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.
I’m also not really doing this about money or income. I just want to show other new bloggers the reality of blogging. And maybe help them along the way.
The Resources I Use to Blog for Traffic
Pinterest for Blog Promotion
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 was 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.
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’m considering just discontinuing it all together… 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 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
Now, I KNOW that I said I wasn’t purchasing any more classes. I lied to you and myself.
I broke down and bought Earn Grow Learn. One of the reasons I did buy the course is because it’s by a blogger I’ve gotten to know on Facebook. She happens to own Penny Pinchin’ Mom, and I have enjoyed that site long before I wanted to blog myself. She is an honest, caring person, and it really shows in her online class and on her private Facebook group associated with the class. I adore her as a person and adore her as a mentor. I don’t regret spending my money on her class, and I would buy more from her in the future. It’s such a great price point too!
(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.)
What I Quit Purchasing this Month:
I quit purchasing Picmonkey. Finally, I took the time to learn Canva, and now I’m using a combination of PicMonkey (free version) and Canva (free version).
Future Purchasing Plans:
The next thing I plan to purchase is a paid theme for the site. I don’t know when I’ll do this yet.
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 to 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 August 2018
Without further ado, let’s get to the part you are curious about. My grand total of money made in August 2018 was $29.73. Every single bit of this is from affiliate sales – mostly from Share a Sale.
No, it’s not a lot. I said I would be honest, and totally transparent.
If you aren’t a blogger, you are probably laughing at such a small total. If you are a blogger, you know this isn’t an easy gig! No, it’s not paying my bills. Heck, it’s not paying my hosting. What it IS doing is giving me encouragement and the desire to keep blogging and keep going. It helps me not doubt myself.
My Top 3 Most Popular Posts in August:
My Biggest Struggles in August 2018:
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 one remaining month 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.
Let’s review my August blogging goals, and see where I got with those:
Blogging goals for August:
- Make 5 affiliate sales. (This will be a recurring goal until that happens.) FAILED – I’ve made 3.
- Have 1000 unique visitors to the blog. (I had a little over 800 this month.) MISSION ACCOMPLISHED – I had 1,041.
- Continue to add Pinterest group boards (goal is to be part of 40 by the end of the month). – FAILED because I didn’t focus on this at all… and I won’t be focusing on this in the future. With the new Pinterest algorithms, I have other things that will be more productive to focus on.
Thoughts for the Future
Blogging goals for September:
- Make 5 affiliate sales. (This will be a recurring goal until that happens.)
- Have 1500 unique visitors to the blog. (I had a little over 1000 this month.)
- Focus on SEO.
- 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)
The idea of stock photos is still there, but I’m not ready to do that yet.
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 like I did. Do as I say, not as I did!!! I want this to be easier for you than it was for me!)