How do bloggers make money is a question I hear so often… in fact 6 months ago I was wondering exactly the same thing!
When I first started blogging back in March 2018 I didn’t know if I would actually be able to create a successful blog…
At that time I wasn’t even aware that people actually made money blogging.
Soon enough I found out that blogging can be a great way to make money online… however, I didn’t know how, or even if I could do it!
So posting this income report is a pretty big deal for me!
I purchased my new blog late February so for the sake of simple numbers, we’re just gonna say March.
Technically, I could have posted this income report in my 4th month of blogging… but it didn’t feel right to do that as I knew I still had a lot to learn before I could actually help you and give you value from my income report… I can now answer the question ‘how do bloggers make money’ with confidence!
I’m still no expert, but I now have a good sense of what is working for me, what isn’t and why.
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This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure here for more info.
Income reports are great, aren’t they?
Firstly, income reports are a great way to find out how to make money blogging for beginners.
I personally love them and have been excited to write my first one and share it with you.
They aren’t meant to be a method of showing off and bragging about what you’ve earned as a blogger… but a useful tool to examine what is working and what isn’t on your blog and in turn help other bloggers (especially new ones) with their own growth.
In my early days of blogging, I found most income reports inspiring and helpful.
Bloggers with top money making blogs and new bloggers alike can learn so much from a good income report.
But of course, for every good one, there are a ton of those ANNOYING income reports that don’t really tell us anything practical or useful about HOW that blogger achieved those awesome numbers!
But don’t worry… in this income report, we will go through EVERYTHING together and find out what’s working, what isn’t and set some actionable goals too!
About Me & ‘Why’ I Started A Blog
I actually started this blog on a total whim… I didn’t even know what blogging really was and I definitely had no clue what was going to be involved!
My motivation for starting wasn’t money at all… in fact, I had no idea that you could earn money blogging at the time… my only aim was simply to get an online presence in preparation for another dream I am working towards.
However, I soon fell IN LOVE with blogging… in fact, it’s the first thing in my life I have enjoyed working at and can’t be dragged away from!
From website design, creating content, planning marketing strategies and being part of the awesome community of bloggers… I just can’t imagine ever wanting to stop!
When I realized I could make money from my blog, I threw myself into making that work, rather than just having it as a means to have an online presence.
My blog has earned me enough money this month (6th month) to justify staying home with my kids instead of going out to work.
6 Months Blogging In A Nutshell
Soon after starting the blog I realized I knew NOTHING about blogging except that if I wanted my blog to be a success, I would need to take a big step back and do my research.
During this time it’s easy to believe that you need to invest a ton of money on tools and courses that teach you how to make money blogging for beginners to make your blog a success but you really REALLY don’t have to!
I managed to launch my blog and get to the point where I could apply for Mediavine (a great ad company) without investing in anything other than my hosting, theme & domain name.
All my spare time was spent reading, learning and researching how blogging works.
So much so, I think my family and friends thought I had dropped off the edge of the planet!
After about 2 months, I was ready to throw myself into working on the blog ‘properly’ and I finally had an idea of the direction I wanted my blog to go in.
Originally, this was going to be a mommy blog, but now it is a lifestyle blog with a focus on home decor, saving money & of course blogging!
I had a really hard time adjusting to this change of direction because I felt (and still feel) like my domain name is now so irrelevant to what my blog is about…
but oh well…
So far it hasn’t negatively impacted on my progress so I’m just choosing to roll with it rather than go through the motions (hassle) of changing my domain name.
At the end of my fourth month, I reached 25k sessions which meant I could apply to Mediavine ads… this was my first real goal achieved for the blog!
This meant I was finally able to start earning some real money from the blog through ads… yay, passive income.
Now, after 6 months… we can look at the stats and find out what’s going on…
Traffic & Income Report – August 2018
For a new blog, 167k page views in 6 months is a pretty healthy number!
Let’s see how this breaks down per month…
These numbers are pretty inspiring and motivational to look at right?
I think it proves that with blogging, the rewards come… eventually!
The trusth is, Many blogs fail within the first 3 months…
The main reason being that blogging can take up a lot of time in the beginning and it can seem that there are no rewards for all that hard work.
Here’s why I mention it…
It’s not as easy as writing a few posts, clicking ‘PUBLISH’ and watching the traffic roll in…
You have to set everything up, research, write the content, promote the content in the right places and more things besides… and all this takes time BEFORE you see any results.
It is definitely WORTH the effort and patience… Can you imagine if I gave up in May?
I would never have known how well things were gonna go… especially since the blog didn’t make its first income until June!
Sponsored Posts $136.00
Total Income $1555.52
As I said above, this income was only earned from June so I’m really happy with the money made so far!
Saying that… I do feel I could have done A LOT more to increase my earnings… we will talk more about that down below when we get to the GOALS for the next month.
As you can see, the main source of income has been through ad revenue.
I started with Google Ads but as soon as I had 25k sessions I applied for Mediavine.
This is because Mediavine offers a significantly higher RPM.
The RPM is the rate you get paid per 1000 impressions… my current average RPM sits at about $12.
Whilst this is not the highest RPM around… it’s an awesome improvement on the $2 RPM I was getting with Google Ads.
Billionaire Blog Club $397
Total Expenses $730
Hosting is the only expense above that you absolutely HAVE to pay for in the beginning.
All other items listed here are optional tools & resources that you can invest into your blog if and when you want to.
I absolutely insist that you don’t need to pay out a lot of money to start a successful blog.
I am so pleased with this profit!
The majority of this was earned in August so I am feeling really positive about this increasing further in September and the months to come.
Blog Goals For This Month
Publish 6 new posts
Because I have been super busy with the kids over the school holidays, I haven’t published as often as I’d have liked to.
To catch up, I am going to publish 6 posts this month!
Halloween is fast approaching and Pinterest LOVES seasonal content so I will definitely be publishing some Halloween themed posts!
I will also be concentrating on publishing content that I know works for my blog.
Right now, my audience are loving home decor posts so I will definitely be throwing a few of those into the mix!
Reach 78000 pageviews
It would be awesome to get 78k page views this month…
Page views are down slightly on what they were at the beginning of last month… This is likely because of my reduced content and my audience being super busy over the summer & getting their kiddies back to school.
But with your help, and with at least 6 new posts coming this month… I definitely think we can make it to 78k.
Reconnect with my subscribers
Every time I get a new subscriber I’m super excited… it really means everything to me, so thank you!
But I haven’t been emailing you as much as I’d like to lately!
I’ve been like that friend who just never calls back! (kids & summer holidays eh?!)
I will be emailing you every Saturday morning from now on and see how that goes… and of course, every time I publish new content.
Create a product
I have been putting this goal off for a lonnnnng time!
Because honestly, I don’t want to let you down!
There are so many pointless courses and ebooks out there that waste your time and money.
I would HATE to be that girl who left you feeling sold out.
When I do something, I want to do it right… So you can bet that creating a product will consume me and take up most of my time.
It’s going to be a challenge but I have to accept that it won’t be PERFECT… nothing ever is, right?
But, I want to be there for you and give you something that is seriously valuable!
Something that will ACTUALLY help you as a new blogger.
To do this, I need your help…. I need you to tell me what you’re struggling with and what you want to achieve from your blog or online business.
If we put our heads together, I think we can create something AWESOME!
So over this month, we are going to create a product together that is perfect for you, that will help you achieve your blogging goals…
You can sign up here to let me know exactly what you want help with, or what your biggest struggle is with blogging and I will be sure to cover it in the product!
As I said above, you DO NOT need to spend a ton of money on blogging resources…
In fact, new bloggers often don’t have the money to spend in the beginning, so don’t worry.
With that in mind, this product, that we are going to make together, will be affordable to all new bloggers!
Organize my Pinterest Boards
Optimizing Pinterest boards for SEO is important so I plan to spend time this month keywording my boards and creating new keyworded boards too!
Pinterest is a great source of traffic for new bloggers and it definitely helps to have the right keywords… so people can find your content!
I plan to cover Pinterest in great detail in my new product so if you’re wanting to know more about Pinterest and how it can help you, sign up below so you don’t miss out.
Apply for more Pinterest Group Boards
My current monthly viewers on Pinterest are 2.4 Million & the last 30 days have also seen my average monthly engaged go up to 105k… that’s awesome!
I love watching these numbers grow so I am going to make an effort this month to apply for more GOOD Pinterest group boards to get this number even bigger!
If you have applied for Pinterest group boards yourself, you will already know how awful & frustrating the process can be, right?
So much so, I have avoided this for a good few months now.
Group boards really have helped me explode my traffic so it’s definitely going to be worth doing!
When I first started using Pinterest, I was a manual pinner…
Already bogged down with an epic pinning schedule… I really didn’t want to add more group boards to my list.
Now I use Tailwind… (a.k.a the answer to most of my problems) so once I’m into new group boards it will be an absolute breeze to get my pins scheduled and out into the PINTER-SPHERE. (does that even work?… Pinter-Sphere)
How To Start A Successful Blog
Starting a blog is one of the easiest things to do, yet a lot of people are scared to even try it!
I think people think you need to have some kind of ‘special knowledge’ or maybe that you need to be a techy type who can code… but that’s so far from the truth.
You can definitely start a blog and make it successful…just as you are!
You might need to change your lifestyle habits, such as cutting down time on Netflix to make time for your blog…
But working on your blog is a million times better (and more fun) than working a dreary 9-5 ‘normal’ job… so sacrifices like this are so worth it!
The steps below are the steps that I have taken to make money from blogging and if you take them too you can be well on your way to making a successful blog of your own.
Ok, technically I didn’t do this first but I should have!
Getting some posts written up… I would say at least 5-10 before you start will help you hit the ground running.
This is because you will have plenty of content to promote and your visitors will be able to click around on your site.
Once your site goes live, you’ll also get a good sense of who your audience are and what they like to read on your blog…
This info will help you as you can create more of the same type of content!
You will be giving your audience what they want… and that’s the goal!
Keeping costs down is so important for new bloggers.
Many people want to know how to start a blog for free and make money… but the truth is, FREE hosting is a BIG NO NO!
You cant make money using a free hosting platform like ‘Blogger’ and you can even end up having your site deleted at any moment.
So you do need to pay for hosting but you still want to be mindful of the cost and ensure your site is reliable, efficient and user-friendly.
They can provide you with the quality hosting that you need to run a successful blog for less than $4 a month!
Purchasing my hosting package was by far, the scariest decision to make in the beginning…
I was on a tight budget & it felt like a huge commitment at the time, worrying about whether it would be a waste of money.
I was reassured by Bluehost’s 30-day money-back guarantee… so I went for it!
Looking back, it was the best decision I made… I really shouldn’t have been worrying!
It didn’t take me long to get back my investment and I am so happy my site runs like a dream!
You can click here to get started with Bluehost… you’ll also get a FREE domain name with your purchase, saving you even more money!
Choose a Theme For Your Blog
I messed around for a lonnnng time trying out different free themes.
There are some great ones out there for you to easily get started with but for me, I soon realized I wanted something I could fully customize.
The Genesis Framework is by far one of the best themes you can purchase.
There are tons of themes to choose from and you’ll always have support if you need it.
When you think of brands, you think of colors and logos etc.
But I like to think of your brand as being YOU.
Put another way… As a blogger, you are your brand.
Your audience comes to your site and they experience you… if they like what you have given them, they will come back for more…
Value your audience and in turn, give them value… you will rapidly grow your blog and build a loyal fan base in this way.
Pinterest For Blog Traffic
Pinterest can be the number one traffic driver for new bloggers everywhere!
Take a look at this image to see how I’ve grown my Pinterest reach over the past 6 Months…
Pretty awesome right?
Using Pinterest for your blog is a NO BRAINER!! It drives massive traffic!
To get started, you need to switch your normal Pinterest account over to a Pinterest business account and link up your website to your Pinterest business account.
This is super easy to do… this page walks you through it.
After you have done this you need to create several boards that are relevant to your niche.
I have a lifestyle blog so my boards are quite varied… as an example here is a selection of my Boards…
- Easy Recipes
- Home Decor On A Budget
- How To Achieve Goals
- Farmhouse Decor
- Organizing Tips
- Kids & Parenting
- Crafts To Sell
As you can see, these boards are all different and use Keywords!
You don’t want any weird and wonderful names for your board titles.
You want to use titles that people are actually using as their search terms because Pinterest is NOT a social media platform… it is a SEARCH ENGINE.
Once you have your boards set up, you can begin by adding at least 15 high-quality pins that are relevant to the board.
This helps Pinterest understand what the board is about.
Once you have done this, these boards are ready for you to pin your own content to!
There is SO MUCH to optimizing your Pinterest to gain HUGE TRAFFIC to your blog quickly…
I am definitely going to cover everything I know in my new product.
Be sure to let me know exactly what you need to know about Pinterest and I’ll sort you out.
You can do this by joining my list below and letting me know…
It can feel pointless starting an email list at the beginning of your blogging journey but it is absolutely one of the best things you can do for your blog.
My first subscribers were the encouragement I needed when I was doubting myself in the early days.
I always love hearing from you guys and you help me out big time by telling me what you want me to cover on the blog.
I recommend using MailChimp for your email list needs… they’re FREE up until your first 2k subscribers and they’ve been absolutely fantastic in helping me grow my list and create a successful blog.
When you have your site up and running and you start generating traffic you’ll want to apply Amazon Affiliates to start monetizing your site.
Amazon will want to check out your site to make sure you’re a real person providing genuine value to your audience…
So before you apply, make sure you have a good few posts published and that you have some traffic… you need to make at least 3 sales with Amazon to be ‘officially approved’ as an Amazon affiliate so there’s no point registerring before you get traffic.
Once you have reached 25k sessions… you can apply to Mediavine.
Mediavine display ads on your site that earn you an income!
Giving More Back
I truly believe that you should give more than you get and attribute this mentality as a big factor in the success I have had so far.
In the blogging community there are those that will link drop, and throw their content at you and take, take, take. You should definitely NOT DO THIS… it’s spamming.
Take your time to genuinely get to know other bloggers and help them out…
I’m not saying you should be selfless… but it definitely pays in the blogging world to not be selfish…
We should be looking out for each other & helping each other grow.
Before You Go...
I really hope you have enjoyed reading this income report as much as I have enjoyed writing it!
For more blogging tips head over to my Sister Site Captivating Crazy.