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.
Let’s Address the Struggles
Last month, I wrote a whole section on my struggles of September. September felt like the biggest struggle yet. It was a hard month, for sure. I mentioned my struggle with Amazon affiliate marketing. In order to continue with Amazon, you must make 3 affiliate sales in 180 days.
I did it!
I had only made 2 and only had a few more days until they decided to ax me. I decided after writing the blog income report to brainstorm and come up with a post that I could use a LOT of Amazon links. I also committed to promoting it almost exclusively until my Amazon period was up. It worked! I ended up with not only the 3rd needed purchase but 21 purchases in all this month!
It felt like a miracle, but in reality, I succeeded due to intense focus.
Related Post: 9 Things No One Tells You About Blogging
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 57 subscribers, and I email about once a week with a recap of my week and articles related to it.
I had not done a ton of email list building. I felt like I didn’t have a ton to offer. However, I’ve been working on printables, and have come up with quite a few that I like and happy to share. So, I’m focusing on printables now. If you are interested in signing up for my free printable resources, please sign up on the sidebar for the newsletter!
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!! The downside of media.net is that they MUST click on it in order to make money, and you get nothing for impressions.
I’ll be honest – I’d really like to be with Mediavine for ads. Unfortunately, they require 25,000 sessions in a month, and I am nowhere CLOSE to that. It seems a bit like a distant dream. However, intense focus worked for Amazon, so maybe it’ll work for blog growing. I’m working on some traffic growth tactics.
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 if you plan to monetize. She goes over the basics of how, gives you different resources and companies to sign up with, and even goes over the legalities of affiliate marketing.
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 have signed up with multiple various affiliate programs, and still, find myself going to those two the most.
I would like to start looking at sponsored posts in the future.
October 2018 Roundup
List of purchases I’ve made this month:
Tailwind – for automated pinning
At this point, I should just fess up that I like to buy courses. This shouldn’t surprise anyone since I’m the girl with two bachelor degrees and a masters degree. I obviously enjoy learning. So, I bought the Genius Bloggers Toolkit for 2018. I couldn’t pass it up as it had 2 courses in it that I was interested in that would have alone been double the price of the whole toolkit.
(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 actually have no purchasing plans, other than a class on sponsored blog posts. I’m on the waiting list and don’t know when this class is planning to be launched.
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.)
Other Suggested Courses for Blogging:
I 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!
Money Made in October 2018
Without further ado, let’s get to the part you are curious about. My grand total of money made in October 2018 was $20.69. Every single bit of this is from affiliate sales – in fact, it’s ALL from Amazon.
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 October:
My Biggest Struggles in October 2018:
I had absolutely no goals for October. In a way, this was good because I didn’t have the intense disappointment in myself when things didn’t go the way I wanted. In a way, this was bad because I had NO goals to aim for. Therefore, I am going to set some November goals with the hope of not getting disappointed if I don’t reach them.
Blogging goals for November:
- Reach the $50 minimum to get my very first check from Share-a-Sale. (A recurring goal until met.)
- Come up with a new logo.
- Score my first sponsored post.
- Have 1500 unique visitors to the blog. (This will be a recurring goal until I reach it. This month I had 1,219. However, I plan to start focusing on sessions versus unique visitors. So for sessions this month, I had 1,358.)
- Focus on SEO.
- Continue to brainstorm for my own items to sell. I’ve bounced around a lot of different ideas, from e-books to stock photos. I can’t seem to solidify anything. If I sell something, I want it to be GREAT. Sometimes my perfectionism haunts me and actually makes me freeze and unable to do anything!
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!)