I am so excited to share my very first blog income report! I am completely shocked and really happy.
I didn't make much, but it doesn't matter to me. This blog is an outlet and a way to connect to other bloggers, so having actual blog income is stunning.
First, if you are thinking about starting a blog, this tutorial will help you start a blog today. I wrote a ‘how to start a blog' post that will help you:
- Decide what to write about! There is a list a TON of ideas for you to blog about.
- Compare price options when getting your blog (you have to spend money to start a legit blog – I paid like $40 for the whole year!)
- Show you how to set up your blog online (it's like a 15 minute process)
- Get a FREE domain name for a year! (this usually costs around $15)
Looking back at this report, I was able to quit my job and blog full time, ten months after starting this blog. I am really glad I took a chance and started a blog.
I made $13,000 in 6 months of blogging. That’s the best return of investment ever!
Here are a few free resources to help you get started:
- 120+ Awesome Blog Post Ideas Cheat Sheet
- Blog Template Layout Worksheets
- 7 Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight
- 11 Ways to Boost Your Blog Reach Overnight
- The Small Business Roadmap
- Small Business Start-Up Cost Guide
- 7 Genius Time Hacks for Bloggers
- New Blogger Focus Guide
I am definitely a newbie when it comes to blog income, but I have to start somewhere. I am very proud of my first blog income report!
My First Blog Income Report
In January 2015, I bought my blog and decided to get serious and treat it more like a business. I really wanted to make blogging a side hustle that earned me money! While I loved the idea of blogging as a hobby, I really wanted to earn income from it!
I finally got confident enough to comment on other bloggers’ posts (shy, introvert personality here), joined Twitter and signed up with Pinterest.
At the start of 2015, I committed to writing 2-3 times a week, improving my photos and making my website more user-friendly.
Using Bluehost, I paid for a domain and a WordPress website, used a free theme and had no idea what I was doing. This was my only expense for my first several months of blogging. Talk about a cheap, low cost to start an online blog/business!
I knew I wanted to monetize my blog and earn blog income at some point, so I added Google Adsense onto my website.
What is Google Adsense?
It's a free, entry level of ads you put on your website to help your blog make money.
I read over and over again that blog income from Adsense would take time to build and that is definitely true when just starting out. It is one of the harder ways to earn income, so don't expect to get rich overnight!
Ad income comes from traffic to your website. So in the early stages, you will still be growing and won't have a lot of traffic. Thus, low income from ads. But don't give up! As time goes on, you will get more traffic and start earning income from ads!
Next, I added a few affiliate links based on products I used. I was comfortable telling someone about a book I read, a blog theme I installed myself and a product I used in the blogging world or real life in some of my blog posts.
If you want to be an affiliate I recommend signing up with these companies:
These companies are like the middleman between you and brands/products.
I chose to only add affiliate links that I could 100% recommend to others. By adding a couple products that I recommended, some of my readers ended up purchasing them.
This was a win-win! First, I was able to share my experience and give an honest review of something I was using. Second, a reader trusted my opinion and used my link to make a purchase. The reader was able to get the item for the standard price and I was able to earn a commission. How exciting!
So drum roll please…
My First Blog Income Report: Income breakdown!
Here is my very first blog income report!
- Google AdSense – $0 (Although I have inched closer to the $100 threshold, I don't count the monthly income my blog is generating until I receive payment. I think I made around $15 in ads, but haven't been paid out yet from Google.)
- Affiliate Sales – $61.83 (This is a combination of cash and credits)
I actually earned a little bit more than this during the month of March, but some of the affiliate sales are not paid out until the following month. Because of this, I have decided to only report income when I actually receive payment.
My affiliate sources are small, but pretty diversified. As a new blogger, I am starting off slow with affiliate links. I am still learning how to use them, how I can write about them in my blog posts and how to make sure my recommendations help other people!
The affiliate sales from my first income report come from four different sources. Right now I am working with:
Rakuten – This is where you get free cashback when you shop online! You literally get cash back when you make an online purchase. The cashback is deposited into your PayPal. If you want to try Rakuten, use my exclusive link to get $10 off your first $25 purchase AND earn cash back.
Ibotta – This is another free cell phone app. You use it after you go grocery shopping and use your receipt. It's basically a rebate app, so you can earn anywhere from 50 cents to $5 off everything you buy.
My favorite part about this app is that it's not always brand specific, like a lot of coupons are. So you'll be able to scan “any brand of bread” for 50 cents off, etc.
If you do coupon – you can STILL use Ibotta and get a rebate. For the diehard couponers out there, this will often result in getting an item for FREE. Crazy, right?
If you want to grab the Ibotta app and start making money off your grocery receipts, click here to get started. You will receive a cash bonus of $10 when you scan your first item!
StudioPress – You need the Genesis theme to start a WordPress blog. There are other themes out there, but the Genesis theme is supposedly the best theme to use for Google search results.
Restored 316 Designs – the pretty theme I use for this blog is called the Darling theme. There are a TON of themes to choose from depending on your blogging niche.
I think it's really important to be a part of different affiliates as I don't want to depend on just one source.
I actually had two more affiliate sales from different sources in March, but as I mentioned above, they do not pay out until this month so I am not including them in my March blog income report.
My First Blog Income Report: Expenses
- Google Apps – $5
I did not include my expenses from Bluehost, as I paid for my domain name and hosting a year in advance.
I did not have any other blog expenses. Starting a blog is one of the cheapest start-up side hustles you can start compared to other businesses. Yippee!
My First Blog Income Report Grand Total: $56.83
I have no idea what my blog income report will be in April. Part of me thinks this is a fluke and can't be real, so I have zero expectations for April.
Clearly I can't quit my day job, but I am still excited that something I love to do earned income. I am just so excited to share my first blog income report.
What's happened since I published this income report
I quit my job in October 2015 to blog full time! You can read about my big announcement here.
In under a year, I was able to:
- Grow my blog from 1K to 160K monthly pageviews (today I get over 200K monthly pageviews)
- Earn a real income (enough so I could quit the day job!)
- Turn blogging, one of my side hustles, into my own full time job! (also crazy!)
Here are some of my blog income reports so you can see how my income increased each month, how I was able to improve my page views, and start earning consistent income!
I'm totally transparent and share what works, how much money I make, what I need to work on and more!
- June 2015 online income report $66.10
- July 2015 online income report $515
- September 2015 online income report $1530.94
- October 2015 online income report $3634.28
- December 2015 online income report $4238.99
- March 2016 online income report $5041.85
If you want to keep track of your income (which I highly recommend) check out Freshbooks! It's what I've used to track business income, expenses, invoice clients, and more. Click here to learn more about Freshbooks.
Interested in starting your own blog? Scared?
First, if you are scared to start a blog, read this blog post on how to overcome your fear of blogging. I bet you are experiencing the same fears that I once was! You can read the post here.
Second, read this tutorial on how to start a blog. It gives you blogging ideas, tells you everything you need to do to get started, as well as what to do after you launch your blog.
Third, If you want to learn more about Elite Blog Academy, you can do so here. It was the first course I took that helped me learn what to write about, grow my blog, figure out my VA biz and create my first course.