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.
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
Weight loss $17.50
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 Media.net income didn’t reach even a $100, and I tested their ads for a couple of months in total.
The only solution for getting decent ad income, in my experience, is growing your monthly traffic to a minimum of 25000 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
- 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.
- Advertising networks like Google Adsense and Media.net 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.
- 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.
If you found this post useful, save this PIN to your Blogging Board and get back to it later.