I’m a little (a lot) nervous to be sharing these blog income reports, so here’s a bit of background. This site went live at the end February of this year, 2017. I purchased the domain in September of last year though. A YEAR ago already. Woah. Anyway, I let the blog sit untouched for a good 4 months before I started working on it in December and went live 3 months later. I was scared and felt like such a little fish in a big pond. That was my first mistake. So, after toying with the idea, researching, and twiddling my thumbs I finally got to work. I wanted to start my little corner of the internet as an extension of my Instagram.
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 and struggles 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?
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.
ANYWAY. I’ve learned a ton in the last 7 months, and I’m learning more everyday. 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 (I mean, yeah, I’m talking about it), 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.
I have no idea where this blog will lead me, but I’m excited to be on the journey! 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. Appreciative is an understatement. 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!
Income This Month:
Note* Income is counted as what I physically received this month, not for the work I did. The income reflected in this report is from work, invoices or sales that happened in August or prior, not income that will be coming from the work I did in in the month of September. It’s often 4-8 weeks before work completed or affiliates pays out.
- Sponsored Posts – $1200
- Affiliates – 550.24
- AdSense– $146.22
Total = 1,896.46
* I switched ad networks in July, and Gourmet Ads has an 8 week payout – meaning I won’t see the income I made in the month of September until November 1st.
Expenses This Month:
Total = 146.87
Things I’ve Done Differently:
I Recently Added Gourmet Ads to My Site
The changes went live in August, so that won’t be reflected on this months income report. But, I wanted to make note of it now. I used only AdSense up until this point, and, well, bleh. I wasn’t super impressed and I knew there had to be a better option. I don’t like the ads it displays so I limited them and limited the income I made because of that. I really hate ads, but they’re a necessary evil right now. SO, if I’m going to have them, I’d obviously like to have ones that pay more so eventually I can have less… does that make sense? Anywho, switching to Gourmet Ads was a GOOD MOVE. In the first full month with Gourmet Ads I made more than I made from AdSense in 6 months combined.
I’ll be removing the AdSense ads when I hit the next payout threshold. That just means that they only pay you if you have over 100 bucks in your account. I don’t want to leave 80 bucks just sitting there, ya know? I know some people like to create ad waterfalls with different ad networks, but for right now I want to focus my time elsewhere. Until I switch to another network, I’ll just keep it at this.
Taken on Partnerships That Extend Over 6 Months
This might sound weird to people, but this was kind of a scary contract to sign. 6 months is a long ways from now and even though I LOVE the product (that’s not the issue. I never take on a partnership with something I don’t 100% love), it’s that a lot can change in 6 months. Namely, how fast my blog is growing, what I’m doing, what kind of time I have, etc.
But even though I’m locked into the partnership pricing, I think that was a good decision. It’s income I can count on each month for the next half of a year and it’s work I know I can plan to get done. This makes planning my time and scheduling easier and makes me more efficient. I could work ahead and get all of the recipes done in a month if I wanted to! I think it also helps create continuity in some of my posts because I’m using the product so much anyway!
WTF. Pinterest is a fricken mystery to me, guys. Here’s a little secret: I don’t really LOVE social media all that much. I love to write but not constantly connected, ya know? I hardly ever posted to my personal Facebook and Instagram. In fact, I started paleobailey to avoid sharing my weight loss and meals with family and friends. I wanted a space to do it away from everyone who knew me. Now I totally love Facebook and the ‘gram but Pinterest is a whole different story. I don’t get it. At all. This is something I’m working on though. Shameless plug: Follow me on Pinterest and I’ll be your best friend 😉
I started using Tailwind this month which schedules pins I want to post for me. This has been super helpful being I work overnights and that’s obviously not an ideal time to post, pin, share, etc. It’s 10 bucks a month (I paid upfront) and so far.. eh. I am seeing more page views come in from Pinterest everyday though, and some of my pins have been repined over 500 times, one of them 3.7k times, since I started using it mid September. I’ll keep you posted on how I’m liking the Tailwind service.
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 50k) 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.
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. Just ask my friend Jen, over at Beauty and the Bench Press.. we do a lot of blog talk every day. SO! Gimme all your Q’s and I’ll give you my best A’s!
’til next month, friends.
This post may contain some links that are affiliate links, though products are ones I use personally and recommend. When you purchase anything using my links, it costs you absolutely nothing extra, but it does give Paleobailey.com a little financial support which helps to keep this blog running. Thank you for your continued support, both with your dollars and your interest.