- 1 Hey, Y’all!
- 2 A Little About Me
- 3 Blog Traffic
- 4 Income and Expenses
- 5 Social Media
- 6 A Time to Reflect
Welcome to the very first income report here at Finessing Finances! I’m so excited that I finally get to write up my own report after reading so many while doing research before my launch! It’s a little (very) surreal, actually.
Since I’m into personal finance, I love that I can share the blog’s progression with my lovely readers (that’s you guys!) and hopefully we’ll all be able to look back at this very post one day to see the humble beginnings.
Typically when you look up income reports for blogs, you’ll see something like ‘I made $6,000 in the month of September, here’s how!’, but most times these are bloggers that have been doing this for a while and they don’t always show their journey to how they reached $6,000 a month. For beginners, this can leave you wondering how to set up your foundation to one day reach that point. I’m very transparent, which is why I don’t mind sharing any of this information! The more you know, they say!
In this report, I will discuss traffic, social media followings, income and expenses and future goals. I officially launched in the middle of November, so I’m going to count the first month as the middle of November to the middle of December.
***This post contains affiliate links to products that I personally use and recommend. I may receive a small percentage of a sale at no extra cost to you.***
A Little About Me
As a recent college graduate, I got my first actual job, you know with benefits and all that adult stuff, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that working for someone else just wasn’t going to cut it for me. I’m very much a rebel, so having to wake up early, doing things outside of my job description, and having to choke down a lunch were tugging at my spirit.
I had been looking into other ways to earn an income while I was in college and came across the world of profitable blogging while slaving away doing freelance transcription jobs on Upwork. While it seemed like a no-brainer, it took me approximately 7 months to even purchase hosting and my domain and another 7 months to make it known to the public. There seems to be a pattern here, haha! Self-doubt is such a pain in the ass! Needless to say, I’m happy I took the plunge!
The great thing about blogging is that it’s one of the cheapest businesses to start. I’m talking $3.95/mo cheap! I get to help and advise people with money and travel, something I LOVE to do and make money while I’m at it. That’s a win-win in my book! If this sounds like something you’re into, I have a detailed how-to guide right here with everything you need to know about how to make money and how to set up your website.
Now, without further adieu, let’s hop into this report!
Page views: 2,194
# of blog posts: 4
Blog posts published this month:
I almost cried when my page views hit 1,000 and fell out of my chair when it crossed 2,000.
I also updated the first blog post from June before the site went live, which was How to Survive a Solo Trip to Japan Without Going Broke.
Seeing as I’m currently an English teacher in South Korea, I know the struggles that come with figuring out the process to apply, the differences between the different programs, application documents, etc. so I was very excited to get my two-part series out that involves everything that goes into becoming a teacher.
I’m happy to report that the guide did very well as far as gaining interest and anything that helps others always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside! Those two posts drove most of the traffic to the site for the month. I’ll be pushing it more as the different application periods are open for the public school program.
It’s all about targeting your audience with your posts. Success with blogging is all about promotion, more traffic = more revenue.
Amazingly enough, I also got reached out to by Alexis Schroeder over at Fitnancials.com for a guest interview about teaching in South Korea. It was a pleasure working with her and I definitely look forward to more collaborations in the future. Side note: I was actually inspired to take the plunge and start my blog by Alexis’ sister, Michelle. I’m sure you could imagine my excitement to see an email from her when I woke up!
Income and Expenses
Money, money, money! It’s why you’re here, right? As with any business, you have to spend money to earn money! Here’s the breakdown of income and expenses for this month:
Now, first looking at it, you may be like ‘Girl, that’s it?’, but can you tell me the last time you made $50 on the internet? I was SO excited to see the email that I generated a sale. I told everyone, not even kidding! If I can make $50, then I can make $100 and if I can make $100, then I can make $1000 and so on. The possibilities are endless, really!
Siteground is the hosting company that I chose to host my site and I love, love, love them! I’ve never had any issues with them as a service and when I needed help, they were a 30 sec. max wait away. Seriously, I can’t harp on enough about them if you’re considering starting a blog. They even helped me get my first income online thanks to their great affiliate program.
For expenses, it gets a little wonky. I set my blog up back in April, so I technically didn’t have any expenses this month. However, I will give you a breakdown of my start-up expenses. They are as follows:
Hosting: 12-month plan for $62.35
Theme: Pipdig theme for $59
Email service: G suite basic 12-month plan for $50
Not bad for starting your own business, eh?
Net Monthly Income: $50.00
Pinterest is definitely a major tool for driving traffic to your site. There are also resources that help to utilize Pinterest to its full potential such as Tailwind and Board Booster. Guess who hasn’t utilized either, yet? There’s no reason besides procrastination, really. I plan to try to understand these two tools over the next few days to help me with Pinterest. I gained a few followers over the course of the month and my pins have a lot of engagement. Starting with around 180 followers and ended the month with around 220 isn’t terrible in my book, but it could definitely be better. These are the current numbers:
I also joined a few group boards to give my pin more exposure and find some similar posts in my niche. I really like them and plan to join more over the course of the next month. The possibility of creating my own isn’t ruled out either.
Goals for Pinterest:
- Gain 100 more followers
- Use Tailwind
- Use Board Booster
- Join 20 group boards
I LOVE Instagram! I’m a very visual-based person and love aesthetics, so it’s the perfect social media platform for me. I had good progress with followers and also followed a lot of similar accounts. I’m still trying to figure out the “look” I want for my page. I revamped it during the month and I may do it again. I post travel photos, blog post updates, and motivational quotes. I went from mid 200s (mainly friends) to mid 400s by the end of the first month of taking it seriously. I’ve also joined a few Instagram Pods on Facebook recently and these are great for building community within niches on Instagram. These are my current numbers:
Goals for Instagram:
- Gain 200 followers
- Engage more: likes & comments
- Figure out the “look”
- Discover the magic that is a “flat lay”
- Learn how to make revenue from IG
Facebook will always be a great platform. You can share with friends, family, and your newly gained fans! There’s also the ability to create ads. I ran a few ads in the first month and I got decent exposure but hardly any link clicks, which kind of made it a waste for me. This isn’t to say that I won’t try again later, but I’ll develop a better budget and strategy further down the line. I got over 100-page likes and that’s always nice. The more, the merrier! I also have my Instagram linked to the FB page so my Instagram feed can be seen by clicking the tab in the sidebar. I definitely need to increase engagement with the FB page, though!
Goals for Facebook:
- Get 100-page likes
- Post twice a day
Okay, real spill, my twitter is non-existent. Well, it exists, but there’s not much on it and my only followers are my boyfriend, my main Twitter account, and three random people. So, that totals up to 5! Needless to say, I need to step my game up on Twitter and use it as much as I use my main account. I just don’t really see how it will help with traffic. You never know until you try though!
Goals for Twitter:
- Gain 50 followers
- Tweet every day
Everyone has tried Tumblr at least once, whether you were on it until 3 AM every night or just passing through. I feel like Tumblr is one of the most underused social media platforms in the world of blogging. I’m not sure why, but it’s literally something you never hear about it. Personally, I love Tumblr. I’ve been dormant on the site for a while, but recently hopped back on and remembered why I liked it, Remember, I’m a visual person. With the right strategies, I’m sure traffic can be driven to my site from Tumblr as well. In fact, I just made a Tumblr for the site. I don’t have any specific goals for Tumblr, but I will give it a try and report my findings in the next report.
An email list is very important to have as a blogger, I know this. It’s one of the main things you have control over. Yet, I still procrastinated on creating freebie opt-ins and utilizing it this month. Shame on me, I know, but I’ll do much better. I managed to get 6 email subscribers while using the ConvertKit free trial. However, I ultimately decided not to use ConvertKit just yet. I can’t justify the $29/mo right now, but I definitely loved the service. I’m going to start using MailerLite since it’s free up to 1000 subscribers. When I can justify ConvertKit, I’ll definitely be using it again!
Goals for email list
- Gain 50 new subscribers
- Create an opt-in freebie
A Time to Reflect
This first month has been awesome, really and truly! I was not expecting to make any money, but hey, what do you know? I did! As with most things, blogging involves a lot of trial and error. I procrastinated a lot and wasn’t as productive as I could’ve and should’ve been, so I plan to change that. I definitely want to see the monetization increase (of course), so I plan to try a few things to make that happen such as adding ads, reviewing the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course (full review coming soon!), joining affiliate networks that I qualify for and trying out a sponsored post. Oh, and Finessing Finances also gained a new employee! Everyone please welcome, Eri the Shiba Inu! She’s the new Eater (Editor)-in-Chief and she does her job wonderfully!
There you have it, folks! I’ve marked down my goals for the world to see, now you guys have to hold me to them! See you next month!
Please leave any comments, suggestions or just a quick hello below (it’ll make me smile)!
Are you passionate about writing or helping others? Are you also interested in making money while you do it? Did you know you can only make money if your blog is self-hosted? Well, now you do! You can get started with a self-hosted blog for only $3.95/mo, but only through my link, so click here to sign up!
Be sure to check out my step-by-step guide for setting up your blog, it’s filled with tons of information and will get you on your way in no time!
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