I constantly think back to the conversation with my friend last year, when she asked me if I made money from my personal blog. The personal blog that served as an emotional outlet as I coped with feeling homesick after making the decision to move and change careers. My answer to her was a simple “no,” but in my head I thought, what?! You can make money blogging?!?! I became obsessed with the idea because I’ve had a growing affinity for writing since Montessori school where I wrote short, two-sentence stories. I feel nervous, but excited, to release my third income report and share my blogging numbers for April.
A part of me feels weird about sharing this income report as my numbers continue to grow. Another part knows that people (like myself) learn by seeing how others accomplish their goals.
After all, if other bloggers did not post their income reports, I would not have started this blog. Reading those income reports inspired me to start a profitable blog of my own. 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.
Without further adieu, let’s get into how I earned $1,134.25 blogging in April.
This post contains affiliate links to help keep this blog running.
To learn more about affiliate links, click here.
Because programs each have different payout terms or minimum payouts, bloggers report their income in (primarily) two different ways.
Some bloggers report their income as it enters their bank account. Others report their income as they earn it.
I choose to report my income as I earn it. This helps me identify what is a successful (or unsuccessful) month. That way, I can specifically target what works and areas of improvement.
Another important disclosure is I chose to report my Awin income as it is tracked. My Awin income, which is the highest amount of income for the month, will take a significantly longer time to reach my bank account.
All commissions resulted from my efforts in April, which is why I’m including them in this report.
Top Posts in April
- Second Income Report: How I Earned $693.94 My Second Month Blogging (1,814 views)
- How to Monetize Your Blog with Affiliate Marketing (1,370 views)
- How to Make Money Blogging (712 views)
- Student Loans 101: 3 Easy Steps to Becoming Debt-Free (633 views)
Total Page Views in April: 10,120 (I messed up and accidentally restarted my Analytics account, so this is my first full month recorded on Google Analytics)
What I Accomplished in April
This is difficult for me to write because I feel like I didn’t accomplish much in terms of goals I set last month. But, I still:
- Used Hootsuite to schedule social media posts (primarily on Twitter).
- Paid for an annual subscription to Tailwind and added pins from my tribe to be scheduled. If you blog about Lifestyle, Travel or Blogging, add your pins to my Tailwind Tribe! (it’s a free way to increase your Pinterest exposure!)
- Added a Media.net advertisement to the bottom of two posts. It’s weird because as far as I can tell, media.net only updates you on your revenue for every 1,000 impressions. But I like the minimal advertisements they present. Depending on my experience, I may switch back to Google Adsense after I reach their payout minimum of $100. We’ll see.
- Landed my first blog coaching client. I worked with Trisha from We Ate Well to install a WordPress theme, design a logo, set up blog categories, and improve her photos. I wrote her a report with targeted areas of improvement and I’m seriously so excited on how she really stepped up her blogging game in a matter of days.
- Participated in my first two Twitter chats! I participated in the #GRLPOWR and #BloggersTribe Twitter chats this past week. It was a great way to make connections with other bloggers and expand my audience (even if by just a little bit).
I was happy to see the way my social media following grew, too.
- Pinterest (aimed for 750): 524 -> 750 Goal for May: 900
- Facebook (aimed for 250): 206 -> 234 Goal for May: 250
- Twitter (aimed for 250): 210 -> 290 Goal for May: 350
- Instagram (aimed for 450): 433 -> 466 Goal for May: 500
- Bloglovin (no goal here…yet!): 87 followers
If I reach these goals, I will finally be able to pitch to brands saying I have 2,000 combined followers across social media channels. It doesn’t feel like much compared to the thousands and thousands other bloggers have. But, this will be a significant milestone for me!
Income for April
Blog Coaching: $50.00 (If you feel like you need a little direction as far as blogging goes, contact me and we can talk about rates based on your needs.)
Awin: $900.00 (I definitely recommend joining Awin due to their partnerships with Etsy, Trusted Housesitters, Swagbucks, and Fiverr. It’s $5 to sign up, but you can get the $5 back in its entirety when you receive your first payment.)
Grammarly: $1.80 (I’m proud of my writing, but Grammarly has helped me immensely! Read this article to learn more about how to improve your writing with Grammarly. Or sign up for Share-a-Sale to partner with companies like Grammarly!)
Media.net advertisements: $4.42
Amazon Affiliates: $0.60
Sponsored Campaigns: $5.10
Total Income: $1,134.25
Total Expenses: $84.88
Affiliate Programs I Want to Focus On
- Amazon Affiliates: I’d really like to increase my revenue from Amazon Affiliates. I started by writing an International Travel Packing List full of items I purchased for our trip to France this month. Depending on how this post turns out, I’ll have to keep brainstorming ways to improve my Amazon Affiliate revenue. If you have any advice or articles to share about this, leave them in the comments!
- Ebates: I also want to find ways to promote Ebates. I think it’s a great way to get cash back when you shop online, and every penny counts! I earned cash back on items I purchased for our trip to France. Quite a few have signed up, but the hardest part is waiting for them to make their first purchase. But Ebates does give you $10 for free when you make a purchase, on top of the cash back they’ll give you! It’s basically free money you’re missing out on if you don’t use it!
- LendEDU: I’ve heard so much great feedback on how effortless LendEDU’s free, three-minute application is. They basically take a little bit of information and show you what student loan refinancing rates you could qualify for on other websites. Oftentimes the rates are lower than the interest you have, and LendEDU’s application doesn’t affect your credit. It’s amazing how much you can save simply by refinancing (hint: it can be thousands of dollars), and LendEDU does the grunt work for you – at no cost to you!
- People enjoy reading posts about money. As you’ll see from my top posts this month, I’ve received a majority of my page views from posts about money. So I need to keep this in mind as I brainstorm posts in the future.
- You have to spend money to make money. I really hesitated before dropping the $74.88 for my annual Tailwind subscription. But it’s investments like this that will allow me to spend less time on Pinterest and more time focusing on other blog tasks. But it’s totally okay to start out blogging on a budget (here are free blogging tools that I use).
- Consistent social media presence is important. Through social media schedulers like Boardbooster and Tailwind, I have a consistent Pinterest presence. By scheduling tweets in advance and tagging retweet accounts, I’m constantly expanding my audience there. I also try my best to post on Facebook groups daily in order to make connections, help others out, and promote. Promotion via social media is key when it comes to getting your content seen.
Goals for May
I have so many goals for this blog! And given that I’m leaving the country for over two weeks, I don’t know how much I’ll accomplish. But, I’m going to outline my goals so that I can continue to grow my blog.
- Stay active on social media. I want to keep focusing on social media. Even though I’ll be out of the country for the first two weeks, I want to either schedule posts in the morning before we go out, or schedule them in the evening when we return to the Airbnb.
- Reformat Blogging Resources Library. This is something I strove to do in April, but alas failed. I’d like to make the effort to reformat my blogging resources library this month.
- Launch a Facebook group. Yes. That’s right. I’m launching a Facebook group. No, it’s not another blogging group (I’ll save that for this Lifestyle & Travel Network group). If you’re a goal-getting millennial, subscribe to my email list to get the details once this group is launched.
- Start mini-blogging on Facebook. I noticed my posts with the most engagement tell a story. I don’t need to promote a post every day. But I’d like to start sharing stories. Maybe I’ll start with once or twice a week and go from there. It will be how I add another level of connection to my followers on Facebook.
- Rewrite older, high-performing posts. There are some posts I wrote when I first started blogging that bring in views, but don’t keep people on my blog. They’re subpar and I’d like to rewrite them to improve viewer experience and blog stats.
- Create opt-in banners. I created my first opt-in banner for my International Packing Essentials list. I’d like to create more banners for my posts to promote my free printables/resources and grow my e-mail list at the same time.
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 Self-Hosted Lifestyle & Travel Blog
- 10 Ways to Make Money from Your Blog This Month
- Affiliate Programs You Can Use to Monetize Your Blog
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!
Considering starting a blog? Or, are you already blogging? What are your goals for the upcoming month?