Follow my journey from a simple idea and yet another weird, late-night domain name purchase, to growing a blog to $1,000 a month in revenue
- Can I really earn $1k a month from a blog site?
- How long will it take?
- What other things might happen as a result of this?
These are mostly questions for myself. I’m using this post as a journal to track monthly changes and growth. This will hopefully stop me giving up like I did with my two previous blogs 🤦♀️
Growing this blog to $1,000 a month
So – I had a stupid idea for a domain name, and I bought it. Tacos? Beans? What does this even mean? It’s a domain name with the solid potential to head straight to the URL graveyard.
I’d like to say there’s a deep significance behind the blog name, but there isn’t. I love tacos . I love beans. And the domain wasn’t taken 😄
I set a goal to create 25 pieces of content before I start talking about the blog on social. Once it reaches this point, I’ll start making things look nicer. I’ll also apply to Google Ad Sense to start monetizing with a few ads. The more lucrative Mediavine ads now have a 50,000 page view minimum per month, so that will be a very long way off. I’ll be looking at other relevant ways to earn affiliate revenue as well.
Okay – let’s go!
23 May 2021 – blog launched! (insert party here)
Main focus this month: basic setup stuff
- Sorted through my Google drive and looked for old, abandoned blog drafts that I can repurpose
- Bought the Magazine Pro Theme by Studiopress to make things look a bit nicer than a free generic WordPress template
- Start the gruelling foundational content creation process for SEO
- Total blogs on the site: 6
- Total organic traffic: 0
- Total page views: 10
- Total incoming revenue: 😂
June 2021 progress report
I spent this month creating some good cornerstone content for SEO. This is taking ages, and I have a full load of client work right now. I forgot how long writing a good blog post took. UGH.
I’m attempting to create pins with Canva for each finished article and then upload them to the blog so I don’t forget later on. I’ve decided I already loathe Pinterest. From what I’m reading, the new algorithms have changed Pinterest a lot, and it’s nowhere near as amazing as it used to be to push traffic.
Main focus this month:
- Research and apply for affiliate programmes that accept newbies
- Create 20 editable Pinterest templates with Canva to make things faster
- Spend way too much time on Ahrefs looking for relevant ideas to bring in traffic
- Write as much content as possible
- Total blogs on the site: 16
- Total organic traffic: 6 😂
- Total page views: 229
- Total incoming revenue: $1.08 commission (woohoo!) from somebody clicking my Amazon link, and then buying a tie rack and some ant killer
July 2021 progress report
Everything I’m seeing about Pinterest at the moment says it’s not worth putting the time and effort into this platform to drive traffic anymore. So I can pretty much set fire to the two courses I bought on Pinterest strategy. Pinterests algorithms are changing like crazy, and it’s not going to help anyone make bank like it did in 2018.
The forum I’m in is full of people panicking because their traffic and income has plummeted. It reminds me of Amazon’s drastic changes to their affiliate program in 2017 and 2020, which essentially slashed people’s income in half overnight.
This is a good lesson in not “building a house on rented land” – i.e. not relying on a 3rd party platform to help you make money long-term.
Main focus this month = content
Blogs generally take 6-8 months to start firing for SEO. My aim is to write 50 posts by the 6 month mark (November), and 100 posts by 12 months. This seems like a realistic amount, and what’s typically recommended for growing a blog to $1,000 a month. It works out to around 2 blogs per week.
When I can’t fit blogging around my client work, I’ll be looking to hire some writers to create solid blog frameworks that I can then personalize, add images to, and publish. This will take a lot of the groundwork of research and drafting off my plate. I’ll be trying to create as many of my own posts as possible, but my workload is pretty crazy for the next couple of months.
I reached my first goal of publishing 25 substantial posts in under 2 months (insert jubilant fist-pump here), so now I can relax a bit as I head towards my next content goal of 50 posts by the end of November.
At the moment, I’m focusing on sharing new posts to LinkedIn and Twitter where I have a good following of copywriters who are most likely to be interested in what I’m publishing.
I got approved for AdSense, but the ads are making the site look nauseating. I applied for Ezoic in the hopes they might have a better ad structure, so those ads you can see all over the place is a result of that. But at least these ads seem more relevant to all 10 of my organic site visitors.
Overall I’m still not sure about the ad thing vs. concentrating on providing a nice user experience for people at this early stage. So I’m in two minds about turning the ads off altogether.
I realized my site structure was a total mess, with way too many tags and random categories that didn’t make sense. The last proper blog I built was in the mid 90s when keyword stuffing and tag clouds were all the rage (yes I am that old).
As I’m still very early on in the life of my blog, I just deleted everything that was wrong and restructured it, so there won’t be too many 404 errors that Google can spank me for. This will make life easier as I publish more content. I also installed the Redirection plugin to take care of future redirects.
- Total blogs on the site: 30
- Total organic traffic: 10 🙄
- Total page views: 936
- Total email subscribers: 5
- Total incoming revenue: $0
August 2021 progress report
Progress is in progress.
Rachael is a full-time digital nomad and freelance copywriter for B2B and SaaS companies. She’s worked with brands like Unbounce, Biteable, Datacom, Viddyoze, and Owler.