Did you know that it’s possible to make a living from blogging? No joke… there are tons of real people in the real world that make thousands of dollars of passive income from their website each month.
It’s not a gimmick or an MLM-type scheme either. I’m in a few Facebook groups with professional bloggers that make serious cash from their blogs. And the thing is… once you know what to do, it really isn’t that hard
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While I’m not quite where I want to be in my blogging journey yet, last month was pretty amazing. I finally broke the $2,000 mark, and it’s awe-inspiring, to say the least.
… and that’s without selling a product or too many affiliates sales, either.
With all that being said, I’d like to share some stats and numbers from my blog last month. This will really help you on your own blogging journey!
*This post contains affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase after using them, I earn a small commission, which helps support this blog at no additional cost to you. Keep in mind that I only link to quality products that I use myself and feel would be beneficial for my readers. Read my full affiliate disclosure for more information.
Why I Choose To Publish My Earnings
First off, as cliche as it sounds, I believe in transparency (in all things in life)… and I have no shame in talking about my income.
Next, I believe that the information in this post is highly beneficial for you. It’s always inspiring to see what other bloggers make, what they’re doing, and all the other nitty-gritty details of running a blog.
I want to inspire others the way that I get inspired by reading income reports.
Last but not least, I feel like it adds credibility to my content. Although this is a “positive lifestyle” blog, I often talk about the blogging/marketing niche.
Showing the details of my strategy helps position me as an industry expert.
What You Will Find In This Report
- Traffic stats for both blogs (courtesy of Google Analytics)
- The strategies I used to drive traffic
- All revenue streams that brought in some sort of income last month
- Business expenses incurred
- What worked and what didn’t
- My goals for the future
- Steps to help you move forward in your own blogging journey
I want to start by pointing out that I have two different blogs in completely different stages of their journey.
HolleewoodHair is much more seasoned and brought in 98.93% of my income last month.
Last month was the best month I’ve ever had with traffic.
I had 92,000 unique visitors and 100,000 sessions. Note that I have a high bounce rate and lower session duration from the Pinterest traffic.
While it was a better-than-average month overall, you can clearly see that I had a pretty big spike towards the end of the month, which came from this viral pin. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
This blog, TheBestDayEver, is much newer and gets much less traffic. This is pretty normal since it’s still in the beginning stages of a website.
Most of my articles average a few views per day. However, 15 Types of Toxic People (To Avoid Like The Plague) usually gets a decent surge of traffic whenever I make a new pin for it.
Since it does so well, I need to create similar posts to drive up my overall traffic.
For both blogs, I emphasize Pinterest and Google traffic. Pinterest is the easier way to get traffic when you have a strategy in place; it’s the #1 source of traffic for both my blogs.
I have a pretty solid Pinterest strategy, which works miracles for me. Pinterest is crucial for newer bloggers and starts bringing in traffic right away.
If you’re in the market for a similar strategy, I highly recommend the CreateAndGo Pinterest Traffic Avalanche Course. This is where I learned the methods I use to bring in all my traffic.
On the other hand, search engines drive the highest-quality traffic… and since it’s completely passive, this is where the big bloggers put their focus.
The downside? It’s a slooooooooowwwww burn, loaded with competition. It will likely be a while before you show up on the first page of Google.
- Pinterest: 70,424
- Facebook: 101
- Youtube: 59
- Twitter: 7
- Search Engines: 18,394
- Direct: 3,255
- Other Websites: 210
- Pinterest: 1,330
- Facebook: 42
- Instagram: 17
- Twitter: 7
- Search Engines: 10
- Direct: 72
- Other Websites: 23
Now, let’s talk about how I made all that money last month.
Even though affiliate marketing and sponsored posts are the most profitable way to monetize a blog, I haven’t fully mastered them yet.
Most of my money comes directly from ads on my website.
I monetize HolleewoodHair with Mediavine ads, which is amazing, btw. Their support team is incredible; they really try to help everyone in their program succeed.
When I first switched to Mediavine last year, I was terrified of losing the $400 per month I averaged with Google Adsense. However, I doubled that number in my first month… and now I’m making between $1,000-$2,000 per month.
I optimize my posts to maximize the amount of money I make per ad, which Mediavine helps with. Plus, things like increasing the font size and line height and shortening the sidebar make a huge difference in your RPM.
If you want to run ads, it’s the only way to go.
The catch? They only accept websites that get at least 50,000 monthly sessions (which is why I don’t run Mediavine on this blog yet.)
I did, however, make $4.88 on TheBestDayEver, with Google Adsense (which I can’t cash out until I hit the $100 threshold).
Like I previously stated, I’m not quite there with affiliate marketing yet… although I’ve been slowly improving from month to month.
I make the most affiliate income from Amazon’s affiliate program. I’ve been focusing on creating “niche posts” like The Top 5 Heat Protectants for Flat Ironing hair and placing native Amazon ads in some of my posts.
The native ads don’t seem to get as many clicks as the targeted posts, so I’ll probably take them out to improve user experience.
I also just got word from Amazon that I can pin affiliate links directly to Pinterest (with my own original images), so I’ll be testing this in the next few months.
Affiliate Sales Breakdown
Last month, I made $34.97 from HolleewoodHair’s Amazon affiliate links.
I also made $5.00 by referring one person to Ibotta through my How To Get Free Makeup From Sephora post on HolleewoodHair.
Last but not least, I referred one person from TheBestDayEver to purchase GeneratePress pro, which landed me $17.48.
Here’s some actual footage of the fancy spreadsheet I use to keep track of my blog income:
Even though I made over $2,000 last month, it wasn’t my net profit. Remember that running a business always comes with overhead costs.
Most of these expenses are billed annually, but I break them down monthly and split some costs between both blogs.
Total : $220.61
After subtracting 30% for tax ($624.09) and all other expenses, I’m left with a profit of 1023.73.
The profit would be more significant if I wasn’t putting money back into growing TheBestDayEver. But since my new blog is important to me, and I feel like it will pay off in the long run, the money spent is worth it.
What Worked For Me
Last month, I had some pretty good days with bigger surges of Pinterest traffic.
For TheBestDayEver, I played around with manual pinning and scheduled several pins per day via Tailwind to see what worked better. I’m not sure yet, but it seems like the manual pinning is winning so far.
For HolleewoodHair, I started spacing out the new pins to every 2-3 days (vs. daily pinning), which seems to be helping.
I’ve also been making new pins with templates that do well for me… which means more traffic and money.
I’m trying to work more on my Instagram feed, which has been driving some new traffic to my blogs. I’ve been using Gramista to grow my following and Tailwind to help choose what hashtags to use and when to post.
Although I’d like to put more effort into my Instagram, I’m pretty strapped for time and can only post for 2-3 times per week. But… I figure that any forward movement is better than none.
What didn’t work
I’ve been trying to map out a new social media strategy but just haven’t had the time. I know it’s important, but still on the back-burner for now.
I’ve also been having a hard time staying on track and keeping organized. I feel like there are a million things I need to do and not enough time to do them.
Last but not least, my affiliate strategy hasn’t been as successful as I’d like it to be. I’ve been experimenting with Amazon affiliate links, which seems to be driving up my earnings… but some things like the native ads haven’t been as successful.
My Goals For The Future
As I just mentioned, I have so many things I need to do.
Since I recently started going through the Elite Blog Academy, I’m just trying to stay on track and follow that process.
I’ve also decided that since HolleewoodHair is further along in the process, I’m going to shift back my focus since it’ll be easier to monetize in a shorter amount of time.
TheBestDayEver will continue moving forward, but there will be some bigger pushes with HolleewoodHair.
I’m super excited to see what the future brings for both blogs.
Even though I’m not yet where I want to be on my blogging journey, I’m making great strides towards my goals. I had the highest traffic numbers and income last month, and I’m pretty stoked.
Even if my income drops this month (ad revenue typically slows at the start of the quarter), I know that I’m steadily moving forward… and that’s awesome.
We have to remember that blogging isn’t a straight line to success. Some months are better than others… that’s just how it is.
I just can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future.
Until next time,
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