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If you’re new to Finsavvy Panda blog, you may be wondering what this blog income is about and why I publish these reports.
I started this blog income report series to keep track of my beginning journey and to show you that earning a full-time income online from home is possible.
It’s my way to have fun testing, experimenting, and sharing with you on what worked and what didn’t work.
My blog income reports are a true reflection of the journey and progress of a brand new blogger, me, who started with no experience – you’ll know that I’m not lying or exaggerating when you read through my blogging archive. I’m a very emotional and highly sensitive person so I wrote things that truly reflect how I felt and what I did as a beginner.
I started this blog because I wanted to share with my readers how I went from living paycheck to paycheck in a low-income family to growing my income and saving my first $100,000.
I know personal finance and money is a struggle for many people, so I share my struggles and stories here on this personal blog to show how I made extra money on the side of my 9-5 job. This extra income allowed me to save more for vacations, experiences, retirement, and the things I value in life.
I also won’t hide the fact that I started a blog because I thought it would be nice to earn extra money doing something that’s fun, new and exciting.
I told myself that it’s SO cheap to get started, and if it doesn’t work out, then so be it. At least I know I tried it without investing a lot of money.
You can learn more about how to start a money-making blog for beginners here in my easy step-by-step tutorial!
To be honest with you, I didn’t even know what “making money online” meant and the term “blogging” really caught me off guard because the last thing I thought I’d ever do was draft blog posts.
After I learned that you DON’T have to be a good writer and that you actually DON’T have to draft a blog post every day or week to earn a full-time living with a blog, I signed up on a whim!
I had absolutely NO experience in writing, marketing, tech (I’m still horrible at this stuff), and everything related to starting a blog. BUT I was willing to take initiative and invest my time in learning the strategies of what makes a blog profitable.
I really surprised myself and didn’t think I’d quit my job after making progress with the blog you’re reading now.
A quick update in 2020: As a brand new blogger, I started with $0 to earning my first $100 in a few months. After six months, I made my first $1,000; and within my first year of blogging, I exceeded my goal of earning $5,000 per month. Eventually, in a little over 2 years, I was able to earn over $100,000 a year with this small and personal blog, which surprises me!
I’m very happy with my blogging progress and I would love to help beginners like you!
How to start a profitable blog: Many readers e-mailed me and asked me what I did to get the results I get. To help you, I created this FREE 7-day e-mail course that teaches you how to start your blog without having to be an expert at what you blog about. There has been a lot of positive feedback from many readers so I highly encourage you to join my free course if you want to learn how to start a blog and make money.
January Blog Income Report
Welcome to my January blog income report!
For those who are new here, I started writing these blog income reports to show others it’s possible to earn an income online with a small blog like this one here.
I also have to admit it’s nice being able to express myself and help readers while getting rewarded with a small commission at NO extra cost to you!
As some of you may know, my very first income report was back in July of last year ($703.57) when things started picking up.
Can you really make money blogging?
Now, you may be reading and thinking all of this is bogus; that this whole blogging thing is impossible; and that you’ll never be able to earn any real income online.
I don’t blame you because I thought the same too.
Just over a year ago, it NEVER crossed my mind that I could quit my job last month to start blogging full-time!
I want you to know that I’m not special at all.
I’m just a regular girl who decided to start a blog on a whim to see how it goes. If it works out, then cool. And if not, then oh well… at least I tried!
And after starting this blog, BOY, was I struggling! I struggled really badly and earned close to nothing for many months no matter what I did or how hard I tried.
I was frustrated and thoughts like these crossed my mind ALL the time (to be honest, I STILL feel this way from time to time):
- “I’m doing EXACTLY what that established blogger told me to do! Why am I not seeing results? WTF!!!”
- “Great! More sales pitches from the bloggers I subscribed to? Will these self-proclaimed experts’ so-called magic formula really solve my problem?”
- “I spent a sh!t load of time writing that post but no one is reading it! Is my content sh!t? :'(“
- “They always say epic content is king, but then why do I see thin content do so well?”
- “I’ve tried SO many things, but why are Google and Pinterest not sending over some eyeballs to me? GOOGLE, why you no love me?”
Yes, it is possible to make money blogging!
Despite those low and sad times, I kept persisting, testing, learning, and trying as many new things as possible!
I also invested in a few courses to help speed up my progress, which I mention more in detail later below, as well as my recommendations list here.
I really do think it’s my mindset and persistence that got me here today; not really my skills. Wait, what skills??
– I ain’t no good writer. I don’t write. What do I even write about?
– I’m no Pinterest graphic designer. I have no experience in that sh!t.
– I got no tech skills. Uh, what is “a blog powered by WordPress” even mean?
– I didn’t even know blogs could make money. Um, how? And what’s affiliate marketing?
Seriously, this whole “start a blog and make money” thing was foreign and new to me. That’s why I thought of you and wrote this FULL guide on how to make money blogging for beginners with NO experience!
I jumped the gun and started learning and doing things on the go. And more than 80% of the time, I didn’t even know WTF I was doing!
A lot of the times it was learning from the experts, observing what they’re doing, and a whole lot of testing and implementing to see what works!
I may not be earning over $10,000 each month like the successful bloggers we’re aspired to be, but I am very happy with my progress today. Because honestly, I didn’t even think I’d be able to make over $1,000 per month!
Like I said, I have self-doubts deep down inside of me and it’s hard admitting that to the world. Having that said, I still question (sometimes) whether I can continue making money with this blog!
Well, if worst comes to worst, and I lose all my traffic, then I’ll just start all over again. I’ve gained some experience over the last year and that’s the most valuable part of starting a blog (the price is dirt cheap too)! 😀
So, for those who feel hopeless and are earning very little, please don’t give up!
Just keep going because slow and steady (along with some persistence) wins the race…
And for those who are nervous about starting a blog, or you want to start one but just unsure of what to write about, you are not alone.
I, too, still have a lot of self-doubts about myself and this blog! But like I always say, challenge yourself and do your best. 🙂
On top of that, I want to say thank you SO much to those who support me through my affiliate links. Although most of my income doesn’t come from blogging-related affiliates, it still helps keep this blog running! It also allows me to personally respond to any questions you have about blogging. So really, THANK YOU for your support! 😊
Ad revenue tanked. Affiliate earnings gave me the boost!
I am very happy that I was able to make $6,790.93 this month! And more than 80% was thanks to affiliate marketing!
My total earnings fell slightly lower compared to last month ($6,840.01), but my affiliate earnings saved the day and increased for the month again!
Usually, my income source would be roughly 40% ads and 60% affiliate marketing.
But for January, my ad revenue tanked by more than half compared to the previous month even though my traffic remained the same (~111,000 page views)!
In my last income report, I learned that ad earnings dip after the holiday season. This is very normal and most bloggers will likely experience this.
Here is a quick screenshot of my RPM for ads in Jan:
If that sounds like you, and you’ve been solely relying on ads, I really recommend looking into these affiliate marketing strategies to diversify your blog income stream!
It even crossed my mind to temporarily reduce ads on my site because I was afraid it was going to kill my stronger affiliate performers!
With that said, I was extremely terrified about my ad revenue for January! It recently recovered a bit (still low though), but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for February!
💡 LESSON OF THE MONTH: I admit I love seeing ad earnings roll in during the normal times, but it’s still important to diversify your income sources!
After my ad earnings took a hard hit, I feel even MORE strongly about this point and that’s why you might want to consider implementing some affiliate marketing strategies!
And I really mean it when I say this.
Investing my time learning how to convert readers using affiliate marketing strategies is one reason why my blog is generating a higher income! Before even knowing the term “affiliate marketing” or what it meant, I was earning close to $0 with this blog!
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, or a blogger who hasn’t been seeing any results with your affiliate earnings, then I recommend investing in an affiliate marketing course. If you’d like to learn more about what worked for me, stay tuned because I talk later about the course that gave me a boost in my blog income.
Anyway, here are my numbers for the month…
January Blog Income
As mentioned earlier, I earned $6,790.93 in January. Please note that this is in Canadian dollars before any expenses or fees. Payouts are before any expenses and occur 30-60 days.
Total display advertising – $1,145.61
Mediavine – $881.24 USD (~$1,145.61 CAD) at 111,054 page views (84,873 sessions)
As you can see, despite the slightly higher page views (same sessions) compared to last month, my ad earnings dropped by 53%! Crazy, right?
Compare this to my last month’s ad income: $1,835.27 USD (~$2,440.91 CAD) at 108,912 page views (84,811 sessions).
Now, you know what I mean by implementing affiliate marketing gave me the extra boost!
Affiliate income – $5,645.32
- Money-saving resources (Checkout 51, Drop, Ebates, survey companies, etc.) – $3,820.57
- $5 Meal Plan – $55.55 USD ($72.22 CAD)
- Amazon – $43.58 USD ($56.65 CAD)
- Blue Host – $595 USD ($773.50 CAD)
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – $504.32 USD ($655.62 CAD)
- Tailwind – $30 USD ($39 CAD)
- Pinterest ebook – $217.36
- VIPKID (Teach English From Home) – $10.40
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing e-Course:
Overall, my affiliate earnings increased again for this month thanks to Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing e-Course.
As I mentioned, the course instructor consistently makes a profitable income with affiliate marketing, so she definitely knows her stuff!
This is one of the BEST investments I made on my blog last year!
Initially, I wasn’t sure about purchasing Michelle’s course, but I’m really glad that I did!
This is my monthly blog income result (all from affiliate marketing and advertising display) after implementing Michelle’s winning affiliate strategies:
If you’re a relatively new blogger who isn’t seeing the results you’d like with affiliate marketing, then I recommend purchasing Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing e-course.
If you decide to purchase this course using my link, send me an e-mail at [email protected] with a screenshot of your purchase and I’ll send you my Affiliate Marketing printable binder for FREE! Many people have e-mailed me and told me that my binder has helped them organize their affiliate strategies to reach their blog income goals. 🙂
Here are some quick affiliate screenshots for proof that this course has helped me earn an income with my blog:
Get your Tailwind FREE trial!
I earned 2 referrals this month for Tailwind at $15 USD each.
I really recommend signing up for the FREE trial to see how you like it (PLUS, you get a FREE $15 credit when you use my link)!
In my honest opinion, Tailwind helped me save time from manually pinning on Pinterest (despite the initial batch work).
Combined with these Pinterest Savvy Canva templates and e-book bundle, Tailwind is the tool that has given me a huge boost in my Pinterest traffic!
My traffic results after implementing Pinterest strategies and using the Tailwind app to schedule my pins:
I went from 15,000 page views back in May to over 40,000 page views in July (within 3 months).
Then, it increased to over 70,000 page views in August and September (1 month later).
Shortly after, my page views increased to over 100,000 page views in December (3 months later).
I didn’t invest a lot of money when I started my blog on a whim and I think that’s okay because you’re just getting comfortable with the idea. Plus, you’re just taking your time learning.
However, once you write your first few posts and get comfortable navigating WordPress, I think it’s important to save some money on the side and invest in your blog if you’re serious about earning an income from it.
For me, as a beginner, I didn’t spend a lot other than just paying for the basic hosting plan with Bluehost along with a few affordable blogging resources. I enjoy learning at my own pace and I tend to take my time to learn one thing before moving onto the next thing.
Now that I’m past 1 year of blogging, I’ve been reinvesting more of the money I earn back into the blog. I can’t tell you how important this is and trust me, it’s SO worth paying for when you get the hang of blogging!
For this month, I was done with my free trial with ConvertKit so my first bill came in at $261 USD (~$350 CAD) for the whole year.
In case you’re wondering, there was a special discount before the holiday, so I just grabbed that on top of getting my free trial.
I already paid for the Tailwind Unlimited Scheduler plus the additional Tailwind Tribes package sometime back in the summer, which I mentioned in one of the previous income reports. I like to do one-time charge expenses instead of breaking them into monthly payments.
Also, some readers will probably think I forgot to mention the Bluehost hosting plan, but I also charge that only once with a one-time payment.
Blog income after expenses = $6,440.93
💡 Important blog tip that you should not ignore!
Thank you for reading this far. I really hope you learned something new today!
Aside from explaining why it’s important to diversify your income source, here’s another one of my very best tip for the month…
Whether you’re a new blogger or someone who has been struggling for some time, remember to keep trying and testing NEW things!
For example, I’ve been adding 1-2 new affiliate programs to test out. The purpose is to diversify my affiliate income and to see what works.
Note: It takes me 1-3 months of testing to see whether something is really working!
If you’ve been doing the same thing over and over again, but aren’t seeing any results, then it’s time to move on to something else. I know it’s hard to let go, but sometimes you need to in order to see results.
Finally, when you feel that something is working and you see some sort of traction, it means you’re probably onto something. So, keep testing MORE of it to see whether it improves!
If it improves, that means you should probably keep doing it!
Remember the general saying is that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your products. That includes removing affiliate programs that just wasn’t working for me (plus, it’s a waste of real estate space on my blog). I really do believe that less is more! 😉
As always, you can always check out my recommendations page for a list of tools and resources that helped me achieve my blog results. Going forward, I will be updating my recommendations page from time to time.
If you’re a beginner and interested in starting your blog the right way, don’t forget to sign up for my FREE 7-day blog course below! 🙂
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