Hey, darling! I’m so super excited you are here because it means you are ready to make a living doing what you love.
Maybe you’ve been blogging for a few months but you are still trying to figure out the ropes. Or you are about to start your own blog to make money and finally quit your soul-sucking job (btw, my tutorial makes it super easy to start your own blog for only $2.95 per month + I prepared an awesome bonus just for you).
My mission with this blog is to help women get past the overwhelm of starting a blogging biz and make a living pursuing their dreams. And below I’m going to tell you how this blog turned a profit in the first month of its existence so you can do it too.
Full disclosure ahead, this is not my first blogging biz.
I come from humble beginnings as a very inconsistent hobby blogger who knew nothing about making money online.
When I FINALLY figured out blogging, I pulled the plug on my hobby blog, started from scratch and quickly worked my way towards a full-time income.
I know what it’s like to be a creative, ambitious, and passionate woman who feels that she is supposed to do something bigger and amazing with her life.
But I also know the challenges of starting and running a business, including the fears, overwhelm, confusion, and blocks that entrepreneurs face.
I started this blog last month because I want to share my freshly squeezed yet tried and tested strategies with you. I know you are busy and want a blueprint that WORKS and SAVES you time.
If you don’t have a blog yet and you are interested in starting one, I wrote a step-by-step tutorial to help you create a blog quickly and cheaply, starting at only $2.95 per month. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free domain (a $15 value) when you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting. Plus, I’ll send you my 20+ pages blog planner (a $20 value) as a bonus for using my tutorial to start your blog and setting up your hosting via any of the Bluehost links in the article.
Let me make it crystal clear though. Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme.
But if your goal is to spend quality time with your kids after school every day or be able to buy a plane ticket without having to ask your boss for permission, oh, that is SO doable!
To be honest, I am tired of hearing about $400K product launches and bloggers making $60K per month from affiliate sales.
Those bloggers have been around for years and they are few and far in between.
Reading those income reports might give you a spike in motivation. But if you are just starting, it won’t be long until you plunge into the abyss of misery and self-doubt.
I know for a fact that for most of you blogging isn’t about 6-figure launches. It’s about making a full-time income so you can spend more time with your family.
I want you to take the what if I don’t have what it takes attitude and stomp on it real hard.Find out the SECRET SAUCE to launching a profitable blog. #startuplife #incomereportClick To Tweet
The truth is, publishing $100 income reports is not that much fun. Most bloggers wait until they become more established and their blogs take off before they publish their first income report.
But how did they make the first few bucks? What strategies did they use? And how did they go from writing their first post to their first $1K?
This is exactly what I want to cover here.
Because following the advice of all those mammoth bloggers that have 500,000 page views per month, an email list of 250,000 people they’ve built over the past 10 years and a team of 10, doesn’t apply to you. And I’m not one of them either.
We all start somewhere.
But why not set a reasonable and achievable goal?
What about reaching $1K in the first six months and a full-time income in twelve?
You CAN be making a full-time income in less than a year with your blogging biz if you put in the work and use the right strategies.
And that’s exactly my GOAL for this blog.
So let’s take a look at the numbers. I officially launched this blog on the 1st of May.
MAY 2017 BLOG STATS:
Number of blog posts: 5
Email subscribers: 152
Facebook group: 948 members
Pinterest: 2,679 followers
MAY INCOME REPORT:
Creative Market: $25.96
Bluehost: $106.20 (domain name + 3-year hosting)
Mailerlite: $0 (Mailerlite is free up to 1,000 subscribers)
Kadence Themes: $0 (I’ve been using the free version so far, although I see myself going premium in the future. I just love them!)
As you can see from my own expenses, starting a blog is SUPER affordable. To be honest, all you really need to start is a domain and web hosting. And when you start your blog with Bluehost, your domain is free for the first year, which means even lower start-up costs. Hooray!
On the other hand, if you’ve been blogging on WordPress.com and want to get serious about earning a living online, I encourage you to read my article about all the reasons why you should change to self-hosted WordPress.org and how to do it.
The only numbers I care about (and so should you)
I used to be a SAC (Serial Analytics Checker, lol). But the truth is unless you want to make money using some kind of pay-per-view advertising, those numbers are irrelevant.
I know bloggers who get 150,000 page views per month and make less than $150 and bloggers who get 30,000 page views per month and make $3,000. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be the latter.
When it comes to blogging for profit, there are only two types of numbers that matter:
- Conversion from traffic to subscribers
- Conversion from subscribers to customers
Don’t get me wrong. Traffic is great, but ONLY if it’s high-quality targeted traffic. Somebody who makes a quick 2-second pit stop on your blog is NOT getting you any closer to your dream lifestyle and goals.
I’m done chasing the wrong numbers. Even with 2,000 page views, I still managed to cover my hosting expenses for the next 3 years and turn a profit in my first month of blogging.
Successful blogging is not about what you can ADD to grow your business and being ALL over the place. It’s about figuring out what you can strip away so you can do more of what actually WORKS.Successful blogging isn't about doing EVERYTHING. It's about doing more of what actually WORKS.Click To Tweet
How I got 152 email subscribers in one month
Can you believe how MUCH pressure there is to GROW? Grow your traffic, grow your email list, grow your following.
What about CONNECTION?
There’s a HUGE difference between building a list of random subscribers and building an email list of soon-to-be buyers.
It’s FAR better to have a list of 100 people who are GENUINELY interested in you and your products than to have 10,000 emails from people who don’t even know who you are.
I signed up for a MailerLite free account because I really wanted to keep the costs of starting this blog to a minimum. I love MailerLite and they are free up to 1,000 subscribers. Plus they give you access to all their features right from the very beginning.
MailerLite is probably the best email marketing platform to start on because they are so easy to use.
Lead magnets that work
This month I launched 2 lead magnets.
- A 3-page blog planner. The pages are actually samples from the paid version of my planner. I also created a landing page that is converting at a crazy 68% rate.
- From Fog to Blog – a 6-day free email course that walks you through the first steps of blogging. The landing page for the course converts at 19% and this is a pretty good conversion rate as well.
I also added a popup form and an embed form, but those convert at under 8%.
Why is growing a list so darn important?
I got a few questions from people asking when it’s the best time to start an email list. Honestly? Yesterday! But seriously now, I cannot stress enough on the importance of starting an email list from day ONE and here’s why:
- Your list is yours. Google can (and will) change their algorithm anytime. Social networks come and go. Remember MySpace? Facebook and Instagram constantly change their algorithm as the companies grow and move into paid content. But when someone gives you access to their inbox, you have their undivided attention.
- It’s the easiest way to build trust. A gazillion page views per month and a million followers on Instagram are nothing but numbers. And you can’t build a relationship with a number.
- Email is the most affordable marketing option. Selling to your email subscribers has a learning curve of its own, but it comes at a fraction of the cost of running a Facebook ad campaign.
My social media strategy
I’m so tired of this you have to be ALL and do it ALL if you want to be successful online mentality. In fact, I’ve found the opposite to be true.
I’m creating a strategy that aims for maximum impact without spreading myself too thin. A strategy that doesn’t require me to run in circles like a headless chicken EVERY WAKING MOMENT.
Again, social media is not about the number of followers you have but, ding, ding, about making meaningful connections (it’s called social media, hello!?).
So for the time being, I’ll only be active on Pinterest and in a select number of Facebook groups.
I started the month with about 2,400 Pinterest followers and this is the only help I brought from my old blogging life.
However, being successful on Pinterest is less related to the number of followers you have and more to the quality of the Pinterest group boards you are a part of.
That’s why I highly recommend you find group boards in your niche and start joining them asap. Pinterest is maybe the only social network where you can get amazing results without having a large following of your own.
I joined several new group boards this month, but I cannot say I spent much time on Pinterest.
Blog + Biz Babes Facebook group
Instead, I poured all my energy into growing my Facebook group and getting to know everybody.
At the end of April, Blog + Biz Babes was a tiny group of about 100 members. I actually started this group last year but soon abandoned it.
When I revived it and renamed it in April, I inevitably lost a few members.
However, the group has been growing lightning fast and I am incredibly proud and grateful to be the mother duck of this community of fabulous women and entrepreneurs.
I run a tight ship when it comes to spam and I think this is one of the reasons I get engagement rates WAY above average.
If you want to join the group, click here.
By now it must be obvious to you that I believe less is more. Gone are the days when bloggers updated their blogs daily. Slow blogging is all about posting BETTER content, LESS often.
I don’t have the TIME to write crappy content that doesn’t convert. And I KNOW that neither have you.
I only plan to post 2 new blog posts per month.
I launched this blog with 4 articles:
- One about how to change web hosting providers, since I did that recently for one of my blogs
- A Marie Kondo inspired post on decluttering and organizing your blog (loved her book SO much!)
- A how to start a blog tutorial
- And a post packed full of productivity tips for bloggers
During the month of May, I only published one article about the top things new bloggers should take care of before they launch their blog.
I like to write 2,000+ word articles that serve a PURPOSE and help solve a problem.
But I also have a life and I intend to live it.
Okay, that kind of covers the first month and my blogging philosophy…
Next month’s goals
I’ve already started working on a paid affiliate marketing course and hope to launch it in June.
The only two ways I plan to monetize this blog is by selling my own products/services and promoting a select few affiliate partners.
I don’t believe plastering blogs with cheap ads is a lucrative business. Unless you have 10 million page views per month. Which let’s be honest. NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.
A big chunk of my first-month income actually came from affiliate marketing ($225,96 to be precise). Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to monetize a blog, especially when you are just beginning and don’t have your own products.
If you are new to blogging and affiliate marketing, I highly recommend you read my article on affiliate marketing for beginners. There I talk more about my favorite affiliate programs and how to track everything so you’ll never feel overwhelmed ever again.
Next month, I also want to step up my Pinterest game.
And of course, top May’s income.
That’s pretty much it.
Happy blogging, darlings!