Is it still possible to make money blogging starting today? Yes! And here, I will share the 5 steps I used to go from $0 to $3,878 after 3 months of blogging part-time.
If you landed here, you want to know how to make money blogging, right? And ideally, you want to know if it’s possible to make money pretty fast…
You are in the right place!
It doesn’t matter if you started your blog a year ago or are just thinking about starting one today! I will tell you exactly how you can make money from your blog and all the tactics I used to make money after only 3 months.
How I started making money blogging: my story
Have you ever dreamed of quitting your job and starting working from home?
I know I do! For the past 11 years, I have been working in a very demanding job. I have been lucky enough to work with people I love, but the job itself was very time-consuming. It was the norm to work for 12-14 hours a day in a high-stress environment.
I kept dreaming of a stress-free life and being able to do what I loved.
So in the evenings, instead of relaxing on the sofa in front of the TV, I started researching online for alternative options. I found many interesting creative ways to make money that could give me more freedom, but what I really wanted was:
- Something that would fulfill me and that I could enjoy doing every day
- Something that made money and helped me live the life of my dreams
During my research, I came across the concept of passive income, and I thought: “Wouldn’t it be great to be able to set something up and not have to worry about money anymore?”
So I convinced Dan to start investing in real estate and index funds. We began to generate some passive income, but I was still looking for my absolute passion.
Something was still missing.
I then realized I spent a lot of time reading blogs, looking at people currently living the life I want to live.
Some can stay at home and raise their kids away from the corporate world. Some can travel every day of the year using their savings and investments. Some created a 6-figure business while going to school, and some have created a new life for themselves that allow them to do what they love.
What do they all have in common?
They have a blog!
So I thought: maybe I should start a blog as well!
How to make money Blogging
Click here for the high-res version. Feel free to use this graphic for your own use, with attribution.
Let’s be real here:
I was looking to find my passion, but I also wanted to make money blogging. My goal was to be able to make $1,000 a month after a year of blogging. If I couldn’t do that, I would just quit this blogging business and move on to new adventures. But to do that, I had to learn how to make money blogging…
And this is what happened after 3 months of having my blog online. I made…
Ads Income (Mediavine) = $2,572.73
Affiliate Income = $1,263.96
I am not going to keep writing about how much I make every month, and it took me a long time to decide to share this number, but I really wanted to let you know that it is possible to make money blogging with NO EXPERIENCE.
So how did I do it? Did it happen by magic?
First of all, I just want to say:
- I have no experience writing for a living.
- Up to 6 months ago, I didn’t even know what digital marketing was (I am still unsure…).
- I never liked social media (and still don’t).
- I have never made money with an online product before.
So if you think you cannot do it, you are wrong!
And if you think it’s too late to start a blog in 2021, it’s not!
Start NOW! I learned how to make money blogging and if I did it, so can you!
This is how I did it
In just a few minutes, I am going to tell you how you can make money blogging, but before you all get too excited about it, I just want to be clear about a couple of things:
> Making money blogging is POSSIBLE, but it is…HARD <
If you read an article that tells you that you can set up a blog in 10 minutes and make $5,000 after a month…that’s not true, at least in my experience.
Blogging takes a lot of time and commitment.
There will be moments in which you are alone, and no one is reading your blog, and you will be thinking: “Why am I doing this? Will this ever work?” but you have to keep pushing and be motivated. You need always to keep your goal in mind.
And if you think you are not cut out for that, then blogging might not be for you!
> Blogging is not a get rich “the quick and easy way” thing <
You are going to have to keep working on it.
You are going to have to write and re-write your content. Improve your articles, find out what works and what doesn’t work, and you cannot be afraid to change things.
You need to listen to people that know what they are doing better than you, but then it will be down to you and you alone to put in the hard work.
No one is going to do the work for you.
And if this hasn’t scared you away, you can keep reading!
Learn how to make money blogging
I put together the most in-depth, comprehensive post to help you start your blog. This is NOT a quick read. I will share with you all the tips I used to create a successful 6-figure blog. If you want a thorough guide to help you along with all the steps, just click here and get started!
Check Out My Guide To Start A Blog
1. Set up your blog to make money
The first thing I learned during my research is that you need to make sure people will come to your blog.
I am not a great salesperson, and I knew that I wanted to monetize my blog using advertising. I don’t like how ads look on a blog, but hey, they make money!
To monetize your blog, you need to make sure you are not using a free service.
And these are the reasons:
- There is a limit to how much money you can make from a free blog.
- If you use a free service, you WILL NOT own your own blog or your website content.
- You will have limited options to customize your design, and you will have limited support.
If you want to make money from your blog, your website must be self-hosted on a web server that allows you to customize your website.
WordPress.org is the most popular website platform in the world. It’s free and extremely flexible, and it’s what I am using for Gathering Dreams.
Although WordPress.org is free, you must host your files on a server (using a hosting provider such as Bluehost). This option comes at a cost, but you won’t be able to add ads to your website if you set up your blog the wrong way.
Reasons why you should use Bluehost
- It’s the #1 recommended web hosting company by WordPress.org.
- You get a FREE domain name.
- It’s the best affordable hosting for beginners if you are just starting and you have limited resources to invest in your blog.
You just need to click the blue button Get Started Now to choose your package. I have a special deal with Bluehost where you can get started for just $2.95 a month.
Make sure you are selecting the Basic starter package, it’s the cheapest, and it’s all you will need to start out.
2. Write compelling content that people want to read
A crucial thing I learned is that you need to make sure people will come to your blog.
PEOPLE = PAGE VIEWS = MONEY
The only reason people will come to your blog is if you are solving a problem they have, and they can get something in return for giving you their time.
No one wants to read about your personal struggles (other than your mum, maybe!), but they might want to read about how they can overcome their problems.
You need to make sure you are not writing for yourself, but you are writing to help your readers solve their problems.
But how do you do that?
You learn from what works on other blogs!
This is what you need to do (and how I do it):
- Put together a list of your favorite blogs (I love The Everygirl, for example).
- Go to the website Buzzsumo.com.
Buzzsumo is great. If you want to have access to all the options, it’s really expensive, but you can do pretty much everything you need to do with the free option. You get about 5 free searches per month and can only see the top 5 most shared articles, but that is plenty when you are just starting out.
- Add the website you want to analyze in the search bar.
- Check which posts have the most shares (you can see if they have been shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and how many times)
- Write a list of possible topics and blog post ideas that could work for your blog (I keep them in a Google Doc)
If people have shared that article thousands of times, they will likely be interested in it! Find a more personal twist on it and write something similar.
Why can’t I just follow my passion and write what I want?
Of course, you can, but if you want to blog for money, I suggest you don’t.
I gave myself a year to make blogging work for me, and I couldn’t hang around for people to read what I wanted to write.
Don’t get me wrong, I love everything I write on Gathering Dreams, and the topics I picked are my real passions.
I don’t think you’ll ever see me soon writing about “How to get fit in 10 minutes a day”. It’s a great topic, but I am not really into fitness.
But if people at Christmas want to read about Christmas recipes, I am all up for that!
3. Use Pinterest to drive traffic
How do you find new blog posts and articles on the web?
But getting your website ranking in Google takes a good few months, and who has a good few months to hang around before seeing people coming to your website?
NO TRAFFIC = NO MONEY
So I did some research and read everywhere that other bloggers were driving traffic FOR FREE to their websites using Pinterest.
I always used Pinterest to find lovely kitchen inspiration and recipes, but I knew little about getting blog traffic.
I now see Pinterest as a visual search engine and a free ads platform, but the great thing is that “normal” people don’t look at Pinterest images as ads.
They look at them as images that will help them to solve a problem.
But how do you use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog?
Here are the 5 steps I used to bring traffic to my blog!
1. Set up a great Pinterest profile and convert it into a Business Account
Make sure you have an image in your profile. Most people suggest having your picture, and I can see the appeal of that, as you can relate more with a person than a brand, but I always wanted to keep my privacy, so I decided to use my logo.
It works for me!
2. Make sure you have at least 15-20 boards that are relevant to your audience
Personal boards are critical on Pinterest right now.
You need to set up at least one board for your blog (or more than one if you write about more than one topic).
For example, for Gathering Dreams, I have 4 boards:
- Gathering Dreams: for everything
- Gathering Food: for recipes
- Gathering Money: for everything money-related
- Gathering Travel: for all my travel content
This board/s will contain all the pins linked to your blog posts on your website.
You then need to create another 15-20 boards of topics related to your blog that will interest your potential audience. Ideally, you need to create a board for each topic you think that your target audience would search for to find your blog.
For example, I write about food on Gathering Dreams, so I created relevant boards:
- Dinner Recipes
- Lunch Recipes
- Healthy Recipes
- Vegan Recipes
For each personal board, use a well-keyworded description to make it easier to find.
I can’t stress how important this is. If people don’t click on your pins, all your effort in writing great content will be worthless, as no one will ever read it.
- Make sure you use readable fonts.
- Use call to action on the pin and intriguing wording that people have to click. For example, “How I make $100 a day in my spare time” works a lot better than just writing “How To Make Money From Home.”
- Test several pins: I usually create 2/3 pins for each post and then create a new pin every week for a few weeks to see what works best.
- Once you find something that works, keep doing it! But don’t be afraid to change and experiment with new pin designs.
4. Find group boards and apply to relevant ones
What are group boards? Group boards are boards owned by other people. They can invite you to “pin” into their board, and once you are in, your pins will get in front of their audience. This is a great way to get pins in front of more people if you have a small number of followers.
To find group boards:
- Look for group boards in other people’s Pinterest accounts.
- Join the Facebook group Pinterest Group Boards: they have some great group boards opening every week. Just keep checking it!
My favorite method is spying on other people’s profiles, especially the smaller blogger’s. If they got accepted to a board, I will likely be accepted on it too.
To join a group board, you need to send a message or an email to the person that owns the board.
Sometimes you will find instructions in the group board description. Other times you will have to hunt around.
Never stop applying to group boards, and never give up.
During my first couple months of blogging, I wrote to at least 30 board owners a week, and most of the time, I got one or two replies.
This is normal! Just keep doing it, and things will get better.
2022 UPDATE: You might read in several Facebook groups that group boards are not as relevant as they used to be. This is true, but they still play a role, especially if you are just starting out.
When you apply to a group board, follow these rules:
- Make sure the board is as niched down as possible, very relevant to your topics, and keyworded well. Avoid boards called “The best of blogging,” “Everything from the best bloggers,” and only go for topic-specific boards. Good examples are: “Saving Money Tips,” “Vegan Recipes,” and “The Best Blogging Tips for Bloggers.”
- Make sure the pins pinned to the board you want to apply to are relevant. For example, I was on a great “Make Money Online” board, then the owner started pinning craft pins to the board, and that board became useless because Pinterest didn’t know what it was about!
- Make sure there aren’t a lot of contributors. Ideally, you want to participate in boards with 10-20 contributors. Avoid boards with over 150-200 contributors if you can.
5. Set up your daily schedule
There was a time when you had to pin 30-50 pins a day to make sure Pinterest was showing your pins in its feed.
Things couldn’t be more different now. What Pinterest wants is fresh content, and repinning the same pins all over the place many times doesn’t work anymore.
Pinterest now wants fresh content every day.
What is fresh content?
- New pins related to a new blog post
- New pins/images created for an old blog post
Ideally, you want to create fresh pins every day. I try to create at least 2-4 new pins per day.
And the trick here is to reuse one design and use it several times for different pins.
You can simply change some of the font colors or change the pin aspect ratio. So if you use the same image, you could make one pin 1000×1500 and another one 1000×2000, and Pinterest will count them as 2 different pins.
My current daily schedule is this:
- I create 3-4 new pins a day and pin them to my most relevant boards just once.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
I do still pin to group boards from time to time, as I still get some great impressions and clicks from pinning to my best group boards.
What I used to go from 3,000 page views to 10,000 page views
These are great points to get you started.
By using these tips, I managed to get over 3,000 page views in my first month of blogging.
But this wasn’t ENOUGH.
If I wanted to make money with my blog, I needed many more page views from Pinterest. So I kept researching, and wherever I looked, everyone was recommending Carly’s book Pinteresting Strategies.
Using the system in her book, Carly managed to get to 200,000 page views in just a few months!
Carly’s course is AMAZING, and it’s one of the most reasonably priced courses you will ever find. The best value for money out there at $57 ($52 if you use the discount code PINNING5).
Even so, I am not a person that departs from money easily. I read everything I could find on Pinteresting Strategies before buying it. I started to read Carly’s blog, subscribed to her emails, and then decided to go for it.
Her course is everything you can hope for as a Pinterest novice and more.
I wish I didn’t hesitate as much and bought it sooner.
I purchased her course on the 27th of November, and in December (my second month blogging), my page views skyrocketed to over 10,000.
Pinteresting Strategies: Carly’s course on Pinterest is very helpful when you are starting out. It really makes you understand what Pinterest is about and how to set it up the right way. Her strategy is going to set you apart from other bloggers and help you to gain thousands of page views from the start. Carly has just updated her amazing course and has given all my readers a lifetime $5 discount. Make sure you use the code PINNING5 at checkout!
What I used to go from 10,000 page views to 180,000 page views
Carly’s system involves a lot of manual pinning, and I couldn’t keep up doing it every day. Then one day, she emailed me about an amazing blogging course she was part of:
It was run by Mike, and I couldn’t believe someone as successful as Carly was still learning from it.
So I decided to take the risk and invest in it!
And this is what happened in January, after implementing his strategies combined with Carly’s:
By combining Carly’s and Mike’s strategies, I got over 114,000 page views in January (remember, my third month of blogging). I made 4 times as much and repaid both these courses in a month, and I couldn’t believe it.
And this is what happened in February:
Stupid Simple SEO isn’t just a course. It gives you the right mindset to use SEO to up your game and use Google search to convert your traffic into money.
By using Carly’s and Mike’s strategies, I can assure you, you will get your page views up. But if you need support throughout your blogging journey, save as much as you can, and as soon as you have the money, join us!
With 9 active modules and 12 Bonuses, Stupid Simple SEO is the only investment you need to make if you want to start a successful blog.
If you are ready to make money doing what you love and are ready to put in the work, start by taking this free master class today!
And remember: SEO is a long-term game. It can take anything from 3 months to a year to start seeing results! But it’s the best investment you can make in your blog!
4. Learn from the best in the business
One of the things I spend time doing more than anything else is to check out other blogger’s content:
- How do they get page views?
- What are the most shared articles they have on their website?
- What do their pins look like, and which pins have the most repins?
- How do they make money?
You shouldn’t copy other people, but you need to take inspiration from them. If something is working for them, could you do it better?
How do other bloggers make money?
In January, I had over 114,000 page views. This was beyond my wildest dreams. I managed to make around $1,000 with Adsense while waiting for my Mediavine account to be approved.
I could see bloggers having fewer page views than me, making a lot more money.
And this is how they were doing it:
- They created things to sell (like online courses or eBooks).
- They earned a commission through affiliate marketing.
I had no time and willpower to create a product. When you start blogging, there are so many things to learn. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up.
The last thing I needed was to create something else other than blog posts.
So I decided to look into Affiliate Marketing. I was impressed by how Michelle from Making Sense Of Cents managed to make over $1 million a year using her affiliate marketing techniques.
I don’t think I will ever get anywhere near that, but I do love learning from people that can show real results. Michelle teaches beginner bloggers how to make money with affiliate marketing in her course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
In the course, she teaches you the strategies she used to go from making $0 in affiliate income to over $50,000 per month.
Note: Michelle’s course is great if you are a beginner and know nothing about affiliate marketing. If you know the basics and want to improve your conversions, I recommend Carly’s in-depth and affordable course on affiliate marketing.
You can read all the tips I used to improve my affiliate marketing strategy here.
5. Don’t be afraid of investing
If you are serious about making money blogging, you need to invest in yourself!
There are a lot of great free resources out there, and you can learn so much from free courses, but if you are struggling with any step along the way, don’t be afraid of investing some money in a course that could help you to shortcut your learning.
The first time I bought a blogging course, I was so worried I was wasting my money.
I thought everyone was a scam. How could someone make $15,000 a month with blogging? $50,000 a month?
I thought I was just going to get the usual advice you get from everyone for free but in a nicer package.
I couldn’t be more wrong!
But there are a few things I learned from buying courses, no matter how good they are:
- Always do your research and make sure you trust the people you are buying courses from
- Don’t be afraid to email the course owner before you buy: if they answer you and you like what you hear, you will be reassured. If they can’t even spend time replying to your questions, that course (and person) is not for you.
- Don’t just buy a course for the sake of buying it and feeling better about yourself because you have invested some money. If you buy a course, use it!
Whenever I spent money on a course, I knew I had to set time aside to really work on it and learn from it.
As much as Scrivs is supporting me in my blogging journey, or Michelle or Carly are giving me advice and feedback in their Facebook Groups, it’s just me and me alone that has to put the hard work and hours into my blog.
So just do yourself a favor and don’t invest any money in blogging if you are not serious about it!
If you just want to explore blogging and find out a bit about getting started, read free resources, and use your time to invest in learning as much as you can FOR FREE!
I read countless free blogging courses before I felt I was ready to invest any money in blogging.
Ready To Get Started On Your Blogging Journey?
Check Out My Guide To Start A Blog
The Happy Ending…
I started thinking of blogging as a side hustle to make some extra money around 6 months ago.
It took me 2 months to learn and read as much as possible about it.
I launched my blog in November, and after the first 3 months, I had over 180,000 page views and made $3,878 in one month.
This goes beyond anything I could have ever hoped for.
Yes, it’s HARD work.
Yes, it can be LONELY.
But it’s my blog and my journey, and I couldn’t be happier.
This is just my beginning, and I really hope you will join me on this adventure to find your passion and be able to live your dreams!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me! I am where I am today because other people took the time to reply to my messages, and I promise I will reply to yours!