Can You Make Money Blogging in One Year? – How one woman took her blog from $.17/month to $8,300 in one year! All of the secrets to get you started on the right foot.
Have you seen those incredible $10,000, $20,000, or even $100,000 PER MONTH income reports floating around on Pinterest? I know I did. In fact, that was why I got started blogging in the first place.
I was a stay at home mom who wanted to make extra money without leaving home, and there was the answer right in front of me. I’ll start a blog and be making $100,000 next month FOR SURE!
Or so I thought.
And then I waited.
I waited for my blog to go viral overnight with my first post.
No, really… I really did.
And it didn’t happen.
After many 40+ hour work weeks and busting my butt to see even the tiniest amount of traffic, I started to research what I was missing that these huge bloggers had. I was ready to throw in the towel and just give up.
That’s when I learned some really depressing statistics. Less than 10% of bloggers make any money at all. More than 90% of bloggers quit blogging within 6 months.
So I started to wonder… is it even possible?
Can you make money blogging in one year? The answer is YES! But there’s a catch.
You have to really work. I know, I want an “easy button” as much as you do! But that’s really not how it works.
Related post: How to Start a Profitable Blog the Right Way
You need to be focused.
It’s not enough to be ready and willing to work. The reality is that if you set a timer for yourself and say that you need to get your tasks done in that time, you can stay focused and get everything done.
Even if you only have 15-minutes or 30-minutes here and there, you can blog professionally.
- 30-minutes to write a post
- 15-minutes to make the graphics for the post
- 30-minutes for writing an email
- 15-minutes for checking email
- 15-minutes (twice a day) on Pinterest repinning other people’s content
- 30-minutes making a new email freebie
- 30-minutes listening to a blogging podcast
Set that timer, leave your phone in the other room, close ALL other tabs on your browser (I currently have 9 open, in case you think you’re the only one who does that!), lock yourself in a quiet room, put your head down, and stick to that single task.
You need to have the right information.
There is SO much information out there about blogging. And all of it seems to be pulling you in 100 different directions.
Honestly, there are some great resources that are free. But the ones that you want to pay attention to… you have to pay for them.
I wouldn’t be ANYWHERE without Elite Blog Academy. It’s expensive, but really it’s the only class that you absolutely need to take if you want to be a full-time blogger.
If you need direction NOW, then you need The Ultimate Blogging Framework class. It’s a tiny fraction of the price of EBA, so you can get it right now and start to see the benefits of it until you can enroll in Elite Blog Academy in February.
All of my favorite freebies are offered by Elite Blog Academy (because I’ve used all of them and I trust the creator, Ruth, implicitly when it comes to blogging know-how):
- The Blogger Assessment – Do YOU have what it takes to be an elite blogger?
- Goal Setting Workbook – Your goals will become real when you write them down!
- Blog Structure Blueprint – The winning formula for a killer blog post.
- 7 Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight – How to jumpstart your blog earnings right away.
- Buy EVERY class under the sun!
- Get sucked into buying a class from someone who doesn’t have a proven track record as a high-performing blogger.
- Buy ANY class if you haven’t finished a class that you’ve already bought.
- Sign up for every email list under the sun. You’ll be overloaded and overwhelmed.
Doing too much and signing up for too much will just turn into noise and you will have some serious FOMO (fear of missing out) when you already have enough on your plate.
You’re blogging about too much!
Sure, you can blog about gourmet cooking, high-end fashion, budgeting, and keeping horses. But you really shouldn’t have all of that on the same site.
Narrow down your niche and really figure out what you want to talk about, what you love, but also what related to one another. Having too much going on will confuse your readers.
Imagine someone shows up on your site because they clicked through a link on Pinterest for “how to prepare coq au vin,” and they see that your recent posts are about “how to board horses.” You’d probably be really confused and leave the site.
You have 3 seconds to make a great first impression. Don’t ruin it by trying to talk about everything under the sun.
- Find ONE big topic that you can talk about for hours and hours. (For me, it’s money.)
- Once you have the big topic, find up to 5 sub-topics. (For me, it’s saving money, making money, budgeting, and frugal living.)
- Under each of those topics, you can come up with different ideas, but they all need to fit under those topics.
Don’t try to stretch too much either; don’t try to make dinner recipes fit into your high-end fashion blog.
You can’t please everybody, and you don’t need to. Remember: your people are out there right now waiting to hear exactly what you have to say.
Related post: Best Blogging Podcasts to Follow
Diversify your income.
There are 5 big ways that bloggers make money:
- Ad networks
- Sponsored posts
- Privately purchased ads
- Sale of your own products
While I love ad income because it’s so passive, you really can’t rely on ad income to make up your whole income strategy. Dips in social media, algorithm changes, seasonal changes all affect your traffic, which affects your income.
In your first year, you likely won’t have a product (which is totally fine!), so you need to work on affiliates. There are a ton of affiliate programs to join, but I’ve found the top 100+ for almost every niche out there!
Which brings us to the next point…
Don’t be afraid to sell to your people!
Affiliate marketing is the blogging way of saying “sales.” If the thought of needing to sell anything makes you want to hide under a rock, I get you!
For crying out loud, I was a Girl Scout who couldn’t sell Girl Scout cookies! Who does that?!
Here’s the mindset shift I need you to know right now: you are not selling them something that your people don’t want or need. You’re connecting them with a product that will help them!
If you’re trying to peddle a product that isn’t going to help your readers, it isn’t worth it to try to sell. You will damage your readers’ trust and they will be even less likely to buy anything from you.
All that to say that there are some easy ways to start using affiliate links:
- Join Amazon’s “Associate” program. You can post a link that will allow you to get a (small) commission from anything that someone buys. If you have a link for a $.99 ebook, you could still wind up getting the commission for a full cart!
- Promote products that you already use. Go to their website, go to the bottom and see if they have an “affiliate” or a “partner” tab. This is usually a place that you can sign up for their affiliate program.
Remember: you are HELPING them. Don’t try to sell silk blouses to your readers who are there for recipe posts. If what you’re trying to get them to buy isn’t actually helping them, don’t bother trying to sell it.
Related post: Best Tips for a New Blogger From a Blogging Pro
Grow an email list with a GREAT provider.
This is SUCH an important part of blogging! Actually, I’ve heard from a few bloggers who make $100,000/month (PER MONTH, Y’ALL!) that they don’t even care if people read their posts anymore; they only care about nurturing their email lists.
That sounds a little silly but really, you need to take care of your email list subscribers.
- Get a free email provider. – I highly recommend Mailerlite because they have advanced features and are free up to 1,000 subscribers. You can also use MailChimp and MadMimi, but I REALLY suggest MailerLite first. Then move on to ConvertKit as you grow, but you’ll need to pay for it, so start off free.
- Start emailing your list regularly. – At least once a week.
- Give them valuable information. – Remember: it isn’t about you! Give them value.
- You are working to get them to know, like and trust you. – This is how you will get them to buy from you eventually.
- Set up an email freebie that will help your readers and grow your email list
- Send an RSS feed. – Turn off the email that gets sent automatically when you make a new post.
- Neglect to offer any help. – If you aren’t helping your readers, it isn’t worth it to send an email.
- Only sell to them all the time. – Remember the whole “know, like and trust” thing? Build that before you go after a sale.
- Email them once and then forget about them. –
So can you make money blogging in one year?
Absolutely! With a lot of hard work and persistence, you can really make money blogging.
Full disclosure: it IS tough.
You will work a lot and you will work hard. But the truth of the matter is that you really can make it happen.
There is no easy button. There is no magic answer to the super-secret key to blogging. The truth is that you really need to work. It isn’t something that happens overnight and it might be a full year before you make a “substantial” income.
What was your biggest struggle with your first year blogging?
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