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The wonders of blogging will never cease.
A little over a year ago, I started my new blog with the hopes of being able to make money from it.
I figured it would take me a minimum of two years to see anything real.
Never, in my wildest dream did I expect for it to happen THIS SOON.
Soon as in Month 14. Since launch.
You can read my past travel blog income reports here:
And I know you’ve probably read blog income reports of people making tens of thousands of dollars in month 1, but that happens about 0.01% of the time.
For most of us regular folks with full-time jobs making a considerable amount that pays for anything more than coffee takes a while.
In fact if you would ask me for an estimate, I would say expect to make zero in the first six months because there is just SO MUCH to figure out, set as a foundation and learn.
From month 7 to 12 you can slowly start experimenting with monetisation methods and see what works and what doesn’t.
Each blog, even within the same niche is different and so is your audience.
You cannot expect to copy paste someone else’s success in a 1:1 manner.
If it were that easy, everyone would be an internet millionaire.
For those of you new around here, my name is Shruti and you’re reading what is my second blog in the last three years. Let me quickly share a little bit of background to put things in perspective for you:
January 2017 (Started My First Blog That Failed)
My first blog was an expat blog that I quickly realised had no potential because I’d made about 1000 mistakes setting it up.
I ran it for a year and half for fun but soon realised this wasn’t going to work as a business model. So I shut it down, accepted my failure, learnt from my mistakes and moved on.
July 2018 (My Second Blog That Sorta Works That You’re Reading)
My second blog is a travel blog that is the primary one when referring to this blog income report.
You’re probably wondering why any sane person would publish their income report online?
Well, here’s why I want to do it:
- So that people with full-time jobs can believe that there is a way OUT of corporate slavery into entrepreneurship that doesn’t require millions of dollars of investment upfront.
- So that my fellow millennials can choose financial and location freedom over a job that they are unhappy or unfulfilled in.
I mean if you could be anywhere you want, work in your pajamas and still be able to pay your bills, wouldn’t you do it?
So, without any more build up, let’s dive right in!
Disclaimer: This is income that is earned and not just the income that is accrued.
I believe this method of accounting is much more reliable as it takes into account cancellations and refunds.
|<220K Worldwide, <50K US
|Social Media Followers
I have to admit last month was a bit of a traffic downer for me.
I went from averaging 40000+ page views to almost half due to:
- Pinterest updates : My website was blocked for two weeks along with a ton of other bloggers for no good reason whatsoever. For those of you new around here, about 70% of my traffic comes from Pinterest so any hit there, hits me directly. I’m working on fixing this by upscaling my SEO efforts.
- Summer holiday slump: If you blog about travel or lifestyle, you know this a bit too well. The months of , July, August and September generally tend to be on the down side as most people are out enjoying their life instead of reading blogs.
- Fewer active hours spent blogging: As you read in the title, I actually spent two weeks on a long-awaited family vacation where I barely had any time to contribute to my blog.
YES, you read that right. I was on vacation HALF the month. So the number of hours worked do not equate to income here at all.
All this stuff sounds cool, but I want to make one thing VERY clear.
I’ve spent countless weekends, late nights and early mornings working on this baby of mine, investing money and time with no foreseeable return so anything you read here did not happen over night.
In fact, if anything it’s probably been over three years in the making.
TRAVEL BLOG INCOME BREAK-UP
|Coaching + Consulting
This month was actually a little different from all the other months in the lead-up.
As my traffic dipped and I had no time to focus on selling my products, plus I had to work on migrating my course site, (which when you suck at web development is a nightmare).
For this reason, I made much less on ads and digital products compared to what I should have. I literally published nothing and spend zero time on promotion.
AFFILIATE PRODUCTS ($250)
Again, it doesn’t get any more passive than affiliate marketing.
Its my least favourite channel of monetisation even though tons of bloggers make a ton of money leveraging it.
Something about pasting hundreds of links that only produce income when they convert, with small payouts doesn’t leave me impressed.
Although with my growth in traffic, this channel is beginning to show some potential.
I’ve narrowed down my focus to top 5-10 affiliates that work best for me.
I have attached some screenshots, although it is impossible to attach all as I work with way too many affiliates.
If you’re a travel blogger, you might want to grab my Travel Blog Affiliate MasterList. In this list I share my top 80 programs to monetise your blog including influencer marketing programs.
DIGITAL PRODUCTS ($328)
The product that performed best is my new Pinterest marketing course that I sell exclusively to my email list. Due to the technical migrations in the first half of the month, I actually had zero time to actively sell so this is basically from the email funnels that I already set up.
I am yet to have an official launch for this course as I keep thinking it is not perfect and can be improved.
However, I want to work a bit more on my email list and sales funnels before I think of a big product launch.
COACHING & CONSULTING ($600)
I took on some part-time coaching and social media consulting work to help me improve my teaching skills.
As I expect to launch more products and online courses in the future, it is important for me to work 1 on 1 with other bloggers and marketers to understand what works best and what doesn’t.
Although this requires a lot of time investment it is also one of the best ways to understand what your target audience and future clients are looking for.
SPONSORED CONTENT ($2000)
Turns out when your blog has decent traffic, followers and a great Alexa rank, you get approached by some top brands to help promote them.
This was by far, my largest chunk of earnings and you know how many campaigns I had to do for it?
If you work with high-quality brands and provide them with high-quality content and engagement, irrespective of whether it is your blog or your social media platform, you can charge a price that best reflects that.
I won’t lie. These two campaigns took a LOT of work and weeks of negotiation but thankfully I am good at time management.
I have to say, as skeptical as I was, I am going to be open to commercial collaborations that make sense for my audience, and in products that I believe in.
But I also have to be realistic that I can’t really work on more than 2 or 3 campaigns in one month.
I’d much rather work more on building my own products and sales funnels, and that is a FULL-TIME job in itself.
If you can do some math, then you quickly see my gross profit was $3042.
In my home country, this is more than the average annual salary and in Germany, where I live now, this is slightly less than the average monthly income.
Hence, my conclusion is that it IS possible to generate a full-time income from a blog based business.
A blog in and of itself is NOT a business. It is simply a marketing channel where you are the publishing authority in a particular niche.
You still need to keep trying and testing which monetisation methods work best for your particular niche and audience.
There are tons of travel bloggers whose primary income is from ads and affiliates. My experience has been entirely the opposite.
It also depends on what you find best that fits your personality and lifestyle.
While I do love the sweet passive income ads bring, I am far more interested in actively creating new products and interacting with my audience.
SO WHAT IS NEXT FOR INDIAN GIRLING HQ?
Well, I finally took the leap to start my third blog which is aimed at online marketing and teaching fellow struggling millennials how to grow their income and impact online.
I have always known that I wanted to get into education at some point, so I am going to be working on releasing more online courses next year on my business website, also known as Digital Empires.
I’ve also decided to take the leap of faith and venture full time into online entrepreneurship. WOOHOO
It doesn’t matter how long it’ll take to actually turn this around into a sustainable long term business, but I am positive if I have more time at hand and the right strategies, I can make this happen.
I have also enrolled in a coaching program where I hope to learn the ropes of online marketing from the most successful internet marketer that I know of.
Indian Girling will henceforth be strictly about travel. I will not publish any income, marketing or business related posts in the future on this website. You will find all online business related information at the Digital Empires website.
I believe this is the best way to segment my audience and make sure that I’m providing the best content for each of them.
I want my readers to find what they are looking to find. This is also a good way to build two separate leveraged businesses with separate business models.
I’d like to work on scaling traffic, ad and affiliate revenue on this blog which seems to be a good model for me thus far.
If you told me one year back, that I’d be able to make over $3000 in profit in one month from a tiny ass blog, I’d have laughed at you.
Goes on to show, ANYTHING is possible if you are strategic, consistent and continue to prioritise learning and educating yourself.
So if you’d like to someday quit your job and be your own boss, I would encourage you to check out the following free resources to start today:
People often ask me, is it too late to start a blog?
And I always like to tell them, as long as the internet exists, building a digital empire is ALWAYS going to be possible.
The question then is, are you willing to do the hard work without getting paid or seeing results for a very long time?
How badly do you want it?
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