How I made my first $1000 blogging

I can’t believe I am writing this!

For those of you who don’t know, I started Easy Blog Emily in January 2018. And I knew that one day, I wanted to make money blogging.

I’d read SO many different income reports from bloggers in various niches making serious amount from their blog, that I 100% knew making money blogging could be done.

BUT, I did not realise how hard it would actually be!

Now, I wasn’t naive – I did know blogging was hard work.

I’d already started a different blog around 6 months before this one, and eventually shut it down to start fresh with EBE. So I knew the effort blogging took before starting this.

I was also in my second year of my degree at the time, so that was my focus and blogging came alongside it.

But I truly didn’t anticipate the difficulty of actually making money with a blog.

MAKING NO MONEY BLOGGING

After starting EBE and being optimistic about monetising, months were going by without me earning anything.

So I just thought, “Oh, I enjoy it so much that it doesn’t really matter if I don’t make money for a while.”

… But then MORE months we’re going by, and I was only making small amounts here and there.

In fact I was so excited when someone reached out to me to pay me for some blog coaching, I rung my dad all excited thinking “THIS IS IT! I’m actually going to be making money blogging now!!”.

… But then after that one off, nothing.

No consistent earnings, and nothing to show I would ever make a decent amount of money with my blog.

And my one year blog-aversary came up this January, and I STILL hadn’t had even one month of earning decent income.

It was getting seriously frustrating – if others were doing it, why couldn’t I?!

And I’ll be honest- I did consider quitting a few times.

But I stuck at it. I’m thankful this blog is something I really enjoy (and have put so much effort into!), otherwise I wouldn’t have done it for this long without making any money from it.

MAKING MONEY BLOGGING NOW

Fast forward to this summer, and all my hard work finally paid off.

I had my first month of making a part time income blogging– you can read my July income report where I made $439 here.

I had been working towards this for so long that I was convinced it was a fluke, and I was so anxious going into August that I wouldn’t make anything at all and be back to square one.

And although my income did dip, I actually made $328 in August.

I was over the moon – I had done it!! I could actually make some consistent income from my blog!!

By the end of September, I made $512 in that month blogging. And I realised that after a year and a half (2 if you count the 6 months on my other blog) of making no money blogging, I had made my first $1000 blogging in the space of 3 months!

And in November, I made over $1000 blogging! In just 1 month!!

Needless to say I am really proud of myself. I know this isn’t a life changing amount, but it’s the start of something exciting for me and a step in the right direction in the long run.

And its made me realise that if I can make money blogging in my early 20s, with no prior experience and a pretty small blog (I get less than 20k page views a month), with the right attitude and strategies, other people can too!

HOW I MADE MY FIRST $1000 BLOGGING

If you want to make money blogging but are seriously struggling to start off, this post for you.

Because whilst I’m not a pro blogger making six figures, if you’ve gathered anything from the introduction to this post it’s that I was stuck making no money blogging for ages.

And I’ve tried different strategies and methods, and I’m starting to learn what actually works.

So this is how I made my first $1000 blogging.

Hopefully it will point you in the right direction to earning your first $1000 blogging too!

make money blogging

I STARTED WITH REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS AND PASSION

So before I had even started EBE, I already knew blogging was tricky.

And I therefore knew that making money doing it would be even harder!

But I also knew I loved blogging.

So I had the realistic expectation of knowing blogging is difficult and making money from it would be too. But I also enjoyed it enough for this not to put me off doing it.

Now, whether you’re a new blogger or have been blogging a while, you need realistic expectations from now.

Just because some people make money their first month blogging, doesn’t mean you will. Because there are no rules, or set ways to go about it. It’s all up to you.

This also thankfully means that just because the majority of bloggers will never make money blogging, doesn’t mean you have to be one of those either. So remember that everyone is different, and you might not make money blogging for a while, even if you get a lot from this post. But as long as you love blogging, that should be okay!

However, if you’re doing this because you need the money fast, I recommend trying something else, like selling on ebay or something. Because in my experience, blogging isn’t fast money.

I STARTED ON THE RIGHT PLATFORM

Starting my blog on the right platform has been so important to me making my first $1000 blogging.

Because sure, you can use a free website to start your blog. And this is probably a good idea if you just want to blog as a hobby and not to make money.

BUT, if you want to make money blogging, you definitely need to create a self hosted website on WordPress.org.

Now, why self hosted? Because:

1). You have more control. With a self hosted website on WordPress, it is completely customisable. So you can lay out your site how you like (and in a way to help you make more money blogging).

2). It will mean you can definitely make money blogging. Sometimes when you use a free site, you are not allowed to use some of the monetisation methods that bloggers use e.g ads, affiliate links. So if you want to be 100% sure you can try all the methods available to make money blogging, you need a self hosted website.

Plus, I also have a self hosted website through WordPress, which means all my tutorials for blogging show you how to do it with WordPress. And as the majority of bloggers use WordPress, you will have way more support and access to tutorials for blogging when you use WordPress too!

So if you haven’t started your blog yet and know you want to make money blogging, I recommend you build a self hosted website.

Now this might sound difficult, but I have a step by step tutorial showing you how to start a blog from start to finish you can check out here!

I am in quite a few Facebook groups for bloggers, and so often I see bloggers posting their frustration that they are ready to take blogging seriously and make some money… And NOW they are having to go through all the effort of moving their content from a free website to a self hosted one.

So I totally recommend saving yourself the hassle and just starting a self hosted blog from the start!

I CREATED AWESOME FREE CONTENT

I think bloggers tend to overlook this one.

But you cannot take something from your readers without giving them something first. Straight away, I tried to create long, detailed posts that I thought my target audience would love.

And now I often get messages about how helpful people find my blog or enjoy my content (which is a massive confidence boost!).

When you create awesome free content that your readers love, it makes it easier for you to establish a connection with your readers. They might even want to give you money for more of your content!

And not only that, but the more awesome free content you have, the more likely you are to make money from methods that require a large audience (more on this to come). So if you haven’t done this already, focus on creating amazing free content!

I ACTUALLY ASKED FOR MONEY

So on the flip side of this, if you’re a very giving person you might be giving away too much of your content for free.

For example, I have a free course called Easy Pinterest with Emily which covers the basics of starting to use Pinterest to grow your blog.

I have a lot of people tell me that they can’t believe how much they learned from a free resource. And I know a lot of bloggers ask for money for this knowledge.

BUT I want to give my readers a lot of knowledge for as little as possible.

It definitely is an issue of mine I need to work on, but Easy Pinterest with Emily is how I grow my email list and gain loyal readers.

However, I’ve since created a separate guide for Pinterest on how to get viral pins. This guide is an extra bit of content that is more valuable than the free course, as it contains the strategies I’ve learned over two years to make my pins go viral.

And now I made a lot of my monthly income through people paying a small amount for this guide.

Yes, I could have given it for free.

But I learnt that I do actually need to ask my readers for money, and it’s not out of order.

Because if someone asked me for around $20 all the knowledge they’d accumulated over 2 years to help me grow my blog, you can bet I’d pay it!

So it’s really important to learn the value of your content. Save your extra special stuff, and ask for money from your readers.

And if your free stuff is good enough, you will get it!

I LEARNED THE DIFFERENT WAYS TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING

So, this is kinda crucial.

Because you can’t make money blogging if you don’t know how!

Now, I knew before I had even started my blog that people could make money blogging (I had read numerous blogging income reports).

But when I first read these income reports, I was a bit confused.

Because don’t get me wrong- loads of the income reports I read broke down how they earned money blogging really well.

BUT when I was first reading about these making money blogging methods, I didn’t fully understand what they actually were.

I’d never even heard of affiliate marketing before… So there was no chance I was going to make money from it!

If you don’t know already, some of the most popular ways to make money blogging are:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Advertisements
  • Selling services or products
  • Sponsored posts

And whilst I’m not going to go into detail about these methods in this post (cause it’ll be crazy long), you can check out my guide on affiliate marketing for beginners here. And I go into detail about easy ways to make money blogging for beginners here.

You’ll notice I said “I learnt the different ways” rather than I found out about them. 

That’s because there’s a massive difference between knowing what something is, and actually learning it.

It’s like any other skill- the more you practice it, the better you will get.

For example, whilst I don’t claim to be amazing at making money blogging using all these methods, I now make a few $100 dollars a month through selling my guide.

But less than half a year ago, it was available for purchase … But I was making no sales!

So I have had to practice and really learn how to actually make sales on my blog to make money from it. 

Another example is my first affiliate sale. 

It was a sale for roughly $30 for blog hosting. I had less than 30 posts published, and under 3000 page views a month at the time. 

BUT after taking a course that specifically teaches you how to master affiliate marketing, you can bet my affiliate sales went up!

And over the summer, I earned over $300 in affiliate sales. In a single month!!

The course I took was making sense of affiliate marketing. And I’m aware it has quite a large price tag for new bloggers.

But I do recommend investing in learning the ways you can make money blogging if you want to make money blogging.

Because you’d invest in any other form of education, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t become a doctor without the relevant training for example.

So if you want to become a successful blogger that makes money, you should invest in the right training that will teach you this.

And the good thing about these kind of courses is they teach you strategies that are unique to the course creator.

Michelle, the blogger who created making sense of affiliate marketing, has made over $50,000 in one month from affiliate sales alone. So you can count on her knowing her stuff and teaching it to you in her course!

So if you want to make money blogging, make sure you learn the different ways you can.

And I mean really learn them- the prices on these kind of courses actually seem kind of small when you realise the potential earnings you can achieve on your blog from them!

I REALISED THERE WERE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF BLOGS THAT MAKE MONEY

This is only something that I understood after over a year of blogging.

But once I got it, I actually started to make money with my blog.

What I mean is that there are basically two types of blogs, and the best way for you to make money with your blog depends on which type of blog you have.

These are:

  1. Big blog. This is you if you blog about a really popular blog niche like food or beauty, or even about multiple topics. This means you have the potential for a very large audience.
  2. Business blog. If your blog is in a very specific and small niche, you need to think of it less like a blog and more of a business. 

With the first type of blog, you need to work on growing your page views as fast as you can. And then you will use methods that make you income based on a lot of page views. 

These are:

  • Placing ads throughout your blog
  • Using affiliate links throughout your posts 

And then as you get more traffic, you should make more income. 

But if your target audience is very small, your blog is type 2.

You need to accept you might never get a large amount of readers every month (enough to monetise through just ads and affiliate links alone). 

So you need to treat it more like a business.

You need to work hard on growing your email list. And then email your subscribers about:

  • Your digital products 
  • Your services
  • High priced affiliate products. 

Now, the great thing about blogging is there are no rules.

So yes, you can have a business blog, but then work on growing your page views enough to make considerable income from ads.

Or you can have loads of page views and make money from ads, and then decide to start selling a digital product too. 

But when you are struggling to make money blogging, it’s best to fit your blog into one of these two blog types. 

And then you can work on the monetisation methods that are best suited to your blog type. 

This was one of the main reasons I didn’t make any money blogging for so long. 

I was chasing page views and hoping to eventually make money on my blog from ads. 

But guess what- I’m STILL not making a considerable income from ads (less than $100 per month). 

So if I hadn’t realised I needed to treat my blog as a business and offer services and products, I probably still wouldn’t be making any money blogging at all!

I ESTABLISHED A RELATIONSHIP WITH MY READERS

This one is so important.

Especially as a blogger- you’ve got to remember that you’re not an anonymous online shop.

It’s YOU behind your blog, and your readers will only start feeling comfortable giving money over once they feel they really know you.

That’s regardless of whether you want to make more affiliate sales, sell a digital product or offer a service.

Because think about it logically – are you more likely to give your money to someone you feel you know? Or a complete stranger?

The best ways I started to establish a relationship with my readers were:

  1. Include a “welcome” email when someone subscribes to my blog. My welcome email is craaazy long, and goes into detail about who I am and why I started my blog. After this, my readers know so much more about me!
  2. Email my readers regularly. This varies from month to month, but I do try to keep contact up with my subscribers (even if it’s just to send them a helfpul tip). But I never ever just disappear and not send emails for months- you wouldn’t not contact a close friend for months, so I try to think the same way with regards to my subscribers!
  3. I started a Facebook group. This one is slowly growing, but already the people in my Facebook group I feel like I know better as we can have actual discussions. And lots of them have already bought my guide, and have told me how much they love it in the group!

So if you want to make money blogging, definitely start establishing a relationship with your readers.

I ASKED WHAT MY READERS WANTED

As well as establishing a relationship, I also made an effort to actually ask what my readers wanted from my blog.

Because for ages I thought nearly all my readers had their blogs set up and were looking to get more traffic using Pinterest (as most of my subscribers sign up to my free Pinterest course about growing a blog through Pinterest).

BUT when I decided to start surveying my readers, I was shocked to find how many of them did not actually have a blog!

And since then I’ve been able to target those who don’t have a blog yet, and encourage them to do so (and therefore make more affiliate sales for blog hosting).

This could also be the case for your blog- you might be a mom blogger and using affiliate links for products aimed at toddlers, when actually lots of your readers might be pregnant and be preparing to have a child.

So make sure you actually survey your readers or ask them what they want. Then you can make sure the products you are suggesting/ creating give them that!

I REMAINED IN A POSITIVE GROWTH MINDSET

This is my last one, but it’s one of the most important!

But if you want to become a blogger, it’s going to be hard.

You WILL make mistakes.

And making mistakes isn’t a problem at all.

(In fact, it’s how you learn).

But what IS important is you stay positive and grow from your mistakes.

Because if you just hit a brick wall and give up, there is absolutely no way you will make any money blogging.

Looking back there are so many mistakes I have made on my way to making money blogging! And if I hadn’t been positive, I probably would have quite and wouldn’t be making any money today.

So one of my best tips is to learn to be positive.

And that way when you make mistakes, you win learn from them and move closer to making money blogging!

MAKING MY FIRST $1000 BLOGGING: MY FINAL THOUGHTS

I hope this post has helped you to realise what you need to do to make money blogging!

As I know how frustrating it is to see other bloggers making money, and wondering what you are doing wrong.

So I hope my perspective has been helpful.

If you liked this post, please share it on Pinterest.

And check out these other posts you might like on making money blogging:

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