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Please note that my blog is not about blogging. Any blog related posts are purely here for transparency, to help you get a real picture of what blogging is like and to continue helping you become the best version of you that you can be!
“$3? Don’t you mean $3,000?”.
Ha! I wish!
Blogging is hard, like really hard. When I started a few weeks ago I was caught up in all of these huge success stories.
“Oh my god, $4,000 in your first month!? THAT COULD BE ME!”
Sure, it could have been, but the reality was so much different.
I have been working my butt off to get my blog off the ground and was rewarded with $3 (Which I will get to shortly).
This post is not going to be just a blog income report, it is also a report on programs I used as well as goals I have hit and miss.
The purpose is to give you a full picture of what the first month of blogging can look like – and that doesn’t simply mean giving you a blog income report!
What I did this month
This month was all about setting up and getting the ball rolling.
The aim was to produce as many posts as I could and get affiliate links up, in hopes that I would make some commission.
I set myself some basic goals and hit some, completely missed others!
Here are the goals I set out for myself this month. The left column is my goal, the right is the actual result (Blue means I hit the target – Yay! Red means I didn’t)
As you can see, this month I hit most of my goals. Unfortunately, that didn’t equal any kind of decent income.
This was my first month of blogging, I didn’t expect to be able to retire off it. That doesn’t mean I am not a teeny bit disappointed that I haven’t made any substantial money (Don’t lie, you also hope to be that one in a million too!)
The nitty-gritty of running a blog
Despite my missed targets, I keep trying to remind myself that this is my first blog and I have spent a majority of my time learning the ins and outs of blog life!
I said at the beginning of the post that blogging is hard, and now I am about to tell you why it’s hard and how many programs/sites I have had to get up and running – as well as learn from scratch!
(If you want to read more about my experience in the first month of blogging, you can check out the post “Things I wish I did before starting a blog“)
Here is a list of everything that I have invested my time and money into in the first month of blogging
I have been using WordPress to host my blog. It is super easy to use and (most importantly) free! Which is excellent for a new blogger to test the waters.
Although the limitations on what I can and can’t do has already appeared frustrating. But I will stick with it until I get my feet on the ground a bit more.
99cents for a domain? Hell yeah!
GoDaddy is where I have purchased and hold my domain. I have encountered a few issues with them already, but I will save that for another post!
I am currently still in my free trial for Tailwind, but I will definitely be keeping it! It has proved to be an amazing help when it comes to Pinterest. Within a few days, I noticed an immediate difference in my productivity and efficiency. I have been spending a lot less time pinning and more time focusing on my blog.
If you haven’t used Tailwind, I highly recommend you give it a go! (You can get a free trial here)
I put an ad up on Instagram to test the waters.
Here are the results – I spent $12 and got 1 follower and 9 store clicks.
How do I interpret those results? Well, I don’t! I quickly realised that my blog and Instagram was WAY too new to be worrying about ads.
The people who clicked on my site left me worrying “where do I send them next!?”. The answer was – I had nowhere else to send them!
So I highly recommend that you focus on content and brand building before you worry about this kind of stuff!
The design side of blogging
Man, nobody tells you just how much you need to design, create and edit! It is an exhausting and trying experience for those of us (like me!) who have next to no design experience!
Thankfully there are a few sites and tools that help make it all easier!
Canva is a-may-zing.
I find it really easy to use, navigate and they have a bunch of pre-loaded templates for you to utilise. This makes it ideal for those of us who are starting up and don’t know the first thing about what makes a good Pin!
I originally signed up for the free version, but am definitely looking on upgrading that.
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
GIMP is a free editing software, similar to Photoshop.
It is great for doing that in-depth editing and photo manipulation that you may need, beyond what Canva can offer.
GIMP is 100% free, but it has a giant learning curve if you are not already familiar with similar software.
When I started my blog, I thought I would have a fun time creating, shooting and editing my own stock photos. That idea lasted about a day.. it is hard work!
So that is where free stock photos come into it!
Unsplash is a great resource for free stock photos and ones that you can use for anything you want.
When looking for stock photos I recommend that you make sure to always read the terms and conditions first. Sometimes they claim it is free, then restrict you from using their images in most places. Frustrating!
The Infamous Mailing List
Mailing lists, they have come up in nearly every blog post and Pinterest pin that I have come across in my beginning stages.
I learned quickly that these are just as daunting as setting up your blog, but there are definitely programs and courses out there to get you started.
I decided to go with MailChimp, they are free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
They also have a super easy drag-and-drop system for creating emails.
Although, I do feel a bit overwhelmed learning their website. Creating automation and tags had me chasing my tail for a while.
So, great but another huge learning curve!
Shopify is what I have gone with to set up my first shop.
It is time-consuming, adding products, and again it is like setting up yet another blog! (They even have a built-in blog if you want to skip WordPress all together!)
It also isn’t the cheapest to maintain while I am not making money. So watch this space and we will see how it goes!
Affiliate programs are a way that a lot of bloggers seem to make a passive income, and I have noticed there are blog posts floating around about “how to make a passive income with no views”.
Err. “Good for you, not for me!” (Amy Poehler quote, read her book Yes Please! If you haven’t, it’s pretty great)
There are definitely methods out there that I am still working out and testing for myself, but I have definitely learned that you need to have:
- Views somewhere, if nobody sets eyes on your link – how will they ever click it?
- You need to have a place to put your links (blog posts, Pinterest etc); and
- Don’t sign up for Amazon unless you have one of these two things! They have a timeframe of 180 days that you have to make a sale, otherwise, it’s bye-bye Amazon!
Now let’s look at the money side of all of these programs
Now that we have gone through all of the programs behind setting up my first blog (woo). I am going to tell you how much money I have actually invested in my first month. (After all, this is a blog income report)
To make it much easier to look at, without bombarding you with text and numbers, you can see all of my fees, costs and income
Not overly pretty, is it?
That’s okay! Let’s go back to my opening paragraph – blogging isn’t easy.
Let’s look at it a bit deeper.
Yep, I technically made $3. But that was before fees (Shopify) and not including any of my costs in setting up and maintaining various parts of my growth into the blogging world.
So even though I made a sale (btw, it was a circular ruler – great for those who are into journalling and bullet journals!) I lost $0.39 of that to fees, and I spent nearly $55 on my costs.
Meaning I actually walked away with no profit for my first month of blogging.
How I feel about my -$52.02
No really, I feel great.
In the last month, I have spent most of my time learning, creating, writing, setting up and networking (I have met some amazing fellow bloggers and business owners!).
All of this is going towards my business goals of helping the world be the best versions of themselves and I know that the first 6-12 months isn’t going to be as easy as glorified Pins lead me to believe.
It is absolutely okay to not get rich quick. That is the reality of life.
Hard work and consistency is where your focus needs to be.
So stop reading those “get quick rich” posts and start making some amazing content!
I know you can, you know you can – so what are you waiting for!?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog income report and all of the bits and pieces that came along with it!
Are you looking at starting a blog or have you just started one?
Let me know how it is going in the comments below!