Are you thinking about starting a blog and wondering how you can make money? This post explains how I made money in my first 6 months of blogging and some ideas on how you can make money blogging as a beginner too!
Wow. This really has been a whirlwind of a journey.
It started one day when a friend and co-worker casually mentioned that she’d like to start a blog. I thought about it (not for more than a few passing seconds) and forgot about it.
Fast forward another 8 months or so and we again started talking about the idea of blogging. At this time, I had been with a network marketing company that I was very passionate about for the past two years, but it had been losing it’s luster.
I always am looking for the new shiny. And so, I gave it a bit more thought. Two days later, I had researched everything we needed to do, was wracking my brain for a blog name that suited me and crammed all the information I could find in my brain and down my poor friend’s throat lol.
Within two weeks of that, I had a fully running blog and absolutely no direction. After six full months of blogging, I’m happy to report that I AM IN LOVE – with blogging!!! (And just like Buddy- I don’t care who knows it!)
I thought this would be a great time to jot down my ideas on what I have learned, earned and spent. Cause let’s face it, sometimes those “How I made 6 Figures in One-Month Blogging” – though great for goal setting, can be a bit diminishing when you get into the thick of it all and you don’t make a cent.
These are real thoughts and stats. By a real newbie blogger with big dreams, greater hustle
Let’s Start With Some Stats
As a new blogger, growing all my social media platforms became a priority. Trying to get my name out there and be seen was my drive and goal for the last 6 months.
Although I do try to give each of these platforms some love every day, I mainly focus on Pinterest, so I was amazed when I hit 700 followers on Instagram! These accounts all started at basically nothing and I’m pretty impressed with the results so far.
Social Media Stats
|1853 Followers/6.5K Engaged|
These are stats since I started. It took about 4-5 months before I saw any real traction from Pinterest and 6 months before organic searches came into play.
They aren’t huge, by any means, but each month, they are steadily rising and I’m super pumped about it!!
What I Learned
I have learned soooooo much in six months that I can hardly keep up with my own brain. Being that I’m naturally addicted to trying and learning everything I can about a particular subject, I literally absorb it all like a sponge.
Looking back, there are definitely some things that I did well and of course, some things I maybe should have done differently. Hopefully some of these tips might come in handy if you are just starting out.
Things I did right
I just got STARTED – We are all busy and really, there is never going to be the perfect time to do anything. If you are passionate, just start. It’s better than staying only a dream forever. I didn’t know anything when I started – and now look. I’m still learning but I’m here and I’m building my dream. One hustle and sparkle at a time.
Realized When I Was In Over My Head – This was tough for me. I’ve never been much of a quitter and I usually have a knack for figuring out things on my own. But there were times early on in blogging that I knew that I needed help. I sourced out the best gals in the blogging biz and got hooked up with the information I needed so that I could create what I wanted to, the right way.
Stayed Consistent – When I started, I made a plan to post one post per week to make sure that I could be seen as consistent to Google and eventually get noticed. I am proud to say that I posted at least once per week and only took off a week at Christmas when blogging was really slow. Some weeks I even posted twice, so I made up for it!
Another thing that I continued to stay consistent with is being active in Facebook share threads. EVERY SINGLE DAY for six months I have posted links to posts, pins, and social media accounts all in an effort to grow my blog daily.
This is so important in the beginning as you are not likely to get even acknowledged by Google until your site is six months old. It took some time, but I’m finally now starting to see some organic views from Google searches. YAY!!!!!
Made Connections With Other Bloggers – If you haven’t figured it out yet, blogging is definitely a community and it is VITAL to the growth of your blog. I’ve joined some amazing Facebook groups and even started one of my own to build on those connections.
Meeting other bloggers have given me opportunities to help support each other, create and acquire guest posts, and even sell some of my own services.
Created Opt-Ins to Build My Email List – Building a solid email list is critical for growing your blog. It’s a way to connect with your readers on a weekly basis and provide more value to your audience.
My very first coaching call was with Cate Rosales from a Sweet and Simple Life, and she showed me how to set up a welcome email automation sequence on MailerLite, create sign up forms and link them all to
Things I could have done differently
Create a schedule right from the beginning. Schedules are my life. I sometimes fly by the seat of my pants and it never goes well in terms of scheduling.
I am two things. A perfectionist and a procrastinator.
These things do not go well together. If I do not create a schedule and stick to it, I never move on to the next task because there is always something more I could do to perfect the one I am working on. Once I started using my planner and being intentional about my schedule, blogging life was much less hectic.
Create balance. Honestly, when I do something, I DO IT. All of it, and ALL THE TIME. It’s almost a bit of a curse at times as I will forfeit sleep, me-time, family-time
The problem is, creating that kind of pressure will bite you eventually. You must make time for the things you are trying to live for or what’s the point of having the dream in the first place? I was waking up at 4 am, eager to learn something new, meet new people and write like a madwoman. Then going to work five days a week and then throw in four kids, a husband
After a couple months of going hard, I CRASHED. Completely. I slept for two whole days. After that, I decided that I need to take well-earned breaks and make time for life.
Focus on one task at a time. This kind of goes along with the schedule part of this post. I am also a crazy multi-talker (as are most of the moms I know). I have this idea that I can get it all done at once and everything should be done and perfect – YESTERDAY lol.
That is not the case for bogging. Things take time and should take time. Do the tasks you have and do them well. Once you have things figured out, set them on automation so that you can focus on the next thing to better your business.
What I Earned
This is my total earnings for the six months I have been blogging. I will tell you, this is super scary to post for some reason. Maybe it’s because there’s some notion that what you earn somehow equates to your value. And as you will see here- it’s not a lot.
But I earned every penny with sweat and even a few tears and I’m proud of my accomplishments. But the thing is, I
Amazon Associates – $1.69 (This was in my first month and because I never made another penny or saw these actually dollars, now I’ve been officially fired lol)
- Affiliate Sales – $478.07
- Sponsored Posts – $65.00
- Fomo Ads – $8.90
- Personal Services – $50.00
Grand Total: $601.97
UPDATE: Much to my dismay, Fomo Ads Publisher has decided to shut down as of October 1, 2019. If you are looking for a new ad network to collaborate with, Media.net is great for beginners and Monumetric is a great option if you have at least 10,000 page views per month.
And, The Realistic Part- What I Spent
Let’s be honest here. If you are planning on creating a business out of blogging, you will have to make some investments. It is like any other business but the fact that it’s not brick and mortar doesn’t mean that it will come cheap or free. As an entrepreneur and business woman for nearly 15 years, I understand this concept VERY WELL.
I totally did not expect to earn or even break even in the first six months. Most of the income reports don’t share this kind of information and I even considered leaving it out, but without it, it’s not really a real picture.
I’m not trying to discourage here – I just want to be transparent about it all. So, here it is. The raw truth.
- Blog hosting on SiteGround – $143.40 (This is one year – DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE! Buy 3 years for less than this at the introductory price)
- Website Maintenance- $106.10
- Graphics – $197.33
- Scheduling Tools – $313.50
- Courses & Coaching – $862.31
Grand Total: $1,479.24
You can see that if I hadn’t invested in the courses and coaching calls, I am almost breaking even. But I know how important they are in the big picture and don’t regret it for a second. It’s all part of being successful.
Top 10 Tip For Creating a Successful, Money Making Blog
- Create a plan for your blog – If you don’t know where you are headed, how will you get there? What do you want out of it? How much time are you going to commit? What are the things you expect for your investments? What are the tasks that you need to do to reach your goals? Ideally, these things should be considered before you even start your blog, but if you didn’t, don’t fret- you can start anytime. Write these questions out and answer them all. Then make a task list and break it out into achievable tasks.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – even gurus need advice and help sometimes. This is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of being SMART
- Invest in yourself – you are worth every penny
- Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers – every journey is unique
- Tackle one task at a time – Master one thing on your list and then move on.
- Use scheduling tools to automate – This is definitely one of those investments that is well worth your money. Freeing up your time to focus on other projects, especially if you are working full time or have a busy family will be the only way that you can grow your business and have a life at the same time.
- Hard work and dedication is key – You must be willing to put in the time with nothing in return.
- Be patient – I often see so many bloggers concerned that their traffic isn’t building fast enough. These things take time. It took almost 4 months before my main source of traffic started to come from Pinterest instead of from my Facebook threads
- Don’t be discouraged – I remember when I wrote one of my very first posts about adding custom social media icons to your blog. I had searched everywhere and couldn’t find a response that didn’t include knowing coding so when I figured it out, I thought I had hit the JACKPOT! I watched my blog for days expecting millions to arrive and see my wisdom. But, guess what really happened? NOTHING. I had a couple people check it out and that’s it. I was disappointed for sure but decided instead of letting it get me down, I would do it better next time. And I did. Find a way to learn from your disappointments (cause they are inevitable) and make it better next time.
- Make sure to take a break – Burning yourself out won’t get you anywhere. Make sure to take dedicated time for you and your family.