Hey folks! Transparency Disclosure- Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. That means I’ll receive a small commission if you decide to click on it and buy something. Don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you anything extra!
I am killing it with this blog thing! I made about $16 during my first year of blogging! Impressive, I know. I’m not trying to brag or anything with this post; on the contrary! I want to help you gain blogging success and see that making money with a blog is within your reach!
How I Made $16 in my First Year Blogging
No, that’s not a typo. I’m bragging about making enough money to cover my domain registration for the year. Why? Because I’m sick of all the similar posts! I’m sure you’ve seen these all over the interwebs: “How I made 15 thousand dollars in One Month of Blogging!” and “How I make over 30 million dollars from my blog”—more power to the extraordinary people who are making a killing off their blogs. I don’t hold them any ill will (maybe 10% jealous), but they do make it seem incredibly easy, and I think that’s unrealistic.
So what is realistic?
They are Selling you!
Realistically, those catchy headlines are designed to sell you a product about blogging. They are trying to explain how you too can become a multi gazillionaire overnight if you would just buy this course or that course. Now, I haven’t taken any of the classes, and I’m sure some are super duper helpful, but please note that your mileage may vary. You may have more success than the person selling the course, but you may have less success. There are no guarantees, except that the person selling the course will make money off you (again, not necessarily a bad thing).
They are also selling non-bloggers the idea of making money through blogging. And that is ok!! We are all (well, most of us!) in this game to make money. Hell, I have an affiliate link to Bluehost in this post! We all want to make money blogging, and it never hurts to invest in yourself and your business. Some of those courses offer that opportunity (just do your research first and make sure you pick the one that’s right for you!). My problem with those posts is that they make it seem too easy, and they never actually break down the numbers. They just feel like a sales pitch to me, and that’s not helpful.
They Make Money in Other Ways
One other odd thing that I noticed about some of these posts is that they often include freelance income without explaining what that means. It’s one thing if they got the freelance opportunity through the blog, but if they are doing work off of Fiver or Upwork and crediting that income to blogging, it’s a bit shady. The post would be more aptly titled “How I made 15 million dollars working from home” (I’ve seen those posts too, which are great because they are less misleading!).
So What’s the Point of this Rant?
Ok, so maybe this post has been a bit ranty. But there’s a point, I promise! You shouldn’t feel discouraged if you aren’t a multi-millionaire after your first month or year of blogging. Blogging is a long-haul game. It takes a long time for the search engines to trust your website, and it takes a long time to build a following. That’s all ok!
My other point is to give would-be bloggers a little perspective. It’s easy to get swept up in the “get rich quick” dream that some of these posts about making so much money in your first year of blogging are trying to sell. Blogging is not a way to fast cash. It’s a labor of love. I love to write, share information and connect with people, so I blog. Yeah, I hope to make real money from it one day, and yeah, I have a bunch of affiliate links to support that cause. But I know that I’m nowhere near making tens of thousands of dollars a month from it, and that’s ok! If you love to write, give it a try! You can start your own website with Bluehost for as little as six bucks a month! (see what I did there?)
But Seriously, How Did I Make m=My $16?
Ok, I know you’ve all been biting your nails trying to figure out how I made my small fortune this year. The answer: Affiliates! Amazon affiliates, to be more precise (though I did make fifty cents with tailwind, which is a story for another post). A large chunk of that was bloggers supporting other bloggers (which is super awesome!), and some of it was organic. I don’t have any real way to differentiate between the two, but hey, a sale is a sale.
What Do You Think?
Did you make as much money as I did in your first year of blogging? How did you do it? Do you feel like it was worthwhile for those of you who invested in a course? I’d love to hear your stories!
How I Finally Grew My Blog
I originally wrote this post at the end of 2018, when I completed my first year of blogging. It’s now 2022, and although I’m not making a full-time income with the blog yet, I’m getting closer every month.
The key to my success? First perseverance. My blog will be five years old this year, and five years is a long time to stick with anything. But the other big reason was joining a mastermind group. Yes, this is slightly similar to the courses I mentioned earlier because it is an affiliate offer, but most of my income is from display ads, not recruitment efforts.
I push this group because it works. I learned SEO, gained access to SEO tools, and have a group of dedicated bloggers to help me grow my blog. It’s been fantastic. If you are serious about turning your blog into a business, you need to join.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.