’ve created is different and challenging in their own way. If you become bored with monotony and are self-driven, I think you should definitely give blogging a shot!
There’s so much to do and learn, you will never be bored. Plus, seeing your vision come to life is SO exciting.
With that said, I have decided to….
End Income Reports
I started publishing blog income reports to learn from my own mistakes as well as to inspire other bloggers.
I think income reports are such a powerful tool when you start blogging, I personally have read hundreds of them and they were (and still are) a great motivator for me.
However, now that I am at the year mark in my blogging journey, it just feels natural to end them here.
Everything that got me from idea to side-hustle to full-time blogger is in the income reports of this past year. Plus, I don’t think publishing more of them will be of much help to new bloggers.
Here are allllll my published income reports if you want to study my success….
November 2018 (1st month!) – $82.08
December 2018 – didn’t track 🙁
but was less than $200
January 2019 – less than $200; got approved for Mediavine at end of the month!
February 2019 – $1,566.40
March 2019 – $1,993.02
April 2019 – $2,021.49
May 2019 – $3,619.52
June 2019 – $3,351.23
July 2019 – $6,839.30
August 2019 – $4,162.12
September 2019 – $5,170.57
October 2019 – You Are Here!
Annnnnd, if you are really interested in learning all the tips and tricks of how I grew two blogs in record time, check out my course Blogpreneur Blueprint where I give you all the juicy details…
NOW, although I will no longer be publishing monthly income reports, I will be publishing milestones!
These milestones will be things like hitting $10,000 in one month or 500,000 pageviews; exciting things like that!
I think that will be beneficial to you guys because I will be able to talk about what I did to get my blog to those new heights. So keep your eyes peeled for that ?
So, with that out of the way, let’s dive right in……
If you read last months income report, you know I was in Cape Town from Sept. 12 until Oct.14.
And you knooooow I struggled to keep my productivity high during that time.
The first two weeks of October weren’t much better. I (obviously) did get work done, but it’s not at the same level that I do back home.
For example, between October 1 and 14, I only published two posts on TheFab20s (one of them was my income report) and one on my second blog! Literally three blog posts in two weeks.
But since I’ve gotten back, I have published seven new posts on TheFab20s and three on my second blog!
That is a huge difference in productivity! So I’m still tweaking (& learning) how to travel and work at the same time. (I wrongly assumed digital nomading would be easy!)
I’m excited to see what this new increase in posts does for my traffic. If you have a blog, you know the results you are seeing today are the work you put in two or more months ago, so I’m excited to see the results in December and January!
Also, my blogging course has been doing pretty well! I haven’t done any marketing for it, the only way you can find the course is if you read my income reports and it continues to make sales which is exciting!
I will be dedicating more time to promoting that course in the coming months.
Now, let’s get into the income report….
As always, my income reports will include the income from BOTH my blogs (TheFab20s and my second blog).
In my course I go over all my strategies for how I create and launch blogs in record-time. From setting it up, plugins, brainstorming, creating content, monetizing and (my favorite & the meat of the course) my Pinterest strategy.
I launched TheFab20s on October 26, 2018 and was accepted into Mediavine in January 2019 (that’s three months!)
Just to prove it wasn’t beginner’s luck, I replicated the results with my second blog…
My second blog was launched on March 24, 2019 and accepted into Mediavine in May (not even two months later!)
You learn exactly how I do it in my e-course. I leave absolutely nothing out. So if you’re ready to start a profitable blog and make an extra income (or even replace your current one) click here to check out my course.
Mediavine (TF20s) – $1,405.20
Mediavine (Blog B) – $1,205.49
Total AdRevenue – $2,610.69
Amazon – $1,240.85
Commission Junction – $37
Pinteresting Strategies – $18.80
Total Affiliate Income – $1,296.65
Blogpreneur Blueprint – $1,280.64
Total Revenue – $5,187.98
Total Income After Expenses – $5,165.00
This number is so exciting for me!
Although I was traveling and not very active on my sites for an entire month, my blogs continue to make money! It’s a dream come true honestly.
However, if you look at my last income report, you can tell my blog didn’t necessarily grow from one month to the next.
So, although you can be more hands-off with a blog once it’s running along, anyone who claims they only work on their blog for 5 hours a week is lying! (or has a team helping them out)
If you want to grow your blogs, you have to put in the work.
And, most importantly, you have to diversify your income! You don’t have to have multiple blogs like I do, but definitely don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
I make money through ads, affiliate marketing, and now my course. All of these income streams compliment each other amazingly and when one isn’t doing so good the other is there to help it out.
Once you figure out one income source, focus on another one.
My first focus when starting a blog was traffic, I wanted to get into Mediavine and make money with ads. Once I was able to make a steady income with ads, I moved onto affiliate marketing and started growing that income stream.
You don’t have to do it all at once, but you do want to be constantly challenging yourself and improving your system.
Second Blog Traffic
TheFab20s got 108,543 page views and my second blog got 76,440! I am happy with those numbers especially when you consider how little I posted and my overall lack of productivity for a month (lol).
Excited to see the new heights these sites will reach now that I’m home and publishing like crazy!
I spent the first two weeks of October in South Africa and had the most amazing time! I honestly tried to cancel my flight and come back later because I just didn’t feel like I was done with this amazing country (will definitely be coming back!)
I made some incredible friends and memories I will cherish forever.
My friends and I went to Kruger National Park and that was just a childhood dream come to life!
We rented the most amazing Airbnb inside a private game reserve and you could literally (!!) see elephant, hippos, and giraffes from our house!
I would just hang out in the pool and watch the Elephants come and go to the watering hole (as pictured below, in the distant middle-left)
I don’t think I could ever get bored of a sight like that to be honest.
And on my last Friday of the trip I went paragliding which was a huuuuge accomplishment for me as I am absolutely terrified of heights.
I actually got peer-pressured into it, which you can read about on my insta-caption here.
So, I’ll stop going on and on about this amazing trip but if Cape Town isn’t on your bucketlist list, I highly encourage you to put it! This amazing city and country will leave you breathless and wanting more.
But now… I am back home and making preparations for the last two months of the year which are ‘blogging high-season’ and I am beyond excited.
This is my first ‘high-season’ as a full-time blogger and I am beyond excited to see the new heights both my blogs can make.
Also, if you’re an OG-income report reader, you know I have a third blog cooking that I referenced in one income report here. I am working on that site more now as well and hoping to get it into Mediavine by the end of this year (woo!)
I definitely have my hands full, but (if you haven’t noticed yet) I love creating and working. I think being able to enjoy your job is a huge advantage and makes it easier to get ahead.
I don’t mind pulling out my laptop and writing on a Sunday morning because I LOVE DOING IT.
If you ever decide to start a blog, youtube channel, podcast; anything! Try and find a way to enjoy every little moment of it. Don’t get caught up with the numbers.
I always ask myself ‘what’s the funnest way I could do this?” (I know ‘funnest’ isn’t a word!). Even the most ‘boring’ or ‘repetitive’ tasks can be made enjoyable if you put a little effort on your part.
Remember, if you don’t enjoy the process, you won’t enjoy the outcome.
SO 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, or twitter, and if you click over to my personal IG will see I barely keep that up)
- started blogging with a full-time job (have since quit my job to blog full-time and travel in July 2019!)
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!
PROOF OF INCOME
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.
*Clears throat* Ahem. *Mandatory sales pitch.*
My blogging course covers everything I do to get traffic and monetize my blogs in record time.
I don’t leave anything out and break down my blogging strategies so you can replicate my results
*sales pitch over* That wasn’t too bad.
Whether you decide to invest in courses 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 the 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 every one 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!