Last updated on August 3rd, 2018 at 06:29 am
Most of us start our blogs because we’re working towards a better future. Before starting our blogs, we usually go to the Internet and type in “how much money can you make blogging”.
You’re not alone. I’ve done it countless times when I started my very first blog. Most of us find it hard to believe that it’s possible to earn a part time or full-time living through our blogs.
Yet, there are several bloggers who make a great living. Then there are blogger’s who don’t make a penny.
So what’s the difference? Well, I’ll tell you what I think it is and what I’ve personally experienced in my first year of blogging with this blog.
Then I’ll also share what I think is the best way for you to make money on your own blog.
No, I won’t tell you to start adding display ads to your blog. In fact, what I share with you will help you earn from your blog without using Google Adsense.
In fact, I think that it’s easier to earn money with your own product or service. You can also earn good profits if you join the right affiliate programs.
Related: How to Sign Up for Google Adsense
As you know, I am in the process of moving away from my freelancing gig and moving more towards passive income streams. Yes, I know there’s really no such thing as passive income without any work.
I started this blog because I am tired of trading hours for dollars. I figured why not share my personal experience and basic WordPress knowledge with you.
Plus if I can help you start, grow and monetize your own blog then my goal is accomplished. Now I am still working towards turning this blog into a full-time income. You can see what I am doing to grow this blog by reading my monthly updates.
Is It Really Possible To Make Money From Your Blog
October 6th of 2017 I reached my first-year blog anniversary. I made a lot of mistakes and even shared what you should expect in your first year, based on my personal experience.
The great thing is that it doesn’t cost a lot to start a self-hosted blog. In fact, you can get started today and NOT spend anything except for hosting a domain.
If you’ve never worked with WordPress, you may struggle with the techie stuff. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with my free 7 Day WordPress Course.
Once you start a blog, you’ll quickly realize that it’s not the techie stuff that has you confused and frustrated. Nope, it’s going to be the time that it takes you to grow your blog.
Growing A Blog Is Hard Work
Look, I know that you get all excited every time you read an income report. It’s easy to fall into the trap thinking that all you have to do is throw up some posts and voila, the money starts rolling in.
I mean who wouldn’t want that? I would.
No one wants to be told, if you become a blogger, you better be prepared to work your ass off. And you also need to realize that you may not make any money your first year.
I know that some bloggers are fortunate to make money in their first year. Heck, I even made some with this blog. However, the amount of money that I’ve made is nothing to brag about.
In fact, I will tell you that I’ve spent a lot more money on my blog that I’ve earned. Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend so much money on your blog.
I just invested in courses and tools that would make my life easier. I’d rather invest in my online education than spend years trying to figure things out on my own.
How Much Money Can You Make Blogging
Honestly, I don’t really know how much money you’ll make. The great news is that unlike a job, there is no ceiling on the amount of money you can make.
All you have to do is take a look around and see the results that some people share on their income reports. You’ll notice that bloggers in all different niches make different amounts of money.
So really, it just comes down to how you monetize your blog and whether or not you stick with it.
I know that it’s so easy to believe that you’ll get rich quickly, especially, if you spent an hour reading income reports from successful blogs.
But if you peel back the layers and really dig into the blogger’s story. It probably won’t be hard to read how about how hard they struggled at the beginning to grow their blog.
Yes, some bloggers have quick success, but that’s NOT the norm. It takes time to turn a blog from hobby into a successful business.
What Should I Expect The First Year
I wish I could tell you what you should expect the first year. The best thing I can tell you is to read this post and evaluate your own results.
It’s impossible to tell you what your blog will look like the first year. Unfortunately, we all have different skills. Some of us learn faster than others.
Some of us, it takes us a while to grasp how to use social media effectively. Many of us struggle with email list building.
We’ve all got our strengths and weaknesses. The great thing is that with time and practice you can learn how to create a profitable blog.
When I started This Blog
I knew nothing about social media. I didn’t even use it for my personal life.
So using it to help me grow this blog has been a huge challenge. I had no clue what I was doing, sometimes I still feel like that.
Everyone kept saying Pinterest was the easiest traffic for new bloggers. I figured I needed traffic for my blog, so I created an account.
When I started using it, I was clueless. I didn’t even know that the images had to be a certain size. But I kept at it, even though I wasn’t seeing any results.
Now, Pinterest is my biggest traffic referrer. This Pinterest course helped me lay the foundation to make the most of Pinterest.
However, just like anything else, I’ve been testing and tweaking things to see if I can take my Pinterest knowledge further. If you’re serious about growing your blog. It’s important to keep educating yourself so you can improve as a blogger.
Like everything else in my blogging business, it’s taken me some time to learn how to do things.
Social media may come easy for you. Maybe you struggle with the techie side of WordPress? Or maybe you didn’t struggle your first year with your blog and you’re now blogging full-time.
If so, that’s awesome.
However, that isn’t usually the norm. Most new bloggers have to go through their learning curves, and we’re all different.
The best thing that I can do is tell you what I’ve experienced during my short time blogging. Of course, my experience will look totally different than yours.
Maybe you’ll experience faster results than I have. I hope you do 🙂
Regardless, you can’t compare your results to mine or anyone else’s. You’re going to have to create your own path.
Sure you can find successful mentors who will help you along the way. But you’ll need to put in the grind and hard work.
Related: How to Deal With Blogger Comparison
What I Accomplished My First Year
At the time of this writing (August 16, 2017) I am still not earning a full-time income. Yes, I write my blog posts way in advance.
That’s one of the things that I’ve learned from my first year blogging. I create a content editorial calendar that makes my life easier.
I always write my blog posts 2-3 months in advance. Hopefully, I’ll be able to maintain this schedule?
This definitely makes it easier for me to not have to worry about life getting in the way.
During the first year, I was lucky enough to make a little bit of money from my blog.
If I was a brick and mortar business, I would probably have to shut down because I was in the negative.
However, I am happy that I at least made some money. This just shows me that it is possible to make money blogging.
Getting More Comfortable With Social Media
While I am nowhere near to being a social media expert, I can honestly say that I feel more comfortable with it. I am sure that there’s still a lot to learn.
Right now, I love Pinterest. I’ve finally figured out how to start using Pinterest Analytics to help me improve my pinning strategy.
One of the things that I do on Pinterest is I schedule all my pins and other people’s pins in advance. This allows me to continue doing other things for my blog. Plus it helps me dig into learning Pinterest and using what I learn to grow more.
I know that it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Tailwind and Board Booster. They definitely make my life a lot easier.
Reaching Out and Networking
This is an area that can definitely use improvement. I am working on it and will continue to work on it as I keep growing my blog.
I’ve reached out to several bloggers for guest posting opportunities. Some of them have ignored me, some have given me the opportunity to post on their blog.
I know that I should’ve taken the time to land more guest posting opportunities. It’s easy to look back and say what I did wrong.
I’m not going to do that. Instead, I am going to celebrate the wins that I did make.
In the past with my other blogs, I would’ve never reached out for guest posting opportunities. Instead, I would’ve just kept pumping out content on my own blog and not worried about it.
My YouTube Channel
I stepped up my game and have stuck to uploading a new video every Wednesday and my channel is growing. I use the Blue Yeti Microphone for recording all my videos, I love it.
Personally, I love recording my videos. Although, it’s taking a while for my YouTube channel to grow, it’s nice to see the numbers increasing slowly.
I’ve now gotten to point where I am doing a little promotion for my videos. Not a lot, but I have been pinning them to Pinterest.
Created My Ebook
Three months after starting my blog, I decided to create my Ebook. If you haven’t seen my ebook, you can check it out here.
I truly believe that everyone should create an Ebook. It’s a great way to get people to buy from you and see that you’re an expert.
You’re probably thinking that you don’t have it in you to create an Ebook. However, you’d be wrong.
If you’ve been blogging for awhile and you create content for your blog on a regular basis. You can create an Ebook.
Heck, a lot of bloggers have used some of their existing content and created an Ebook. I personally didn’t do that, although I should’ve, it would’ve been easier.
The hardest part is deciding how you want to sell your Ebook. I use Easy Digital Downloads to sell mine.
If you’re like me, you’ll be creating your ebook on a Mac. One of the issues I ran into was making my links clickable on the PDF.
For some reason, none of the links on my ebook were clickable. No matter what I did I couldn’t get them to be clickable until I read this article.
Learning Google Analytics
I know that I sound like I know how to do all the techie stuff when it comes to WordPress. However, that wasn’t always the case.
There are still some things that I can’t do. However, I don’t let that stop me. It’s probably this same mentality that has allowed me to create my WordPress freelance business.
Let Me Tell You A Little Story
When it came to offering my WordPress skills as a freelancer, it took a long time. I never thought I was good enough.
In fact, it took me several years to get comfortable to call myself a freelancer.
I have a friend who owned a printing business and she would refer people to me. She thought I was that good.
So whenever someone came to me, I felt like a fraud. Especially, if they needed me to do something that I didn’t know.
But you know what, I didn’t let that stop me. I Googled what I needed to know and I’d get the job done.
Yes, I did charge them. Even though I didn’t know how to solve their problem right then and there. I did figure it out with the help of Google 🙂
The moral of the story is that you don’t have to know everything. You just have to be willing to learn and invest in your education and before you know it you’re going to create a blog that does make money.
Find Out What’s Working
Google Analytics has never come easily to me. With my last blogs, I never paid attention to anything.
I did put the code on my blog, after all, that’s the easy part. If you still haven’t set up your Analytics, here’s a tutorial that will walk you through step-by-step.
Learning how to read my stats and pay attention to what my readers wanted, was something that I had to learn how to do.
I had to come to grips that even though this is my blog. I am NOT writing the content for myself. The purpose of my blog is to help my readers.
So I try to help my readers by sharing content that will help them start, grow and monetize their own blogs. The best way I can do that is by sharing content that helps them solve problems.
Follow Successful Blogs In Your Niche
Every niche and blog is different, what works for some will not necessarily work for you. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your research to find out what other blogger’s in your niche are doing.
Take the time to find out:
- How are they making money?
- What type of content are they writing and is actually getting shared?
- Are they writing sponsored posts? If so which companies are they reaching out to?
- Is most of their income coming from digital products or affiliate links?
- How many revenue streams are they using?
- What type of lead magnets are helping them grow their email lists? Which plugin are they using to collect email addresses?
- How long are their blog posts?
I could literally go on and on for things that you should research on successful blogs in your niche. You get the idea.
If you’re just starting a blog today, I highly recommend finding out what type of content works best in your niche. I’ve just recently started doing this and I wish I would’ve done it sooner.
I ended up wasting a year writing content that wasn’t getting a lot of shares. Not to mention that my content was written based around keywords that were too competitive for me to rank on the first page of Google.
Don’t make the same mistake that I made, make sure that you’re taking the time to find out what works in your niche.
Growing My Email List
This is the first time that I’ve actually taken my email list seriously. In the past, I paid for a year of GetResponse and didn’t do anything with my list.
I make it a point to email my list every Friday. I treat them like gold and don’t look at my subscribers as money.
Instead, I really want to help them. I know what it’s like to want to create a passive income lifestyle. It’s what gets me up in the mornings and drives me to work hard on building my business.
I have no doubt that my dreams will come true, as long as I don’t quit like I have in the past.
Make Money With Your Blog
Now you’re probably thinking, what’s the best way to make money with your WordPress blog? There are so many ways to monetize a blog.
I’ve personally found that affiliate marketing is the easiest way for new bloggers to make money. You don’t have to worry about creating a product, you’re just recommending something. (don’t recommend the product if you have never used it.)
What seems to be working for me is sharing my experience. I’ve found that the more I. help people, the more money I make.
So make it a point to help as many people as you can. If you come from that mentality, I have no doubt that you’ll make money from your own blog.
Final Take Away
My one year story will be totally different than yours. Like I said, we all learn at our own pace. I come from a background of where I’ve had multiple blogs and failed.
I’ve worked with WordPress for over 8 years, so the techie stuff is easy for me. However, I’ve never stuck with a blog long enough to see it grow.
I’d love to give you a step-by-step plan that will help you take your blog from zero to profitable. However, there’s no such thing.
You’re going to have to keep working hard and finding out what works for your blog. The important thing to remember is that if you can help people solve their problems, then you’ll be well on your way to learning how to make money with your blog.
Hopefully, this answered your question of “what’s possible with blogging.”
How much you make is totally up to you. Don’t compare yourself to others, because it really doesn’t matter what they make.
Their success or lack of success does not equal what you’ll be able to accomplish with your blog.
Everything I am doing to grow this blog is new to me. Therefore, it’s taking me some time to learn how to effectively grow it.
I’m not ashamed at what I’ve accomplished my first year. Would I love to be further along? Absolutely, wouldn’t you?
Hand Picked Articles for You
- How to Earn Passive Income Blogging In Your Spare Time
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Have a question or want to share your blogging experience related to make money online? Please leave it in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you’re using to grow your blog.
Recommended Blogging Resources:
- Free 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp
- Article about using Yoast SEO for optimizing your blog posts and how to do it.
- SEMRush Free Trial to Gather Low Competitive Keywords
- Quiz: Which theme is best for your blog?
- If you want to build an email list and send newsletters, I recommend ConvertKit (starts at $29)