3   43
4   49
0   53
0   69
9   99
0   33
2   61

My First Month Blogging and Income Report

My First Month Blogging and Income Report

Welcome to my first blogging income report!

When I first started this blog, I had no intention of writing posts about blogging!

But after reading income report after income report from bloggers who have made it big, I wanted to jump on that bandwagon because I love reading them so much.

I’m also hoping it will hold me more accountable after falling off of the blog bandwagon last year as well as producing my own income reports from a very small-beginner blogger point of view.

I find it exceptionally motivational to read other posts from bloggers who are earning £30k per month, however, I also find it totally depressing when I’m barely pulling in two figures.

And by two figures I mean less than £10! Everyone has to start somewhere though and I’m not going to keep comparing myself to these much larger blogs, I’m going to compare myself to my own progress and try and do a little better each month.

Just to give you a little background to Belle’s Running Blog.

I didn’t initially start this blog off to make money. It started from watching many of my running Instagram followers create their own blogs and write about their running experiences and I wanted to do that too.

I’m interested in social media marketing and content creation but I also have a passion for writing (I’m part of the grammar police), being creative and just sharing my running journey.

Blogging seemed to tick all of these boxes and I was chomping at the bit to get started with mine.

I launched the blog the first time around, back in January 2018 with around 3 posts to get started with. I was paying for the second most expensive version of WordPress, which cost around £84, so that I could add AdWords to the blog from day one without having to think too much about it.

The next thing I purchased was my domain name which cost me £1.19 on GoDaddy.com. I was reluctant to buy a more long-term subscription because, honestly, I didn’t know whether blogging was going to be for me and I didn’t want to invest in too much to begin with.

If you’re an experienced social media / marketing type you’ll think that I’m being totally dramatic in saying that WordPress to me looked like the dashboard of a spaceship!

It looked so complicated to me and all I was initially looking for was the menu to create my first post, where the heck is it??

Remember, I’m an absolute newbie and I’d never seen anything like this before and I certainly have never met anyone else that has started their own blog.

To this day, one of the most upsettingly frustrating things about setting up my blog was attaching my domain name to my WordPress site. It probably took me the best part of around 2 hours from buying to attaching.

In this time, I may or may not have made a frantic call to the Go Daddy helpline who told me that it was a WordPress issue and I’d need to contact them.

I then contacted WordPress and their customer service team responded very rapidly and were so helpful I couldn’t fault them.

It turned out that I had actually managed to link my domain name to my WordPress site but because it took some time for it to sync it looked like I hadn’t.

Phew! Crisis averted.

I wondered whether I’d made a terrible mistake in setting up the blog with WordPress and perhaps I should have gone with the less ‘techy’ Blogger. But I’d committed now so I’d have to learn it one way or another.

If you’re reading this and you’re going through the same overwhelm that I was in the beginning, please know that it does get easier but you won’t learn it overnight.

I did enjoy the process of learning everything from scratch but this also meant I had to let go of my frustration of not knowing everything immediately like I’m prone to doing.

Anyway, I posted consistently for the month of January and managed to get around 11 posts published and 326 pageviews. February I was still consistent with 10 posts and got slightly more views at 417 and March ended up with around 13 posts.

April, however, was another story. I managed to get out a measly 6 posts out of around 13 planned and by May I was down to 2.

It felt like all of my hard work was not paying off. I’d spent the equivalent of around 40 hours per week working on the blog to get no return at all in the first two months. What the heck! What was I doing wrong?

March was the month I decided to invest in Tailwind, which cost me £89.71 for the full year. This was a lot of money for me to invest into my blog but after reading so many other testimonies I felt like it was something I needed to get my traffic off of the ground.

I then pretty much gave up entirely and made a half-effort at starting it up again. I posted very inconsistently (some months I didn’t even post at all or I was doing the bare minimum).

Around July time I had a bit of a crazy moment in a bid to revive the blog and I went through my Pinterest account and basically repinned nearly every pin I’d ever posted.

I didn’t think anything of it until I was away visiting family and I got a WordPress notification that my traffic was particularly high that day.

Gone were the days of me checking daily what my blog views were… they were bad.

When I logged into my stats page, I saw that I’d had 3,316 views IN ONE DAY! That was more than nearly all of my months for the entire year together at this point!

I then rounded up that month with the most pageviews I’d ever had and I was kind of happy but also kind of annoyed. I’d done no work on the blog at all but I was getting more views than I’d ever had.

I hadn’t posted in months but NOW I was getting traffic!

However, this wasn’t something that I was able to replicate because according to all of the posts I’d read from other bloggers, repinning the same posts to the same boards was bad practice and I wasn’t creating any new ones at this point.

I ended the year with another dismal attempt at revival and published a couple of posts in December, trying to promote Run Every Day January in time for the New Year.

I’d already decided that I was going to do another blog launch in January 2019 so it seemed like a nice way to ease myself back in to writing and blogging again.

I was pretty disappointed with my results from my 2018 blogging efforts and the only person I had to blame was myself. I only managed 57 published posts and this should have been more like 160

After reading other bloggers posts I had set my expectations way too high and unfortunately my sporadic efforts to write posts and promote the blog wasn’t going to see me through.

I knew I’d have to put in the work and be consistent and this time around I was committed and more determined than ever to make it a success.

My total blog views for the whole of 2018 was 27,244 and my most popular month was July, thanks to my frantic repinning efforts.

So, 2019 I made the conscious decision that I wasn’t messing around any more. I was going to do a second launch of the blog in January and I was going to do things properly this time around.

I had neglected so many things that other bloggers were suggesting that they’d used to build their blog empire because, honestly, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it!

I consider myself quite tech savvy but I do get frustrated and sometimes upset when it doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.

Things like starting a mailing list was way too much for my brain to cope with so I never tried. That’s the most frustrating and annoying part about last year for me.

I never even tried to do it or to learn how to and yet I’d read time and time again that this was the KEY component to connecting with your readership and holding an audience.

If I was ever going to produce a course or product, who would I promote it to if I never had created a mailing list??

Another thing I’d totally neglected was SEO. To me it was some magical witchcraft that no-one really knew how to master. While I’m still learning about SEO, I have come to terms with the fact that none of this is rocket science and that if I don’t know something I have to learn it (unlike teenage me who felt that if I didn’t know a test subject by now, I was never going to learn it).

So what things have I started to do differently in 2019?

  • Setting up a mailing list using Mailchimp
  • Creating freebie printables that I can attract subscribers with
  • Planning and scheduling an entire month in advance (as it stands, I have all of March scheduled to publish which is around 9 posts). I also write weekly blog posts from my running which totals another 5 posts that I’ll write on a Sunday.
  • Creating more new pins for Pinterest for old blog posts. This can be difficult to do if you don’t have many blog posts to promote and is something that will become easier as you go along
  • Write catchier titles for my Pinterest pins. I try and make myself aware of what pins I click on and what about it that makes me engage with it. Is it the title? Is it the picture? I then set about using these ideas to create mine and so far they are translating to more clicks to my site
  • Tidying up my Pinterest boards and descriptions. In 2018 I didn’t even have board descriptions and definitely no keyword titled ones. I tried to consolidate as many board themes together as I could without leaving myself with nothing to pin to
  • And lastly, I started writing better descriptions for my pins including keywords, more engaging text and I started using hashtags, which I’d never done before
  • I’m working away from home. But surely that’s the joy of blogging that you can do it at home? Obviously, this is a perk but I have great difficulty in separating my blog time and my relaxing time which is one thing I don’t enjoy about working from home with my 9-5 job. I’d take my blog book to bed, in the bath, while I’m watching TV so I never really fully relaxed. I’d also look around and feel guilty that I wasn’t washing up or doing other household chores. One way I’m doing this is I have signed up for my local library and had an induction so that I can access it out of hours. This means that every day, even when the library is closed to the public, I can go and work there and be focused.
  • Invested in a blog theme. I made a little bit of a snap decision when choosing my new theme based entirely on another blog that I’d fallen in love with. While it’s a massive improvement on the one that I had before I’m looking to change it up again.
  • I’m making the things that are making my blog grow a priority. Last year I got so bogged down with all of the other millions of tasks I wasn’t spending enough time trying to create any content to go on it! Now, my main focus is to produce the content for the blog as job number one and then everything else (like promoting, research blogging, improving Pinterest and my theme) is secondary and a bonus to this. My second main focus is producing lots of new pins for old posts. This has definitely brought a lot of traffic to my site without a doubt.

A lot of my Pinterest changes were implemented after taking Ell Duclos’ Pinterest Course (which cost me around £10) which I took in December. I knew my Pinterest needed some serious work and it still has some ways to go but I have seen an uptick in my views since I’ve been trying to learn more about it.

Now I’ve got all of that out of the way, let me share my January income and stats report with you all!

I know technically this isn’t my first month ever blogging but I definitely didn’t do even 1 tenth of the work I should have done in 2018 so I’m pretending it’s brand new.

Pageviews

January saw the most pageviews in a month than I’d ever had in 2018 at 8,516. This isn’t exactly a groundbreaking amount but I was pleased that my apparent new efforts were paying off.

My highest page views per day was 912 and my lowest was 103.

Income and Outgoing

Amazon Associates Affiliates | £2.91

I’m still learning a lot about affiliate marketing (something I’d also neglected in 2018) and I’m looking forward to getting much more affiliate sales in the future.

Honestly though, I think some of this might be from my friends and family so shout out to them supporting my side hustle!

WordPress WordAds | $6.28 (£4.88)

Aside from my fluke July month in 2018, this is the most I’ve made with WordAds. You don’t get paid until you reach $100 on this scheme so I’ve got a way to go before I am going to be seeing this in my bank account.

In total last year, I made around $30 from WordAds. Don’t worry I’m still at my day job, before you ask!

TOTAL INCOME | £8.69

Outgoings

WordPress | £124.80

I already had the midway version of WordPress but I made the decision to upgrade to the Business account. I’m going to review this next year when my subscription is up but I’m still learning and I think I might be able to do this is a more cost effective way.

Domain Renewal on Go Daddy | £15.72

I still chickened out from paying for more than one year with my domain name so I will have to renew this again in January 2020. Hopefully I’ll be in a better position to be able to get a more long term solution for this but I’ll worry about this again next year.

Blog Theme | £39.57

While I’m pleased that this new theme has given my blog a total overhaul and looks much better than before, I’m still undecided as to whether this is going to work best for me now that I’m using it.

TOTAL OUTGOINGS | £180.09

Had a bit of an expensive month this month with my outgoings and annoyingly everything is renewing in January when I have little dispensable income.

I have managed to compensate with this though and I’ve been selling items on EBay to help make the money.

In my opinion it’s an investment into the future of my blog no matter where it takes me and at the end of the day there are way more expensive hobbies than blogging (like running for example!).

Traffic Sources

In order of the referral amount, here are the traffic sources to my blog: –

  • Pinterest 96%
  • Search engines 1.45%
  • WordPress reader 1.31%
  • Instagram 0.79%
  • Facebook 0.17%
  • Twitter 0.02%
  • Other 0.06%
  • LinkedIn 0.01%

What the heck is up with the LinkedIn referral? I only have an account that I used for my day job so I haven’t got a clue how 1 person was referred to my blog from it!

Pinterest is clearly the runaway winner this month and, let’s face it, every month.

January Blogging Overall

I have been pretty pleased with the results from January and I spent approximately 60 hours working on it.

February is going to be much higher as I’ve made some drastic changes to my working environment to really focus on producing better quality content.

Goals for February 

  • Increase blog views again (more research on traffic is required)
  • Have all of March’s blog posts scheduled and as ‘SEO’ as I can make them (using Yoast for help with this)
  • Investing in another Pinterest training course
  • Research more on monetising and affiliate marketing
  • Improve my theme until I decide to purchase another (praying for more EBay sales)
  • Create new pins for all of my old posts

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my first income report and that this has somehow reassured you if you’ve been having the same doubts as I have.

Yes, I haven’t made a huge amount of blogging in my first month but I’m still learning and there’s no pressure or time deadline for me to have reached a certain monthly amount by.

I’m going to keep pushing on, keep researching, keep learning, keep trying and show up every day even if it’s just to create one pin.

Let me know how your first months of blogging are going and whether you were under the impression that you’d be making hundreds in your first couple of month as a total newbie but that’s very different from reality.

Happy blogging!



Blogging for beginners | blog income and traffic report | Belle's Running Blog www.bellesrunningblog.com
first month blog income and traffic report | beginners blogging

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