I’m about to reach my one year anniversary and I just can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by!
There has been some HUGE changes in my life in the past year and all of it is thanks to this little blog I started last October that literally changed my life.
I am currently writing this income report from a cafe in Cape Town, South Africa and working remotely the past two weeks (I’m a South Florida native btw).
I will be including a more personal update on myself in these income reports because I feel that now that blogging has become my full-time job, it’s time you and I get to know each other a little better (more on this below).
This month has been really exciting for more reasons than I can count, both with the blog and my personal life.
If you have read my past income reports, you know I launched my e-course, Blogpreneur Blueprint in mid-September.
I wasn’t very prepared for the launch honestly. I wanted to create an awesome product FIRST and then worry about marketing it. So I didn’t have an email list or anything like that (except for a handful of people who personally emailed me with interest in the course, LOVE YOU GUYS!)
So the fact that it actually made sales JUST in the last two weeks with a nonexistent marketing strategy is unreal.
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.
Check out my past income reports to see exactly how I got here…
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 – You’re here!
Let’s break it down…
Mediavine (TF20s) – $1,456.54
Mediavine (Blog B) – $1,121.81
Total AdRevenue – $2,578.35
Amazon – $1,334.57
Commission Junction – $51
Pinteresting Strategies – $56.40
iGains – $18.25
Total Affiliate Income – $1,460.22
Blogpreneur Blueprint – $1,132
Total Revenue – $5,170.57
Total Income After Expenses – $5,147,59
Let’s talk about this!
The money you make online (especially blogs) varies greatly from month to month. You kind of know what your high months will be (like November and December are very profitable) and low (January/February) so it’s very important to diversify your income.
At first, my main source of income was Ad revenue and then I was determined to add another one. Ads fluctuate a lot simply because traffic fluctuates and advertisers pay differently throughout the seasons.
So I worked hard on affiliate marketing, focusing mainly on Amazon Associates. I am very happy to have grown that new branch of income for myself.
And most recently, my eCourse Blogpreneur Blueprint!
All of these incomes complement each other very well and help balance themselves out when one isn’t doing so hot (yay!)
If you decide to start a blog (and I highly encourage you to do so), you should (without a sliver of a doubt) diversify your income!
The beauty of blogging is there are a lot of different ways to make an income and I have barely just scratched the surface.
In the next coming months (or year) I won’t be adding a fourth income source but focusing on growing the three I currently have.
Later on, I can decide to conquer a new beast and who knows what that will look like (perhaps a podcast?? feel free to email me with suggestions of what you would like to see from me).
115,172 pageviews this month! (which is a bit down compared to last month, will go into this below)
SECOND BLOG TRAFFIC
81,530 pageviews for my second blog (about the same as last month)
So my blog traffic hasn’t been increasing this past month (although my income did) and I can’t explain why that is without telling you about myself and what I’ve been up to this past month.
I’ve fought back on being 100% transparent with my identity on here in the beginning. I consider myself someone who is both low-key and an introvert so blasting pictures of my face kind of made me cringe.
However, now that this is my full-time job and I am engaging more and more with you guys, I have finally decided to be more open and honest.
Don’t get me wrong, this blog won’t ever (ever!) be about me and my likes/dislikes/favorite pair of shoes/etc. That’s not the purpose of TheFab20s.
I hope to always bring you inspirational and/or informative content that adds value to your life, and that has nothing to do with my personal taste.
But trust and transparency are very important to me. So I hope to bridge that gap with these little personal updates. It’s a chance for you to get to know me better.
So, What Have I Been Up To In September?
As you may know, I quit my 9-to-5 in July and have been just itching to start traveling and working remotely.
That’s always been my dream if I’m completely honest, working from anywhere in the world from my laptop, meeting interesting people, and just living more.
So this past September I took the plunge and decided to spend a month in South Africa! Cape Town specifically. (I’m from Miami, so it’s pretty far).
And I went alone. So I felt super badass-y!
(Well, not completely alone. There are communities of digital nomads you can meet up with when traveling, but the point is I didn’t travel with anyone, which is super balls-y if you ask me! #PatsMyselfOnTheBack)
I arrived in Cape Town on September 13th and am just so in love with this city!
The beaches, food, hikes! It has everything I love.
I even climbed Lions Head which was an amazing experience!
And have met amazing people along the way as well. It’s been a dream come true honestly
BUT, and this is a big but!
I definitely feel like my productivity and focus have taken a hit. I haven’t mastered a perfect system for working remotely yet.
There is so much to see and do when you travel that it’s hard to sit still for a couple of hours and actually work.
That’s why my blogs haven’t grown this past month.
If I’m being honest with myself, I have probably been working less than 20 hours per week.
(Which is kind of amazing that I make $5,000 working part-time practically!! Have you read The Four Hour Work-Week? That’s my ultimate goal lol. Very much recommend that book to any aspiring entrepreneurs or remote worker)
And my blogs are still very much new. TheFab20s is the oldest and it isn’t even a year old! So I still need to be more hands-on.
I am spending a month in South Africa (Sept 12 to Oct 13 to be exact) and then will be home for the rest of the year.
I want to be very focused for the holidays which is blogging ‘high-season.’
And hopefully, create a system so when I work remotely again (am looking at spending January in Medellin) will be much better prepared!
I share this with you so you can see the struggles that happen behind the scenes. The ups-and-downs of starting a blog and working remotely (if that’s your goal).
You obviously don’t have a boss or set schedule so you have to be very strict with yourself. On top of that, you are your blog’s number one resource.
If you decide to go surfing one morning instead of working (did that ? ), no one is going to hold you accountable. Which is both amazing and terrifying.
And it all goes to show, the dream of sipping a piña-colada on the beach while your business makes you money is (technically) possible however it takes a lot of work and preparation to get there.
I know some bloggers that are two to three months ahead on content. I will probably try to incorporate something similar in the next couple of months.
At the very least, have content ready to self-publish for the majority of the month I plan to travel.
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!