How Much Money Can You Make Blogging? July 2020 Blog Income Report

How Much Money Can You Make Blogging? Blog Income Report
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more details.

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Wondering how much money you can make blogging? I will be updating the post every month with the previous month’s traffic, blog expenses, and blog income. Bookmark this post, since it will hold all future blog income reports.

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How Much Money Can You Make Blogging? Blog Income Report

Blog Tools I Use

In these reports, I’ll mention tools that I use. Since these might change over time, I will keep this section updated with what I currently find the most helpful. I’ve been blogging for five years, and some things I never change and some tools become obsolete.

These are the things I find so critical to running my business that I haven’t cut them even during the crazy economic downturns of 2020.

  • Hosting: Siteground 
  • Website Theme: Flatsome
  • Keyword Research: Keysearch 
  • Content Writing: The Content Community (If you’re interested in discussing content writing with them, email them at thecontentcommunity@gmail.com and use the code TCC-STEPH for a 35% discount on your first order).
  • Pinterest Graphics: Canva (I also use this for other kinds of graphics).
  • Pinterest Scheduling: Tailwind (Use this link for a one-month free trial).
  • SEO Course:  Make Traffic Happen (I used the books in 2017, but they’ve since come out with an upgraded video course).

If You’re New Here…

If this is your first time checking out these reports, keep the following in mind:

First, this is only a case study on this website. I am a full-time travel blogger with four total sites. I can only spend about ten hours a week on this website, the rest of my time is split between my other sites and being a stay at home mom to a baby.

If you are only working on one website, you will have a steep learning curve in the beginning, but you can probably grow it faster than this website will grow.

July 2020 Blog Income Report (Month 5)

In July, I participated in a blogging mini-challenge to increase my overall productivity. Across my sites, I published about forty blog posts in July, including fourteen on this site.

I also published the site’s first guest posts and found some great local writers to help cover places near Oklahoma that Oklahomans love to visit. These posts are included in the fourteen, because I still spend between 1-3 hours on each post on editing, adding in photography, and creating pins.

July 2020 Blog Traffic

Blog Income Report Stats

Besides content creation, I kept focusing on Pinterest for the entire month. I am working on my social media strategy and hope to implement it consistently in August.

Organic Pageviews: 6308

Social Media Pageviews: 641

Pinterest Pageviews: 4702

Total Pageviews: 13,149

July 2020 Blogging Expenses

Note a few of these expenses are things I use for all of my websites, so I’ve listed a percentage and the total cost.

Keysearch: $5.10 (25% of $20.40)

Canva: $3.24 (25% of $12.95)

Facebook Ads: $14.64

Content & Freelance Writing: $171.95

Total Blogging Expenses: $194.93

The website is now monetized with Mediavine ads. I started adding affiliates in July, but I will talk about those more next month.

This income is booked income that I earned in July. However, ads and affiliates are paid out a month or even a few months later. When I start receiving income deposited into my actual bank account, I will list both booked and received income.

I also have technically implemented a few affiliates, but barely. I wouldn’t expect to have made any affiliate sales based on how few affiliate links have been implemented.

June Ads: $224

June Affiliate Income: $0

June Booked Income: $224

Year 1 Total Blogging Income & Expenses

So far, the blog’s expenses have been $567, and about 280 hours of work have gone into it. Total booked income is about $272.

So while this website is five months old, it hasn’t generated an actual profit yet.

March – June 2020 Blog Income Report

I have debated with myself many times over the months since starting this website if I would do a blog income report. I’ve finally decided that yes, I want to so that I can push myself to grow this website as much as possible in its first year. Public goals really have a way of forcing you to grow as fast as possible.

I also mentor bloggers on niche sites like this one (though I am currently not accepting clients). I love talking about this stuff, even if I might end up giving away too many secrets. So I have a feeling I will enjoy writing these updates more than a typical post.

Something to keep in mind if you’re building your own blog is that this is only one of my websites. I am a full-time blogger with three other blogs, and this is my newest one.

My main site, History Fangirl, pays my bills. I co-own a Balkan travel website, Sofia Adventures, which is a long-term investment strategy. I run the tech side of a small, currently neglected, food blog called The Africa Cookbook with my fiance so he can share his cooking with the world and preserve his recipes for our son. My goal is to turn my focus to the food blog in August and build the content there.

I am also a stay-at-home mom taking care of a five-month-old, which limits my overall working hours tremendously. I would love to work on just this website fifty hours a week, but that won’t be possible for a long time.

So remember, I don’t work on this website full time. Rather it represents about ten hours of work a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but so far it averages out to ten hours a week. If you are only working on one website, you will have a steep learning curve in the beginning, but you can probably grow it faster than this website will grow.

March – June 2020 Blog Traffic

I published the first article on this website on February 29, 2020. Here are the traffic breakdowns for the first few months:

March 2020 (Month 1)

March 2020 Blog Traffic

I’m really glad I decided to start working on this website at the end of February. If I had waited until March, I might not have got it off the ground at all. Travel blogging crashed hard when…well, everyone on the planet was basically told to go inside the rest of the year.

The goal with this site originally was to build something recession-proof, since my two other travel websites depend heavily on people being able to spend money to travel to Europe. That was a good idea, but I never in a million years would have guessed I’d need a website that was not only recession-proof but also travel collapse proof.

I had already envisioned this website would be a mix of content on Oklahoma and Route 66 with some family travel and Oklahoma lifestyle content mixed in. However, now I know I also want to cover more of the family side of our life so that if people have to stay inside longer then we still have things people will need to read.

For March, I set up the website and published twelve posts. I chose not to bother with implementing affiliates until we have a better idea which businesses survive the crash, especially on travel articles. Essentially this blog was not monetized at all during the first three months, and I focused instead on building traffic.

Organic Pageviews: 35

Social Media Pageviews: 221

Pinterest Pageviews: 52

Total Pageviews: 392

April 2020 (Month 2)

April 2020 Blog Traffic

I saw a pickup in traffic that I wasn’t expecting. This was due to two things that affected Oklahoma during this month: the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing…and the Tiger King documentary.

While I only knew one of these things was coming, I was able to get content out on both that ranked quickly. I did not expect to get over 5k pageviews of organic traffic in the blog’s second month.

Overall I published twelve more posts in April. When I saw a pickup in traffic, I implemented Facebook ads and started pushing social media heavily. My goal was to get to 10k sessions of traffic as quickly as possible so that I could apply for Mediavine, the ad network I use on all my websites.

Organic Pageviews: 5567

Social Media Pageviews: 2579

Pinterest Pageviews: 611

Total Pageviews: 9292

May 2020 (Month 3)

May 2020 Blog Traffic

Between my April traffic boom and pushing heavily on social media, I was able to turn in my application for Mediavine with 10k sessions on May 7th. This was only 68 days after I published my first article. This was faster than I expected, but I knew as people forgot about Tiger King I would start to lose some traffic, so getting to 10k as quickly as possible seemed like the safest bet.

And boy was I right. The day ads went live on this site, June 15, Mediavine announced that all sites would need to have 50k sessions of traffic in a month to apply instead of 25k for new applicants and 10k for member’s additional sites.

Between launching two weeks before a global collapse, having the world’s weirdest and most popular documentary come out about our state, and getting my ad network application in right under the wire before the requirements changed, I feel like this website has been lucky to have perfect timing.

Because such a big chunk of my traffic is from social media, and this website wasn’t monetized in any way, once I submitted my Mediavine application I stopped working on it and pivoted to only working on my main site History Fangirl. That site is where I make the money I live on, and with the crash, I needed to put my energy into growing it back to the levels it was before March 14.

Because I pivoted my focus back to other parts of my business while I waited on my application, I only published three posts in May.

Organic Pageviews: 4362

Social Media Pageviews: 2328

Pinterest Pageviews: 1648

Total Pageviews: 8969

June 2020 (Month 4)

June 2020 Blog Traffic

Ads went live on June 15, so that was the day I started incorporating this site back into my workflow. My Tiger King traffic finally tanked, but other pieces that I published in the blog’s first two months started ranking.

I also started focusing on growing the blog’s Pinterest account. I have a lot of experience with Pinterest for travel, but it will be interesting to try to learn how to use the platform for this website’s lifestyle and parenting silos.

I published four posts in June, including the first post in our Family Travel silo. Pretty much any excuse to share cute pics of the baby is a good way to get me to write.

Organic Pageviews: 4009

Social Media Pageviews: 463

Pinterest Pageviews: 3075

Total Pageviews: 8040

March – June 2020 Blogging Expenses

The barrier to entry for blogging is relatively low (depending on how expensive it is to research your topics). However, there are ongoing expenses to consider when you want to know how profitable a blog is.

Since I run multiple sites, some of these expenses are spread out over multiple websites. In that case, I also list what it would cost if you only used one website.

There are future costs that I will be incurring, like newsletter services, that I don’t have up and running yet.

There are also lots of costs I incurred starting my first few websites that I won’t need here. However, if you’re just starting out I highly recommend getting a good SEO course. I used the books from Make Traffic Happen which they’ve since turned into a video course.

November 2019 – February 2020 Blogging Costs

I registered the domain in November and started planning for the website. Since I was seven months pregnant and running other sites, I didn’t have time to launch it, but I took advantage of some Black Friday sales to get what I needed. I knew having these things sitting there and already paid for would motivate me to get started when my unofficial maternity leave was done.

For hosting, I use Siteground. I have used them for years, ever since I had a truly disastrous experience with Bluehost in 2016. Renewing for the second year will be more expensive, but they have good discounts for people who sign up for the first time.

I am not someone who bounces from host to host to get good deals. I get too freaked out at the thought of my website being down and losing money.

Tailwind is the Pinterest-approved scheduler. Beware other programs since anything not approved by Pinterest can get you in serious trouble. It’s not the most user-friendly platform, but it is based in Oklahoma so I like to support them. The real reason you need them, though, is that everything else can get you banned.

I signed up through a secret Black Friday promotion and got a year subscription for $50. When it goes to renew at the end of November, I will have to pay the normal price of $119. Use this Tailwind link for a free one-month trial.

For my site’s theme, I went with Flatsome. It came highly recommended as a light, speed-friendly theme that is easy to use. I intend to get new logos and a more custom look for this website when it’s generating more income, but for now, I found it easy to set up Flatsome myself. I snagged it for $39 on Black Friday, but it is normally still a great deal at $59.

For stock photography, I already had a subscription through another website that is prepaid, and the photos I use on this website from that account are such a minuscule percentage of what the plan covers that it’s not worth listing it as an expense.

I just wanted to note that I do use paid stock photography, and the plan that I use would not make sense for a new blogger starting out to pay for. However, an option you can use is to get a paid Canva subscription, which has tons of stock images included. I’ve also heard good things about Deposit Photo, though I’ve never used them myself.

Hosting through Siteground: $44.19

Domain Registration through Siteground: $14.92

Pinterest Scheduling on Tailwind: $50

Flatsome Theme: $39

Stock Photography: $0

Total Start Up Costs: $148.11

March 2020 Blogging Expenses

In March, I had a few ongoing expenses and invested in content writing. None of the ongoing expenses were new things for just this website, so I will count 25% of the cost towards my expenses since I use them on four sites.

I use a paid Keysearch account for SEO research. I use this for all four websites, so I have an upgraded account that costs $20.40 a month. However, the intro level for someone starting out is $17 a month. You can use the code KSDISC for a 20% discount.

For making pins and graphics and some stock photography, I have a paid Canva subscription that costs $12.95 a month. I use it on all four websites.

For content writing, I hired one of the content writing services that I use occasionally to write shells for four articles. They do the research and send me the fact and details for the article, and then I come in and layer my own experiences on top, tweak the writing to my personal style, and add more topics to the posts.

This is different than hiring a writer to produce a published piece that will go under their name. This is more like ghostwriting. My longterm plan is to hire local Oklahoma writers, but because of the economic crash, I had to put this on hold until later this year.

I also experimented a bit with Facebook ads, but I decided to put them on hold until April.

Keysearch: $5.10 (25% of $20.40)

Canva: $3.24 (25% of $12.95)

Facebook Ads: $5.02

Four Article Shells: $100.20

Total Blogging Expenses: $108.54

April 2020 Blogging Expenses

In April, I used Facebook ads to get a boost in traffic to get the site to 10k sessions. My longterm goal includes using targeted Facebook ads, but for now I only used them in April and May until I got to 10k sessions, and then I shut them off. I plan on picking them back up in the fall when I have time to write specific content for them.

Keysearch: $5.10 (25% of $20.40)

Canva: $3.24 (25% of $12.95)

Facebook Ads: $69.62

Total Blogging Expenses: $77.96

May 2020 Blogging Expenses

In May, I kept up the Facebook ads through May 6th, and then shut them down until I’m ready to pick them back up later this year.

Keysearch: $5.10 (25% of $20.40)

Canva: $3.24 (25% of $12.95)

Facebook Ads: $18.50

Total Blogging Expenses: $26.84

June 2020 Blogging Expenses

I didn’t have any one-time expenses for this website in June, which meant the expenses for it were quite low.

Keysearch: $5.10 (25% of $20.40)

Canva: $3.24 (25% of $12.95)

Total Blogging Expenses: $8.34

June 2020 Blog Income

The website is now monetized with Mediavine ads. I started adding affiliates in July, but I will talk about those more next month.

This income is booked income that I earned in June. However, ads and affiliates are paid out a month or even a few months later. When I start receiving income deposited into my actual bank account, I will list both booked and received income.

June Ads: $47.94

June Affiliate Income: $0

June Booked Income: $47.94

Year 1 Total Blogging Income & Expenses

So far, the blog’s expenses have been $342.95 and about 200 hours of work have gone into it. The blog has started generating income, but it’s not making a profit yet.

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How Much Money Can You Make Blogging? Blog Income Report

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3 thoughts on “How Much Money Can You Make Blogging? July 2020 Blog Income Report

  1. Dale says:

    Great first income report! I also run multiple blogs (including a travel blog) and got my most recent site into Mediavine literally right before they changed the requirements too! I have added you to my roundup of bloggers who share income reports.

  2. Chan Krentz says:

    How Much Money Can You Make Blogging? July 2020 Blog Income Report
    it is very useful, I also shared it on my facebook.
    I also want to help you to make money online.
    Many thanks! 🙂

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