How I made $855.49 in August 2019 blogging on the side (and not following the “rules”)

You always hear about people making money blogging, but it seems far-fetched, or only “the others” can do it. For years I wanted to have a money making blog …but my blog didn’t make me any money.

I have finally started making money on my blog, and I’m not even following the “rules” set out by the experts.

Now let me point out that I didn’t make the money because I didn’t follow all the rules or the “best practices.” I made money even though I’m not an expert. This means I have a lot more to learn and implement.

But I believe that if you don’t start you’ll never end up anywhere. Don’t be afraid to start.



This article contains some affiliate links. If you click a link and buy a product, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The money helps support the website, and my family. 🙂 For more information please see my Disclosure page.


I do not have this whole making money online thing figured out.

But if you’re wondering if you can make money blogging in 2019, then yes you still can.

I am not bragging about making $855 in a month. I’m not going to retire by making an extra $855 per month.

But the extra money sure doesn’t hurt. 🙂 And if you’re wondering if making money with a blog is possible, then yes it is possible.

Here is how I made money on my blog.



How my blog made me some side money

Affiliate Marketing through Amazon Associates

I made $546.25 through affiliate marketing through the Amazon Associates program.


Advertising

And I made $309.24 through advertising.

At the end of July 2019 I qualified for a Mediavine ad account and I made a few hundred bucks off of them during my first full month with them.

In order to be accepted by Mediavine you need at least 25,000 sessions in the last 30 days.

I never believed I would get to that number.

For years my blog languished at maybe 1-5 views per days. So usually less than 100 visitors per month.

Was this depressing? Yes.

When your blog gets no traffic it seems really hard to go on. Why am I bothering?

And for a few years I put up maybe one or two posts per year!

Can you expect anything to do well if you don’t tend to it? NO. Ignored gardens don’t grow as well.

I shouldn’t have been surprised that I got no website visitors…because my blog wasn’t worthy of them!


So it was still a side hustle for me – this whole blogging thing – but I started putting in more time. In 2018 I wrote 13 blog posts.

Just less than one blog post per month. And these weren’t huge epic posts. I just decided to “try” a little harder.

Now in 2019, I have at least doubled that number.

Not all the blog posts do well but I try to write them in a way that will help my readers. Hopefully they will learn something from the posts: be informative.

And as I mention further below, you want to do more of what works.


An embarrassing admission

I thought I’d “be set” once I got Mediavine set up.

I’d heard that Mediavine can bring in like 5 – 20 times the revenue of Google Adsense.

I only had Adsense set up for a couple weeks before my Mediavine account was accepted, and I was making about $10 per day off Adsense.

I thought, “Alright, if I can get $50 – $200 per day with Mediavine, I’m totally set.”


But that didn’t happen. I haven’t made ‘huge’ money with Mediavine yet.

I must have had Adsense set up pretty well because Mediavine makes me maybe 1.5 – 2X what Adsense did for the same number of views. (I followed the advice laid out in this podcast episode of the Blogging Millionaire podcast.)


I’m not scoffing at the $309.24 I made from Mediavine in August 2019. But it is a far cry from the $1500 to $6000 I thought I’d be making.



Why am I mentioning this embarrassing thing?

Because I want to share with you that blogging can be psychological roller-coaster.

You’re up and everything looks rosy, then you can be down and you wonder why do I bother.

So if you go into it knowing there are ups and downs, you’ll be better prepared for them than I was. You’ll be better prepared to hang on, and hang in there.

Your breakthrough may be right around the corner.



Advertising is a Numbers Game – more traffic = more ad revenue

The more people you have coming to your blog the more money you can make from ad companies like Mediavine.

I don’t know if this is 100% true for ALL niches. But it is true for my website.



How did I increase my traffic? – When you find something that works, do more of it!

This is idea of doubling down on your strengths. Or in my case, doubling down on something that works!


Picking a Niche (A rule I broke)

A lot of advice for bloggers is “pick a niche.” And don’t just pick any old niche. Pick a niche that is under-served and that you can help provide value.

I definitely DO agree with this. But I find it very hard.

I joke that I’m a failed niche blogger. I have always had multiple interests!

So I find it very hard to follow this advice and focus on one thing. I wish I could, but it doesn’t really jive with my personality.


What I’ve decided to do instead is write about things that interest me.

Things that I’m learning about. That is why I chose the domain name Learn Along With Me. Because i’m a curious person and I read and learn about a variety of topics.




Throw Mud on the Wall and See what Sticks

What I’ve done is throw mud on the wall and see what sticks. I write articles about things that interest me, and then I gauge which ones people respond to.


I make most of my money related to RV Organization

If you would have asked me in early 2018 where my blog would be today, I never would have said RV organization.

I never would have thought that I’d be bringing in almost $1000 per month (US dollars) writing about RV organization and RV storage.


But I wrote one article about it in June 2018 because that is what I was interested in, and people started to find that article on Pinterest.


I never would have had the foresight to believe that RV organization would be a profitable niche. It just wouldn’t have dawned on me.


Give the People what they Want

When I realized that there was an audience of folks interested in RV organization, I dug in deeper.

I did more research into RV Organization. I did more keyword research to discover the issues they were having.

Then I wrote articles that helped them solve their problem.


In the articles I featured products that could make their lives easier. This is how I made money from Amazon Associates.

If their RV is better organized they can spend more time enjoying camping, and less time looking for stuff.


I find it quite fascinating, and it is very rewarding when you put out an article and people read it and comment on it or send you emails.


I’m not just writing into the void anymore. People find my articles – usually through Pinterest – and then I can help them by sharing information that they’re looking for.

Blogging can be very satisfying knowing that you’re helping people.


And when you help people, when you provide them with value, you often get paid in return.

And now that is what my blog is finally doing for me…paying me for helping an under-served audience of people who want to better organize their RV.



Over to you…do you have a Niche or topic in mind?

Have you always wanted to create a blog and make some passive money on the side?

I think I’ve shown that it is doable, but there are some roadblocks.



Target Niche or Target Audience?

I think it would be a good idea to at least try and find a niche, or find a target audience.

A target audience means you know who your reader will be (or at least who you want your reader to be). People or a certain demographic or “psychographic.”

You may be part of this target audience yourself. In fact, being a member of this target audience will allow you to get a better idea of what this audience wants and what problems they have.

Example of a target audience could be parents with autistic children. If you have a child with autism you would know some of the challenges this audience faces.

The topics of interest for this target audience could be extremely varied. It could anything from natural remedies for symptom relief, to how to travel with a child with autism.


Picking a niche could be something like “improve posture.” Then you blog about ways to improve posture. It could be posture-improving product reviews, exercise programs, and answering questions about posture.



If you want help choosing a niche, or shall I say choosing a profitable niche, check out the book “Choose” by Ryan Levesque. It is an awesome book and he gives you very actionable advice. (I’m using his tips to create a second niche site…yes I’m focusing myself to concentrate 🙂 )

And I’ve recently discovered YouTube videos by the guys at Income School. I haven’t taken any of their paid courses yet, but I’m liking their free YouTube videos. They seem really down to earth and genuine.


Why do I blog?

A large reason why I started a blog is because it allows me to use a part of my brain and skills that my old day job didn’t allow.

Many of us are stuck working in jobs where we have to do the same thing over and over.

For somebody like me who craves variety, this didn’t mesh with my personality.

So I started a blog to be able to develop different skills and express myself in ways that my day job didn’t allow.


Are you in the same situation?

Does your day job only allow you to show one side of yourself? Or only allow you to show off your talents in one small area?

Or maybe your day job completely stifles your creativity.

Maybe you need a creative outlet.

And a blog can be a great way to share your knowledge and skills with the world.



Choosing a Company to Host your Blog

If you’re thinking of starting your own blog then you’ll have lots of options for blog hosting companies. Companies that actually store your website on their computer servers, and “serve” it up to the world.

I personally host this website (and 2 others) with GreenGeeks.

My thinking is that if I’m going to be paying for a website hosting company anyway, I might as well pick one that is trying to improve the environment. Cost is the same, service is great, and they want to help us improve the future. They have my vote of confidence.

If you want to see my article on why I chose GreeGeeks click here.



Before you sign up for web hosting…Can you write enough content for your new blog?

If you are seriously thinking of starting a new blog or website, you have to ask yourself if you can write enough content for the blog?

Brainstorm at least 25 – 50 different articles that you can write about your topic or for your target audience.


If you can’t come up with this many ideas then maybe this topic isn’t right for you.

Or you can dig in a little deeper. What are the most common questions people ask about this topic?

You may take these questions for granted – “doesn’t everyone know that?” – but no, not everyone knows that.

Trying to address these “frequently asked questions” can be a great way to brainstorm content for your blog.

And for RV organization, I had to do some ‘Keyword research.” This is basically trying to uncover the questions or search queries that people have about a topic. Who knew that people were searching for “How to store towels in a camper.” But they are. You can use Google Keyword Planner for free to try and uncover hidden gems in your topic too.


Check out this article for other ways to earn extra side hustle money.



Summary

I am by no means an expert on blogging, yet I was still able to make almost $1000 in a month from my blog on the side.

It will be seasonal money (not as much interest in RV’s in the winter), but I love knowing that I’ll continue to get paid into the future for work I did in the past.

Not just trading my time for dollars.


The take home message from this article is that you don’t need to be afraid to start a blog because you don’t know everything! You’ll learn along the way.

Just as I have. And I will continue to learn. And I’ll continue to improve.

And if you want, you can Learn Along With Me.

Do you have a blogging success or failure that we can learn from? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below.

Thank you,

Tim

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