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Make Money Blogging

December 2017 Income Report: $2,658.27

December was a crazy month for me! Between my 9-5 job and all the family responsibilities and parties the Christmas season brings, it sure went by fast.

I was on track to make over $3k in December, but I ended up turning down a few projects in order to focus on my own health and family during the holidays, which I don’t regret at all.

Read on to discover how I made over $2,600 with my blog and business in December (while still enjoying a week off for Christmas)!

December 2017 Blog Income Report

Why I Write Income Reports

I don’t write blog income reports to brag, or make it seem like blogging is an easy path to endless riches. 💰 (Spoiler alert: it’s fackin’ not, okay.)

To be honest, every month I post one, I feel a little squicky about it. Should I be putting my blog income report out there? Will people judge me, either too positively, or negatively? Will it affect my relationships with other bloggers or, gah, clients?!

But, I push through, at least for now.

When I first set out to turn my blog from a $0 hobby into a profitable venture, I remember seeing income reports from well-known bloggers. Those were the turning point for me. Before seeing those, I never thought my blog could make any money at all.

Related: How to Start a Blog in 30 Minutes! (+ My Must Have Plugins)

I thought that was only for famous people with huge audiences, and people who blogged full-time.

Now, I realize that’s far from the truth! Anyone can make money blogging if you treat it like a real job, and that means putting in the time and effort to grow. These reports are a glimpse into how I do that for my own blog, and I hope you can find a new tip or tool in this report to help your blogging journey. 💁🏼

Blog Income Report

  • Freelance writing clients: $2,444.89
  • Etsy shop sales: $212.39

Total Gross Income: $2,658.27

I do make most of my money from freelance writing for clients, and only a little from my own products and affiliate income.

December was a little lacklustre blog-wise, as I didn’t earn any affiliate income or make any sales of my new SEO course. Bummer. But, I also didn’t spend ANY time promoting those things or writing any content about them. So, what do ya expect, right?

0 effort = 0 rewards. Plain and simple.

However, I did pull in over $200 from Etsy without doing anything there either. LOL.

CONTINUE READING

7 Ways to Use Google Analytics to Grow Your Blog Traffic

I’ve waxed poetic about Google Analytics before, about how to install it and what you should be tracking every month for your blog. But you need to do more than track and observe.

You need to ACT on that info and use it to guide your blogging strategy for the month ahead. 🦄

Aww yiss. Google Analytics isn’t only for tracking how many people come to your site and that’s it. There is a lot of powerful info in there that you can use to grow your blog faster!

In this post, I’m going to break down 7 ways to grow your blog using a plain ol’ free Google Analytics account!

Google Analytics Blog Strategy

First up, when you log in to Analytics, you see what I like to call your SUBS. It’s actually USBS when read left to right but I think SUBS sounds better. It stands for your Sessions, Users, Bounce Rate and Session Duration.

Those are the 4 key things you should be looking at every time you log in, FO REAL. In a general sense, they tell if you if you’re trending upward or downward. I like to set my view at the previous 30 days to get a good overall picture.

In this screenshot, you can see my traffic went downhill this month, compared to last (by 15.7%). I know that’s because I hardly spent any time writing new posts or promoting existing ones, whoops.

Google Analytics Blog Strategy

Beyond that, I review the following things at the end of every month as part of my monthly business review (that also includes things like tax payments and profit/loss statements – oh yay).

Reviewing these 7 things influences the actions I’ll take for the upcoming month to grow my blog. Sometimes it might be posting more on social media, or other times it’s about seeing who’s linking to me and striking up a conversation.

Here’s what to look for, boo.

1. User Location

Under the Audience -> Geo -> Location area, you can find out the geographical breakdown of everyone who has visited your site. Again, I like to set this to the past 30 days.

Google Analytics Blog Strategy

There’s a list underneath of how many people came from which countries. This is helpful to know if you’re targeting certain areas or if you plan on running ads.

If you run a local business, meaning one that you help customers face-to-face in your city, this is really important. I mean, it’s not very helpful if you want to attract people in Vancouver, Canada but 98% of your traffic is coming from Vancouver, Washington, right?

Knowing where your audience lives can influence the keywords you’re using on your site and even your ad strategy.

Even if you’re an online business that can serve anyone anywhere in the world, you still want to know where your top countries are. Maybe you target French-speaking clients. Then, you’d want to make sure French-speaking people are coming to your site (there’s a separate Language tab for this, too).

Running a Google AdWords or Facebook campaign can be a lot more cost-effective when you can target the locations your ideal audience is in. Analytics tells you that with no guesswork involved. Easy, right?

CONTINUE READING

October 2017 Blog Income Report: $1,755

Last month wasn’t as profitable as my all-time high of September, but I’m still really happy with this blog income report!

Read on to discover how I made $1,755.56 in October 2017.

October 2017 Blog Income Report

Why I Write Income Reports

I don’t write blog income reports to brag, or make it seem like blogging is an easy path to endless riches. 💰 (Spoiler alert: it’s fackin’ not, okay.)

To be honest, every month I post one, I feel a little squicky about it. Should I be putting my blog income report out there? Will people judge me, either too positively, or negatively? Will it affect my relationships with other bloggers or, gah, clients?!

But, I push through, at least for now.

When I first set out to turn my blog from a $0 hobby into a profitable venture, I remember seeing income reports from well-known bloggers. Those were the turning point for me. Before seeing those, I never thought my blog could make any money at all.

Related: How to Choose a Niche for Your Blog

I thought that was only for famous people with huge audiences, and people who blogged full-time.

Now, I realize that’s far from the truth! Anyone can make money blogging if you treat it like a real job, and that means putting in the time and effort to grow. These reports are a glimpse into how I do that for my own blog, and I hope you can find a new tip or tool in this report to help your blogging journey. 💁🏼

Blog Income Report

OK, I just gotta talk about this Tailwind shiz for a sec. Last month, I earned a 1 cent commission from Share A Sale. This month, I earned another cent. WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Does anyone know what this 1 cent is for? Cause honestly, it’s not paying the bills. 😂

CONTINUE READING

How I Made $3,422.83 Blogging This Month (September 2017 Income Report)

September flew by so fast!

I was so busy with my day job, my freelance clients, and just regular life stuff like grocery shopping (fo realz) that I can’t even believe it’s October already. Geez.

But, I am pretty proud of the fact that September was my highest earning month so far in my little biz! I made $3,422.83 through my blog and freelance writing services. WOO!

September 2017 Blog Income Report

This month I tried a few new things.

I earned some affiliate income (a grand total of $8.71 thankyouverymuch!), by promoting my genuine love of email marketing software ConvertKit.

I also earned ONE PENNY from Tailwind. I am not even sure how that’s possible. What did someone do for a penny?! I have no idea. But… thanks, random stranger.

This month I didn’t get as much done as I wanted to. I focused almost exclusively on client work and not my own big ideas, which was disappointing. But that’s how life goes sometimes!

I did get a chance to outline and start creating my upcoming course that I am SO EXCITED about. It’s called Blog SEO Bootcamp and dives into all the nerdy stuff I’ve learned in over 6 years of working at content marketing agencies, and through this blog.

I AM PUMPED to share it with the world. When it’s ready in like, 2020. 🙄

K but seriously, I plan to work on it over the next few months and unveil it either late this year, or early 2018.

Anyway, let’s dive into September’s numbers and stats in detail!

Income

  • Freelance writing clients: $3,414.12
  • ConvertKit: $8.70 🙌🏼
  • Tailwind: $0.01 (YES REALLY)

September 2017 Blog Income Report

Total Gross Income: $3,422.83

I recently had a comment asking about how I get my freelance clients and what sort of work I do. I plan to cover this in an upcoming post, but the short version is that I do freelance writing/blogging for marketing and software companies, focusing on list building and conversions. 🤓

aka. Nerd Stuff.

Expenses

Total Expenses: $485.21

Net Income: $2,937.62

So, I made almost the same net income as last month as I had some more expenses this month.

I also decided to invest in some education and take Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s class, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

At first I thought the class was a bit too basic for me, but I actually learned a lot in the later modules. I’ll write a review about it another time, but what more can I say than it works? I did make $8.71 in affiliate income this month for the first time ever, right?! (Gotta start somewhere.)

One of my regular clients slowed down a bit, so that impacted my income a bit, too.

CONTINUE READING

How I Made $3,130.99 in 1 Month With My Blog (August 2017 Income Report)

I made $3,130.99 with my blog in August 2017.

Pretty crazy, right?

I’ve only been taking this blog seriously for about six months.

I remember reading income reports from other bloggers a long time ago and thinking it was insane. How could they make a full-time living by running a blog?!

Make Money Blogging: August 2017 Income Report

I thought I had blogged before. I’ve had websites in one form or another since I was in the eighth grade. I just liked building them, but eventually I got bored of them and abandoned them. I estimate I’ve created over 20 blogs in the past 15 years…

So why hadn’t any of them made money?

For starters, I wasn’t trying to make money. I blogged because I loved writing and meeting other people. I’ve made some pretty cool friendships online with people I would have never met otherwise.

Fast forward to 2017, it seems like everyone and their cat has a blog. (And yes, some cats do blog.)

It’s never been easier or harder to make an income online.

I say that because it’s easy in the way that starting a blog is easier now. You can setup hosting, get a beautiful theme, and start writing in like half an hour. (I even wrote a step by step tutorial to start your own blog right here!)

It’s also harder because there are SO many more people blogging now.

If you’re trying to stand out online, you have to compete with BILLIONS of other people. Legit, billions. There are over 1.2 billion websites online right meow.

make money blogging

At first, I wasn’t trying to stand out very much.

I started this blog in February 2016 as a fun side project to complement my day job as a Digital Marketing Strategist at an ad agency. I love marketing so I wanted to write about it and learn new content marketing tips with this blog that I could use for my clients.

By the end of 2016, I started to take the blog more seriously, though my posts were sporadic and not really cohesive.

In January 2017, I decided I wanted to turn this blog into a profitable business. I did a bunch of research and long story short, realized that research is nothing without action. #preach

CONTINUE READING

How to Start an Online Clothing Business for $0 with Printful and Etsy

I did something crazy about a month ago. I started an online clothing business.

And it’s actually going really well.

Am I a designer? No.

Am I an Etsy pro? Nope.

Do I even know what DPI is, or what the difference is between CMYK and RGB? Not really.

But if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past year as a serious blogger, it’s that sometimes you just gotta try new stuff and do it. Jump in with both feet. Don’t overplan. Just follow your heart and see where it goes.

Easier said than done, especially when following your heart could cost thousands of dollars in upfront costs.

Not so bueno.

But, I really wanted to do this. So I found a way of getting started that was totally FREE, and in this post, I’ll show you how to do the same thing.

Create an Online Clothing Business Free

I create t-shirts, iPhone cases, leggings, skirts and other small items, and I don’t have to pay a single cent for inventory or expenses until someone buys one of my products. aka guaranteed profit! Isn’t that amazeballs?!

For example, here are a few examples of my humble creations. 😬

[etsy-shop shop_name=”NerdyOrganized” section_id=”21350310″]

Wanna win an item of your choice from my shop? Just enter the contest at the end of this post! 👇🏼

 

It’s really easy to start your own biz this way. So let’s jump right in and get started…

Create Your Free Etsy Store

For this post, I’m going to assume you want to sell your stuff on Etsy! It’s a great choice. Etsy is a solid network of handmade sellers, and a trusted shopping destination for millions of people around the world. You can’t go wrong.

So, if you don’t already have an Etsy account, sign up for free here.

When you’re all signed up, click on the You tab to go into your settings. From there, you can choose to open a new shop.

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Once you’ve created your shop, you’ll be taken to the Shop Manager area. It’s pretty straightforward, but you’ll want to go into Settings on the left-hand menu to ensure everything is set up.

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Here you can set things like your tagline, top image banner and logo. Here’s what my shop looks like with all those things added:

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Go through all the Settings fields and make sure everything is filled in. Don’t worry about making it perfect right now. You can always change it later.

Remember: DONE is always better than perfect. ✌🏽

 

Create Your First T-Shirt

Mmk, switching gears to product creation now. Woo! This is where the magic happens, people.

Already have a good idea for a t-shirt, mug, or other product? Great! If not, just think of a silly saying and follow along with this tutorial. You can always redo these steps when you have a “real” product idea later on.

Not sure if your idea is good or not? Let the market decide! Remember, this is all free so you’re not out any money by testing your ideas.

To create your first product, you’ll need to sign up for Printful.

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Printful is a print-on-demand dropshipper, which means they print your designs onto merchandise and ship it from their location to your customers. It’s worldwide, and the products look like they’re coming from you, not Printful. Basically… it’s awesome.

Once you sign up, you’ll be taken to your Dashboard. It’s your order portal.

Creating a product on Printful isn’t like an actual thing you create on there. You create your artwork files in a design program, like Adobe Photoshop, and then upload those files to Printful to store until you’re ready to print them.

I use Photoshop, but you could also use Illustrator, or a free option like Canva.

For this example, we’ll make a simple text-based t-shirt, but you can get as crazy and colourful as you like. If you can draw, go wild! I… can’t draw.

I’m going to make a shirt that says, “I Work So My Dog Can Have Nice Things”.

(It’s true. 🙄)

Printful has a template for everything on their site so you always know how to size it. The t-shirt print area is 10 in x 12 in, so all you need to do is open up a new Photoshop file at 150 DPI sized 10×12. Also make sure you’re using RGB colour.

If you’re using Canva, open up a new file that’s 1500px x 1800px (or larger).

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Then add your text to the file. Make sure your background is transparent. This can be done in Canva as well, but I’m using Photoshop in the screenshots below.

Create Online Clothing Business Free

CONTINUE READING

How to Double Your Email List in 2 Weeks (+Bonus Email Course Idea List!)

If you clicked on this link with the burning desire to know how I managed such an amazing feat like doubling my email list in only 14 days, well, you’ve come to the right place. I did it by…

…making you opt-in to secret shit like this.

Okay, hear me out.

We’ve all seen those posts around saying “Grow your list in 30 days”, “Get your first 1000 subscribers now!” and so much more. And you know what? They work, they really do. Creating a free email course WORKS. But where can you find an awesome email course idea, eh?

The method isn’t the problem, it’s the value.

Get ready for some super shocking news: if you combine the methods many of these posts spell out for you with the absolute BEST value you can provide to your audience, then you will be successful.

Free Email Course Ideas: Grow Your Email List in 2 Weeks

If you can’t provide any value, everything falls flat.

I know, real groundbreaking shit.

“Provide value. Gee, thanks, Michelle, but how do I do that?” you might ask.

That’s what I’m gonna walk you through today. Not only implementing a quick, easy way to grow your list, but how to provide real, tangible value to your audience, aka provide them what they want!

I doubled my email list in two weeks by creating a free 7-day email course about blog content strategy and planning. This course, to be exact.

DOUBLED ITTT!

Here’s how I created my free email course and marketed it, step by step!

 

Step 1: The Email Course Idea

Okay, this is the most important step because it’s, uh, kind of the whole thing?

It can be tough to come up with an idea for a free email course, video lesson or other big freebie (otherwise known as a “lead magnet”). I thought about mine for a long time.

The secret to coming up with a good idea? Stick with what you know, and what your readers need help with.

The idea is probably right under your nose.

For me, I love content strategy and writing… which is obviously why I started this blog, to help others with content marketing too. After awhile I realized, oh, I can teach others how to never run out of content ideas, and to effectively plan out a content system so they are never scrambling to get a post done, or wondering what to write about.

Not gonna lie, I have like 147 unfinished drafts laying out in various states of outline, 1st draft, 2nd draft and so on…

But I also have a no-fail system that makes it possible for me to write 2000 word posts in an hour.

So, once I realized that system would be helpful for other bloggers, I decided to create the free email course around that topic.

Still struggling to think of an idea? Download my cheatsheet of 60 amazeballs epic email course ideas for all kinds of blogs right hurr.

 

Step 2: Plan Out Your Idea

Once I decided on the topic, the first thing I did was create an outline of my free email course. I realized there were 7 things I wanted to teach.

So, it made sense to make it a 7-day email course, duh.

I wrote down the topic of each day (or “chapter”) and then a brief description of what I would cover. Like so:

  • Day 1: Why content strategy matters and what it can do for you + how to define your audience.
  • Day 2: What does your audience want?
  • Day 3: Overall blog content strategy – your categories, topics, pages, offerings.
  • Day 4: Set up an editorial calendar.
  • Day 5: Brainstorm and fill out the content planner for actual posts, related to Days 2 and 3.
  • Day 6: Content time! Homework to create 3 solid, rockstar blog posts.
  • Day 7: How to measure results and when to tweak your strategy.

Once you’ve got your basic outline down pat, it’s time to decide on a format. It doesn’t have to be an email course.

You could create a video that’s exclusive to your subscribers only, or an in-depth ebook, or so many other formats. Don’t think you need to do an email course just ’cause everyone else is.

Although, it is ridiculously easy to setup and a fun way to deliver value to your readers!

CONTINUE READING

How to Grow Your Blog Audience (The Easy Way)

What if I told you that the single biggest factor impacting the number of blog readers you have has nothing to do with your content?

Yeah, really.

You could write the absolute BEST post ever, full of witty comments, helpful stats, quality content with a unique voice… all that jazz. But no one could read it.

What gives?!

It all comes down to formatting.

How to Grow Your Blog Audience The Easy Way

Formatting your blog post to be easily readable is SUPER important. I cannot stress this enough.

The key to getting more people to read your blog is to make your content easy to read (no Shakespearean language like ‘furthermore’ and ‘perchance’). And the best way to do that? Make it skimmable.

Skimmable is the new black when it comes to content.

In fact, visitors only read about 20% of the text on a webpage. 20%! So you better make your point obvious, and hook ‘em early, yo.

How to Grow Your Blog With Skimmable Content

Here are some surefire strategies to make your blog posts easy to read.

CONTINUE READING