How to Save and Make Money in Your Twenties at KristaAoki.com, a lifestyle and travel blog. personal finance tips, entrepreneurial advice, and savings tips for the millennial who wants to live a life they love

First Income Report: How I Earned $74.62 My First Month Blogging

March 2, 2017
First Income Report | Krista Aoki, a lifestyle & travel blog | first blogging income report! learn how i earned over $70 during my first month of bloggingFirst Income Report | Krista Aoki, a lifestyle & travel blog | first blogging income report! learn how i earned over $70 during my first month of blogging

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.
To learn more about affiliate links, click here.

Top Posts in February

February Goals

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:

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?

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46 Comments

  • paige

    Congrats! I definitely want to get more into affiliate marketing to increase my blog’s income. It seems like you’ve got so many great plans, I hope they work for you and your blog! 🙂

    March 2, 2017 at 7:33 am Reply
    • Krista

      Thank you, Paige! I have so many ideas it’s hard to keep up sometimes! If there’s one thing blogging has taught me, it’s how to keep my ideas organized.

      March 2, 2017 at 10:18 am Reply
  • Chelsea

    I’m in the same boat! It’s a lot of work starting a blog but I’m smiling the entire time. Have fun!

    March 2, 2017 at 10:44 am Reply
    • Krista

      Thanks Chelsea! Right?! We both have something fantastic to smile about each day.

      March 3, 2017 at 8:27 am Reply
  • Kristin

    I’m a total weirdo but I love income reports! Thank you for sharing!

    March 2, 2017 at 11:59 am Reply
    • Krista

      I loove income reports, too! I think reading them definitely helps with the learning experience of blogging. It’s a great insight into how business bloggers approach every month!

      March 3, 2017 at 8:28 am Reply
  • Kellie

    This is SUCH GREAT INFO! I’m going to dive in deeper later, so much great stuff here and I’ll pass it along to others, this is so useful! http://www.thebicoastalbeauty.com
    ig: thebicoastalbeauty

    March 2, 2017 at 12:44 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Wow, thank you Kellie! What a compliment. Let me know if you ever run into any questions!

      March 3, 2017 at 8:30 am Reply
  • Tim Gillette

    Love to see these kind of results for someone who has just started blogging. You are now one of the tops in the blogging income field. Remember less than half the blogs in the world earn a positive income from their blog, you did.. Congrats and look forward to watching your success grow..
    Rock on

    March 2, 2017 at 2:11 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Wow Tim, thank you so much for your kind and inspiring words! They mean a lot to me.

      March 3, 2017 at 8:30 am Reply
  • Hayley

    Wow congratulations on your first month of blogging, it’s only up from here! I’m working on a plan to start with affiliate links, thanks for sharing some of your tips. Now to smash those March goals! 🙂

    March 2, 2017 at 2:29 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Thank you so much Hayley! We’re going to kill it in March! Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions as they start to come up.

      March 3, 2017 at 10:26 am Reply
  • Yandra @ Sheblogsaboutjobs.com

    Congrats! You’re doing awesome! I made $51 in my first month as a blogger and I was super excited about it. Keep up the great work!

    P.S I love reading income reports too. I find them very educational and inspiring.

    March 2, 2017 at 3:47 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Yes, Yandra! I think if I made 50 cents in my first month, I would still be excited. You do a great job with your blog! I’ve stumbled upon it many times through Pinterest.

      March 3, 2017 at 10:29 am Reply
  • Karen

    Congrats! Thanks for the tip on Tailwind!

    March 2, 2017 at 5:28 pm Reply
    • Krista

      You’re welcome, Karen! I’m excited to start using it! I spend so much time pinning, it’s bound to make my days easier.

      March 3, 2017 at 10:31 am Reply
  • Hanna

    Congratulations! You sound like you know what you are doing! I like the fact that you have set the goals for the next month!

    March 2, 2017 at 8:19 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Thanks, Hanna! At the very least, making my goals public will give me the determination to actually strive for completion!

      March 3, 2017 at 10:34 am Reply
  • Christina

    Congrats! I’m looking at trying to monetize my blog next month. Thanks for all the tips, and good luck this month!

    March 2, 2017 at 8:51 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Thanks, Christina! Please let me know if you have any questions as you start to monetize your blog.

      March 3, 2017 at 10:35 am Reply
  • Traci

    Krista, this is awesome!! Thank you for being so totally transparent. I love how you break this all down, and that you set really manageable goals. I currently blog mostly for fun but have wondered about how to monetize if I should ever decide to. Definitely going to start following your blog for a helpful resource! <3

    March 2, 2017 at 9:08 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Traci, you are so welcome! Thank you for checking out this post. If you everrrr have anyyyy questions in the future about blogging, or monetizing your blog, please don’t hesitate to drop me an email!

      March 3, 2017 at 10:39 am Reply
  • Grace

    Congratulations!! I am a new blogger been seriously working at it since December with goals to monetize it! But always worried I was not established enough! Maybe I will try to apply for some of these affiliate programs now!!

    March 3, 2017 at 4:16 am Reply
    • Krista

      Hey Grace! Yes, I definitely recommend trying to monetize sooner rather than later so you can figure out what does and doesn’t work. Plus, if you’re writing for enjoyment anyway, any money made on the side is a little bonus.

      March 3, 2017 at 10:44 am Reply
  • Style & Life by Susana

    I need to seriously improve my affifilate income. I’ve made SOME money but not much…. I am starting to incoprate separate newsletters with special and sales are on, and my picks on items. Thank you for this post I have booked marked it.

    http://www.susanalopessnarey.com/surfstitch-australia/

    March 3, 2017 at 7:40 am Reply
    • Krista

      Susana, what a brilliant idea to incorporate specials with your newsletters! If you ever have any questions as you continue to explore affiliate marketing, please let me know!

      March 3, 2017 at 10:45 am Reply
  • Sheila Joy

    What an inspiring post! Congrats and I definitely noted some of your strategies to try myself.

    http://www.insearchofsheila.com

    March 3, 2017 at 8:21 am Reply
    • Krista

      Sheila, thank you so much! I am SOOO happy to hear you will be implementing my strategies! Please let me know if you ever come across any questions.

      March 3, 2017 at 10:59 am Reply
  • Sophie

    Wow congratulations!!!

    I didn’t know how to use pinterest either but I love it now!

    Sophie x
    http://www.sophobsessed.com

    March 3, 2017 at 2:52 pm Reply
  • Heather

    Hey Krista, I too am new to blogging so this was a very promising and inspiring post for me. I will be staying tuned for tips from you!!

    March 3, 2017 at 4:08 pm Reply
  • Shoshana Sue

    These are great goals that you have set for yourself Krista. And congrats on making money from blogging! And the social media growth. I just signed up for affiliate and I am also aiming to grow my social media reach. How you have broken everything down has inspired me to do the same now. Thank you

    March 4, 2017 at 2:43 am Reply
  • Letitia - Apparently a Mom

    Congratulations! I’ve been looking into monetizing my blog.I knew it could be done before I started but I didn’t know anything about it.I ended up with wordpress (com) and realized when I started looking into it I couldn’t monetize on that platform.I do monetize my other stuff so, at least that much. Great tips, I will certainly be using them to get myself going too! I actually just started tracking my social media stuff and setting plans in place to grow there, great to read that I am on the right track with that! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the coming months!

    March 4, 2017 at 6:46 am Reply
  • Millies Moments

    Hi there, I came across your blog and thoroughly enjoy what I see.. Keep it up! It would be great if we could support each other. I just started my own blog if you would like to check it out:D

    http://www.milliesmoments.co.uk

    March 5, 2017 at 5:18 am Reply
  • Brandi

    Good for you! Congratulations!

    March 5, 2017 at 9:29 am Reply
  • Melanie

    Congrats! Really interesting post! I just started blogging myself and some of your tips are very helpful!

    March 5, 2017 at 9:55 am Reply
  • Zen Jen

    Congratulations. I’m going to look into Pure Vida bracelets. I’ve never heard of that one before. Have a prosperous month!

    March 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm Reply
  • Kimberly

    Congratulations! I definitely want to learn more about affiliate marketing in order to help monetize my blog. I love looking at income reports for motivation. Thanks for sharing!

    March 5, 2017 at 9:51 pm Reply
  • Katerina

    This is great! Keep up the good work. No income is too small when you’re making it from something you enjoy 🙂

    March 6, 2017 at 1:03 pm Reply
  • becca

    Krista! Love your blog! Your 1 month blogg-aversary was my blog launch date.
    Could you please tell me what widget you used to get your FB Page to show up on your sidebar?
    Just liked your page! Will sign up to follow your journey!

    March 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Hey Becca! I actually used this plugin to add the Facebook widget to my blog! I simply customized the widget to how I wanted it, then created a regular widget and pasted the code in there!

      Cheers! Can’t wait to grow together. xoxo

      March 8, 2017 at 1:27 pm Reply
  • Vy

    Nice job, girl!! That’s huge for a first month!

    March 13, 2017 at 9:47 pm Reply
  • Kirsten

    This is great, thanks for sharing. I just posted my first month and I didn’t do as well as you!

    -Kirsten // pork & cookies // First Month Blog Income Report

    March 16, 2017 at 10:48 am Reply
  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

    Thanks for the tips Krista! That’s amazing you were able to get your blog rolling full steam in one month. I have trouble with photography I’d say as well. I’m working on changing that in the next few months.

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

    March 24, 2017 at 8:28 am Reply
  • Michele Ann

    Wow this is so inspiring. I’ve been blogging for two years now and have tried so hard to get my views up mostly but haven’t really dabbled in af marketing. I finally switched over to a self hosted website and I feel so lost but it’s very inspiring to see you on your way in such a short time. I’ve taken a lot of your advice but I know it takes time. I still have no idea how to use pinterest so I think I’ll make that a goal for myself in the near future. Great post!

    April 2, 2017 at 11:36 pm Reply
  • Nicole

    Wow you’re awesome! Good for you! <3 do you have any advice on growing traffic/gaining readership?

    Or did you only promote through the websites mentioned? Would love to learn from you!

    xx nicole

    May 1, 2017 at 12:25 pm Reply
  • Kassandra

    Awesome work! I think I’m finally going to start monetizing my blog – just working out how to make the shift! Your post is very inspiring.

    Also wondering if perhaps I’ll do income reports?

    May 2, 2017 at 2:54 pm Reply
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