This is my very first monthly blogging report, and because my blog isn’t about blogging, I went back and forth for two weeks about whether I should even write this post. What changed my mind is my honest desire to help other people! Some of the tips I learned before I launched and immediately afterwards, literally caused my blog traffic to skyrocket in a way I hadn’t imagined!
This post actually includes the steps I took to be successful, I truly want this to be something that genuinely helps you with your own blog!
A big part of my blog is about frugal living, how we’ve lived on one income for many years and personal finance. Blogging is definitely a way to earn money from home and that’s the other reason I’ve decided to write this post. Mom’s reading my posts on how to earn money at home, might be interested in blogging themselves!
Whether you’re feeling frustrated as a new blogger or looking to get started, here are the highlights of EXACTLY what helped me. I’m still learning myself, I’ve made tons of mistakes and am trying to be as efficient as possible so I can accomplish as much as possible with my blogging time.
While this is my first month report, I’m giving a sneak peek into November since I’m writing this mid month. I’m already averaging 830 blog page views each DAY for the month of November! That means if I can keep up this pace through November, I might end my second month with 25,000 pageviews.
**I highly suggest you get a cup of tea, a cozy blanket and go relax on the couch, this post is over 3,500 words!**
First Month Highlights
- Over 9,000 blog pageviews my first 30 days (9/28-10/27)
- 11,000 blog pageviews my first full calendar month (October 2017)
- Over 550,000 Pinterest monthly views
- Earnings: $38.18
- Pinterest followers: increased 34 to 86
The other important point to mention to readers, I’m blogging as a business and working on this adventure as much as possible 7 days/week to get it as profitable as I can as quickly as I can!
You CAN have a successful blog regardless of how much time you have. This isn’t a race or competition against other bloggers, and blogging is NOT a make money quick path. You can simply use these tips and implement them as you’re able to in your own blog strategy.
Here’s my first month stats from Google Analytics:
I launched the blog on September 28th at 10pm, so this is blog pageviews through October 27th, for the first 30 days. The month of October ended up being 11,000 pageviews!
I want to specify right now, this strategy can work for any niche! I’m a lifestyle/mom blog, I still don’t totally have my core niche established and my posts draw from my personal experiences and interests in 5-6 different areas. I wrote about all of my interests with the hope I’ll narrow it down based on what I’m enjoying and what readers are interested in.
I have successful posts in EVERY category I write about! Well, not travel, but that’s OK! I can’t focus on everything and honestly don’t travel enough to make it a main focus for my blog.
If you’re blogging to make money or wanting to start a blog that makes money, here’s exactly what I did to hit a high level of blog traffic the first month! 🙂
A Little About Me First
I’ve been a stay-at-home and side hustling mom for 16 years and my background is primarily in accounting, banking and helping non-profits. We’ve successfully lived on one income that entire time because we live well below our means and practice good financial habits. My hobbies and what I write about are frugal living, personal finance, decorating, DIY, cooking and travel.
My adult daughter, Madi, helps me part-time, but will be helping more as I expand to other social media channels like Instagram and Facebook. Madi and I are mother-daughter, best friends, and go everywhere travel buddies who also enjoy many similar hobbies like decorating, crafts and eating good food. We started a blog together since we’re extremely close and thought it’d be fun to collaborate on yet another aspect of our lives.
I’m currently able to work on our blog 30+ hours per week and am writing all of the posts related to frugal living, most decor/DIY posts, food, and blogging. Madi juggles 3 jobs and helps when she can by writing a periodic home decor post and editing posts.
Our goal within 1 year is to have the blog be a full-time income for myself and a part-time income for her.
The EXACT Reasons My Blog Was Successful in the Very First Month
I’m just jumping in to the MAIN reasons I was able to drive instant traffic to my blog in it’s very first month! Whatever level you’re currently at with your blog, you can jump right in and make instant changes to your strategy too. I started marketing my blog through Pinterest, since I’ve read in many places Pinterest drives 70-80%+ of the traffic for many established blogs. I do want to expand to other social media outlets, but I personally feel it’s important to learn one well instead of spreading myself thin and not really knowing how to be successful in them.
Before I launched:
- I read everything I could get my hands on about blogging and specifically Pinterest strategy starting two 2 months before I launched
- I wrote 34 blog posts
- There were 2-3 pin variations for 25 of the posts. I made these with PicMonkey, I also tried Canva but I personally found PicMonkey easier to use.
- My website was completely set up and looked like an established blog
**Having material to work with and creating HIGH quality engaging pins that make readers WANT to open your pins and actually READ your blog posts is critical!
After I launched:
Honestly, I floundered around the first few days, made a drastic change on day 3, took a couple of days off because I didn’t know what to do next, and then made a couple other major changes around days 12-14.
I’m still using the SAME strategy in my 2nd month too!
THE THINGS THAT LITERALLY HELPED ME THE MOST AFTER I LAUNCHED:
- Converting my Pinterest account to a business account (Day 1)
- Signing up for Tailwind and throwing all of my energy into figuring out Tailwind Tribes and joining tribes (Day 3)
- Devouring Pinteresting Strategies written by Carly from Mommy on Purpose and instantly adjusting my strategy based on her suggestions (Day 12)
- Applying for as many high quality group boards as I could related to my blog focus areas (Days 2-14 and still trying to find more!)
- Focusing on SEO (all month long and I spend 1 hr/day to keep improving old posts!)
I want to address each of these separately and give you a few pointers!
What Honestly Helped Me the MOST
I pay for some of these and others are just no-cost things you need to do if you’re hoping to blog for profit. I’ve actually paid for other products, courses and blogging add-ons, but I’m ONLY including what was crucial to helping me grow rapidly my first month. There’s others that are also very helpful and I’ll get to those in my month two report!
If you are blogging to make money, this is a business! You cannot start a successful business without investing at least a little money into it. My plan has me focusing on the long-term and I’m investing whatever I make the first year, back into my business to help it grow even more! 🙂
If you’re saying to yourself you can’t afford to spend anything on your blog, your options are: starting a blog as a hobby instead of a business, cutting out expenses in your monthly budget to help pay for the extra costs, or finding another way to make extra money to help pay for your blog expenses until it’s profitable. Here’s a few posts I wrote that might help you cut back on expenses or earn extra money:
- 10 Ways to Live Frugally and Still Live Well
- 16 Ways to Earn Money When You Need Cash Quickly
- 14 Fun Side Hustles That Aren’t on the Internet
- How I Made $1000/mo Flipping Toys 10 Hrs/Week
1. CONVERTING TO A PINTEREST BUSINESS ACCOUNT
You can either start a brand new Pinterest account OR you can convert a personal account. I converted my personal account with only 34 followers. For the boards that don’t relate to my blog, I made them private.
Here’s the link to Pinterest on how to convert to a Pinterest business account.
The benefits of creating a business account:
- You get access to Pinterest Analytics, which will help you understand how people are engaging with your blog content and Pins from your Pinterest account
- You get to enable rich pins, which pulls extra details from your post meta data, meaning your posts are more likely to get seen on Pinterest. Here’s more info about rich pins and how to add them.
- They have free widgets you can add to your blog to help you get more Pinterest followers
Tailwind is an automated pin scheduling tool for Pinterest, and is also an Official Pinterest Partner. Tailwind increases blog efficiently, will save you tons of time and schedules pins for you so you don’t have to watch the clock and constantly be pinning ALL DAY LONG.
It’s critical that you’re active on Pinterest! Tailwind helps you take care of that and spaces the pins out for you. I MOSTLY use Tailwind for scheduling content from my tribes (more on this below), and sometimes my own content. It’s a life saver when you’re on vacation and can automate your pins while you’re gone.
Board Booster is another popular scheduling tool, once I heard they weren’t an official Pinterest partner, I didn’t even use them or check into them. I’ve read in many private Facebook groups for bloggers there’s concern Pinterest has started lowering engagement (meaning your pins don’t get seen as often) using products that aren’t from one of their partners. This hasn’t been confirmed, but many bloggers are wondering if this is one of the reasons their traffic is lower than last year. Being that I’m blogging as a business, I only want to use products that will help me and not potentially be hurting me.
Here’s the link so you can try Tailwind and schedule up to 100 pins for free! I highly suggest you try it out to see if it helps your Pinterest strategy! I personally used up my 100 free pins in 3 days because I was pinning very aggressively. It was a no-brainer for me to upgrade to a paid service since I’m trying to create a profitable business. Again, my blog is only one part of my business strategy and I don’t have time to pin manually all day long.
3. TAILWIND TRIBES
Tailwind Tribes was a beta program this past year and just officially opened for everyone on November 1st! Tailwind Tribes is the MAIN reason I had TONS of blog traffic my first two weeks! Tribes has been such a game-changer to me as a brand new blog, I just wrote an entire post about the benefits of tribes! Make sure to go read that post after you read this one, because I go into details I’m not able to here.
Figuring out a system with Tailwind Tribes is honestly what gave the confidence to keep going after I wanted to quit 3 days after launching, plus it helped me feel like a successful blogger my very first week!
In October, which was my first full month, I recieved 972 re-shares by tribe members and 702 repins from those re-shares!
In first few days of blogging I only had 15-25 pageviews per day, instantly the day after I joined tribes I jumped up to 130-300 blog pageviews per day! I ONLY used tribes the first two weeks of blogging other than manually pinning a few pins of my own to Pinterest. I use my tribes daily and heavily, this is not something that would work for someone just adding a few pins to a few tribes a couple of times per week.
Tailwind Tribes are a feature of Tailwind that do NOT require you to be a paid member of Tailwind to use them. That means EVERYONE can still use tribes for free! Whether you decide to add it as a paid service is up to you after that! And yes, I am upgrading to a paid Tailwind Tribes option in December!
Tribes act like a Pinterest group board in that you upload pins to the Tribe, you re-pin 1-2 posts of other Tribe members in return (depending on the Tribe rules) and Tribe members can choose to pin your uploaded pin to one of their Pinterest boards. All Tribes have different rules, it’s important to follow the rules closely.
4. PINTERESTING STRATEGIES
Before I started blogging, I poured hours and hours of time (for two months!) into reading and absorbing everything I could about using Pinterest to market my blog. My theory was that I was smart enough to figure everything out and I wanted to accomplish that as cheaply as possible
As a hobby blogger, maybe that makes sense. But as someone blogging to make money, I do not recommend that! Getting step-by-step tutorials by experts, in my opinion, is the BEST path to success. Not only that, it saves you tons of time, reduces blogging stress, and probably makes you more money in the long run by having the resources at hand to help you so your time can be spent writing more posts or marketing content instead of researching what to do next.
Honestly, by day 10 of my launch, I was overwhelmed and stressed. I so badly wanted my blog to be successful, I was having great luck with Tailwind Tribes, but I wanted to figure out what else I needed to do to get to that next level.
I ended up purchasing the Ultimate Bloggers Toolkit, which is an amazing resource library worth by the top blogging experts worth over $5000 that costs less than $100. It’s only available during one week in October every year. Jen from Women Winning Online suggested that if I couldn’t afford to buy the Ultimate Bloggers Toolkit, to at least purchase PINTERESTING STRATEGIES. As a little side note, go join Jen’s blogging Facebook group, Women Winning Online. It’s one of my favorites!
WHY I HIGHLY RECOMMEND PINTERESTING STRATEGIES
Pinteresting Strategies, written by mom blogger, Carly from Mommy on Purpose, is the mastermind behind this amazing course! I devoured her entire course in one sitting on day 12 of my blog. Three things instantly stood out to me:
- I WASTED two months of time researching everything about successful Pinterest strategy when everything was included in her eBook.
- Even after spending two months reading for hours every day, she STILL had numerous tips I hadn’t heard of yet that were honestly mind-blowing. All of the posts I’d read but still had questions about, or things that didn’t quite make sense to me, Carly’s book answered! It pulls EVERYTHING together!
- Carly’s eBook is so in-depth and easy to follow, yet she ONLY charges $32! THAT IS A STEAL! She could easily be charging more for this and I’ve come across so many Pinterest strategy courses that charge well over $100. The fact that she’s only been blogging for a couple of years and was included in the Ultimate Bloggers Toolkit bundle with industry experts, says A LOT about the quality of her strategy.
5. JOINING PINTEREST GROUP BOARDS
Yes, group boards are still important! I kept reading many people were dropping group boards, but the key is you need to be in the RIGHT group boards to excel your blog growth. They’re honestly much harder to join than I anticipated and some of the groups I’ve applied for, didn’t respond back until 2-3 weeks later. If they don’t plan to accept you, they don’t reply at all.
I currently get accepted to about 2 group boards for every 10 I apply to, so keep applying and don’t give up! I was able to increase blog pageviews from 300 blog pageviews/day to an average of 820+/day by using the strategy in Pinteresting Strategies and applying them to group boards and my own boards, plus of course continuing with my Tailwind Tribes strategy! I honestly think I need to join more myself to reach my next goal of over 1000 blog pageviews/day.
6. IMPROVING SEO IN MY BLOG POSTS
SEO aka Search Engine Optimization and using the best descriptive and searchable terms for your posts, is SUPER IMPORTANT! You need to have more than pretty pins and high quality content. Your posts need to be searchable on the internet and on Pinterest!
I “tried” to do this as I wrote blog posts, but I found out weeks into it I wasn’t going about it the right way. Pinteresting Strategies covers all of this!
Every day for about 1 hour, I go back to old posts and work on SEO to improve the chances they’ll be seen on Pinterest.
Here’s What I’m Using for my Blog:
- 4/16/18- UPDATE- I switched to SiteGround! After blogging for a while, I’ve now learned SiteGround is TRULY the #1 hosting service for new bloggers. It’s super easy to start your blog with Siteground. You sign up for a plan, select your domain name, they have one button install of WordPress and then you just need to upload your theme.
- Genesis Framework by StudioPress
- Theme– Pretty by Pretty Darn Cute Designs. I wanted something fun and feminine that was compatible with the Genesis Framework.
- 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. However, unless you’re at the point where you can create opt-ins to give your readers freebies, very few people will probably give you their email address. I’m working on this more in month 2! I should have prioritized this more in month.
- PicMonkey – I wanted to like Canva 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 get to try PicMonkey free for one week with my link! You can also pay monthly for $4.99 after doing the one week trial. 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
- Pinteresting Strategies
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!
First Month Blogging Income
Making money in my very first month, was honestly not a goal. My focus was and still is on traffic, any amount I earn is considered a bonus! To be honest, I’m a pretty private person and debated whether I should include income in this report. I decided to include earnings just to show new bloggers that you can make at least a tiny bit immediately!
Most ad companies and affiliates pay out 30/60/90 days after it’s earned and some (like GoogleAdsense) don’t pay out until you’ve earned $100.
- Amazon Associates– $0. I signed up October 1st and made nothing, although I have lots of Amazon links in my posts. I need to work on this!
- Google Adsense– $37.21!! This was very unexpected and I didn’t get approved until almost my 2nd week of blogging. I highly recommend you apply once you’ve hit 1000 pageviews.
- Shareasale– $0.97. I HIGHLY suggest you sign up for Shareasale ASAP as a new blog. I didn’t add it until the very end of my first month and I got my first affiliate sale within 24 hours! I know it’s a tiny amount to start, but I’m still so excited and plan to keep improving!
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.
I encourage you to like my Pinterest account and check back early Nov. for updates on what I did and learned in month 2! 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 paveviews/day!
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!
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!
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!