Let’s face it. If you have clicked on this article then you are either considering starting a blog or have already started one and you want to see how well you stack up against other people. Before I started the Centennial Investor, I can not tell you how many times I google searched the exact topic of “How much money can I make blogging?”
Finding out where other people are is a good way to judge your own timeline to see if you are on track or need to make some adjustments to the way that you are doing things. That is why I decided to do the public a small service and reveal exactly how much money that I really made, if any, in my first three months of starting a blog.
For many, myself included, start blogging as a way of self-expression. We use it as a platform to allow us to communicate our thoughts with various audiences around the world.
Personally, I would like to use this website as a way to educate people on how to reach financial freedom by acquiring assets that will allow them to retire early and pursue a career that they are truly passionate about.
But enough about that, let’s get into the real reason why you clicked on this article.
Show me the money.
Well, before revealing the exact number of how much I made, I think I need to explain some important points of how The Centennial Investor came from nothing to “barely a step above nothing” as it is today. This is not an article to teach you how to grow your blog because, well obviously, I am still working on learning how to do that myself.
Rather it is just to showcase how much money an absolute beginner, with no experience writing whatsoever, can make publishing blog posts on the internet.
Without anymore delay, let’s get into the numbers.
Well let’s do just one more delay. For the backstory of course!
Before we get into the Ad sense numbers, I am going to give you a little background information on the investment that I made for the Centennial Investor so that you can better judge this situation.
I bought the domain for http://www.centennialinvestor.com on January 6, 2020.
In order to start the website, I used to Word Press “Premium” plan for the first month of the site being live. This costs $8 per month that was billed annually, so I ended up paying $64 for the Word Press subscription. The domain itself, I believe, cost me around $14 or so to acquire.
So my total investment in the first month was $78.
Now let’s take a look at my first month of statistics.
In January, I published a total of 16 blog posts. With an estimated 462 views from 284 visitors.
Now, let me go into quite a few disclaimers.
I do not believe that my view count nor my visitor count is entirely accurate as a reflection of how well my blog was and is doing because it is so small.
I say this because in the first month, I can guarantee you that at last 90% of those views came from me personally just going back to the site and seeing what it looks like from a third person perspective. What I would do is access the site in a private browser to see what it would look like if someone actually came across it while searching the web.
I did not do this to boost my numbers in anyway, as at the time, I had no intention of revealing these numbers in the first place.
So if I was to adjust these numbers to what they actually were, I would say that I had about 40 views in my first month of blogging from about 20 visitors. With these 20 visitors being solely from people whom I discussed the blog personally, like friends and family.
and quite honestly, this is how it starts out for most people. You don’t get a ton of traffic, or any at all, for the first couple of months.
With all that being said, let’s take a look at how much money I made in my very first month of publishing blog posts.
In my first month of blogging, I made a whopping $0.14.
Time to start using the fancy dinner china, am I right?
Just kidding, but this is my actual ad revenue for the month of January after posting 16 blog articles and getting about 400 views for the month. It is important to note that I was using WordAds at the time, which severely impacted my revenue number. Personally, I would recommend using Google Adsense for your ads on your blog because you have A LOT more control over the ads that are placed on your blog and what kind of ads there are.
(When I first started, I kept seeing a lot of foot fungus ads from Word Press and needless to say that did NOT make my site look more appealing in the slightest.
This leads me into my second month of blogging.
In February, I decided to make the investment to upgrade my Word Press subscription to the “Business” Plan. The business plan costs $25 per month that is billed annually for a total of $300. Since I had already spent $64 on the “premium” plan, I was allowed to prorate that amount and only had to come out of pocket an extra $236.
So my investment in the month of February was $236 and if I add that to the $78 that I spent in January, that leaves with a total investment for the Centennial Investor, at the time, being $314.
The reason why I decided to purchase the business plan was so I could take advantage of the Word Press premium plug-ins that included SEO tools. I read online that having a good SEO for your general website would help you rank higher in the google search results and that would allow more traffic to be drawn to your site. So this seemed like a good idea to me so that is why I decided to make the investment.
Moving forward into my stats for February, they looked like this.
I decided to make a lot of aesthetic changes to the Centennial Investor as I was not pleased with the way the website looked at the time. If I wanted people to take my blog seriously, then I knew that I would have to make the website appear as professional as possible.
However, I was still able to publish 25 blog posts for the month of February, which is just a little shy of one post per day. With this 25 blog posts came 506 views for the month from 204 visitors.
Again, the majority of these views came from myself because I spent a lot of time redesigning the layout of the website and that caused me to look at it from a third party perspective multiple times a day.
So let’s take a look at how much money I made from Ads in this month. (Again, I am still using Word Press’s Word Ads because I had not made the jump to Google Ad Sense yet.)
In the month of February, I made $8.99 from Word Ads which is a significant improvement from the $0.14 that I made in my first month.
Again, as always, I have another disclaimer. Word Ads is different from Google Ad Sense because Word Ads has a pay per view type of payout format rather than a pay per click. This means that Word Ads will pay you a small commission pretty much any time an ad is loaded onto your site, regardless of whether it is clicked on by the reader or not. This is different from Google Ad Sense because Google Ad Sense only pays you a commission once the ad is clicked and the reader has completed some sort of action on the sponsors web page.
This means that it is a lot harder to make money at first with Google Ad Sense. This is the trade off that occurs when you switch, you have higher quality ads, but a lower payout ratio per ads that is shown onto your site.
So in total for my first two months blogging, I made $9.13.
Now, I will probably never see this $9.13 because it is “trapped” in WordPress. Since I am no longer using Word Press to supply my ads and Word Press only pays out once your revenue reaches $100 or greater, I will likely never receive this payout. Which is bittersweet in my book, but hopefully there will come a day where I am not worrying about this $9.
But this leads me to my 3rd month of blogging.
March is when I really started to get serious about making an income with blogging. I perfected a website design that I thought looked professional and I set up a goal that I would only post high quality articles of 1000+ words.
I felt that this would allow me to give as much value to the reader as possible and I wouldn’t feel like I am just publishing blogs just to get meaningless traffic for a revenue number.
So in this month, I finished my website design, started trying to carve out a stake on some social media pages, and switched to Google Ad Sense as my ads provider.
Honestly, this month left me “feeling” like a professional blogger. Although I still wasn’t making a ton of money, I felt that I had set myself up to be successful moving forward if I was able to stay consistent with my posting of high quality content.
So here are my blog statistics for March 2020.
In March, there was a fairly large gap in the amount that I was posting around the middle of the month. This is because I spent a lot of time researching and taking online courses on how to be an effective blogger.
However, my overall traffic number did increase by quite a bit. For the month of March, I got 865 views with a total of 265 visitors. In this month, I also began to take advantage of building an email list to allow my content to reach an audience more directly. This, along with some of the other tips that I Iearned about utilizing social media effectively, definitely helped my blog begin to grow even more.
I also want you to keep in mind that this is growth that I am not advertising on my personal social media pages. I am not posting on my Facebook page telling my friends to check out the blog because I do not believe that that is a good way to build an audience that is truly interested in the content of yours posts. The only friends that I told about the website were the ones that I felt held similar interests as me.
Did any of this payoff? Well maybe not yet, but I guess that is to be determined.
But here are my Google Ad Sense earnings from my 3rd month of being a blogger.
That number says $3.78.
This leaves me with a total earnings from my first 3 months of blogging at $12.91.
I wanted to disclose my earnings to share with you that starting off as a blogger is not easy by any means.
I am probably going to spend my entire first year as a blogger, blogging for free, and I am actually okay with that because I believe that this is a valuable period for me to learn what works and doesn’t work.
It is also times like these that weed out the temporary bloggers from those who are actively trying to build an audience and a full time job.
For those who truly want to make a difference with their blogs, and not just having a channel for posting affiliate links, then blogging for free will bring you the exact same joy as blogging for $100,000 a month does.
So, what I want to leave you with is a few tips of what I think have been the most effective up to this point in building an audience.
- Don’t underestimate the power of email list. I wish I would have started building my email list a lot sooner, but I am still glad that I am starting as early as I am. For a beginner blogger, trying to start an email list should be your number one priority.
- Learn SEO. SEO may sound like a bunch of technical stuff that you don’t really need to worry about, but I assure you that it really does make a difference in where your blog ranks in the Google search results. You want your blog to rank higher so you can get more traffic, and more traffic could mean more emails that are added to your email list.
- Be consistent and don’t give up. The first year of blogging is hard. I am experiencing that first hand, but I have faith that if I choose to stick with this then I will have an opportunity to showcase my expertise to the world.
Thanks for reading!
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