Blog income report for my FIRST month of blogging!
So, the first month of my blogging career has gone by. Time to check out how much money I’ve made, right?
*checks out his spendings and incomes*
“Wait, what!? I’ve spent 50-times more money than I’ve made??? How did that happen?? God, d*amn it!!!!”
Alright, I’m just kidding (well, it actually is true), this is what I expected and it’s totally normal for a blog at the very beginning.
I decided to write this blog post, to tell and show everyone that has just started blogging, that it is okay to start slow and not make any money / get a lot of traffic to your blog right away. Because I know, how demotivating this can be, and I don’t want any of you bloggers (or any other type of website owners), to give up because of that, because it’s simply normal to not get ANYTHING in your first month of blogging – not thousands and thousands of dollars, like you see on every income report that you read, right?
Well, I am writing this post because of that + to be honest, because my girlfriend told me about 20 times up until now, to document all my expenses, so I have them under control. And I don’t want to get my girlfriend mad, so I might as well kill two birds with one stone.
Since I have a background of working in a digital marketing agency and have worked on A LOT of successful projects, including blogs, social media management, etc., I count myself as someone that knows what he’s doing, as far as blogging and marketing go. (Important to state the last part – in real-life, I don’t know what I’m doing MOST of the time. Just ask me to cook something, or do the laundry, and then you’ll see …)
And even though I know what I should be doing and know what I am doing, I’m still working hard, just to get 10 new users to my website, and make zero sales, every day.
And guess what – with all of that work that I’ve invested in, and with close to zero financial return, IT’S STILL WORTH IT. Let me explain why.
IN THIS BLOG POST, I WILL:
- Tell you everything I’ve done since I launched my blog.
- Show you my expenses that I’ve had up until now.
- Show you how much money I’ve made this far with my blog (spoiler alert – it’s 10 $).
- Show you my results – how much visitors do I get, how many followers do I have, how many people I have on my email newsletter, etc.
- Tell you, why it’s all worth it.
So, my dear friend, buckle up, and let’s go for a ride! (And when I say “go for a ride”, I mean “scroll down and read the text”.)
Alright, it’s been a month since I went live with my blog. When I posted it, I prepared and published 10 blog posts and had a couple of posts on the main social media profiles – Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Google Plus, but no real following or whatever.
Since then, in one month, I’ve done the following things:
- Wrote and published 9 new blog posts (well one post was in 5 parts, so you can also say that wrote and published 5 new blog posts). Of course, I also design cover images, FB, IG and Pinterest images for every one of those posts.
- Posted 30 photos on Instagram and worked hard on getting new followers – currently, I have 180 of them.
- Posted about 25 posts on Facebook, did a couple of smaller advertising campaigns, to test the market response, and gained 120 page likes that way.
- I created an email marketing automation campaign which currently consists out of 8 e-mails, so after anyone subscribes to my email list, they will automatically receive an e-mail a week for two months.
- I created and published two videos – one quick tutorial and for one I’ve made a video out of a blog post – I actually paid someone to put together a video on Fiverr.
- I’ve added a lot of new functionalities on my website:
- 2 different social media sharing plugins
- Amazon affiliate marketing
- Siteground affiliate marketing
- I tested posting on and getting traffic from Reddit.
- I have submitted about 10 blog posts to StumbleUpon and worked on building a network there.
- I’ve pinned 1336 pins on my Pinterest profile, about 15 of my pins that I’ve made myself, tested two tools for improving my Pinterest efforts, joined about 10 Pinterest groups. I currently have 51 followers there but do receive some traffic from there.
- I commented on about 25 other blogs.
- I’ve started communication with a lot of amazing bloggers from my niche and have gotten a mostly fantastic response.
I’ve also checked my numbers – how many visitors are on my site, etc… well, about every other second :))
So basically – I’ve done A LOT of things in my first month and an overall pretty happy with the results – even though the numbers are still not GREAT, the growth has been obvious, and most importantly, consistent.
How many hours did it take me to get all this done, you ask?
Well, about 100. That’s AFTER everything I did to publish my blog, which was … another 150 – 200 hours.
So yeah, it’s been a lot of work. But it’s a good kind of work, really enjoyable!
Income and Expenses Report
Okay okay, this is what you came here for, right? This is you right now:
So, from the moment that I started my blog, till now – 1 month – I’ve spent money on the following:
- Web host – Siteground: 247,42$
- I know it’s a lot, but I reaaaally thought this one through – as I explained HERE, I strongly believe that Siteground is the best web host for the price for every WordPress website, so I decided to commit to them for two years. Plus, they have great discounts when you sign-up for the hosting, so I bought their most advanced plan. Totally worth it.
- If you’re looking for a web host, you can check them out here: https://www.siteground.com/go/ttb
- Domain – GoDaddy: 19,67 $
Bought my domain and registered it for 2 years. Not necessary to register it for more than I year, but I still advise you to do it – you will feel more committed to the project, which might motivate you. Plus, the initial registration is usually cheaper than extending it later.
- Professional SEO tool – SERANKING: 155,92 $
- This one is probably the least necessary, but it can be very beneficial – it’s a GREAT SEO tool, that will make your SEO campaigns a little easier and will help you to get better results with SEO. Main features of the tool, that I decided are worth paying for, are tracking keyword rankings across different search engines, great On-site SEO grading tool, help with the keyword research, etc.
- I have to mention, you can get by with a way cheaper plan, but I also do SEO for a couple of other clients, that’s why this expense is a bit bigger, that it could be. I also purchased a 1-year plan, cause, in that case, you get some great discounts.
- So if you are looking for a tool, that will make your SEO a bit easier, this one is definitely one that you should check out – it has some GREAT features and it’s WAAAY cheaper than other comparable SEO tools! You can get it here: https://seranking.com
- Facebook ads: 27,46 $
- Just wanted to test the response of the public on social media with advertising. And I had pretty decent success – I managed to optimize my campaigns so I pay 0,15 $ per page like.
- Google AdWords: 30,09 $
- Just like with Facebook advertising, I wanted to see what I get for my money on Google AdWords. It wasn’t terrible, but right now, it wouldn’t be anything near profitable for me. Maybe, when I have my own product, but until then, too expensive.
- I did use a promo code at the beginning which will get me 70 $ bonus after I’ve spent first 30 $. So yaaay, free visitors! Let me know if you want to know how to get a promo code for yourself!
- Canva for work: 12,95 $
- The tool that I use for designing my images for blog and social media – really simple tool that allows you a fast creation of nice images. They have a free version, which is good most of the blogger, but I decided to pay for the paid version because it allows you to use some stock photo + you can resize images for various social media with one click! I wrote about this tool here: https://trytoblog.com/digital-marketing/how-to-create-simple-images-and-graphics-for-social-media-sharing-in-under-5-minutes/
- Video production on FIVERR: 11,22 $
- I decided to make a video out of THIS blog post – 10 reasons for starting a blog.
- I paid 11 $ to get that video done via Fiverr – pretty solid value!
- I received a simple, slideshow-style video, that I put on youtube so I can test how people respond to that
- Share of my blog post on Reddit: 6$
- I saw this promotion on Fiverr – someone with an established profile post a link to your post on Reddit and gets some other people to like it, so it could become trending and gain a lot of traffic. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen – I got like 4 people to my website. Lesson learned.
- By the way, if you don’t know what Reddit is, you might want to check it out – you can get a lot of highly-targeted traffic from it!
“Wait a second, are you telling me that I need to spend 500 $ to launch a blog???”
Don’t worry, not even close!:)
As you can see, most of the expenses that are up there, are not necessary. I did some advertising, which you do not need to do, I bought a professional SEO tool, which you don’t need to, I purchased the most expensive plan for web hosting, which you don’t need to, I bought it for 2 years, which you don’t need to. I also registered my domain for two years, which you don’t need either.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that those are worthy investments, but there’s no need for you to buy them. It will probably just take you a couple of hours of work more, to get the same results.
So yeah, I could reduce the expenses to about 50 $, but I have serious plans for my blog and I know that it’s good to make some bigger investments at the beginning – that way I gain traffic to my blog faster, I increase my following.
I also feel like now I HAVE TO make something out of it since I already invested 500 $ into it – that’s a lot of money for me, so I don’t plan to just throw it away.
And most importantly – I got more people on my website, therefore I also received feedback from more users, which allows me to better understand what I need to improve. Plus, additional motivation again, since I received some praise from those people.
Now, the thing that you’ve been waiting for:
INCOME EARNED BREAKDOWN:
So, in my first month of blogging, I had two channels through which I had a chance to make money:
- Amazon affiliate (I wrote about how to get free audio books through their Audible platform – https://trytoblog.com/entrepreneurship/how-to-get-3-audio-books-for-free-completely-legal-method-by-the-way/) – I get 5 $ for everyone that signs up for a free trial through my affiliate link.
- Siteground affiliate – It’s my web hosting company, that I decided to promote since I love their services (you can read more here: https://trytoblog.com/digital-marketing/best-wordpress-hosting-website-blog-2017/ ) + they offer a great affiliate program – for everyone that would sign-up for their hosting, I would receive 40 $. Pretty great.
How much did I expect to earn in my first month of blogging?
I’m not a pessimist, but I expected to earn exactly 0 $ in my first month of blogging. I was just always sure, that this thing takes time, that I probably need hundreds of daily visitors before I would actually make an affiliate sale. So, I was totally prepared to not make anything in the first couple of months of my blogging career.
In my first month of blogging, I earned 10,00 $!!!!!!
Hey, why are you looking at me like I shouldn’t be so happy about 10 $ !?
I know, I know, I actually spend 50x more than I earned. But you know what, I’m SUPER happy about that – I never imagined that I could actually earn real money blogging so fast!
How did I make my glorious 10 $?
I made two Amazon affiliate sales – two awesome persons signed up for a free Audible trial! So I got 5 $ for each.
One of them is actually a friend of mine, that I sent a link to my blog through a personal e-mail, but hey, that still counts! I didn’t ask him to do it, I simply informed him about my new blog and he decided to use the Audible trial by himself.
And I don’t know who the other person was, but whoever you were, THANK YOU! I owe you both a coffee!
But seriously, 10 $ that I earned through my blog, felt 10x better than anything that I’ve ever earned before! Projects, for which I spent less time on, and got paid 1000 $ or more, can’t compare to these 10 $.
Both sales actually happened in the first week of publishing my blog and they were really important to me – it showed me that I can actually make some money by simply giving out good information about something that I love and enjoy. Seriously amazing, such a motivation boost.
When I checked my affiliate earnings that day, I didn’t expect to see anything, and when I did, I almost started jumping around and doing backflips – I was that happy. I had to refresh the page 10x, to make sure it wasn’t a mistake – I really, really wasn’t expecting that!
I didn’t actually jump around and do backflips because I was in a cafe. So, yeah. And I also don’t know how to do a backflip, so there’s that.
Results from the first month of blogging
Sooooo. Up until now, I’ve invested about 230 – 300 hours of work and 500 $ into my blog. What did I get out of that?
- As I’ve said – 10 $ from Amazon affiliate sales. Best feeling eveeeeer.
- 3000 page views, from 1221 unique users. Yaaay, I’m super happy about that!
I have to mention, however, that I did receive about 500 users from Google AdWords -something called over delivery (they accidentally showed my ads to more people that they should, so I didn’t have to pay for it. That happened 2 days in a row, haha!)
- As you can see, a lot of the traffic was paid traffic, but towards the end of the month, I started gaining more and more consistent traffic from social media – Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.:
Social media traffic: (notice how I gained a ton of traffic from StumbleUpon – read this post till the end to learn how)
- I have 180 followers on Instagram, and have 3 images with over 100 likes already – very happy about this, I think this is great, depending on how “young” my Instagram profile is. I have to stay consistent with my activities there and I will hopefully attract a lot more followers very soon!
- I have 140 Facebook page likes – I actually had to pay for most of them, cost me about 15 cents for a page like, which is a pretty good price. The organic growth of my FB profile has been veeeery slow, however, I will have to kick that up a notch!
- I have 18 email subscribers. A half of those are my friends! 😀 But I’m okay with that – I know that will improve by itself, as I get more traffic to my website!
- Click-through-rate of my email marketing campaigns has been unbelievable – about 50 %!
- I have established a relationship with about 10 fellow bloggers and entrepreneurs – this is one of the best parts of blogging, you get to talk and work together with some of the most amazing people in the world! Seriously, the community that I’ve built so far has been super encouraging and kind to me, I love it!
What have I learned from the first month of blogging and why it is worth it.
So, financially, this project isn’t worth it for me for now. But even if I had to end the project now, I would still say that it was all worth it. Here’s why.
I learned SO MUCH. About blogging, about digital marketing, about how much work it takes to publish a project like this, and most importantly – about myself and my values.
Let me give you an example of the main reason why it was already worth all the effort, time and money. THE HIGHLIGHTS of my previous month of blogging have been messages, like this one, from an awesome and super-kind reader of my blog, that has decided to reach out to me, just to congratulate and to thank me:
“Hi! I just wanted to congratulate you on your first one hundred likes and say thank you for your page ? I’m not in the business but have been thinking about changing things career wise for some time now, started with some content and copywriting workshops and also online courses, I’m actually still struggling with the details of what it is I would love to do – I just wanted to say that I find your posts useful and motivating and, as somebody who is thinking about starting from scratch, I recognize your effort in building your brand and can relate to the excitement of your first 100 likes ?
Best of luck in your business!”
I can’t tell you how good it feels to get feedback like that. I can only show you:
Seriously, I received a couple of kind messages of people encouraging me or thanking me, and that by itself is worth those 250 hours of work and 500 $ that I’ve put in. I know, it’s cliche, but once it happens, you’ll understand.
It’s the biggest reason for why I blog and for why I advise you to blog as well.
Another reason for why I’m happy my results, is that I managed to get to know and talk with other bloggers, mostly by emailing them / interacting with them on social media and most of the bloggers are some of the most encouraging, positive and helpful people that you will ever come across.
I could go on and on, but you get my point – even though I lost much more money than I’ve made, it’s not about that. Providing value to people’s lives is what makes it worth it.
So I’m happy with my negative income report and I’m super excited to see where this blogging journey will lead me to. Feel free to follow along and thank you for reading:)