My Biggest Blogging Struggles in September 2018:
Basically, what wasn’t a struggle in September? Before I get started, I want you to know this isn’t meant to be a negative post at all. However, I promise my readers honesty, and that’s what you are getting today. I’m a realist, and I’m not much into sugar coating things. It doesn’t mean I give up or that I’m not optimistic about the future. It’s just the nitty-gritty of what really happened this month.
It’s been my hardest month of blogging so far. It’s been a dark cloud of sickness, work stress, and just overall a rough month. My rough month definitely affected my blog, as I barely had time for it. I could see dismal results from dismal efforts.
Amazon affiliate marketing. In order to continue with Amazon, you must make 3 affiliate sales in 180 days. I’ve made 2, and only have a few days until they decide to ax me. If this happens, I think I’m done with Amazon. I love being able to link potentially anything, but it’s been a lot of extra stress to think about (mostly how many dead links I’ll have), and I don’t want to reapply and have to go through the same thing. I have been thinking about some backup plans, but nothing concrete.
Traffic. Traffic was just horrible. I have nothing to blame but myself. I haven’t been feeling well enough to implement anything I’ve learned, or even produce decent content! Onward. All I can do is just keep going, start working on it again.
Related Post: 9 Things No One Tells You About Blogging
Why Write an Income Report?
When I started blogging, I knew that I wanted to write some form of income report, goal report, or something along those lines. When starting my blog, I found that these articles were very helpful and insightful. I actually enjoyed the income reports that were more like “How I made $232 from my blog this month” rather than the six-figure ones. They seemed more my speed and grounded in reality.
I plan on being completely transparent. If I make $0 or $500, I’ll let you know. I’ll also let you know what worked and what didn’t. I’ve gotten some great feedback from these reports so far because it’s realistic.
That’s why I’m writing the September income report. I promised you I’d be transparent. Even when it’s bad.
The Resources I Use to Blog for Traffic
Pinterest for Blog Promotion
Pinterest is what has kept me afloat. And why I am still using Tailwind.
I loved the idea of being able to know there was pinning/blog work being done for me while I am at my full-time job. After starting with the free version, I went ahead and invested in the paid version of Tailwind, and it is nice to have that automation going for me.
There is still manual pinning, too. It’s mostly on my own terms, and for my own enjoyment. I enjoyed Pinterest before blogging.
I still highly recommend PotPieGirl and her Pin Signals e-book. Once I implemented a few of her ideas that very day, I had immediate traffic boosts! You can also find multiple FREE resources on her blog: PotPieGirl
Email List Building
Mail Chimp is free up to 2000 subscribers, which is why I’ve chosen it. This is the best way for me to be frugal starting out. I don’t have any more to say about email list building, yet. I have around 54 subscribers, and I email about once a week with a recap of my week and articles related to it.
If you would like to join my email list to keep up with me, please sign up!! You can do it in the sidebar! (You don’t have to leave the last name, it’ll go through without. I need to figure out how to remove that last name field.)
The Resources I Use to Monetize My Blog
I turned it off for a bit. It was placing ads where I didn’t want them. I tried to just turn off a few ads in the middle of my text, and couldn’t figure it out. So, I just turned it off.
I’m still not the biggest fan of Google Adsense, and I have it turned on for mobile only. I’ve changed over to media.net for ads. It is a lot easier for me to place ads, and I feel in control!!
When reading or watching blogging resources, there are so many different opinions on ads. I’ve heard don’t do it because it detracts, but I’ve also heard to let the viewers get used to seeing ads from the beginning. I plan to monetize with ads and have a strategy and end goal, so at the moment, they will stay.
This is where I’ve made almost all of my profit as a new blogger.
If you are interested in being an affiliate marketer, I would suggest the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Michelle makes a LOT of money through affiliate marketing and has made this brilliant course to share with others. I have learned so much from this, and I continually go back and reread or study her course. If you spend no other money on your blog, I’d spend it here.
I personally like ShareaSale and FlexOffers as far as the affiliate programs. I have found them to be the most user-friendly, and there are plenty of options for merchants you can find that go along with your own personal blog and style.
I would like to start looking at sponsored posts in the future.
August 2018 Roundup
List of purchases I’ve made this month:
- Tailwind – for automated pinning
The biggest thing I did this month, and that I’m super pleased with, is that I changed to a paid theme!!! I used Restored 316, and I love how pretty all their designs are and how customizable they are. You can take this quiz to see which of their themes would be best suited to you!
(I purchased my Bluehost site hosting for a year when I started, so I won’t count that into my money spent this month as I paid up for a year at the time.)
Future Purchasing Plans:
I don’t have any future purchasing plans at this time. I have the courses I want. I’m on a wait list for the next course I want to be in, but I don’t know when that is going to be available.
I just want to say to new bloggers: Don’t be afraid to invest money to help you become a better blogger. However, I’ve learned that I should be picky about what I buy. If I endorse a course for you, I promise you it’s worth it. There is an e-book and a course I purchased in the past that I never mention to you because, well, they weren’t exactly what I needed. I won’t say they were wasteful, but they weren’t for me. (No, I won’t name them because I won’t drag anyone or their work through the mud. Plus, it could be useful to someone else or another niche.)
Money Made in September 2018
Without further ado, let’s get to the part you are curious about. My grand total of money made in September 2018 was $31.00. A portion of this is from affiliate sales – all from ShareaSale. About $10 of this is actually from sponsored Instagram posts.
Related Post: How I Made $29.73 in My Fourth Month of Blogging
My Top 3 Most Popular Posts in September:
Let’s review my September blogging goals, and see where I got with those:
Blogging goals for September:
- Make 5 affiliate sales. (This will be a recurring goal until that happens.) – FAILED I made 2.
- Have 1500 unique visitors to the blog. (I had a little over 1000 this month.) – FAILED I actually did a lot worse with only 613.
- Focus on SEO. FAILED I haven’t even tried.
- Start an e-book (yes, I actually have an idea for one because I found my own pain point that had a gap in teaching) FAILED and now I’m not interested in the original idea
Yes, you read that correctly. I failed every single one of my monthly goals.
Thoughts for the Future
Blogging goals for October:
I’m not making any.
Yep, you read that correctly. I’m not making any goals for October. I am going to focus on just enjoying the blog for month six. I did this to help other moms and to have something of my own. Yes, I do want to make this something that I can make a part-time income from, but it’s not worth being miserable over. Sometimes, such arbitrary goals can turn into a roadblock.
I hope you enjoyed my round up of my month trying to figure it all out while juggling the rest of my life. Do you have any pro tips to share? Funny stories? Disaster stories? Share them!
(By the way, I set up an easy step by step guide of setting up your own blog, so you won’t have to suffer as I did. Do as I say, not as I did!!! I want this to be easier for you than it was for me!)