How To Gross Over $30,000 In Your First Year of Blogging – Or, At Least, How We Did It Here At Blogelina

People wonder if it’s possible to make money with a blog.  Once they realize that it is possible, they wonder if it’s possible to make a lot of money with a blog.

I was one of those people and I will tell you I’m not wondering anymore – I’ve seen with my own eyes that, yes, making a substantial amount of money is possible.

In a nutshell, here are some more reasons that I think 2011 was such an amazing year for Blogelina…

A Bit of Background

Before I go into some of the reasons we’ve seen such a successful year here at Blogelina (to show just how possible I think it is for you to do the same), I want to give you a bit of my background – some of my blogging story.

I’ve been blogging for at least 3 years now – working hard over that time to learn everything I possibly can about blogging and how to do it the right way – the profitable way.  There is a lot of information about blogging out there – and it can seem really overwhelming.  As I spent a lot of time in research, and a lot of time and money in trial and error with a few different blogs, I started to see some success.

And, I thought – Hey, there are a lot of bloggers like me, trying to get a start online, trying to make some money from home, and feeling completely overwhelmed and discouraged by all there is to know about blogging.

So, I set out to do what I could to make it easier on those bloggers like me – and the idea of Blogelina was born.

That to say, while 2011 was Blogelina’s first year of being online, it’s not been my first year of blogging.

Why We Had Such a Successful Year – And Why You Can, Too

  • Find a specific need – and meet it.  There are a lot of amazing blogs on blogging out there – like Problogger.net, DailyBlogTips.com, Blogussion… all written by people who know a ton about blogging (and all I highly recommend following their blogs for updates).  As I started to dream the idea of Blogelina, I needed to find out what unique thing I could offer that those blogs weren’t able to offer.  I did a lot of brainstorming – and finally realized that, while those blogs could beat me any day with amazing content, in the number of readers they have, in their influence – I, as a smaller blog starting out, could offer a very personal touch that they just couldn’t.  And the idea for the Profitable Blogging For Beginners Class was born.
  • Find A Way to Really Help People – That also Earns You Money.  This point can be a tricky one but if you keep brainstorming, there are ways this can be done with any niche.  I can say this confidently, because I have a blog whose target readers are stay-at-home moms who can’t afford to spend any money.  If I can do it, anyone can!
  • Don’t Focus On Money & Stats – Focus On Your Readers.  You’ve probably heard this said before, but I will say it again because it is so important.  If you’re only blogging for the money, you aren’t going to go far.  Find a topic that you are so passionate about, you will gladly write about it for free.  Find a way to help people you can empathize and really care about.  And then, take care of your readers – don’t ever just sell to them.  Everyone else is always trying to sell something – stand out from the crowd and surprise your readers by actually genuinely wanting to help them.
  • Find A Blogger Who’s Been There – And Learn Everything You Can From Them.  I have to be honest, without the help of the pro-bloggers who have written amazing e-books and e-courses, blog posts, and have even taken the time to respond to an email or two of mine, I wouldn’t be writing a post with a title like this one.  So, find a blogger you admire and watch what they’re doing so you can apply it to your own blogging.  Blogelina’s upcoming 10-Week Blog Mentorship Program might be a good place to start – or start asking questions of the bloggers in your niche.  You never know when you actually might just get the answer you need.
  • Find What Works For YOUR Blog – and Then Go With It.  If something isn’t working for your blog, don’t keep wasting time on it.  If something is working, figure out ways to make it work even better.  And keep in mind, what works great today might not work great 6 months from now.  It’s important to be flexible and stick to what you can see results with – even if they’re small results to start with.
  • When The Going Gets Rough – Don’t Quit!  I can’t tell you how many times over the past few years, I’ve wanted to just quit blogging.  It seems like such an uphill battle sometimes (which is why it’s important to have a support group for your blog), but I’ve found it’s so important to just hang in there – and keep doing what you’re doing.  Keep moving forward.  I tell myself that if I still feel like quitting at the end of next month, then I’ll actually quit.  And it’s never happened – don’t do anything impulsive!  Hang in there!

My Real Credit For Success Goes To…

This past year has been an amazing journey for me as I’ve watched Blogelina grow so much.  As a born again Christian who believes in an amazing God who answers prayers, it’s been such an encouraging thing in my life to see God “show off” as He’s taken my hard work and efforts with my blog and blessed them with results beyond what I could even imagine.  One year ago, I had a dollar amount in my mind that I wanted to earn this past year.  And I thought that number was pretty unrealistically high.  By God’s grace, I’ve seen that number multiplied several times.  Yes, I have put in a lot of hard work and time during my blogging career – but I have seen that it is God who gives the increase.

Take Away Lesson

Dream big.  Then, work hard to learn everything you can learn and do everything you can do to make that dream happen. Make sure to take advantage of every opportunity you have to do your part to take your blog where you want it to go!

You just may be amazed, as I’ve been, with some awesome results!

For more practical advice on how to get your blog started on the right foot, I recommend the following important steps:

What Questions Can I Answer For You?

Leave your questions in the comments below and I’ll do my best to get you an answer!  Or, consider signing up for our Online Blogging Class!

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Comments

    • Tanya says

      None of the blogs have necessarily been unsuccessful – I did find that some topics were not enough of my passion to stick with for very long – a craft blog that I tried would be an example of that.

    • Tanya says

      Thanks for commenting, Sharon – as a blogger, I know how discouraging it can get so am glad to be able to do what I can to help keep others motivated!

  1. LisaCash Hanson says

    My favorite part of this article was then end :) I didn’t know in our many emails that you were a born again Christian…as am I. I have never been quite about my faith and although some may not like your proclamation I have always said ” I can’t please God and man too and I’d rather please God than you.”

    I’m also excited because there seem to be some many women who are learning ways to grow businesses, become resourceful and bless others- I’m really excited by this article Tanya. God does give the increase and as a preacher I watched this morning said about how He gives- Think of Peter he had a boat filled with net breaking,boat sinking fish.- I hope this is the year your nets break! You Go Girl!
    LisaCash Hanson recently posted..Mompreneur Mogul Featured ON YAHOO FINANCE-THANK YOU!

    • Tanya says

      Thanks so much for the encouragement, Lisa! That story of Peter and the fish has been huge in my life this past year – the only difference between the first time they cast out their nets and caught nothing and the second time when their boat was full to overflowing – was Christ. He gets the glory!

    • Lisa Fields says

      I, too, appreciated your shout out to God. I also found it very affirming.

      I have been toying with the idea of blogging for almost a year. I am working out of sheer necessity after my husband was injured and no longer able to work, but I dearly, DEARLY miss the time I used to have at home with my children. I have many friends who have told me over the years that I should publish the stories I tell about my crazy family, but when I have tried to blog in the past I have felt overwhelmed at trying to make it all perfect.

      I have been trying to find other ways to earn money but I have never felt that comfort you feel when you know your plans are God’s plans. It was only yesterday that I suddenly felt the call that blogging could be my way home after all, then I find this post.

      Thank you for listening to my ramblings. I just wanted you to know that this post really touched and encouraged me!

      • Tanya says

        Lisa, it’ll be excited to see what God does… I’ve definitely learned that, if He’s not in what I’m doing, then no matter how hard I work, that increase is not going to be there.

  2. Mrs. Accountability says

    Tanya, I love reading success stories like yours! I have also been blogging for several years, finally in 2011 I felt it was necessary to open a separate business checking and began using Quickbooks. I grossed just over $3000 in 2011 – nowhere near $30K, but I keep reading and learning from blogs like yours, Problogger, Quicksprout and others. Thanks for sharing what you have learned here, may God bless you and I wish you peace and prosperity in 2012.
    Mrs. Accountability recently posted..Review & Giveaway: EasyAzon WordPress Plug-In for Amazon Affiliates

  3. Linda Kinsman says

    Congratulations on your success ! As a member of one of your blog buddy groups ( # 31) I can say that your willingness to help others shines through. I love that you credit God for your success; and will continue to learn and grow with Blogelina in 2012!
    Linda Kinsman recently posted..Wordless Wednesday

  4. Rachel says

    Thank you Tanya for this post, your class, and the free GoDaddy hosting! You are a blessing to me and my readers. I NEEDED that hosting but didn’t even know it yet. God bless you! :)

  5. Brandi says

    Great advice! I know with mine I have a different goal this year. While I still want to make money (who doesn’t) I also am getting a distance between myself and the review/giveaway side. I have a whole new area to write about and am finding my passion for it again.

    • Tanya says

      That’s great, Brandi – it’s so important to write about something you have a passion for! Good for you in switching gears to start doing that!

  6. MageeMommy says

    Thanks so much for such an encouraging post! I’m thinking about trying to make my blog into a money maker but don’t want to lose that it’s my personal family blog. Should I split my blog into two sites and do both?
    MageeMommy recently posted..Mommy Tips Monday

    • Tanya says

      I’ve found that the more specialized your blog topic is, the better success you will have. There are so many blogs out there that it’s hard to stand out with a general blog. It also depends on how comfortable you are with sharing personal information with a larger audience.

    • Tanya says

      Great suggestion, Tiffany! I plan to do some posts that go into more detail about how we’ve actually made the money this past year – I will say that different income sources can have different results depending on your niche and your particular readers. It seems that for most people, affiliate marketing and selling informational products seem to be among the most successful money-making ventures.

  7. CJ says

    From a real newbie that has been investigating the idea of blogging, you have been an inspiration. Thanks for the encouragement.

  8. Lindy says

    I’ve been blogging for only 6 months now and am feeling the uphill frustrations already. Most of this time, I have been following your guidance and love the practical step-by-step advice that you give. My priority this year is to focus more on my theme of saving people money and less on just making money for myself. Keep the tips coming!

    • Tanya says

      Lindy, switching that focus is so important – I think that was one of the hardest lessons to learn and apply, especially when making money is such a need in a blogger’s life. Keep up the good work!

  9. Katrina-Edelweiss Patterns says

    Wonderful post, Tanya, and congratulations on such a successful year! Your coaching through the blogging course has been immensely helpful to me with starting my blog this year, which has been going so well (many thanks to you!)

    Happy New Year and Happy Blogging,

    Katrina
    Katrina-Edelweiss Patterns recently posted..Costume Goals for 2012

  10. Elle says

    Can’t wait to share this with my readers! Thanks for all you did this last year, as someone who has been following along for quite sometime since you launched, i totally felt this year was explosive! And it paid off not only for you but for me as a student and your fan! Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in full gear for you! ^_^

  11. Alice says

    This is really inspiring! I’ve always regarded you as one of my blogging mentors and I’m so glad I got to attend your class when I started blogging. It’s been ony 5 months since I started but I think my blog is slowly getting to where I want it to be.
    Alice recently posted..Cute Lalaloopsy Giveaway!!!

  12. Melissa (Mo) says

    Tanya, thanks so much for all the info/tips/resources and most importantly the encouragement and support. I’m part of 2 buddy groups (#26 & Foodie #1) and am loving it. I couldn’t have gotten where I am without you (literally as you did my blogger-wordpress transfer). And yes, I would love to make money doing what I enjoy so thoroughly but as I don’t actually SELL a product I think I’m limited to affiliate marketing which I’m hesitant about because I don’t want a site full of ads.
    Thoughts??

    Mo
    Melissa (Mo) recently posted..New pretties!!! Yay!

    • Tanya says

      Melissa, you can still use affiliate marketing without “clogging” your blog with ads – just be sure to choose only the products that will actually help your readers. I recommend writing posts about the specific products and give tips on how to use them to improve time management, organization, money-saving… whatever your product applies to. Also, I highly recommend setting up an account with Aweber and working to build your mailing list – this is a great way let people see your affiliate links as you help provide them with more information, too. A mailing list also helps you build a trust relationship with your readers and keeps you in touch with in their own inboxes.

  13. Jean says

    Hello Tanya,
    Thank you for all the help you have been. Congrats! I am so happy for your increase. God is really faithful and I thank Him for your success, as you grow so do we. I joined you last year for the on-line class via the printed material (I work nights) I really learned a lot and continue to learn. I sent you an email question tonight. I hope you will be able to help me.
    I stumbled this post, it is really encouraging. God’s blessings.
    Jean

  14. Francis says

    I’m very glad to read a real-life experience like this. Very inspiring, I hope every blogger (including me) can warn the same amount during the first year on our blogs.

  15. Lori@Mothering Matters says

    Thanks Tanya for giving me the motivation (aka – the kick in the butt) to get my blogs transferred over from blogger to wordpress, for the free year of hosting, and for all the blogging classes you did for us! I learned a lot (and still have more to learn). I didn’t really start putting more consistent effort into it till this past fall – then had to take a break somewhat in December . . . Can’t do it all! – but amazingly my numbers still rose in December even without blogging (go figure!). I’m back online and hoping to be more consistent with both my blogs (mothering-matters.com and drinkfromthedeep.org). I would LOVE to make money this year with it (otherwise I may have to go back to working nights and weekends at the hospital). But I’m finding – I enjoy it so much more when I am just passionately writing about what I love (instead of trying to fit into other people’s expectations of what I should write about).
    Anyways . . .
    So glad to hear that you are my SISTER! :) God is good . . . all the time . . .and I LOVE seeing how He blesses His kids as they are a blessing to others! You truly are a blessing! Keep it up!!

    Abundant blessings this year!!
    Lori ):
    Lori@Mothering Matters recently posted..Starbucks FREE coffee tasting event – Jan. 12-14

    • Tanya says

      Thanks for the kind words, Lori – and glad to hear of your success these past months! It’s great, too, that you have a passion for your topic – that is key in blogging successfully!

  16. Bethany says

    I have a question. Something that I don’t often hear people talk about is the tax and “legal” side of making money online. I’m just researching and thinking about making money with different kinds of ads on my blog and the first one I researched said I had to fill out a tax form including SSN, driver’s license #, etc. Is that really necessary for every ad you use? I was under the impression that taxes don’t have to be filed until you reach a certain $$ amount. I’m so confused about this and would love your help on this! Thanks!
    Bethany recently posted..More Than Scrapbooking {Tips-n-Tricks Tuesday}

    • Tanya says

      Bethany, a lot of times affiliate companies as for that information so that they have it to send you your tax forms if you do end up exceeding that minimum dollar amount. This is to speed things along better on their end. Not all ad networks ask for this info, but some do. Tax requirements differ by area so it would be best to get on your local state’s tax info page – in our state, anyway, they have an 800 number you can call with questions. For federal taxes, I have found TurboTax to work really well.

  17. Anna says

    This was a really inspiring read :) I really like your site! I’m going to subscribe ASAP so I can stay updated.

    I’ve been blogging for almost two years now and have seen a lot of growth since that time. Like you, there have been so many times I just wanted to quit but some little something would always keep me going. My blog now accounts for more than half my monthly income. One day, I hope that my site(s) can more or less be my job. Reading this gives me a lot of confidence that that could happen.
    Anna recently posted..Top 10 Useful Sites I’ve Found

  18. Susan Osborne says

    Hi Tanya,
    Very inspiring article, thank you! I also have had a number of blogs that ended up going no where, but when I started blogging on a topic that I was passionate about and helped other women, I saw my motivation skyrocket. I can’t enforce enough the importance of blogging about a topic you enjoy. That will get you through the tough spots.

    Thanks again!
    Susan
    Susan Osborne recently posted..5 Tips for A Super Effective Website – Part 1

  19. JulieJ says

    I love when I see Bloggers step out on their faith and say thank you God for where I am today. I am a semi-new Blogger and I love reading and learning from Bloggers that love God as much as I do. Thank you for all the great tips you offer and for saying it is God through him ALL things are possible!
    JulieJ recently posted..U By Kotex Instant Win Game Ends 7/31

    • Tanya says

      Ultimately, Lisa – it depends on what your goals are right now. It might be worth considering using one of the books as the freebie and the other to sell. It’s important to bring in readers to your blog, too!

  20. Shelley says

    I am so glad your site is here. I am new to blogging and feel overwhelmed at times. I come here and take notes and hopefully it will make all the difference in my own blogging experiences.

  21. Stacey says

    Can I ask what monetization methods you used that early on when you probably didn’t have tons of traffic yet? Did you offer services or were you able to get some income from affiliate and advertising. Thank you for the great info!

    • Tanya says

      Stacey – great question! I used affiliate links in the beginning – and then worked on creating a product/service to sell. I focused a lot of building useful content in the very beginning, though, so that I could recommend those affiliate links and my readers knew that I was recommending a good product. Hope that helps!

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