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We started blogging a couple of months ago after reading some income reports from some very successful bloggers. I wanted to stop working at my J O B because after many years in Human Resources, I don’t love what I do every day. I wanted to try something new and different, but wasn’t prepared to give up the income. Reading blogs and income reports from bloggers such as Michelle at Making Sense of Cents, and Silas & Grace at Chasing Foxes made me realize that blogging was an opportunity that we needed to consider.
What to blog about though? Everyone who teaches blogging says to start with a niche. We didn’t know what niche we wanted to write about, that we could write alot of posts every month, without duplicating. So we followed in the footsteps of Chasing Foxes and decided on a lifestyle blog with different topics to start with.
So how do you get started with a blog?
We started writing articles in September, started posting those articles in October, and monetized our blog in November. It has been 3 months of constant work on our blog and the learning curve is steep. When we started, we didn’t know how to build our website, we had never started a blog before, so we didn’t know how to post. We had never used Google Ads before, so we needed to learn that. Although we had been on pinterest a bit, we didn’t know how to use it for business.
First Month of Income
3 months later we have done all that and actually earned some revenue from Google Ads. The total for November was (drum roll please) $88.42 from 22,546 views. With this being our first month actually making money, we would check our view count and ad revenue many times a day to see what progress we are making. One of our posts took off and our views went from 10 views total in the first week of October to almost 10,000 views total in the first week of November.
That one pin and post has generated probably 80% of our traffic and revenue, and to be honest, I don’t know why! Which is funny and scary at the same time. The lesson I learned is that you don’t know which posts are going to take off, so put enough quality content and pins out there that may resonate with someone that they will want to repin and share. If the right person repins at the right time, it can take off.
Our goal with this blog is to make full time income in the next year. We are going to post alot of content, some better than others. There will be thousands of pins that we will design and post on Pinterest. We will make mistakes and we will learn from them. Along the journey, we will tell you what is working and what mistakes we make in an effort that you won’t also make them.
Where Do You Start?
The advice I will give to you now if you haven’t started your blog yet, or if you have started, but are in the early stages like us are:
- Pick a Hosting Company
- Choose what you want to blog about?
- Pick a title for your blog
- Pick a theme for your blog
- Go to fivrr and have your logo designed – use the logo on your blog, and your pinterest account and other social media accounts.
- Decide which plugins you will use. Here are the ones that I am using on my site:
- Akismet Anti-Spam
- Envato Market
- Yoast SEO
- Pretty Links
- Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
- Contact Widgets
- Insert Headers and Footers
- Insert Post Ads
- WP Simple Adsense Insertion
- W3 Total Cache
- Make 25 – 50 posts before you launch your blog
- Set up a business account on Pinterest
- Design 4- 5 pins for each of your posts. Test them. Use the best to re-pin.
- Join 50 – 100 group boards that are affiliated with your niche as soon as you can. This is a mistake that we made, by not joining enough group boards early enough. We are in the process now of joining more group boards. Group boards help to get your pins in front of more people. FYI – you can join groups without a blog.
- Manually post your pins to Pinterest at the start. Pin your pins to the group boards, and your boards. Pin others pins to your board.
- Sign up for Google Adsense from the start to make money as soon as possible.
- Post regularly, and pin daily.
Our focus has been to learn as much as we can from those that are influential and have had success in this blogging world, so we invested early on for some great courses that helped us with our understanding. Each course has provided different information that is helping us on our journey. So as soon as you can afford it, I recommend you buy these courses to learn more about what you need to be doing to be successful. We are in the very early stages of our blog and our journey. But the following, are the true experts. What is amazing and has helped us get this far, is the amount of information that they share in their free courses, on their blogs, and in their paid courses.
Start Your Blog
10 Day Blogging QuickStart – Abby @ Just a Girl and Her Blog
This was the course that I started with – honestly, because it was free. Abby released a great email course that sent direction directly to my email address. After only a few days, I was motivated to purchase my first course – Building a Framework. If money is tight, I encourage you to start with 10 Day Blogging Quickstart.
Building A Framework – Abby @ Just a Girl and Her Blog
This is the course that launched my blog. It gave me the steps that were needed to find my theme, consider my niche, what plugins to use, what my first posts should be. I enjoy how Abby uses video in her course to explain things. Beyond the course, her facebook page, her blog and her emails are full of information and tips that will help you grow her business. It can be difficult to get to all the information, but it seems that when the student is ready, that the teacher appears. Read more about Building a Framework here.
Blog by Number – Suzi @ Start a Mom Blog
Suzi’s course has alot of duplication compared to Abby’s course. It is a back to basics course that talks about how to start your blog. But I find each course adds a few things that the other did not. Suzi really focuses on how to make your pinterest pins stand out. She posts about taking your own pictures and where you can get free pictures for your pins and posts. She posts other resources you will need like Headlines, and Group Boards and Facebook pages that you need to build your brand. Read more about Blog by Number here.
Bluehost is a popular website hosting company that many of the successful bloggers support and recommend. My recommendation is that you take a look at a few different hosting companies, and use the one that makes sense for you. It may be bluehost.
Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic
If you are going to use Pinterest as your traffic source, you will need to dig a little deeper on how to best use it. It is the only social media platform that I have used to generate traffic. If you do it correctly, and master it, you will not need to use other social media platforms. In the future, we may change our view, and start to use instagram, twitter and facebook. Right now, though, we are focusing on Pinterest.
Pinteresting Strategies – Carly @ Mommy on Purpose
Carly started using Pinterest in May, and by August was getting over 100,000 page views per month. In this book, she shares the strategies that she used, and she didn’t use tailwind or board booster! I recently bought her ebook and haven’t started using the strategies yet, but plan to this month. Other bloggers have used her strategies with phenomenal results. Read more about Pinteresting Strategies here.
Pinterest Traffic Avalanche – Alex & Lauren @ Create and Go
Alex and Lauren have a very successful health and fitness blog at avocadu. They took the lessons they learned from that blog and started a blogging business blog that is also doing very well. Through the course they teach you how to blow up your views using Pinterest. Their strategies are different than those used by Carly in Pinteresting Strategies. The course is full of how to videos. I recently purchased this one, and am starting to use the strategies. Check out their videos here.
When designing pins, there are a couple of options that you can use. Both are effective and make beautiful pins. Try them both and determine which is better for you. We currently use PicMonkey.
There are two options when posting to pinterest. One is the old fashion way of pinning, where you put each pin up manually onto pinterest. This is labor intensive, but works well. The other way allows you to have more of a life, because you will use a pin scheduler to make sure the pins are going onto pinterest at the times when it is most effective and will generate the most amount of traffic to your blog. There are two pin schedulers that you will want to consider. They are:
Use Affiliate Marketing to Increase Income
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents
This is the course of courses. After you have set up your blog, and after you have started to drive eyeballs to your blog using pinterst, you need to fully monetize your blog through affiliate marketing. Michelle currently earns over $120,000 per MONTH from her blog. She is one of the queens of blogging, and someone you want to be mentored by. Beyond all the great info in the course, she also has a very active facebook page that you will become a member of. Read more about Michelle’s course here.
Our Next Steps:
- Start to gather emails from our audience
- Increase traffic, adsense and affiliate income.
- Look at mediavine to increase income.
- Leverage Amazon
- Design a course we can sell.
There will be mistakes along the way, but we must continue to build our traffic, and increase our revenue monthly. What I’ve learned from the experts is that with constant activity, that we will achieve all of our goals, as long as we don’t give up!
We would love to hear from you and your journey in the comments below!