How I Grew From $0 to $53,765 in One Year With My Blog
In December 2015 I had the idea of creating a blog called Start a Mom Blog. On January 18th 2016 I launched it. In June I made my first $1,000 with my blog. And six months later I was making over $17,000 per month.
Instead of telling you how I grew my income in one month and doing another monthly income report, I wanted to give you the entire journey. My audience is aimed at moms who are just starting their blogs; so seeing how I grew from $0 to thousands is more helpful than seeing how I went from an already healthy income to a more blessed income.
Below I go into detail of what worked in each month and how I earned my income. The post is over 6,000 words long. When I was working on this project I just couldn’t stop writing and sharing my journey.
The original document is slightly under 25,000 words and turned into the The Income Journey ebook.
- It contains my mistakes.
- My email marketing strategy how I grew my list from 0 to 14K subscribers.
- Which freebies failed and why.
- Specific charts and graphs.
- Problems I faced every month.
In short, it covers in detail the things that made me cry my first year.
This post covers the successful parts of my income journey. Below are the things that worked for me. Every niche will be different and have a different path to success. Your journey may look much different than mine. But with hard work and a constant focus to serve your reader – you can build a successful blog too.
I hope my income journey inspires you to start this adventure! It’s exciting and scary and overwhelming – but if you never take the first step, you’ll never know what you can accomplish.
BLOG BY NUMBER – THE INCOME JOURNEY – THE POST
DECEMBER – INCOME $0
After starting a hyper-focused Catholic blog and applying my past skills to the online world, I knew I wanted to turn this online blogging thing into more than just a recap of my life. Although I loved sharing about my adventures of motherhood and the new things I was learning, I wanted to turn outward and truly focus on helping other moms.
Technical things come easily to me. I’ve been creating websites since 2008. I even got paid to teach others while I was in college. I absolutely love tinkering around on my computer, editing graphics, setting up sites or learning new techniques. If I could analyze data and create pivot tables in Excel all day long, I wouldn’t mind it one bit.
December was the month when I came up with the idea of startamomblog.com. I remember clearly how this happened. My husband woke up at 5:00 am to get ready for work. As he was brushing his teeth, I was sitting on the corner of the bathtub and I told him, hey, I’m going to teach other moms how to do this blogging thing.
I fell in love with blogging. It was my outlet to reach the world again as I spent the days with my toddler. This new hobby filled me with confidence and gave me an opportunity to learn new skills again. I knew that it was possible to make money at home.
I wanted to share that with other moms. Not just so that they can make money from home. It’s so much more than just that. It’s the confidence, the connections, the creativity that comes from tackling a new skill and mastering it.
I knew there were moms that had all this creative energy, all these fantastic ideas – but to actually set up a website and start a blog was daunting. I wanted to eliminate that hurdle so that they can have a platform online to grow!
So startamomblog.com was born! The domain name was bought and I started to put together a plan.
WHAT I DID BEFORE MY BLOG WAS LAUNCHED
I joined numerous Facebook groups for moms. I connected with the readers, I answered questions and asked my own questions. I didn’t have a blog yet, I didn’t have any posts – I just absorbed.
After a few weeks of deep market research (which I still do) I purchased my domain name and set up my blog on BlueHost (but I switched to SiteGround a few months later).
Once I setup my blog, I started writing my first blog posts. Honestly, these weren’t my best posts. But I had to start somewhere. I had to write posts so that I could find my voice and style.
Many beginning bloggers over-analyze their first few blog posts.
Do the market research, find out what your audience is struggling with, and write a post to fix one of their problems. Be yourself and be honest and don’t overthink your first few blog posts.
I am a big proponent of just jumping in and getting your hands dirty. We learn faster by doing than by observing.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED TO PREPARE FOR MY BLOG LAUNCH
Below are the first blog posts I published on startamomblog.com. A few of these posts were roundups of advice from other moms. This allowed me to build up goodwill with others and to learn from them too. It immediately showed that my blog was not just about me, but all about my reader.
|Roundup post – 10 Reasons Why Blogging Makes You a Better Mom|
|List post – 10 Quick Time Management Tips for Moms Who Work From Home + Printables|
|Technical Post – How to Transfer your Blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org|
|Technical Post – The Simplest Tutorial: How to Start a Blog (updated when I switched to SiteGround)|
|Roundup Post – 15 Awesome Reasons to Start a Mom Blog|
|Freebie Post – SMART Blogging Goals and Blog Business Plan|
If you are just starting out and your email list is at zero, you are welcome to use MailChimp until your list grows a bit. If you already have an email list or you want to hit the ground running, I highly recommend Convertkit.
I now make over 60% of my course and ebook sales directly through my email list. It’s highly worth the investment. I cover my email techniques more in depth here.
The action that really worked this month was immersing myself in market research for a few weeks. This allowed me to learn about my future audience, build relationships online, and build up goodwill.
HOW I GREW MY LIST FROM 0 TO 116 SUBSCRIBERS
My blog at the time was just a landing page with a sign-up box for others to be featured when my blog went live. I posted a few articles, but they were only available if you knew the link. I did not have a menu bar or blog roll on my blog before I officially launched. That was how I was able to grow my list to 100+ without having my blog launched – by having them sign up on my landing page.
Keeping my site ”closed” was a way for me to tweak it in the backend and collect subscribers while I built up a few pillar posts.
TIME INVESTED ON MY PRE-LAUNCH BLOG
I spent a lot of time on my blog. In my first few months of blogging I did not take off a night to just watch Netflix with my hubby. I worked. I was constantly on my computer researching, connecting on social media or writing blog posts.
Looking back now, I wasted a lot of time. But that’s normal. When you first start a new blog there is so much to learn and discover. You’ll spend a lot of time on things that you won’t spend any time on later.
So don’t get discouraged if you feel like blogging takes a lot of time. It does take a lot of time in the beginning. But like with any new skill, you’ll become better and faster the longer you do it.
I allowed myself the grace to grow at my own pace and did not play the comparison game.
JANUARY – INCOME $0
I was three weeks away from the birth of our second daughter and I knew that if I didn’t launch my blog, I would postpone it forever. This was not the ideal time to take on a new blog and online business. On January 18th, I officially launched my blog.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED DURING MY FIRST MONTH
A few of the pillar posts I had ready and published for new visitors were:
The remainder of January I published the following blog posts. Many of them were created because they directly addressed an issue my audience faced. A few, like the minimalism one and the why I love blogging post, were both topics I wanted to write about myself.
|Freebie Post – The Best Fortune 500 Tool to Help You Generate Blog Post Ideas|
|Popular Topic List Post – 10 Practical Steps to Minimalism for Moms|
|Freebie Post – Blogging Role Models – Mom Blogger, It’s the First Thing You Need to Do|
|List Post – Achieve Your Goals with these 6 Blog Niches|
|Personal Post – Why I Love Blogging|
|Audience Problem List Post – 15 Creative Ways to Keep Your Child Busy While You Blog|
|Reader Question – Boost Your Pinterest Traffic – How to Find the Most Active Group Boards|
WHAT WORKED DURING MY FIRST MONTH
Giving myself a personal deadline of January 18th to launch my blog worked for me. When you are working from home and do not have a boss, you need to have something keep you accountable, and for me that’s my word. I told people on social media and on my email list that my blog will go live on the 18th, and it put me under productive pressure to get things done.
What also worked well in January was having a few blog posts already on my blog. This gave me confidence that if I had my baby soon, that I had a backlog of posts that I could send to my list to keep them engaged.
TIME INVESTED | WASTED
I spent more time on my blog in January 2016 than I did in January 2017. As a beginning blogger things just take much longer, so do not get discouraged. I was also learning a new audience, so I wrote a lot of posts to find out what worked and what didn’t. And you’ll have to do the same thing. Some posts will just take off and your audience will love it, others may get just a few views. Don’t despair.
Roughly I probably spent five hours per day on my blog. Nap times (2 hours) and when my toddler slept at night (another 2-3 hours).
FEBRUARY– INCOME $0
My sweet little second baby girl was born on February 5th and I thank God for her laid back temperament. She slept well and ate well, and she napped when her sister napped. So I still had time to blog, even with a toddler and baby. I was just running on less sleep than normal.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED DURING MY SECOND MONTH
The Blog Vision Board post took off very well in Facebook groups and my readers love it. It showcased a creative way to physically plan your blog without using online software. I especially liked it because it was something I could do for my blog while playing with my children.
|First Guest Post – Scheduling, Life and Blogging Tips from a Mom Blogger|
|List Post – 8 Practical Tips to Maintain Balance as a Work from Home Mom|
|Unique Post – How to Create a Blog Vision Board and Editorial Calendar Like an Efficient Lean Boss|
WHAT WORKED DURING MY SECOND MONTH
I’m happy I reached out and asked for a guest post for my site. I knew that even though my readership was small, I still wanted to be consistent. And a little bit of pre-planning allowed me to stay active on my blog even though I was spending time bonding with my newborn.
MARCH– INCOME $0
Now that I had my blog established, I had a few good blog posts published and I was adapting to life with two children, I was ready to take on the next challenge.
I knew that I had to start seriously focusing on my email list. I needed to build up my readership as the benefits of having a large and engaged email list are numerous.
EMAIL LIST GROWTH FROM 116 TO OVER 700 EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS
I kept a personal schedule of all of the promo days in large Facebook groups so I would be sure not to miss an opportunity to promote my posts. Of course I connected and build relationships in these groups – as dropping a link and leaving is not classy at all and not a healthy way to build a blog.
My friend suggested that I turn my personal schedule of Facebook promo days into a freebie for others to use. And gosh, she was right! I shared the freebie in only two Facebook groups and my list grew from under 200 to almost 700 subscribers. It was a big hit.
The reason why this freebie did well was because:
- It provided a ton of value already done for the user.
- It provided a quick solution to a pressing problem.
- It was unique.
I go more in depth on why this freebie worked in this guest post.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED DURING MY THIRD MONTH
|Successful Freebie – Maximize Your Blog Traffic with Facebook Groups|
|Popular Topics Post – Declutter and Simplify your Digital Life|
|Reader’s Question Post – How to Post on a Blog’s Facebook Wall and get Shared|
|Roundup Post – What is the Best Hosting Service for Your Blog? – Comparison of 10 Hosting Providers|
|List Post – 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life|
|Time Management Post – Super Simple Weekly Schedule to Get Stuff Done|
|Roundup Post – 5 Habits of Highly Effective Mommy Bloggers|
|Pillar Post – The Definitive Guide to Start a Mom Blog|
|Case Study Post – How I Gained 100 Subscribers in 24 Hours|
WHAT WORKED DURING MY THIRD MONTH
I finally created a freebie that converted well for my readers. The Facebook Groups Promotional Schedule provided a lot of value, was a quick solution and was unique. I also promoted it in the right place-on Facebook. This helped grow my email list by a few hundred in March.
So if you are trying different opt-in freebies and they’re not working, keep testing new ideas. Always remember it has to be all about your reader and how you can help them.
TIME INVESTED | WASTED
I spent a lot of time promoting my Facebook Groups freebie and gaining new subscribers. It was a big focus for me in March to grow my email list. I read articles, watched videos and started investigating if I should continue with MailChimp or switch over to Convertkit.
APRIL – INCOME $0
I hit a plateau in April. This normally happens to new sites around the three-month mark, so I was right on track.
My traffic was consistent, but it was not growing. To be honest, none of the blog posts I wrote in April were super stars. They were good, but not great.
I was working hard on my blog every day, producing content, sharing and promoting and feeling like I was spinning my wheels.
So I decided to try a different technique in April. Instead of doing the same thing over and over, I decided to reach different audiences by guest posting on bigger blogs.
These are the guest posts I wrote and published in April:
- Guest post on Successful Blogging (published 4/14) – How I grew my email list
- Guest post on Social Media Examiner (published 4/26) – Simplify publishing on Facebook
- Guest posts on Huffington Posts (published July) – Why your friend wants you to read her blog | Millennial moms and motherhood
These guest posts turned out not to be what I hoped for. I go into what mistakes I made in the Income Journey ebook.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED DURING MY FOURTH MONTH
On top of guest posting, I published the following posts on my blog. It was a busy month!
|List Post – 4 Things You Should Do Every Morning to Start the Day Right|
|Technical Post – Transfer from Bluehost to SiteGround with Full cpanel Backup|
|Time Management Post – Be More Productive: Ridiculously Simple Method How to Set Your Priorities|
|List Post – How to Use 6 Persuasion Techniques to Help Discipline Your Kids|
|Technical Post –Start a Blog in 3 Easy Steps with SiteGround and WordPress|
|Lesson Learned Post – How I Almost Got Sued By Facebook For 100K|
|List Post – How to Make Money Blogging – 10+ Bloggers Reveal How They Made Their First $100|
WHAT WORKED DURING MY FOURTH MONTH
Investing in a better hosting provider for my blog and upgrading my blog theme to Divi were two huge improvements for my blog in April. Additionally, I decided to shift my focus from chasing traffic to making an income. After months of market research and building relationships with my list, I understood their pain points and knew how to solve them.
TIME INVESTED | WASTED
I am so happy I switched hosting providers to SiteGround. It was scary to move my site to a new host but ever since I’ve switched, my site has never been down.
Additionally, when I decided that I’ll be creating an ebook I knew I’d have to create a landing page for my product. The free theme I was using did not allow me to create landing pages, so I had to upgrade to a paid theme.
I immediately knew I wanted to invest into the Divi theme from Elegant themes. It has drag and drop capabilities, a visual editor and preloaded templates. It has saved me countless hours of work and has helped my conversion rates increase. It’s been well worth the investment!
MAY – INCOME $0
I decided to take the entire month of May off from blogging. I still loaded my Tailwind schedule which maintained my constant traffic so my blog did not fall flat.
I wanted to take the month to focus on creating my ebook, Blog by Number. I knew it would take me weeks to put it all together and I need to be singularly focused to get it done.
I bought a beautiful package from DesignCuts for all my logos and images.
I also signed up for SendOwl to deliver and handle the payment of my ebook. Their system and process is super easy to use. It took me less than 5 minutes to setup my shop!
And finally, I took the plunge and got Convertkit to manage my emails. I knew that once I started building up a customer base, I needed the ability to tag people, send out automatic sequence emails and get serious about my email marketing.
JUNE – INCOME $1,007
June was an exciting month on my blog! I launched my first ebook, Blog by Number, made over $1,000 and increased my monthly page views to over 10,000.
After six hard months of launching my new blog I finally tasted a bit of success. Just to give you a realistic view, I probably spent roughly 3 hours per day on my blog.
I started to build my blog in December, launched in January, built content and grew my email list for a few months and then created my ebook in May. That’s six months of hard work.
HOW MUCH MONEY WAS I MAKING PER HOUR?
- 6 months X 30 days = 180 days
- 180 days X 3 hours of work a day = 540 hours spent on my blog
- 540 hours or 22.5 days of continuous nonstop working J
- If you want to figure out my hourly rate, I made $1000 / 540 hours = $1.85 per hour.
So yes, it takes a lot of discipline and work to start and grow a successful blog. You don’t always see the behind-the-scenes blood, sweat and tears that go into building a business.
I want to inspire you that it can be done, even if you’re a stay at home mom with little ones running around. But I also want to be completely honest with you. It’s hard work. It takes time and effort. And you may gain a few pounds too 🙂
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED DURING MY SIXTH MONTH
I love using science to grow my blog, so I often read and learn about human psychology and persuasion techniques. It’s fascinating! I also recapped my process of writing an ebook in one month, posting my mommy schedule and a post on how SiteGround works for me.
|New Techniques Post: Using the Art of Persuasion in Blogging|
|Freebie Post: The Mommy Schedule|
|Shared Experience Post: Start Today How to Write an eBook in 1 Month as a Mom Blogger|
|Technical Post: How I Get Free Tech Support For My Site|
WHAT WORKED DURING MY SIXTH MONTH
I knew from the start that I didn’t want to be pushy. I’ve always aimed to be a helpful online friend first before I think about any type of profit. And I feel this has worked well for me. Nobody likes being sold to, and I wanted to respect that.
So even though I did not follow an ideal launch strategy “by the book,” I know it worked well for me in the long run.
I posted a few times on social media to let my few hundred Facebook followers know that an ebook was coming. And when I launched, I wrote only two emails to my list of around 2,000 subscribers. This list still mostly grew because of my Facebook Promotional Schedule Freebie.
In total, 59 people bought my ebook during June. To a list of 2,000 that is a conversion rate of about 3% – which is a wonderful average number for list conversions.
I was elated that my ebook converted well with my list and I broke my first $1,000 with my blog in a month. I always have the mindset that if I can make $10, then I can make $100. And if I can make $1,000, then I can make $10,000.
The first $1 you make online will be your hardest to make. Once you find what works for you, just keep growing!
TIME INVESTED | WASTED
I worked less in June that I did in May. In May I was hyper-focused on creating my ebook and had my personal deadline to finish the ebook in a month. June was much more relaxing for me as I promoted my ebook, wrote a few new blog posts and continued to do normal blogging activities.
JULY – INCOME $1,779
The summer months are normally lower traffic months for blogs. Most people are on vacation or playing outside with their kids. My audience, moms, were especially busy with their kids out of school. So my expectations were lowered.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED DURING MY SEVENTH MONTH
Posting this much did increase my traffic for the month, but nothing extremely drastic. Again, I am very happy with slow and consistent growth. Viral posts are great, but they are uncommon and not easily repeated.
|Roundup Post / Freebie Post – 53 Blog Income Reports – The Ultimate List + Age of Blog|
|List Post – 7 Ways to Practice Self Care as a Busy Mom Without Feeling Guilty|
|List Post – 7 Ways to Get Out of a Mom Funk|
|Freebie Post – Super Easy Way to Stop Wasting Time|
|Freebie Post – Big Picture Focus Board|
|Popular Topic Test Post – Pokémon Go: 9 Things You Need to Know as a Mom|
|Popular Topic Post – Why Are So Many Millennial Moms Starting Blogs?|
|Time Management Post – Bullet Journal: How to Use It For Productivity|
|Technical Post / Freebie Post – How to Automate and Loop Social Media Posts for Free|
|Technical Post – 10 Minutes: How to Setup an Email Account That Uses Your Domain Name through SiteGround|
|Technical Video Post – Realtime Honest and Raw Review of SiteGround Hosting – Start a Blog|
WHAT WORKED DURING MY SEVENTH MONTH
In July I also invested in a course on affiliate marketing by Michelle from Making Sense of Cents. It contained a ton of great tips to help me increase my affiliate income. And after taking her course and tweaking my affiliate income strategies, I was able to increase my affiliate income from $150 in June to $1,100 in July. Her course was well worth the investment! It also comes with a very active Facebook community where you can ask questions and get help.
In July I saw a huge jump in my affiliate income. I invested in Michelle’s course, “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing” and used her techniques to help boost my affiliate sales.
She makes over $50K per month through her affiliates, so she knows what she’s talking about. She’s also super helpful and personable and answers emails in a very timely manner. I like her style!
In total I made almost $2K the second month I started to seriously monetize my blog.
It took me months of preparation to come to this point. What worked for me was building my content and my email list from day one. And once I had a strong foundation, a healthy list and a solid understanding of what my readers needed – I was ready to monetize.
TIME INVESTED | WASTED
I invested a lot of time in July in creating content. I was testing new blog post styles to see what worked well with my audience. I also have random ideas sometimes and just feel that I need to get it out on a post, for example, this post, “7 Ways to Get Out of a Mom Funk.” I was testing a roundup post with affiliate links and a Pinterest collage image. Looking back now, my Pinterest image for that post is way too messy and too hard to read.
AUGUST – INCOME $4,159
August was a good month for my blog. I did a few things right that worked very well for my income and traffic. My traffic almost doubled and my income more than doubled for August! It was a happy month.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED DURING MY EIGHTH MONTH
I tested out a post to help increase my Amazon affiliate income in the Bullet Journal Products post. And my second ever guest post did really well!
|Popular Topic Post – The Problem With Saving Money|
|Course Review Post – How To Make Money Blogging|
|Guest Post – How to Make $1,051 in a Month with a Small Blog|
|Popular Topic Post – The Best 5 Bullet Journal Products|
WHAT WORKED DURING MY EIGHTH MONTH
I guest posted a couple times in August, on I Heart Planners, “Time Management for Mom Bloggers,” on Smart Mom Blogger “5 Secrets to an Ebook Sales Page” and also on The Work at Home Woman “How to Create an Ebook in 1 Month as a Busy Mom in 7 Steps.” All of these guest posts did really well and highly increased my ebook sales! Laura, Candis and Holly signed up to be in the affiliate program for Blog by Number and helped promote the ebook through the guest posts. I was super thankful and honored to be featured on their blogs.
Additionally, I had Caroline from Mama Instincts guest post on my own blog. She shared her tips on how she uses Amazon’s affiliate program to make over $1,051 with her small blog. And the post went bonkers! I sent it out to my email list on August 22nd and it received a ton of love. I also pinned it to Pinterest and it’s been doing great there too!
The guest posting really helped my income grow in August. In July I sold $629 of my ebook, and in August that number was $2,644. I did have a hefty amount that I had to pay out in affiliate fees, but overall the month’s profit was double that of July.
TIME INVESTED | WASTED
I spent a lot of my time in August guest posting on other blogs. It truly paid off!
Additionally, I spent the last two weeks working my tushy off on the Blog by Number course. The most time-intensive part was editing the videos for the course. I wanted to cut out any unnecessary steps and truly streamline the process. So it took me a lot of trial and error to make the right videos, edit them and get them ready for the course.
I also included many personal videos of me and my girls. These needed even more editing and retakes as filming with a baby and toddler is no piece of pie.
SEPTEMBER – INCOME $5,437
September was another big month for my little blog. My traffic almost doubled, my income did great, and I launched a new product.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED DURING MY NINTH MONTH
|Reader Question / Freebie Post – How to Choose a Blog Niche: What Should I Blog About?!|
|Guest Post – How to Make $22 In Your First Week of Blogging|
|Income Report June 2016|
|Time Management – How to Use a Bullet Journal for Time Management|
|Roundup Post – The Best Blogging eBooks for Beginners by Moms|
|Guest Post – 5 Ways to Write Awesome Quality Content Fast|
|Fun Post – The #1 Best Free Productivity Tip You Can Use Right Now|
WHAT WORKED DURING MY NINTH MONTH
I did a soft launch for my course. I only sent one email to my list of 2,727 subscribers, and one to my existing ebook customers.
I never like to be pushy. I treat my readers like friends, and real friends don’t call you three times a week, send you five emails and expect you to buy all of their Pampered Chef products. No matter how great the products are, it just may not be what they need at that time.
September was a big month for me. It was the launch of the Blog by Number course. And even though I did a very soft launch without a huge hype, my income from my course alone was over $2K.
My affiliate income also almost doubled. I started applying more and more of Michelle’s strategies that helped grow my affiliate income.
My expenses also went up with the growth of my email list. I was paying $79 per month for Converkit, which is double what our cable bill is!
But if I didn’t have services like Converkit, Sendowl, Tailwind and Teachable, none of the income below would be even slightly possible!
These services allow me to create new products and posts – and makes running an online business possible.
TIME INVESTED | WASTED
I spent most of my time in September soft launching my course and writing posts on my blog. I used posts like my June income report to promote my course from within the post.
OCTOBER– INCOME $6,190
There were two major events that happened in October that took a lot of my time. First, Hurricane Matthew hit and took out our power for 36 hours. The prep before and after the storm also prevented me from spending time on the blog.
Secondly, I attended the Type A Parenting Conference in Orlando, Florida.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED DURING MY TENTH MONTH
WHAT WORKED DURING MY TENTH MONTH
The Blog by Number course was consistently selling well and I was gaining new students daily. My inbox was getting busier and busier. I enjoyed the 1:1 interaction with my students. And I started spending about 40% of my blogging time in my inbox. This is a lot of time, but I feel the questions I get and advice I share directly helps my business grow.
My course sales dipped a little bit compared to September but my affiliate income grew.
In my free time I love taking stock images. I put together a package of my 200 best images and sold them on my blog for $19.99. It was so fun to make a little cash from my side hobby on my business blog!
TIME INVESTED | WASTED
I spent most of my time writing blog posts, promoting my course and answering student questions in my inbox. I love the 1:1 interaction I have with my students and enjoy replying back to every email. Although it is very time consuming, I feel it’s one of the most important parts of my business.
I also worked with Caroline from MamaInstincts to share her knowledge on Amazon’s Affiliate program in an ebook. She wrote the book, I formatted it and created the sales page. I then promoted it to my list because my audience was better suited for it. It’s been great to work so closely with another blogger who I’ve never even met in person. It just goes to show that there is such a wonderful community of mom bloggers who just want to support each other’s businesses.
NOVEMBER – INCOME $9,042
I was hesitant on my blog growth for the month of November. Who wants to start a blog when the holidays are around the corner? I knew that food, craft, fashion or home décor blogs have a great burst of traffic around the holidays. But I had low expectations for my business blog over the holidays.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED DURING MY ELEVENTH MONTH
|List Post – First Steps to Starting a Blog – The 9 Step Plan|
|Freebie Post – Blog Post Ideas for Christmas and the Holidays|
|Income Report October 2016|
My biggest driver for my November spike in income was the week long “Black Friday Special Bundle” I ran.
TIME INVESTED | WASTED
I invested most of my time answering reader’s questions in my inbox, promoting the Black Friday Special and turning The 9 Day Plan into a pre-course for Blog by Number.
I wrote all of the content in the beginning of November and summarized it at a high level in The 9 Day Plan post on my blog. But I dove deeper into the steps, added worksheets and helpful videos and created a foundational pre-course for Blog by Number. It’s designed for those moms who need a bit more time to understand their blog niche, do market research and come up with a solid plan before setting up a blog.
It’s like taking a birthing class before having your baby. It’s not mandatory, but it can help a lot and take away many of your fears and insecurities.
DECEMBER – INCOME $9,000
I expected the same type of traffic in December than I did in November. I suspected most people are spending time with family and friends and not really searching online to start an online business.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED DURING MY TWELFTH MONTH
|Review Post – Skyrocket Your Affiliate Marketing on Amazon as a Blogger|
|Income Report August 2016|
|Technical Post – How to Build an Email List for Beginners|
|Freebie Post – How to Start a Blog in 2017 the Right Way|
WHAT WORKED DURING MY TWELFTH MONTH
My traffic grew because of my 12-month blog plan freebie that I released around the end of the month. It did really well on Pinterest. I also still followed my Tailwind strategy that has brought me consistent traffic the entire year.
I was super surprised that almost immediately after Christmas I could see a shift in traffic due to people looking ahead to the New Year. It feels as soon as Christmas is over we’re all ready to start our New Year’s Resolutions of starting a blog, eating healthier, living better, etc.
December surprised me. I lowered my expectations and prepared myself not for a repeat of November.
But due to a large growth in my email list, and many people being in the ‘buying’ mood, my income was almost identical to November, even without running a sale.
I increased the price of my course + review from $97 to $147. The demand was growing too rapidly and I was not able to keep up with doing all of the reviews. So with basic economics, if demand rises, supply decreases and price increases. I did let my list know that the price was increasing to give them a few days to upgrade or purchase the course + review at the lower price.
JANUARY – INCOME $17,147
January was huge. My blog income almost doubled from $9,000 to over $17,000. It was insane. I still don’t believe it. My average income per day was over $400 with a huge spike on January 18th when I ran my one day sale.
WHAT WORKED DURING MY THIRTEENTH MONTH
I wanted to celebrate my blog’s 1 year birthday on January 18th and I wanted it to be a big deal. This was a special day and I wanted my readers to celebrate with me. So what I decided to do was run a one day special where anyone could purchase the Blog by Number course and receive The 9 Step Blog Plan ($27) for free. So for $47, you could get two awesome courses to start the year off right and build a successful blog.
Now the reason why this sale worked so well is because:
1 – My readers knew the value of both the Blog by Number and The 9 Step Blog plan courses. They were familiar with the products and understood how valuable they were.
2 – I did 7 Facebook Live videos leading up to the sale on Wednesday the 18th (I skipped Sunday). This built up the hype that I never did with my sale in November.
Jan 11- Time Management Techniques to 10x Your Productivity
Jan 12 – Different ways to get traffic to a new blog
Jan 14 – Getting your husband to support your blog. From my husband 🙂
Jan 16 – How to make money with a mom blog
Jan 17 – Super special gift for you
Jan 18 – Happy birthday gifts for you!!!
3 – The sale was a great deal. Purchasing two blogging courses for under $50 is a steal.
4 – The sale was only 24 hours long. I let my readers know two weeks ahead of time that I’ll be doing something special on the blog’s birthday. So they had time to think about it. But once the sale went live, I didn’t want to let people keep dragging their feet. It’s just a fact, if things don’t have deadlines; it is human nature to keep procrastinating.
Add on top of this that January is a huge month for people to start a blog. Just like taking on an exercise routine or resolving to eat healthier, becoming debt free by growing an online business is also a big New Year’s resolution.
BLOG POSTS PUBLISHED DURING MY THIRTEENTH MONTH
January was phenomenal. I expected to break $10K because I knew January was a higher search month for people who want to start a blog and I was planning on running a sale on my blog’s birthday.
But I had no idea I would earn $17K in one month. I am extremely blessed and thankful. I aim to work hard (when my babies sleep and nap) so I can continue to show all my readers the amazing benefits of blogging.
The biggest driver for my spike in income in January was the one day Blog Birthday sale I ran on January 18th.
Additionally, the surge in email subscribers helped too. My automatic sequence emails were going out through Convertkit automatically and that brought in more students.
TIME INVESTED | WASTED
I spent a lot of time behind the scenes prepping for the blog’s birthday sale. There were back end things to set up and think through. And because I haven’t done many Facebook Lives before, doing one each day for a week felt like a lot of effort for me. Even though they only took about 20 minutes total, I was thinking about them the entire day which weighed down my mind heavily.
Sometimes the burden of thinking about something over and over again is more effort than just doing it and getting it done.
I am so thankful for an amazing start to a wonderful year. On a side note, something else, or should I say somebody else, was also created in January! We found out on February 3rd that we are pregnant with number 3!!
WHAT WORKED IN 1 SENTENCE
First of all, thank you for reading all the way to the bottom! It’s been an extremely busy and blessed year, and I am so thankful!
In short, what worked really well for me was focusing on building my email list and content for the first six months of my blog. And once I had a good understanding of my audience’s problems, I created a product to solve them.
Grow your email list. Create content to solve problems. That’s it. It’s not rocket science – it just takes hours and hours of work.
The journey above just covers my successes, if you want to know what I struggled with and all the numerous mistakes I made, check out the Blog by Number – Income Journey ebook. I dive deeply into the things that made me cry, and I also show in detail how I grew my email list, what worked and what didn’t, and I’ve included detailed charts and graphs – because I’m a huge nerd.
I hope this post has inspired and motivated you! With today’s technology and a bit of hard work – you can build amazing things online!
HOW I MADE $53,000 IN MY BLOG’S FIRST YEAR.
Month by month details of what I did to make my income grow to thousands per month and how my email list exploded to 15K email subscribers.
- Everything I did in my blog’s first year to grow it from $0 to over $17,000 per month.
- Over 140 pages of tips, actionable advice, mistakes to avoid and methods to increase your income.
- Even just implementing a few of these tips will skyrocket your income!
Happy Birthday Suzi
Have a nice journey…