My blog is nearing a year old, but I am still an extremely small blogger. My page views aren’t nearly what most people have after one year. This is mainly because this past year has been busy (having a newborn is a little time-consuming) and I wasn’t able to give my full attention to blogging. This year I have HUGE goals for my blog and I am willing to do what needs to be done to get there.
This post contains affiliate links to products that have helped me in my blogging journey. I hope you get success from using these products too!
Last year I was aimlessly blogging. I knew I wanted to turn my blog into a business and even knew how to do that, but what I didn’t know was what the steps were in between. I owe my 2016 blog strategy exclusively to the BlogPreneur course by Business2Blogger that I took in December of 2015. This is a video course (enrollment is open now!) with step by step tutorials on how to market yourself on your blog and social media. I can’t even get started on the topics I have mastered due to this course because I will be writing for days. Here is my recent testimony that I sent in to the Business2Blogger team:
“What I loved about BlogPreneur is that Holly, Becky, and Paula are literally opening up and giving out every secret they have for becoming successful. I almost thought it wasn’t possible for them to give out any more information than they already have in their webinars, but I was so wrong. From this course I have developed an extensive step by step plan for growing my Facebook reach with tools from Holly, I have learned exactly how to make images that will capture reader’s attention via screen shares from Becky, and have learned how to optimize my blog posts for going viral from Paula. Those are just the highlights that stood out to me and not even close to the amount of valuable resources offered in the course!”
Anyway, because of this course I now know exactly where I am going with my business and how to get there. The course is taught by 3 bloggers who have a slew of children (I have learned awesome time management skills from them haha!) and still are able to get over a million page views and earn almost $40,000 in one month!
But how did I sustain a business and make an income before this course? In 2015 I broke 2,000 page views in only 3 months out of the year (according to Google Analytics). For the majority of 2015 my page views were 1000 or below! If you are a blogger you know that is NOTHING compared to most of the bloggers who make money in this business, but I was able to make a total of $1,520.00 in 2015 with only 12,000 page views for the entire year. Here is the breakdown of where I made this money from:
Sway Group (2 Sponsored Posts): $750.00
Acorn Influence (2 Sponsored Posts): $625.00
Sverve (Sponsored Social Media Shares): $4.00
IZEA (Sponsored Social Media Shares): $25.00
BlogHer (Sponsored Social Media Shares): $75.00
ShareASale (Affiliate): $30.00
Google Adsense: $11.00
Obviously by these numbers you can tell that the majority of my income this year came from sponsored posts which have allowed me to put some of the money back into my business and pay for hosting fees, get a blog theme that I truly love, and take the BlogPreneur course. Since becoming a blogger, I have heard countless bloggers say not to even focus on sponsored content until you’ve reached 100,000 page views per month, but I want to debunk that theory for bloggers like myself who need to make money in order to keep their business and household going. We didn’t have the extra money to throw at this new adventure I decided to take. This was something that I was determined to do and I knew that I could succeed at if I gave it my all.
The ideal situation for a blogger is to use those first couple of months to a year to create a solid foundation on both your blog and social media and then after that is established to start monetizing. My story is a little bit different though. I set up my blog with all of the boring stuff, like Google Analytics and sitemaps. Then after I created my layout, wrote one or two posts, and set up my social media accounts, I immediately started monetizing.
I am no expert and I am not saying this is what you should do, but this is what worked for me.
The first thing I did was create a Google AdSense account, then I added my blog to as many influencer networks that would accept me (usually based on page views). I knew based on the fact that I had just started I wouldn’t get accepted for many offers if any at all! The first post on my blog was written in March of 2015 and by August I had received my first substantial sponsored post offer for $400. I truly believe that the reason why I was offered a sponsored post so early in my blogging career was because of my consistency and willingness to apply to EVERYTHING. I still apply for every paid opportunity I see, even when I know that no company is going to offer me that kind of compensation for so little exposure. In August, when I received that offer, my page views were only at 2,069 and because of a huge dip in traffic for a couple of months due to me having to cut back on blogging I am still under 3000 views a month so far in January 2016.
I am actually pretty nervous to be sharing my income and page views with everyone because they aren’t even close to where I want to be, but I wanted to share the proof that everyone starts somewhere and for small bloggers not to be afraid to put themselves out there. Approach companies, apply for sponsored posts, and be relentless! Don’t let them forget who you are.