how much I earned my first year on my website
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First Year Blogging Income Report

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Have you ever wondered how much money bloggers make on their websites? What about how much they earn in their first year? In this post, I outline just how much money I earned with this first year blogging income report.

Also, I share other information like the number of page views and sessions each month, and expenses.

I don’t mind sharing this information. It is not to brag, it is to be transparent and to give potential bloggers and idea of how much they can earn in their first year. Also, maybe some insights that I learned can help them/you in their/your blogging journey.

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I didn’t know how to blog

To begin I want to point out, I really didn’t know anything about blogging. I wasn’t sure how to build a website or populate it. So before my first ever blog post, I spent hours of research and learning.

I looked into sites like Squarespace and Wix and compared those to WordPress, although the first two seemed easier, I ultimately decided to just learn WordPress. WordPress would give me the freedom I wanted for my blog.

Lynda.com had several tutorials on building a WordPress site, and I was able to use my library card to view all the tutorials for free, pretty cool. I also watched several videos on YouTube to supplement my learning. I had read the first year blogging income report for another site and got hooked. It got me totally motivated. Then I started reading more and more of them.

I also did a lot of research on different web hosting providers, watched videos, and talked with my friend who used to build websites for people for a living. Ultimately, I went with Siteground. I have been super pleased with them and have gotten a good bang for the buck. That link is an affiliate link, I will earn a small commission on qualifying purchases.

I was so excited to think where I would be after one year of blogging. But before I get into my first year blogging income report, I want to share briefly ways that bloggers make money with their websites.

How do bloggers make money?

Many people wonder just how bloggers make money. There are several ways in which you can generate revenue with a blog/website. I will only cover a few of the most popular ones.

  • Ads
  • Sponsors
  • Affiliate links
  • Selling Ebooks, merchandise, courses, etc.

Advertisements

Probably the most popular way is by monetizing the blog and running ads on it. Google Adsense, Ezoic, Mediavine, and Adthrive are services that can display ads on your site.

The last three are ad management companies that offer higher RPMs (revenue per mille/thousand) than Google Adsense, although they each have requirements that you need to meet before signing up with them. I won’t go into details for each one, but just briefly describe why you might want to use an ad management company instead of just Google Adsense.

Even with Google Adsense in order to monetize your blog you need to have posts already on your site with some traffic, before they will allow you to monetize it. But the requirements are far lower than the other three.

The reason why you would want to go with an ad management company is that they pay so much more than Adsense. Some bloggers don’t even bother with Adsense. But at least it is something, and feels good to have a little income coming in. And I think it gets your followers use to seeing ads early on.

Briefly, Ezoic requires you to have have around 10,000 sessions a month, Mediavine requires 50,000 sessions a month, which changed from 25,000. And AdThrive requires 100,000 page views a month. With that said, the RPMs are 2 to 6 times higher than Google Adsense.

How much do ads on websites make?

A blogger will make generally anywhere from $3 to $25 dollars per 1000 page views on their site, and that can even be higher than that. It depends on the niche that your site is in, some niches pay higher RPMs than others. It also depends on how many ads you run, and a few other things, like time of year.

So displaying ads is probably the most popular way that bloggers earn money on their websites. Not necessarily the most lucrative though.

Blog post sponsorships

Another lucrative way for bloggers to earn money is by doing sponsored posts. You could charge a company a certain amount and then do a review of a product, service, etc.

In return that company is hoping to get lots of extra exposure and potential sales, customers, etc. I don’t have exact numbers, but it ranges from free products to several hundred or even thousands of dollars for one post. You will need to have lots of traffic to be able to charge lots of money, however.

Affiliate links

Having affiliate links on your website is another popular way to earn revenue with your blog. People will link to specific products they are reviewing, or using in their recipe. Or maybe it is a particular service that they are linking to.

When someone clicks on that link and purchases the product, service, etc. The blogger gets a small commission. Amazon affiliate links are very common but don’t pay a ton. Although, with Amazon, the person who clicked on the link, only has to buy something within 24 hours, not necessarily that particular product, and the blogger will earn on every purchase made during that time frame, regardless of what it is.

Selling Ebooks, online courses, merchandise, etc.

Another way bloggers make money is they write an ebook and sell it on their site. Or they develop some sort of online course and sell that. Maybe they have merchandise that has to do with their brand.

For example, I have In The Kitchen With Matt mugs, t-shirts, etc. that I sell. Head to the shop to see some of the things I sell here on my blog.

First year blogging income report

All right now that I set the stage and gave a big of background, on to the report! I would like to mention that I already had a well established YouTube channel, so I was able to get a fair amount of people to visit my website from my YouTube videos.

If you are just starting out and don’t have a YouTube channel, big Instagram account, Pinterest, Facebook, then you may not see the types of traffic that are in my report.

My only regret is not starting my blog sooner! I wish I would have started it right when I started my cooking channel.

Here is my first year blogging income report:

First year blogging income report excel sheet.

I was super excited to get 8,265 page views and 4,468 sessions in my first month! Again, I had some pretty popular YouTube videos that were sending the traffic. Back then, 95% of my traffic was coming from YouTube.

My blog posts hadn’t had enough time to rank yet on google search, so I was getting almost no organic traffic. I started off with Google Adsense. Since I already had it set up with YouTube, I just rolled with it on my blog.

In April, I was able to sign up with Mediavine. I have been super happy with them, and highly recommend them, if you get the necessary traffic/sessions. So, April was half Google Adsense and half Mediavine.

Then in May, that was my first full month having ads run with Mediavine. My YouTube channel exploded during this time because so many people were at home cooking. In turn, I got many more page views and sessions.

And then as you see in September 2020, I nearly hit $3,000 for that month. And I will most likely eclipse that in October. My total for my first year blogging was $12,185.26. That is definitely not enough to live on, but in addition to my YouTube revenue, I have been able to do this full time now for my living. I am so happy about that!

It is also worth pointing out, I was working super hard this first year, by the end of the first year, I had 270 posts on my website. A handful of them have reached the top three on Google Search. My traffic now is only about 35% from YouTube, 15% from Pinterest, and 50% from organic search.

Right now I am in the habit of doing 1 blog post per day, and will probably continue with that schedule for the time being.

Also, the favorite time of year for bloggers and YouTubers is the last quarter, because companies are willing to pay more for the ads, they are willing to pay more per click/view of their commercials, etc. So the RPMs get really high during this time.

What expenses do bloggers have?

You can see my expense report there. I spent $692.04 on a variety of things. When it came to my host, SiteGround, I chose their most expensive plan. I wanted those features as well as room to grow.

There were other expenses related to my YouTube channel, but I didn’t include those, because I had to buy that stuff for the channel. For example, I bought a new computer, hard drives, etc.

If I can do it, you can do it!

To sum up, I hope you found this information helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to write a comment, or go to the contact section and get in touch with me over there.

Again, I want to reiterate, my situation is a little different, because I already had a well established YouTube channel to send traffic to my blog. If you are just starting out, and don’t have any other social media platforms to send traffic, things may be different. Or who knows, they can even be better!

Also, I started with zero knowledge about blogging. So if I can do it, you can do it. Happy blogging!

First year blogging income report video

How Much I Made My First Year on My Website | How do Bloggers Make Money

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8 Comments

  1. Matt thank you for such a detailed explanation, I have always been curious as to how this industry makes money. I love how open and honest you are. Thank you!

  2. This is so helpful to bloggers Matt! I highly recommend you look into AdThrive as you are above their 100,000k threshold per month! I think you could be making a lot more 😀

    • Thank you, Allyson! I have been super happy with Mediavine, and have heard a variety of opinions on which is better between the two. But will take another look at AdThrive.

  3. katerina @ diethood.com

    This is very interesting! Thank you for sharing!

  4. I had no idea about blog revenue. You explained it so concisely. Another how to from a how to guy. Thanks.

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