Psst, FYI – this post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission (at absolutely no extra cost to you) and ads keep this blog free for you to enjoy. Thanks for supporting the free content on this site (and for sponsoring more doggy treats for little Albus!)March has been an absolutely hectic month, with the launch of my blog on March 1st. Most people don’t see the inner workings of a blog, but it really is a lot of hard work and time commitment. Anyway, I’m so glad I started this little baby of mine. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since a year ago, but procrastinated until February 2018, when I started laying down the foundations for this blog.
I had really low expectations for Month One, but I sure did surpass them! If I’ve learned anything at all, it’s to have faith in yourself and that determination and hard work will get you somewhere eventually!
So without further ado, let’s dive into my report of Month One.
I started writing up posts since February so that my blog wouldn’t be empty by the time I launched on March 1, but I had 0 views and 0 social media followers.
Here were my stats on March 1:
Blog posts: 6
Monthly users: 0
Facebook followers: 0
Pinterest followers: 179
Instagram followers: 0
Twitter followers: 0
Newsletter subscribers: 0
Here are my stats on March 31:
Blog posts: 13
Monthly users: 1,099
Facebook followers: 492
Pinterest followers: 260
Instagram followers: 450
Twitter followers: 27
Newsletter subscribers: 12
What I did this month:
Going into this, I had no idea where this would take me but I knew I just had to try. I probably read over 100+ articles on how to start a blog, how to monetize it, etc. and I probably tried every avenue possible. Here’s what I did:
Focused on content. Sometimes I got carried away on the aesthetics of my blog, trying to find the best plugins and themes, but ultimately, you need good content in order to attract the right audience. So I focused on trying to produce good content.
Got involved in Facebook Groups. I participated in a lot of Facebook Group threads which contributed to most of my traffic in March. It’s also a great platform to exchange feedback and collaborate with fellow bloggers.
Utilised Pinterest scheduling tools. Tailwind was a huge help in growing my Pinterest growth. I was astounded by the results, and you can see my results here. I also tried out BoardBooster, but didn’t find it as user-friendly or effective as Tailwind. But I’ve read other blogs that have found success combining the two tools, so I might give it another shot one day.
Engaged on Instagram. Instagram drove the least traffic to my blog, but I see Instagram as a different aspect of my ‘brand’ altogether. It’s a great way to get my name out there and potentially reach other advertisers that prefer social media to blogs. I find that engaging on Instagram was the best strategy to growing my following; so following accounts, and liking and commenting on their photos helped a lot.
Created freebies for my email list. One very important strategy in this blogging game is growing your email list. And in order to grow your list, you need to offer something of value to your readers that would encourage them to give up their email. So I created some freebies such as my FREE printable planning guide. I did a lot of research and found Mailerlite to be the most popular email marketing software among new bloggers because it’s free for your first 1,000 subscribers and is super easy to use. Get $20 credit with my link!
Posts published in March
March Traffic Report
My initial goal for my first of month blogging was just a modest 10 pageviews per day. But once I launched, I was getting more than that, so I upped that goal to 1,000 monthly viewers.
I reached 1,278 sessions and 1,957 page views. I know these numbers are more impressive than the 1,099 viewers but I choose viewers as a more accurate representation of the traffic I’m getting, as opposed to sessions and page views.
March Income Report
I actually did not expect to make any money at all this month, but to my surprise, I made $10.78 in total! It’s not a lot, but it is a start. It’s nothing to shout about like the other blogs that claim to make over $100 in their first month but hey, it’s a marathon, not a race 😉 Here’s a breakdown of my income for March:
Affiliates – $0 I signed up for most of the major affiliate networks and have yet to see any commissions from it. I guess as my vertical being travel, and most products and services being pretty high value, it takes a while for users to actually convert. I am already seeing click throughs, but have yet to see actual orders but stay tuned for month 2 and 3, and hopefully, this value will increase!
Amazon Affiliates – $2.24 + €3 I made two sales through my Amazon Affiliate, which is pretty good for the first month I suppose? Yay me!
Google AdSense – $4.58 I think this is pretty good considering I only had 1k views for the month! Google AdSense is one of the premium ad networks out there, so it’s a pretty good one to get accepted to.
Media.net – $0.26 The reason this amount is smaller than AdSense is because I only had one Media.net ad per page as opposed to 3 AdSense. Media.net is different from AdSense in that they use text ads that look native to your site. You also get a designated account manager who will monitor your account and suggest optimization to increase your revenue. Use my link to sign up as an affiliate and get a bonus of 10% on top of your regular earnings for 3 months.
Total – $10.78
Awin – Awin is one of the largest affiliate networks and has many advertisers in the travel vertical. Super easy to use and apply for programs.
Viglink – Viglink makes life so much easier in that it automatically turns existing text and links in your post into affiliate links! So you’re not missing out on any monetization possibilities.
SendOwl – With SendOwl, anyone can sell their digital products such as e-books from their blogs and social media. So there are many bloggers who use SendOwl, and you can easily join their affiliate programs and promote their products for a commission.
Siteground – $47.40 for 1 year of hosting That’s $3.95 per month. The cost of a cup of coffee! I’ve done a ton of research (as I always do), and have found Siteground to be the best hosting platform. They have faster load times, lesser downtimes and an incredible support team. These are essential in the makings of a good site, and well worth it.
GoDaddy – $1 for 1 year Yes, $1!!! I don’t think I’ve seen a cheap price anywhere else for a .com address.
Awin – $5 refundable deposit once I reach their $100 payout threshold.
Total – $53.40
- Achieve 1,000 monthly viewers – Success! 1,099 viewers!
- Pinterest monthly viewers 50k – Success! 67k monthly viewers!
- Grow Pinterest following to 300 – Failed. Still short of 40 followers! Currently 260.
- 100 Facebook followers – Sort of success! I hit 100 followers in day one of launching my blog, so I increased my target mid-month to 500! I’m currently at 492, so I’m just short of 8!
- 100 Instagram followers – Sort of success! I gained 100 followers within 2 days for this one too, so I increased my target mid-month to 500 as well. I’m currently at 450. Admittedly, I didn’t invest as much time on Instagram this month.
- Post at least once a week – Success! I now have a total of 13 posts.
- Join 50 Pinterest group boards – Failed. This was a lot harder than I thought, so I’m going to need to spend more time on this one. Currently a member of 19.
Goals for April
- Achieve 2,000 monthly viewers
- Grow my Pinterest monthly viewers to 150,000
- Grow my Pinterest following to 350
- Join 50 group boards on Pinterest
- Grow my Facebook following to 750
- Grow my Instagram following to 1k
- Grow my email list to 50 people
There you have it! I hope my first-month report has encouraged you to start your own blog, or if you’re on your own blogging journey now, realise that everything is possible with a little bit of patience, determination and hard work. All in all, I’d say March has been a pretty positive month so I think imma throw a mini-party to that!
Let me know how you made your first money blogging in the comments below!
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MY TOP TRAVEL TIPS & RESOURCES
Here are my top travel tips and resources to help you save money and plan your trips effectively! If you're looking for more tips, head over to my travel tips resource page or my comprehensive guide on trip planning.
- Booking Flights: When it comes to finding great flight deals, I always start my search on Google Flights or Skyscanner. To save some cash, consider flying mid-week or on the weekends, opt for carry-on only with budget airlines, and be open to red-eye or early morning flights. Check out my in-depth guide on how I find the cheapest flights.
- Accommodations: I'm a stickler for finding the absolute best deals on my stays, so I will obsessively oscillate between a few booking sites: Booking.com (in general) and Agoda (for Asian destinations). When it comes to vacation rentals, there's Airbnb or VRBO.
- Travel Insurance: It's always a wise decision to purchase travel insurance for international trips. I can't stress this enough - it's highly recommended! For international travel insurance, I suggest considering World Nomads or SafetyWing. SafetyWing, in particular, stands out as one of the few policies that cover Covid-19. They also offer excellent monthly policies that are perfect for digital nomads and long-term travelers!
- Travel Credit Card: My go-to travel credit card for booking trips is the Wise travel card. I love that there are no foreign transaction fees, so I can pay like a local and never get any surprises at the end of my trip. You can also withdraw cash from the ATMs wherever you are. With Wise, you are always guaranteed the best exchange rate, and I have saved sooo much money just by using this card. Most of the time, I get charged the exchange rate I see on Google, plus or minus a few cents.
- Tours: Most times, I prefer traveling independently but sometimes, getting a guide and a local's perspective makes the experience all the more enriching. When it comes to tour bookings, I trust Viator and GetYourGuide to provide me with excellent options. In Asia, I choose Klook as they are the biggest provider in the region. Plus, you can often get entrance tickets and discounted prices!
- Transportation: To navigate through public transit options and plan my journeys from one place to another, I rely on Rome2Rio. When it comes to rental cars, I compare rental companies and find the best deals through DiscoverCars.
- Connection: It's essential to me to have seamless connectivity wherever I go. I need it to navigate to new places, Google what's around me, and keep in touch with my loved ones. But fumbling around with multiple SIMs has always been a nightmare, which is why I choose Airalo when I travel. No more switching SIMs, just purchase a plan on your phone, on the go, anywhere, and stay connected.
- Luggage Storage: Whenever I need to check out early or take advantage of a long layover, I securely store my luggage with LuggageHero. It's a reliable service that allows me to roam around freely. As a bonus, you can use this link to enjoy your first hour of FREE luggage storage on me!
- What to Pack: I always have packing anxiety once I've left home—you know the phantom feeling that you've forgotten something even though you've checked 372836 times. So I made my own packing list and use it religiously before every trip, and by religious I mean I tick off that list at least 7 times before I zip up my bag. Check out my in-depth packing list here.