This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure page.
So, I wanted to do an income type style blog post this month, mainly because I want you to know that you can make money with a new blog & a small audience!
This won’t be strictly an income report, I am also going to do a bit of a review of what I have been doing since I started kendraBLOGS in mid march, and what had been working and not working for me.
I will also go over my stats & numbers as an overview, and then talk about my goals for the blog in the coming months.
The reason I really want to create an income report / reflection style post, is because these always inspired me when I was a new blogger. I would read them and I would see that making an income from your blog is totally possible. I would also find lots of tips & tricks, and things to try on my own blog from other bloggers income reports.
So, with that being said, I am happy to share my own with you for the very first time! I probably won’t do them monthly (unless this one does really well with my audience), but I will try to put out a similar post every 3-4 months as a check in for my stats and goals so you can see how I am growing my blog and what I am doing to hit my targets.
So, before I jump into everything related to kendraBLOGS, I want to share a little bit about how I got here and why I started this blog.
MY BACK STORY
So, kendraBLOGS is actually my third blog. I have two others, but one of those two is currently on pause for later development. I started blogging about 2.5 years ago, and it really started as a fun hobby. I blogged about being a twenty something, which eventually turned into a more niche specific blog dedicated to personal growth in your twenties.
It was about 3 months into that blog that I realized I could create a side income from my blog. I was seeing all these other bloggers writing income reports, and I started to set goals and learn everything and anything I could about monetizing my blog.
With that blog, I was really just winging it, and I slapped some affiliate links on my site,and created a few digital downloads to sell, and that was pretty much it. In total, over approximately an 18 month span, I probably made close to $2000 from that blog. It isn’t much when you break it down into months, but I really had no strategy, no planning, and really no real knowledge of what the heck I was doing.
One thing did notice was that I had a really great community. I often had readers emailing me, and with that came a lot of questions about blogging. I had people reaching out to me on a regular basis with blogging related questions. I loved helping others get started with their own blogs, hoping they too could find a love for blogging like I had. After answering these questions regularly for 6+ months, I decided it would be a great idea to actually start a whole separate blog dedicated to helping new and aspiring bloggers build their blogs.
It seemed like such a great fit for me because I actually love teaching, and I LOVE creating teaching resources such as workbooks, checklists, courses, etc.
You see, I actually come from an HR background. And while I do not love everything about HR, one thing I do love and am very passionate about, is learning & development. I love presenting courses and content to help others learn and grow. So, why not take that love for teaching, and combine it with my love of blogging?? BINGO! That is exactly what I did.
My goal for kendraBLOGS is to teach others how to start and grow their blogs successfully into a business. I also plan to create affordable courses and resources for new bloggers, because one thing I did find as a new blogger was that blogging courses are EXPENSIVE. How can I afford that when I am not making an income from my blog yet?! So, that is my biggest goal with kendraBLOGS.
So, now that you know how KendraBLOGS came to be, let’s dive right into the good stuff…
*Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. For details you can read my disclosure page.
I am going to take you through everything that has allowed me to make $513.60 in two months with a brand new blog and less than 100 page views per day on average.
MY MUSTS FOR SUCCESS
So, when starting a new blog, I have a few “must haves” and “must do” lists that I believe have helped me with my blogging success. These are the exact steps and processes I took with kendraBLOGS to starting earning an income in the first two weeks of launching my blog.
My Must Haves Are:
- Self Hosting
- An Email Marketing Platform (I use Convertkit & Highly recommend it).
- A Pinterest Account
- A Great Theme (I use the Tweak Me Theme and I love it).
My Must Do’s Are:
- Following a good tutorial to get your blog set up properly (I have a detailed one you can follow if you have not set your blog up yet)
- Focus on Your Email Marketing from Day One!
- Use Freebies + Opt in boxes or landing pages to Get Subscribers
- Have 5-6 Value Rich Blog Posts Before Launching
- Focus on Your SEO
- Monetize from day one using Affiliate Marketing if applicable
- Set Realistic Goals
- Plan, plan, plan (Plan your blog content, plan your email content, plan your social media content).
- Focus on Pinterest and Create Attention Grabbing Images to Pin for Every Blog Post
- Have visible share buttons on your blog
- Post Quality Content Consistently
- Write for Your Audience not for Yourself
Those are my big “must do’s” but I actually created a massive New Blogger Checklist that includes everything you should do in your first 6 months as a blogger! You can check it out here.
More Related Reading:
- How to Start A Blog: A Step by Step Beginners Guide
- 6 Reasons Self-Hosting is a Must Have for Your Blog
- A ConvertKit Tutorial: The Beginners Guide to Email Marketing
- 10 Opt-in Ideas to Explode Your Email List
- 20 Blogging Tips & Tricks I’ve Learned in My Two Years of Blogging
- 10 Tips For Starting a Successful Blog From Day One
BLOG INCOME – $513.60
Since April 1st 2018 until today (June 9th 2018) I have made $513.60 from my brand new blog.
KendraBLOGS is less than 3 months old, and currently has a very small audience, and I was still able to make that in a 2 month period.
So, maybe you are wondering where that money is coming from? Let me break it down for you.
I truly believe having a variety of income streams is the most important advice for creating a consistent paycheck from your blog. BUT, that does not mean you need to implement all of those income streams right away.
My biggest focus currently and since day one of starting KendraBLOGS was affiliate marketing and passive income. Of the $513 dollars made, $469 of it came from affiliate links.
My long term goals for kendraBLOGS is to also incorporate digital products and courses that are affordable to new bloggers but still provide a ton of value. But, I want to focus on growing my community and traffic before launching that type of income stream.
So, in the meantime, I have been mega focused on incorporating affiliate links throughout my blog, and it is obviously working well for me already.
I will say however, affiliate marketing is not as simple as slapping some random links within your blog posts and hoping they convert.
I owe all of my affiliate marketing success to the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course. Michelle, the creator of the course, really teaches you how to strategically use affiliate marketing and increase your conversions, which of course increases the money going into your pocket! I highly recommend the course to bloggers of all levels, it is worth every single penny.
Now, let me actually break it down so you can see how I earned my blog income so far:
As mentioned I made $439.50 through affiliate marketing in april & may. For the further breakdown, in April I made $197.90 and in May I made $271.60.
Some of my bigger earners were:
ShareASale is actually a great place to start if you’re new to affiliate marketing. It is a huge affiliate network, so you sign up, and then can browse through pages and pages of products, companies, and brands that have affiliate programs. Find the ones that work with your niche, and that you have personally used, love, and would recommend, and then sign up to the program. Easy right?!
*As a side note, I will add that not all of this income had hit my bank account yet. Some affiliate programs have a 30 day hold or minimum threshold for withdrawals. But, to make it easier, I think I will report income as earned, rather than as paid out.
I also very recently incorporated a tripwire to test out the popularity for an idea for a product I am thinking about. I just launched that for a period of two weeks and made approx $49 dollars. The product being pitched was only $7, so not a huge income earner by any means.
If you are not familiar with what a trip wire is, basically, it is a limited time offer that you direct people to after they sign up for one of your opt-ins of a similar nature. The goal of a trip wire is to create a sense of urgency to buy by presenting an awesome sale but only for the next 30 minutes or so. So for example I pitched a workbook that I would normally of sold for approx $19 and marked it down to $7. Once the person opted into my freebie, they were redirected to a sales page for this product,which included all the info, the sales price, and a timer for 30 minutes.
The biggest thing to realize here is this: a tripwire will probably never make up a huge amount of your blog income, but that is not its main objective. You see, the goal is to convert a subscriber into a customer RIGHT AWAY! They then receive your product for a small amount, but see that even with a cheap price tag, the product or course they purchased still has HUGE value.
Now, they are more likely to buy a bigger more expensive product or course when you pitch it to them later because they know your stuff is awesome and filled with value!
Anyway, maybe I will write a post on the benefits of trip wires…. so stay tuned!
SO, that is where my $513 dollars came from.
But with blog income, usually comes blog expenses….
So here is the thing, I think it is important to invest in yourself and your blogging success, and to do so, sometimes you need to spend a little mula $$.
Here is what I believe it worth investing in:
Self Hosting + Domain: I am going to address this but not technically take this out as an expense because this was paid for in March, not April or May. I paid a one time fee of $71 dollar for a year of hosting + a one time fee of $15 for my domain name.
I also purchased Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing in March for a one time fee of $197. But will not be deducting it from my April & May blog income.
Expenses for April & May
- Convert Kit: $49.00 in April and May = $98.00
- Send Owl: I used send owl to deliver my trip wire download for the two weeks it was offered – $9 in May
- Board Booster: $5 in May (Was still on the free trial for April)
- Pinteresting Strategies Ebook: Pinterest has made a ton of changes recently, and I am really into the manual pinning + some scheduling pinning method. I heard great things about the Pintersting Strategies ebook and Carly’s manual pinning methods, so I investing a one time fee of $32 into her book in May. I have not yet implemented all of her strategies, but I have implemented some and have already seen an increase in my blogs traffic. I highly recommend it because she uses different and fresh strategies rather than the same old advice everyone else seems to be giving. I also believe her strategies are more up to date with the new Pinterest changes than some of the other ebooks out there.
Total Blog Expenses for April & May: $144.00
Total Blog Profit for April + May: $513 – $144 = $369.00
Okay, now that you see where my blog income came from, I really want to talk about my numbers. I want to make it very clear that you CAN earn a profit from your blog even as a brand new blogger and even if you have a small audience!
Email Subscribers: 198
Email Subscribers: 316
I didn’t track my numbers on social media, but I will going forward. But just for transparency, my current numbers are:
Pinterest: 507 Followers & 53k Monthly viewers. I did hit 100k monthly viewers in early May but it has since come back down and evened out.
Instagram: I just started my instagram recently for kendraBLOGS and I currently have 167 followers.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED
In April I posted 3 new blog posts:
In May I Posted 4 new blog posts:
WHAT IS WORKING
I feel confident in my current affiliate marketing strategy and have plans to increase my affiliate income in the coming months as well.
Taking the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course was definitely something that worked well for me and my affiliate success so far.
If you are interested in taking the course yourself, find all the details here.
Using Opt in Freebies to Gain Subscribers
While I do not have one specific freebie that has blown up, I have a few that are doing well, and giving me new subscribers on a regular basis. I think as my traffic grows, so will my subscribers.
I believe my freebies are great, but with a low number of traffic, I can’t expect a huge number of subscribers. For the amount of traffic I currently have, I am happy with my 316 subscribers.
Once I can get more eyes on my freebie offers, I think they will convert really well.
Using Instagram and Facebook Groups to Connect with Other Bloggers
I am currently using Instagram and FB Groups to network and make connections with other bloggers in my niche. I am doing this by simply engaging with their content and joining in on relevant conversations.
WHAT IS NOT WORKING
My Current Pinterest Strategy (sort of)
While Pinterest is bringing in most of my traffic currently, it is not bringing in nearly enough. I know what Pinterest CAN do for a blogs traffic, because it brings in a butt load of traffic to my other blog.
I do however, know there have been loads of changes recently with Pinterest, so I am adjusting my strategy to fit the changes.
A few things I will be doing is: more manual pinning, focusing on key words, creating more NEW pins, and pinning directly from my own domain more often.
I am taking the tips from Pinteresting Strategies, which I feel are more on par for being successful with the new Pinterest changes, compared to some of the other ebooks and courses on Pinterest. Check out Pinteresting Strategies if you are looking to improve your own Pinterest tactics.
My Time Management
I need to remember to give myself a break and manage my time to incorporate ME time. I basically blog whenever I have free time, and I feel guilty if I do anything else like watch Netflix or go out with a friend.
I am trying to balance life with a baby, working part time, maintaining my relationship and friendships, maintaining my home, trying to get some exercise in, having some down time, and turning my blog into a business.
So, it gets overwhelming at times. Exercise and relaxation are the first to be pushed aside, and they shouldn’t be, because eventually I get burned out if I don’t take a break.
I need to create a better system to manage it all! Stay tuned as I hopefully figure that out.
So, when I started kendraBLOGS, I started my Pinterest account as my main form of “social media”and traffic source, and then I decided to start a Twitter account as a secondary source. Well, as it turns out, I am not a twitter person. I don’t do well having to tweet multiple times a day,and I honestly just can’t keep up with it all. So, I decided to put that account on the back burner, and focus on Instagram as my secondary social media platform instead. I love Instagram and am much more familiar with it as well.
So, since I don’t intend to write these every single month, I will set goals for the next 3 months instead.
The Goals I would Like to Achieve in June, July, and August are:
- Write 5 Blog Posts Per Month for a Total of 15
- Create a Free E-course
- Create a Paid Product or Course
- Create 2+ New Opt-in Freebies
- Send 4 highly valuable emails (minimum) per month to my email list
- Create a Minimum of 4 Affiliate Posts
- Hit 1000 Subscribers (This may be too ambitious, but if I create a free ecourse, the potential is there)
- Hit 500 Instagram Followers
- Hit 800 Pinterest Followers
- Hit 5k Monthly Page views by the end of August
- Make $1000 dollars in blog income (not including what I have already made)
So, there you have it! That is really the low down on kendraBLOGS and how everything is going in my world. So, as mentioned, I won’t be doing these monthly, but I will try to keep my email subscribers in the loop on more of a monthly basis. SO, if you are interested in how things are going with me over the next 3 months, just click here to subscribe and stay in the loop + get awesome freebies and blogging tips along the way!
OH and PS…. If you are an aspiring blogger, reading income report after income report, as I once did as well, JUST. START. YOUR. BLOG. That is my biggest piece of advice! Just START!
You will be so happy you finally took the plunge!