How I Made $0 in My First Month of Blogging
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You guys, I can’t believe how much sh*t I’ve learned and how many things happened this month. Buckle up, get your coffee/wine, and get ready. This might be a long read.
So, January 2019 was my first month of blogging. Even though I purchased my domain two months ago, I never posted anything for a whole month. Then, as a new years resolution I decided to give a go at this thing called blogging.
WHY I AM DOING AN INCOME REPORT
I’ve been reading income reports for 5 months now, and I absolutely love them. They are the reason why I started blogging, so I hope mine will inspire you too.
HOW I CREATED A BLOG
After reading too many income reports and posts about how to create a blog, I decided that I can do it. I purchased a domain, tried to set up a wordpress blog, and I so naively hoped I could do it.
My goal was: to make money. That was kind of it. I also wanted to do something because I feel like I am never doing anything and there are no reasons to get out of the bed. Other than finishing college. And it simultaneously is finishing me so there is no motivation there.
FAILED. Like, I had no time. Also, WordPress killed me. STORY TIME: I changed my major from engineering to psychology. I don’t want to deal with all the stuff on WordPress. If I couldn’t do it for my classes, I wasn’t going to do it for a blog.
What didn’t work for me with WordPress was there were so many technical things to do. PROBLEMS EVERYWHERE. I had to hire a freelancer for some things, too. Also, my site looked UGLY. But, I didn’t know why. I didn’t know how to fix it. Tried some tactics, but they didn’t work. And at that point, I had enough.
I signed up for writing, not some engineering class that I knew I was going to hate.
I gave up blogging, but it wasn’t only because technical difficulties. I also had so much going on with college.
HOW I CHANGED FROM WORDPRESS AND STARTED TO USE WIX
After some months, I felt like I had free time and decided to blog again. I decided this time, after a lot of research, to go with WIX.
So my first blog died in a month. But I’m still determined to keep this thing going.
I know that at some point, I have to give up WIX. It also has so many things that I don’t like, but I’m dealing with it. I wanted to change from WIX to whatever I will need in future, WHEN THE TIME COMES. For now, I am writing. The rest, I can think about later.
I bought a premium account on wix, and the rest is here.
WHAT HAPPENED THIS MONTH
Guys, I didn’t know blogging was this hard. It takes so much time, but I’m loving it. This month I had finals, then remedials. But I wanted to blog all the time. It was like I was separated from my child when I couldn’t do something about my blog.
I WANT TO MAKE THIS CLEAR: I ONLY BLOGGED 6-7 DAYS THIS MONTH. Like I said, I had exams and then when the school was on break, I lost my grandmother. I had to travel for the funeral and didn’t blog at all.
My stats are showing the fact above and I truly believe if I had more time to blog, I would do so much better. THIS MEANS THAT YOU CAN DO SO MUCH BETTER THAN ME IN YOUR FIRST MONTH. And I truly enjoyed this month and what I’ve went through, so I’m sure you’ll like blogging too.
So, a summary. This month:
-I wrote 7 blog posts.
-Applied for AdSense, got denied.
-I started to use Pinterest. I had no idea what I was doing.
-I found a gem on Youtube about how to use Pinterest for blogging.
-Used the tips, got my first viral pin. –For me, it was. It wasn’t really viral.
-Got sent to PINTEREST JAIL.
-Had a mini heart-attack when I lost my Pinterest account, but literally 6 hours later I got it back.
-Wrote more posts, sometimes 2 a day.
-Decided that I need some kind of direction, but vowed to not buy any courses.
-Tried to have an e-mail list
HOW MANY BLOG POSTS I’VE PUBLISHED:
First things first: I don’t recommend setting up a blog before you have at least 5 post. And I’m telling you, this is the BARE MINIMUM.
I researched for long hours, read so many blog posts on how many blog posts we should launch the blog. Some say 3, some say 10. I launched the blog with 0 POSTS. This was a lesson learned.
I RECOMMEND: DON’T EVEN PAY FOR A DOMAIN UNLESS YOU HAVE 5 POSTS READY.
Content is the key. There will be so many things that’ll need your attention once you launch and you won’t have enough time for writing content. Get your content straight first. With 2-3 posts, you won’t even have enough pin to get traffic.
At the end of the month, I had 7 posts. I still feel like this is not enough.
APPLYING FOR AD NETWORKS:
Because I didn’t have enough content, I got denied. Listen to me, and don’t do what I did. Have your content ready before you launch your blog, and apply later. When you don’t have enough content for an ad network but still have some traffic, that traffic will go to waste as far as money is concerned.
I STARTED USING PINTEREST:
I opened up a business account, and started pinning. I had zero followers, 0 pins. After I’ve tried to do some pinning, I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere and needed a strategy.
I want to say that I am pinning MANUALLY. If you are reading this with the intention of becoming a blogger, I am telling you: YOU DON’T NEED SCHEDULERS. You can pin manually and get good results. Don’t pay for stuff unless you know you need that %100.
I FOUND A YOUTUBE GEM ON HOW TO USE PINTEREST FOR BLOGGERS:
This guy and his Youtube channel saved me. I’ve been pinning like maybe for a week, and had 20 followers at most. I was getting 1 website views a day.
Then I started to look for resources. I’ve found youtube videos on how to use Pinterest. Greg Kononenko and his Youtube channel helped me so much. After using his strategies, I had 200 followers next 3 days. At the end of the month, I had a little more than 1.3k followers. And it showed in my blog traffic.
The best part is, IT IS COMPLETELY FREE. He teaches the very basics, but I was lacking the basics. I wasn’t going to pay for a Pinterest course in the very first month of my blogging adventure. And I didn’t have to, thanks to Greg.
I believe Greg has more courses, and he does webinars. I’m not going to purchase any course for now, until I’ve prove myself that I can dedicate hours to my blog and until I see this can go somewhere. But when I will purchase a course, Greg will be my first choice, because I know his methods work.
And btw, I don’t know him, and this is not an affiliate thing.
After these videos on Youtube, I learned that there are some things called Pinterest GROUP BOARDS, and this is where you will get your pin seen.
I will write a blog post on how to use groups boards to get traffic later. You just need to do this step. It is essential and very time-consuming. I spent two whole days on this, sent many e-mails. But in the end, it worths the hussle.
MY FIRST VIRAL PIN
I mean, viral for me. It got 300 views a day. I was ecstatic. I WAS OVER THE MOON. And that one blog post brought me 1.1k page views for the entire month of January, almost %95 percent of my traffic.
You guys, seeing 300 people reading what I wrote is a different feeling. Good different, btw.
HOW DO I TRACK THE PAGEVIEWS:
Google analytics is your friend. Set up an account the day you launch. This is a must.
Also, I’ve set up a GOOGLE CONSOLE but I still don’t know how to use it. I will learn more about it this month.
PINTEREST BANNED MY ACCOUNT
This had nothing to do with Greg’s methods. I was so sleepy and studied all day and just wanted to spend time on my blog. I didn’t have time to write a post, and I said, why not re-pin your pins.
Then I did. Re-pinned my pins. Many times. In a very short amount of time. THIS WAS A BIG MISTAKE.
After I re-pinned, I got up, do 5 minutes of chores, then tried to enter my account. BLOCKED. I saw that Pinterest sent me an e-mail about my SPAMMY BEHAVIOR. EXCUSE ME?
They give you a link to object, and I objected. Cried a little inside. But I had bigger problems, like my exam in 3 hours. I slept, then went to school.
PINTEREST GAVE ME MY ACCOUNT BACK:
After my exam, I tried to enter my account to see if there was any progress. From what I researched, it could take 2 weeks for Pinterest to give you your account back. AND I GOT IT BACK AFTER 6 HOURS.
SEE, I WASN’T SPAMMING.
Lesson learned: Don’t re-pin the same content in a short amount of time. I think I got my account back very fast because I was pinning only %10 of my content and %90 others’.
Now that I’ve learned that bigger accounts pin %80 of their pins, I am more relaxed. But for smaller accounts, do %50-%50. That’s what I do now.
CRAZY BLOG SCHEDULE:
Because I knew I had a very limited amount of time, I blogged like crazy in my free time. Like 18 hours a day. I blogged only 7 days this month, and when I couldn’t blog I pinned. Out of those 7 days, two days were the most productive as I’ve wrote 4 posts combined.
I decided to not go overboard with writing, but I can’t stop it now because I am hooked. I really like this whole blogging thing.
TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY: EVERY BLOGGERS DILEMMA:
I’ve seen left and right about this blogging course, that Pinterest course and blablabla. And I know that I need them. But am going to buy them? NO.
The reason I am so opposed to buying courses is because I don’t know if I keep blogging. I want to, but I am kind of a lazy ass. So I’m not going to buy anything on whim like my first blog thing and spend money on things that will die eventually.
I am tired of seeing courses everywhere, and although I’m sure they work, I know that I’m not there yet. When I dedicate myself to blogging, I will decide which courses to enroll.
Until then, I decided that: I AM NOT GOING TO BUY ANY COURSES UNTIL I MAKE MY FIRST $50 OR UNTIL I’M BLOGGING FOR WHOLE THREE MONTHS. Whichever comes first.
I am a student, with literally no income. And $50 is too much in my country.
OPT-IN , LEAD MAGNETS AND OTHER STUFF:
Basically, you need to give in order to take. If you want people to subscribe to your e-mail list, you need to offer freebies. I created freebies at the end of the month, using Canva. I am very proud of the end job because I am very new, but go check it out. It is a to-do list, daily&weekly planner. I also created a February 2019 calendar. CHECK THEM HERE.
So, not gonna lie. I don’t know what I’m doing with it. I only have 1 subscriber. I will figure this out later. I need strategies and resources on how to build an e-mail list. I don’t even know how and what I am going to use it for. More to this later.
SEO – WHAT EVEN?
I started blogging, and wrote some content. Then I learned there is something called SEO. Which basically means that you need to follow some rules if you want to rank in google search. You need keywords and sh*t. And they can be short or long-tail. WEIRD STUFF. Just because I want to write doesn’t mean Google gives a fu*k about me, I learned.
I started to learn about what this SEO is and tried to incorporate it into my posts. I am now reading a book called ****** and many blog posts about SEO, so after some months, I think I will get the hang of it.
STATS FOR THE FIRST MONTH
Blog Post Count: 7
Page Views: 1.3 K Sessions
Bounce Rate: %95.32
Session Duration: 0m 22 sec
Pinterest Followers: 1.1k
Pinterest Average Monthly Viewers: 16.854
Average Monthly Engaged: 905
Pinterest Group Boards: I enrolled around 36 of them
I have no other social media, I am planning to create others in February. My bounce rate is so high because I don’t have enough content and my website as it is now is a mess.
Although I must say, I published my first blog post on 5th of January. And now I am writing this post on the 6th of February and my Pinterest followers is 1.4k and Monthly Viewers are around 68k. So it increases rapidly.
I didn’t promote all my posts and I am lacking pins for every post. They say create 3-4 for every post. I only have one for each. I am going to create more this month.
Another thing I learned is what kind of posts do well on Pinterest. My post on Cognitive Distortions***link ekle*** is a A+ post that will do well on Google, but it simply is not about what Pinterest is about.
I kind of understand what will do good on Pinterest. Pinterest users want fun stuff, stuff that they can use on daily basis. Therefore I will create a second post from those blog posts that will do good on Google, to get attention on Pinterest.
BLOG POSTS THIS MONTH:
8 Books that Changed My Life
20 Mistakes I Made in College
Minimalistic Morning Routine
Stress Management Techniques
Cognitive Distortions – Change Your Irrational Beliefs
15 Things Every First-Time Parents Should Know
Exam Subjects Tracker
CAN YOU MAKE MONEY BLOGGING?
They say you can. I didn’t. I got denied from Google AdSense and didn’t want to try it until I got my sh-t done. Also, I didn’t enroll into any affiliate programs so no money from there either. I am going to try to make some in February, at least $10. Wish me luck.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BLOG: ONLY THE ESSENTIALS:
You’ve read in every income report and blog posts about blogging about how to set up a website. But before this, I am going to list the thing you NEED. THE ESSENTIALS.
I said content first, then set up an account later. This is why I am listing the tools you need to create a blog post.
Microsoft Word – Pages – Evernote : DUH. Whatever you use for writing. DON’T BE ME. Evernote is good because it backs your content up. I lost a blog post and 3 hours of my life because I didn’t save the document on Word.
Grammarly: Of all the stuff I will list below, I think Grammarly is the most important. ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE NOT A NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER. I am not. And Grammarly saves my life. I currently use the free version, and it works just fine. If you want, you can buy the premium package. When I will earn some money from my blog, the first thing I’M going to buy is going to be Grammarly Pro.
KWFinder: For SEO. I don’t have much experience with SEO as of yet, but I researched and everybody says KWFinder is good enough. The downside is, you can only search 5 keywords a day. In the beginning, this is enough for me. Later, I might go pro.
https://answerthepublic.com/ : Very good. Let’s say you want to write about blogging. You type blogging into their search thingy and it will give you who-when-which-where-can-do ….. versions of it. A MUST. Free to use, as far as I know. They also give you lessons.
https://soovle.com/ : Easy enough. You write your keyword, and it gives you the most researched version of that keyword on different search engines. Free to use.
After you wrote your content, you need to open up a blog. How do you start blogging? Where to start blogging? Questions, questions. I am going to write a post about this later on, but only the basics.
https://www.wix.com/ : I use Wix for now. I don’t care if it is unprofessional. I am not a pro. I know if I continue to blog, I need to change from Wix to something else. But for now, it works.
https://www.wordpress.org/ : For my first blog that died very soon, I used WordPress. If you are dedicated to blog, I say use this one. There is a little bit of learning curve, and I am pretty sure you need to buy a theme because free ones suck. But all in all very good.
Although I must say, between the two of them, page speed is much slower in Wix, and page speed is very important for traffic.
https://www.bluehost.com : Best web-hosting service out there. In my first blog, I tried to go with some other hosting service but somehow it didn’t work in my country. I tried to reach people but we couldn’t find a solution. Then I tried BlueHost. Within 5 minutes, I had a blog. Even though I don’t use my first blog now, I was pretty impressed with their customer service. I even hired a freelancer for a problem in my blog and he reached to BlueHost in 3 minutes.
The reason why I chose Wix is I am not tech-savvy enough, and didn’t want to deal with hosting and WordPress. You buy a package in Wix and the rest is literally child’s game.
After these steps, create a Google Analytics, Google Search Console and AdSense account.
Then focus on Pinterest.
HOW TO CREATE PINS:
Over: It is an app. I don’t know if it is available for Android, I use it on iPhone. I like it much better than PicMonkey or Canva, although they have their pros. The downside of over: It’s not free. They give you a free trial where you can use all the features, and after it end your heart will broke. You can still use it for free, but not all the features. I created every pin except one there. If I will earn money from blogging, I will definitely purchase it.
Canva: DUDE, I TRIED TO IGNORE THIS ONE. I really did. But after some point, I realized that to create a printable for opt-ins, I need Canva. It’s not free but I’M still on free trial. I like it. It makes it so much easier to create printables and lead magnets. Ignore Canva all you want, like me, but you will going to use it.
PicMonkey: Gets the job done, but I’m not in love with it like Over.
https://unsplash.com/ : You can find images free to use commercially. I DON’T KNOW WHO CREATED THIS WEBSITE BUT I LOVE HIM/HER. Thank you. Unsplash is also A MUST.
https://freepik.com/ : For vectors, pngs and images. But be careful, you need to attribute the creators. Both free and paid versions. Read their policy twice when using images there.
https://pngtree.com/ : Same as above, but only you can download two image, vector, png a day if you use the free version. Read the policy twice, attribution can be required.
You need an e-mail and e-mail service for your blog. Just go with MailChimp***. Easy and quite useful. I also got my e-mail where after the @ part would be my website from Google Suite. I don’t want a cheap and unprofessional looking e-mail.
MY GOALS FOR FEBRUARY:
I only want two things at this point: 5000 page views and earning $10. Let’s see how it goes.
To do these, I will do some things. First, I will also open up a Facebook account and join some groups there. I need people to ask questions to. I also want to comment on other bloggers posts and maybe do a guest post.
Soooo, that’s it you guys. I wrote everything that I remembered. It is a long post, I know. But so much happened just in a month.
I hope you enjoyed reading it and it will inspire you to blog. I seriously believe that it is fun and I can make some money out of it. If you want to start blogging, just do it. And have fun!