So I did it! I quit my “job” with my last day being 12/31. I didn’t mean for that to be my last scheduled shift, but it worked out that way and I felt it symbolic that it did. Some sort of “sign”, if you will, that I was suppose to head into this new year without it. The last few months at my “job” were rough, and full of more “signs” that I shouldn’t be there, or more, needed something different. So here I am. Doing things differently. Stay tuned for a more in-depth post on quitting my job!
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!
A few things that happened and a few things I’ve learned in my first month as a self-employed, full-time blogger:
I hit my second month of over 150,000 page views, and this was my first month of over 200,000 page views. WHAT!?! Ended January with 230,000. Just insane to think of when less than a year ago I was literally at zero page views.
I know this is nothing compared to some, but I’m not in the business of comparison. To ME, this is AWESOME and huge and worth celebrating. I’m proud of the silly number, but mostly I’m humbled and grateful that people are finding my content that I’ve worked hard on, and humbled and grateful that they’re finding it worth their time and continuing to come back. It means so much to me after so many months of feeling like I was shouting into the void. Plus, that number means that I can have the opportunities to continue to bring the people who matter most to me in this biz (YOU) great content by working with companies I value. Another thing I’m crazy grateful for and won’t ever take for granted.
I made more than double the income from my blog than I would have this month if I was working crappy 12 hour overnight shifts that made me miserable. Seriously. Words can’t explain how happy I am that I get to do what I love during normal people hours and do it on my own terms. And to be not so strapped for money all. the. time. and putting bills on my credit card. I feel like I wake up in a dream every day knowing that I’m doing something I love to do and it’s also paying my mortgage and feeding my dogs. I don’t say this to seem braggadocios, I’m by no means living large, I’m truly just grateful and my passion for doing it just makes me want to work harder for you… and for my dogs. 😉
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows this month though. I’ve been working SO MUCH and there’s a few things I’ve learned this first month flying solo.
This Month’s Takeaways:
I have no off-switch. Which I know I need to work on. Because I’m not punching a clock, and I work from home, it’s easy to fall into a place where I don’t give myself a break. I’ve spent a lot of this month feeling like every minute was an opportunity to get work done. To write something. To respond to someone. To answer emails. To negotiate and meet deadlines. To edit photos. To plan content. To write some more. To format an e-Book. Blah blah. The list goes on.
And on that note, that list is never ending and continually growing longer. I have to figure out a way to be okay with that, but also develop some sort of office hours. I’ve been working in some facet from 8am when I get up to midnight when I got to bed. No joke.
Not complaining, because I seriously love it and am just EXCITED. But it’s a learning process to know when (and how) to stop. When I was working full-time hours at work, I was also putting in full-time hours on my blog when I wasn’t working. So I feel like now that I have the time to work on the blog, I want to be because now I finally CAN dedicate more time to it. I mean, that’s what I quit to do right? So, yeah. Work-life balance needs some help. But I’ll get there.
Not having co-workers is WEIRD. I’ve had long-term jobs since I was 15. First in an assisted living facility, then at another one, and finally ending at the hospital. I worked with the same people for years. At the last one, over half a decade. Jobs that were extremely people oriented and all I did was talk to people, care for people, have direct contact with people.
Now, I talk to people on the internet and talk to my dogs. Some days I love it so much because I’m naturally an independent person, and honestly it’s kind of nice to not deal with people so much everyday, because I got so exhausted with that too. But somedays I miss having coworkers. My dogs are way cuter though.
Why I’m 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. The world of blogging is often pretty hush hush on this stuff, and I’ve been lucky to have a few mentors help me learn along the way, so giving a bit of that back is the goal here.
*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.
Gourmet Ads = $562.45
Sponsored Posts = $4,173.34
Affiliates = $1,124.55
Total = $5,860.34
Check out Octobers Income, and Why You Didn’t See An Update for December!
Note: This income reflects the sponsored work done in December, as companies typically have net30 payment terms after receiving the invoice from me. And even then, sometimes it takes longer. Part of this income was actually from a post I did in November, and one of the sponsored posts I did in December was contracted, so I won’t be paid for it until March!
The affiliates I focus on are Amazon and Thrive Market. I learned early on that trying to sell everything a) makes your readers annoyed and loses their trust and b) is way too much work than it’s worth. Pick a few things you REALLY love and care about. The income from affiliates and ads are results from usually 60-90 days earlier, as those two revenue sources take even longer.
For example, I made $900 bucks through ads in December, but I won’t see that until March.
Speaking of ads, this month I made the transition from GourmetAds to Mediavine. I won’t *really* know what the difference is going to be yet until the end of February. I was doing well with GourmetAds, but now that my traffic is more substantial, my blogger friends have been encouraging me to switch and take advantage of the higher RPMs.
What I can tell ya though, is that I made the switch over to Mediavine with 6 days left in the month. In those 6 days the ad revenue was $582. 13. Which blows my mind because I thought $900 for the whole MONTH last month with Gourmet Ads was awesome.
Another thing that happened this month was that I realized the true value of Pinterest. Some of my pins had hit over 7k repins and are doing really awesome things for my traffic. Like I mentioned in the first income report, I should have started my Pinterest account sooner.
But then, a few days before the end of the month my Pinterest account was suspended for “moving too many pins” as I was reorganizing my boards. And I lost EVERYTHING. My pins are still circulating, but they were removed from the group boards I was a part of. Anyway, lesson learned: don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
This coming month I’m going to be finalizing my eBook format, and really working on getting the full time blogger schedule thing down. Meaning, I’m going to have a recipe development day, a writing day, video day, etc. I think this will help me feel like I’m not ALL over the place… ALL the time and working constantly because of it. I’m also going to be getting ahead in content and trying to be totally done with about 2 weeks worth of posts. I have some travel coming up, and having this taken care of will help me not be so hands on while I’m gone.
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!