It’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve written an income update for the blog. BUT in that time I have been learning like crazy and growing a crazy amount.
I feel like now I have some valuable enough information to share with anyone who is struggling through the whole blogging thing, or someone who wants to start and just doesn’t know what the heck to do.
Over a year ago now I was very pregnant and I was trying my hardest find something, anything, to make money from home so I could stay home with my children.
We didn’t need much. $500 a month would at least put us in the green if we didn’t spend ANY extra money. (Yeah try that with a newborn HA!)
I had started this blog years before then quit and hadn’t touched it again. I do not truly think I started trying to make it work until June of that year.
I’m going to be honest. The first six months I felt like I was barely treading water. I was just hoping and praying that I was doing the right things.
I was reading every post I could find and trying to implement everything I read. EVEN if the things contradicted itself.
It was insane.
RELATED POST: How to start a blog (and not waste your money on it)
A turning point from the insanity of trying everything at once
Finally I found a blogger who was making great money and who was just straight forward with you. I read all his stuff. I signed up for his email list.
Then I found out he had a course that he sold, Dare to Conquer, but my heart sank when I saw it was hundreds of dollars.
I could not afford that, no way!
So I trudged on and kept trying. I DID make progress. But I did not feel like I was getting anywhere substantial.
Then he opened up Dare to Conquer again. At this point, I had a decision to make. I could continue making nothing at blogging, or I could make an investment in myself and HOPE to Jesus it would work out.
I was four or five months in at this point. I asked my husband, we both thought, we both prayed, then a few days later I took the plunge.
I paid what I thought was a crazy amount of money and told myself if it didn’t work out I would find a work from home job I could do. (Now he has made it a subscription and it is WAY more affordable and probably WAY underpriced).
At this point, I had had my son and we were living off savings for the extra things we needed.
It wasn’t going to last long.
So I dove headfirst into the courses I bought and tried my hardest to implement literally everything.
At this point I was working ALOT. But it paid off in the end. One month after buying the course I made it into Mediavine. Then my affiliate sales started to take off. It. Was. Insane. (In a good way).
You can check out the course I am talking about here!
Here is a graph of my traffic, do you see the month when I joined? Yeah. It was amazing.
So what else did I implement?
Pinterest is my biggest traffic driver at the moment. I am attempting to do better with SEO, but to start out I would recommend that you start with Pinterest to gain some traffic quicker.
I use Tailwind to schedule my pins so I don’t have to do it manually, but you can absolutely be successful without paying for it. You just have to have the time to manually pin.
My pinning strategy is simple. Keywords your boards and your pins super well. I pin 2-3 brand new pins per day for a variety of old and new posts. Then I use the interval setting within tailwind to make it go out to all of my board lists.
From there I make loops for all my good pins so they are getting pinned regularly.
I am absolutely oversimplifying this whole Pinterest thing if you want an in-depth class that I follow you can check out this one.
Also, make sure to always be trying new pin styles and make a template if you find something that works for you!
This is the biggest part of the blogging success. You have to write content that people actually want to read. PLUS you have to write stellar, valuable content for your audience.
Find your niche, find things that actually work for your niche, and just start writing. Do not copy other bloggers. But put your own spin on articles with your own input and advice.
Content is king!
Start an email list
Right now my email list is only for a small niche within my site. I try to give them super valuable emails, just like I write super valuable content for my site.
They receive any freebies that I make for posts that I think they’ll want, and they get a ton of advice that I haven’t had a chance to put up on the blog yet.
I use Mailerlite for my email list right now because it is free and easy to use. I did use Mailchimp for a long time and I can confidently say Mailerlite is WAY easier and just had better features in general.
In the future, my goal is to make money from my email list. Right now though, it is just a place where I can connect with my readers and give them alllll the awesome things.
If you want to join my blogging email list, join below!
So where do I get my income from and how does it break down exactly? A mixture of ads, affiliates, and SOON my own products.
In my twelfth month this was my income break down
Mediavine ads– $1,847.97
Amazon affiliates– $361
Here is a graph that shows my income growth over time.
How much time do I spend on my blog?
In the beginning right after I bought the course that changed everything for me, I worked probably full 40 hour weeks while staying home with two children.
I found time anywhere I could. Mostly at night, nap time, and early mornings.
Now, I only work around 10 hours a week on a good week. With tailwind I don’t have to pin daily so really I focus on pin creation, post creation, and production creation.
What resources do I think are important enough to pay for?
If you read ANY of my other posts you know that I am SO frugal it’s not even funny. I hate spending money. I have fallen prey to REALLY crappy blogging products, so I take this section seriously.
SO, if I spend money on something know that it is actually worth it.
Canva for designing everything. (Use the free version first!)
Dare to Conquer courses and community.
Shortpixel for reducing my images.
Mailerlite for emailing (start with the free version!)
I have absolutely bought other things for my blog. But these are the only things that I would recommend people spending money on when you are trying to make things work.
Check out my post on how to start your blog without spending a ton of money here!
Are you trying to start a blog?
Comment below with any questions for me I’d be happy to answer, and I want you to let me know what you are blogging about!
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Saturday 27th of November 2021
You gave a lot of resources in this post THANK YOU! But All I’m wondering is…
Is Dare to Conquer good for anonymous writers as well? And do we have to find a specific niche as a writer to do well??
Wednesday 9th of March 2022
Hey Kianna! I'm actually not sure if Dare To Conquer is still available, if it is I think it's great for any business owner. But you wont get pitching type advice! You might look into people who teach specifically about ghost writing.
Darlene at SugarsBeach.com
Wednesday 31st of July 2019
I am a fellow "Dare to Conquer" lover. Do not know how that man manages to put out such a large quantity of amazing work!
Thank you for the income report! Always inspiring. :)
May I ask how many visitors or page views you're getting at the $1847K mark? Or maybe your RPM? That would probably give more accurate picture.
Right now I'm at 18k monthly sessions (SugarsBeach) so almost ready for MediaVine.
xo, Darlene p.s. Appreciate whatever you're willing to share with traffic.
Wednesday 31st of July 2019
Hi Darlene! SO happy you stopped by :) Love seeing a fellow DTCer haha. I had about 81K sessions at this point, I honestly do not remember what my RPM was. I would say around $18-$20? YOU ARE SOOO CLOSE to Mediavine! That was such a gamechanger for me. Keep working through the content in DTC and you'll for sure get there. Feel free to message me on Slack if you're on that!