How To Start A Blog To Make Money In 2020 (Beginners Guide)

How To Start A Blog To Make Money In 2020 (Beginners Guide)

How To Start A Blog To Make Money In 2020 (Beginners Guide)

Updated On June 3, 2020

Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.”  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, WSW will receive an affiliate commission.  Additionally, Who Says What is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Please review our Privacy Policy for more information.

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STOP!  Before diving in, bookmark this page! This post is the most in-depth guide you’ll find to starting a blog and you’ll want to refer back to it as you begin setting up your blog. Don’t lose this step by step guide by bookmarking it now!

I know from experience:

Learning how to start a blog can be a daunting task.

With so much information out there about how to start a successful blog, you can spend hours and hours researching what do to without ever getting started – because, like, where the heck do you start?!

But, there is an upside to all of this:

how to start a blog, how to blog, how to start a blog for cheap, how to start a successful blog

You can literally learn anything you need to know about how to start a blog on the internet, and usually, that information is free.

For a relatively small amount of money, you can:

  • start a WordPress blog in 5 minutes or less
  • design your dream blog without having to pay a graphic designer or understand HTML coding
  • grow your email list through targeted opt-in’s and email marketing
  • increase pageviews with social sharing and Pinterest marketing
  • earn money from your blog

Now:

Starting a profitable blog (i.e. a blog that you make money from) is an investment – and one of the best ones you’ll ever make at that.

I know you’ve heard the saying: “You’ve gotta spend money to make money.”  And starting a blog is no different.

Bottom line?

Every penny you spend to start a blog will be worth the investment as you start earning double, triple, and even quadruple what you are making right now at your current job.

Now, on to what you came here for:  How to start a blog to make money.

Below I’ve laid out every step, from start to finish, on how to start a blog that earns you money from the getgo.

Every single one of the steps listed and products or services mentioned are the exact same that we used to start our blog and grow it into a profitable business.

The proof is in the pudding:

In the first 6 months of blogging, we’ve

  • launched a completely customized website that was designed easily and quickly (without having to hire a graphic designer or understand HTML or coding)
  • grown our email list to over 2,700 happy subscribers using targeted opt-ins
  • increased our page views by 87%, averaging 45,000 pageviews a month
  • created a best-selling product that has earned us $9,900 to date

And, here’s the best part:

We want to share our blogging strategy with you so you can also become your own boss and finally quit your 9-5.

Oh…and did we mention?  We’re giving away all our secrets on how to start a blog for free.

So:

Now that you’re ready to change your life forever (and I’m not just saying this – I actually know you will change your life forever by starting a blog), dive into this step by step guide to starting a money-making blog.

FRIENDLY REMINDER!  Did you bookmark this page so you can refer back to it?  No?  Do it now!  (You’ll thank me later :D)

1.  CHOOSE YOUR NICHE

Before you can start blogging, you need to decide what you’re going to be blogging about.

This is your niche.

And, these are my three biggest tips for choosing your niche:

1.  Pick a niche you are knowledgeable about (you do not need to be an expert)

2.  Choose a niche you will enjoy writing about for a long time

3.  Pick a niche that will make money

You must choose a niche you are knowledgeable about because you will be teaching other people, you need a niche you enjoy writing about because you’ll be writing day after day, month after month, and you want to pick a niche that will make money because, well, that’s why you’re starting a blog.

These are the most profitable blog niches in 2020:

  • Parenting/Motherhood
  • Personal Finance
  • Lifestyle
  • DIY
  • Health & Wellness
  • Food/Recipes
  • Self Improvement

With these 7 blog niches in mind, choose one that you have some knowledge about and can passionately write about for years to come.

And, if you simply have no idea where your heart lies, choose a lifestyle niche and write about trending topics.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Choose a niche you have knowledge about (no need to be an expert) and that you will enjoy writing about
  2. Pick a niche that is profitable

TAKE ACTION:  Decide on a niche for your blog and don’t look back!

2.  CHOOSE A DOMAIN NAME

Now that you’ve decided what your blog niche is going to be, you need to choose a domain name for your website.

Now:

You want your domain name to be unique and easy to remember, but don’t get too hung up on trying to choose the perfect name.

Many people have success using their name as their domain name or something clever that tells users what their website is all about.

Something like: twinsmommy.com or makingsenseofcents.com.  Or, your domain name can be totally random like whosayswhat.co 😉

As I said, don’t spend too much time trying to think of the perfect name for your website – or you’ll never get to step number two!

So:

Once you choose your domain name, you need to do these two things:

1. make sure the domain name isn’t already taken

2. do some research to see if a similar domain name is already in use – you don’t want people confusing your website with somebody else’s

Use Name.com to research domain names to see if they’re already in use or if something similar is already being used.

Finally:

Once you’ve decided on a simple and memorable domain name, go to GoDaddy.com to register it (so you OWN it) for as little as $5.99 per year.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Choose a domain name that is simple and memorable.
  2. Make sure the domain name you choose isn’t already being used or that a similar domain name isn’t in use.
  3. Do not spend more than a few days deciding on your domain name

TAKE ACTION:  Click me to register your domain name with GoDaddy.com

3.  PURCHASE WORDPRESS HOSTING

Now that you’ve registered your awesome and memorable domain name, you need to purchase WordPress hosting to get your blog up and running.

You might be wondering:  What the heck is WordPress hosting and why do I need it?!

Well, a WordPress host is a service that enables your website to go live, controls the speed of your website, and manages all the technical aspects of running a blog.

And, when you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, you own it fully – making it easier for you to earn money from it.

Here’s the dealio:

There are tons of WordPress hosting options available to you.  But, not all hosting platforms are created equal.

I had to learn this lesson the hard way – when my website crashed nearly every day during the first week of going live – and I want to save you from the hair-pulling aggravation.

So:  I only ever recommend two hosting companies to my new bloggers – TMDHosting and SiteGround.

SiteGround:

SiteGround has been around for years and is a trusted name for WordPress hosting.

They offer fast, reliable, and affordable hosting plans that start as low as $0.33 per month.

Here are their other claims to fame:

  • Managed WordPress accounts that include installation, updates, advanced caching, and expert support
  • Google Cloud powered platform making its network ultra-fast while matching 100% of the energy consumed by their operations with renewable energy
  • Constant security monitoring and prevention
  • 24/7 hosting support
  • Officially recommended by WordPress

Bottom line?

SiteGround is simple to use and will deliver powerful hosting to your WordPress blog.

TMDHosting:

TMDHosting is the WordPress hosting I use and love and recommend (highly) to anybody who is starting a blog.

They offer fast, reliable, and affordable hosting plans that start as low as $5.95 per month.

These are the reasons why I’m a die-hard fan:

  • They have 10+ years of award-winning experience
  • Their hosting plans use cutting edge technology to offer website speeds that are 16x faster than other hosting companies
  • WordPress.org is preinstalled for you along with carefully curated plugins for optimal speed and security
  • Their technical support team goes above and beyond the norm, answering any and all questions you have, fixing database problems for you, and ensuring your website is up and running 99.999% of the time
  • Free daily backups, spam experts included, and malware protection

Bottom line?

TMDHosting will make sure you can launch your WordPress blog quickly and effortlessly.

Now, I know what you’re wondering:  What about Bluehost?

I know that every blogger and their mom recommends Bluehost when starting a blog, but I am simply not in agreement with this recommendation.

I’ll be honest with you:

When we launched Who Says What, we used Bluehost as our WordPress host.  Aaaaand, we had a pretty terrible experience.  Not only was our website constantly crashing, but they were also very unhelpful when we reached out for technical support.

This might sound crazy, but we were ready to quit blogging because of how frustrated we were.

But, thankfully we stuck it out, did some research, and realized we needed to switch hosts – and that is what we did.

So, no.  I do not recommend starting your blog with Bluehost.

Trust me, you’ll have a much better experience with SiteGround or TMDHosting.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. You need WordPress hosting so you fully own your blog and can easily monetize it
  2. SiteGround or TMDHosting are the best hosting options for your WordPress blog

TAKE ACTION:  

Click me to purchase WordPress hosting from SiteGround ($0.33/month)

Click me to purchase WordPress hosting from TMDHosting ($5.95/month)

4.  GET STARTED WITH WORDPRESS

After purchasing WordPress hosting for your new blog, you can finally get started on your blogging adventure by logging into your WordPress dashboard.

First, create your WordPress account by registering at WordPress.org.

Then, log in to your dashboard using these credentials by visiting — yourdomain.com/wp-admin.

Once here, I recommend adjusting these settings:

1.  Settings > General: Edit your site Title (name) and tag line (this is what shows in the tab when somebody is on your homepage)

2.  Settings > Reading: Select a static page as. your homepage so you can customize it to your liking

3.  Settings > Permalinks:  Set to ‘Post Name’

Now, once this is all finished you can start designing your website and prepare to launch!

5.  YOUR WORDPRESS THEME

YAY!  You’ve made it to the best part (in my creative, graphic-design-obsessed opinion)!

It’s finally time to design your dream website!

And, get this:

You’re gonna design the website of your dreams all by yourself without having to hire an expensive graphic designer or purchase fancy templates or understand a lick of HTML coding.

How, you ask?  With a kickass WordPress theme called Divi.

The Divi Theme by Elegant Themes is straight up the only reason I didn’t give up on creating this blog and the only theme I recommend to anybody starting a blog.

Because here’s the deal:

It didn’t take us long to discover how hard it is to design a website without a decent theme.  Because, unless you have HTML coding experience, most themes are very difficult to customize to your brand.

Whichhhhh sucksssss because your brand is soooo important to stand apart from the crowd when starting a new blog.

Bottom line?

If you want to have complete control over the design of your website (and trust me, you do), then you need the Divi Theme.

Divi uses a drag and drop system, making adding elements to your website a freakin’ breeze (and there’s ZERO HTML coding involved).

Let me show you how easy it is:

So, now that I’ve sold you on the Divi Theme, you can get started designing your blog as soon as you download and install your new theme.

Simply follow these steps:

1.  Purchase the Divi Theme by clicking here.

2.  Download the Divi Theme in your members area of Elegant Themes

3.  Head on over to your WordPress dashboard (yourdomainname.com/wp-admin) to install your new theme

4.  Once inside your WordPress dashboard go to appearance > themes > add new > upload theme > choose file > install now > activate

And, now you’re ready to start designing your website (which we’ll take a deep dive into in just a few steps)!

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. The Divi Theme uses a drag and drop system that is simple to use and completely customizable so you can easily design the website of your dreams

TAKE ACTION:  Click me to download the Divi Theme

6.  INSTALL PLUGINS

Once you’ve installed your WordPress theme, you’ll need to install several recommended plugins before you start designing your website.

Plugins are handy tools that do a variety of things, such as add a layer of security to your website, increase your SEO, or create opt-in boxes for your email marketing.

However, with that being said, it is easy to get carried away with plugins, and using too many plugins can slow down your website or can interfere with your theme.

So, it’s best if you use as few plugins as possible and always use plugins that are updated regularly.

These are the plugins that I use, love, and recommend you install on your WordPress blog.

(To install a plugin, visit your dashboard > plugins > add new > [search for your plugin] > install now > activate)

1.  Askimet Anti-Spam (Free) –  This free plugin analyzes your comments and contact form submissions to protect your blog from spam and malicious content.  Askimet filters out 100+ spam comments on my blog every single day – making my life a hell of a lot easier.

2.  Bloom Email Opt-In Plugin (Included with your purchase of the Divi Theme) –   This plugin, which is included in your purchase of the Divi Theme, allows you to easily collect email sign-ups for your opt-ins.  With over 100 templates to choose from, including inline forms, popups, and fly-ins, you can create endless opt-in forms to skyrocket your email list.  As with the Divi Theme, these opt-in forms are simple to customize and install on your blog.

To install the Bloom plugin, visit your Elegant Themes Dashboard, download Bloom, and save the file to your desktop.

Next, visit your WordPress dashboard > plugins > add new > upload plugin > choose file > install now > activate plugin.

Finally, visit your Bloom settings to connect your email provider to ensure your sign-ups are being delivered to the right place.

(I use Convertkit as my email provider and highly recommend (more on this soon)!)

Bloom Email Optin Plugin

3.  Custom Sidebars (Free) – If you’re using a sidebar on your website (which I highly recommend you do, at least on your posts) this free plugin is awesome!  It allows you to choose which sidebar to display on which posts which is especially helpful if you have different topics and opt-ins available on your website.  Totally optional, but highly recommended.  To install the Custom Sidebars plugin, click here.

4.  Evergreen Countdown Timer (Free) – To easily install countdown timers on your tripwire pages (more on this soon), you’ll need this plugin.  Evergreen Countdown Timer is free and easy to use and install on your landing pages to create a sense of urgency and increase conversions.

5.  Monarch Social Sharing/Following Plugin (Included with your purchase of the Divi Theme) –  This plugin, which is included in your purchase of the Divi Theme, allows you to easily install social sharing widgets on your website.  With over 20 social media networks to choose from, including Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, and 5 locations to display them, you can easily skyrocket your following on multiple platforms.  In accordance with the Divi Theme, these social sharing widgets are simple to customize and install on your blog.

To install the Monarch plugin, visit your Elegant Themes Dashboard, download Monarch, and save the file to your desktop.

Next, visit your WordPress dashboard > plugins > add new > upload plugin > choose file > install now > activate plugin.

Finally, visit your Monarch settings to customize your social sharing buttons and select where you want them displayed.

[et_social_follow icon_style="flip" icon_shape="circle" icons_location="top" col_number="3" total="true" spacing="true" outer_color="dark"]

6.  ProveSource (Free up to 1k monthly visitors) – Using social proof to increase conversions on your landing pages is not only smart but necessary.  But, a lot of social proof plugins are expensive and hard to use.  That is why I am soooo happy to have discovered ProveSource.  For a low price (after 1k monthly visitors), you can create super customized popups to display sale counts, email sign-up counts, customer reviews, and more on specified landing pages.  Since using ProveSource on my sales pages, I’ve increased my conversions by 20% — which is why I recommend this plugin to everybody.

7.  SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle (Free) – This is another optional but highly recommended plugin.  With it, you are able to customize your sidebar with branded text, HTML, clickable images, buttons, and more.  To give this plugin a spin, install it here.

8.  Smush (Free) – The Smush plugin by WPMU Dev compresses and optimizes the images you upload to your WordPress site so your blog continues to load “amazingly fast.”  To install this must-have plugin on your blog, click here.

9.  UpdraftPlus (Free)Install this plugin to schedule weekly backups of your website — Something you’ll be thankful to have if your blog ever gets hacked or deleted.

10.  WP-Optimize (Free) – This is a necessary plugin to keep your WordPress site clean and cached so it continues to run smoothly and quickly.  Install it by clicking here.

11.  Yoast SEO (Free) – Yoast helps to easily optimize your posts and pages for search engines (such as Google and Pinterest) to crawl and find your content.  Trust me, you need this plugin if you want your content to be discovered.  To install it, click here.

So:

Those are the eleven plugins I recommend using on your WordPress site!

And, to ease your worries, I’ve tested each one with GTmetrix to ensure that they don’t interfere with site speed or the Divi Theme.

Of course, feel free to install any additional plugins that you find useful to your WordPress blog, such as recipe cards if you’re a food blogger or an Instagram feed if you’re a lifestyle blogger.

But, always keep in mind that you should limit the number of plugins you install to avoid conflicts with your theme and site speed.

Pro Tip:  If your website starts performing slowly or your theme suddenly stops working, deactivate your plugins one at a time and run a GTmetrix report to see which one is causing the problem.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Plugins are used as additional customization or performance tools for your WordPress site
  2. Don’t get carried away with plugins – only use as many as are necessary since too many can cause your website to slow down or interfere with your theme
  3. If you find your website is loading slowly or your theme isn’t working, deactivate your plugins one at a time and run a GTmetrix report to find the culprit

TAKE ACTION:  Install and activate the 11 plugins I have recommended to you above.

SNACK BREAK!  We’ve covered a lot of information up until this point, so it’s understandable if you need a break.  Simply bookmark this page so you can come back to it whenever you’re ready to pick back up again!

7.  DESIGN YOUR BLOGS BRANDED WEBSITE

Awesome!  Now that you’ve downloaded and installed the Divi Theme and your plugins, it’s time to design your blog’s branded website.

Heavy emphasis on the word branded.

Because, here’s the real deal:

So. many. blogs. look. exactly. the. same.  And you don’t want this.

You MUST create a blog and a brand that stands apart from the rest of the hundreds of thousands of blogs on the internet.

Now, here’s the good news:

Since you’re using the Divi Theme to design your blog, you’ll be able to create a kickass website that easily stands apart from the rest of the blogs out there.

Here’s how to create a stand apart brand in 4 simple steps:

1.  Write down the purpose of your blog in 1-2 sentences.

(For example, the purpose of Who Says What is to help young people live their best life.  By mastering your money and becoming your own boss, you’ll have time and money on your side which allows you to create the life of your dreams.)

2.  Choose 1-3 colors that represent your brand.

(Who Says What has 3 brand colors that represent a different step in our 3-step happiness formula.)

3.  Choose 1-3 brand fonts that you will use on your website, pins, and social media graphics.

(Who Says What uses three fonts – League Graphic, which is bold and eye-catching, Virtual, which is handwritten and whimsical, and Lato which is simple and easy to read.)

4.  Envision the vibe of your brand and how you want people to feel when they come to your website.

(Who Says What aims to create a spunky, outside-the-box vibe that inspires people to live life outside the norm.)

Sweet!  Now that you’ve created a super unique vision for your website, it’s finally time to design some pages (and yes, I’m serious this time)!

These are the 5 pages you should have on your website before launching your blog:

(To create a new page in WordPress using Divi go to your dashboard > pages > add new > [Add title, meta, SEO] > use Divi builder > [build from scratch] start building)

1.  Homepage

(Remember, to create a customized homepage (instead of displaying just your blog posts on your homepage), go to settings > reading and select “A static page” as your homepage.)

On your homepage, you should include a call-to-action and a sign-up form for your email list, navigation to your most helpful tips, recent blog posts, freebies that you’re offering, and an about me section.

For example:

2.  Blog Posts Page

This is where you’ll display all of your blog posts.

Divi makes this super easy with their Blog Module!  To see how to customize this module on your blog posts page, click here.  (Or watch the video below!)

3.  Resources Page

Your resources page is where you will display all of your affiliate products and services.

Make sure these resources correlate to your niche and explain why your readers need them in their life.

Having a resources page increased my affiliate commission sales by over 35% so don’t ignore this critical page when setting up your blog.

Take a peek at our resource page here.

4.  Disclaimer/Privacy Policy Page

Before launching your blog, you must have a page that states your privacy policy, disclaimers, and other legalities to avoid being sued.

Now, this sounds scary, but it really isn’t.

As long as you take the necessary (and simple) steps to protect yourself and your blog, you have nothing to worry about.

And, the best part?

Amira, from A Self Guru, has created legal templates FOR YOU so you can easily create a privacy policy and disclaimer page on your website!

To download your templates for $150 OFF, click here.

5.  About Me/Us Page (Optional)

Here’s the deal:

I say that this page is optional because many people say it is necessary, but I beg to differ.

You see, on my website, I include an about me section on my homepage and in the sidebar of every post.

Because of this, I do not feel that it is necessary for me to have an entire page dedicated to introducing myself.

But:

If you do not include information about yourself in other places on your website, I do recommend creating an About Me page.

On this page, introduce yourself, let readers know what you have to offer them, and explain why you are knowledgeable in your niche.  You might also consider including an opt-in form on your About Me page!

Once you have designed these 4-5 main pages on your website, you’re ready to start filling your blog with content!

Which brings us to the next step in our guide:

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Your website should represent your brand and stand apart from other blogs
  2. To create a unique brand/website, keep these things in mind:
    • What is the purpose of your blog?  What vibe do you want to give off?  How should people feel when they visit your website?
    • Choose 1-3 brand colors and use them throughout your website, on your pins, and other social media images.
    • Choose 1-3 brand fonts and use them on your website, pins, and social media graphics.
  3. Include these 4-5 pages on your blog before launching

TAKE ACTION:  Design your website!

8.  FILL YOUR BLOG WITH CONTENT

Ok, so, to recap:

You’ve picked a profitable niche, decided on a name for your blog, got your WordPress site up and running, and designed the basics of your website.

Give yourself a pat on the back, because that is a TON of work!

Next, you need to fill your awesome blog with content (aka blog posts) so you can start attracting readers to your website!

The best types of blog posts to write (that get a lot of traffic) are:

  • How To Guide/Tutorial (How To Cut Your Hair At Home)
  • Lists (25 Things To Do When You’re Bored At Home)
  • Guides (The Step-By-Step Guide To Filing For Unemployment)
  • Round-Ups (The Best Breakfasts You Can Make With Quarantine Food)
  • Reviews (Amazon Alexa Review:  Is It Worth Your Money?)

Now, here’s the most important part:

Before writing every blog post, you must do keyword research to make sure that a.) people are searching for this type of content, and b.) that your post is search engine optimized.

To start your keyword research, head on over to Pinterest.  Then, type your keyword into the search bar.  The results that appear underneath the search bar are related keywords that you should include in your post and your pin title and description.

You might be wondering:

What if no (or very few) related keywords appear under my search results?

Well, this means that very few people are searching for your keyword and you shouldn’t waste your time writing content about it.

Bottom line?

You want to be creating content that is in line with your niche and that people are searching for.  Give the people what they want!

Pro Tip:  Click into the search bar on Pinterest and scroll towards the bottom.  You’ll find a “Popular On Pinterest” section with 5-8 topics.  If any of these relate to your niche, create a keyworded blog post about it ASAP.  Also, check out Pinterest trends by selecting “Trends” in the Analytics drop-down in your Business Hub to find more topics to write about and increase traffic to your website.

This is crazy, but, most bloggers will tell you to write and publish 50 blog posts before launching your website to the world.

Andddd, I call bullshit on this.

Depending on your blogging schedule, it could take you months to write 50 blog posts.  Meaning it could take you months to start earning money from your blog.

So, here’s a better idea:

Create 10 kickass blog posts that are keyworded to perfection and launch the blog you’ve worked so damn hard on.  Then, continue to pump out 3-5 new blog posts each week.  This way, you’ll be able to launch your website sooner and generate your first sale quicker.

Pro Tip:  Pinterest LOVES new content so make sure you stick to a blogging schedule that allows you to publish new blog posts, products, and/or opt-ins every single week.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Write and publish 10 blog posts before launching your website so readers have a variety of content to explore when visiting your website
  2. Continue publishing 3-5 new blog posts, products, and/or opt-ins every single week to generate traffic

TAKE ACTION:  Plan, keyword research, and write your very first blog post!

9.  MONETIZE YOUR BLOG

You want to make money from your blog, right?

Psh. Of course you do.

So, let me fill you in on the best ways to monetize your blog so you can generate a full-time income and quit your 9-5.

The 7 ways to monetize your blog:

1.  Ads

2.  Affiliates

3.  Products

4.  Services

5.  Sponsorships

6.  Memberships

7.  Guest Posts

Now, here’s the deal:

You should choose more than one way to monetize your blog so you have multiple income streams and aren’t putting all your eggs in one basket.

To get started, I’d choose 2-4 monetization methods and dive in.  Then, add more if you see fit in the future.

Let’s go over each monetization method now so you can choose the best options for your blog.

Ads:

When I first started this blog, every single blogger that I came across advised me to never ever ever put ads on my blog.

Then, I discovered that some bloggers were making $5,000+ a month in ad income alone and I was dumbfounded.

Now, I still don’t know why some bloggers tell you not to use ads to monetize your website, but, I’m here to tell you TO USE ADS to monetize your website.

Ad revenue is passive in nature and takes zero effort on your part after installing them on your website, which is why I highly recommend starting out with ads as your first monetization method.

You can get started straight away with Google Adsense since they do not have monthly pageview requirements. However, I highly recommend applying to Mediavine as soon as you start generating 25,000 pageviews/month to significantly increase your ad revenue.

Now, I’ll be real with you:

The bloggers who are making a full-time income (i.e., $2,000+/month) with ads are those who are getting hundreds of thousands of page views per month (Like 100,000+).

However, even if you aren’t making a full-time income from ads, they are a kickass way to diversify and boost your blog income from month to month – with zero work.

The proof is in the pudding:

I have Mediavine ads on my blog and get roughly 30,000 page views per month.  And, every month I make anywhere from $200-$400 from my Mediavine ads, which, in my opinion, isn’t chump change!

Bottom line?

As long as you use ads tastefully (i.e., don’t overwhelm your website with them), they are a great way to monetize your blog and I highly recommend using them to do so.

Again, you can get started immediately with Google Adsense, and apply to Mediavine once you have 25,000 pageviews/month.

Affiliates:

Using affiliate links to monetize your blog is another kickass passive income stream that I recommend every blogger use.

It’s really easy to get started with affiliate marketing:

Simply sign up for the affiliate programs of your favorite products and services and promote them on your blog by inserting links and ads.

For example:

If you’re writing a blog post about the best planners for 2020, you can sign up for Erin Condren’s affiliate program and promote her LifePlanner in your post.  Then, whenever somebody purchases an Erin Condren LifePlanner after clicking on your link, you’ll receive a commission!

Here’s a list of the best affiliate programs to sign up for in a variety of niches:

All Niches:

  • ShareASale – An affiliate marketing network with 100s of merchants to choose from.  Click me to apply to become a member!
  • Commission Junction (CJ) – Another affiliate marketing network that has 100s of products and brands to choose from in a variety of niches.  Click me to join!
  • Amazon Associates – Promote any product on Amazon an earn commissions!  Click me to sign up!
  • Aragon Premium – An affiliate marketing network with tons of brands to promote.  Join by clicking here!
  • Ultimate Bundles – A great affiliate network that promotes bundles of products in a variety of niches. Sign up as an affiliate by clicking here!

Blogging Niche:

  • TMDHosting – Get paid to promote one of the best WordPress hosts available.  Join their affiliate program and earn $50/sale by clicking me!
  • SiteGround – Another great WordPress host to promote.  Click me to sign up and earn $50/sale!
  • Elegant Themes – Promote the Divi Theme to your readers and get paid $30 per sale!  Sign up by clicking me.

 

Finance Niche:

  • Rakuten – Help your readers earn cash-back on purchases they’re already making by promoting Rakuten.  Simply sign up for an account here and find your link in the ‘Refer & Earn’ section.
  • Ibotta – Similar to Rakuten, Ibotta helps users earn cashback on purchases. When you sign up for an account, you get instant access to your unique affiliate link.

Bottom line?

Sign up for relevant affiliate programs and promote the crap out of them!

Hint:  To find an affiliate program for a product or service that you love, simply type “‘Product/Service Name’ affiliate program” into Google.  If this product or service has an affiliate program, you will find it listed here and be able to quickly apply!

Products:

Creating your own product(s) is the ultimate way to take complete control over your blog income.

Now:

Before you dive in and create your first product, you need to do some heavy research into what your target audience wants, needs and will spend money on (<– very important!).

Without this research, you could spend months creating a kickass product only to find that your audience doesn’t have a need for it.

So, how do you gather the insight into what your target audience will purchase from you?

–> Free opt-ins! <–

Now, I’m going to do a deep dive into opt-ins in the next section, but here is a quick overview:

An opt-in is a freebie that you give away to your audience in exchange for their email address. This free opt-in could be a printable, template, checklist, ebook, mini ecourse, worksheet, workbook, webinar, tutorial, etc.

Your freebie opt-in should be relevant to your blog content and an obvious addition to the content already on your blog.

For example:

For my posts about budgeting, I give away budgeting method templates and checklists for free.

Now, once you’ve created your freebie opt-in and placed email sign-ups for this opt-in on your blog, like the one below, (more on this in step 10), you can start collecting data for your product launch.

I.e., do people sign up for this freebie, are they interested in this type of content, are they engaged in your welcome email series, do they respond positively to a survey about similar content upgrades, etc.

Then, after gathering this information you can get started creating your product and teasing your audience of its launch.

For example, as a product upgrade to my budgeting templates and checklists, I offer a 40+ page budget binder!

Again, your products could be printable bundles, ebooks, courses, tutorials, templates, and more.

Simply use your creativity and research and you’re destined to create a product that your audience will love.

Pro Tip:  Digital products are the way to go to create passive income from your blog.  A digital product only takes a limited time to create (using Canva), and once this is done, you can sell your product on autopilot with zero additional effort, time, or cost.  To deliver your digital product to your customers, use SendOwl who makes selling online a breeze.

Services:

Services, like products, are a great way to take control of your blog income since you have the power to pick a price and how you promote them.

Here is a list of services you can offer for profit on your blog:

  • Coaching (life, business, fitness, finance)
  • Website setup/design
  • Freelance blog post writing
  • Graphic design
  • Social media management
  • Email marketing management
  • Ad management
  • Virtual assistant

To promote any of these services on your blog, create a landing page that highlights your service, whats included, testimonials, prices, etc.

Pro Tip:  Use a Tripwire to increase sales of your product(s) or service(s). A tripwire is a sales page that users a redirected to after they sign up for your freebie opt-in that promotes your product or service for a limited-time discounted price.  Here is an example of my tripwire page that is presented to users who sign up for my free budgeting templates. (If you like the design of this tripwire page, you can purchase the template for it from Bluechic by clicking here.)

Sponsorships:

Blog sponsorships are when you are paid by a brand to create a blog post, social media post, or email to promote a product to your audience.

Usually, a sponsorship is for a predetermined amount of money and your post/email must adhere to the guidelines laid out by the company/brand.

For example:

You could partner with Nike and create a post highlighting their new sneaker in exchange for $100.

These are awesome places to find sponsorship opportunities:

Simply follow the links above to apply to a network and begin being connected to sponsorship opportunities!

Memberships:

Earn money from your blog by offering a monthly membership to your audience.

For a monthly price, you can offer your audience a membership to a resource library that is updated with new products each week/month.  Or maybe your membership unlocks weekly webinars for your clients.

Really, the world is your oyster!

Sign up for Patreon to collect your membership fees and dispense the benefits of your membership to your members.

Guest Posting:

There are tons of bloggers out there that need help creating content for their blogs.

Because of this, you can earn money by guest posting for them!

For a price of your choosing (choose a reasonable price that will be agreeable for the task at hand), you will create a blog post for another blogger to share on their blog.

It’s really that simple.

To find guest posting opportunities, reach out by email to blogs that you read, create a landing page on your own blog offering guest posting services, search on google for them, look on Craigslist, and network on social media with other bloggers in your niche.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. There are many ways to monetize your blog such as:

TAKE ACTION:  Choose 2-4 monetization methods to implement and start earning income from your blog.

10.  OPT-INS AND EMAIL MARKETING

I waited for months and months to integrate email marketing into my blog strategy.

And, boy, let me tell you:

What a huge mistake this was.

As soon as I started using email marketing as a strategy to earn money, I began collecting 800+ new subscribers per month and saw my blog income TRIPLE.

So, I’m here to tell you: Do not make the same mistake I made.

As soon as you launch your blog you should begin your email marketing strategy – even if it is to simply collect email subscribers that you can sell to later on.

Why is email marketing so important?  For 3 reasons:

  • You OWN your email list – nobody can take email subscribers from you
  • Having a large email list leverages your need for other marketing tools such as social media, Google, and Pinterest to bring you traffic (If you have a list of 10,00 people, that is 10,000 people you can promote your new blog post or product to without the need for SEO or other social media promotion).
  • Your email marketing strategy will not be affected by algorithm changes

So:

How do you get started right away with email marketing?

Simply follow these steps:

1.  Sign up for Convertkit (for free) to start creating opt-in forms and collecting email addresses.

2.  Create opt-in freebies (printables, templates, checklists, worksheets, courses, ebooks, workbooks, etc) using Canva as content upgrades to your blog posts.  Then, create opt-in forms and/or landing pages to collect emails in exchange for your freebie.

3.  Send your new email subscribers a welcome onboarding series that introduces you to them and explains what you have to offer them by being on your email list.

4.  Email your list with new blog posts and updates.

5.  Once you have a product or service to offer your subscribers, send out a product/service launch email series that explains what your offer is and where they can purchase your product or service.

Make it a habit to engage with your email subscribers at least once a week (whether through automated emails or sending out broadcasts) so they can get familiar with you and your brand.  This is a critical part of getting people to trust you so they feel comfortable and eager to purchase products or services from you.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Start your email marketing strategy as soon as you start your blog
  2. You own your email list, meaning your income and traffic will be more steady in the wake of algorithm changes on social media and search engines
  3. Make it a habit to engage with your email list at least once a week using automated emails or broadcasts

TAKE ACTION: 

  1. Sign up for Convertkit for free
  2. Create your first opt-in freebie (printable, checklist, template, worksheet, workbook, ebook, etc.) using Canva
  3. Create a welcome onboarding series to send to your new email subbies who signed up for your freebie

11.  MARKET YOUR BLOG

It’s time to unleash your blogs greatness on the world.

By marketing yourself.

Primarily on Pinterest.

I focus the most on Pinterest marketing because it has been the most successful source of traffic for my blog.

And you can put your Pinterest marketing on autopilot, so thats another huge plus.

Oh, and Pinterest is free, so yay!

Pinterest is an awesome place to market your blog because it is a search engine that is comprised of millions of people searching for tons of different things.

This means that more likely than not, your blogs content will find an audience on Pinterest.

I use Pinterest in conjunction with Tailwind to automate pinning and generate traffic to my blog on autopilot.

If you want to learn how to set up your Pinterest and website to generate traffic with Tailwind, check out our post on How To Increase Blog Traffic By 64% In 30 Days.

Once you’re pinning automatically each day with Tailwind, your posts will be circulating on Pinterest and leading people back to your content.

Continue creating valuable content that you promote on Pinterest (via Tailwind) and the traffic and sales will come your way!

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Market your blog on Pinterest
  2. Use Tailwind to schedule hundreds of pins in advance to create continuous traffic to your blog

TAKE ACTION: 

  1. Create a business account on Pinterest by clicking here
  2. Sign up for Tailwind to start scheduling pins

12.  TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

It’s important to monitor the progress of your blog to understand which strategies are working and which ones aren’t.

That way, you know which areas need improvement and which are popular with your audience.

I monitor the progress of my blog (my blog’s stats) in four different places, for four different reasons:

  1. Google Analytics to monitor website traffic
  2. Pinterest Analytics on Tailwind to monitor marketing strategies
  3. Convertkit to monitor email marketing strategies
  4. SendOwl to monitor revenue

By monitoring the progress of my blog on many different platforms, I can tweak things to improve the success of my blog.

I can also continue doing the things that are working, such as writing similar posts to ones that have received large numbers of shares and likes.

Don’t get too caught up on the statistics, though, because everybody’s progress and success is different.

WOW!  If you’re reading this, congrats!

You just stuck through the most in-depth guide to starting a blog and you should feel proud!

With all the information your need under your belt, you can start a blog that makes money and finally become your own boss.

How awesome is that?!

Cheers fellow blogging friend!

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HAPPY BLOGGING!

– Michelle

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Updated On June 3, 2020Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.”  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, WSW will receive an affiliate commission.  Additionally, Who Says What is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Please review...

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Did you know that NOW is the perfect time to start a blog to make money from home? Starting a blog will give you control over your time and income and I mean, what's better than being your own boss? Uh, yeah, freakin' nothing. So, since I KNOW you've been dreaming of starting a blog, I challenge you to take the plunge by clicking over to this step-by-step guide for beginners to start a blog that makes money. Click now to claim my limited time offer for a FREE divi homepage template. #startablog
Did you know that NOW is the perfect time to start a blog to make money from home? Starting a blog will give you control over your time and income and I mean, what's better than being your own boss? Uh, yeah, freakin' nothing. So, since I KNOW you've been dreaming of starting a blog, I challenge you to take the plunge by clicking over to this step-by-step guide for beginners to start a blog that makes money. Click now to claim my limited time offer for a FREE divi homepage template. #startablog
The Strategy Expert Bloggers Use To Increase Blog Traffic With Pinterest (I Skyrocketed My Blog Traffic By 223% In 17 Days)

The Strategy Expert Bloggers Use To Increase Blog Traffic With Pinterest (I Skyrocketed My Blog Traffic By 223% In 17 Days)

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The Strategy Expert Bloggers Use To Increase Blog Traffic With Pinterest (I Skyrocketed My Blog Traffic By 223% In 17 Days)

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So, I’ve been blogging full-time for three months and when I say my blog traffic was crawling, I mean my blog traffic was an ant, in a rainstorm, trying to get his crumb to the top of his ant hill.

Nothing.  was.  working.

 I read every post I could find about how to get massive blog traffic from Pinterest and initiated all of their advice.

You know the deal:

  1. Get Tailwind
  2. Join group boards (using PinGroupie)
  3. Pin, pin, pin
  4. Get hundreds of thousands of pageviews

Right?  WRONG.

Increase Blog Traffic -- Increase Blog Traffic With Pinterest -- Increase Blog Traffic Tips -- How To Increase Blog Traffic With Pinterest

Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

I know you’re shaking your head in agreement right now because getting substantial blog traffic from Pinterest is NOT as easy as all bloggers make it out to be.

During my first 3-months blogging full-time, I was regularly putting out new content and creating new pins for Pinterest.  I followed those generic tips for generating blog traffic with Pinterest and Tailwind.  And then, I waited.

And waited.

I couldn’t seem to get more than 200 page views per day, and that was on a good day.  Finally, I had had enough of the slow traffic crawl, so I went to Pinterest once again to find real answers to my blog traffic struggles – where I found a post about manual pinning.

After going down the rabbit hole and reading post after post about manual pinning, I was convinced that this was the answer to my blog traffic struggles.  (And, it was!!)

 I used the tips from Carly’s eBook “Pinteresting Strategies” and saw INSTANT results from Pinterest, increasing my page views by 223% in only 18 days.

The Pinterest Strategy That Skyrocketed My Page Views:

As I mentioned above, most bloggers are going to recommend that you sign up for Tailwind if you want to generate blog traffic with Pinterest.  But, unfortunately, they often leave out key information that is necessary if you want to truly unlock Pinterest’s traffic potential.

Carly, from Mommy On Purpose, goes over these key pieces of information in her eBook “Pinteresting Strategies,” so you can fully understand how Pinterest works and what it takes to see real results from Pinterest.

For example, most bloggers will mention the importance of keywords on Pinterest because it is a search engine.  But, not a single blogger has given me the Pinterest SEO tips that Carly teaches – which are so, so, so, so important to getting your pins discovered and clicked on, on Pinterest.

Every piece of information supplied by Carly in her eBook is something that I had never learned before from another blogger and she truly helps you understand Pinterest on a whole other level – which is essential to your success on Pinterest.

She says in her eBook that you can’t understand Pinterest if you don’t use Pinterest, and that resonated so much with my usage of Tailwind.  No wonder I wasn’t seeing any results – because I wasn’t actually using Pinterest. (And Pinterest knows this!)

The manual pinning strategy that Carly will teach you in “Pinteresting Strategies” is 100% your answer to increasing your blog traffic with Pinterest.

Let’s look at the results my blog saw after I read and started using the tips from Carly’s kickass eBook.

My Pinteresting Strategies Results (I increased my page views by 223% in 18 days!)

As you can see, after using the tips from Carly’s eBook, I increased my pageviews from Pinterest by 223% in 18 days.

By the way, this seems like a good time to mention that I am on a traffic mission right now because I am aiming to reach 25,000 sessions/month so I can apply to the Mediavine ad network + generate passive income.

(Don’t let anybody tell you that you shouldn’t waste your time with ad revenue!  Carly makes thousands of dollars per month through ads alone because of her kickass Pinterest strategy that generates 300,000 page views per month to her blog “Mommy On Purpose“)

Anyway, with Carly’s manual pinning strategy, I am on track to meet my page view goals of 25,000/month in less than a month.

Check out this screenshot from my first five days of December as I continue using the tips from Pinteresting Strategies:

As you can see, my page views have increased by 85% compared to the previous five days (even after beginning the manual pinning strategy from Carly’s eBook).  Seriously, I still wake up every day and think the 250 page views I have before 9 am are a joke.

But, because of Carly’s amazing Pinterest tips, my steady 900 page views/day are continuing to grow and grow and grow.  And, I am more confident than ever that my blog will continue to thrive as I continue engaging on Pinterest and launching viral pins.

Oh!  YES! Viral pins are possible, now!  Carly will teach you the exact steps to follow to make your pins go viral – which I’ve successfully done for my post “12 Life Habits To Start That Will Completely Change Your Life,” as you can see below:

I truly could not recommend Carly’s eBook “Pinteresting Strategies” more.

My huge increase in blog traffic from Pinterest is 100% because of the tips supplied from the “Pinteresting Strategies” eBook and from dedication to her gold-winning manual pinning strategy.

If you are struggling with getting traffic from Pinterest, don’t look any further than this eBook.

What should you do if you aren’t seeing results from Pinterest?

If your blog traffic is crawling as slowly as mine was last month, you’re probably feeling a bit discouraged.

How come nobody likes my content?  Or why doesn’t anybody want to download my freebies?  How come nobody wants to purchase my products?

I know these thoughts have crossed your mind because they often crossed mine.

But, the real issue is that nobody is seeing your kickass content on Pinterest.  And, the only way to get your content seen by the millions of Pinterest users surfing the web at any given time?  PINTERESTING STRATEGIES.

I 100% agree with Carly’s notion that you cannot have success from Pinterest unless you are actively using Pinterest.  And, Tailwind simply doesn’t allow you to use Pinterest as a real user, therefore it can’t give you the results that manual pinning can.

So, to start your manual pinning journey and watch your blog traffic explode:

  1. Click here to visit Carly at Mommy On Purpose
  2. Purchase her AH-MAZING eBook “Pinteresting Strategies
  3. Initiate her Pinteresting Strategies
  4. Stare in disbelief at the crazy number on your Google Analytics app

Don’t waste your time or money reading more tips on how Tailwind is the answer to your blogging success.  “Pinteresting Strategies” is your REAL answer.  (And, it’s like hundreds of dollars cheaper than most of those “big” blogger courses.)

As I said, my blog traffic through Pinterest (and Tailwind) was at a standstill.  Month after month and I couldn’t break the surface of even 200 page views per day, let alone thousands.

Now, after reading “Pinteresting Strategies” and using the tips from Carly’s eBook, I am about to reach my first thousand page view day and it will have taken me less than a month.

The information in this eBook is gold, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

And, if you want a sneak peek into the new and different Pinterest information that Carly has to offer, sign up for her freebie here.

Are you ready to try Pinteresting Strategies to increase blog traffic with Pinterest?  You WON’T be disappointed with the results!

HAPPY BLOGGING!

xx Michelle

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**Bonus:  Not seeing results from your blog?

Are you ready to start a blog + make money so you can quit your 9-5?

The biggest concern most people have when deciding to start a blog is whether or not they’ll be successful.

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5 Powerful Reasons Why You Need To Stop Publishing Blog Income Reports

blog income report

track your blog income!

record your earnings with your blog income printable

track your blog income!

blog income reports

record your earnings with your blog income printable

5 Powerful Reasons Why You Need To Stop Publishing Blog Income Reports

Ah, the oh-so-not-original blog income reports posts.  Are we still not over this trend, fellow bloggers?

Honestly, I am so over going on Pinterest and seeing thirty-five blog income reports, each one claiming to have made an insane amount of money last month.

I mean, not only is the internet not the place for your income, but it also isn’t an ethical way to make more money blogging. 

Cause let’s face it.  If you’re claiming to make $30,000/month from your blog, why in the damn hell do you need to promote that to make even more money?  If you want to teach people how to make money blogging, your only reference shouldn’t be your claimed blogging income, you know?

Blog income reports are a shady way to clickbait people and an even shadier way to make more money.  And, frankly, I wish the blog income report trend would die.

I’ve got 5 powerful reasons why blog income reports should become a thing of the past and what you should be doing instead to promote your money making tips.

(Potty mouth disclosure:  I’m gonna drop some f-bombs along the way.)

Blog Income Reports -- Blog Income Reports Posts -- Blogging Income Reports -- Blog Income Reports Make Extra Money -- Blog Income Report 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.  All reviews are our own, honest opinion.  See disclaimer here.

Okay, enough of me ranting about blog income reports…for now.

Here are the 5 real reasons why you should stop publishing blog income reports:

1.  They put you at major risk

2.  One blog income report is MORE than enough

3.  Blog income reports are unimpressive + unnecessary

4.  Your business accounting + blog income reporting *might* be wrong

5.  It is unethical to use your *impressive* income as leverage to make more sales (of usually insanely overpriced products)

Don’t get me wrong.  I 100% understand why people publish blog income reports.

I mean, why wouldn’t somebody want to buy your products or use your affiliate links when you claim to have mastered the art of blogging and are making twenty-five fucking thousand dollars a month?  Any normal human is going to see that large of a number and want to know your secrets.  But, are you giving them the whole story?

And, at the end of the day, is it all worth it?

1  //  BLOG INCOME REPORTS PUT YOU AT RISK

Truth:  advertising your income on the internet is STUPID.  And a surefire way to increase your risk of being hacked or robbed or BOTH.

This seems pretty obvious to me but apparently, it isn’t to most big bloggers who promote to millions of people that they make hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars every single month.

I mean, we live in the golden age of the internet, people!  Our election was canoodled with two years ago, so what makes you think that your bank account (which you advertise could have hundreds of thousands of dollars in) is so safe from these hackers?

Well, let me be the one to break it to you.  Your bank account is not safe from hackers.

Or what about literal robbers?

Think about it.  Most bloggers have an email list, right?  And, the emails that they send are required to disclose an address in every single one, right?  So, now you’ve just given people the knowledge that you are rich and access to an address where they might find you residing at, working at, or picking up mail at.

Hmm….maybe not such a smart predicament to risk putting yourself in, eh?

Hey, maybe you think I’m being dramatic, but it is such an insane risk to publish your income on the internet and I’m not sure why more people don’t stop doing it.

Is the risk of publishing blog income reports really worth the sales you get from it?

2  //  ONE BLOG INCOME REPORT IS MORE THAN ENOUGH

Trust me when I say, ONE blog income report flaunting that you make thousands of dollars a month from your blog is mooooorreee than enough.

As I said, I get it.  You want to use the fact that you successfully launched a blog and make a full-time income from it as leverage for why people should purchase shit from you.  It is a smart business move.  But an ethical one?  A safe one?  Meh.

Don’t confuse my advice, either.  You don’t have to stop publishing blog income reports.  But, you do have to get more creative at titling your blog income report posts.

For example, let’s look at all the different ways you can say, “How I Made $32,657 Last Month Blogging:”

  • How To Earn A Full-Time Income From Your Blog In 6 Months Or Less
  • A Guide To Quit Your Full-Time Career To Blog Full-Time
  • How I Increased My Blog Profits By 27% From Last Month
  • Learn How You Can Support Your Family With Six-Figure Blogging Income

See, you can still get your point across without publishing your income on the internet.  With some creativity, you can make any blog post enticing enough to click on without disclosing your blogging income.

For example, for my first blog income report post, I titled it “How To Guarantee You’ll Make Money Your First Month Blogging.”

In this blog income report post, I explain in great detail how you should set up your blog from day one to ensure that you make money blogging from the get-go.  Not once do I disclose how much money I made during my first month blogging, and it is still one of my top performing posts, bringing in more than 500 views during the first month it was published.

If you provide killer content, you don’t need to use clickbaity info such as your actual income to get people to click your posts.

So, pick your craziest blog income number, publish your classic “How I Made $12,537 Last Month Blogging” post and then find more creative ways to recreate the same information next month.

You and I can both agree that our Pinterest feeds need some blogging variety, right?!

3  //  YOUR BLOG INCOME REPORTS ARE UNIMPRESSIVE + UNNECESSARY

I just gotta say it.  Big bloggers, who are you trying to impress?

If you’re a fantastic blogger with all the inside knowledge on how to launch a successful blog that makes a crapton of money, you shouldn’t need to use your income to canoodle people into buying your overpriced course.

And!  Most importantly!  Your income is essentially irrelevant to the information that you are promoting in these blog income report posts.

See, the most important part of any blog income report post – and the main reason for writing your blog income reports – are the steps that you took to earn said money from blogging.  So, you can provide that kickass content (AKA – THE IMPORTANT INFORMATION) without disclosing your private income.

I.e., unimpressive and unnecessary.

I know, you’re wondering how do I prove to people that you made a full-time income from your blog without disclosing your income?  You can do this through percentage-based income reporting, which you can see an example of in my first blog income report, “How To Guarantee You’ll Make Money Your First Month Blogging,” that I mentioned earlier and in my second blog income report, How To Double Your Blogging Income Your Second Month In The Game.”

A level of trust is needed for this kind of blog income reporting, but let’s face it, you are trusting someone’s information whether they include their income or not because you have no way to know if any blogger is telling the truth when they claim to have made $54,732 last month.

You can download your percentage based blog income template, here

4  //  YOUR BLOG INCOME REPORTS ARE *PROBABLY* MISLEADING

Let’s not all forget that you can write whatever the fuck you want on the internet (for the most part).

So, who is to say that somebody claiming to have made $40,000 last month blogging isn’t lying?  Or isn’t reporting their income accurately?  Or is overzealously reporting their income because #theinternet.

Here are some key ways that somebody could be wrongly reporting their blog income:

  • they are reporting the amount of money they *should* make that month based on email signups for a new launch
  • they are reporting the amount of money they *should* make once all payment plans are paid in full for their course, product, etc
  • the amount of money they are reporting doesn’t account for their monthly expenses
  • they are reporting the amount of money they *should* make if all pending affiliate sales clear

And, even if somebody isn’t reporting their blog income incorrectly, they could be leaving out key information that would change your perspective on the given information.

For example,  maybe you did make $30,000 last month blogging, but did you disclose that it took you 10 years to do so?  Or that you have two other crazy successful blogs that your new blog is thriving from?

I mean, I’m not a fool.  I know you are not required to provide this information, but nothing makes me madder than seeing somebody publish a post titled “How I Made $15,000 My Second Month Blogging” to later find out that they have three other blogs, so, like, duh!!!!!

As a blogger, I feel that you have a duty to be transparent, and sometimes it isn’t always that when it comes to blogging income and the internet.  So, cheers to letting the income on the internet trend die?

5  //  YOUR BLOG INCOME REPORTS SHOULDN’T BE YOUR ONLY CLAIM TO FAME

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again.  Your only claim to the blogging hall of fame should not be your income.

You claim to fame should be:

  • that you mastered Pinterest,
  • or that you learned how to fund your love for travel through blogging,
  • or that you launched five different successful blogs.

Whatever your blogging niche is, you have the knowledge to promote it and the power to make money from it without using your income as click-bait.

And, to new bloggers entering the game,  be wary of purchasing high-priced products and courses from bloggers whose only claim to the blogging hall of fame is their said-to-be income, ya feel?

(I’ve launched a blog and become self-employed through this blog without spending more than $50 on blog related courses or products, so don’t feel pressured by big bloggers who tell you you’ll only make it big by using their information.)

Lastly, and MOST IMPORTANTLY.  Money is not everything.  Making hundreds of thousands of dollars is not a necessary component of having a successful blog.  Your blogging income does not determine your blogging success.  #preach

WHAT TO DO INSTEAD OF PUBLISHING YOUR BLOGGING INCOME ON THE INTERNET

As I mentioned, I understand why people publish blog income reports to back up their claim that they have the answers to launching a money making blogging empire.

So, how do you support your claims without disclosing the evidence that is your income?  Through percentage-based blog income reporting.

As I mentioned, you can see two examples of this style of blog income reports in my first and second blog income reports.

And, to make your life easier, I’ve created a blog income report template that you can use to create your future blog income reports.

It is a super simple process that involves the simplest of math.  For example, if I made $10,000 in blog income last month, $5,000 being from affiliate marketing, I would report that I made 50% of my income from affiliates last month blogging.

See, simple!  And you get to maintain your privacy!

Click here for your instant download of my percentage-based blog income reporting template.

There you have it.  My five real reasons for why I don’t believe in disclosing my blog income on the internet and why I won’t be publishing your traditional blog income report posts on my blog.

And, I only dropped an f-bomb, like, once.

Truthfully, blog income reports almost never inspire me and almost always make me feel like I am not as successful a blogger because I haven’t made some insane amount of money from my blog.

And, frankly, I don’t want to make any other blogger feel like their income determines their blogging success because IT DOESN’T.

There is more to life – and more to blogging – than money, so, if your only motivation is the money, maybe you’re in the blogging game for the wrong reasons.

So, consider discontinuing the trend of publishing your monthly blog income on the internet!  Let’s inspire each other in new ways.

What are your thoughts on blog income reports?  Let us know in the comments below!

HAPPY BLOGGING!

xx Michelle

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TMDHosting vs Bluehost: Who Is The Best Blog Hosting Site For Starting A Blog?

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TMDHosting vs Bluehost: Who Is The Best Blog Hosting Site For Starting A Blog?

Are you starting a blog?  Or maybe you already have one.  Then, you know how important it is for your business and website to use the best blog hosting site on the market.

You see, a lot goes into operating a website and having the customer and technical support you need when you need it, is key to your success.

I mean, maybe you have some questions about a plugin or your site isn’t running correctly or you just need some gosh darn guidance, you’re going to feel better if you have a technical support team who is available 24/7/365 to quickly help you.

Don’t make your blogging life more difficult by choosing a company that doesn’t have your back because it will cost you your time and your money.

DO make your blogging life easier by choosing the best and most affordable ($1.99/mo) blog hosting site for starting a blog.

Best Blog Hosting Sites -- Best WordPress Hosting -- WordPress Hosting Starting A Blog // Best WordPress hosting for starting a blog // Start a blog with the best WordPress hosting

This post contains affiliate links.  All reviews are our own, honest opinion.  See disclaimer here.

  As I said, starting a blog is a lot of work, so you want a team who has your websites back.  So, today I’m gonna share with you what to look for when choosing a blog hosting site and why I made the decision to switch blog hosting sites.

To see who the best blog hosting site is is (between TMDHosting and Bluehost), we’re gonna be looking at 5 key things:

1.  Customer + Technical Support

2.  Plan Prices

3.  Website Speeds (And Uptime)

4.  WordPress Installation

5.  Plan Features

These five things are wildly important to the success to your website + business, so it is important to choose a blog hosting site that lives up to its promises.

Alright, let’s not waste any more time.  The battle of the best WordPress hosting awaits!

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1  //  CUSTOMER + TECHNICAL SUPPORT

TMDHosting is better than Bluehost, best wordpress host, wordpress hosting

First up, let’s talk about the customer and technical support you should expect and receive from your blog hosting site.

Your blog hosting site is responsible for all of the technical aspects of running a blog, such as website speed, uptime, and functionality, so it is obvious how important it is that your blog hosting site has a reputable customer and technical support team.

TMDHosting’s outstanding customer service was the thing that drew me in first to their blog hosting site.

Upon arriving on their website, you are instantly connected with a customer service agent via live chat that is ready to take care of all of your needs.  They walk you through the entire purchasing process to make sure your questions are answered and to ensure that the plan you are purchasing is the best choice for your website and business.

And, it doesn’t end there

Once you’re using TMDHosting as your blog hosting site for your WordPress blog, their team of technical support is on call 24/7/365.   Yes, you read that right.  They are always available to help you.  And I can vouch for them.

See, I’m quite technically challenged and thus have had to submit many a ticket to their technical support crew to help me through some site issues.  Each time, they have gotten back to me within the first half hour, kept me up-to-date with what they were doing to fix my site’s issue, and then updated me when the issue was fixed.  Every single time I’ve dealt with their customer service or technical support teams, they have been prompt and professional and have fixed my issue ASAP.

Having a strong customer and technical support team should be your top priority when choosing a blog hosting site because having the support you need when you need it, is immeasurable.

 Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way when I signed up with Bluehost to start a blog.

See, when we started our blog with Bluehost, we instantly ran into some issues:

  • Our website was constantly crashing
  • The changes we made to our blog wouldn’t be saved
  • Our website took forever to load

When we would attempt to contact Bluehost to figure out why our site was not operating correctly, we would always walk away feeling even more confused.  Getting in touch with their support team via live chat was awful.  Every single time I tried to chat with somebody, it would take 10-30 minutes to connect and if it ever did connect, I would almost always get disconnected mid-conversation.  Emailing was no better.

Finally, we had had enough and began researching other blog hosting sites, finding TMDHosting and making the best decision to switch blog hosting sites.

TMDHosting 1, Bluehost 0.

Speed up your site performance today, Free site transfer, same renewal price

2  //  BEST BLOG HOSTING PRICES

TMDHosting is better than Bluehost, best wordpress host, wordpress hosting
TMDHosting is better than Bluehost, best wordpress host, wordpress hosting

What is better than saving money??  Uhhhh…yeah…that’s what I thought.  Nothing.

Why would you choose to spend more money and get less?

  • Less support,
  • less website space,
  • and less flexibility.

Yep, TMDHosting out does Bluehost on all of those fronts.

Both Bluehost and TMDHosting offer their best price when you sign up for a three-year term.  That is, you have to pay upfront for three years of hosting.

TMDHosting is only $2.85/month — Bluehost: $2.99.

Included in that low $2.85 price tag is:

1. A free domain

2. 24/7/365 technical support (who actually answer and fix your concerns)

3. Unlimited website space (with Bluehost you only get 50 GB)

4. A 60-day money back guarantee (Bluehost’s policy is only for 30-days)

Don’t waste your hard earned cash by paying too much for blog hosting.  And, if you are already paying more than $2.85/month, it is time to make the switch to the best hosting site – TMDHosting.

TMDHosting 2, Bluehost 0.

3  //  WEBSITE SPEED + UPTIME GUARANTEE

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Have you ever clicked on a blog via Pinterest and then waited and waited and waited for it to load?  Ugh! The worst, right?  That is what our blog was like when we used Bluehost for our blog hosting site.

So, to enjoy a website that is 20X faster than your competitors, sign up with TMDHosting for your blog hosting site.

TMD offers the newest technology in the website hosting world.  From what I understand…and in not so technical terms…TMD uses SSD drives on their servers while other hosting companies, such as Bluehost, use a slower type of drive called HDD.  Hosting a blog with SSD drives will make your site 20x faster than sites hosted on Bluehost.

Better yet, SSD space is more reliable, so your site won’t crash…ever.  TMDHosting even guarantees that your website will be up and running correctly 99.99% of the time.

From my experience hosting with both Bluehost and now TMDHosting, TMDHosting is 100% the superior blog hosting site for website speed and uptime.

You guessed it – TMDHosting 3, Bluehost 0.

Speed up your blog performance, a lightning fast blog hosting

4  //  WordPress Hosting

TMDHosting is better than Bluehost, best wordpress host, wordpress hosting

If you’re purchasing hosting because you are trying to start a blog, you’re going to need WordPress installed.  Luckily, TMDHosting will install WordPress for you…for no additional cost.

All you have to do is put in a ticket with technical support upon purchasing a plan and that’s it.  They’ll let you know when your site is up and ready to operate.  Along with installing your WordPress site, TMD also:

  • installs WordPress plugins that you may need
  • installs your WordPress theme
  • and updates your WordPress as needed

TMD takes the stress out of starting your blog.

Bluehost also claims to install WordPress for you, but not so much.  They “walk you through” the process of installing it – but let me tell you, we tried this and it is not easy.  We had to hire a tech friend experienced with WordPress to do it for us since Bluehost was no help.

So, take the stress out of creating your new site and let a professional take the reins for you on TMD.

And for those of you who already have a WordPress site hosted with another host, you’re in good luck.  TMDHosting will transfer your current site for you, for free, with zero downtime.  That’s right – you can easily transfer your current site with no downtime to a host that will make your blog 20x faster and save you money.

Uhm, sign me up?

TMDHosting 4, Bluehost 0.

5  //  PLAN FEATURES + EXTRAS

We’ve gone over some of the stuff that TMDHosting and Bluehost include in their plans, but let’s break it down one more time.

Included in TMDHosting’s hosting plans is:

  • Free Application Installations, such as WordPress (not included with Bluehost)
  • Unlimited Website Space (50 GB with Bluehost)
  • Free Domain Name (included with Bluehost)
  • 60 Day Money Back Guarantee (3o-days with Bluehost)
  • Free Components Installations (not included with Bluehost)
  • Free Template Installations (not included with Bluehost)
  • Free Updates (included with Bluehost)

As you can see, TMDHosting offers a lot more with their hosting plans than Bluehost does.

 And, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, TMDHosting offers even more for such a low cost.  Not only do they offer faster website speeds, 24/7 customer support, and site security, they also offer boat-loads of free downloads such as apps, plugins, and templates.

My favorite extra feature that they offer is their drag and drop site builder.  If you’re not experienced with WordPress or with coding HTML, easily creating a website is hard.  Like, soooo much harder than I ever would have expected.  I haven’t personally used TMD’s site builder, but I do use a different drag and drop site builder (called Divi) and it changed the game for us.

Ooooohh yeeeaaahh…I think we can agree that TMDHosting is clearly the best blog hosting site out there.

TMDHosting 5, Bluehost 0.

Speed up your social site in 15 minutes, Free website transfer and script installation

I don’t know about you, but it seems pretty clear which is the better hosting company.  TMDHosting.

They offer the best customer and technical support, are cheaper, and faster than Bluehost.  And that, to me, seems like a no-brainer when choosing the best company to host your website.

I know Bluehost is heavily promoted in the blogging world, but from my experience, I just don’t understand why.  It is so clear on so many levels why TMD is a better choice to host your website.

So, easily create a lightning fast website with TMDHosting’s free drag and drop site builder…and always have the support you need, when you need it.

Are you starting a blog?  Which blog hosting site are you going to choose for your website + business?  Comment below!

Happy Blogging!

xx Michelle

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GET MORE SERIOUS ABOUT QUITTING YOUR 9-5.

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How To Easily Double Your Blogging Income Your Second Month Blogging

Double your blogging income.

Swipe the proven steps to increase engagement + double your blog income next month.

Increase blogging Income - Blogging Income Reports - Blogging Income 2018 - Double Blogging Income

How To Easily Double Your Blogging Income Your Second Month Blogging

Did you start a blog and make blogging income during your first-month blogging?

If yes, go you!  That is a huge feat to accomplish!  And, if you aren’t there just yet, you’ll wanna check out the post “How To Guarantee You’ll Make Money Your First Month Blogging.”

So, once you’ve successfully made money blogging, you simply need to keep the ball rolling to increase your blogging income.  I know, sounds simple, right?

It is simple!  Logically, more affiliate posts + content = more content for Pinterest = more traffic from Pinterest = more blogging income.

Well, it’s a little more in-depth than that 😉

Use these 5 strategies to double your blogging income in your second (or third or fourth or fifth…) month blogging.  (#2 is SOOO simple + soooo overlooked)

 

Blogging Income - Blogging Income Reports - Blogging Income 2018 - Double Blogging Income

This post may contain affiliate links.  All reviews are our own, honest opinion.  See disclaimer here.

So, it may not be super obvious that this is a blog income report, cuz I do things a little differently around here.

It isn’t obvious that this is my blog income report for my second month blogging full-time because you don’t see any dollar signs anywhere.  You know, the classic blog income report post title, “How I Made $37,845 Blogging Last Month” or some other ridiculous number.

You see, I don’t believe in disclosing your income on the internet simply for clicks.  Cause let’s face it, the only reason anybody is telling you how much money they make from blogging is to get more clicks to their website (and more money from you).  (Which I get it – we all want clicks and we all need to earn a living.  But when you’re making $30,000 a month, you don’t need to prey on people’s insecurities to get more money from the course you’re trying to sell them.)

What I am trying to say is, the internet is not the place to share your income.

And, look.  I got you to click to my post without telling you how much money I made.  I’m also going to tell you all the juicy deets + steps I took that made it possible to double my blogging income my second month in the game full-time.  That’s the important info, right?  RIGHT.  Not the number next to the $ sign. 

Alrighty…let’s double your blogging income, friend.

(Oh and don’t worry – I still tell you every single source through whom I earned money – but I use percentages instead of dollars…you’ll see!)

THE 5 PROVEN STEPS TO DOUBLE YOUR BLOG INCOME YOUR 2ND MONTH BLOGGING

As I said, before we get into the income report, I  gotta spill all the juicy info I have on doubling your blogging income during your second-month in the club.  (AKA, the main reason you came to this post…see!)

Here are the six steps I’ll be breaking down to you:

1. Evaluate what works

2.  Repurpose popular content

3.  Link to an affiliate in every single post (or another post containing affiliate links)

4.  Engage in your email marketing

5. Continue Pinterest Promotion

Blogging is a slow and steady process and if you trust the process, work the process, and be patient – you will be rewarded.

Step One:  What Worked Last Month?

The easiest way to double your blogging income during your second-month blogging is to evaluate what worked last month.

You want to see:

  • Which blog posts received the most traffic
  • What pins performed well (got a lot of clicks to your website)
  • Which blog posts converted into affiliate sales

To find out which posts + pins got the most love during your first-month blogging, log into your Google Analytics. You’ll find the stats for your posts and your pins in two different places.

To see which blog posts received the most traffic in Google Analytics, go to >> Behavior >> Site Content >> All Pages.  Here you’ll find a list of your top posts + pages.  To see which pins performed the best for your top content in Google Analytics, go to Acquisition >> Social >> Network Referrals >> Pinterest.  Here you’ll see a list of your top posts, again, but if you click on the link it will bring you to another list of the top pins associated with that post.

Finally, to see which blog posts converted into affiliate sales, you have to dig around your affiliate products’ dashboards, but this information can usually be found in the analytics or statistics tab.

Then, with this knowledge, you can repurpose your old content that has a high engagement rate to continue increasing your traffic and your blogging income because you understand that this is content that your audience enjoys.  You’ll also understand what combination of image and words work best on your Pinterest pins so you can create pins that get high click-through rates.  SO. MUCH. KNOWLEDGE.

Let’s talk about how you can repurpose old content, now.

Step Two:  Re-Purpose Popular Content

Repurposing your popular content (and the content that converts) is always a good idea because you know that this topic performs well (and converts well).

You can repurpose your high-converting and popular blog posts in three ways:

1.  Write new blog posts with a different take (How To Make Money Your First Month Blogging –>  How To Double Your Blogging Income Your Second Month Blogging)

2.  Create freebies based on and for your high traffic posts (How To Double Your Blog Income Checklist)

3.  Create products based on your popular posts + highest converting affiliate products because you know that your audience wants this information and, most importantly, will pay for this information (The Complete Guide To Making Money With Affiliate Marketing eCourse)

Repurposing content isn’t saved strictly for your popular content.

You can repurpose old content that isn’t doing too hot in three ways:

1.  Add more information and affiliate linking (if you can) to your post to make it more valuable (remember to include keywords to make your post rank well in Pinterest + Google searches)

2.  Create a freebie (or a new freebie) for your post to see if it converts better

3.  Create new Pinterest pins with a new combination of image + text (don’t forget to include keywords in your design and in your pin description)

Not only does repurposing old content beef up your blog, but it is also an easy way to regenerate engagement in topics that you know work well with your audience.  It is an instant traffic + income booster.

Step Three:  Beef Up Your Affiliate Marketing

How do you make money blogging with affiliate links?  By having them strategically placed all over your blog.

So, to ensure you’ll continue to make money during your second-month blogging, you gotta continue beefing up your affiliate marketing game.

To beef up your affiliate marketing game, you can:

  • write more blog posts (reviews, lists, how to’s, round-ups, evergreen)
  • make sure all current posts have links to affiliate products within them or that they link to another post that contains affiliate links
  • create pins that link directly to your affiliate product instead of to your blog post
  • integrate your affiliate links into your email marketing

As I said, the only way to make an affiliate sale is to promote your affiliate product.  So, create tons of content about your affiliates and promote, promote, promote.

Step Four:  Say Hello To Email Marketing

If you caught my last income report (How To Guarantee You’ll Make Money Your First Month Blogging), you know the importance of email marketing.

Make sure you’ve created an account with MailChimp and installed the Bloom opt-in plugin on your blog to begin collecting email subscribers for your freebies.

With a growing email list, it is time to engage your audience with meaningful and helpful emails to further their interest in your affiliate product(s).

To do this you can send out a few emails about your affiliates that are proven to generate clicks:

Engaging with your audience after they’ve left your website is an invaluable way to make a lasting connection with people that will continue to buy from you over and over again.

Step Five:  Pinterest Is Your Answer To Doubling Your Income

All the steps before this are awesome + necessary, but the most important step to doubling your blogging income your second-month blogging is to continue your Pinterest marketing.

Cuz, your blog posts ain’t sh*t if nobody is reading them.

The easiest + quickest way to drive traffic to your new blog is to use Pinterest and Tailwind.  To get started with Pinterest + Tailwind, follow these simple steps:

1.  Sign up for a Pinterest Business Account

2.  Enable rich pins on Pinterest

3.  Create an SEO filled bio on Pinterest, like ours

4.  Create multiple boards relevant to your blogging niche using keywords in the title + description of the board (see ours)

5.  Design eye-catching pins using Canva (aim for 3-4 pins per posts/freebie/product)

6.  Join group boards to contribute to using PinGroupie

7.  Automate your pinning and reach thousands of people with the Tailwind App

Now, with all that being said, I cannot stress enough how important keywords are when you’re using Pinterest

The discoverability of your pins depends solely on the keywords you use in the title and description of the pin, the keywords on the actual pin, and the keywords used in the file name.  It is also crazy important to pin your pins to boards with relevant keywords. (Try to avoid general “post anything” group boards.)

You can easily find keywords related to your blog post by using the search bar on Pinterest.  Simply search a topic like “budgeting” and you will be shown tons of other keywords related to your search.  These are the keywords that you want to include in your board and pin descriptions to increase your chances of being found.

As I mentioned, Pinterest and Tailwind are the only two things that I used to bring traffic to my blog during my second month, directly resulting in the income I made.

With over 5,000+ pageviews from Pinterest + Tailwind, I was able to convert my blog posts about affiliate products into sales, accounting for 61% of my income during my second-month blogging.  Those same 5,000+ pageviews are also what landed me the other 39% of my income through the selling of digital + physical products on my blog.

Speaking of blogging income, let’s jump over to those stats.

WHERE THE MONEY CAME FROM DURING MY 2ND MONTH BLOGGING FULL-TIME

During my second month blogging, my income came from two sources:

1.  Affiliate Marketing – 61%

2.  Product Sales – 39%

As you can see, affiliate marketing is a great place to spend a lot of time on in the beginning because it is a killer source of passive income.

Once you write the posts, create the freebies, and create sales funnels, your affiliate marketing will run on autopilot – earning you money while you sleep + helping you double your blogging income your second month in the game.

Let’s break down my affiliate marketing + product sales.

AFFILIATE MARKETING INCOME:

Blogging Income - Blogging Income Reports - Blogging Income 2018 - Double Blogging Income

As I mentioned, 61% of my income during my first-month blogging came from affiliate products.

The affiliate programs that helped me earn my blogging income were:

1.  TMDHosting:  90% of affiliate income

2.  Amazon Associates:  5% of affiliate income

3.  The Day Designer: 5% of affiliate income

Clearly, my TMDHosting affiliate is my highest converting program, thus why I plan to promote it more in the coming months using the strategies listed above.

Click here to increase your blogging income + start making money from TMDHosting.

PRODUCT SALES:

Blogging Income - Blogging Income Reports - Blogging Income 2018 - Double Blogging Income

The rest of my blogging income (39%) from my second-month blogging full-time came from product sales.

The products that converted well for me were:

1.  The Budget Boss Financial Planner – 34% of product sales

2.  The Budget Boss eBook To Easily Master Your Finances – 34% of product sales

3.  WSW Merch – 32% of product sales

Selling products related to your niche that your audience loves is a killer way to substantially increase your income from blogging.

To decide what products you should create for your audience, evaluate what affiliate products sell the best for you.  Then, create products that you know your audience will love.

I clearly failed to take into consideration what my audience was already buying when I created my financial planner and eBook.  They sell ok, but probably not as well as if I had done some thorough research first.  So, let me be your warning – DO YOUR HOMEWORK before launching a product.

Because creating + launching a product is hella time consuming and you don’t want to waste your time creating a product that your readers don’t want.

HOW I PLAN TO DOUBLE MY REVENUE MY 3RD MONTH BLOGGING

My goal for my third month blogging full-time is to double my revenues again.  (Something I plan to do until my blogging income is steadily covering my expenses.)

I plan to do this solely through affiliate marketing + content creation because I believe that it will give me the most bang for my buck.  Plus, my blog is still relatively new, making content creation majorly important right now.

I also want to focus a lot of my time on Pinterest marketing to increase my page views.

During November, I plan to:

  • publish new + informative blog posts 2-3 times per week
  • repurpose old content that is performing well
  • create new pins for old posts that aren’t getting clicked
  • try a different Pinterest pinning strategy that doesn’t involve Tailwind (more on this next month!)

Check back here next month to see if I doubled my income in my third-month blogging and if the new Pinterest pinning strategy I’m trying increases my page views!

Correct me if I am wrong, but I just gave you every juicy detail on how to double your blogging income during your second (or third, or fourth) month blogging and I didn’t need to divulge my private income…hmmmm!

Anyway, by repurposing old content, beefing up affiliate marketing, and creating new content, I can guarantee you’ll see a spike in your blogging income.

Don’t forget your FREE checklist to ensure you’ll double your blogging income.  Click here for your instant download.

Do you have more strategies to increase blogging income?  Awesome!  Share with us in the comments below 🙂

Happy blogging,

xx Michelle

Double your blogging income, ASAP.

Double your blogging income, ASAP.

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Increase blogging Income - Blogging Income Reports - Blogging Income 2018 - Double Blogging Income
Increase blogging Income - Blogging Income Reports - Blogging Income 2018 - Double Blogging Income
Increase blogging Income - Blogging Income Reports - Blogging Income 2018 - Double Blogging Income
Increase blogging Income - Blogging Income Reports - Blogging Income 2018 - Double Blogging Income
Increase blogging Income - Blogging Income Reports - Blogging Income 2018 - Double Blogging Income
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How To Guarantee That You’ll Make Money Your First Month Blogging

How To Guarantee That You’ll Make Money Your First Month Blogging

Are you thinking about starting a blog but haven’t yet because you’re scared you won’t make any money?

I know you’re scared, because I was, too.

But, by using proven blogging strategies and sticking to a consistent blogging schedule, I am certain that you will make money your first-month blogging.

See, for my very first blogging “income report,” I’m gonna go over how I made money my first-month blogging and the steps you need to follow to ensure you’ll be making money from your blog from the get-go, too.

If you’re wondering why I put income report in quotes, it is because this income report is gonna be a little different than the ones you’re used to.

You’ll see…

Wanna ensure that you'll make money your first month blogging?  Then set your blog up for conversions from the getgo.  If you want to make money blogging, look no further.  Get started today!

This post may contain affiliate links.  All reviews are our own, honest opinion.  See disclaimer here.

You see, I don’t believe in disclosing your income on the internet.

In my opinion, the amount of money you earn should be kept between you and the only other people that share your income.

So, how on earth am I gonna give you a kick-ass income report from my first-month blogging without telling you exactly how much money I made?  Well, I’m gonna use percentages.

Let me explain a little more into why I will be doing income reports like this.

As I said, your income doesn’t belong on the internet, and frankly, I kind of think it is a tacky (for lack of a better word) way to get traffic + sell products.  (I mean, you’re preying on people’s biggest insecurity – their income.)

And, most importantly, the crucial information that anybody is trying to provide through an income report (i.e., how to make money blogging) can be done without sharing your actual income.

So, today, I’ll be

1.  providing you with the 7 steps you need to follow to set up your blog for optimal conversion and,

2.  showing you how I made money my first-month blogging.

The most important information you can take away from this post is how to set up your blog from the beginning to convert – not my blogging income – so, give it a solid chance.

Let’s dive into the goods.

THE 7 PROVEN STEPS THAT WILL SET YOUR BLOG UP TO MAKE MONEY YOUR FIRST MONTH BLOGGING

As I said, before we get into the income report, I  gotta spill all the juicy info I have on setting up a blog to make money during its first month.  (AKA, the main reason you came to this post, right?)

Here are the seven-steps I’ll be walking you through:

1.  Starting A Blog (the basics) (the loooong deets on this can be found here)

2.  Creating A Memorable Brand

3.  Designing Your Website According To Your Brand

4.  Monetizing Your Website (Through Affiliate Marketing)

5.  Content Creation (SO KEY)

6.  Engaging In Email Marketing (something you really can’t afford to sleep on)

7.  Promotion On Pinterest

Before you launch your blog to the world and begin your first-month blogging journey, you’ll need to have these seven steps completed to guarantee that you will make money your first-month blogging.

Step One:  Start Your Blog

 The technical side of setting up a blog seems like tough work, so I’m gonna make it simple for you.

Just follow these 5 straightforward steps to have your website up and running in under an hour:

1.  Register your domain name with GoDaddy (use code GET30OFF for 30% off at checkout)

2.  Sign-up for WordPress Hosting with TMDHosting (No, not Bluehost…trust me.  Read why here.) (use code GREEN for 5% off at checkout)

3.  Put in a ticket with TMDHosting to have WordPress installed on your website for you, for FREE

4.  Install the Divi Theme on your WordPress site (the best ZERO HTML required theme on the internet)

5.  Install my recommended list of plugins on your WordPress site

Once you’ve completed these 5 easy steps, your website will be up and running and will be ready to be transformed into a memorable brand, which we’ll dive into next.

If you need a more in-depth explanation of how to start a blog, check out our post, How To Start A Money Making Blog, Today!

Step Two:  Create A Memorable Brand

Before you launch your blog to the world, you need to create a memorable brand that allows you to stand out among the hundreds of other bloggers out there.

To create a strong + memorable brand, you’ll need to choose a niche and decide what message you want to send.  In other words, what you are going to teach people?  And, do you want to seem edgy and daring or sophisticated and elegant, etc.?

The answers to those questions will launch you towards creating a recognizable brand using these 3 key things:

1.  Brand Colors

2.  Brand Fonts

3.  Brand Style

For example, on Who Says What our brand colors are blue, yellow, and pink.  We use two custom fonts – one bold and one handwritten.  And finally, our pages + posts have the same style with recurring dividers and designs that bring a bright + fun style to our blog.

You will also draw inspiration from your brand to create logos, blog graphics, and Pinterest pins.

Your brand is essential to your blogging success because it allows people to recognize your content instantly through brand recognition.

So, it is critical that you decide on your blog’s brand before launching to avoid a time-consuming re-brand late into your blogging game.  (Take it from me…this is NOT fun.)

(Pro tip – somebody is more likely to buy something from you if they recognize you as a reliable + trust-worthy brand)

Once you’ve decided on your brand colors, fonts, and style, you can begin designing your dream website with Divi’s 100% drag + drop theme.

Step Three:  Design Your Dream Website (Staying True To Your Brand) With Divi

If you followed the steps listed above on how to start a blog, you should already have Divi installed on your website.

However, if you skipped that step, I’ll walk you through the process of installing the Divi theme on your WordPress site, now.

Simply,

1.  Purchase the Divi Theme here

2.  Download the Divi Theme + save it to your desktop

2.  Login to your WordPress dashboard (www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin)

3.  Go to Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload Theme > Select File

4.  Select the Divi Theme file from your desktop > Upload

Then, the Divi Theme will be running on your WordPress site and you’ll be able to use their drag + drop system to design your website.

I recommend the Divi Theme over any other WordPress Theme (including the Genesis Framework) because of it’s easy to use drag and drop system.  The Divi Theme is 100% customizable with ZERO need to know ANY HTML.  (Seriously, it is the only thing that saved me from quitting the blogging game before I even entered the blogging game, lol.)

Before launching your blog, have these main pages designed and in-place:

If you don’t have experience designing websites, I offer 3 packages on Fiverr to meet your web designing needs.  I can have your website designed and ready for launch in as little as 3 days!

Step Four:  Monetize Your Website

After you’ve successfully designed your website, it’s time to monetize your website.  Cuz, let me tell ya, you aren’t gonna make any money by simply writing + publishing blog posts.

There are many ways to monetize your blog, including:

  • Affiliate Marketing (keep reading for a list of top-paying affiliate programs you need to join)
  • Product Development
  • Ads (wait till you reach 25k pageviews per month + sign up with Mediavine)
  • Offering Services

However, for your first-month blogging, I highly recommend sticking to one form of monetization – namely, affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is the quickest and easiest way to make money your first-month blogging because you are simply selling somebody else’s product.

Here is a list of the top 5 high-paying affiliate programs you should join and promote:

Do not limit yourself to this list of affiliates, though, because there are hundreds of programs out there relating to a wide range of interests and niches.  For example, if you are in the finance world of blogging, you might look into affiliate programs for personal loans and credit cards.

So, find products that you are passionate about and want to recommend to your audience and then join their affiliate program to promote their product in return for a commission.

Now, let’s talk about how to sell an affiliate product to your audience through targeted content creation.

Step Five:  Content Creation

Once you’ve joined the affiliate program of multiple products and/or services, it is time to promote said products + services through targeted content creation.

In terms of your first-month blogging, let’s focus on two areas of content creation for your affiliate programs:

1.  Write lots and lots…and lots of blog posts recommending your favorite [affiliate] products

2.  Create a resources page on your website that lists every tool you use to run your business + link your affiliates

Writing blog posts and creating a resources page for your readers is a great foundation for your blog to build upon.  It is also a kickass way to ensure that you’ll be making money your first-month blogging.

(Affiliate marketing accounted for 48% of the income I made during my first-month blogging using these two strategies)

WRITING BLOG POSTS FOR AFFILIATE INCOME:

To tackle content creation area number one, here are 5 types of blog posts that you should write for every affiliate program you belong to, to increase your conversions:

1.  How To/Tutorial (How To Start A Money-Making Blog With TMDHosting)

2.  Lists (The Top 5 WordPress Hosts To Start Your Blog With)

3.  Reviews (TMDHosting Review:  Why You Shouldn’t Host With Bluehost Just Cuz The Big Bloggers Tell You To)

4.  Recommendation (5 Essential Tools You Need To Launch Your Blog)

5.  Interview (How To Get 32X Faster Website Speeds:  A Behind-The-Scenes Chat With TMDHosting)

Within each blog post, you can link to your affiliate program or product in several ways, including:

  • naturally within text (“before launching your blog, you’ll have to purchase web hosting“)
  • through use of buttons
  • with banners

The affiliate program that you belong to should provide you with marketing resources, which usually include banners, coupon codes, etc.

Aim to have 30-50 blog posts written engaging your affiliate links before launching your blog and then continue to publish new content multiple times a week. (Although having 30-50 blog posts published before you launch your blog is not a requirement, it will increase the likelihood that you’ll get substantial traffic in the first month of blogging, which will, in turn, increase your income during your first-month blogging.)

FREE RESOURCES PAGE FOR AFFILIATE MARKETING

The second way to earn money through affiliate marketing during your first-month blogging is through the use of a free resources page.

A resources page is an awesome, all-inclusive way to share with your readers what things you think are essential to achieving their goals.

For example, on my resources page, I let my readers know about all my FREE goodies, like checklists, printables, planners, and eCourses.

I also list every crucial resource I use to run my blog + earn a living from it.

Then, once you’ve created an inviting landing page for all your favorite resources, you can add it to the menu of your website + create pins to promote it.

This is an easy way to create a stream of passive income on your blog because once your landing page is created, it will essentially work for you in the background, without you having to put more time into it.

Step Six:  Email Marketing

Did you know that over 50% of bloggers report that email marketing is their most effective revenue channel?

Email marketing is essential to making money your first month blogging and is why you should start collecting email addresses as soon as you launch your blog.

To easily get started with email marketing, signup with MailChimp, here.

Once you’ve created an account with MailChimp, you can create lists and email campaigns using their easy-to-use drag + drop system.

Then, to get people to sign up for your lists, you need to offer your readers something in exchange for their email address, such as a free printable or a mini eCourse.

You can create clean + inviting opt-in forms for your freebies using the Bloom plugin, which is included with your purchase of Divi.

After you have readers subscribing to your email lists, you can create sales funnels to pitch paid affiliate products and your products + services.  An email sales funnel should include these critical six emails:

1.  Welcome Email

2.  A quick email providing useful information  (3 Quick Steps To Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck)

3.  An email that provides a solution to a problem  (How To Get Out Of Debt When You’re Broke)

4.  An email that addresses an objection (Why You’re Wrong About Not Needing A Financial Planner)

5.  An email that provides proof that what you are selling works (How My Financial Planner Changed My Life)

6.  Sales Pitch

*Bonus*  Useful emails to include after your sales pitch – FAQ, Q&A with product user, Video Tutorial showing how to use product, a live training opt-in for the product, sale ending countdown email(s)

So to review, to use email marketing to make money your first month blogging, you want to:

  • Signup with MailChimp + create lists
  • Create freebies (among other incentives) to entice users to subscribe to your list(s)
  • Create opt-in boxes with the Bloom plugin (which you have access to through your Elegant Themes subscription from purchasing the Divi Theme)
  • Create automatic email campaigns with MailChimp to send subscribers your sales funnel
  • Make mad cash

Don’t miss out on the endless opportunities you create for selling to your audience through email marketing by collecting emails from the initial launch of your blog.

 

Step Seven:  Pinterest Marketing

A crucial part of making money your first month blogging is getting people to your blog.

So, to get the most traffic with the least amount of effort, use Pinterest and Tailwind to drive traffic to your blog.

I only used Pinterest and Tailwind to drive traffic to my blog in September and had over 5,000 page views during my first month blogging full-time.

The best part?  Getting traffic to your blog with Pinterest + Tailwind is super simple.  Just follow these steps:

1.  Sign up for a business account with Pinterest

2.  Enable rich pins

3.  Create an SEO filled bio

4.  Create multiple boards relevant to your blogging niche using keywords in the title + description of the board

5.  Design eye-catching pins using Canva (aim for 3-4 pins per posts/freebie/product)

6.  Join group boards to contribute to using PinGroupie

7.  Automate your pinning with the Tailwind App (SO KEY – Tailwind increased my pageviews by 64% in my 2nd-month blogging)

The most important thing to remember when you’re using Pinterest and Tailwind is the importance of KEYWORDS.

You can easily find keywords related to your niche by using the search bar on Pinterest.  Simply search a topic like “budgeting” and you will be shown tons of other keywords related to your search.  These are the keywords that you want to include in your board and pin descriptions to increase your chances of being found.

As I mentioned, Pinterest and Tailwind are the only two things that I used to bring traffic to my blog during my first month, directly resulting in the income I made.

With over 5,000 pageviews from Pinterest, I was able to convert my blog posts about affiliate products into sales, accounting for 48% of my income during my first-month blogging.  Those same 5,000 pageviews are also what landed me the other 52% of my income through the selling of digital products on my blog.

Speaking of blogging income, let’s jump over to those stats.

WHERE THE MONEY CAME FROM DURING MY 1ST MONTH BLOGGING FULL-TIME

During my first month blogging, my income came from two sources:

1.  Affiliate Marketing – 48%

2.  Product Sales – 52%

As you can see, more of my income came from my product sales during month number one, so you might be wondering why I only recommended affiliate marketing to you for your first month blogging.

Well, personally, I feel as though I could have made many more affiliate sales if I focused more on that during my first month blogging, instead of spending the time to develop new products.

Affiliate marketing is a great place to spend a lot of time on in the beginning because it is a killer source of passive income.

See, once you write the posts, create the freebies, and create sales funnels, your affiliate marketing will run on autopilot – earning you money while you sleep.

Then, you can jump into product development without worrying if your product is going to sell because you’ve gained knowledge into what products your audience wants through your affiliate marketing.

AFFILIATE MARKETING INCOME:

As I mentioned, 48% of my income during my first-month blogging came from affiliate products.

Before launching my blog, I joined the following 5 affiliate programs and promoted them on my site:

1.  TMDHosting:  94%

2.  Elegant Themes (The Divi Theme)

3.  Tailwind (through ShareASale)

4.  Amazon Associates:  6%

5.  The Day Designer

Unfortunately, I only made money through two of these affiliate programs, but, hey, better than nothing right?

And, now, I know which products my audience is more interested in and which affiliate posts might need more work to engage readers to buy something.

Next month, I plan to join more affiliate programs that are more directly related to my niche of budgeting to increase profits.

PRODUCT SALES:

The only product that was for sale on my blog during my first month is our Budget Boss Financial Planner.

Thus, it made up 100% of the 52% of income from product sales during my first month blogging.

Selling products related to your niche that your audience loves is a killer way to substantially increase your income from blogging.

This is because you are 100% in control of product development, marketing, and pricing.

I plan to create more products in the future but am content with affiliate marketing for the time being.

HOW I PLAN TO DOUBLE MY REVENUE MY 2ND MONTH BLOGGING

My goal for my second month blogging full-time is to double my revenues.

I plan to do this solely through affiliate marketing because I believe that it will give me the most bang for my buck.

During October, I will:

  • join niche-related affiliate programs
  • publish new content 2-3 times per week related to my affiliate programs
  • nurture my email list

Check back here next month to see if I doubled my income in my second month blogging!

Correct me if I am wrong, but I just gave you every juicy detail on how to set your blog up to make money and I didn’t need to divulge my private income…hmmmm!

Anyway, by branding my blog, creating kickass content, and engaging in affiliate marketing, I was able to guarantee that I made money during my first month blogging.

If you follow these seven steps, you can see a return on your blogging investment, too.

Grab your FREE checklist to start your money making blog, below!

Got a blog?  Drop a link in the comments so we can all share the love.

Happy blogging,

xx Michelle

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