Looking for honest insight into how a blog can start to make money? This income report will give you the numbers, but also the specific details on HOW this blog makes money with a unique blogging strategy that is rarely discussed.
Over the years, I’ve read countless blog income reports, and yet, they’ve always made me feel a little uncomfortable. Like in what other industry do people post their monthly income to the world?
It’s just kinda weird, right?
But here I am, following the crowd and letting you know how my blog makes income.
I’ll get right to it…
Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase through one of my links, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As always, I believe in everything I recommend, and am so thankful for your support.
I made $290.02 from my blog in September
Just typing this has me hearing crickets.
Because seriously, $290.02 isn’t really anything to write home about in a world where bloggers make full-time, lucrative incomes from their blogs.
But here’s the deal (and it’s HUGELY important you understand this if your blog isn’t making money and you want it to be).
It took me close to THREE YEARS to start making any sort of income from my blog, and my numbers are STILL small.
This isn’t because I don’t care, or I don’t understand content marketing.
It’s simply because I’ve been trying to figure out the blogging strategy that works FOR ME, and that’s taken some time.
I’ve tried doing the super specific niche thing. I’ve attempted to be an “influencer.” And I’ve even completely given up on the idea of ever treating my blog like a business.
And honestly, none of these strategies worked for me because I was simply trying to replicate the strategies of other people.
I’m not saying that $290.02 is a huge number, but I am saying that in a world where so many bloggers talk about, “how I made $500 in my first month blogging,” it’s okay to go slow and figure out what works for you without the pressure of making money right off the bat.
$290.02 isn’t going to have me quitting my freelance job anytime soon, but as a total passive side project that I enjoy doing, I’m excited to see my growth.
Why I’m Posting My Blog Income
All blog income reports tend to start like this.
For most, posting their blog income is a means of sharing knowledge, being transparent, and showing people that making income from your blog is possible.
I completely believe in all of these things, and, of course, I hope you’re able to gain knowledge and insight from this modest income report.
But let’s be real here for a ‘sec…
The real reason I’m posting this income report is because income reports are popular.
They get major shares on Pinterest, and they’re a great source of traffic.
So yeah, I hope you get some inspiration from reading this, but I also hope you know that when you read income reports, the blogger isn’t always doing it with you as their number one priority.
Income reports get views. Plain and simple.
The Biggest Takeaway To Consider Before Reading This Income Report
I know, I know, the above rant is a little negative and judgemental.
By no means am I criticizing anyone who posts an income report (hello, I’m doing it!).
The reason I’m saying all of this is because, rather than understanding WHY I’m posting my blog income, I think it’s much more important that you understand the HOW of my blog, or the real inner workings of it before you go thinking you can take MY strategy and make it into your own.
Because sure, some people might be able to, BUT depending on your skills and talents, there’s probably a unique strategy out there that is more tailored to you.
For me, that has always been the most difficult thing to wrap my head around when reading someone’s income report.
I would read a report, see how that person was making money, and then assume I could start adapting that strategy into my own.
But honestly, until you stop reading and you simply start implementing a strategy, you’re not going to figure out what works for YOU.
When you read this income report, that’s what I want you to remember: realize that I’ve been building my blog for almost three years, I’ve gone through phases where I didn’t touch it for months, and it’s taken me this long just to figure out how to make $290 with it.
Bottom line: Each bloggers’ individual journey is completely unique, and the quicker you realize that, the faster you’ll be able to stop reading these income reports and come up with a strategy that actually suits YOUR unique skills and talents.
My Blogging Strategy
Having said all that, I am going to give you my blogging strategy.
Not because I think everyone should be doing it my way, but simply because, for some of you, it might be what you need to hear.
I know whenever I was reading blog income reports, I didn’t come across a lot of bloggers talking about this strategy and I know it would would have helped me.
Not to mention, it always drives me crazy when bloggers post where they made their money from their blog, but they don’t share specific details on the HOW.
So first, let me share the basis for my blog strategy, or the nitty gritty on the HOW of my blog’s income…
Build a No Niche Blog // Focus On Content
I believe in the power of blog content.
I don’t take on sponsored posts.
And I really don’t care too much about things like branding.
I’ve seen SO many people waste hours (myself included) on coming up with the perfect logo, or thinking that if they just changed their brand colors, they would build an audience.
And honestly, for some, this might be the case.
If you have a strong personality and your focus is on social media, of course you should focus your time on your brand and building that connection with your audience.
But, for me, as a writer who isn’t keen on sharing her life through social media, blog content is where I focus my time.
I write long-form content on topics I have a passion for, that I’m knowledgeable about, and that I think people care to read. Most importantly, I focus on providing value/solutions to problems through these posts.
The topic or “niche” doesn’t matter so much. It’s the ability to create high value content on a consistent basis that is the true key to my blog strategy (when I’ve limited myself to one niche, I’ve always become bored of it).
I talk about how to implement this “no niche” blog strategy in my post all about building a no niche blog.
In addition, I have a post on 7 successful bloggers who blog without a niche, if you’re not feeling very confident that a no niche blog can work and you need some proof (trust me, it can!).
Monetize Through Ad Income
So now you’re probably wondering what the benefit to blogging without a niche is, and how exactly it can make you a blog income, especially considering so many “experts” claim the key to creating a money-making blog is to have a specific niche.
So first, you have to understand MY income goal for my blog (again, recognize that your income goal does not have to be the same as mine).
For me, my blog is not my primary source of income.
As a full-time freelance writer, I make the majority of my income through working with clients. This gives me the freedom to work on my blog at a slower pace, on the side.
However, freelance writing is not what I want to do forever.
I am very motivated by the idea of passive income (i.e. putting time into content once and having it make me money on a consistent basis).
As someone who can write multiple articles per week on various lifestyle topics for clients, I figure I would rather be writing these articles for myself, posting them on my own blog, and making money passively from them, rather than just being paid the one time flat rate from a client.
How can I accomplish this passive income goal?
Well, primarily by monetizing my articles with ads.
I know that’s not a popular strategy for a lot of bloggers, but, for me, as a writer (and not an influencer), it makes the most sense.
And really, I’m not sure why ad income gets so much negativity! Vogue places ads in its magazine. Kaylyn Nicholson places ads in her Youtube videos. Joe Rogan puts ads in his podcast.
I create quality (FREE) content on a consistent basis, promote through Pinterest, and place ads on each post to increase my ad revenue. Seems like a pretty logical way to make money to me…
If you want to read more about my Pinterest strategy and how I use it to drive traffic to my blog, I would highly recommend these two articles:
In addition, if you’re interested in monetizing your blog through ads, I’m with Monumetric, and so far, I’ve really enjoyed working with them!
You only need 10,000 pageviews to get in (which is a lot lower than other premium ad networks), and you’re going to make way more with them than you could with Google Adsense, for example. (if you want more specifics about Monumetric and how they’re paying off for me, feel free to email me to discuss further).
Supplement With Affiliates
In addition to ad income, affiliate income is also a great passive income source.
Having said that, I find it a little more difficult to monetize with affiliates using my no niche strategy simply because affiliate income is generally more dependent on creating a trustworthy relationship with an audience.
With my strategy, I don’t have a particular audience that I expect to keep coming back to my blog.
Instead, people generally find my blog if they’re searching on Pinterest/Google for a solution to a problem, meaning they likely won’t come back to my blog after they find the solution.
Does this result in a lot of affiliate sales?
However, I do make some affiliate income by focusing on a pay-per-click strategy.
For example, as you’ll see in my income breakdown below, I make some income through affiliates, like ShopStyle Collective (SSC) and Amazon Associates.
With SSC, each time someone clicks on an affiliate link, I make something like 5 cents/click, which slowly adds up.
In addition, with Amazon Associates, I can make money on products I didn’t even recommend (there’s a 24 hour cookie, meaning if someone clicks one of my links, goes on Amazon, and purchases ANYTHING within 24 hours, I make a small commission on whatever they purchase).
Again, it’s not a lot, but the more I grow my traffic, the more I expect my affiliate sales will go up.
Create A Product
I got lucky with this one, and I’m not going to spend too much time here, because I think the idea of creating a product can be really overwhelming for a lot of people.
I won’t lie, this took me A LOT of time.
Lucky for me, though, with very little promotion, my freelance writing ebook makes me some income every month without me having to do anything.
Going forward, I plan on promoting this more, but for now, extra income for something I did over a year ago sounds pretty good to me.
If you want to learn more about writing an ebook so you can increase your blog income, I would highly recommend checking out this e-course.
Freelance Write To Earn Income
And lastly, I didn’t include my freelancing income in this income report, but I just want to touch on this for anyone who wants to make a full-time income online.
I know how tempting it is to put all your effort into your blog, but honestly, with this kind of pressure, your blog might not work out the way you intended.
That’s why I always recommend aspiring bloggers at least try out freelance writing.
It’s an excellent way to make money on your terms while you build your blog.
You can read more about why I think bloggers make for excellent freelance writers here.
In addition, if you are interested in learning more about how I built my freelance writing career, these articles are worth a read:
I sell it for only $25, and while I may be a little biased, I truly believe the information packed into this book could help free a lot of people from doing work they don’t enjoy.
My Blog Income Breakdown
I know everyone always wants the breakdown of where exactly the money is coming from, so here it is:
The biggest thing to keep in mind with this income report is that I didn’t work on my blog AT ALL in September.
I was travelling Europe all through the month and just didn’t have the time. I believe I had a couple pins in my Tailwind queue, but other than that, this income is 100% passive and continues to go up with little work (yay!).
September 2019 Income
Ebook Sales: $100 (-$20 for affiliates of the ebook)
Ad Income: $121.72
The She Approach Affiliate Program: $31.15
Amazon Associates: $32.15
ShopStyle Collective: $25
** Note: I didn’t mention the She Approach Affiliate Program in the affiliate section above, so just briefly, this is an affiliate program I joined after reading the ebook, Making Pinterest Possible, which majorly boosted my blog traffic. I talk about how and why I love this book in this Pinterest post, along with this Pinterest post.
September 2019 Expenses:
I am a huge advocate of blogging on a budget, and don’t spend a lot of money on my blog. In fact, this month I didn’t spend anything on my blog, meaning I get to keep everything that I made!
And there you have it: my first ever blog income report.
I don’t currently plan on continuing with these every month, but I do hope that this honest look into how I make my blog income gives you some ideas and inspiration that you can take with you (without getting overwhelmed!)
Remember: everybody is going to blog differently, and there’s no right way to do it.
Figure out a way that suits you, and I’ve got a feeling you’ll soon be writing your own income report.
If you found this post helpful and would like to save it for later or share it with your friends, feel free to use this Pinterest image: