When you first start researching blogging, one of the main things you look at are income reports. They’re fascinating because they show you how people make a living online!
The problem is a lot of income reports are not true or exaggerated by making it seem like the blogger is making more money than they are. Why would they do this? To get you to buy what they’re selling, or funnel you into their email. Obviously if you see someone doing well, you’ll probably want to follow what they suggest because you want to do well like them. The problem is if they’re exaggerating, (or flat out lying) about their success, they won’t be able to help you succeed.
That is not what I want to do. I will not mislead you and I want to be upfront with you because that’s the only way income reports are truly helpful!
My First Blog Income Report
I’m sharing my first blog income report, (for May 2018) because when I first started blogging I was majorly overwhelmed with all of it! How to start a blog, how you actually make money with a blog, is it even possible for blogs to make money with less than 100,000 page views?!
I wanted to study as many income reports as I could to be really sure that I could actually make money if I was going to jump into starting a blog and essentially starting a business.
I also loved reading income reports. It was the number one thing that drove me to start a blog because I wanted to stay home with my kids and make money doing something I loved.
The reason I’m writing the first blog income report now, instead of waiting until I hit the $10,000 mark, (fingers crossed!) is because sometimes the income reports that are huge, (while certainly drool worthy!) I think can be disheartening or overwhelming because new bloggers are so far removed from that. You don’t know how to begin making money on your new site let alone make that kind of money!
It’s also important to note that it’s very rare for bloggers to make a lot of money in the first few months. It does happen but it’s not typical.
In order to make the big bucks, you have to understand how to start making money with your audience and then you can build on that.
I want to share how I was able to make over $500 from my small blog in one month, without using an email list or freelancing. This is to inspire you to think outside of the box when it comes to making money for your blog!
I also want you to know that this is not my first month blogging! In fact I’ve been blogging for a little over a year. I could be making more money if I spent more time on my blog but as a single mom with two young kids and another job, it just isn’t possible. I work in the margins of my day, which add up to about 15 maybe 20 hours a week.
Now on to how I was able to make money without an email list!
$66.76 – Amazon affiliate commission
$15 – Google Adsense
$420 – my first product!
I had 10,183 page views for May
(There were no expenses for this month as things like hosting are paid for yearly)
But how do you sell a product if you have no email list?
Well, I used social media. Not like affiliate pins on Pinterest or using paid Facebook ads, but by validating my product idea in several Facebook groups I was a part of.
Here’s how it went down…The idea for the product hit me all of a sudden one day when I realized the problem I could solve was one I had heard many people complain about in some blogging Facebook groups I’m in.
(If you want to check out my course it’s for bloggers to help them create quality content quickly!)
The thing was, I wasn’t currently blogging about blogging on my site. So I had consider if creating this product was worth it. I thought about my business plan and what I ultimately wanted to do with my blog.
I realized this was a gateway I could use to incorporate my plan of including blogging tips on my site! So I decided that since this was an area I wanted to incorporate anyway, plus I was really excited about the product, I would go ahead with it.
I went to several Facebook groups and asked if there would be any interest for a course about this subject. I got many people who said yes! So once I validated the idea, I created a beta course. I priced the course really cheap so I could get feedback from the students to make the course the absolute best it could be. Even with pricing it really cheap, I still made $420 in one month!
Let me share why I chose to do things backwards…
I tend to experiment with ideas to see what works best for my business. Many successful bloggers who I’ve kept up with, do just that. They experiment to see what works best. Just because someone tells you what makes them successful, doesn’t mean it will work well for you. So you have to try different things to see what makes sense for your blog.
A big reason why I took the risk of creating this product without an email list is because I was genuinely excited about the product and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Plus I knew I would learn from this experience. And I did! I learned a lot and will apply that knowledge moving forward.
Why create a product?
Creating a product can really get your creative juices flowing! Once you’re selling your product, earning that money can light a fire under you to keep pushing forward and trying new things to figure out how to achieve the success you want.
Creating my course has really pushed me forward in continuing this momentum. It has given me lots of new ideas for blog content and other ideas for products!
So the moral of the story is, if you have a fantastic idea that isn’t within your niche, that doesn’t mean you can’t create it! If you don’t have an email list to sell to, one of the platforms you can use is social media!
If you do decide to take the plunge and create a product there are some important things to keep in mind!
1) I do think in the long run for you to be consistently successful with your product, you need to incorporate it into your overall business plan. Like how I had always planned to incorporate blogging into my site and have a blogging email list. So I felt confident in creating a product that was geared towards that niche.
2) When you are validating your product idea, not everyone who says they are interested will take you up on your offer so don’t count on every single sale before they happen!
3) You could have them pay before you create your product. That way if enough people buy, you’ll know it’s worth it to create the product. If not enough people buy the course, you can just refund them their money.
4) Try to use social media where you will have a large reach. For example, the Facebook groups I checked for interest had several thousand people in them.
5) Some blogging advice out there states if you’re a new blogger, you should wait several months at least before you try to sell something. The logic behind that is you don’t have the credibility yet with your audience.
While I think there’s some truth to that, I don’t think there is a magical time to wait before you release a product. So if you’re new, or you don’t have a big following yet but you have a really solid idea for a product, as long as you have places to gauge your audience’s interest and sell your product, this is a viable option!
6) You may not get the super huge launch numbers that someone with an established audience has, but that doesn’t mean over time as you establish yourself, that those numbers of sales won’t rise! So don’t feel like you failed somehow if you didn’t make a crazy amount of money.
7) Just to stress this, I do believe having an email list (and/or a section on your blog) in the niche you created a product for, is an asset that will earn you more money in the long run. But I think you can do some things backwards in order to see what works best for your blog!
I hope this first blog income report has showed you that it is possible for a small blog, (that is only worked on part time) to earn money! You have to get creative because you can’t rely on ads to bring in major money like someone with 100,000 page views a month can. But once you understand how you can earn money with your audience, you can continue to build on that to achieve the success you want!