I have a love-hate relationship with bloggers sharing their income reports.
I love them because they have been some of the BEST teachers for me when it comes to blogging success.
I feed off the crumbs successful bloggers leave here and there about what made them successful and I practice and apply!
Similarly, the longer I blog, the more I start to see how they can actually be manipulative.
Don’t get me wrong, bloggers aren’t lying, they’re just not being straight forward with you about how they make money.
If you’ve been blogging for a little while you’ll see HOW they actually made that 5-figure, 6-figure, and even 8-FIGURE monthly salary!
It isn’t a get rich quick and easy scheme.
And it isn’t always necessarily from just what they blog about.
Most of the time, it’s from what they’re selling you in that same post.
And there’s really nothing wrong with that!
But, if you’re a newbie, you might really feel like you were manipulated into a pyramid scheme.
Blogging is NOT easy and doesn’t come along well for all people.
But, it is SO possible to make money doing it, if that’s something you’re interested in.
Although in this post I do make it seem effortless to make $2000 in a month I will say that this was only possible having an inventory of written blog posts that took a whole lot of time and effort.
My main source of income is ad revenue so in this post I’ll share my strategy and the tools I use to help me drive high traffic with minimal effort and less than 30 blog posts.
For Those Already Blogging
Now this is for those of you that already have a blog.
So, you’ve decided to give blogging a shot either because you hate your job and want something more flexible or you’ve just fallen for the “get rich quick” gimmicks (or, you just like to write about things you like!).
Either way, you’ve already been dragged into this and there’s no going back for the next year because you’ve already paid for it!
Every blogger wants to be successful, but only a few are.
Now, before you get the wrong idea, know that I’m NOT trying to discourage you, not at all!
Actually, it’s quite the opposite.
I think starting a blog is a HUGE decision and YOU are so BRAVE and DRIVEN in giving it a shot!
The point of this post is to ENCOURAGE you to KEEP GOING because quitting is the main reason for failure!
So read on!
**Disclosure. There are some affiliate links in this post, however, that is not to say that the purpose is solely in my personal financial interest. I recommend only things that have worked for me and that would benefit you as a new blogger. Since I basically am giving these companies free advertisement, it’s a way to get them to compensate, without any additional cost to you. Thank you for your incredible support!**
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The Short Version of My Blogging Journey (Up Until This Point)
I’m a fairly new mom blogger myself.
I have only been in this trade for almost ten months.
I will add that I haven’t been totally dedicated to my blog.
I wasn’t actually trying to replace an income when I started it because I had no income.
I had delivered my baby and graduated college within weeks of one another, so I had no job.
Blogging was supposed to be my hobby, my creative output, while I used my gap year to transition to a medical program.
However, 10 months in and I not only find myself enjoying it, but I am considering it as being my “part-time job with a full-time income” until my baby goes to school.
With blogging, I am finding that it is totally possible to financially support my husband while focusing on being a mother!
My blog traffic growth has been pretty steady, but significant nonetheless, considering the fact that I haven’t really been devoting as much time to it as other bloggers have.
Here’s my proof…
I credit my blog’s humble growth first to God and second work (because without my working, God wouldn’t have anything to work with!
I officially started the blog on May 28, 2018 (I am writing this blog post on April the 2nd so consider that when looking at the month).
I started off with little to no views.
I didn’t have a stock load of posts when I began (something I would encourage new bloggers to have; about 10-15 posts already premade).
I literally posted day by day, and then sparingly once I started my MCAT classes (in July).
However, as you can tell by my stats, something started to change in August.
I call it Pinterest!
Just by looking at my growth you could tell that there is a learning curve that not all master in their first 3-4 months blogging, but nonetheless, with trial and error, is still possible to figure out.
Fast-forward to today and I am consistently making $2,000 a month with little effort and less than 30 blog posts.
Just last month I spent an average 1 hour/day (because life happens and that was the most I could give that month) and still was able to drive pretty high traffic earning me $2,208.35 from just ads.
So how was I able to do it?
The Pinterest Strategy that Works (and it’s FREE!)
No, I didn’t learn it from a Pinterest course.
Although I did read into some and I’m sure they would’ve helped me, I just didn’t have the spare cash to be giving it away to things I couldn’t guarantee would work for me (by the way, Tailwind is free for one month, so I didn’t actually spend anything to try it out).
I mean I already invested A LOT into having a blog.
1. Group Boards
2. Pinning! (Update: For me, Tailwind was the MAIN factor for March because I didn’t have all that time to pin)
The ONLY thing you’ll be investing a lot of is your TIME.
However, it is absolutely FREE and PAYS OFF!
My traffic would be SO MUCH HIGHER if I invested MORE TIME.
I’ll cover my tips for these below under tip #9.
Awesome Blogging Resources That Help Me Drive My Blog Traffic (and Consequently, My Blog Income)
Now for these, you’ll have to pay, but I will vouch that they are a good investment!
I have easily gotten back my money for both of these every month.
If you DON’T have so much spare time on your hands (ahem, me), that’s where I would recommend getting Tailwind.
– The reason is that it’s first a scheduling service so you can schedule your pins to be posted automatically.
This means that technically you don’t have to be on Pinterest ALL the time, just set out a time (like when everyone is sleeping) and formulate a pinning schedule so that your followers “see” that you’re always actively pinning (a huge attractor for new followers AND it increases your Pinterest monthly viewers).
– The second reason is that it’s a MOM TRIBE HUB.
Basically, you join tribes in your niche (fancy word for, your blogging category or the audience you blog to) and you help each other out by repinning each other’s stuff.
So, not only can you establish your influencer presence on Pinterest by continually pinning BUT you can actually support (and BE SUPPORTED BY) other moms, like yourself, in the process!
– The third reason, and this is my favorite because it SAVES me so much time, is that you can loop your pinning!
I do ZERO repinning because of Tailwind.
It’s like having my own personal Pinterest Virtual Assistant because everything is on autopilot!
If you want your pins to continue trending you have to repin… all the time… and at different ‘peak’ times, to get the best traffic to your website.
Honestly, ever since Tailwind offered this service, I have been able to save time on strategy #9 and still get much better results than when I manually repinned all of my pins.
Additionally, my strategy in COMBINATION with Tailwind can yield some dramatic results, and I can guarantee that!
It’s simple and logical.
THE MORE PEOPLE THAT REPIN YOUR POSTS
THE MORE PEOPLE YOUR POSTS REACH
THE MORE CLICKS AND SITE VIEWS YOU GET!!
Try it out for FREE for one month, cancel if it doesn’t work for you.
I just know that it absolutely will, if you use it to its full potential.
If you use my link you will not only get the one-month free trial but if you decide to upgrade to the Plus plan, you get $15 credit!
It’s a win-win!
Get Your 1-Month FREE Trial for Tailwind Today and See If It Works For Your Brand!
Tailwind is the smartest way to manage your presence across the visual web (Pinterest & Instagram). Tailwind is an official partner of both Pinterest and Instagram and offers a complete suite of marketing tools including Smart Scheduling, Analytics & Monitoring, Content Discovery, Promotion, and more.
Find out why over 200,000 bloggers, brands and agencies rely on Tailwind as their visual marketing co-pilot for winning on Pinterest and Instagram.
Another good blogging investment is MiloTree.
This neat plug-in can help you quickly grow your social media following with no extra effort.
I really wanted to grow my Pinterest following and although I was having good traffic flow to my website, my Pinterest following was not proportional.
MiloTree also offers a 1-month free trial, so once I gave it a shot there was no going back.
Since getting the pop-up, I have gained 2,200 followers and 497 of those EXTRA Pinterest followers were from the pop-up clicks alone!
That might not seem like a whole lot for seasoned bloggers (you’ll notice that the more followers you have, it usually gets easier to rapidly gain more followers because you have a greater reach), but for someone new like me, every single one counts!
The more followers you have, the easier it gets for your pins to get repinned more often and increases their possibility of going viral!
I’ve had the pop-up since November, and accounting for the trial month, I’ve only paid for a total of 4 months (my April payment will be later this month).
So I am VERY happy investing $36 for almost 500 extra followers.
SO worth it in my books and because of those extra followers I am where I am.
I could definitely have gotten a lot more, but since my blog is a side hustle, I only work on it in my spare time (an average 1-hour a day) and so my growth is not as rapid as those who are more invested.
Blogging Tips for Success
Since I know exactly what you are going through, as I started not too long ago, I know how huge it is to stay motivated and keep at it when you aren’t getting the results you might have hoped for initially.
So, I will share what keeps me going when the going gets tough!
1. Don’t Compare Your Beginning to Someone’s Middle!
You have probably heard this before, but it is SO IMPORTANT to remember!
Looking at the success of other bloggers can not only feel intimidating but discouraging if you have been putting in maximum effort with minimal results.
I have caught myself reading into success stories of bloggers making it big and I’m here in the negatives, putting things in (money and time) and getting nothing back!
Remember, you’re new to this and that’s OK.
Each one of those bloggers began as you have.
They didn’t have a fancy camera, editing software or a killer website that doesn’t look ugly in AMP format (I am so with you there mommas!).
Success takes time and commitment.
You will realize that the greatest rewards are the ones you worked the hardest for.
With blogging, you will have to put in a lot more before you start getting back for it.
Keep going and you’ll get there!
2. Stop Paying Attention to Stats So Much.
Ok, who’s guilty of this?
So, I have a HUGE issue with this to the point that sometimes I check my WordPress stats EVERY SINGLE TIME I pick up my phone.
I realize that not only do I distract myself from the joys of life but I also start worrying too much about my blog.
I might get all excited when I’m doing well, but when my views drop, all of a sudden I’m in panic mode and I try to fix things on the spot.
I end up not being present in my own life which has a negative snowball effect on my productivity in general.
I also realize that my content suffers as I have the impulse to just post something in order to jump back up.
My advice, to myself first and foremost, is to stop and relax.
Let the blog develop on its own. It’s for the good of both of you.
You get to have a clear mind throughout your day, giving room for inspiration for a new blog post, and you get to get more things done since you’re not hovering over your phone every second of the day!
3. Keep it to Yourself (As Long As You Can).
When you have a brilliant idea, the worst thing that can happen is for someone to shoot it down immediately.
You want to start a blog?
Just do it!
Don’t wait for someone’s approval.
I had many great ideas throughout my life, and sadly, a lot of them went down the drain because I decided to share it with someone.
It would be the closest people to me that, unintentionally, discouraged me by giving their two cents.
Some people might discourage you intentionally because they don’t want to see you succeed while others might have good intentions and try to protect you from failure.
Regardless, in the end, you still fail.
If you don’t try something, you have already failed at it.
So, you’re not losing anything by trying.
4. The More You Give, The More You Get.
I don’t know if you have noticed, but we tend to only give to those that either has given or will give something to us in return.
Like an, I scratch your back if you scratch mine kind of thing.
When I first started, I really felt taken advantage of every time I saw affiliate links or was offered paid courses.
I felt that none of these bloggers did anything to help me, so why should I support them.
They’re just using me to support themselves.
I’m sure some of you can relate.
I have a theory that it stems from our inner drive to compete instead of work together (especially us women!).
However, the more I blog, the more I realize that this is not the right perspective.
Yes, someone might be benefitting from me using their service, but I’m benefitting too.
Usually, bloggers only offer things that they like, just make sure you trust their opinion.
Most importantly, I will say that without giving something you will never get anything in return.
Being selfish never helped me, personally.
On the contrary, we survive as bloggers by helping each other out.
We thrive because we offer services in exchange for getting services in return.
You have the potential to establish a beautiful network with people who enjoy doing the same things as you do.
5. Try New Things!
The world of blogging is constantly evolving as with technology and social media itself.
From what I’ve learned from other, more established, bloggers and in my short experience, you must adapt in order to not only thrive but survive.
Don’t be stuck on one social media platform.
Try others, if you can.
Give a course a shot.
You might learn something that could blow your blog out of proportion!
If you see that what you’re doing isn’t working (you aren’t growing your following or views), do something different.
Sometimes, all it takes is one change to change the entire trajectory of your blog.
6. Prioritize Correctly.
Starting a blog is very exciting, but sometimes you can get so caught up in it that you begin neglecting your actual life.
If you can afford to do so, then by no means let me stop you.
However, when you have a family, a job, and other commitments, you can actually cause more harm than good.
Sure the goal might be to establish blogging as your source of income, however, doing so doesn’t mean you have to forget about everything else.
You might have to give up some sleep, however, that’s a small price to pay compared to the precious life moments you could potentially miss if all you do is blog.
Now, sometimes this is what you must do to transition to full-time blogging, so don’t take my advice as something true across the board.
This is just something I have noted in my own situation.
I will add, though, that being present in life is what actually inspires many of my posts.
Ultimately, you post about things you learned about or discovered in your own life.
So live and enjoy, then write about it!
7. Expect Less, Gain More.
This sort of piggy-backs off of tip #1.
When we compare ourselves too big shot bloggers, we tend to have REALLY HIGH expectations.
So, when those aren’t met, we crash and burn.
We end up being very discouraged and some of us even quit blogging altogether.
So, we ultimately lose.
Now think about it this way.
If you don’t have high expectations then the only way is upwards.
You can, technically speaking, only gain and thus you continue to get more and more motivated.
This, of course, does not mean you try less.
It just means that you set realistic goals and grow your successful track record from there.
8. Don’t Do it for the Money. Do it for Yourself.
Of course, we ALL want to make money eventually.
However, realistically, you won’t be making it for some time.
Just honestly speaking.
Which means that you will be devoting pain-staking hours free-of-charge, without any sort of compensation.
Actually, you’ll be paying to work.
Just think about that for a second.
Why do something you don’t enjoy?
Why waste your time?
Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
Write for yourself, first and foremost.
Write because you enjoy it.
Eventually, you would like to earn money, so work towards financial sustainability.
But don’t let that be your driving force.
You’ll hit a roadblock quick.
9. Pin! Pin! Pin!
You’ve probably heard this by now.
Pinterest is every blogger’s best friend.
It is my primary avenue of page views and the potential is even greater.
If you use it correctly, you can truly utilize it to establish a consistent following, bringing you that much closer to your financial goals!
One of the most important things you must do to be successful with Pinterest is Pin!
Well, it’s not so simple.
I pinned A LOT, but my following and page views didn’t grow as dramatically as I would have liked.
The problem was that I was pinning a whole lot of content that wasn’t my own.
Now, as I mentioned in tip #4, pinning other bloggers’ content is very important AND necessary to the ensure everyone thrives and succeeds.
However, if you don’t pin your own content, you won’t actually grow.
Sure you could use Tailwind and get a bunch of bloggers to pin your stuff to their boards, but if you don’t manually schedule or pin your own content to other boards, you won’t get far.
There’s a rule of thumb of pinning 1 of your own pins for every 6 pins of other bloggers’ content.
The exact proportion doesn’t really matter just as long as your pinning each.
To be honest, I stopped counting because now with Tailwind, my pins are constantly being pinned and all I do is pin other people’s stuff.
I’m telling you, it will save you a whole lot of time!
Don’t have a lot of content?
Create multiple pins of the same post.
Group boards are also incredibly helpful in spreading your content, so join as many as you can.
You can start with mine (if you’re a part of my niche), but there are many others (let me know if you’re interested in knowing more!)!
10. Keep Writing.
The most important part of being a successful blogger is content.
You need to keep writing in order to have something people can click on to look at and read.
Of course, it’s redundant, but you just have to keep at it in order to keep growing.
You might not be getting the views or following you’d like, but you must still keep writing.
The more content you have to offer, the more likely people will stay once you do establish that great following.
My Hope for All Bloggers
I really hope these tips help at least one blogger.
I’m learning daily just as you are, but I know how important it is to hear (or read, in your case) things you might already know but not exactly follow through with.
Sometimes we need that validation.
At the end of the day, I would like all of us bloggers to succeed, regardless of niche.
I believe there is room for everyone, as the internet is full of possibilities!
Let Me Know if these Tips Helped You! Tell Me About Your Blogging Story! What Works/ed for You? Tell Me in the Comment Section Below!
Again, thanks for reading and supporting me.
You all are awesome!
I’m proud to be a part of such a collaborative and compassionate community!
If you enjoyed reading this post and/or found it helpful, please pin and share it with others!
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Best of luck on your journey!