This post contains affiliate links.
I’ve been blogging for two years but I feel like it’s only in the last few months that I’ve started to really focus in on what it is I want to do with this blog and HOW I’m going to do it.
For the first time ever I’m going to share my blogging income. Why do it now, nearly two years after I started blogging and long after I started making money from it?
Well there are a few reasons. One is that March was the first month of being a member of MediaVine. I thought it would interest some fellow bloggers to see what a difference this has made to my ad income (spoiler: A lot, my ad income was 0 beforehand).
I started blogging back in June 2017 and at this time it was just a hobby. I wanted to write whatever I wanted to write and connect with fellow mamas.
Then in June 2018 I lost my job and decided to take some time out to decide what I should do next. I meandered a bit and took on a bit of freelance work here and there. Nothing clicked.
The blog was making money every month, but not what I would call an income. It all seemed to be that blogging for a career was a bit of a pipedream, something that couldn’t become a reality.
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Part of my problem with blogging for the last year or so has been that I’ve been too focused on Instagram.
Instagram is great, believe me I could sing its praises all day long when it comes to networking, brand awareness and sponsorship work.
BUT, as a newish parenting blogger it is virtually impossible to grow your following without deploying slightly shifty tactics. Buying followers. Following hundreds of accounts only to unfollow them the next day in order to get them to follow you.
I’ve been trying to grow my Instagram following organically and it’s been a slog. I’m stuck at 4,100 and that’s where I fear I will be stuck for some time.
Then a few weeks ago I had a bit of an epiphany. I’m slogging away trying to make the Instagram algorithm work for me, putting in the hours to interact and gain new followers organically, but what does it get me in return? I’m not gaining new followers quickly enough and it’s not making money in sponsored posts.
However when I put work and effort into Pinterest, I see instant results. And yet I had been neglecting my Pinterest account for so long. Yes I still opened up Pinterest every day, and I had my Tailwind queue filled at all times, but I was hardly scratching the surface of what I could achieve with Pinterest.
I decided to aim for better traffic to my blog. I figured that I own my blog, not Instagram, and it’s better for me to nurture this, the thing that I own, and see how I can monetise that.
I had heard of the advertising network MediaVine on the blogging grapevine and how it pays way better than GoogleAds, who I’ve earned about $50 in the two years I’ve been blogging.
I decided to go for MediaVine membership. MediaVine wants you to have 25,000 sessions in the last 30 days before they will even consider your application.
I decided to really go for it and use Pinterest to push my traffic up. I get good traffic from Facebook as well. A post shared on Facebook can get me 1,000 page views in a day.
But its Pinterest that is my most reliable form of traffic. In the future I want to change this and get more from Google, however SEO is a work in progress for me. I wish I had thought more about when I started the blog, but at least I’m thinking about it now.
I went back to two courses that have provided incredible advice. I purchased both last year but didn’t work hard enough to put their advice into practice.
Ready Set Blog for Traffic looks at Pinterest and SEO, plus has some incredible advice on how to do good keyword research for your blog posts. It’s a fantastic, well-written and genuinely practical course. It has really transformed the way I think about writing each of my blog posts and I’m seeing genuine results.
The other course I’ve used is Pinteresting Strategies. This course made me realise why just loading up my Tailwind queue and waiting for the traffic to come to me wasn’t going to work.
If you want Pinterest to work for you, you need to visit the actual website and pin manually every single day. Not for hours a day, but for at least 20 minutes.
The other key tips from Pinteresting Strategies was to create new pins for old content regularly, like every single day! Now that I have a few templates in Canva, this doesn’t take too long for me to do but it’s been great to see old posts taking off.
The result was that I hit the target for MediaVine and then some. I hit 45,000 page views in February and was able to apply to MediaVine and I joined them in early March.
As well as focusing on growing my traffic so that I could monetise with ads, I want to get my affiliate game on.
I have had zero success with affiliate marketing since I started blogging, and that needs to change! There are many products I’ve tried and genuinely recommend, so I see it as a great fit with my blog.
I’ve been a member of Amazon for ages and now that I’m putting some extra effort into creating affiliate posts, I’ve seen my click rate shoot up. I’ve only made $8 this month, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?
Anyway, let me share the March income figures with you.
March 2019 blogging income
ADS – $201.94 (£153)
SPONSORED POSTS – $358 (£275)
AFFILIATE – $8.34 (about £7)
If you were hoping for one of those “wow I made £5,000 in my first month of blogging” posts then this one has probably been a real let down for you!
But, hear me out. This is my journey. A journey where I want to make this blog pay the bills, as well as be a fun, creative outlet for me.
Although I’ve been blogging for two years, I think I’ve been chasing down the wrong path. I’ve been going after sponsored posts, which are great, but more and more in the UK, advertisers are looking for people with HUGE social media followings. I do well on Facebook, but I’m just not big enough on Instagram or YouTube to attract good sponsorship work to make a full-time income.
So I’m going to focus on this website, growing what I already have and trying to get my ad and affiliate income to grow in the right direction.
I’m going to share the strategies, courses and advice that work for me as I go. I hope that this will be a positive series of posts that help fellow bloggers find the right strategy for them too.
I plan to really study up on affiliate marketing and create some posts that combine good, quality content for my readers with decent sales return for me.
I want to get my traffic past the 50,000 page views per month mark with a view to hitting 100,000 by the end of the year. I know this is ambitious, but with a lot of focus on Pinterest, I think I can do it.
I also want to improve my SEO game dramatically. I am nowhere near tapping into this area of potential blog traffic enough. I’ll be studying up on this and will report back to you!
I hope you found this income report useful! Please ask any questions or share any observations!