Hey there! Welcome to my 3-month blogging update. This is where I share what I have learned in the past three months on this blog, plus my income and analytics.
I started this blog on February 19th (2021) and passed three months on May 19th.
I thought it would be insightful to new bloggers to see the practical side of blogging and not the get-rich-quick side often portrayed through income reports.
Blogging is complex, and it can be confusing and hard to figure out what to do with such little time.
Anyways, let’s get straight into it. 🙂
About Striving Blogger
Before we fully start, since I’ve never given a proper introduction, I thought this would be the perfect time to do so.
My name is Justin. I’m 19 years old and the owner of Striving Blogger.
I decided to start this blog because I was sick of the advice given to new bloggers, like crappy hosting recommendations (that pay well to the affiliates).
I also run another photography blog that I started in November 2020. That blog needs a lot of TLC after all the mediocre advice I was given as a beginner.
Striving Blogger was born because I wanted to show the realistic side of blogging and making money.
I also love to talk about finances, like saving and making money. It’s generally a broader niche, but I love it.
Anyways, that’s just a quick summary of me. Let’s get onto what you came for.
Third Month Blogging Update
I have learned so much in the past three months, and I’m super excited to share it all with you.
So in my three months of this blog, I’ve made a big fat zero dollars. Woohoo!
This figure may seem embarrassing for a large number of people, but it’s genuinely the case for so many new bloggers.
It’s hard to make money as a beginner. It’s a lot to take in, from designing a blog to doing keyword research, writing posts, and figuring out social media.
I didn’t expect to make any money in these three months, and that expectation didn’t disappoint.
I don’t run ads on my blog, as I don’t want to ruin the user experience for a couple of cents. To monetize this blog, I solely rely on affiliates, referrals, and my Etsy shop.
That kind of hurt to tally up, but I’ve not purchased a single thing for this blog that I regret.
While you can start blogs for a lot cheaper (like $20 for the first month), I tend to go overboard and get everything set up from the beginning correctly.
These expenses include:
– Domain name (for two years)
– Cloudways hosting (I love them)
– Premium theme
– Caching plugins + site speed fixer (hired from Fiverr)
You can check out everything I use on my resources & tools page, but I’ll include discounts to them later on too. 🙂
If you’re wondering how I can afford all of this, I have stopped impulse and clothing purchases to fund this blog. I also have another bank account solely for this blog and round-up purchases to put towards this blog.
Like any business, you have to invest some money to make money in return.
Recommended read: How to Start a Blog in 2021
Blog traffic & metrics
Here are all the analytics from my three months of blogging.
Over these three months, I’ve published 42 articles, averaging around 3.5 posts a week.
I received 467 page views in three months. Those spikes in traffic are most likely from experimenting with my theme design on mobile.
I’ve also gotten 30 clicks from organic Google traffic. I think of this as a win because it often takes 3 – 6 months to appear on search engines.
Email Subscribers: +1
I got my first email subscriber on May 9th, which got me super excited!
I’ve been using ConvertKit as my email marketing platform, and I love the user-face and simplicity.
If you’d like, you can sign up below to join the (small) community. 🙂
Now I’ll get onto my recommended blogging tools and resources.
Disclaimer: The links below are affiliate links, where I may receive a small commission on purchases at no cost to you. All of the tools are ones that I thoroughly recommend for all bloggers. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.
Recommended Blogging Tools & Resources
The hosting that I use and love as a blogger.
- Free SSL certificate
- 1-click WordPress installation
- 24/7/365 customer support
- Automated backups
- Free migration from another web-host
The plans start at $10/month but are billed month-to-month, meaning you won’t get charged until next month (most other web hosts charge the plans in total).
Try Cloudways Today (receive $15 credit at signup)
If you’d like to learn how to start a blog with Cloudways, read this step-by-step guide.
The extra pair of eyes I use for every blog post I write. I invested in the paid version and have loved it ever since.
The free version is perfect enough for getting a basic spell and grammar check. It’s used and loved by 30+ million people.
ConvertKit is the email marketing/list service I use for this blog. The platform is super user-friendly, built for bloggers by bloggers.
ConvertKit is free for 1000 subscribers, and then plans start at $29/month.
An excellent cashback app to earn money back on online and in-store purchases.
The cashback rates vary from 1 – 40%.
Sign up with Rakuten (Spend $30 & receive $30 back)
Three Blogging Takeaways
Here are three blogging takeaways that I have learned since launching this blog.
1. Write, a lot
The first blogging advice I’d give to a new blogger is writing and publishing as many posts as possible in the first three months.
I published 42 blog posts in three months, which I’m super proud of.
Now, I’m not saying to write 300-word blog posts and hit publish. There’s no point in that, but to write as much as you can.
By writing a lot, you’ll learn and improve your grammar, writing style, layout, and more. You’ll also be able to publish more blog posts that could potentially rank for more keywords, ultimately meaning more traffic in the long run.
Also, don’t spend too long customizing your blog at the start. Just get it to a bare minimum point where it looks okay and start writing.
No one will be coming to your blog in the first month or so, giving you a chance to start customizing and updating your website slowly.
Tip: Do keyword research, so you aren’t just writing on topics that no one is searching for.
2. Celebrate small wins
To keep yourself from going insane as a new blogger, I recommend celebrating small wins.
Whether it be getting your first organic click from search engines, getting an email subscriber, or making $1, celebrate it!
Celebrating and being happy over small wins like these will give you the strength to keep pushing on with your blog.
Also, please stop comparing your blog to well-established blogs.
It’s like starting a clothes company and comparing your sales and analytics to Nike. It just isn’t a fair comparison as they’ve had decades to grow their reputation.
The same goes for well-established blogs. They’re probably hundreds of posts ahead of you and have had years to build a solid foundation.
So stop comparing, and start celebrating small little wins instead.
3. Test your page speed
Since the core web vitals update is slowly rolling out, it’s super important to test your blog’s page speed.
The core web vitals is a set of factors that Google uses to test the user experience. It comes down to three things:
– Loading (Largest Contentful Paint)
– Interactivity (First Input Delay)
– Visual Stability (Cumulative Layout Shifts)
You can test your page speed on Pagespeed Insights.
The rollout of the core web vitals will make page speed a ranking factor by next year, so don’t stress if your page speed is still slow.
If you’re still unsure about the core web vitals update, here’s a handy video that explains everything you need to know about the update in under seven minutes.
Video by Julian Goldie.
So there’s my 3-month blogging update and income report all wrapped up.
I know I didn’t make thousands of dollars or have 50,000 page views, but hopefully, the transparency will resonate with you as a new blogger.
What did you learn from my 3-month blogging update?