Blog income reports. Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea this was a thing. Actually, it seems to be a pretty popular thing and a way to *cough* drive traffic to a website. Have no fear, I know my loyal readers are here to generally feel better about their own home lives. I can see you over there all “well, we’re crazy…but…at least we’re not Dirt Noise Joys crazy!” It’s totally okay, that’s what I’m here for!
For real though, after my first month of blogging I quit my day job and conquered the internet – Is what I’d like to tell you – but that my friends, is not how it works.
First of all, I can never quit my day job! I’m already getting paid in poopy diapers, slobbery kisses, and the occasional projectile vomit. What more could a girl ask for?!
I’d like to break down how this first month of blogging went for me.
Setting up the blog
Starting a blog is free, they said. You can start in less than 15 minutes, they said. Well, they lied.
You can totally start a free blog in fifteen minutes, but it probably won’t look or feel the way you imagine it, and it won’t have the capabilities you’re looking for if you want to do much more than journaling.
I started at wordpress.com, completely unaware of the completely alternate universe wordpress.org. Despite the extreme similarities in name, they operate pretty differently. WordPress.com is hosted by wordpress.com. This is fine and totally adequate if you have no need of plugins and don’t plan to monetize your blog. They do allow plugins on a business plan – it’s fairly expensive, but they are hosting the site so they take care of updates and everything for you. Then, I thought, I could just upgrade my .com to a premium membership to fix my issues. I have so many issues people.
Cost: domain name purchase $27, premium membership $71 for the year
So I started wordpressing, gained a few followers, made a facebook page and generally started having fun with the blog.
Then I made a tragic and all too common error- I kept reading.
Once I figured out that I couldn’t add plugins (additional website functionality) or the ability to monetize my website the way I wanted to (make money) I realized that I needed to switch to a self-hosted website. I still had no clue what that meant. Everyone talked about it on these blogs, but it was basically gibberish. They may as well have been speaking in martian.
After more reading, and panicking, I determined that my best course of action was to switch to Siteground for self hosting. (That’s an affiliate link, for more info see my disclosure page). They had amazing reviews for their support, were user friendly for people who are working their way to being more tech-savvy, and were recommended by wordpress.com as a great host when transferring to a wordpress.org website. It wasn’t a very difficult decision to make.
Switching over was a breeze, and the only problems I encountered were ME problems and not Siteground problems, because I’m a tech idiot.
I’m married to a tech guy, his joy about being tech support at home and at work was readily apparent. His face as he held up two random household objects to explain my website in relation to the two different servers was just overflowing with pride and excitement, and not a bit of annoyance or irritation.
Also, I was able to cancel my premium membership because it was within the first 30 days, and my siteground package cost the exact same amount, so I essentially just traded one service for the other.
Once I figured out that I had to change my DNS name servers to ‘point’ to my new website host things were finally looking up (it clearly states to do this in the welcome email that I skimmed- PS – don’t skim that stuff, actually read it so tech guys around the globe aren’t secretly laughing at you and talking with their geeky tech friends about another I.D.10.T error. Which is I’m sure exactly what my husband did after my consult with him about DNS name servers. How his life can be fulfilling without explaining servers, I’ll never know.)
Then it was time to choose a theme. Y’all. There are a ton of themes. Someday I might move on to a new one, but currently I’m on, how shall we say, a FREE one. Because that’s what complements my wallet. I like how it looks so far, but it was definitely not 15 minutes. I lost hours of my life and hours of sleep deciding on the theme, setting it up to look like I wanted it, setting up a subscriber pop-up in case any cool people decide they want to follow for free stuff, coupons, and any exclusive content I happen to whip up. I would look at the clock and think, wow, it’s been 3 hours- I’ve totally changed the background color. Go me.
So now we’re at -$98 dollars and -45 hours. Yeah, this blogging stuff is so easy and cheap! Woo!
Setting up monetization
Now you may have noticed affiliate links if you’ve been on some of my other posts, or just above. Affiliate links are a super cool passive way to generate some income off of a blog. They operate by giving a small commission to the affiliate partner- in this case- me- with no added cost to the purchaser, and new income for the website in question. So if you decided right now that you’ve been looking for the perfect website host- click on and follow through with siteground- I get a bit of commission and motivation to keep working on this kick-butt blog. But the best part is, that I’m only using the affiliates when I would have already mentioned the product anyway! It’s all things I legitimately use and love. I’m not a salesperson and I’m not going to send people to click on crap to turn a quick buck.
I have affiliated with Amazon (because I use it so much, and almost everything I purchase these days is from Amazon), Siteground, and Creative Market (the artists on there are incredible!).
This month, I made 0.90 cents with my affiliate marketing. NINETY CENTS! I did a dance, called my husband, and drank an entire bottle of wine. Effectively turning my ninety cents into a 10 percent discount on a bottle of wine. And let’s be realistic here. That might be my last 0.90 cents, so I’m going to enjoy the thrill while it lasts dangit.
Subtotal -$97.10 and -48 hours (lost three hours drinking the wine)
There are other ways to monetize, but I’m an itty bitty baby blogger, and I’m already in way over my head, so let’s just focus on the next part for a while.
Pinterest, the dear thing that it is, has shown me that I’m clearly missing out on a big piece of the puzzle, networking.
(ok, my son just dumped out a family size bag of cheerios on the floor, I’m gonna have to take care of that before it becomes a family size bag of cheerio crumbs smashed into my bedroom floor. Awesome.)
In my enthusiasm, and overzealousness, I have started a business Pinterest account, a facebook page, began working on an Etsy store, and finally got with the real world and hopped on Instagram.
I’m not even certain I have anything worth saying yet, but you’ll hear about it if I ever do!
In the meantime there are group pinterest boards, blog link-ups, facebook support groups- you can easily get lost in the world of networking and marketing. There are great people out there though, and you know what they say – it’s not always what you know, but who you know.
In a month I’ve had just over 1,000 page views. That’s actually teeny by comparison to, well, everyone out there – but I think it’s absolutely AWESOME! So thank you to anyone who has taken time out of their own busy, ridiculous, crazy, sweet life to spend some time with me! I hope it leaves you with a smile on your face and maybe a new idea or two. That’s the point after all – reaching out to people.
So in total- 1000 views, -$97.10, -uncounted hours, +tons of fun and new knowledge. Worth it? Absolutely.
Ready to get started on your own blog? Check out siteground at one of the above links to get started. Have questions or need help starting? Drop me a line, I’d be happy to help.
Now, I really do have to get back to the Cheerios.
If you loved this, be sure to share share share on Pinterest and Facebook! Thanks!