How I Made Over $1500 Blogging!

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**This post contains affiliate links**

Today’s post is a very exciting one!  I began blogging in July of 2015 and by the end of October 2016, I had made over $1500!  I began this blog because I thought about it one day and realized that I no longer had any hobbies.  I had previously been in grad school, working 50 hours per week, and buying my first house.  This definitely left me no free time.

A few years after life settled down, I was working 40 hours per week and had no side obligations.  I thought about creating another book but I wasn’t really in the mood for a long drawn out project.  Thus, I began the blog with no idea what I was going to write about!

In November of 2015, I made my first $9 on Izea. I think I just got lucky with this one.  I hadn’t been trying to make money blogging at this point but I did know if was something I wanted to look into.  At this point I decided I was going to take my blog more seriously in 2016.

The first steps

The first step I took towards monitizing my blog was to become self-hosted through wordpress.org.  I made this transition at the end of 2015 and in January of 2016 I added Google Adsense.  Adsense has been by far my most consistent income source.

Here is a rough breakdown of my income sources.

Ads – $1020.00
Freelancing –  $410.00
Affiliate –  $15
Sponsored – $140.00
Product Sales – $8.00

Ads

Ads have been by far my largest income source.  I use Google Adsense and Media.net but I’ve only made about $4.00 from Media.net.  The rest comes from Google Adsense.

I do have a trick for Google Adsense.  The more present I am on my blog and social media, the more money I make.  There are quite a few Facebook Groups that I use to gain interaction through my site.  As long as I’m consistently participating in these threads, I see the reward.  One thing to note is that you cannot ask anyone to click on your ads!

Freelancing

Earlier this year,  Izea had a survey for Ebyline, a company they bought that creates product descriptions for Ebay.  I participated in their projects for two months and earned over $400.00.  I haven’t had any freelancing work since.

Affiliate Programs

I’ve heard a lot of great news about affiliate programs but honestly I haven’t been that impressed.  I’ve made about $15 in affiliate programs and could list all of the ones I belong to but, I wouldn’t recommend using any of them.  Plus, it just adds a bunch of unnecessary selling to a page which could turn off your readers.

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are something that just starting working for me!  Early in the year, I had a couple of small sponsored posts through Izea (roughly $10 total).  Once I hit 3000 followers, I was able to sign up for Linquia.  I have now participated in two campaigns and have made about $120.  Something to note here is that I also turned down two campaigns because they didn’t align with my blog or my opinions.

Product sales

This area is one of my goals to improve over the next year or so.  I have a couple digital products on Etsy and I have my book.  Once I finish my Paycheck Series, I will compile the posts into a digi-book.  At this point, I haven’t seen very much activity or income generated from Product Sales.

Something else to note is that I don’t have a large following.  I get roughly 3000-4000 page views every month.  This stat also just increased from the 2000-3000 range a couple months ago.  Anything is possible.  Best of luck to all of you bloggers!  Let me know if you have any tips as well!

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October 2016 Blog Income Report

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This Month’s Top Post: 10,000 Cupcakes Challenge – 253 Views

This Month’s Runner Up: Why I Don’t Buy Bottled Water – 225 Views

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!  I’m drafting out this post while handing out candy.

This month I started off to a great start!  I got all of my posts planned for November and December and even created most of my Pinterest art in the first week of the month!

Speaking of Pinterest, who else was irked by the layout change?  Since my old board covers no longer fit the new layout, I created all new ones!

While I was being productive, I decided to make all of the pins for my #TBT posts.  I was able to get all of November and December’s art done.  This means that I’m now done creating Pinterest art for older posts!

I noted last month that I was starting to write a bit more personally.  I now have a few posts about my life and all of my new excitement!  I am both thrilled and anxious to be sharing my life on the internet.  Either way, I’m diving in and  hoping for a good outcome!

OCtober 2016 INCOME STATEMENT

Revenue
Ads – $153.85
Sponsored Posts – $58.20
Affiliate Programs – $1.81
Total: $213.86

Expenses
Tailwind – $10..00
Etsy – $0.50
Post Supplies – $3.85
Total: $14.35

NET INCOME: $199.51

VIEW PREVIOUS BLOG INCOME STATEMENTS HERE.

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This month I was able to grow my following by 375  people!  What’s interesting with this finding is that it completely follows my trend line.  Last month I created a trend-line on my followers graph just for fun.  The amount of exponential growth seemed unrealistic to me (and still does).  But, this month, I was on point with the projections at 3804 followers.  (3800 Projected)

Last month I mentioned that my plan was to focus on my Paycheck  series.  I was able to write three sections for the series last month.  One was posted in October, and then one is for November and the other December.  Next month, I will continue to work on this series as I am hoping to be able to put the series into a digital E-Book at the beginning of the year.  I will then continue to publish one section per month.  **Eek.  Here’s to accountability.  I hadn’t written this goal for the public yet.  This just means I need to wrap it up!

Next month I also plan to do a bit more with YouTube.  I used to really love making YouTube videos when I was younger and I’m excited to get back into this and share a bit about myself and all of my new adventures.

Thank you all for your continued support!

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My 11 Favorite Blog Plugins

My 11 Favorite Blog Plugins

Throughout my blogging adventure, I’ve had many times where I thought of an idea that was absolutely fantastic but had no idea how to make the idea a reality.  Each time, my Google searches have brought up a plug-in that can do just what I’m wanting to do.  In no specific order, here are my 11 favorite plugins.

One Click Child Theme – It took me over a year of blogging to create a child theme.  Not because I didn’t know the importance of the child theme.  Trust me, I definitely lost my site design in a Theme update once.  My temporary solution was to save a copy of my Stylesheet in a word document so I could just copy and paste it at need be.  I didn’t create a child theme because I had the hardest time figuring out how to do it.  I searched multiple times on multiple days and I kept finding posts about how to do it manually by adding the three files in manually.

The idea of that was quite overwhelming because I have also messed up the files and had to restore to a previous version when editing before.  Since then, I tell myself not to edit the files directly even if I have a saved copy of the originals.

The final search I made for a child theme brought up this plugin which I had to try.  This plugin was simple and got the job done correctly.  I first saved the text from my Stylesheet and Custom CSS page into a word doc, installed the plugin, and pasted the text into the new child theme files all within WordPress.  After I set up the child theme, I still hesitantly updated my Theme.  This time, success!  My website design did not change.

Editorial Calendar – WordPress has a section that lists all of your past and upcoming blog posts but I found that this was hard to navigate when scheduling my posts.  The Editorial Calendar is a calendar view of the posts and is very helpful for scheduling.  It shows a visual of when each post is scheduled.  It also allows you to drag and drop the posts to change when they will go live.

Display Posts Shortcode – This allows you to show most recent or specific posts by adding shortcode.  I use this plugin on my home page to show the most recent post for each category that I write about.  The plugin has directions for how to write your shortcode and is very user friendly.

Display Posts Grid, List Without Coding – This plugin does basically the same thing as the Display Posts Shortcode but has a user interface with a preview that helps for planning out the layout of your posts.  I use this plugin for my Pages so I can show all the posts in a category on one page and have it automatically update each time I publish a new post.

Popup by Supsistic – This plugin adds a pop-up to my page to try to encourage people to become a follower.  I’ve used this in a few ways.  When I first downloaded the plugin, I used it to show a freebie and a subscribe field.  When I started trying to increase my Facebook following, I changed the pop-up to a Like button for my Facebook Page.  This plugin has many options for what, how, where, and when your popup shows.  I have also had other bloggers directly ask me which plugin I use for my pop-up and then I’ve seen it later on their blogs.

Revive Old Post – This plugin automatically shares your old posts to Facebook and Twitter.  I only use this plugin for Twitter because the post frequency needs to be the same for both social sites and I don’t want my Facebook page getting cluttered with old posts.  You just set how often you want your old posts to cycle and then it does the work for you.  This is fantastic because I don’t have to use a scheduler to repost the old posts.  The plugin will just do it all for me.

Simple Download Monitor – When I started my mailing list, I knew I wanted to have a free download of my book for anybody who subscribes.  This download is very simple and lets me do just that.  I can set a link to go to a specific download page or I can set a link to automatically download.  On the back end, I can see stats for how many times each download has been downloaded.

Social Count Plus – I just started using this plugin and have found it so helpful.  I’m working on my media kit and I didn’t want to have an extra task of changing my social follower counts each month.  I’m using it to just show the followers count by an image that I’ve custom made.  You can also use their pre-made social icons with follower counts.

Widgets on Pages – This one is pretty self-explanatory.  This plugin allows you to put any widget on any post or page that you create.  This is fantastic because it opens up so many opportunities for what you can put into your post.

Sassy Social Share – One of my biggest pet peeves with social icons is when a blog is not consistent with the icons.  There may be one style of share buttons on the side bar and a different at the bottom of the post.  Or even worse, two different sets at the bottom of the post.  I’ve often seen blogs have one set of share icons for Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest at the bottom of their post and then directly under it have another set of icons that have many more options.

This plugin includes a more button so you have all of the social sites.  You can also customize your icon shape and color.  In addition, you can show a share count.  I have mine set so the share count on the side bar of icons shows the total count of shares.  The share counts at the bottom of the post shows the total shares per each social site.

WP Post Signature – I’ve noticed that many people share links below their posts and I’ve always thought it would take a lot of work to copy and paste the links onto each post.  Of course, they don’t actually post the links on each post, they use a signature.  I downloaded the WP Post Signature plugin to try it out and it did just what I wanted.

 

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