Welcome to my first ever blogger income report of how I made $42 blogging! Today I will be sharing exactly how I’m monetizing my blog.
I’m so excited to finally be writing this! I can hardly believe this day has actually come. I started my blog in May of 2018 which means I’ve been blogging for a total of five months! I didn’t make much and it doesn’t matter. I’m incredibly proud to say I made $42!!! I can’t wait to show you exactly how I monetized my blog!
WHY AM I DOING AN INCOME REPORT?
You might wonder why I would ever want to share how much I earn as most people are usually really private about this kind of information. Of course I am hesitant! I’m very new to blogging and I’m excited to share what I’m learning as I go so you can follow along on my journey and hopefully join me as well!
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i want to share my income with my readers because it was from reading other bloggers’ income reports that I learned how blogs were actually monetized. Reading those blogger income reports motivated me to start my own blog. It showed me what’s actually possible with a blog and it showed me how to make money blogging!
Also, because part of the point of my blog is to show others how to make money online it kind of only makes sense that I show you guys how I’m doing this myself! With any luck I just might inspire you to start a blog yourself today!
If you haven’t started your own blog yet, are having a hard time starting one please read my post on How To Start Your Own Blog Easily In Ten Minutes!
I’m also looking forward to being able to look back at these blogger income reports as a way to track my progress and see what’s been working for me over time. The idea that you can follow my journey (and my steps!) from the beginning makes me so happy because I hope to inspire you and other potential bloggers to start their own blogs!
I also knew almost nothing about side hustling before I started this blog and I feel like a whole new world has been opened up to me. And I want to share it with others who are seeking the same things as I am. The freedom to work for myself, from home. The joy of autonomy and eventually, financial freedom!
Starting a blog has to be one of the most cost-effective work from home side hustles I’ve ever found. You can start a blog for as little as $3.95 per month on Bluehost which is less than the cost of one Starbucks coffee per month! And if you buy a one year hosting plan I’ll include your domain name for free – a $15 value!!
WHY DID I START MY BLOG?
I started blogging in May of 2018 after a pretty hard year and in the middle of a difficult divorce. My kids had just lost the security of their intact family. To make things worse, their Dad had been unemployed for more than a year because of some major medical issues which were causing some major life problems as well. The divorce wasn’t my idea and I suggested holding off until life was more stable for everyone but I was stonewalled.
So, here I was being dragged through an acrimonious and expensive divorce by someone whose medical condition was literally making him less and less recognizable by the day. My former high school sweetheart and life partner as I had known him was gone and I was advised that I was no longer speaking to ‘him’ anymore. It was unimaginable. Our life as we knew it had gone sideways. Facing a financial meltdown I had to budget out what savings I had while I scrambled to figure things out. I cut all unnecessary expenses and looked over my career prospects.
My ex and I had worked for years in the same field but now he was making it difficult for me to find new work opportunities. I knew I had to take matters into my own hands and decided that I needed to focus on some kind of work where he had zero ability to manipulate or control my future. I also wanted to try to work from home so I could be around to help my kids through this major life transition.
Everyone told me to go out and get any kind of job. While I understood their concern, I knew that it wasn’t the right decision for myself or my kids. Outside of my field I was looking at starting over on another career track or settling for lower paying prospects with little to no upwards potential. My kids also needed me around before and after school as they had for years and years. I also wanted a better work like balance and greater income potential than any job or I career I was looking at could give me.
Taking everything into consideration, I decided to start a blog and go for it. I was going to blog as if my life depended on it. Because in many ways it actually did. It’s been a few months of build, build, build the blog but I’m finally starting to see the fruits of my labor and investments in myself have been paying off. Talk about blogging under pressure!!!
While I absolutely recommend starting a blog I don’t recommend starting it under major financial pressure. Blogs monetize at different rates and you will need to take your own life circumstances and budget into serious consideration. For me it was either start a blog and try for a better future while my divorced dragged along or be forced to get a job that had limited potential at the end of my divorce. I opted to blog as hard as I could to make at least as much as I would be making at a job so I wouldn’t be forced to do anything by anyone. I wanted to be home for my kids and I was determined to do that.
That said you can absolutely work full-time and blog at night. If you need to do it that way then you should and I highly recommend that. Many do this and ramp up their incomes until they can quit their day jobs. I always figured I would go as far as I could and if I had to get a day job I would already have my blog set up and continue by blogging at night until I replaced my income.
At this point I’m simply thrilled that I finally have income to report! I can’t wait to share exactly how I started making money from my blog with you so you can do the same. This has truly become my dream job! Working from home for myself! Being home for my kids is just the best!
Some days I’m on my laptop at home. Some days I park myself in a nice coffee shop and other days I spend at the local library where it’s quiet and air-conditioned! And by the way, if I can do this then so can you! I just hope you don’t have to do it under my circumstances.
MY BLOG STATS
Each month I plan to report on the following stats for tracking and goal setting purposes:
Traffic and Page views
Goals For Next Month
TRAFFIC AND PAGE VIEWS
As per Google Analytics my blog received 8,634 page views for the month of September! This is a massive jump from where I started back in May. If you’d like to see my traffic and page views from May – August please check out my post about Are Tailwind Tribes Power Ups Really Worth It? where I shared screenshots from my very first days of blogging.
I have been using Mail Chimp to collect emails for about a month and I have 27 subscribers! Not bad at all! But to be honest I’ve had some issues with Mail Chimp and because I’m on their free plan I have no access to customer service which means I will be switching to Convertkit the first moment I can.
I have expenses I’m carrying over from starting my blog which I first outlined in this post so I’m carrying a negative of $1,612 and will continue to show this figure until I’ve paid myself back. There aren’t any new expenses this month as I’ve put a hold on spending until I’ve covered more of my investment in starting up my blog.
WHAT I’VE SPENT SO FAR:
*As a reminder these expenses have been carried over from my earlier post I’ve Been Blogging For Four Months And Haven’t Made A Dime Yet which I encourage you to check out as it’s my pre-income report post.
$36 Blog hosting by Bluehost which includes domain registration for a whole year! * no brainer
$27 Beautiful Dawn Designs Enamored Theme one time charge. *I really like my theme!
$110 DBA Filing so I can run my blog as a division of my business
$197 Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. *A no brainer must do.
$197 Pinterest Traffic Avalanche class. *A no brainer must do.
$75 – Beta Tester for a course which will be launching soon!
$32 Pinteresting Strategies ebook. *Definitely worth it. Learned so much.
$7 Email Sequence from the House Of Brazen
$25 How To Make Your First Affiliate Sale In 24 Hours from the House Of Brazen– I’ve already made my money back on this ebook and can recommend it. You’ll also want to become an affiliate for her ebook which you can start promoting the same day you download it.
$51 Pretty Links – I have not used this as much as I had hoped I would. I hope to find more use for it in the future as it’s already paid for!
$195 Outside Tech help on blog design – amazing! Email me if you’d like a referral!
$175 Pinterest VA who gave me some incredible help as well! Email me if you’d like a referral!
$480 for a year of unlimited Tailwind. You should NOT start with the unlimited plan (as I have upgraded to) until you have enough pins. Start with their basic plan (for $9.99 per month) and work your way up from there. You will get use of their great scheduler, and some tribe access. *I highly recommend Tailwind!
You do need to get into their power ups at first as you may not yet have enough pins to put into the system. I now have the unlimited plan and I plan to keep it. It’s working and now that Pinterest group boards aren’t getting as much traction it’s my main traffic growth strategy. I mentioned it above already so if you haven’t already I would definitely recommend you checking out a post I wrote called Are Tailwind Tribes Power Ups Really Worth It? * By the way,Tailwind is a must do – start with the basic plan and go from there.
$5 Aweber Affiliate membership – which I will get back once I make my first sale with them
Please notice that I have not recommended you do all that I have done. I have been happy with some of my choices and less excited about some of the others. I am including them all here so you know what I’ve tried. I want to be transparent about the ones which actually made a difference for me so you can monetize your blog as efficiently as possible and start working and earning from home as quickly as possible.
TOTAL SPENT SO FAR = $1,612.00
I look at this as an investment in my future. I will be carrying my expenses forward as a negative in my next income report until I’ve earned them all back and I’m actually earning money free and clear. I’m not worried about it because I can already see the potential ahead. Besides, what business that has this kind of potential can you realistically start for around $1600?! None that I’ve found so far. Blogging is still one of the least expensive startup or side hustle where you can work from home that I know of.
Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing: $ 42!!!!
I’m an affiliate for Michelle’s course which I highly recommend and I made my first sale at the end of July – a few weeks after I had finished her course. I received my first payout (1 of 2 $42 installments) in September. I will receive the second $42 payment on October 4th and it will be reflected in my next income report.
Thanks to her course I’m currently in about 21+ affiliate programs. While I’ve earned other commissions (YAY!) I’m only reporting the ones for which I have actually been paid. Most pay out within 30-45+ days after you’ve made the sale. So, while I only have this $42 to report below I have actually made another $200 in affiliate sales which will show up in future income reports as it comes into my bank account. I wanted to mention that so when it happens you won’t worry too much as that is the way it works in blogging.
Ads: (nothing yet)
I’m not on an ad network yet but I hope to be by the end of this year. My goal is to get up to 25,000 sessions so I can apply to Mediavine or another network. I had considered signing up with Google Adsense but I applied too early and was declined and I decided to let it go as I’d heard that people weren’t making much with that ad network anyway and it was better to wait until at least 10K monthly page views to get signed on with a better ad network.
TOTAL NET INCOME RESULTS
$1,612 (expenses) – $42 (income) = -$1,570 *this is the negative balance I will carry forward until my next blogger income report in October, 2018 and I will carry it forward until it has been paid back to myself. I hope to have paid myself back for the investments I’ve made in my blog by the end of 2018. Which means I should be breakeven within 9 months of starting my blog and into profit in 2019. Most new businesses don’t last their first year let alone become breakeven but I’m confident I can do that and move into profit way before next year.
I’m not worried about earning the amount I’ve invested into my blog back because I am already seeing promising results and because I’ve seen a similar pattern in other blogger’s income reports. They start making trickles around this time and by their 8th – 12th month they’re on their way.
That is true as long as they kept at it and didn’t give up too soon. The trick now is not to give up. I’m going to keep on keeping on. And like I mentioned above I already know of another $200 which has already been earned which I will be reporting on as it hits my bank account. I’m very excited about that because it means the work I’ve done and the courses I’ve taken have been sound choices.
GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH!
Traffic and Page views: 10,000 page views on my blog
Expenses: I hope to implement Convertkit so I will have to look into the annual cost for that.
MY FIRST EVER BLOGGER INCOME REPORT!
So there you have it! My very first blogger income report! I can’t believe I’m finally at the point where my work is starting to pay off but it’s really happening and I’m so happy about it!
My objective with these reports is to be super transparent and not just paint a fake or rosy picture of what blogging is like for beginners. I want you to see the whole truth a.k.a. the real deal. Even if it’s not always as pretty or perfect as we would wish.
I figure if you see my struggles and my hard work and then later you see my success you will know that the steps and path I took and am recommending are real and could also work for you. I also like to keep things very real and I know that will come through to my readers.
How is blogging going for you? Comment below and let me know!
Some Of My Favorite Resources…
*This page contains affiliate links which means that if you click on a link I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend things I personally use and like. Thank you for supporting my blog!
If you need to make some quick cash I recommend Survey Junkie. It’s free and is something easy and quick that you can do from your laptop or smart phone or even possibly on the go in your spare time to make some extra cash quickly. Just give them your honest opinion and earn money! Try Survey Junkie and earn $10 just for registering today!
Inbox Dollars pays up to $35 per poll and will give you a $5 bonus just for joining today! They pay you cash (not points) for taking surveys, playing online games, searching the web and more! Check out Inbox Dollars and start earning side hustle money today!
Vindale Research is another great survey site where you can answer market research questions about new products which are going to be released soon. You will not only make side hustle money but you’ll also be getting to learn about brand new products before everyone else does. Sign up with Vindale Research today!
Honey is my favorite new way to save and earn! I love it because it automatically applies the best coupon code to whatever I’m buying online! How great is that? I’ll never have to search for another coupon code while I’m checking out again. It’s a simple browser extension and I already used it to save money on an Amazon purchase I just made. And, it’s free! And for the side hustle aspect, for everyone you refer to Honey via a link on your blog or social media with your link you will earn $5! Now that’s awesome! Try Honey today!
Another great way to get cash back for your everyday shopping is Ibotta. Just do your normal shopping, scan your receipt in their easy to use app and Cha Ching! Cash back! It’s basically free money. And just for signing up with my link you’ll receive a $10 bonus! Sign up here today!
Blogging is one of the best side hustles I’ve found. It’s low-cost, can be done remotely and when you put the work in, it can provide passive income that comes in even on days when you can’t make it to your laptop! The first day I made an affiliate sale on my blog I was sitting on the beach with some friends in town! That was THE BEST feeling EVER! Start Your Blog Today!
To help you start your blog today, here are some of my favorite blogging resources…
Bluehost: I’ve been with them from the beginning and have had nothing but a great experience. You can self-host your blog for as little as $3.95/month plus with my link you’ll also get a free domain ($10 value!)
Tailwind: My go to Pinterest scheduler – oh where would I be without you! Tailwind has automated my pinning and I simply couldn’t live without it! I started with the basic plan and have since upgraded to their unlimited tribes power up so I can make the most of my tribes and their reach to grow my traffic!
Fiverr: Freelancers can be invaluable to bloggers. Finding someone in a pinch to help you with an aspect of your blog can save you time and make you money!
You can also find a full list of my favorite resources and online tools here!
*This post may contain affiliate inks which means if you click a link on this page and make a purchase we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. We only recommend products we use and love. Thank you for supporting our blog! Our polices page can be found here.
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