I love Blog Income reports. And judging by their popularity, I’m not the only one.
It’s a really big motivator to read that someone just like you, running their own Blog, can make $1000 per month from Home, or $5000 or $10,000 or the really beyond belief ones that earn $100,000 a month!
There’s the smaller ones as well, the bloggers sharing how they made their first $10. And sometimes I think these are better. They’re more relatable. More achievable. Especially when you’re making nothing with your own Blog!
But no one ever shares when they don’t earn anything. When they start the month with good intentions but at the end of the month, the income column of your Blog accounts says $0.
So, here I am. Sharing my no-income report. Which may seem a weird thing to do for a ‘Blogging about Blogging’ blog. But it’s a new Blog so I’m hoping I get away with it!
(This post contains affiliate links. This means I make a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my referral links.)
The problem with income reports is they make earning money with your Blog look easy. A lot of people just share their income. They don’t tell you how much traffic they get, how many subscribers they have, how long they’ve blogged for and how many hours a week they work to get to where they are now.
My Big goal for this blog is to earn $10,000 per month within a year. I’m hoping that come December I can link back to this post as inspiration for the bloggers who are starting with nothing but big goals as I report how I made $10k in one month.
The most useful income reports tell you how the blogger made their money and give you enough information to try and replicate their results. So in this no-income report I’m going to tell what I’ve done (and not done) in the first two months of this blog’s life, and what I should have done instead to get better results.
Because I could have made some money in the first two months. I should have made money. This isn’t my first blog and I know how to monetise a Blog. I know what really matters in the early life of a Blog. And I know what I should have been doing.
So what went wrong?
Why didn’t I make any money in my first two months Blogging?
Here’s the mistakes I made that meant I didn’t make money and didn’t have a lot of traffic growth in my first couple of months blogging…
8 Mistakes to avoid as a New Blogger
Blogging Mistake #1: Too much focus on Blog design.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of my Blog, I love my stock photography and my Blog title image templates and I’m happy I invested in a premium theme right from the start.
But I spent way too long giving into my inner perfectionist to get the theme looking 110% perfect. Because of all the time spent googling solutions to tiny unimportant design niggles, the Blog didn’t go live until 24th January. Looking back now I think I could have launched at least a week earlier if I hadn’t been so fussy about my theme setup.
Don’t make my mistake: Set up your Blog to be attractive and functional but don’t spend a lot of time perfecting your Blog design right now. You’re going to end up changing it in the future anyway!
Blogging Mistake #2: Choosing a Narrow Niche right at the start
I decided very early on that this Blog was going to be about Pinterest for Bloggers. And I used this niche choice to plan out my Blog design, email opt in and early post ideas. But the thing is, Bloggers are interested in lots of other stuff too. And you can’t be good at Pinterest without being good at lots of other things too.
So I decided to expand my niche to include blog monetisation and getting started with blogging as well as Pinterest. Expanding my niche isn’t a big problem by itself but it does mean I’ll have to update the website to include mentions of the other Blog topics plus re-think my opt-ins and email strategy to include the other topics.
Don’t make my mistake: Start with a broad niche, then narrow your topic when you discover what your readers are interested in.
Blogging Mistake #3: Creating a Product too early
I really wanted to make money early on with this Blog. And the most profitable way to make money Blogging? Its digital products. So I decided to write a book about Pinterest Traffic, and create a Group Board directory.
And it wasn’t a bad idea, it was going to be a really thorough, actionable eBook. But the problem is, all the time I spent writing the book I haven’t been spending doing important new Blog stuff; like writing posts and getting traffic!
Don’t make my mistake: Don’t get too hung up on making money right away. Content and traffic come first.
Blogging Mistake #4: Not enough Blog posts
So this follows on from the last point. I only wrote 7 blog posts in the first 2 months of the blog. That isn’t a lot! When you first start a blog, you need to be focusing on building up your audience. And that’s hard to do when you only have 7 blog posts to promote!
As a blogger, it goes without saying that your content is your connection with your readers. When your aim is to build an audience that stick around long term you need to establish yourself as a consistent creator of valuable content, which is hard when you’re blogging less than once a week!
Don’t make my mistake: Make content creation a priority. Get into a habit of writing every day and create a consistent blog post publishing schedule.
Blogging Mistake #5: No Affiliate Marketing Strategy
I put very little effort into affiliate marketing for the first two months of the blog. I do have affiliate links in my resource page and towards the end of February I wrote a ‘How to Start a Blog’ post that has some affiliate links in it for hosting and Blog themes. But that was it. I don’t have any posts focusing on affiliate products.
Affiliate marketing is an easy way for new Bloggers to start earning a little. You can write an affiliate post, promote it and then it has the potential to continue earning for you while you work at building your content up.
Don’t make my mistake: Focus on affiliate marketing for early monetisation. Choose 1 or 2 products to promote in Blog posts and email.
Blogging Mistake #6: Neglecting my Email List
I started my email list right from day 1 of the blog. And I created a free Pinterest Course as an opt-in, which was the starting point of my sales funnel for the eBook and group board directory.
However, because I never finished the eBook I didn’t promote my list a lot. And I completely neglected the 26 people that were on it.
I’m totally embarrassed telling you this but, beyond the free course, I didn’t email my list. Which is totally the wrong way to go about building a list of engaged subscribers!
Don’t make my mistake: If you have an email list, email them regularly! Help your most enthusiastic readers get to know and like you.
Blogging Mistake #7: Not enough personal connection
I’m not very good at ‘connecting’ (as you may have guessed from my email list confession). I’m a no BS INTJ who knows what she’s looking for and doesn’t like waffle. Just give me the information already! So I tend to forget that not everybody is like me. That most people like a friendly intro to a Blog post, they like to know the face behind the emails and they like a good story.
I re-read my free course emails the other day and realised that at no point in the sequence did I introduce myself! It’s an info packed course, but there’s no hint of me in it at all. Oops! I really need to be friendlier!
Don’t make my mistake: You’ll often see advice saying not to waffle in Blog posts. And you don’t want to write fluff, but take time to write an intro. Tell a story, inspire your readers, try and make friends!
Blogging Mistake #8: Trying to make too many long term decisions too early
A lot of the mistakes I made ultimately come down to over planning. I like to see the long term view, which is a really useful business skill to have because I’m super good at planning and preparation. Yet it also means I often overlook what needs to be done now, and race on ahead to things that could be left a few months. And because I can see all the things I need to do, I try to do them all at once.
All that happens is I get behind on everything, get discouraged and then just give up. I really need to stop doing that!
Don’t make my mistake: Prioritise the foundations of building up your content and growing your traffic. Don’t try to do all the things straight away. Blogging is a game for patient people.
So, there you have it; my first (and I really hope my last!) no-income report.