The first 3 months — or more! — of blogging are often the hardest. It’s an uphill battle to gain traffic, followers, and traction.
I see SO many new bloggers get discouraged after they launch their blog. They’re doing everything right: creating new content, posting daily on social media, and engaging with their audience. And still, nothing.
They start to wonder if they should give up. They start to question what they’re doing wrong.
BUT here’s the thing: they’re usually not doing anything wrong. Building a blog takes time and strategy. Especially at first it takes patience, consistency, and dedication. Just because you don’t see immediate results doesn’t that mean you’ve failed!
It takes time. It takes time to gain followers and discover how best to monetize your blog. To test and discover what works.
I’m sharing my income numbers because my hope is that it will help you to see new ways to strategize + monetize your blog.
I started the blog that I talk about below when my son was a newborn. This meant that time spent building my blog was during nap time, late nights, and early mornings.
I mention this because it felt like I had very limited time to work on my blog, but I still saw results! Sometimes time constraints are a good thing because they teach us to work smarter and not harder.
Here’s the income breakdown:
- Brand sponsorships: $775.00
- Product sales: $138.50
- Affiliate commissions: $3.17
- Etsy: $8.97
Here’s the details on how I made each of these numbers:
These were brand deals that I got through Instagram. I still had a relatively low number of followers (less than 1,000) but I reached out to brands for collaborations that consisted of:
- Me posting about brands on my Instagram account
- Me sharing about brands on my blog
- Me providing high-resolution images to brands
- Me writing guest posts for brands
The key to getting these brand deals was that my audience was niche, specific, and engaged. I was able to partner with brands who were likewise niche and had a need for fresh content.
Through my blog I started selling physical products (they were all baby related). I sold these online and locally, under the branding of my blog.
This number was from my first Amazon Associates commission! I was so excited to get that first payment and even today affiliate commissions have grown and become a steady stream of revenue for the blog.
When I launched my blog, I started with 5 posts that had affiliate links. One of them gained a lot of traffic on Pinterest and that’s where I saw this initial sale.
Under my blog & brand I also sold items on Etsy. They were digital in order to provide passive income. At the time my blog was 3 months old, my Etsy shop was only about a week old. The income number here is from my first Etsy sale!
And that’s it. Most of the numbers here are from a ‘first’ — first affiliate commission, first products sales and brand deals. If you’re just starting out, focus on your ‘firsts’ as well. Keep pursuing those first sources of income and go from there.
For more on how to monetize your blog and find the right revenue streams, check out how to Launch Your Online Business in 5 Weeks. This gives:
- Checklists of what your blog should have
- Details on exact ways you can make money blogging
- The best affiliate programs to join
- Tips for getting paid brand sponsorships when you’re just starting out