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First Blogging Income and Progress Report: An Inside Look at Growing a Blog

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Blogging income reports.

They can either make you super motivated about making money as a blogger or…super frustrated.

You know what I’m talking about.

You’re cruising Pinterest looking for some good stuff to pin and bam–you’ve got 50 pins in your feed from bloggers who are making $10,000, $20,000, $50,000 a month from their blog.

And those are great, but…not always super helpful when you’re a beginning blogger.

Because you want to see the journey of how that blogger got to those amazing income levels, right?

And honestly, I’m more interested in blogging income reports from people who are at the same stage that I am, more or less. Reports like this one from Lee at Earnings Portal or this one from Lifestyle Queensland.

These blogging progress reports, report cards, updates–whatever you want to call them, are totally relatable to me.

In fact, I like them so much that I decided to write one of my own. So here you have it: my first ever blogging income and progress report!

Blogging Income Report for June 2019: What Worked, What Didn’t

blogging income reportOkay, so before we take a look at how blogging went for me in June, let me give you a little backstory.

I actually started this blog in March of 2018. Then I proceeded to gnash my teeth for three months, get really frustrated and quit blogging.

But the idea of being a blogger wouldn’t go away so on April 1st of this year, I relaunched my blog.

So, technically my blog isn’t brand-new but I still feel like a newbie because I’m trying to learn all the things. That’s why if you spend any time at all in Facebook groups for bloggers, you’ll see me asking questions all. day. long.

I considered June to be my third official month of blogging for reals, but to avoid any confusion I’m just going to call this my first blogging income report because, well…that’s what it is.

Got it? Then let’s dig in.

Blog Posts Published

Goal: 10

Actual: 8

I start every month with the goal of getting 10 posts published. This month, I came close but no cigar.

So what happened?

My freelance writing business was crazy busy again this month. And about the middle of the month, I was at a point where I just didn’t want to write another word for my blog.

But I pushed through my temporary writer’s block and published this post on motivating productivity quotes as a result.

I also stuck with my usual routine of updating old posts with new images and checking them with Grammarly. (And yikes, I didn’t realize how easy it is to overlook typos when you type 100+ words a minute!)

Oh, heyyyyy, I almost forgot!

I did write 10 posts this month, only they weren’t all for this blog. I also wrote two guest posts for other blogs.

If you’re interested in learning how to balance working from home with homeschooling your kiddos, give this post at Smart Cents Mom a read!

And if you want to learn how to work from home without totally neglecting your kids, that post is now live on Momalot!

Blog Traffic/Page Views

Goal: 4,000 page views for the month

Actual: 4,400

So, technically, I hit my goal but traffic was kind of weird for me this month.

I definitely think the Google update at the beginning of the month dinged me a bit–posts that I had that were ranking on the second or third page just disappeared.

As you can see, traffic peaked in the middle of the month, then went down. Overall though, I’m happy with my views so far, considering I was getting less than 100 views a month the first time I tried to blog.

google analytics

New Email Subscribers

Goal: 25

Actual: 50

Okay, here’s a confession: building an email list is totally intimidating to me. I have yet to actually email my little list anything.

That’s my goal for July. But as far as adding new subs went for June, I doubled my goal.

I’m working on updating and refining my lead magnet/opt-in strategy to boost my subscriber list next month. And if you have any suggestions for opt-ins or lead magnets you’d like to see here, hit the comments and tell me! I’m totally open to new ideas. πŸ™‚

Pinterest Monthly Viewers/Followers

Goal: 200,000/2,000

Actual: 218,000/2,200ish

Okay, so Pinterest.

My relationship with Pinterest is like a Taylor Swift song. One day Pinterest seems to love me, then the next day it’s like this:

We are never ever, ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me
But we are never ever, ever, ever getting back together

You know those Pinterest experts who say you need to be consistent for Pinterest to pay off?

Well, turns out they’re right.

My Pinterest monthly views (and yes, I know that’s just a vanity number) were all over the place in June. But the good news is, my engagement and my traffic from Pinterest grew steadily all month long.

pinterest traffic

Twitter Followers

Goal: No specific number, just more than what I had

Actual: 591 to end the month

So, Twitter is something I don’t use as much as I should, mostly because I don’t have time.

But according to Twitter analytics, my tweets got 16.2K impressions in June and I had an engagement rate of 1.6%.

Do I know what any of that means? Nope. I’ll have to put figuring out Twitter on my endless blogging to-do list.

Bottom line, I added around 90 followers for the month, which I’m fine with.

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What About Facebook?

So, I do get traffic from Facebook but not because I’m sharing anything on my own page. I do all of my sharing in closed Facebook groups only.

(And if you’re curious about why I don’t have a link to my blog on my FB page, here’s why. No one who knows me in real life, other than my kids, knows I blog.)

Traffic-wise, Pinterest is still by far my biggest traffic driver, although Facebook did send me around 600 referrals in June.

Hours Spent Blogging

Goal: 15 hours/per week

Actual: No idea

Since restarting my blog, it’s become almost an obsession.

I think about it all the time and work on it every chance I get. I have no idea how many hours I worked on my blog each week in June but if I had to guess, I’d say around 25 to 30.

Was it worth the effort?

Overall, I’m happy with how June turned out. As the long as the numbers keep moving in the right direction, then I know that I’m making progress.

blogging progress report

But What About Blogging Income–Did You Make Any Money?

That might be what you really want to know and here’s the answer.

Drumroll, please…

I made a grand total of….$0 in June.

Was it disappointing? Sure, since one of my goals was to get my first affiliate sale.

But I’m okay with not making any money from my blog–yet.

For the third quarter of the year, affiliate marketing is going to be my focus. I want to learn from the ground up how to do it and do it right so I can start making some money.

I’m also thinking of reversing my stance on having ads here if I can get my page views/sessions high enough to qualify for the Monumetric ad network. Long-term, my goal would be to offer courses here but I feel like I’m still a long way off from that so I’m looking at all the options.

For now, I’m going to work on stepping up my affiliate game to see what I can make happen there.

July 2019 Blogging Goals

July is already here and it’s started off well so far. I have a huge list of things I want to achieve for this month but my main goals are:

  • Publish 10 new posts on Boss Single Mama
  • Publish 2-3 new guests posts to build up backlinks
  • Add 3 new freebies to my Resource Library
  • Finish a free email course on freelance writing that I started months ago
  • Grow my page views to 6,000
  • Increase email subscribers by at least 25 (and oh yeah, start emailing my list!)
  • Learn how to use Tailwind, even if it kills me
  • Get my Pinterest followers up to 2,500
  • Grow my Twitter followers to 700
  • Make my first affiliate sale (fingers crossed!)
  • Working my way through this awesome list of 33 blogging tasks to tackle over the summer from Jenny at Traveling Part of Four

Do I think these goals are doable? Sure, if I’m able to get it together time-wise and focus on what I need to do.

Will I be bummed if I fall short? Sure.

But honestly, I can’t do it all.

I’m a single parent running a business, homeschooling two kids who are with me 24/7 and oh yeah, I’m trying to buy a new house and sell our current one before the fall. And we’re going out of town this month too.

So, my productivity may go out the window this month, who knows. But having clear goals to work toward is a big incentive to get as much done as possible to grow my blog.

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How’s Your Blogging Progress Coming Along?

Are you at a similar place in your blogging journey? Doing better than you’d hoped? Worse?

Head to the comments and tell me about it, then please pin and share this post if it helped you!

And if you’re ready to start a blog, then grab my free checklist that explains everything you need to know to get your blog up and running with Siteground!

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Hi there, I'm Rebecca, homeschooling single mom of two. I built a six-figure freelance writing business from home and now I teach people like you how to start side hustles, build profitable businesses online, manage money and be more productive! Follow me on Pinterest and Twitter and don't forget to check out the Resource Library--it's packed with tons of free tools to help you manage your money, business and life!

Comments

  1. My Pinterest analytics are a identical match. Some days no clicks at all. The crazy thing is. I am obsessed with how I find you successful. You’re like above my level and you are making $0. Not that that’s what I wish for you but it’s inspiring to know that you have social and site success and you are where iam financially. (-$60) for my expenses but πŸ˜‚

    I do wish you well for July! You got this

    • Ha, I forgot to put my expenses so I’m probably way more in the hole than you! Pinterest is just something, I can’t figure it out at all. As far as the making money goes, I believe that it will happen, I just have to find that thing that’s going to click. I have some strategies I’m going to try this month with affiliates and guest posts that I’m hoping will reap some results. My freelance writing business is my money-maker so I can afford for blogging to be an unpaid side hustle right now but I’m definitely hoping to change it!

      • I launched my blog in May and also have yet to make any money. Will you be sharing what you learn about affiliate sales? I’d love to hear your realistic point of view on how those go.

        • I’m still learning about affiliates–turns out it’s not as easy as it looks to make money that way! But that’s a great idea to share what I learn through trial and error along the way. I’m hoping to get my first affiliate sale soon and I’m researching how to do it as we speak. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m still trying to figure out Pinterest! I honestly have no idea how to gain followers that will actually repin my content, let alone even gain followers. I keep hearing that Pinterest is the best way to grow your blog, but so far nothing has changed. Fingers crossed that my pins begin to get discovered!

    • Hi Mykayla! Pinterest is a riddle to me as well–I don’t get the rhyme or reason. I follow people who are in a similar niche as mine and that seems to help boost followers. The main thing is just pinning quality content, both yours and that of other people. If you can do that consistently, you should start to gain some traction!

    • Thanks Joel, I’m trying my best! It’s hard trying to figure everything out and I would really like to have some blogging income to report sooner, rather than later. But as long as I’m growing daily then I’m okay with it.

    • Thanks Ashley! I’m trying and I feel like I’m doing okay, though I wish I had a better sense of where I should be at this point growth-wise. And Pinterest is my nemesis some days, my bestie others. Can’t figure it out. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Darcy! It’s been a slog for sure but I am seeing results, though not in the money-making department yet. Hoping to turn the corner on that soon!

  3. I totally love your story! And I also like blog reports, even though I don’t do them very often. It’s nice to see what you’ve done and where you’re going. A great way to evaluate and refocus. I think you’ve got some great goals and you’re an amazing writer and will go very far!

    • Thanks Sasha! I’ve definitely made progress but there’s still a lot to learn and a long way to go. I hope blogging will be my main business one day, as it’s so much more rewarding than freelancing in a lot of ways, even though freelancing has been VERY good to me financially. I’ll just keep plugging away in the meantime–as long as I keep growing, I’m happy!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this real blog progress report. I definitely like it better and can relate more to it than the ones from bloggers making 30k a month.
    One question though: how do you approach guest posting? Where have you posted and did you pitch to them or did they reach out to you?

    Keep it up!!

    • You’re welcome, Fernando! I find the newbie blogger reports much more interesting too. It’s great that bloggers are making a ton of money but I want to know how they got there and what their struggles were before all of that. With the guest posting, one of them had a form on her site and I just pitched some ideas through that. It wasn’t a totally cold pitch though–I’d interacted with the blog owner through some different Facebook groups for bloggers that I’m in. The second one, she had posted a guest post request in a Facebook group with a Google form you could complete–I just filled it out with three ideas and she emailed me to ask if I’d like to write one. I have another guest post I’m about to write that I got the same way. Facebook groups can be a great place to make connections!

  5. I enjoyed reading this post! Thank you. I’m a novice blogger. I hoped to be further along with it by now than I am, but being a SAHD with a toddler and a newborn, free time to blog has been sparse. my income off ads has been steadily (if slowly) increasing month over month but my affiliate income is still minimal. Hoping to work on that soon.

    • Thanks! How long have you been blogging, you have a ton of content! I would love to put more time into my blog than I do but I have another business I run full-time, plus two kids and a household to run so I do what I can. Just keep working at it, I’m sure it’ll get better. I’d love to have ANY affiliate income right now–that’s my next goal!

    • Thanks Cara! I have no idea if these numbers are good or bad but I like reading the new blogger income reports more than the established ones, so I thought I’d share mine. At the very least, it’ll be a way for me to track my progress month to month.

    • Thanks Claire! I really am not sure how to judge where I should be but the numbers keep going up, so that’s great! And yeah, I kinda dropped that Facebook post all over the place–the funny thing is, I wrote it purely out of appreciation for the groups I’m in and the people who run them. I didn’t realize it would be so popular!

  6. I just read through this again. These are measurable goals. I have written them down, and I am going for it. Thank you for the inspiration. Do you have a worksheet that you use? Or just pad and paper:)

    • Hi Jenny, I just write everything by hand. That’s how I do everything, aside from my freelance and blog writing–it makes me feel more connected to the goal or my to-do list or whatever it is. Making your goals measurable really helps and so does making sure they’re realistic. I got into trouble my first time blogging last year by setting goals that were just not realistic at all, but I didn’t know better.

  7. Great first income growth post. Love it. Also thanks for the shout out! Also we need to talk about how you got 50 subscribers in one month. Its the area im struggling with. Also your post has made me realise i need to free up more time to work on my blog. Right im off to read your next one now. Better late then never

    • Thanks, Lee! Honestly, the email thing is still a mystery to me. I’ll get a bunch of new subscribers but then none for days so I’m still figuring it all out. I have a lot of opt-ins all of my site but I’m still trying to find the “right” one to really ramp up my list. And I wish I had more time to blog too, right now I really need to be focused on using the time I do have efficiently. It’s a struggle for sure.

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