Every month (well almost...I am doubling up this month!) I share how much money I have made through my blog.
Why? Because it's pretty dang impressive that in just under a year I have been able to turn this website into a business that brings me thousands of dollars a month AND that I can do it around my full-time college schedule.
Seriously, all college students should start a blog. It's the best thing I have ever done.
If you don't know much about me, I am a junior in college studying interior architecture. I've had this website since I was 17 but just started taking it seriously in September 2017 when I was a sophomore in college.
I am completely paying for college on my own and knew I needed to find something that made me money and would work around my college schedule (that changes every semester and stays with me when I live at home during the summer/winter break). Let's just say, it was nearly impossible.
I stumbled upon a blog that posted income reports where the blogger was making over $100,000 A MONTH from her website. Like what?!
I knew I wanted to start a website of my own that would make me money, so that's what I did. I ditched my old blog and created a new one in September 2017.
In just a year, I have increased my income to $2,553.85 a month (and then $3,168 in October!) while being a full-time student and having a social life.
(You can find my latest income report here: How I Made $9,349.60 In January 2019 Blogging)
After semi-figuring out this blogging world and all it entails, I am here to tell you that ANYONE can start and be successful with a blog. It is not hard to do.
However, it took and still takes a lot of work. But if you're a hard worker, you can get the same exact results as me.
By Sophia Lee Blog Income & Traffic Report
Ad Income: $1,293.94
ShopStyle Collective: $148.60
17th Avenue Themes: $7.80
Total Income: $2,553.85
Page Views: 407,830
*I had a Halloween post do extremely well that brought in a TON of traffic. I received that money in January 2019 and you can read that income report here: How I Made $9,349.60 In January 2019 Blogging*
Ad Income: $1,927.33
17th Avenue Themes: $25.80
Total Income: $3,168.17
So, how did I do it?
When I first started my website, I spent money on three things. First and most important, website hosting (this costs me $3.95 a month and is a MUST!). I then bought two courses (which isn't a must, it just taught me a lot from bloggers that were already making a ton of money). All together, this cost me around $300.
That was A LOT of money for me then since I was just nannying. Now looking back, it's some of the best money I have ever spent and I've made that money back 26x (I calculated ;).
Here's what I spent money on:
- Bluehost Hosting
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (Course)
- Pinterest Strategies (Course)
After I had my blog for six months (so in March 2018) I went on to purchase Elite Blog Academy (AMAZING but $$$) and Genius Blog Kit (also amazing but only comes on sale once a year!).
Yes these courses cost me money, BUT it taught me what works and gave me a leg up to people trying to figure out the correct blogging strategies on their own. This ended up making me money faster.
Now that I am now a year into my blog, I spend my time much differently than the beginning.
With school officially been in session again, I am now focusing all my time on content creation.
Here's my blogging/school work schedule:
- Mondays: Blog until I have school at night
- Tuesdays: School
- Wednesday: Blog
- Thursday: School
- Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Catchup for school/blog and also socialize and do other random things (aka life)
I have always treated blogging like my "job" and have tried to schedule times that I am "working". Some days I stick to this schedule and get a lot done and other times I don't. I think that's just life.
I also traveled almost every weekend in September and October so I really didn't have time to do anything on weekends. That means I had to be super structured with what I did with my blog on Mondays and Wednesdays.
On my blogging days (Monday and Wednesday) I would say I work about four hours. So all in all, I would say I work on my blog around 10 hours a week (sometimes way more, sometimes way less).
I am making a HUGE amount of income for working that little.
I have been spending almost all my time on content creation these last two months.
I have so much content that does great in summer (a ton of dorm packing related stuff) so I was super nervous my traffic was going to drop off. Luckily, it's stayed up but I have spent a ton of time gearing up for the holidays with gift guides.
Here's what's involved in my content creation:
- Writing the post (research, affiliates, etc)
- Marketing the post (Pinterest, SEO research)
All of this takes me way longer than I plan (you'd think I would have learned by now!) but I've gotten it down to take four hours to write one post and than one more hour for marketing of that post.
Considering that I have made thousands of dollars over just one post, that's a pretty good ROI.
I have also gotten my Pinterest monthly views to 7.8 MILLION!
I am doing a different Pinterest strategy than other bloggers and it's paying off big time. I actually have yet to find another blogger doing the same strategy as me which is pretty fun.
This strategy has brought me to over 400,000 page views in one month. You can find out exactly what I do in my 7 Day FREE How To Start A Blog email course.
What's up next?
Three words for November: Email list + Content + Products.
I have major blogging plans this month and I am really hoping everything stays on schedule.
I am babying my email list BIG time and giving so much content to my subscribers. They say the money is in the email list which I like (obvi) but I also think the email list is an amazing way to become more connected with your readers.
I am also continuing posting a lot of content. I have a calendar where I plan my blog posts four months out. That way, I can look at a month and see exactly what posts I want to write for that month. For November, I have seven posts planned.
BTW, I try to write posts two months before they will be popular. So, in September and October I was writing posts for Christmas and I am now writing posts for January.
Lastly, I am making a few products!! Wohoo, I am SO excited about this one. I am making one product for all my blogging readers. It is finally an affordable blogging tool that will basically show you how I grew my website so fast and organize my blogging/school life.
I am also making products for my college readers! You can get more updates on this by subscribing to my email list here.
What are my goals for next month?
Every month I try to set some goals (some realistic and some not) that I can works towards.
These are my goals for November:
- Get all 7 posts up and marketed (these are the posts I have scheduled in my editorial calendar)
- Brain storm and produce email opt-ins for top 20 posts
- Create products so they can launch December 28th, 2018
- Get 120,000 views on my blog and get my Pinterest followers to 5,300 (currently at 4,860 as of November 10th, 2018)
Honestly, these goals are not going to be easy to hit especially with finals coming up.
I have my schedule completely set up so that I do hit these goals though, so I'm crossing my fingers everything happens!
That's it for September and October's income report!
zvodret iluret says
Very interesting subject , thankyou for putting up.
I just discovered your blog and I’m so happy I did! I’m a college blogger too and I’m working to take my blog more seriously. I do have a question for you – out of all the courses you’ve invested in, which is your favorite and which has brought you the greatest return on your investment?
Ah, this is such a great question!! Okay so I am a huge fan of courses and basically, everything I do is because a course told me to do it. I’ve invested in “five” courses. So far I have purchased (in order) Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, Genius Bloggers Toolkit, Pinteresting Strategies, Elite Blog Academy, and just two weeks ago bought List Love Master Course (so far I have really liked it but won’t talk about since it hasn’t been enough time to fully gauge my results). I researched all of these a ton before buying them because I didn’t want to lose money so I haven’t had a bad experience and have honestly really liked them all, but the one I probably gained the most from was Pinteresting Strategies and Elite Blog Academy. I do not follow everything that Carly does in Pinterest Strategies but it gave me a way better base on the SEO part of Pinterest that I didn’t know about. EBA is my favorite course I have purchased but reallllyyy expensive (it’s like $900 and I saved up a whole year for it). However, it literally tells you so much about blogging and the way to do it successfully. It’s the one course that I can fully say has shown me almost everything I need to do to have a profitable website and within two months of buying it and following her method, I finally hit the $1,000 a month threshold! I’m not even an affiliate for it yet, I just really like it haha.
I also said “five” because genius bloggers toolkit includes like 100 courses for $99 or something! I’ve bought it the last two years and really like it because it includes so many courses but I lump it as one course haha