This post was originally published on makesavespendgive.com
I made money my first month blogging!
We’ll get to that, but let me give you some background, okay? So.. I’ve had my blog since October of 2017, and I didn’t do ANYTHING with it until September 2018 (where I ended up writing my first post).
Then in October of this year I got an email from my hosting company saying that the payment for another year of hosting was due..
I was going to let the blog go, but I just.. couldn’t, so I ahem, my fiancé (thank you matthew!) paid for another year of hosting. I had to see if I could make this work.
I went through some personal things in the last few months, but I finally got to work on the blog in a more consistent way in November, and it’s now December, which means it’s been one full month since I started taking blogging seriously.
I wanted to document it somehow with an income / traffic report! I know I’m not making $1,000’s (yet!) but I thought seeing the beginning would be helpful to some people.
Okay, so let’s go!
Other Income Reports
So Why Am I Doing Income Reports Anyway?
I want to document the process. I want to use these income reports to document what I’m doing, including what worked for me and what didn’t work, so I can get better at this blogging thing.
I want to help you. See by documenting what I’m doing and showing you what’s working for me, you can take it and maybe implement some of these things in your own blog. Seriously steal my strategy
Social Proof & More Content See when I do things like write a post on how to make a money making blog, I can point to my income reports to show that I’m a super legit blogger.
Also it’s another post, another thing I can promote on social media. And i’ve been poking around Pinterest, and income reports look like a popular things to write.
What Income Is Included?
Here’s the deal, most of the things I’m promoting via affiliate marketing work on a 60 day (or more) payout time, so I won’t see the money for a short bit. So what is included in this income report is what I earned during the month, and only what I earned via this blog.
November 2018 Summary
At the end of October I moved to a new state, and then in November Matthew and I closed on our condo and we moved in. I took some time to get settled in, then I really got started with this whole blogging thing.
I wasn’t working a normal job, so I got to really devote a lot of time to the blog which was nice, but I ended up going down the rabbit hole of “researching” (aka reading lots of how-to posts and income reports, and not really doing any real blogging).
What I was able to do is write 8 posts (woo!), redesign the layout (all by myself! USING A FREE THEME AND THE FREE VERSION OF CANVA! Woo!), and start creating some pin designs that I actually liked. So still very productive, but I could have done more.
What Worked For Me This Month
I knew I wanted this to me a personal finance / make money blog, but I didn’t know specifically what topics I should write about first. And since I didn’t have an audience already, I didn’t know who to ask. So I looked on pinterest and used BuzzSumo to see the top posts on my favorite blogs (thanks Gathering Dreams for the tutorial!), and got ideas from there.
For a while I got super nervous about my writing: Did I sound professional? Or not conversational enough? Was this content really what people wanted to read?
And it stopped me from making content.
In the middle of the month I kind of snapped out of it, and decided to write as much content as possible, and when I got to 50 or so posts, then I would evaluate what content was taking off and write more of it.
I ended up writing 8 posts in less than two weeks.
My traffic seemed to really take off after I had those posts written, and after the posts were all up, I never had a day with 0 visitors again.
So yeah, pumping out content really helped.
When I was doing research for the blog, nearly everyone said it was important to start an email list. I remembered I got a 60 day trial to ConvertKit, with the Bloggers Toolkit, so I signed up!
I created my opt-in (11 steps to financial independence checklist) and ended up getting 14 subscribers! I didn’t know what to expect really, but 14 people sounds good to me.
I might play around with doing more specific lead magnets depending on the post – we’ll see.
I did two things that I think helped a lot: I created multiple pins per post and I applied to as many group boards as I could find.
I originally thought I had created 2 pin designs that I could reuse over and over, but it seemed like not all of the pins that used the “template” were taking off like the original. So I ended up making at least 5 different pin designs per post. I used different headlines, colors, and even sometimes changed up the stock photos. This ended up with at least 1 pin per post getting at least 30 repins (which I consider good since these pins are only 2 weeks old).
I used PinGroupie to find group boards in my niche (I just searched the word “money”) and I went through all 17 pages of group boards, and applied to every single one that was accepting contributors. Yes, every single one. By December 1st, I ended up with 25
+ new group boards! I submitted my best pins to each one and I’ve seen lots of repins and clicks from it. Woo!
So I had a Tailwind subscription that I got last year, and I didn’t do much with it until this month. I decided to join a few new tribes, and submit pins. I ended up with lots of shares, repins, and a good amount of impressions. More specifically, I’ve had 947 reshares, 137 repins from those reshares, and 5.7MILLION in impressions for my pins (not too shabby!)
Tailwind for the win!
What Didn’t Work For Me This Month
This month I decided to cast a wide net and see what was would be good for me to write. I noticed that roundup-style posts were doing pretty good, they got a lot of views. Unfortunately, those people that visited the roundups didn’t seem to explore the blog, and didn’t sign up for the email list. This type of content also didn’t do well for affiliate marketing.
One of my goals is to make money with this blog, so roundup style posts will get me views, but it doesn’t help me make money with anything other than ads. I want my revenue streams to be more diverse than that, so I want to make sure I add different content in December and beyond.
I knew Pinterest would be a good place to get traffic, but I didn’t want to rely on only Pinterest, so I tried some other ways to get traffic. I attempted to use Instagram, Facebook, and “engagement” groups on Facebook.
Everything but Pinterest was a waste of time for me. I did get viewers from those other places, but everything was due to using the engagement groups. And since these groups are just reciprocating (I give them a view or a like, they give me a view or like back) I’m not getting people who are actually interested in my content to see my blog. I think I will focus more on SEO and Pinterest going forward.
I noticed one particular post was doing well for me, Survey Junkie Review | How To Make $500 A Month With Surveys, so I thought I could do a roundup of survey websites and maybe that would give me even more money! But it didn’t work like that AT ALL.
But what happened with the roundup post, was people clicked the links but no one signed up.
I think my Survey Junkie Review did better with conversion because it is very in depth and only focuses on one thing.
I will try to do more posts that only focus on one affiliate at a time.
November Traffic Report
It might be a bit underwhleming, but I got 650 users, 860 session, and 2104 pageviews for my first “real” month blogging.
My main goal right now is to get to 25,000 sessions so I can apply to Mediavine (ad company).
November Income Report
Affiliates* – $12.90
Media.net – $0.27 – Okay listen, I only had the ads up since 11/27. So I’ll take what I can get. I had a call with my account manager from Media.net on 11/30, and she gave me some advice about where to put ads and how big to make them, so I’m hoping with her guidance I can make more next month.
MaxBounty – Survey Affiliates
Impact Radius – Money-saving app, Trim
I prepaid all of my blogging expenses before November, so there were no expenses this month.
Goals For December:
- Get 2000 Sessions and 4000 Pageviews
- Post 20 New Posts This Month
- Create A Resource Page
- Make $50
So that’s how I made money my first month blogging!
Do you have an income report on your blog? Let me know, I’d love to take a look (I’m a sucker for a good income report)