This post may contain affiliate links. That means we may make a small commission on items purchased through links in this post at no extra cost to you!
When I first started my blog back in the fall of 2016, I fully started it in the hopes of creating my own profitable business. There was nothing I wanted more than to be able to stay home with my babies and make money at the same time.
I had seen how other bloggers were honestly serving their audience and making money at the same time. And I wanted to do the same. So I launched my DIY and mommy blog into the world and now 2 years later I am consistently making over $1000 a month from my blog. You can learn how to start your own blog here!
But when I first started my blog, the big benchmark I was dying to hit was that $100 a month mark.
It was my “I can really do this blogging thing!” measurement.
As a new, young stay at home mom, I remember even thinking to myself if I could just make $100 each month from my blog, I would be ecstatic!
I remember endlessly scrolling Pinterest and Google trying to figure out how long it took other bloggers to hit $100 a month. And looking up any and all tips for monetizing my blog to try to hit that goal faster until one day I did it! I hit over $100 a month! And here’s how long it took me…
It took more than a few months.
To start, let me tell you, my blogging story isn’t a success at first start story like all those posts you see all over Pinterest. I wasn’t one of those blogging unicorns that make hundreds of dollars their first months blogging, no. (I didn’t even make one!)
But the thing is, most blogger’s journeys are more like mine.
Blogging for the VAST (VAST!) majority of people takes at least a few months of hard work to start seeing a return. And a few years to really see significant income. That’s just the truth. Blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme by any means.
Which is why I think it’s important for bloggers like me to share my story. To show all new bloggers out there who are feeling like failures when they still haven’t seen their first dollar after three months of hard work. You’re not a failure!
Don’t get discouraged because of the .1% of bloggers out there who see success almost immediately. Remember they are the unicorns of the blogging world ?. The .1% who usually have some sort of prior online business or blogging experience anyway.
Applaud them, encourage them, but don’t compare yourself to them. Or me for that matter! Got it? Your journey is your own!
Now that we’ve got that taken care of, let’s talk about how long it took me to hit that oh so exciting $100 a month mark from my blog.
9 Months to be exact!
I launched my blog into the world in Septemeber of 2016 but didn’t even have any monetization method set up until months later.
At the end of October (month 2 of blogging) I applied and got Google Adsense which was my very first income stream! And I started earning pennies. Which is so exciting to see when your brand new right? Any money is money!
Then In December (month 4), I joined Amazon Associates (which is Amazon.com’s affiliate program) and started making commissions of sales made through my links.
I ended 2016 having earned $13.73 in ad revenue and $1.75 from Amazon, totaling $15.48 my first 4 months. But keep in mind that that was just revenue I had earned not actually received as Google has a $100 payout minimum and Amazon pays out 60 days later plus a $10 minimum payout.
In January (month 5), I started my Etsy shop where I sold a few of the crafts that I made tutorials for on my blog (I now sell digital prints and blogging tees). Which is where I saw my very first income hit my bank account in the amount of $12. Wahoo!
So It took me just under 5 months to actually receive any sort of income from my blog.
The next month (Feb, month 6), I earned $33.65 in ads and affiliate sales (again, not yet paid out) and actually received $22 in Etsy Shop sales.
In March (month 7) I earned $42.72 in ads and affiliates and actually received $43.30 in Etsy shop sales and got my first payout from Amazon of $13.95! So I received a total of $57.25 from my blog in March.
In April (month 8) I earned $87.71 in ads and affiliates and didn’t make a single Etsy sale and because of the 60 day pay period for Amazon and Feb only having 28 days, I wasn’t paid my Feb earnings til May 1. So I didn’t actually receive any money in April. ??♀️
Then it happened!
In May (month 9) I hit that $100 (actually paid out dollars!) in one month mark!
My Amazon earnings from February were paid out May 1, my March earnings were paid out May 29, I made $35 in Etsy sales, and I had hit Google’s $100 payout minimum! While I earned $90.16 that month, I had actually received $166.47!
*And if you read any of my income reports you know that I always only count money that I ACTUALLY RECEIVED in my bank account. Not any income that has been earned but not paid out yet.*
The next two months (June & July, month 10 & 11) I dropped a bit only receiving $75 and $71 those months. But In August (month 12) I received $295.03 and stayed around $200 a month for the rest of the year.
It took me 9 months of blogging to hit the $100 a month mark!
I launched in September of 2016 and hit the $100 a month (of actual received money not just earned) in May 2107 9 months later! Then I hit $500 a month in January 2018 and $1000 a month in May 2018. See my blogging income reports here.
Traffic meant money.
A big portion of that $166 I made in May was made up of that Google ad $100 payout. Which means my blog traffic was a major player in hitting that $100/mo blog revenue mark. Here’s what my blog traffic (in pageviews) looked like from September 2016, my first month blogging, to May 2017.
When you’re a brand new blogger, it can be hard to get people to buy things from you. Which is why most bloggers focus on making money through ads first on their sites rather than affiliate marketing.
All you have to do is create good content to get people to visit your blog to make money. No purchase required. Which is why I focused on building up my traffic in those early months.
I did have affiliate links on my site via Amazon Associates and made a chunk of change from them. But it definitely wasn’t my main focus starting out.
Instead I owe making the most of my revenue to my traffic building, and still do! Ads still bring me the majority of my $1000+ a month income.
How I built up traffic quickly.
So what did I do to really grow my blog traffic quickly?
- Focused on Pinterest
- Participated in Link parties
- Interlinked my posts
- Commented on other blogs
- Offered freebies
- and Focused on creating great content.
My biggest traffic driver: Pinterest
Pinterest was a huge traffic driver for me. So much so that I wrote an entire post on how to optimize Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog. You can read it here. But the main Pinterest strategy to get on when your new, is to join good group boards!
Group boards were the #1 way I got my pins out into the world when I had basically no following.
On group boards, you can pin your pins to boards that already have an established following and get eyes on your pins. Try to contribute to boards that are similar to your niche and what your pins are about. Use Pingroupie to find good group boards and ask for an invite!
Tips for getting an invite:
- Read the board rules first! (Usually in the board description)
- Be Polite
- Agree to follow said rules
- Send a personal email rather than a pin comment
- Be genuine
- Just Ask! (You’ve got nothing to lose!)
8 Surefire Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Brand New Blog:
Here’s my full post on my complete traffic building strategy I use and how I built up my traffic from zero to 10k pageviews my first 4 months blogging!
These strategies were the reason I was able to hit that $100 a month blogging income mark in only 9 months blogging!
Remember Content is King.
So if you’re brand new to blogging and still making your way to that coveted $100 a month mark, keep pushing and focus on creating killer content! I promise people come for great content. So while you push to build traffic make sure you’re putting your content first and the traffic will come!
And if you still feel like your blog just isn’t getting the results you think it should, maybe you’re making one of these mistakes.
Anyway, remember that your journey is your own! And it doesn’t matter when you hit that $100/mo mark. Maybe it will be in your first, 9th or even 36th month blogging. Whatever it is, you are awesome. And you can do this whole blogging thing!
Just keep pushing and keep blogging!
Want to remember this post? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board!