The title of this post makes it seem like I made no money my first-month blogging, but that’s not entirely true. I made a whopping 30 cents… That’s .30… 1/3rd of a dollar (I think) … A quarter and a nickel, thank you very much… and it’s so minimal I don’t have to pay taxes. Booya.
I’m sure you’re wondering, “Why aren’t you quitting then? Don’t you see the hundreds of other bloggers out there making WAY more than that their first-month blogging and get demotivated?”
And I would say a big fat NO to that question, cause I think all those other bloggers are lying to you.
But wait, you can’t lie on the internet. And the world isn’t round. And unicorns and fairies do exist.
They don’t and people do lie. But why?
To sell you something.
And it’s all okay! You’re sold with most of the things in your life, really, so don’t be too surprised. But honestly, I believe most of the bloggers out there who are touting that they made hundreds of dollars their first-month blogging are just trying to get you through the door and that that income was really at least a few months down the road if not more!
And it works! It has worked on me a thousand times every time I’m perusing Pinterest for good business ideas, and I’ve found some great articles so far, but I’ve also found a lot of sites just shoving affiliate links down my throat and not really caring if they are truly good recommendations or just to make a couple bucks.
I tell you this because I know how annoying it can be, and also to tell you I sincerely am writing this article to help other bloggers and writers out there to not give up when their first-month blog income can’t even provide and one night rental from Redbox. (*shameful sigh*, take in that moment of self-pity, accept it, and keep moving on.)
RELATED: THE BLOG BOSS BABE STARTER KIT.
When I first started this whole journey of writing a blog about a month ago I thought of myself as someone who would never blog about blogging. That it was kind of repetitive and there are so many out there writing about their blog that mine would be another drop in the bucket. And now, here I am blogging about blogging. But there are two main reasons why:
Writing out what I’ve learned makes it stick better in my mind
Others might learn from my mistakes and victories, and I love to lend a helping hand.
I have just learned so much about starting a blog that like any other person out there, I’ve gotta tell someone about it! And every time I’ve started the conversation with friends or family or the husband they look back at me with blanket stares… I just had to put this information somewhere, and why not write about it for some lost soul to find if they need it! So get ready for information overload.
First things first, kick-start your writing.
Find a boot camp book that will help you kick-start writing incredible content. In all the blog posts I’ve seen so far that are about starting a blog they just talk about hosting platforms and how ads work and WordPress or Blogspot. Though I’m talking about that as well, I believe the content and actually writing is what you should put your passion in to. One of the only times I’ve seen a big emphasis on content before commercializing was from Ruth Soukup and her How to Blog for a Profit without Selling your Soul which I recommend HIGHLY. Just check out Ruth’s very successful site livingwellspendingless.com and you’ll know it’s worth the getting her book.
The reason I started this whole blog is because of this crash course kit that I found wandering Barnes and Noble with a free gift card that I got from my previous work. The course was for thirty days, and it reminded me of how much I love to write plus how much WORK it is to be the writer you aspire to be. I started the crash course to reconnect with my old self and for a new hobby as a stay-at-home-mom, and it turned into jumping into the rabbit hole of blogging! And I’ve had a blast so far!
So once my passion for writing was sparked again, I dove into the nitty-gritty of the actual creating of a website world, and it was messy and frustrating. Let me try and simplify it for you and your first time around.
Let’s Start at the Beginning. A very good place to start. (where my Sound of Music fans at?)
I started my blog on WordPress.com, not WordPress.org. You see, I didn’t know there was a difference at first. And if you are the same as me, let me fill you in on the difference real quick. WordPress.com is like renting an apartment (If you lived in an apartment where the landlord made you pay rent and also took a portion of your paycheck every payday). WordPress.org is a software tool that assists you in owning your own apartment and making it look amazing (Pay to live there, get your whole paycheck to yourself.. all thirty cents…).
So, go check out WordPress and their different domain designs, even create a blog for free and design it to see how it would work for you and how you like the dynamics of running your blog the way they have all the dynamics set up. If it works for you and your writing style, awesome! If not, try Blogspot, or even Wix to see if they have a platform running style that works better for your site and goals for your blog. I liked WordPress most, and if you read my next step about Siteground and decide to go with them, you can transfer your WordPress setup easily through their hosting services.
Of course, you have probably seen promotions for WordPress on a lot of other “start your blog” articles so this may not be new news. But do you know how to properly get onto WordPress.org bandwagon? Pick what your amazing, creative site URL name and then head to this next step.
Host with Siteground. It rocks.
I’m the kind of person who can make things harder than they really are.
For instance, I research the crap out of something before ever considering buying the product. Spending hours looking up reviews, tips, recommendations and other blog posts about a product until I’m ready to explode with information, and then I buy. My husband is the same way. We like all our investments to have a backbone.
So, like a lot of bloggers out there I’m sure, it came down to two different hosting platforms. Bluehost or Siteground. I read two articles (among many others) that really convinced me, one was from a blogger who had tried Bluehost first and then switched to Siteground, the other was an unbiased online poll that I found from a Google search. Before finding these two articles, I was really leaning towards hosting with Bluehost because the price was a bit cheaper and it looked like a cleaner design, then I realized that a lot of the posts I was reading that were promoting Bluehost were on websites that had abnormally slow loading times.
You start to notice these little glitches as you delve into the blogging realm. Graphics designs, website designs, keywords, website speeds, etc. This article that raved about Siteground had amazing loading speed, which won the ticket of my business in the end.
Side note: As you look at the Siteground website and user panel it may look a little daunting at first for someone who knows little to none about computer science (this was me), and I would get frustrated at times trying to find my way around, but their customer service is prompt and incredible. Let them help you set everything up. They answer questions immediately and do most the work for you. That’s what a hosting platform is for, after all, they can do the dirty work while you create the content that makes your blog amazing!
Figuring out Ads Sucks.
And I’m still trying to get the hang of it. (So don’t judge when my site might look weird for a minute while I’m testing things out)
My initial purpose of this blog was not to make money. In fact, I had money-making on the brain the first week or so of this blogging adventure and I drove myself crazy. When I had the focus of working and coding ads I would get a headache, but I wanted my writing and projects to give our family a little extra money and I would love to have my spending on this blog to be matched by all the hard work.
Also, it’s good to show the hubby that I’m not just throwing money at what can become an expensive hobby if you don’t make a return…
I’m not going to tell you how much I’ve made off of ads or affiliate links quite yet because being a month into all this I am still working towards my financial goals, also, like I said before, money shouldn’t be your motivator. And starting out, don’t be money driven, readers can see that from a mile away.
Let me tell you the best, most simple programs I have joined so far that have not given me a headache trying to figure them out:
Shareasale: just apply and wait to get in. Once you do, you search for merchants who sell things that match your niche on your site and apply to their programs. Then you get access to already designed banners and ads that you just copy and paste to your code. EASY!
Media.net: I didn’t know about Media.net until about halfway through my advertising research and I’ve loved it thus far. I got an email from them shortly after joining their ad program with an email contact for my use whenever I might need help and their site is very easy to navigate. Plus, you can make your own ad units with colors that match your theme!
Amazon Affiliate Program: with Amazon’s affiliate program you just have to apply. No waiting for approval. Automatic access to advertising for their company and products. This is oober simple because, really, let’s face it, Amazon is going to take over the world. Accept it. Once they buy out Whole Foods there is no one stopping them. You have to simply search the product you want to promote on your site, then there is an affiliate bar at the top of the website at all times that gives you an option to either get the text HTML, image HTML, or both for your advertisement. Copy. Paste. Walla!
Google Ads: I have yet to join this program but I want you to know something I didn’t when I started blogging. I didn’t know that Google Ads typically will not approve a site until your site is about six months old. So don’t be like me getting frustrated day after day when I wouldn’t be approved. I plan on joining Google Ads once I’m a little more seasoned in the blogging world, and I recommend the same for others. Get to know how to code with Media.net and Shareasale first and you will be a master by the time you are a member of Google Ads. (Side note: Media.net seems a lot more personable and willing to help you towards your financial goals anyhow, I have had no one-on-one contact with Google Ads since I’ve tried to join which I feel is more of a headache that I don’t want to have.)
***Update: I just joined Google Adsense and it is incredibly easy to use! They truly know what they are doing when it comes to working ads and making sense of advertising on your site.
Lastly, a great referral program would be Ebates. Check it out to see if its a good fit for you! It’s a great coupon central for when you’re a mama looking to spend family time while saving money, and you can earn a little money by putting their small link on your site. Win-win!
Eventually, my goal with making a profit on my blog would be that others manage my ads for me. Programs like Adthrive and Sovrn are what I hope will be a part of this blogging team one day so I can just focus on what I love doing and helping others than focusing on which ads work best where.
Find a Purpose.
The best advice I’ve gotten is not to be in this for the profit, and I know I’ve already said this about a million times already, but I’m just reiterating to make it stick.
Don’t do it for the money! Do it because you want to help others around you, you want to be a drop of good water in the world bucket, and really, so you can do a little online journaling that can be passed down your family line for generations.
My goals are to better my writing, document the delicious meals that my family creates together (so we don’t forget in the future), and eventually publish a few books down the road. (I’m thinking maybe a few children’s books? Or even a novel of sorts? A cookbook? This idea is still on the drawing board.) Whatever your passion and purpose, find it, or else this blog adventure you embark on won’t last long. (especially if it’s just for fast cash)
So stick with it! I know I am! And don’t get discouraged. You are UNIQUE. No one else has your heart and your mind or ideas. Share them with the world, you have something to say and you should be able to share your talents with others. This is my pep talk every time I’m down on myself. Don’t give up friend!