The first time my home design blog hit $1000 was in November 2015. At the time I was in the middle of the Philippines, volunteering building homes for people who lost theirs from Super Typhoon Haiyan.
I had been volunteering for 1 year and 4 months by this point. And I hadn’t touched my blog while I was volunteering.
I did try running the blog while I was there when I first arrived. But after long days, 6 day work weeks, and very little alone time, trying to volunteer and run the blog quickly burned me out.
So I let the blog run it self. Traffic kept coming in, it even doubled. From 95,000 for the month of August 2014 (when I first arrived) to 185,000 for the month of November 2015 – the month I hit $1000 for the first time. It takes a while for new blog posts to spread through out Pinterest and get up the search rankings.
Even my income grew. It tripled in that same time span.
My first $1000 – What My Blog Looked Like
- 70% through Adsesne
- 30% through Amazon and Bluehost
- 182,000 pageviews
- 280 blog posts written
The blog was started in February 2013 – so it had been online for 2 years and 10 months. But I had only been working on it for 1 year and 2 months (there was the 1 year and 4 months volunteering and I also spent 4 months working in Beijing when I wasn’t able to work on the blog).
The 3 Biggest Lessons Getting to $1000
1. Work Pays Off Later
This is one of the hardest things to deal with while blogging. That it takes months for your hard work to pay off. I’m even finding it hard now, getting back into building the blog after being away from it for so long.
Seeing the income grow to $1000 while I was away from the blog, it is clear that the hard work from before does eventually pay off. But when you have been slogging away for months, which I have been doing since leaving Philippines in January (it is now the end of March), it is hard to see if the hard work will pay off. Need to keep believing.
2. Little Steps Let You Travel Far
The little things that you need to do for your blog add up over the long run. Like lesson 1, it is hard to see the benefit right away.
It can be hard to pull yourself away from writing posts – the main work that gets you the traffic, and the income. But it these little things that push your blog forward. Here are some examples:
- Creating a more interesting badge design for my mood board images
- Adding group pages so people can find and sort through my posts easier
- Needing to test out new advertising networks to see which ones make money more efficiently
- Putting up a job posting for a Virtual Assistant
- Figuring out how to do ‘Rich Pins’ for Pinterest
3. People Quit Too Early
I’ve helped quite a few people start their own blog. And I always try to get them to avoid the classic beginner mistakes:
- not having a plan
- not enough focus
- not enough content
A lot of new bloggers quit after their first month. This is because they didn’t start out with a solid plan. And a solid plan in my book means being focused.
So many people want to create a ‘lifestyle’ blog about food, health, home, DIY, fitness…. At the end of their first month, they end up with a blog that is all over the place. And worse of all, these new bloggers don’t get that satisfaction of building something.
Instead they should of picked 1 subject to start their blog off with. Say food, spicy food. The goal is to write 15 posts in the first month about that. Now comes the end of the month, and there is a a real sense of satisfaction, and pride in building a new blog with 15 posts on spicy food.
Set a Goal of 40
To really try out a new idea, whether that is starting a blog, or using a new social media platform – you need to keep at it for some time to see true results.
- If you are starting a blog for example (or a Youtube channel) – set a goal of 40 blog posts (or 40 videos) and don’t stop until you’ve reach it. Don’t question if it is going to work or not, just reach that 40 mark.
- It’s the same with trying out a social platform – such as Instagram. Spend 40 days working it before questioning if it is working.
- Or there is the new PASSPORT ‘channel’ on Home Tree Atlas – I need to reach 40 posts and then I can evaluate if I want to, and if it is worth to, continue.
How I Plan on Reaching $2,000 – 3,500
- Keep writing as much as possible
- Doing the photoshop work and uploading the blog posts takes as much time, if not longer, than writing the posts. So I have hired my first ‘Virtual Graphic Assistant’. I’ve just gone through my first week with him. Lots to learn.
- Develop new ‘channels’. These are focused areas of the blog, like PASSPORT where I combine travel with interior design.
- Look to launch my first ‘product’. Not sure what yet, could be in the form of an ebook.
- Maybe a Youtube channel? Showcasing home decor ideas?
Check out my Income Reports page where I showcase the best bloggers to learn from