I started this blog because I wanted to share and write and connect more. I knew other bloggers made money from their sites but that was never my intention at first. For one, I had no idea how people did it. It kind of just evolved. I do this because I truly enjoy doing it. I love creating healthy meals, sharing my story more in depth than I can on Instagram, and having a place of my own. I’m grateful (and a bit shocked) that I’m making some side hustle money doing something I love to do. I want to start to build a bit of a “blog diary” here and hopefully inspire both you and myself as I do it!
Why Are You Doing Income Reports?
For starters, the world of blogging seems to be pretty hush-hush on the actual day-to-day process of making it your full-time job. There are lots of people sharing their information, but it’s not always the easiest to find. Reading other income reports were a big help to me, and I’ve learned a lot over the past 8 months. Annnd the more I learn, the more I learn I have even more to learn.
Which is why I’m going to be doing these monthly reports to share the things I’m doing, learning and trying as I go along. When I first started researching monetizing, I kept landing on other blogger’s income reports. I wanted to do the same for others – share what I’ve learned. After all, isn’t that the whole point of my blog anyway? These income reports aren’t about the money, the bigger point is to document and track how I’m working hard every month to achieve a bit of financial freedom and hopefully help you as well. Remaining honest and transparent with you all is a big deal to me, too.
Secondly, after having a hard time making ends met on my own (yellllllo crippling student loans, car, overpriced rent with no roommates to help, life, etc.), and working a ton of 12 and 16 hour shifts trying to do so, this is a welcomed reprieve to help me along financially. My goals for these income reports will never be to show off or gloat, only to remain humble in the fact that I both love to and want to help anyone aspiring to make a side income, work for themselves and do something they’re passionate about while they’re at it.
*Side note: I wanted to start these blog income reports the first month my blog was live, the month I made $0.27. Someone told me that “people aren’t going to your blog for blog advice, they’re only there for food.” That ONE comment deterred me from doing it until the 7th month. Man, do I regret that. I so wish I would have gone with my gut and tracked everything I did, didn’t do and changed right off the bat so I had something to look back at for my own reference. So basically what I’m saying is don’t let one person’s comment stop you from doing what you want to do. With your blog..
As always, a big huge THANK YOU hug to all of you. Without you and your support in both my health journey and my journey to share it here, none of this would be possible. Thanks for being here.
I really hope the information in this post gives you a little insight and motivation if you’re new to this whole blog thing. And check out my post on how to start a blog if you’re interested in giving it a go too! If you’re worried about being a little fish in a big massive blogger pond, don’t be. That was my biggest hang up but if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that there’s room for EVERYONE to succeed and do well. The opportunity is yours if you want it enough!
Note* Income is counted as what I physically received this month, not for the work I did. It’s often 4-8 weeks before work completed, affiliates or ad networks pay out.
Sponsored Posts: $900
Freelance Writing: $812
This Month’s Musings
Last month I talked about implementing a new Pinterest strategy by using Tailwind. I’m super behind the times by just starting my Pinterest account last month. I don’t love it and I don’t really understand it but it works apparently so hey, better late than never. I’m starting to get the hang of it and using Tailwind makes it a lot easier.
Not only does it make it easier to understand and use, but it schedules my pins so I don’t have to spend hours a day pinning at “ideal” times. I said last month that I’d follow up and let you know how I liked it and how well it was working. It seems to be working, because I’ve grown to 240 followers which is better than the zero I had mid-september. It’s not 20k or anything, but it’s bringing in page views so I’m happy and I’ll keep truckin’ away at it.
If you noticed my little note before I listed my income, I mentioned that it’s 4-8 weeks before you see the money you made. I learned a little (big) lesson this month. Which was not to count your eggs before they hatch. I was counting on a direct deposit of $1000 for my income in October for work I did in September. Well, the company had delays in their accounting and that payment is going to be pushed out further. Now it’ll arrive in November and be on that income report.
It’s not the end of the world or anything, but I had be factoring that into my finances this whole month when I was budgeting and paying bills. So it was just a good reminder to me that things like that happen in the blogging world and you’re completely not in control of it. Unlike a job where you get paid every two weeks like clockwork and can plan ahead on how you’re going to pay for life, this job isn’t like that. And that’s okay, it just means I have to have a better system in place for how I budget. Aka, not counting on money for the mortgage before I have it in my pocket.
One thing I’ve learned about partnerships:
A lot of people will tell you not to take free work. I’m not one of them. There’s a huge value in doing some things for free, you know, because you want to and you believe in the product or brand. Two of the sponsored posts I did this month are for companies I created 2 free recipes in the past for each company. Now, those companies aren’t just companies to me. They’re people and friends even. People I really, really like and have gotten to know. Doing free work is good for a few reasons. 2 of those reasons are:
1) Especially as a beginner blogger, it’s important to build your site, create valuable content and do it because you want to.. not because someone’s paying you to do it. This time (and all the time, really) is your chance to under promise and over deliver. That’s my general rule of thumb for all of my work – paid or not. When a brand sees how much time and effort you put into something you did for them, you can bet they’ll not only be appreciative but they’ll be surprised, too. In my experience, this often leads to paid opportunities next time. They’ll remember you and want you to be the one their marketing dollars are used on, not a blogger who does a half-assed job. Promise ya that.
2) You get to know people in the industry you’re writing in. Connections, baby. One of the brands I did free work for is a newer company that I love and believe in. I totally know that in a year they’re not going to be so little anymore.. yes I believe in them that much. Anyway, after doing 2 unpaid recipes for them, I’ve now been paid for two as well! I’m still doing it for less than a normal sponsored post rate, but I don’t even care because I just love them. It’s not always about money, it’s about the people behind it!
I did two freelance articles this month for an online publication. They approached me about it and had a really good payout. I love writing and got to pick the topic within the health realm, so of course I jumped on it. I’ve only done freelancing for one other place before and that was for 3 articles for $400. This was 2 for $406 each. I have no idea where to find other freelance writing gigs on your own, but you can bet this is something I’ll be looking into this coming month.
If I find any resources or information, I’ll be sure to share it with you next month!
Okay. I finally had it with AdSense. I talked about that last month and said I was waiting until I got to the next payout threshold. Yeah, I couldn’t wait that long. I just hated how the ads looked, the popups, the ad content. I just couldn’t take it anymore so I just cancelled it. Am I missing out on the 90 bucks that was in my account? Yep. Is my sanity and my readers experience worth it? Yep.
CAN YOU MAKE MONEY BLOGGING?
Yes! Like I mentioned earlier in this post, there’s room for everyone. I’m still SO NEW at this compared to a lot of people and even I’M telling you, go for it! I’m more than happy to help you, too! I have a really detailed step-by-step guide to setting up a blog, and a growing list of blog resources that I use on my own blog. If you need any further help, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments! Talking about blogging is one of my favorite things now.
HUSTLING & LEARNING & GIVING IT MY ALL
If there’s one thing that I want you to know before you start a blog, or, before you give up on your baby blog, is that it. takes. work. But it’s so rewarding and worth it to have something you did 100% on your own.
I didn’t get anywhere near this income when I first started. It took me 5 months to have decent page views and get my first notable income. I remember when I made my first 27 cents and was over the freakin’ moon about it. Or when I did a general google search and my recipe or article popped up on the first page. It’s a slow build, friends! And it takes hours of hard work on your end. I easily spend more than 40 hours a week on it in some form or another along with my full-time job. But I also know that that’s what’s going to set me apart in the long run. Not everyone is willing to do that and if you want to be successful, you gotta. That’s the cool thing though. 100% of your efforts will end up being worth it if you really want it badly enough.
I want to be clear about something. The money wasn’t handed to me. I’ve spent months up all hours of the night or getting up at 5am to get blog stuff done before my “regular” day has to begin. I spent months getting only 4 hours of sleep after a 12 hour overnight shift at my “real job” so I can be in the kitchen, create recipes and take photographs in the natural light before heading back to work for another 12 hour overnight shift. I research, network, edit photos, create graphics and respond to emails every possible free minute I get while waiting in lines, before bed, on break at work. I’ve spent months feeling like I was a tree falling in a deserted forest waiting for the page views that told me maybe I’m not just shouting into the internet void. I worked for and celebrated what were huge victories to me then (the 10k page view month, 20k, then 60k) and used them to push me to work harder for bigger victories the next month.
I don’t have anyone creating my site design (yet.. because $$$), I don’t have anyone making and updating my media kit. I don’t have fancy photo editing software. I don’t have anyone showing me the ropes of SEO, title tags or creating opt-in boxes. Not that other bloggers do, but I’m just saying there’s SO much to learn and you really have to be self-motivated to get it done. My to-do list grows longer even when things are getting checked off. I truly enjoy the challenge though, and enjoy the creative process even more. No, I don’t sit in a cubicle and I can lay on my bed if I want to, but that doesn’t make it any less “work”.
There’s been lots of “no’s”, lots of failures, 6 hours spent researching how to do something and lots of oops and yeah, shouldn’t have done thats, but I wouldn’t trade my blog for anyone else’s and I really, really hope these income reports can be a source of inspiration for you to create (and work hard!) on your own labor of love.
’til next month, friends.