How to make money blogging and can a blog help you leave your day job? How much money can you make from a blog working on it in your free time only? I found my answers to all these blogging beginner questions and I quit my 9-5 job after 9 months blogging. Find out how!

How to make money blogging – I made $5,739 from $386 Investment

Anastasia Blogger Blogging 17 Comments


The year of 2018 has started, and even though my blog has not reached the 1-year anniversary yet, I thought it’s a good time to make my annual income wrap up. It’s also the right moment to make some conclusions of the first 9 months blogging because everything will be different from now on. This income report is a summary of my experience as a part-time blogger. In the middle of Jan 2018, I left my day job and started blogging full time! Yippie!

I hope this income report will show you that you can start a blog now as a side-hustle without sacrificing your stable job. And you can quit WHEN you are ready financially and mentally.

How to make money blogging and can a blog help you leave your day job? How much money can you make from a blog working on it in your free time only? I found my answers to all these blogging beginner questions and I quit my 9-5 job after 9 months blogging. Find out how!

If you are interested to see how you can also start your blog in about 10-20 min, I have a detailed post about it here.

This post contains affiliate links to Bluehost. This means I might receive a commission if you buy their hosting using my link. For more information, see my disclosures here.

If you are looking for an affordable hosting company to start a blog, I recommend you Bluehost which I use for this blog. When you use my link to Bluehost, I receive a commission, and you get hosting + free domain name + free SSL certificate (https) at a 50% discounted price.

You can use this handy Bluehost’s tool to check whether the domain you are thinking about is available:

How much money can you make from a blog?

For 9 months I was mostly working on weekends and for about 1 hour on weekdays. Let’s be honest, it would be impossible to live only on my blogging income ($5,739.80 total income for 9 months). But that’s the whole point. I had a side-hustle, which gave me extra around $637 per month on average.

It’s not bad at all, for some countries it equals an average full-time income for a qualified worker. This side-hustle gave me a hope that one day I will be able to quit my day job and build an online business based on the blog. This day has come when I realized that my blog reached a certain level of authority, traffic, and a stable income. I will speak later in the post about the more specific numbers and metrics that helped me make this decision.

For now, I would like to emphasize for people who prefer to think in terms of ROI (return on investment) that blogging IS a good investment. Even at this entry level, when my blog is still young and I’ve been working on it in my free time only, check how the $386 total investment turned into $5,739.80 income. It’s a 93% ROI! I will share my expenses and income report in detail. But think about it again. You don’t need a college degree or technical knowledge to start a blog, and you can have a 93% ROI on your investment.

You can start changing your life with my free 7-day course. Even if you don’t know anything about WordPress or how bloggers make money, even if you think you are not special to share anything with the world… You just need to prove yourself the opposite and make this first step. Start a blog and then continue your self-education along the way.

There are plenty of free or not so expensive tutorials about all aspects of blogging. I bought some courses myself, especially Pinterest-related courses. Pinterest is the main traffic source for my blog, you know, so I have to know everything about it. But if you want to learn everything by trial and error, it’s totally up to you. Some people have this natural curiosity and logic, which leads them to the right conclusions without any courses.

Gosh, that was a long speech! Let’s get back to the numbers.

Income report for the first 9 months blogging

Bluehost       $1,911.00
Flexoffers      $1,848.68
iGain              $863.50
Mediavine     $763.17
StudioPress   $80.46
Adsense         $73.58
Maxbounty    $50.40
Tailwind         $45
Monetize        $28.00
DynamiAds   $18.75
x-Theme        $18.30
Weight loss    $17.50
Shareasale     $11.20
Amazon          $2.75       $7.51

Total               $5,739.80

In my previous income reports, I mentioned that advertising doesn’t work well for new blogs. As you can see from this report, my overall Adsense and income didn’t reach even a $100, and I tested their ads for a couple of months in total.

Want to know how I drive over 300,000 pageviews/mo to my blog from Pinterest? And how organic (free) Pinterest traffic allowed me to make $25,000+/mo with my blogs? Learn how I do it with a Free Pinterest Masterclass >>

The only solution for getting decent ad income, in my experience, is growing your monthly traffic to a minimum of 25,000 sessions and applying for Mediavine. That’s exactly what I did after my explosive traffic growth happened because of the viral Halloween pins. If you missed this story, you can check this post about my Pinterest strategy here.

Since then I learned how to replicate the viral effect on many other pins, and not necessarily seasonal. You will see it from my Traffic report, which shows how my Pinterest traffic tripled in 2 weeks.


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

  • Bluehost hosting with a free domain for 1 year – $99. Great deal, because they also gave me a free SSL certificate!
  • Tailwind– 1-year subscription for $90. I’ve got a referral credit of $30, normally the price per year is $120. You can have one month of Premium or spend the 30$ credit to get a discount on your yearly subscription with my referral link.
  • X-Theme– $72.
  • BoardBooster – $25.
  • Convertkit – $100.

Total expenses – $386.

Conclusions about Blogging Income

  1. Affiliate marketing rules for making money on a new blog! FlexOffers and iGain have been my best paying affiliate network so far. And obviously, Bluehost hosting.

By the way, I recently had a chance to test their basic plan on my blog when I’ve got 13.399 sessions in just one day (you’ve seen it in the screenshot in this traffic report)! It was a viral pin, at some time of the day my real-time traffic reached almost 100 users. I opened the blog from time to time to see if it was working slower than usual, but it wasn’t. Everything worked fine, so when you are buying the basic plan from Bluehost don’t worry that you’ll have any troubles getting higher traffic on some days.

  1. Advertising networks like Google Adsense and will not pay you a coffee a month. I have to repeat this after testing them both and after finally getting onboard with Mediavine.

Just compare my PRM in Adsense (EUR 0.48) and in Mediavine (currently $10.27 Session RPM on average). This is why I can only advice new bloggers to focus on affiliates until you are able to get consistent traffic above 25000 sessions a month and work with Mediavine. Don’t distract your users with Adsense ads for cents, when you can sell them some affiliate products for a decent commission.

  1. My plans for the full-time blogging income are:
    • First, to increase my Mediavine ads income by having a wider content focus and generating content which is popular on Pinterest. This will give a boost to my Pinterest account follower growth, will drive more traffic and income to my blog. I will make money from the blog while building a solid foundation for the second step below – with real examples, screenshots, experiments and impressive numbers.
    • Second, to create my first own product around my Pinterest success secrets and help other beginners who are stuck and depressed, to get their blog traffic rocking and rolling.

If you are still in doubts about all this blogging fever, look at my 9-month journey and believe me, I’m far from being the best example in terms of traffic and income growth. But that’s what I was able to do while working 9-5 and still learning my way hard with trial and error. It is definitely worth trying!

Update: You can check how my ads income doubled by the end of January 2018 in my first full-time blogging income report here


When my site was just a little over 1 year old, I started with a 0 following Pinterest account and by the 10thmonth blogging, I reached 172,000 monthly pageviews to my blog, with about 90% of traffic coming from Pinterest.

I started my second blog in Feb 2018, and the new blog already hit 74,000 monthly pageviews in less than 90 days! And again, almost all the traffic comes from Pinterest.

Pinterest traffic to a new blog
If you are interested in growing your Pinterest traffic fast, you can get yourself set up for success with my Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets course. It’s over 6 hours of video training packed with my personal know-hows and Pinterest hacks.

I can guarantee that at least 50% of the Pinterest tips and tricks I share with you in the course, are absolutely exclusive and you will not find them in any other Pinterest course.

If you don’t need to grow fast and don’t mind working at your 9-5 job for a lot longer, you can totally keep reading my emails and posts because I also share tons of free advice. It’s just a matter of how FAST you want to grow your blog and income.

If you found this post useful, save this PIN to your Blogging Board and get back to it later.

How to make money blogging and can a blog help you leave your day job? How much money can you make from a blog working on it in your free time only? I found my answers to all these blogging beginner questions and I quit my 9-5 job after 9 months blogging. Find out how!

How to make money blogging and can a blog help you leave your day job? How much money can you make from a blog working on it in your free time only? I found my answers to all these blogging beginner questions and I quit my 9-5 job after 9 months blogging. Find out how!

How to make money blogging – I made $5,739 from $386 Investment


  1. How much money can you make from a blog?
  2. Conclusions about Blogging Income

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Comments 17

    1. Post

      Hi Maya! I’m happy to see your comment here, I just read your recent income report too and I’m very happy blogging works well for you too! Because the numbers we share, encourage new bloggers to give it a try and improve their finances and ultimately, their lives!

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  1. Very Nice, Anastasia.
    I would be really interested to hear some more details, like how many visitors it took to make that kind of income and your main strategy to actually convert on your offers.
    Like did you put them straight into emails, is it mostly from subscribers, search engines? I am interested in some analytics-type data.
    I am working on something similar, I am just below two months on my new blog.
    I linked to my latest blog post on the subject and I would be interested in your feedback.

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      Hi, Peter!
      I gave there a link to my traffic report for the 9 months. I guess, should have mentioned it several times along the post
      As for affiliate offers, most of my income came from survey sites (I started this blog with several posts on how to make extra income online). Bluehost affiliate links are in all blogging-related posts and rarely in my emails. I noticed that if I give affiliate link to Bluehost right in the emails, I get higher unsubscribe rates for those emails. So I prefer to send people to useful posts in which affiliate links look more appropriate.

      I will be much more focused on building efficient sales funnels when I start selling my own products, I guess. I signed up for your course and hope to improve my sales funnel. I have been quite open in my traffic report about niching my blog too a much wider audience than I planned initially. This happened because my money-making and blogging posts which were bringing Pinterest traffic and decent income in the first 6 months, didn’t bring the desired affiliate income anymore and I decided to try my luck in advertising with Mediavine.

      I’m now growing my traffic with anything that works great on Pinterest and when I get to a stable ad income, I will get back to my blogging posts and sales funnels. Mediavine allows me to block ads on certain pages of the site. So if I have ads, it doesn’t necessarily jeopardize my affiliate sales on dedicated pages.

      Weird plan, I guess, but that’s the strategy I chose for now. You will all see if it works 🙂

  2. I definitely want to check out Flex Offers after reading this! I just signed up to be a Blue Host affiliate today, so I’m excited! Congrats on your success!

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      Hi, Amy! Yes, Flexoffers have some survey site offers which worked pretty well on my blog. But they also have so many other offers for any niche you could imagine. And since I worked with them for many months, I can also tell their support is helpful, payments are made in time. I have nothing to complain about, have been very happy with them.

  3. This is super helpful and insightful for me. There are so many Affiliate programs and ways to make money blogging – but as a newbie to the blogging world, it can become super overwhelming! Thanks!

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      Hi Caylen! I’m happy some things are shared can help you. Let me know if you have any questions, I’d be glad to advise.

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  4. Congratulations on your awesome process and thanks for the mention, Anastasia!
    My name is Jenny and I am the Marketing Associate for Mediavine.
    Our goal is to help digital content creators passively monetize their awesome content through display ads, and we aim to do this with ease to the publishers and without slowing down their sites.
    As you said, our threshold to work with a site is 25k monthly sessions and we’re here to answer any questions at [email protected]

  5. I tried blogging and my views were about 145 to 150 per day. I could not get enough clicks on my ads and therefore I stopped blogging. I have a question, how many visitors (not views) per day you need for at least to make 100usd per months. I know it depends but just estimates.

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      In my experience, when my traffic was still low, I focused on affiliate offers. I wrote posts about blogging, which allowed me to add affiliate links to Bluehost and WordPress premium themes offers. For one bluehost referral you can be paid $65, so you need to convince 2 users out of your 150 per day to start a blog and purchase hosting with your Bluehost link. This is an example, you might be in a different niche and affiliate payments could be lower or higher. Imagine you are an affiliate of some ebook that helps people stop smoking. Imagine that you receive 30% affiliate commission and the cost of the book is $30. You can get $10 for each book sold, if 10 users purchase it using your link, you reach you $100 a month. For me, having ads from Google Adsense doesn’t make sense, and you can’t get into a better paid network unless you start having 25000 sessions a month. With 25000 sessions you will receive about $250-300 from ads in Mediavine, or about $30-40 with Google Adsense. I speak from my perspective, I worked only in this niche where I am now, and can’t tell about higher-paid niches (I suppose, personal finance or insurance niches have higher RPMs).

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