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How I Made My First $1000 Month as a Blogger (While I Was Away Volunteering)

How I Made My First $1000 Month as a Blogger (While I Was Away Volunteering)

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

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The 9 Perks of Being a Blogger

The 9 Perks of Being a Blogger

I split my time between writing posts on how to start your own blog here on Hatch and Scribe, and running my home design website Home Tree Atlas. It has taken a lot of hard work but I am now a full time blogger.

Here are some of the most important perks you get when you become a full time blogger.

1. Your Own Creative Outlet

The 9 Perks of Being a Blogger: #1 A Creative Outlet

You blog becomes a place for you to experiment, learn, create, and try new things.

2. There Is Less Stress When You Own Your Time

The 9 Perks of Being a Blogger: #2 You Own Your Time

I get to own my time. None of it is wasted on meetings.

I like working out when the whether is good, which means going for a run during the middle of the day. I can go shopping during the middle of the work week when the shops are less busy.

3. Time To Study/Master a Passion

The 9 Perks of Being a Blogger: #3 Master a Hobby

You get to focus your time on getting better at a hobby and a subject that interests you deeply. And keeping a blog about it keeps you accountable since it is made public, and you get to see your progress as your blog grows.

4. Getting to Launch New Ventures

The 9 Perks of Being a Blogger: #4 Launch Something New

Turning a blog into a business itself, is a challenge and hard to maintain.

But once you have built an audience for your specific subject, you can leverage this by launching mini businesses – whether that is in the form of online courses, books, products, or starting an online shop.

5. Making Money

The 9 Perks of Being a Blogger: #5 Making Money

Being able to make money by doing something that you love is always a perk.

6. Ambition – Nothing is Stopping You

The 9 Perks of Being a Blogger: #6 Your Ambition

You don’t have to wait on anybody, or get the green light from a boss to work on something. You are in total control – and you can push as hard as you want, or even take it easy when you need too.

For me everyday feels like a workday, but at the same time everyday feels like the weekend. I get to work on whatever I want to, and at the same time I can take a TV break and have lunch – or head outside for a run.

7. Location Independence

The 9 Perks of Being a Blogger: #7 Location Independence

Everything is online. Which means you can take your laptop and continue working on a beach in Asia, or within the mountains of Nepal.

You can even hire an online assistant in a totally different country to help you keep everything running smoothly.

8. Meeting New People

The 9 Perks of Being a Blogger: #8 Meeting New People

When you have the power of your blog behind you, it feels easier to reach out to others within your topic – to chat and share ideas. You have some authority in your field when you have a blog that you have built. “Hi I’m Jacob from Home Tree Atlas, I was wondering how….”

9. Helping Others

The 9 Perks of Being a Blogger: #9 Helping Others

Once you know how to create a successful blog, and all the techniques that come with building it (social media, photography, post ideas, etc), you can start helping other people create their own ideal lifestyle around their hobbies and passions.

Which is what I am doing here on Hatch and Scribe.

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