This is my second monthly blogging report, I started blogging Sept. 28th, October 2017 was my first full month, so this report is for November 2017. And let me tell ya, November was a whirlwind month!!
I hadn’t originally planned on writing blogging reports since blogging isn’t really my niche, but it helps to keep track of what I did, what worked, what I need to keep working on and it’s a great way to write about my blogging journey. I also started blogging as a way to help other people and by sharing a monthly blogging report hopefully will help other new bloggers.
I have mixed feelings about telling other people how much I made, but will add it for now in the hope it shows readers how to make a little money from blogging. There’s so many different ways to make money with a blog and I experimented with multiple different ways this month!
Second Month Highlights
- Over 29,600 blog page views in my second month! (November 2017)
- Over 42K blog pageviews since I started blogging (Sept. 28th)
- Over 2.3 MILLION Pinterest monthly views
- 40% of the traffic came from Tailwind Tribes
- Nov. earnings: $170.32
- Pinterest followers: Went from 86 (on Oct 31) to 278
99% of the traffic comes from Pinterest and I only had 100-200 Pinterest followers!! You don’t need tons of followers to get your pins seen! It’s what you do with your content that matters!
Here’s my 2nd month stats from Google Analytics:
How I Went From 10K-29.6K blog page views in One Month:
**First of all, my 1st month report was basically a 3500 word “10 page ebook” FILLED with detailed tips! I’m not repeating all that, plus adding more content to turn this into a 6K+ word post 🙂
After reading my 2nd month report, I highly encourage you to go back to the beginning of my journey and read my first month report! I’d had many bloggers tell me it’s extremely thorough and helpful!
I have not changed my strategy much since what I did in month 1 actually worked!
In month two:
My pins started getting more traction! This is HUGE and I didn’t realize it until it happened to me. Pins (and posts) I assumed were duds, actually took off 3-4 weeks later!
I upgraded Tailwind Tribes and now have the Tribes Unlimited Plan. Over 40% of my blog traffic comes directly from Tailwind Tribes, so upgrading to get access to an unlimited number of tribes and being able to find the BEST ones was important to me. That means I received over 12K blog page views in November from Tailwind Tribes! If you want to learn more about tribes and learn how I’m getting traffic from tribes, be sure to read my detailed Tailwind Tribes post.
If you haven’t yet tried Tailwind, you can try it out 1 month free with my link. You do not need to have Tailwind’s scheduling service to be able to use the free (or paid) versions of Tailwind Tribes.
I started participating in more Facebook group shares. I’m honestly not a big fan of them, but I DO feel it helps get traffic, more followers and comments on posts. I use them to help get traffic on new blog posts and on days I need a traffic boost.
I signed up for Jen Snyder’s Society of Women Winning Online. This is a small, private Facebook group of 40+ ladies getting direct blog help from Jen that literally helps women grow their online blogs businesses, regardless on what stage you’re at or what your niche is.
Be sure to download my 10 page freebie on what YOU can do to learn the Secret to Finding Tailwind Tribes that Drive Blog Traffic!
Here’s what I’m getting from Jen’s group:
Instead of spending countless hours researching things and wasting valuable time, I simply post my question or problem in the group and I get the answer from Jen or one of the other members super fast! And no, public groups cannot compare to a private small group of women all helping and supporting each other. I still love her free Facebook group Women Winning Online, if you aren’t in it yet 🙂
I have access to Jen’s tech person, Renee Shupe, who specializes in WordPress, Traffic and SEO for bloggers–for no extra cost! I underestimated how much dealing with tech issues would eat into my blogging time. Renee has already helped me out personally with so many things! This has been another huge time saver for me. She is a blogging tech guru and does offer paid sessions to bloggers if you have more complex issues. She also has tons of great blogging tech tips on her website.
I have access to all of Jen’s courses for no extra cost, which is awesome since I LOVE her writing style and all of her courses! She also posts TONS of freebies to help her private group!
While I initially joined to get help from Jen, there are some very talented ladies in the group I learn from every single day!
Now that I have a good handle on getting traffic from Pinterest, Jen’s helping me take my blog to the next level! She’s teaching me how to write opt-ins to collect email addresses and showing me how to write my first ebook!
I’m currently working through her course, Fantastic Freebies, which is all about creating your first opt-in, landing pages, email services for bloggers, etc. What I love about Jen’s writing style is it helps me out in an encouraging step-by-step way that other courses don’t. I purchased the Ultimate Blogger’s Toolkit (which I still love!) but felt the courses related to creating your first opt-in offers were NOT as in depth as Jen’s and not written for a total novice who wants to follow a step-by-step plan. I highly recommend her ebook, Fantastic Freebies, if you’re also wanting to start your email list and not sure how to do it.
Connecting with a small group of bloggers is an awesome feeling! We also do a weekly video chat to get our questions answered and to learn from others, plus it’s a small, safe group of ladies you can share your struggles with
Jen’s Society doors are closed right now, but will open again in early 2018. If you might be interested, you can get on her waitlist. Feel free to email her to see if this group would be of benefit to you. She’ll be super honest about everything!
How to Pay for Blogging Expenses
Clearly I’ve been paying for blogging tools to help me grow my business, which means I’m technically not making a profit yet! I truly feel if you’re blogging as a business, investing money into the tools it’ll help you get there is super important. The majority of start-up businesses require putting some money into the business to get it off the ground, blogging isn’t any different.
I’m currently budgeting about $100/mo towards blogging expenses, if you don’t have extra money to put into your blog, here’s a few realistic solutions:
Cut back on spending until your blog is making money! We’ve been living on one income for over 16 years, so I have frugal living down! If you need ideas on ways to cut back on spending, read my post about 10 Ways to Live Well on One Income. I honestly think MOST people could cut out something for a couple months if they had to!
Rework your family budget! We’ve always had a little bit of fun money built into our budget to pay for little extras. Even when we were struggling financially, we still each had $50 built into our budget for myself and my husband to do whatever we wanted with. I’ve always had part-time side-hustles to help pay for extras like this or to help with little unexpected costs. Currently we have $100 for each of us to spend freely, and guess what? Instead of me buying decorations or new clothes, my $100 is currently covering blogging expenses!
Find easy ways to make extra money! Blogging for profit is a slow process, if I needed money for my family ASAP, I wouldn’t even be blogging (or would just be doing it as a hobby). I used to sell toys and kids items on eBay PT and easily made a $1,000 month, which I tell people exactly how to do here. Or maybe try some of the other suggestions I have in 14 Fun Ways to Earn Money That Aren’t on the Internet or 16 Ways to Realistically Make Money Quickly? I even highlight which options will pay you THIS WEEK if you honestly need money that soon.
Here’s What I’m Using:
Host Gator –This is my web hosting service and I love them so far! Setting up my blog was super easy though them, they have awesome customer support and they’re one of the fastest web hosts for bloggers. I highly recommend Host Gator! It literally took less than 15 minutes to set up and it added WordPress with one click of a button. If you don’t yet have a web host, you can get started with a basic Host Gator plan (which I still have), which averages out to $4/mo if you pay for the year at one time.
WordPress- powering over 22% of websites on the internet! I’m using the paid version of WordPress since I knew I wanted to have advertising on my blog! The free WordPress doesn’t allow ads.
Genesis Framework by StudioPress . From the Genesis Framework team “Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible WordPress websites and provides the secure and search engine optimized foundation…” I had this written down but not sure where I saw it, but think of Genesis like the car that drives your site, and a Genesis child theme as the paint and upgrades.
ConvertKit–I bought this immediately to start collecting email addresses, but to be honest I haven’t used this service like I should’ve been! I agree ConvertKit is a must for those trying to blog for profit and feel it’s critical to collect email address from readers ASAP. I’m still trying to work on collecting emails and opt-ins, and getting over 42K blog page views so far, but not making collecting email addresses a priority was honestly a huge blogging mistake on my part.
PicMonkey – I wanted to like Canva to create pins for Pinterest since it doesn’t have a monthly charge and there are free or paid template options. Frankly, it wasn’t as easy to use so I paid $33 for a year’s access to PicMonkey. You can also pay monthly for $4.99. I played around with PicMonkey before purchasing it and compared it to Canva. I suggest you do the same and go with whatever works best for you.
Tailwind – What I use to auto-schedule some of my own pins and all of my tribe members pins in Tailwind Tribes. And yes I’m repeating, 40% of my traffic comes from Tailwind Tribes!!
Pinteresting Strategies– I still LOVE this course and highly recommend this be the first ebook you purchase to help your blog. It pulled everything related to Pinterest together for me in one inexpensive book for only $32! You can read a lot more about why I recommend Pinteresting Strategies in my first month blogging report. I’m an ebook and blogging course addict, now that I’ve started paying for help from successful bloggers instead of wasting tons of time trying to figure things out myself!
2nd Month Blogging Income
My blog focus in my first two months was getting my posts seen on Pinterest and generating traffic. I was pleasantly surprised that I made over $170 in my second month! That included deleting Google Adsense from my blog for 5 days at the beginning of November because ads were being displayed in a weird way. It’s all fixed now!
While I don’t like how ads look on my blog, at this phase I honestly need the ad money to help pay for blogging expenses and to buy more blogging ebooks. I’d planned on focusing on affiliate income in month two, but because I was so close to qualifying for Mediavine, I kept traffic as my primary focus.
If you haven’t heard about Mediavine, you can apply for their ad network once you’ve hit 25K blog sessions (sessions not pageviews). I’ve heard they pay 4-10X what Google Adsense does! If I could make $400+/mo as a newer blog from ads to help my business get off the ground and pay blogging expenses, I’d be stoked! (Dec. sneak peek- I was able to apply for Mediavine on Dec 2nd!)
Most ad companies and affiliates pay out 30/60/90 days after it’s earned and some (like Google Adsense) don’t pay out until you’ve earned $100. This is what I’ve earned, not what’s been paid out to me yet.
Google Adsense– $130.89!! This was more than I expected and that’s even after only having it installed for a little more than 3 weeks in November. I highly recommend you apply once you’ve hit 1000 pageviews. They payout once you reach $100, so they’re supposed to be sending me $165.03 for Oct and Nov this week.
Amazon Associates– $22.02. I signed up October 1st and made nothing from Amazon my first 6 weeks, even with tons of Amazon links in my posts. I was worried about getting dropped from the Amazon Associates program so put more effort into figuring out how to monetize with Amazon and made over $20 in the last 2 weeks of Nov.
- Tips- Don’t just ONLY use text links like I did at first! I didn’t start making a trickle of money until I added Mobile Popover and made custom Native Shopping Ads. I made money on Amazon within 24 hours of making these changes!
- Here’s a post example of mine and how I’ve used Amazon’s Native Shopping Ads (and also Shopstyle Collective ads): Must See Decorating Ideas with Black & White Buffalo Check
- I still have SO much to learn and didn’t really make money from selling my suggestions (2 people bought pillows), but I did make over $20 by people clicking on my links and therefore getting a % of their shopping cart purchases!
Shareasale– $13.81– The majority of this came from Etsy, but also includes about $2 in Tailwind referral credit due to my post about how to use Tailwind Tribes. If you hope to blog for profit or make money from blogging affiliates, Shareasale is where you’ll find many of these including Tailwind, PicMonkey, StudioPress and the WordPress theme I used by Pretty Darn Cute. They also work with thousands of other companies! I made my first affiliate purchase within in my very first month within 24 hours of adding Shareasale, which was pretty cool 🙂
Shopstyle Collective– $3.50– Shopstyle Collective partners with stores such as Nordstroms, Pier 1, Anthropologie, H&M, etc. and you get paid 0.05 per CLICK. I only have Shopstyle links in 3 posts and they were lower traffic posts, so I didn’t promote them much since my Nov. focus was on getting traffic to qualify for Mediavine. This is an area I’d like to figure out! The bigger lifestyle bloggers use RewardStyle, but you have to apply to get accepted, and it’s competitive and tough. Shopstyle Collective is a good place to start since they accept everyone 🙂
Viglink– $0.05. I just started using Viglink at the end of November, and it basically catches any ad links you forget to put in your posts and you get the ad credit through them instead. Or, if you have product links in your post but aren’t an affiliate for them (and Viglink is), it’s a way to get affiliate credit with even more retailers or services. They also pay 0.05 per click like Shopstyle Collective. This is another area I need to work on!
What I’m Doing Differently in Month 3 (December):
1. Focusing on how to earn Affiliate Income- Since I already reached my goal of applying for Mediavine by hitting over 25K sessions in a 30 day period (application still pending), I’m shifting my focus to monetizing my blog. This could very well reduce my traffic for next month (hopefully not!), but that’s ok since I’m trying to create a profitable business and wanting to have other sources of income besides money from ads.
2. Working on my email list. Again, not collecting email address from the beginning of my journey was one of my biggest blogging mistakes! Most of the money bloggers make comes directly from their email list, not blog posts! I still recommend you just start with the best service, which is ConvertKit, if you’re serious about starting your blog as a business.
3. Creating opt-ins for my popular blog posts
4. Writing my first ebook!
Whew! Congratulations if you made it down this far! I truly want you to succeed with your blog too. Feel free to post questions below if you have any! Blogging isn’t my niche, but if I figure out major things that will help others in my first few months, I’ll gladly share to help other new bloggers.
Don’t Forget to download my 10 page freebie on what YOU can do to learn the Secret to Finding Tailwind Tribes that Drive Blog Traffic!
The Secrets to Tribes for Traffic is totally FREE and it’s packed with EVERYTHING you need to do to find the BEST Tribes for YOUR blog — step by step! Tribes have helped me get 85,000 pageviews in my first 90 days. Over 40% of my pageviews came from Tribes when I first started my blog, and this strategy can work for you, too!
You WANT to make money with your blog and possibly even work from home full-time, but YOU AREN’T GETTING THE BLOG TRAFFIC YOU NEED to start monetizing your business.
You already know using Pinterest is the key to getting massive amounts of blog traffic.
You know joining tons of high-quality Pinterest group boards are the key to getting your content seen on Pinterest, but group board owners aren’t adding you!
YOU CAN LEARN ALL OF MY TAILWIND TRIBES TIPS AND SECRETS in my TRIBES FOR TRAFFIC EBOOK for only $17! The Tribes for Traffic eBook includes: 42 pages of detailed help, my exact Tribes strategy, Tribes traffic tips for ANY level of blogger, tons of detailed examples to help you, a list of 25 AMAZING Tribes that have helped me and so much more!!
Tailwind Tribes have helped me get 85,000 pageviews in my first 90 days of blogging. Over 40% of my pageviews came directly from Tribes when I first started my blog, and this strategy can work for you, too! Even With a New Blog or NO Pinterest Followers!
I would love it if you followed me on Pinterest, add yourself to my email list and also hope you’ll check back early Jan. for updates on what I did and learned in month 3! I’m also working on content that includes my exact Tailwind Tribes strategy!
Don’t forget to check out my post completely about Tailwind Tribes and how using them gave me an INSTANT traffic jump by over 100 page views/day!
And to also read my first month blogging report, which goes in to much more detail than this one!
While my genuine hope is that you’ll have the success that I did, there’s no guarantee you’ll see the same results. Every blog is different, it can also vary by niche, how much time you have, and sometimes luck!