So, first thing’s first.
I did not start blogging to make money. Yes I made the small investment to be self-hosted with iPage – but that was only because I knew that if I made a small financial commitment to this, I’d have at least some drive to keep it up.
I started blogging to put my focus and energy towards something positive and self growth. I terribly suffer from Major Depression, and am always looking for new outlets to live a better life.
(A few people have reached out for help to start their own blog, so I’ve made a super simple guide! If you’re interested in starting a blog, you can check out my post: The Ultimate Guide to Starting your Blog from Scratch)
I knew nothing about starting a blog when I wanted to start this journey.
- How I made $426.90 after 3 months of blogging – a follow-up to the Tell-All
- The Ultimate Guide to Starting your Blog from Scratch
I also have a bit of OCD – so I tend to hyper-focus and research the heck out of anything and everything. You know, how to get started, what do I need to do, how to get readers, how to reach more people, etc etc.
So I tried what everyone recommended (which was A LOT)
- Facebook groups
- What plugins to use
- How to promote
- Starting a subscriber list
- Watch webinars
- Do a free email course from other bloggers (..I’ve done a bunch)
- Make graphics
- Learn SEO
- Comment on everything
- etc etc
Now don’t get me wrong, it was all great advice. But overwhelming for someone brand spankin’ new.
A big thing in the blogging community is that a lot of established bloggers have began to monetize their blogs, even without trying! (And a lot with, well, a lot of trying) Many of them publish a monthly income report and show you step by step how they do it. I’ve then researched and read about a few of these bloggers; Alex and Lauren at Avocadu/Create and Go, and Lindsay and Bjork at Pinch of Yum. They are amazing, detailed bloggers, that are very much an inspiration to the blogging community.
They all post their income reports.
This isn’t one of them.
Well, if it isn’t an income report, then why am I telling you all of this? I’ve just had plenty of newer bloggers ask how many views I get a month and how much money I’ve been able to make. Because it’s not all unicorns and hearts and rainbows and stacks of money that other ‘seasoned’ bloggers will make you feel like like will happen instantly and easily.
- Hard work
I’ve researched a lot more about this monetization thing. All the bloggers posts seemed like they were screaming at me:
“Make sure you monetize your blog ASAP like I did! You don’t know what you’re missing! Learn from MEEEEE”
So I added a few affiliate programs to things I was already wanting to write about.
Tried to spread the word of my blog the best I could and kept checking my “earnings“.
And I realized, I made no affiliate sales.
I didn’t really focus on selling anything, even though I had links for that very possibility.
So where did I make this AWESOME huge amount of money?
My big whopping $12.42 was from Google Adsense.
I slapped a couple of ads here and there on my blog and with the amount of traffic I slowly built up, and made a couple cents and dollars along the way. Google Adsense wasn’t all that easy to join in the beginning unfortunately. You really had to have an established blog with content that they approved. When I first started my blog I applied right away (because that’s what another blogger suggested I do), I was denied almost immediately.
It’s okay. It wasn’t my main intention anyway. I turned my focus more towards my content, reaching out, and getting all over social media to get my blog out there. Also of course, if you’ve read some of my posts – my own mental health.
Obviously I’m no where near Avocadu and Pinch of Yum, as they’ve been blogging for years and created themselves an amazing following – but it’s definitely inspiring to know that it’s possible to get your voice heard and reach so many more people than you thought you ever could!
I think that’s all I’ve ever wanted. I wanted to have my voice heard, and have others along for the ride.
Which, hey, AWESOME NEWS! My blog post +10 things your Depressed friend wants you to Know has made it in the queue to be published on The Mighty AND Thought Catalog!! (YOU DON’T KNOW HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT THAT)
Making money at the same time is just a nice (awesome) bonus!
Also, I’ll be sure not to spend my whopping $12 all in one place. But just think of all the candy I can buy!
(…but, another sad reality is that GoogleAdsense has a minimum payout threshold of $100, so no candy for me. …Yet)
**I’m not writing this to deter you or put you down. Rather than to provide you a more realistic look at starting a blog and the money-making part of it. You CAN DO IT! Making money with your blog is possible! Just round back up to the top and remember, it takes a lot of hard work, time, investment, determination, and patience.
***UPDATE: It’s now 3 months later and I’ve done a little better! Check out my update here: How I made $426.90 after 3 months of blogging – a follow-up to the Tell-All
How did you make your first dollar blogging? Was it something you were aiming for or did it just happen?
*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.