How to make money blogging in your first year – with 14 blog case studies, 2019

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Are you thinking about starting a blog? Have you started a blog? Are you wondering:

  • Can you make money blogging in 2019? 
  • How do beginner blogs make money? 
  • How do bloggers get paid? 
  • How much money can you make blogging? 
  • Can you make money blogging in your first year? 
  • Do you want some blogging inspiration?

If you are after answers to these questions, you’re in luck. Keep reading.

Can you make money blogging in 2019?

Yes, you can make money blogging in 2019. I was looking for inspiration, so I researched and reached out to bloggers in various niches with blogs less than a year old (or just over) to see what they are doing to make money. I have put together 14 blog case studies below, including their tips for making money, so you can replicate the same success and make your first dollar.

How do beginner blogs make money?

From looking at the blog case studies, the two main ways beginner blogs make money is affiliate marketing and ads, which account for almost three-quarters of earnings.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is when you promote someone else’s product to your readers. If a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase on the merchant’s website, you earn a commission from the sale, at no extra cost to your reader. There are lots of affiliate programs in various industries. For example:

  • Amazon – online retailer
  • Hedzupco – practical fashionable nappy bags and handbags
  • Blogging for New Bloggers – legal templates for blogs
  • Build Blog Freedom Fast Track – 10 week blueprint to grow your blog’s traffic, income and authority
  • DreamIT Host – domain and web hosting
  • Stencil – create social media graphics
  • Social Bee – social media scheduler

Ads

You can get paid for ads displayed on your blog. You can get paid when readers click on the ads or when they view the ads. Ads are priced differently, so your earnings can vary. Google Adsense is a popular advertising program for beginners. Ezoic and Mediavine are also popular advertising programs, though they have minimum requirements. Ezoic requires a minimum of 10,000 visits a month, and Mediavine requires 30,000 pageviews a month. It is possible for beginner blogs to achieve these minimum traffic requirements.

Sponsored content is material that resembles your blog’s editorial content. Though you receive compensation from the advertiser to promote their product or service to your readers. You can make money from sponsored content, but it takes more time and effort to set up. Sharon Gourlay’s how to make money with sponsored posts on your blog, provides more information about how to do this.

Online course

You can create and sell courses to your readers. This can take considerable time to develop. But the earning potential is higher than affiliate marketing and ads. An online course can be about anything, as long as you are able to add value for your customers. For example, you could create a course about legal templates, or a 10 week blueprint to to grow a blog’s traffic, income and authority.

Products

You can create and sell physical or digital products. From the blog case studies, KinderMomma sells kindergarten worksheet printables, and Family Road Trip Guru sells self-guided tour maps.

How much money can you make blogging?

The sky’s the limit. There are so many blog income reports floating around on the internet. You can earn anything from $1 to millions of dollars. Though, when you first start blogging, millions of dollars seems impossible. Especially when those making millions have been blogging for several years. The 14 blog case studies below are more realistic, with income ranging from $2 to $777 per month within (or close to) the first year of blogging. These bloggers also share their tips for making money blogging. 

Blog case studies summary

I researched and reached out to bloggers in various niches with blogs less than a year old (or just over) to be inspired about how they make money blogging. See the summary table below.

BlogAge
(months)
MonthAmount
$
Dive Into Malaysia9Jun-19440
Lifestyle Queensland5Aug-19548
Indian Girling12Jun-192319
Smart Income Today8Aug-19760
Saving Talents11Aug-19232
KinderMomma12Aug-19129
Sunday In Wonderland10Aug-1934
Collecting Clovers10Aug-1923
Navigating Homeschool3Aug-1912
Life With Less5Aug-198
Sassy Smart & Simple7Jul-197
The Clueless Mommy8Aug-192
Living Tickled15Aug-1947
Family Road Trip Guru16Aug-19100

Blog case studies

Dive Into Malaysia

By Sharon Gourlay

Niche: Travel

Description: Dive Into Malaysia is a complete resource about travelling to and in Malaysia. It helps you plan your own Malaysian trip. Dive Into Malaysia includes inspirational articles, and information on accommodation and transport. The information is useful for Malaysians planning to visit another part of the country, to someone visiting Malaysia for the first time.

Followers: Facebook 111. Pinterest 898. (As at 14 September 2019)

Age: 9 months (June)

Hours worked: 8 hours a week.

Traffic: Users 14.7k. Page views 22k. (June)

Income: $440 (June). June income report ($402 affiliate sales, $38 ads (estimated based on income split in April))

Income to Date: $945 ($860 affiliate sales, $85 ads (estimated based on income split in April))

How she makes money blogging: Affiliate sales and ads.

Sharon’s tips for making money: Ensure your actions are aligned with your blog goals. Concentrate on writing the best, well-researched, detailed articles with SEO and ‘buying’ keywords in mind. Join good affiliate programs. Increase traffic to your blog by building links, for example, through guest posting on highly authoritative websites. One of Sharon’s next goals is to focus on sponsored posts. Sharon shares more of her tips for making money blogging in her Build Blog Freedom Fast Track course.

Lifestyle Queensland

By Sophie Frame

Niche: Lifestyle, Mum

Description: Lifestyle Queensland saves you time and money through Sophie’s in depth buying guides and product reviews. Sophie spends hours, days, and sometimes even weeks, tirelessly researching, testing and comparing products that make life easier, are the best quality, and the lowest price, so you don’t need to. Sophie also shares her mum life hacks.

Followers: Facebook 111. Pinterest 568. (As at 14 September 2019)

Age: 5 months (August)

Hours worked: Up to 10 hours per week.

Traffic: Users 5,107. Page views: 7,776. (August)

Income: $548 (August). August income report (100% affiliates sales)

Income to date: $856. (100% affiliates sales)

How she makes money blogging: Affiliates sales generated by organic traffic.

Sophie’s tips for making money: Find the right affiliate for an article. Focus on writing in depth affiliate articles, traffic, and link building. The number one thing that has helped Sophie to rank on page 1 of Google so quickly is the Build Blog Freedom Fast Track course by Sharon Gourlay/Digital Nomad Wannabe.

Indian Girling

By Shruti Pangtey

Niche: Travel

Description: Indian Girling focuses on sharing tips on how to travel Europe on a budget.

Followers: Facebook 2,453. Pinterest 5,5k. (As at 2 October 2019)

Age: 12 months (June)

Hours worked: 15 hours per week.

Traffic: Users 25k. Page views 40k (June).

Income: $777 (June) (digital products, ads, affiliates, sponsored content)

Income to Date: $3,026 ($950 digital products, $825 ads, $790 affiliates, $460 sponsored content). See Indian Girling’s one year blog income report for more information.

How she makes money blogging: Digital products, ads, affiliates, sponsored content.

Shruti’s tips for making money: Create content with the reader in mind, grow your email list, and create and sell your own digital products.

Smart Income Today

By David Lau

Niche: Entrepreneurship and online businesses

Description: Helps aspiring entrepreneurs build an online business.

Followers: Facebook 35. (As at 31 August 2019)

Age: 8 months (August)

Hours worked: 35 to 56 hours per week

Traffic: Users 760. Page views 1335. (August)

Income: $760 (August) ($450 courses, $310 affiliate sales)

Income to Date: Not disclosed.

How he makes money blogging: Courses and affiliate sales.

Phillip and Tiffany’s tips for making money: Focus on driving traffic to your site, whether it be through Google, Pinterest, Facebook, or other channels. Once you have the traffic, you have many different options to monetise, such as ads and affiliate marketing.

Saving Talents

By Phillip and Tiffany Thomas

Niche: Lifestyle, personal finance

Description: Saving Talents focuses on sharing information about faith, family, finances, learning and home life to help others.

Followers: Facebook ~500. Pinterest ~2,400. (As at 31 August 2019)

Age: 11 months (August)

Hours worked: 15 hours per week

Traffic: Users 16k. Page views 21k. (August)

Income: $232 (Ads)

Income to Date: ~$2,000 (mostly ads, also affiliate sales)

How they make money blogging: Mostly ads, also affiliate sales.

Phillip and Tiffany’s tips for making money: Find a third party to manage your ads (for example, Monumetric) instead of trying to implement Google AdSense on your own. Phillip and Tiffany’s income tripled when they started using Monumetric. Also, roundup posts bring in the most amount of traffic from Pinterest as opposed to individual posts.

KinderMomma

By Maria Carlita and Angela Barton

Niche: Teacher blog

Description: Kindermomma offers helpful tips and free resources for teachers and parents of elementary students.  

Followers: Facebook 1500. Pinterest 4400 (As at 31 August 2019)

Age: 12 months (August)

Hours worked: 14 hours per week

Traffic: 19,359  Page views 32,364 (August)

Income: $129 (August) ($26 online products, $75 ads, $28 affiliate sales)

Income to Date: $762 ($265 online products, $75 affiliate sales, $422 ads)

How she makes money blogging: Online products, affiliates sales, ads

Maria’s tips for making money: Promote a freebie to help bring traffic to your blog. Bundle online products to sell on your blog and a relevant third party site.

Sunday in Wonderland

By Dominika Bys

Niche: Travel

Description: Sunday in Wonderland helps you to plan your next great adventure. Get inspired by Central America, Caribbean, and Europe destinations guides. Dominika shares her travel planning resources including accommodation and transportation tips, packing lists, and itineraries, as well as stories about sustainable travel.

Followers: Facebook 259. Pinterest 467. (As at 15 September 2019)

Age: 10 months (August)

Hours worked: 35 hours per week

Traffic: Users 4,412. Page views 7,573. (August)

Income: $34. ($26 affiliate sales, $8 ads)

Income to Date: $83 ($39 affiliate sales, $19 ads, $25 sponsored posts)

How she makes money blogging: Affiliate sales, ads and sponsored posts.

Dominika’s tips for making money: Travel blogging is a very specific niche. What works for one blogger, may not work for others. Learn from the best bloggers in your niche. To start making sales, it is essential to only focus on a few techniques. The most important thing is to get stable traffic to your website.

Collecting Clovers

By Rebecca Conklin

Niche: Parenting, homeschool

Description: Collecting Clovers is a website full of parenting, homeschooling, and homemaking wisdom. As a busy mum of four, Rebecca knows first hand how hectic life can be. She shares simple solutions that will take you from feeling overwhelmed and exhausted to energized, organised, and in control of your daily life.

Followers: Facebook 12. Pinterest 464. (As at 31 August 2019)

Age: 10 months (August)

Hours worked: 8 to 10 hours a week

Traffic: Users 309. Pageviews 578 (August)

Income: $23 (August) (Affiliate sales)

Income to date: $210 (Affiliate sales)

How you make money blogging: Affiliate sales.

Rebecca’s tips for making money: Post more content. The more posts you have with affiliate links, the better opportunity you have to make money. Also, be sure you understand the terms and conditions of each of the affiliate programs you join. Lastly, promote products or courses you truly find valuable. Your readers are visiting your website because they value your opinion and trust you.

Navigating Homeschool

By Ashley Smith

Niche: Homeschool

Description: At Navigating Homeschool, Ashley shares her homeschooling journey, while providing tips and advice to other new homeschoolers, including homeschooling fundamentals, homeschooling for preschool, mummy tricks, crafts, and a resources library. Navigating Homeschool is for families looking to start their own journey as homeschoolers.

Followers: Facebook 72. Pinterest 56. (As at 16 September 2019)

Age: 3 months (August)

Hours worked: 20 hours per week

Traffic: Users 157. Page views 444. (August)

Income: $12 (August) (Ads)

Income to Date: $12 (Ads)

How she makes money blogging: Ads

Ashley’s tips for making money: Do your research for a good ad plugin. It can be such a headache dealing with ads that do not place correctly. Google AdSense is a great starter when you are a new blogger. 

Life with Less

By Rohan Cahill-Fleury

Niche: Lifestyle, sustainable living.

Description: Life with Less is a blog packed with tips for everyday people who want to reduce their carbon footprint and live a simpler, healthier lifestyle. Life with Less focuses on sustainability, practicality and affordability around reducing waste, homemade items, travel, and tiny house.

Followers: Facebook 44. Pinterest 1k. (As at 15 September 2019)

Age: 5 months (August)

Hours worked: 10 to 15 hours per week

Traffic: Users 6k. Page views 8.5k. (August)

Income: $8 (August) (affiliate sales)

Income to Date: $30 (affiliate sales)

How she makes money blogging: Affiliates sales

Rohan’s tips for making money: Write content geared towards people who are wanting to buy something. That way they are ready to purchase when they come to your site and not just in the planning stage. Passive income takes a lot of work to set up, but is the most rewarding when it kicks in.

Sassy Smart & Simple

By Nici Brooks 

Niche: Lifestyle, organisation, motherhood

Description: Sassy Smart & Simple aims to help others organise and plan their lives so they can spend more time with their family and friends. Nici shares her efficiency and organisation skills to help you work smarter, not harder. Sassy Smart & Simples focuses on organisation in the areas of baby, blogging, money, parenting, party planning, and travel.

Followers: Facebook 131. Pinterest 526. (As at date 16 September 2019)

Age: 7 months (July)

Hours worked: 10 to 14 per week

Traffic: Users 1,100. Page views 1,200. (July)

Income: $7 (affiliate sales)

Income to Date: $40 ($25 sponsored posts, $13 affiliate sales, $2 other). 7 months income report.

How she makes money blogging: Mainly sponsored posts and affiliate sales.

Nici’s tips for making money: Focus on traffic and don’t overload your posts with affiliate links. The fewer items you recommend the more attention and clicks they get. Also, promote your posts that have affiliate links in them more than your other posts that don’t. Obviously you want people reading the posts that can make you money. Remember that blogging is a long term game, as is Pinterest, so you don’t usually see a tonne of return on investment right away. Keep at it!

The Clueless Mommie

By Liana Antunes

Niche: Motherhood

Description: The Clueless Mommie provides realistic, nowhere near perfect kind of advice to first time clueless mums. Liana knows mumming is hard. She is on a mission to show first time mums it does get better. She shares short cuts, things that are unnecessary, and things you need to know or remember as a first time mum. 

Followers: Facebook N/A. Pinterest 53. (As at 16 September 2019)

Age: 8 months (August)

Hours worked: 10 hours per week

Traffic: Not disclosed.

Income: $2 (August) ($2 affiliate sales)

Income to Date: $14 ($14 affiliate sales)

How she makes money blogging: Affiliate sales

Liana’s tips for making money: Promotion, promotion, promotion! Focus on marketing and promoting your blog and posts. Build your Pinterest following to generate traffic to your blog.

Living Tickled

By Charlie Alexander

Niche: Motherhood, parenting

Description: An anxious, somewhat organizsed, fun loving, Christian mum who’s passionate about helping mums navigate pregnancy, postpartum, parenting, new mum life, and all the crazy hormones in between. Learn what to expect when becoming a new mum. 

Followers: Facebook N/A. Pinterest 1,382. (As at 31 August 2019)

Age: Just over a year old at 15 months (August)

Hours worked: 10 to 15 hours per week

Traffic: Users 9,280. Page views 11,498 (August)

Income: $47 (August) ($37 ads, $10 affiliate sales)

Income to Date: $698 ($119 ads, $542 affiliate sales, $37 own products)

How you make money blogging: Ads, affiliate sales, own products.

Charlie’s tips for making money: Consistency is key. Don’t get discouraged when you aren’t making what you want, just keep going. Find out what your audience wants and make products for them. Try to find a way to monetise every blog post. Always become an affiliate for the classes you take. Sometimes it takes longer than 3 months to get the income you want, but don’t give up if it’s something you really want!

Family Road Trip Guru

By Tatiana Sorokina

Niche: Family travel

Description: Family Road Trip Guru provides travel itineraries that are fun, educational, and easy on the effort and family budget. It mainly focuses on North America, in particular California. The family road trip itineraries cover locations comprehensively. 

Followers: Facebook 445. Pinterest 81. (As at 2 October 2019)

Age: Just over a year old at 16 months (August)

Hours worked: Not disclosed.

Traffic: Users – not disclosed. Page views 3k (August).

Income: $100 (August) ($10 affiliate sales, $10 ads, $80 own products)

Income to Date: Not disclosed.

How you make money blogging: Ads, affiliate sales, own products.

Tatiana’s tips for making money: Create and sell your own products.

What are your tips for making money blogging in your first year? Do you feel inspired to start a blog? Let me know in the comments below.

Clara

6 Comments

  1. I am trying to make money blogging. This was so useful to read

  2. Really inspirational post. I have just started to monetise my blog so I will need the tips here.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this post. The outline was organized in an easy to read format too. I’ve actually taken Indian Girling’s Pinterest course and for the price she charges, it’s a good bargain… there’s good info in there.

  4. This was very useful. I started a blog 2 months ago and I hope to make money soon

  5. Thanks for sharing these real case studies. Definitely helps gain a better perspective.

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