Hi! I'm Jessica, a full time graphic designer with a love of both design and travel. Welcome to my blog - I can't wait to share my travel tips and design ideas with you and hope I'll inspire your creative side.

How I Made $261.50 Last Month Blogging

How I Made $261.50 Last Month Blogging

Please note: this post contains affiliate links

I'm so excited to finally write this post because I can officially say that my little blog has become profitable! It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but it was definitely worth it. I've learned so much these last couple of months through trial and error and it taught me a lot about what works and what doesn't. The best part about this entire experience is learning as I go and most importantly on my own. I'll admit, I have read other bloggers posts about how they made X amount a month and I even tried some of their techniques. I know every blogger is different and I knew that what worked for them may not necessarily work for me. That's when I decided to experiment and try a little bit of this and that to see what gave me the best results.

A Little Backstory

I officially launched this blog in June of 2017, but I spent most of May designing and coding it. In the beginning, I tried to be as consistent as I could and promised myself to post at the very least twice a week. I did my best to promote it on the big ten social media platforms - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest. Between creating content, working my regular 40 hour a week job and trying to live a normal life, it quickly became overwhelming. I didn't have the the full-time hours to dedicate to this blog and it was very discouraging to see I wasn't gaining much traction. I had all these great ideas and I felt like I had some interesting things to share, but no one was reading it. (You can read all about my struggles with traffic here and I how turned it all around). Finally I decided it was time to make some adjustments by changing my approach and in November of 2017 it finally paid off and I had my first profitable month! I am beyond thrilled and I want to share with all of you what I did to make over $250 this past month.

Here's what I did.

Social Media

Mistake #1 was how I promoted my content on social media. I was focusing on all four social media platforms equally when I should have concentrated on one and rocked it to the best of my ability. In the end I picked Pinterest because I felt like it fit into my niche the best and I was currently in the process of upgrading my Tailwind account to the plus version. My investment in Tailwind was the best decision I made because it allowed me to schedule any new posts/pins which helped my blog traffic grow immensely! Having an automation pinning system is amazing because I can schedule all my pins for the week in no time at all. Although I have accounts for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram I am most active on Pinterest because it has been the most effective in helping me gain more traffic. Below is a screen shot of my Pinterest reach between November 1 - 31.

The key to Pinterest is automation and making sure you have pins scheduled 24/7. I make sure I always have pins scheduled for each and every day and I'll typically assign anywhere between 100 - 200 per day. Upgrading my Tailwind account has been instrumental in my blog's growth and success. Interested in Tailwind? Read all about how I used Tailwind to skyrocket my traffic.

Join Facebook Groups

Once I decided on which social media platform I was going to focus on, I began searching for Facebook groups to join. It is very important to join Facebook groups regardless of your niche because it's a great way to network and gives you the opportunity to meet with other bloggers. Many of the groups I'm in are extremely active and it's not uncommon to have 20 or more notifications every couple of hours. Facebook blogging groups will help your blog grow, give you the support you need and be there to answer any questions you may have related to blogging. Please remember: to get the most out of these Facebook groups you need to be active and interact with others.

I've included a list of some of my favorite Facebook groups you can join below:

Join Pinterest Group Boards

After joining some Facebook blogging groups, I began searching for Pinterest group boards to join. Group boards are one of the best ways to generate traffic to your blog. They allow you to get your blog posts out to thousands of readers with similar interests. For a new blogger, group boards are an excellent way to extend your social media presence even if you don't have many followers. I wasn't sure how to get more people to see my posts, but I read as much as I could from experienced bloggers who saw success through the use of group boards and made sure to take as many notes as possible. I learned the importance of Rich pins and keywords which also helped my numbers grow. You can read more about rich pins here. The best way to get new readers to see your content is to contribute to Facebook groups and Pinterest group boards.

I've included a list of some of my favorite Pinterest Group Boards you can join below:

Affiliate Sales/Ads

This was my biggest struggle. I felt like I wasn't gaining enough traffic for affiliate ads to be feasible and with so many different affiliate programs the whole thing made my head-spin. I discovered that the main problem I had wasn't my lack of confidence, it was the lack of guidance needed to use affiliates correctly. Naturally I turned to Pinterest to try and understand how some of these bloggers were making thousands or more a month. I soon learned that I needed to choose affiliates that fit into my niche and search for products that you love or use constantly. I chose to start with Amazon because I felt the most comfortable with it and knew almost everyone shops on Amazon. I have read how some bloggers aren't a fan of Amazon since you don't make as much money as other programs out there, but I wasn't making any money at all and decided to give it a shot. Just like everything in life it takes time and patience. You may not see results immediately (I didn't), but as your blog continues to grow so will your numbers. I also searched for other affiliate programs and started (very recently) to use Shareasale. I'll be the first to admit that it was a little hard to get a handle on at first, but there are plenty of tutorials out there that were immensely helpful to me. I'm still very new to Shareasale, but feel confident it will pay off in the future.

I've included a list of some affiliate programs you can join below:

Shareasale - Affiliate marketing network connecting merchants and affiliates across all major categories.
Ebates - Receive compensation for referring buyers to the retailers, brands, merchants, and other partners participating in the Program.
CJ Affiliate - Online advertising specializing in pay-for-performance programs.
Amazon Affiliate - Easy to join and the associates program allows you to start earning money immediately.
Creative Market - Earn 10% of every purchase for an entire year from all new customers you refer.

The Breakdown

Finally, I know this is what you've all been waiting for. Here is the breakdown of how I made over $250 last month blogging.

Amazon - $5.63
Google Adsense - $255.87
Total = $261.50

I know, I'm just as shocked as you are that the real MVP of November was Google Adsense. I don't want Google Adsense to be my main source of income, which is why the month of December will be dedicated to implementing more affiliate programs and discovering ways to make them work for me.

Be Patient and Don't Stop Writing!

The biggest piece of advice I can give is don't give up. Continue producing and posting content because the more you post the more Google recognizes your site. This will help with SEO and should bump you up higher on Google searches. Make sure to stay active on your selected social media platform and interact with other bloggers through any groups you're a part of. Like I said above, it takes time and patience (I almost gave up completely after month 3) but it will come and pay off for you. You owe it to yourself to try so keep writing and continue to promote yourself and the rest will fall into place.

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