This realistic first-month blog income report is for a photography blog I run.
Welcome to my first-ever blog income report! I will be sharing 2 income reports each month from both of the blogs I run, I’m excited to see this journey evolve, and I hope you do too.
For years, even before I blogged, I was always so interested in money and income reports. That’s why I started this blog so that I could share blogging + money-saving tips and tricks.
It’s so exciting to look behind the curtains and see how much money people are making from their blogs.
I must warn you that this isn’t a typical monthly income report, so if you wanted to see big numbers and thousands of dollars, I recommend leaving this post for this one by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner (hint: she makes $100k+ a month).
I do recommend staying just to get insights and a realistic income report of most beginner bloggers.
All the time, we see how a blogger is making $4000 on their third month of blogging. It’s fantastic and super inspirational, but it’s far from the reality of most bloggers.
Here is my first-month blog income report, a quick recap, this isn’t the blog you’re reading right now. The other blog is in a photography niche. I started the photography blog in late November, so I’ll start the first-month report in December.
Let’s get started.
Why I Publish Income Reports
I am publishing income reports from my 2 blogs for these 3 main reasons:
- Accountability: This income report is a way for me to look back in the future and see the growth of my 2 small blogs. I will also use this report as a way to set goals for the future.
- Inspiration: I started this blog as a way to teach blogging + money tips & tricks. Income reports are an excellent way to show people that there is still money to be made in blogging and you’re never too late to get started. Income reports are one of my favorite things to read from bloggers and they can give you a much-needed boost of inspiration.
- Transparency: I want to be transparent with my earnings with you. As you will learn in this income report, it’s pretty abysmal, but that’s my main goal. To show my audience (you) that I’m not trying to show off my income, just to document growth and the real side of blogging.
Okay, let’s actually get onto the numbers and what you came for.
Blog Income Report: December 2020
During the first month, my only ‘option’ of income was affiliate marketing. I didn’t want Google Adsense on my blog because I’d rather not sacrifice page speed for a few cents.
GROSS INCOME: $0
– Cloudways: $10
– Tailwind: $0
– WP Rocket: $0
– New Lens: $1009.78 (bought a macro lens for my Sony camera)
– Adobe Creative Cloud: $11.10
– Traffic Transformation: $79
Most of these are paid in advance with a yearly purchase (why there are $0 listed).
NET INCOME: -$1109.88
This may be an extremely disappointing number for many of you to read, but it’s actually a precious insight to being a blogger.
Blogging is about the long game. If everyone could make a full-time income in their first month, EVERYONE WOULD BE A BLOGGER.
It takes on average 2 to 3 years for most businesses to be profitable (source). Blogging is the exact same. Many have had great success in a much shorter period, but to be a blogger, you need to be able to stick it out.
This isn’t to deter you from blogging; it’s just an honest look into how hard it can actually be.
If you didn’t count my lens purchase (which I’m thoroughly happy with), the net income would decrease to $100.10.
Here are all of my analytics from the first month of blogging.
In December, I published 7 new blog posts.
You may be wondering what I did on December 6th to get a spike of 70 page views. I was updating and customizing my blog theme 😆
I learned that you can block your IP address from Google Analytics, so I did that, and the page views plummeted.
All in all, I probably got around 150 page views. 90% of this traffic was from Pinterest as I knew that organic traffic through SEO would take months to kick in.
I was actually expecting no traffic so getting 150 pages views was a welcomed surprise.
I have a traffic goal of hitting 250 ‘proper’ page views for January. I’m still not expecting to make any money, but I honestly don’t mind.
Writing has been so much fun. I didn’t think I would like the writing aspect of blogging because English was my most hated subject in high school.
I learned that when you’re writing about something you’re passionate about, it comes naturally to you.
I started the photography blog because of my love for photography and wanted to teach what I already knew.
I learned so much in this first month of blogging and was really just excited to start something new.
From a blogging standpoint, I knew that I wouldn’t be making money in my first month (or many months after), and I’m okay with that.
Even when I was just getting one pageview a day made me so excited. I know it isn’t a significant milestone, but we have to celebrate all the little successes throughout the way.
Disclaimer: Some 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
Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot about a first-month income report and what to expect. It’s entertaining to take a peek behind the curtains and to see how much bloggers can make. I’m all about sharing the tools that helped me along the way.
Below are the tools I use and love with blogging. Most of these have special discount codes if you purchase through the links 🙂
My #1 hosting recommendation is Cloudways. These are the perks of Cloudways:
- Free SSL certificate
- 1-click WordPress installation
- 24/7/365 customer support
- Automated backups
- Free migration from another web-host
- Multiple websites on 1 plan (I run 2 websites on Digital Ocean’s $10/month plan with zero issues)
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 (7-Day Free Trial)
If you’d like to learn how to start a blog with Cloudways, read a step-by-step guide on how to start a blog today.
Automatic Pinterest post scheduler that helps you to gain your first thousands of viewers.
We all know that Google’s SEO takes months to optimize and work. Tailwind in hand with Pinterest can accelerate your blog’s growth by automatically scheduling and posting weeks of content (pins) in advance.
You can also join groups (or tribes) with other well-established Pinterest accounts that can re-pin your content and grow your blog.
Try Tailwind For Free (No Credit-Card Required)
A caching plugin to optimize and speed up your blog. A quick loading blog will decrease your bounce rate; faster loading times = happier audience & Google.
Ask yourself this: If Blog A took 19 seconds to load, but Blog B only took 2 seconds to load, which one would you choose?
WP Rocket offers a 14-day money-back guarantee and will apply 80% of the best web performances right from the beginning!
The #1 writing tool I use for every blog post. Grammarly will fix your grammar, spelling, style & tone.
The free version is perfect enough for getting a basic spell and grammar check. It’s used and loved by 30+ million people, and you can add the Chrome extension to help you on any website!
↓ Join my email list & get free savings printables ↓
3 Blogging Tips
Below are three blogging tips I learned during my first month of blogging in December 2020. I think as a new blogger, you will find them highly valuable.
Blogging Tip #1: Make your content skimmable
Notice how none of my paragraphs are big chunks of text. This is all done on purpose.
I learned pretty quickly from many successful bloggers that none of their paragraphs are more than 4 or 5 sentences long.
This is to make the content easily skimmable; most readers skim through blog posts unless you’ve already built a solid relationship with them. A lot of readers aren’t going to read a whole blog post.
Make your content easier to read by breaking up big blocks of text and separate sections with headings and subheadings. This makes the blog post easier to navigate.
I also installed a free plugin called ‘LuckyWP Table of Contents.’ It allows readers to skip to relevant sections in a flash.
Just think to yourself, would you instead read this?
Sectioning your paragraphs into fewer sentences will improve the look of your writing and blog so much.
Blogging Tip #2: Page speed is an important factor
I spent so long trying to quicken my page speed for this month on my photography blog. My blog was slow, like the kind of slow where it takes 15 seconds to load.
I tried everything, from using free plugins to optimizing my blog and even disabling as many plugins as I could.
Nothing was working.
Until I realized that my hosting with Bluehost played a significant factor in the speed of my blog.
I wasn’t ever pleased with Bluehost’s platform, so I moved to Cloudways, and my loading times decreased dramatically.
Cloudways is a more expensive option, but for a good reason, they actually tell you where all the servers are located. They give you dedicated RAM as well as month-to-month billing. There are no lock-in contracts, and I can upgrade at any time.
(I’m not trying to bad-mouth Bluehost. They have worked wonders for a lot of bloggers. I just wasn’t one of them. Remember to do your own research to figure out what web hosting is best for you).
I run two blogs on one Cloudways server and am spending $5/month per blog for hosting. I am an affiliate for Cloudways, but it’s because I truly believe and trust in their platform.
Blogging Tip #3: You cannot write about whatever you want, keyword research is Important
I think all bloggers fall into the trap of “if I want to write about this, surely others will read it, I find it interesting and others might too.” Sorry to break it to you, but blogging doesn’t work that way.
You need to do keyword research and write about issues and questions that need to be solved.
I usually write about topics with 250-1000 Google searches a month and have an SEO score of under 30 (how easy it is to rank for).
Without doing keyword research, you won’t get organic traffic to your blog. You might get traffic from Pinterest, but at the end of the day, you want traffic that doesn’t require daily work (like creating new pins).
A free keyword research tool you can use is Wordtracker.
So there we have it, my December 2020 income report for my photography blog.
I know I didn’t make thousands of dollars or have 50,000+ page views, but the practical side of blogging and my income will hopefully resonate with you.
Stay tuned at the start of each month for 2 income reports 🙂
What was your income in the first month of your blog?