Today I’m sharing my very first income report with you. I’ve been officially blogging on a regular basis for 9 months now, but I’d like to share the story of my first 8 months blogging.
Income Reports were always one of the major factors that inspired me to start blogging and I hope this post will do the same for you!
You’ll notice I don’t have a flashy headline like “OMG How I made $3K in my FIRST month blogging!!!” and that’s because I simply don’t have a story like that to tell.
To be honest, I’m not in a rush to build a profitable blog. I have a full-time job. I’m not desperate for money right now, but what I am after is freedom. Working for someone else means you’re never truly free. That being said, I simply don’t recommend blogging for those who are desperate for money. Find yourself a job, save your money, work nights and weekends on your blog, and most importantly invest in your blog (within reason of course!). The money will come if you keep at it consistently and never stop learning.
Personally, my plan is to take a slow and steady approach to blogging where I write about what interests and inspires me – not what I think will make me a buck because three other bloggers have already written about it and it seems to do well for them. While I have nothing against these bloggers (some of them I even follow myself), it’s simply not my style… at least not for the majority of my posts.
I refuse to be a blogger that makes money by teaching others how to blog. The only reason I started this blog was because I had already successfully launched and grew an interior design blog where I write about only that topic. There are far too many “income reports” on the internet where the blogger’s main source of income is Bluehost commission fees! Personally, I want to create true value for my readers in niche topics.
Now that that’s out of the way – let’s get on to the dirty details: my income report from the first 8 months of home decor blogging! This report details the exact income generated during the month for an interior design blog I run. It’s important to note that a lot of this money takes 2-3 months to actually get paid out to me (and can fluctuate), but for the sake of understanding how quickly blog income can be generated, I’ve shared my numbers that way. If you’re curious to see the blog itself, please send me an email, preferably with a link to your social media profile so I can see you’re a real person! 😀
To give you some background, my blog was officially launched with around 10 posts in 2014. I had already built up a good size Instagram following (10K) and the blog was launched after the fact. At that time, I wasn’t ready to dedicate the time required to build up the blog, so these posts sat there idly for around 2 years. Last fall, I decided I was ready to get back into it, and came up with a plan to blog consistently and monetize the site. Luckily the design of the site and its overall structure was solid from the launch 2 years ago so the only thing left to do was produce and share content. Lots of content.
Month 1 / October
I started to monetize the blog using two of the easiest platforms – AdSense and ShopStyle. I had one ad at the bottom of each post, in the shape of a horizontal long rectangle. My posts were littered throughout with ShopStyle links and product widgets, and I tried posting products on social media like Tumblr, too.
In October, I made 8 posts, and received a total of 1,749 pageviews. Almost immediately I knew I had to put a focus on Pinterest since my niche was home decor. I knew I could use it to drive traffic to my site and so I invested in a Tailwind subscription, which I absolutely recommend to other bloggers! With Tailwind, I could focus on producing quality content while the tool promoted it to Pinterest on autopilot.
Month 2 / November
Traffic picked up slightly in November, with 2,316 total pageviews, even though I only posted 4 times! It was funny to see one of my pins go viral with almost 10,000 repins because this image I was so close to not including – it just wasn’t my style. Lesson learned: you never know what people will like, so you might as well try it!
Month 3 / December
December is really when I started to see the positive results of all my crazy Pinterest efforts. At this point, I was pinning around 20-40 pins per day, through Tailwind, which helped bring me to 8,331 pageviews. I noticed that the pins from October were just now starting to gain popularity, and came to the conclusion it took around 2 months for pins to bring me considerable traffic.
I also made a big change in my posting schedule. I realized if I was serious about blogging I needed to post more often, so I started to post at least 5 days per week (Monday to Friday), which resulted in 23 total blog posts for the month of December!
Month 4 / January
As you can see, my income started to diversify in January. I had started to write more product focused posts, and the writing, combined with promotion on Pinterest finally paid off. I actually stopped logging into Shareasale for a few weeks, and then when I did one day, three sales had been made! I was ecstatic. The three sales all came from Wayfair, a massive US home decor & furniture ecommerce retailer. As for Amazon, 48 cents is pretty lackluster but hey, you gotta start somewhere right?
Traffic continued to grow in January with 12,792 pageviews, meaning I had finally broken the 10,000 pageview barrier! I remember that January 1 was a very high traffic day. I guess everything is closed on New Year’s Day so people go on Pinterest instead and sleep off their hangovers??
Month 5 / February
February was an exciting month for me because even though my income dropped from ShopStyle, Shareasale, and Amazon, the reason is because I got accepted to RewardStyle! I switched over all my links to RewardStyle links during this month because the commission rates were so much higher than the other networks. I was actually really bummed about just how low the ShopStyle commission was because I had started to send them a few sales. They pay pennies! Feel free to read about the differences between RewardStyle and ShopStyle.
My pageviews didn’t rise too much, only to 13,396 for the month. I posted 20 times during February.
Month 6 / March
At the beginning of March, I made my first affiliate sale through RewardStyle and the month tallied up pretty nicely I think! My AdSense revenue also increased by 50% because I added a sticky ad on the lefthand sidebar of my blog. This is now my best performing ad location! You should absolutely try different things when it comes to placing ads on your blog to see what performs best.
My pageviews jumped a bit more this month to 17,481 and I published 21 posts during the month.
Month 7 / April
I quadrupled my RewardStyle income in April which I was very happy about. This was also the first month that I earned over the threshold of AdSense earnings in one month. In case you didn’t know, AdSense only pays out once a month after your earnings reach $100. If I can keep things going steady, I should be receiving AdSense payments on a monthly basis now – woohoo!
April saw a 50% increase in traffic to 26,813. Pinterest is still by far my main source of traffic but I’m slowly starting to see a lot more Google referrals than I was before. I published 22 times during the month of April!
Month 8 / May
RewardStyle income tripled during the month of May which I was over the moon about! I did a lot of analyzing to see what kind of posts were bring me the most income and how they were structured. I learned that listicle style posts performed very well, as did product recommendation posts. During May I put those insights to work for hopefully a really fruitful June.
There were a couple sales from Amazon grouped in with RewardStyle (you can link through them) but the commission was quite low so I may try to start posting Amazon links directly on my site instead of going through RewardStyle and see how that performs.
Most notably, I broke the 4-figure income barrier this month! I earned just slightly over one-thousand dollars.
In May, my traffic just barely increased to 28,430 pageviews which I wasn’t too thrilled about and what’s worse is I can’t really pinpoint why. I published the same amount of posts (22) so that can’t be the issue. In any case, at least my income more than doubled!
Lastly, I want to share with you a quick visual of my traffic during the last 8 months. As you can see, there is generally a nice increase every 2-3 months, which I’m hoping is a trend that will continue. Only time will tell!
So, did you make it all the way through?! If you did, THANK YOU so much for reading. In total, I generated $1,876.93 during my first 8 months blogging. It probably won’t be one for the record books, but I am pretty darn proud of myself and all the countless hours that went into my blog!
Stay tuned for more income reports, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!