So how do new bloggers REALLY make money with their blog? While I had an easy time getting blog traffic, making money from blogging has honestly been more challenging than I thought it would be. Many bloggers make money from ads, affiliate sales, creating their own products, offering services, or by having an online shop. I did end up making over $358 in my third month, which I’m excited about since it’s tough making money as a newbie blogger.
Third Month Highlights
- 46,115 blog pageviews in month 3 (Dec. 2017)
- 98% of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest
- Over 2.4 MILLION Pinterest monthly views
- Dec. earnings: $358.71
Here are my 3rd-month stats from Google Analytics:
How I Got Over 46K blog pageviews With a 3 Mo Old Blog:
I spent so much time setting up my blog and learning about getting Pinterest traffic, I honestly haven’t done much to change my strategy since my first-month blogging, when I received over 10K blog pageviews.
My first-month blogging report was basically a 3500 word “10-page mini-ebook” FILLED with detailed tips on literally exactly what I’ve been doing to get blog traffic. I highly recommend you read that post! I’ve received tons of great feedback from others and about how much it’s helped them.
HOW my blog went from 10K blog pageviews to 29.6K in month 2 to over 46K in month 3:
- Upgrading to a Tailwind Tribes plan that let me have an unlimited number of Tribes in November truly helped me play around with them and find the best one for my blog.
- Holiday traffic–December is one of the peak traffic months and most of my seasonal and winter posts did well
- I keep trying to improve my Pinterest pins so readers will want to read my posts and not just pin it
- I keep working on Pinterest keywords to make my pins searchable
I have not changed my traffic strategy much since what I did in month 1 actually worked!
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!
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 big 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 and invest in new tools to help me grow each month, 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 of 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 the money that soon.
Here’s What I’m Using:
Host Gator — Setting up my blog was super easy through them, they have awesome customer support and they’re one of the fastest web hosts for bloggers. 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–$29/m0–I just started working on my email list at the end of my 3rd month and I already love ConvertKit! Not making collecting email addresses a priority was honestly a huge blogging mistake on my part, this is literally how most bloggers make the majority of their money–through their email lists, not their posts. I decided to start with the best email service company, simply because I had zero interest in having to learn how to use an email program more than once!
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!!
Milotree–$9/mo– Milotree creates a social media pop-up box for your blog that I truly attribute to my blog growth. I started with only 34 Pinterest followers and within 3 months, already have over 500! The other thing I love about Milotree is you can specify which social media you want them to display, whether it be just one or even 3! I only have Milotree including Pinterest on my social media pop-up.
The Society of Women Winning Online--$39/mo–This is Jen Snyder’s blogging small group that I pay a monthly fee to be in. While I figured out how to quickly get blog traffic, I honestly didn’t have the energy to figure out growing an email list, creating freebies for readers, and creating my own products on my own. I decided to join a small group instead of buying courses about these topics, and it’s one of the BEST blogging decisions I’ve made! Jen excels at all of these and she’s not only become my friend but I also truly consider her to be one of the most honest and caring women I’ve ever known. She’s here to serve others and will do whatever it takes to help you with your blog! The Society doors are closed until March, but you can get more info about her small group OR get on the waitlist here. Not only do you get constant input from Jen, but there are also tons of experts about different business topics in the group, we have a weekly video call, periodic expert talks, and we even have a book club! If you’ve ever wondered where people get blogging friends, this is how! I’m so thankful for this amazing group of ladies every single day <3
Pinteresting Strategies– I still LOVE this course and highly recommend this be the first ebook you purchase to help with getting traffic with Pinterest. It pulled everything related to Pinterest together for me in one inexpensive course! So many bloggers charge $150-$200+ for their Pinterest courses, this one is a STEAL not only for the price but for the value too.
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!
Traffic Transformation–by Lena Gott–21 strategies Lena used to grow her blog from 17K blog page views per month to over 400K in only 10 months! This is has been on my blogging radar to purchase, I picked it up earlier than anticipated since it was on sale at the time. The price is still very reasonable for how valuable Lena’s content is! What I love, is this tells you everything you need to be doing to get traffic in other areas BESIDES Pinterest! Within one week of focusing on one chapter of Lena’s book, my Google search engine traffic doubled! In 2018 I plan to go through literally every chapter and learn as much as I can from Lena.
*** Even if you can’t afford to buy her traffic course, she has a fabulous FREE traffic ebook too! **
3rd Month Blogging Income
My blog focus when I first started was to figure out how to get blog traffic, the more traffic you have, the more opportunities there might be to monetize your blog. In my third month I ended up making $358.71, most of this came from Google Adsense and the rest came from affiliate income.
Because of my December blog pageviews, I ended up qualifying for Mediavine, which is a better-paying ad network than Google Adsense! Id technically reached their minimum in month 2, but because I was so new, they asked me to see one more month of getting over 25,000 blog sessions. From the time Mediavine approves you, it takes about 4-5 weeks to get set up with their network and have ads installed on your blog.
Most ad companies and affiliates payout 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– $229.36!! I highly recommend you apply once you’ve hit 1000 pageviews. The payout the following month after you reach $100.
Amazon Associates– $52.90
Shareasale– $27.89– The majority of this came from Etsy, but also includes about $4 in Tailwind referral credit due to my posts about 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– $13.65– Shopstyle Collective partners with stores such as Nordstroms, Pier 1, Anthropologie, H&M, Target, etc., and you get paid 0.05 per CLICK. I only have Shopstyle links in 3 posts and they were lower-traffic posts, and while I’m still making a little bit of money. The bigger lifestyle bloggers use RewardStyle, but you have to apply to get accepted, and it’s competitive and tough. I had over 40,000 pageviews and still got turned down from RewardStyle. Shopstyle Collective is a good place to start since they accept everyone if you’re wanting to earn money by promoting stores other than Amazon and Etsy:)
Viglink– $1.62. 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. While I still like that it catches any affiliate links I missed or don’t have, it doesn’t make tons of money.
Pinteresting Strategies– $25.60–This was the affiliate payout for selling two books in December. While I love blogging ebooks and courses, there are not many I’ll recommend to readers. It really has to WOW me or I won’t be recommending to other bloggers!
Misc– $7.69 from a random trickle of other affiliates I’m playing around with.
What I’ll Do Differently in Month 4 (Jan 2018):
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.
2. Working on my email list. Again, not collecting email addresses 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. Start writing my first ebook! (Eeek! 1/31/18 update–Info about it is added at the bottom of this post!!)
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 page views 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 into 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!