Just a few months ago I had no idea you could make money blogging. Last year, my friend asked me if I made money from my personal blog (i.e. my online diary). What? I thought. You can make money from your blog? I was bewildered. But, yes, you can make money blogging. In fact, I was only a few cents short of earning $75 my first month of blogging. Nonetheless, I’m so, so excited to share my first income report from my first month of blogging.
February marked my first month of blogging for business. In my first month, I learned so much, including how to use affiliate marketing to monetize your blog. Actually, the information I learned turned out to be so helpful I wrote a detailed post about affiliate programs you can use to monetize your blog.
Even better, now I can show you real results from my first month of blogging. I’m excited to share my very first income report! The numbers aren’t spectacular. I mean, I can’t, like, quit my job tomorrow. But, I wanted to put this information out there to inspire others who may want to start blogging for money.
Honestly, I love reading other bloggers’ income reports. I find them to be inspiring. If other bloggers did not post their income reports, I would not have started this blog. And, starting this blog turned out to be an incredible journey. It serves as a creative outlet for me and gives me so much to be excited about with each day. While it’s a lot of work, I never feel like I’m working.
The best part? Blogging for business is more than just writing. As a blogger, you are also your own social media manager. And your own graphic designer. You are your blog’s chief creative. Business manager. The list goes on and it’s freaking impressive.
This post contains affiliate links to help keep this blog running.
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Top Posts in February
- Affiliate Programs You Can Use to Monetize Your Blog
- Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Him
- How to Use VSCO to Create Beautiful Images
So, for my first month of blogging, I didn’t get too detailed with my goals. Well, other than “start a blog.” Some goals I did set included growing my social media channels. When you are starting out, I recommend choosing one or two social media platforms to focus on. For me, that was Pinterest and Facebook. These were my follower goals for February:
Pinterest: 100 followers
This might surprise you, but…I didn’t know how to use Pinterest before I started my blog. And yet somehow, growing my Pinterest turned out to be a success. In fact, I grew from 0 to 233 Pinterest followers in February. I attribute this success to joining so many group boards and promoting my pins on them. Actually, I even started my own group board! You can follow it or learn more about becoming a board contributor here.
Twitter: 100 followers
So, I didn’t really expect to grow my Twitter (in others words, I didn’t try). But somehow, I grew from 89 to 133 followers on Twitter this month. Everyone suggests that to be a Twitter boss, you need to contribute to the conversation. I couldn’t find the time to join Twitter chats, so I primarily use Twitter to promote posts and share random thoughts.
Facebook: 100 likes
Surprisingly, I ended this month at 122 Facebook followers (after starting from 0)! I didn’t have a game plan in terms of what to share on Facebook. I experimented by sharing memes, funny videos, and links to articles (others’ articles and my own).
To promote my page, I made sure to put a Facebook widget on my sidebar which makes it easier for visitors to “Like” my blog!
I also joined and actively participated in Facebook groups. Facebook groups turned out to be a great resource for the answers to my questions, as well as ways to promote my posts (when answering others’ questions).
Instagram: 400 followers
I started this month with 250 followers on Instagram. My goal was to grow my follower count to 400. I thought that I would be able to grow this more, but I ended the month at 392 followers. I found it difficult to post beautiful images and I give big applause to bloggers who consistently keep their Instagram updated.
If you’re wondering, I did turn my personal Instagram account into a business account. This is because I have enough trouble maintaining one account! So I really couldn’t handle maintaining two.
First Income Report: Income for February
Signing up for different affiliate networks helped me figure out what does and doesn’t work. Some people recommend focusing on one affiliate network, but I think it’s important to experiment and find what works for you. Without further adieu, this is a run-down of money I earned this month.
Amazon Affiliates: $1.36
Affiliate Window: $30 (Affiliate Window connects you with brands including Etsy. It’s $5 to sign up, but you can get the $5 back in its entirety when you receive your first payment.)
Share-a-Sale: $2 (Share-a-Sale is a totally free affiliate network every blogger should join.)
Siteground: $0 (To improve this number, I want to focus on ways to inspire others to start a self-hosted blog. Use this link to start a blog and get a 60% discount on your first hosting plan!)
Pura Vida Bracelets: $1.26 (Pura Vida Bracelets are affordable, handmade bracelets! The affiliate network BrandCycle provided an exclusive Pura Vida sale for February, which helped me make this commission. It’s free to apply and sign up with BrandCycle.)
LendEDU: $40 (Have you completed this free, three-minute application to LendEDU to compare student loan refinancing rates? The application doesn’t even affect your credit. Read this article to learn more about student loans.)
Inzpire.Me: $0 (Although I did not earn any money from Inzpire.Me this month, plenty of influencers have signed up so they can start working with brands to promote products on social media! If you have a high follower count on social media, definitely sign up for Inzpire.Me.)
AirBnB: $0 travel credit (Although I did not earn from AirBnB this month, others have signed up for their free travel credit! This credit never expires so if you haven’t signed up, use this link to claim your $40 travel credit.)
Total Income: $74.62
Goals for March
- Social Media Follower Goals:
- Pinterest: 233 -> 500
- Twitter: 133 -> 200
- Facebook: 122 -> 200
- Instagram: 392 -> 450
- Grow social media.
- Have you started using Tailwind? As you can see, I want to focus growing my Pinterest and Instagram this month. But I have soooo many other goals and projects I want to work on. So, I’m going to try Tailwind’s free trial this month. Basically, you can set up pins and Instagram posts in advance and the app posts them for you. They give you 100 scheduled pins, and 30 posts on Instagram for free! What’s even better, these searches don’t expire until you use them and you don’t even need a credit card! So, you can sign up for their free trial right now!
- For Facebook, I believe I can grow my followers by drafting a solid game-plan. As I develop my blogging voice, I also want to develop a consistent voice across social media platforms. I’ll get there one day…
- Rewrite my How to Write a Blog post. This month, I did not earn any money from Siteground. To change this, I want to ensure my tutorial inspires the blogging layperson to start their own self-hosted WordPress blog and start making money like I do!
- Create a detailed upgrade/opt-in for my How to Start a Blog post. I am rewriting my post but I still want to ensure the valuable information I offer is available to my readers. To accomplish this, I will take what I’ve written on how to write epic content and turn it into an email opt-in for my readers!
- Improve SEO. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize you can customize keywords for your posts. Currently, I use the Yoast SEO plug-in to help optimize my posts. But, did you know you can do more to improve your SEO? This month, I want to use Jaaxy to research how strong my keywords are. Basically, Jaaxy analyzes keyword combinations and lets you know how competitive a keyword is. This is essential for bloggers to learn low competition keywords so you can get search engine rankings. Test it out here and get your first 30 searches free!
- Create a gallery of photos for my posts. Deciding on photos for each blog post proved to be difficult. I ended up either taking or deciding on a photo at the last minute. Luckily, Mike helped me with a few to use. But, I would like to plan out my content for the month (or next few months) and prepare photos for each post in advance.
Related Blogging Posts
First of all, thank you for joining me on my blogging journey! Check out these posts for other blogging tips and advice:
- How to Start a Lifestyle and Travel Blog
- Affiliate Programs You Can Use to Monetize Your Blog
- How to Use VSCO to Create Beautiful Images for Your Blog and Brand
Most importantly, remember that blogging is definitely a “learn-as-you-go” activity. At first, you might feel overwhelmed by the tasks you have to conquer. After my first month, I can confidently say that to build a successful blog, you first need to conquer your fears and stop worrying!
Starting a blog can be intimidating. In fact, I felt apprehensive before I started this blog. So many questions ran through my head. Would people think I’m weird? What if I’m unsuccessful? Now, in retrospect, I’m only overwhelmed by all the fantastic, positive support I received!
Even better, blogging is a great way to make money on the side. You can really turn your play-thing into a pay-thing. To learn how to start your own blog, use this guide. Or, you can jump start and use my link to sign up for web hosting at only $3.95 per month!
Are you already blogging? How did you do this month? What are your goals for the upcoming month?