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Welcome to my first income progress report of my third month blogging!
If you’re reading this, it means that I finally decided to take the plunge and share my blogging journey with you all. I never thought I would be doing this, but here I am!
I need to mention though – if you are here to read about a blogger that made thousands of $$ in their 3rd month blogging, this won’t be it.
Instead, this will be a honest, no bullsh*t, and realistic look into the journey of a BRAND NEW blog in 2019.
The reason I am sharing MY journey is because I want to do this whole blogging thing alongside you! We’re in it together!
There are countless bloggers out there who boast success in their first few months of blogging, but the reality for the majority of new bloggers is quite the opposite.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy reading reports of successful bloggers and those who appear to have achieved success rather quickly. They are inspirational to read, but when I believe that I am doing everything they did but not reach the same degree of success, it can feel quite de-motivating.
It just sets unrealistic expectations!
I am always on the hunt for progress reports from other NEW and RECENT bloggers who I can ACTUALLY relate to. You know, those that started blogging within a year or two and facing the same start-up conditions as I am?
So it just makes sense if I shared my journey as well!
I want to give you a fresh new perspective to blog income reports!
In doing so, I will also be sharing my mistakes, and also any tips and tricks I have picked up along the way!
Keep reading to find some juicy stuff that may BENEFIT YOU – I really don’t hold back.
Anyway, I predict this is going to be one long post. So get comfy and I apologize in advance if it gets too long-winded. I promise the next ones will be more structured!
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
Since this is my first progress report, I need to fill you in with a little background information about this blog.
I officially “launched” this blog on the 1st of July 2019, with 25 blog posts already published to the site.
I was NOT receiving any traffic to the site while publishing those 25 posts because no one knew about it yet and my sole intention was just to get those posts on the site (to have a reasonable amount of content before traffic started coming in).
The launch date is just the date I started my blog’s Pinterest account, and thus, the date I officially started letting the world know about my little blog.
Like most of you, I am COMPLETELY NEW to this blogging world. I had never used Pinterest before I launched this blog either. So it’s all about learning, learning, making mistakes and more learning!
One thing’s for certain though – I am very determined and will not give up until I reach my goals.
My hours of working on the blog at the moment is usually from 9pm to 1am every night (I am quite the night owl). I could try and squeeze in more time but I am a stay-at-home mama with a busy 6 year old daughter, an active son (who is constantly demanding my attention), a husband I want to spend time with, and a house I like to keep spotless 🙂
THINGS I AM CURRENTLY USING
I did a bunch of research and found that Bluehost is the best affordable and reliable hosting server for beginners.
Other than that, it is the #1 recommended web hosting company by WordPress, it comes with a FREE domain and you can get started for just $3.95 a month! Sounds like a sweet deal to me!
And besides, who isn’t using Bluehost?
Check it out HERE.
I’m currently using Mailchimp but I’m still a little unsure about it? Any suggestions for a good, reliable and easy to use email provider?
I am using Canva and absolutely love it. Although the free account is good enough for beginners, I have paid for the premium account.
Canva is just SO EASY to use and helps me out a lot with my pin designs because I struggle with being creative sometimes.
Pinterest is the only social media account I have for my blog at the moment.
To complement that, I also use Tailwind (especially for the Tailwind Tribes feature).
For Tailwind, you can schedule up to 100 pins for FREE before deciding if a paid plan is right for you, so I decided to give it a go (I mean, why not right?).
I found it beneficial as part of my traffic growth strategy so I ended up upgrading my plan. I do believe it is a valuable tool to help drive traffic and gain exposure to your blog, especially new blogs.
Plus, no credit card or payment details are needed for the FREE trial!
There are heaps of great free resources out there but NOTHING beats a good paid course.
I have bought 4 courses in total. I truly believe in investing in the business and self education, so that means buying quality courses from people you can trust know their sh*t!
I do a TON of research before I buy courses (yes, I do have a hard time trusting people as I am always questioning their intentions).
These are the courses that I have personally purchased and believe have helped my blogging journey thus far!
Blogpreneur Blueprint – Passive Income Newbie
This is a refreshing new course by one of my favorite bloggers!
It is a step-by-step guide to create a profitable blog and is filled with PROVEN strategies to create, grow and monetize your new blog in record time.
Claudia launched her main blog on October 26, 2018 (Yay! A relevant new blog!) and has already achieved great success.
Her main blog achieved 120,914 pageviews in the 3rd month! Not too shabby hey?
But wait, could it be just all a fluke and extreme good luck? Well, she decided to test out her strategies and started ANOTHER blog (in another niche) in March 2019.
And guess what? She reached 155,152 pageviews in May (only 2 months in) for that blog!
Yeah, I was sold on that.
I NEEDED (almost desperate) to know her secrets and her exact strategies for success, so I bought her course Blogpreneur Blueprint.
And girl, it does not disappoint.
I bought her course on September 16th and started applying her strategies, and my pageviews started increasing in that same month (see screenshot below).
A little sidenote: Just wait until you see October’s report because I have already achieved nearly x3 the amount of pageviews and it’s not even the end of the month yet!
What makes this course different is that her strategy is completely different to what I have been reading from everyone else. It’s unique! It’s not just a regurgitation of freely available information, it’s actual valuable techniques that will help you build the blog of your dreams!
Although generating traffic from Pinterest is the main focus of this course, she also delves into other aspects of creating a profitable blog, such as affiliate marketing.
So if you are stuck at the moment, overwhelmed or ready to sky-rocket your progress, then do yourself a favor – Check. Out. This. Course. You won’t regret it.
It helped me get out of the little hole I was in and made everything clearer. I am sure it will do the same for you.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing By Michelle Schroeder-Gardner
This is a VERY popular course and for good reason. I knew I had to get this course from the get-go.
It is a step-by-step affiliate marketing strategy course that shows you how to increase your affiliate income and make more money blogging. Michelle makes more than $50,000 a month from affiliate marketing alone!
I have done my research and it is honestly one of the best, if not THE best, affiliate marketing course for BLOGGERS.
You really should check it out and consider investing in the course if you are looking to increase your blogging income. If you’re not, you really are leaving money on the table. You don’t even have to have a ton of traffic to earn money through affiliate marketing!
Check it out HERE if you don’t want to miss out.
Pinterest with Ell – Ell Duclos
I made the decision to purchase this course due to several reasons.
- It’s very affordable. Many courses out there are priced in the hundreds, making this course an absolute steal!
- I have taken lots of free advice from Ell’s blogs so I trusted that she would provide only the best information in her course.
- She’s received a lot of positive reviews for this course.
And after completing the course, I can agree with those positive reviews.
This is an extremely understandable and value-packed course that is filled with examples and tips to get you well on your way to growing your Pinterest account. I would recommend this course to NEW bloggers wanting to get a great start with generating traffic using Pinterest and Tailwind.
This course is such a small investment for those serious about growing their blog and reaping the benefits later.
Now on to the actual Report!
SEPTEMBER 2019 BLOG PROGRESS REPORT (3RD MONTH IN)
The first three months were all about learning and trying things out! Here are my stats!
The month of September saw an INCREASE in traffic to 8,289 pageviews. For comparison’s sake, I had 414 pageviews in July and 2,854 pageviews in August.
Although it’s nothing to brag about, I am happy that traffic IS increasing.
I do prefer to see a stable increase anyway, rather than viral highs and then lows.
Pinterest traffic tends to fluctuate a lot though, so it’s something that I am trying not to think about too much and not let impact my mood (because let’s be honest, dips in traffic currently gets me pretty darn anxious!)
All of my traffic is coming from Pinterest at the moment. I will definitely look into implementing Google SEO strategies in the future, but right now… it’s just too overwhelming.
In September, I made a few changes to my Pinterest strategy:
- I didn’t pin as much overall but I made sure to publish a brand new pin every day (or every other day) and re-pin quality third-party pins (more on this later).
- I also created an excel spreadsheet to track all my pins and duplicate pins, so that I am not re-pinning the same pin to the same board all the time.
- I also tried harder with Pinterest SEO and tried to make sure my boards and pin descriptions are well key-worded.
- I have Tailwind, and in this month I mainly used it for the Tribes function. Other than that, I’m manually pinning. It seems to work better for me.
- I started implementing the strategies from this course that I bought and HIGHLY recommend.
I know most of the established bloggers ALWAYS advise that we need to build our email list from the start, but truth be told, I have completely disregarded mine.
I’ve got a little box in my sidebar where people can subscribe, but really, nobody is going to put their email in unless you entice them with something they would want.
So yeah, will probably get that sorted soon… one day….
During the first three months of starting this blog (including the month of September), I did NOT put any thing in place to monetize my blog yet.
No ads, no affiliate links, nothing.
So it’s not surprising that I made zero dollars. Exciting, I know…
Nonetheless, stay tuned for next month’s report because in October, I decided to put ads on my site and I started putting in some affiliate links (thanks to the affiliate marketing course I mentioned earlier) as well!
It’ll be interesting to see how much I actually earn next month (eeep).
- Traffic seems to be steadily increasing… hopefully it stays that way.
- In this third month, I seem to have some kind of understanding and familiarity of how things work now.
WHAT I COULD HAVE DONE BETTER:
- I should have created a Pinterest account and created boards related to my posts before I launched. This would have made the account more established and saved a bit of time after launch creating a presence. But no biggy.
- I regret focusing and being so fixated with traffic only. I should have implemented some affiliate marketing into my posts as well, without purposely delaying it.
- My bounce rate isn’t as good as some others I have seen. It’s actually so high! I’ll have to look into that and improve.
- I am not 110% satisfied with how my pin designs look. I am still playing around with a few designs but yeah, I’m not really completely happy with any yet. I’m trying my best though!
- Email subscribers…
FINAL THOUGHTS (WHAT I HAVE LEARNT)
- For me, the amount of times I pin doesn’t really affect Pinterest growth. Previously, I was pinning more than 30 times a day but now I am pinning approx 15 times, and my traffic has actually increased. Not sure if that’s coincidental or what?
- My pins usually don’t take off straight away. Traction usually improves for new pins after a few days (or even weeks).
- I make sure I am repinning quality third party pins (other people’s pins). That means, it has to be related to the board I am pinning it to and has to be a pin that is well established (has more than 800 repins already).
- A lot of bloggers have mentioned that using paid stock images or your own images may improve your standing with Pinterest. I have yet to give it a go. Do you find this trick works for you? I am currently just using free stock images on my pins.
Just a disclaimer, I don’t really know what I am doing at the moment (obviously)… and I don’t know if what I am doing is correct. I’ve done a LOT of research, reading and learning, and I am merely just sharing with you what has worked for me and what hasn’t (in my own experience).
I’m basically getting tips here and there, and creating my own path!
GOALS FOR OCTOBER 2019 – MY FOURTH MONTH BLOGGING
- Traffic: Get enough traffic to apply for MediaVine! I believe that’s 25,000 sessions a month (approx. 30,000 pageviews)
- Affiliate Income: Make at least one affiliate income commission
- Content: Publish 2 posts a week
- Email: Set up some kind of email capture freebie thing
I tend to set big goals for myself, because hey, you gotta shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars (not sure who the quote is from but you get my drift)!
Remember, a blog is like a baby – you need to love it, nurture it, and get it up on it’s own two feet. Soon enough it will be more independent and won’t need you 100% of the time.
In saying that, if your goal is to make money from your blog, you need to treat it as a legitimate business. You need to invest in it, work hard, and then reap the rewards later.
Focus on your WHY. It’s really powerful.
Then write down your goals, believe in them and focus on them.
Even during tough times, when you are questioning yourself over and over and having doubts, DO NOT GIVE UP.
Success comes with consistency – you will not reach success if you give up. Don’t let any challenge or problem stop you. THINGS WILL GET BETTER. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
I whole-heartedly believe that we can ALL achieve the success like the bloggers that inspire us and make money online, if we put in the work.
Anyway, I better wrap this up before it gets WAY TOO LONGGG.. if you have made it til this point, THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading. I really hope you found it helpful and relevant. I means so much to me that people are actually taking the time to read my stuff! I really do appreciate it!
If you want to keep following my blogging progress, you are more than welcome to subscribe to my mailing list.
Otherwise, say hello down below in the comments or feel free to email me! I would love to get to know you!
Good luck on your blogging journey!