As a new blogger how many income reports did you read promising “$5,000 in my fifth month of blogging” or “How I made $980 in my first month?” I sure read a ton of them and they were one of the things that inspired me to start a blog in the first place. I had huge goals and was convinced I’d “prove” that I could monetize if I made $500 by my sixth month. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to blog or what it took, but $500 didn’t seem like that much money so I thought it would definitely be achievable.
Fast forward to my big launch a couple of weeks later (with three posts) and no social media presence, just waiting for the traffic to roll in. Then came the following five months with zero income. Sound familiar? Although it IS possible to make money immediately with your blog, you definitely need to have a strategy. And even though I didn’t hit my initial goal, with everything I’ve learned in the process. I’m definitely not giving up on monetizing. I’ve compiled a few tips if you’re just starting out, so you can learn from my mistakes.
WHAT TO DO (AND NOT DO) IN YOUR FIRST FEW MONTHS
Before you launch your blog you should have some content written and at least a semblance of a strategy if you plan to monetize. People won’t just stumble upon your blog, so without a way to drive traffic you won’t be getting eyes on your fantastic content. Here are a few things you should do or have ready before you hit publish:
- At least seven blog posts. Many people recommend three to five, but if you have seven you’re able to loop them on a social media scheduler weekly
- Social media accounts. If you plan to promote your content on social media, you’ll want to have a presence set up and all the handles registered across platforms so you’re ready to grow your following immediately
- An email list. This will probably have one subscriber (you) and that’s ok. At least get it set up so you can start collecting emails immediately
- Your own self-hosted blog. If you want to monetize you need to own your content and self-host. Get your domain registered and theme set up the way you want before you go live. You can always change it down the road, but you won’t want to go down for maintenance immediately after you launch
- Spending all your time in like for like or follow threads. While some are necessary for social proof – and useful to ensure you don’t have zero followers on your account, they are a time suck and won’t be the thing that really grows your engaged audience
- Shiny object syndrome. There are a million things to spend time on as a new blogger and business owner. You can’t do everything well at first so set your strategy and stick with it. Give things a few months to work before you jump ship and move on to the next tactic
- Comparing yourself to other more established bloggers. I read a quote that has been attributed to both Tim Hiller and Jon Acuff in different places online, so I’m not sure which of them said it, but I’m still in love. “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” It’s really hard to start something new and we all grow and learn at our own pace. Just because you’re new doesn’t mean you won’t one day be successful
HANG IN THERE
Although I didn’t hit my goal of making $500 by six months of blogging, I realized I still learned a ton. My goal may also have been a little unrealistic. While it’s definitely possible to make money immediately after a blog launch, it’s not possible to do it if you have zero idea what you’re doing, no plan or strategy, and a full-time job. After more than six months of “education” and working on my blog part time, I’m still hopeful that I’ll be able to monetize and one day hit those big goals I’m dreaming of. If you’re in my shoes, I’d love to hear from you.
Hang in there. We’ll do this together!
If you want to read how I did make my first $1, check out my November blogging report.