Note: Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. I only recommend products that I use and love!
Why I Share My Income Reports
Reading income reports from other bloggers is part of what inspired me to start my own blog. From the very beginning, I knew I wanted to share my own income reports, as a way to motivate myself and inspire others!
If you are ready to start your own blog, whether as a hobby or as a way to make money, I wrote an easy guide about starting a blog here.
Read my previous income reports:
I kicked off the new year in Spain! For the first eight days of this month, I was on vacation in sunny Barcelona. I barely spent any time on my laptop (maybe one hour a day) and didn’t spend much time working on my blog or social media.
Yet I still made almost $200 totally passively while I was gone through affiliate marketing and sales of my ebook! That was an amazing way to start off 2018.
This month it felt like a lot of things started to “click” for me. How to get more traffic, how to run my blog more efficiently, how to write better blog posts. This all contributed to the drastic increase in page views, email subscribers, and income that I had this month!
Another big thing I did this month was make some branding changes to Blog Darling. I switched up the look of my blog and Pinterest graphics to make them look more elegant/professional. (Check out the graphic at the top of this post to see what I’m talking about!) It took about 12 hours to re-do all of my graphics but I’m honestly really happy with the way they look now and think it’s a better fit for my brand.
This month was also all about growing my email list. I switched over from Mailchimp to ConvertKit and my subscribers more than DOUBLED this month after switching! I went from 300 to 700+ email subscribers. You can read more about exactly how I did it in this post.
ConvertKit is THE best investment if you are serious about making money as a blogger. It’s $29/month for up to 1,000 subscribers, but you can get a free trial through my link.
Finally, this month I invested in the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. I have always heard a lot about this course, because its creator Michelle is the blogger behind Making Sense of Cents and she earns over $50,000 per month from affiliate marketing! I have been wanting to increase my affiliate sales, so I decided to try out this course.
It’s $197, but it’s packed with information and comes with some bonuses that are worth the price alone! For example, you get access to blogger Rosemarie Groner’s Pinterest strategy that brings her 500k page views a month. She normally sells this strategy on her blog for $139, but it’s included for free in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
I haven’t had a chance to try everything from the course yet, but I did implement the Pinterest strategy and my traffic literally shot up overnight – I had my first 1,000 page view day, and my traffic went from 6k page views last month to 14k page views this month! This brought me an increase in affiliate sales and ebook sales at the end of the month.
(P.S. If you purchase the course through my link, email a copy of your receipt to me at email@example.com and I will send you a free copy of my ebook Get Paid to Pin, which will teach you how to make affiliate sales on Pinterest!)
What I Did Right:
- Switching to ConvertKit as my email provider. I just covered the highlights of ConvertKit above, but basically I am really happy with it because it has allowed me to take my blog/business to another level this month. Check out this post I wrote if you want to get started with ConvertKit yourself!
- Deactivated my Facebook business page. Remember when I deleted my Instagram last month because it wasn’t bringing me any traffic? Well, my Facebook page was barely bringing any traffic either, despite having over 300 likes. So I got rid of it.
- Reached out to other bloggers and business owners. I have a couple guest posts and interviews coming out next month, which is exciting!
Mistakes I Made:
You know I like to keep it real on this blog… Well, I made a LOT of mistakes this month and I am still cringing at one of them. I obviously still have a lot to learn…
- Ebook check-out not working. This month, I added a new payment gateway called Stripe to the check-out page for my ebook. But I didn’t realize for TWO WEEKS that Stripe wasn’t actually working, until someone emailed me about it. Turns out, I had never activated my account properly and was still in “test mode.” I don’t even want to think about how many potential sales I missed out on because of this mistake.
- Adding people to the wrong email list. WORST mistake ever. For some reason, when I set up ConvertKit, I linked it to my SendOwl account. So whenever anyone bought a copy of my ebook, they got added to the email sequence I have for people who sign up on my blog. So everyone who bought my book was being added to an email list they didn’t even sign up for! This went on for an entire week until I finally realized my mistake.
- Wasting time on social media. Although I deleted my Facebook business page for my blog, I still used Facebook to engage in Facebook groups for bloggers. This month I felt like I spent too much time in these groups so I decided to take a break. I will talk about this a little more down in the social media section of this post!
My Blog Posts:
- My 2017 Blogging and Income Report
- 20 Ways to Make Money Blogging
- 31 January Blog Post Ideas
- 8 Steps to Turn Your Blog into a Business This Year
- Top 6 Secrets of Successful Bloggers
- Why I Quit Google AdSense (And How I Make Money Blogging Instead!)
- The Best Affiliate Programs for Fashion Bloggers
- Blog Darling’s Top 7 Most Popular Posts of 2017
- How to Come Up with Blog Post Ideas
- 18 Opt-In Incentive Ideas to Grow Your Email List
- How I Increased My Page Views from 2,600 to 6,000 in One Month
- Which Affiliate Programs Are Best for Bloggers?
- Worried About the Facebook Algorithm Changes? Here’s What to Do
- Simple Social Media Routines for Bloggers
- The Blogging Time-Wasters Killing Your Productivity
- 50 Blog Post Ideas for Beauty Bloggers
- How I Grew My Email List from 0 to 600 Subscribers in 4 Months
- How I Wrote and Launched My Ebook in 5 Days
- Why Every Blogger Needs an Email List (Plus How to Start Yours Today!)
(Wow, I wrote a lot of blog posts this month!)
- Page views: 14,332 (up from 6,000 last month! This is due to the new Pinterest strategy I learned in the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course)
- Email subscribers: 720 (up from 300 last month, thanks to ConvertKit)
Well, I got rid of my Instagram and my Facebook business page because despite having a lot of followers/likes, I wasn’t actually getting any traffic from those sources. So Pinterest is all I have now! It brings me the MOST traffic out of any other sources.
- Pinterest Followers: I went from 600 followers to 1,025 this month
- Pinterest Impressions: I went from 138k to 640.6k impressions (!!)
Check out this post for my Pinterest strategy!
Facebook groups: I do think that Facebook groups for bloggers are a great way for new bloggers to start building traffic and followers, along with connecting with other bloggers and getting advice, BUT I was spending (wasting) a lot of time in them.
So for the past week, I have been taking a break from Facebook groups. It hasn’t affected my traffic or income at all, and I have been able to focus in on more valuable activities instead.
- BoardBooster (for looping pins): $10
- SendOwl (for selling my ebook): $15
- Canva for Work (for making graphics): $12.95
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: $197
Note: I track my income as it is earned, not as it is paid out. Most programs do not pay out for 30 days or until they hit a certain dollar minimum. I started tracking my income this way to show you how quickly you can begin earning money from your blog; however, you may not get paid until anywhere from 30-90 days later.
- BlueHost affiliate sales: $225
- Hello You Designs affiliate sales: $10
- Styled Stock Society affiliate sales: $20
- ShareaSale affiliate sales: $10.50
- Pinteresting Strategies affiliate sales: $12.80
- Get Paid to Pin ebook sales: $467.54
January 2018 Profit: $510.89
I am really happy with this month’s numbers! My expenses were on the high end because I invested in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing but I think that is an investment that will really pay off in the coming months!
Goals from Last Month:
- Sell 10 copies of Get Paid to Pin YES, I sold 34 copies!
- Get 10,000 page views Yes, ended up with over 14,000 page views
- 850 Pinterest followers Yes, I ended up with 1,025 followers
- 500 email subscribers Thanks to ConvertKit I hit over 700 subscribers!
- Create a new opt-in incentive YES, also thanks to ConvertKit I created and added three new opt-in incentives to my blog
Goals for Next Month:
- 1,000 email subscribers
- 1,400 Pinterest followers
- Track how many hours I spent blogging
- Sell 30 copies of Get Paid to Pin
That’s all for January! It has been a great start to 2018 and I am excited to see where this little blog goes next. Come back next month to read February’s report!
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you purchase through my links. I only recommend products and services that I have personally used and love.