My First Month Blogging – What Worked & Didn’t Work

I first began Guitar and Lace in July 2017.  At the time I was very adamant on creating my blog “for free” with WordPress, but I did end up investing in a hosting platform the second week of August.

Long story short, I wanted to take my blog to the next level. Ok, ok! I wanted to see if I could earn a little passive income like all the other bloggers.

Ain’t nothing wrong with having a little side hustle!

If you are unsure about blogging and you just want to test the waters before committing, check out  How I Made my Blog for free.

Or, if you are ready to take the leap of faith into “Blog Land” and start earning money check out How to Start a Profitable Blog in 2017.

This month’s blogging report illustrates my progress, growth and lessons learned from August 10th-September 10th. (I joined bluehost on August 10th)

{Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. However, all opinions and advice are 100% my own. In order to stay truly transparent and honest, I only recommend services that I use, love and believe will benefit others.}

**Great news! I did earn money in my first month of blogging! Keep reading for all the details…

The Beginning.

My blog literally started from scratch. I had zero followers on all of my social media accounts, zero blogging experience and I didn’t know what a group board or tailwind tribe was. Never even heard of them. (crazy huh?!)

I was a lost sheep.

  • Pinterest Followers: 0
  • Pinterest Group Boards: 0
  • Instagram Followers: 0
  • Blog Posts: 3
  • Blog Views: 7 (probably all of them being mine…)

I launched the day I published my first post. Then I listened to the crickets chirp whilst writing the second, and third… and fourth.

It was definitely very discouraging at first!

I didn’t share anything on my personal social accounts to avoid any “sympathy clicks”. Really, I wanted to avoid the “Hey, I saw you started a blog. Good for you!” small talk conversations with coworkers and friends. #introvert

Should I have built a following prior to launching? Meh, I’m sure it could have been a better idea. However, I personally felt silly building a social media following like, “Hey I’m Lori. You don’t know me, but I have a blog coming soon… follow me and wait patiently! It’s gonna be grrrreat!”

Perhaps there are more graceful ways of handling that scenario, but it wasn’t me.

The First Sign of Life.

My blog averaged around 5 views a day for almost the entire month. Some days I would only have 1 or 2 views. All felt like miniature successes!

During that time, I would create new content, pin and repeat. For a while, the only growth I noticed was Pinterest. As I pinned my little heart out, I noticed my average daily Pinterest views and impressions reached the thousands and up!

I also joined 31 group boards within my niche. This was very pivotal for my blog!

Then finally, on September 3rd I went viral. Just kidding, I got 38 views. It definitely felt viral at the time, though! People were finally noticing my blog!

I was a couple views short of 100 a few days later. (Where were you guys?!)

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Where I am at Now.

  • Blog Posts: 13
  • Monthly Views: 823 
  • Pinterest Group Boards: 31
  • Pinterest Followers: 25
  • Instagram Followers: 67

Did I make money? YES!

Total: $9.03. I’ll try not to spend it all in one place…

Ads: $4.53

Affiliate Marketing: $4.50 (all within the last 2 days of the month!) 

I talk more about the Affiliate that made profit here –> Favorite Blogging Tools for this month! 

**Update: Find out how I TRIPLED my traffic and income during my Second Month Blogging –> Second Month Blogging + Income Report

I was so pumped (for lack of a more eloquent term) that I made any money! I didn’t think I would be accepted into any affiliate or ad program right away, but I applied anyways. So glad I did!

Check out the affiliate programs that accepted me as a new blogger–> HERE

Need another way to make money online? Check out –> 10 Safe Ways to Make Money Online I’ve made $100+ within a few months and with minimal work!

What Worked?

After a few weeks with wordpress.com I decided to upgrade! I chose Bluehost, because not only are they super affordable (as low as $2.95 a month), but they gave me a free domain name! (guitarandlace.com)

Likewise, they had much higher customer ratings than other hosting platforms I looked into. I mean, WordPress even recommends them. As a blog hosting platform, they are one of the most affordable and highly rated!

Check out more information on bluehost –> HERE  (You can try it for 30 days and receive a full refund if you decide that you don’t like it!)

  • Pinterest!

Follow me 🙂  –> HERE

After joining group boards, I started noticing my pins being saved more and more. Pinning is great, but I’ll admit that it feels like most of my pins were saved into the Pinterest black hole. Let’s face it, who actually goes back to their board to click on their saved pins on a regular basis?

Goal: make more “clickable” pins. 

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What Didn’t Work?

Instagram.

I started off focusing on my Instagram following. I posted regularly, genuinely liked hundreds of photos and followed people within my niche.

I would get followers back and think, “aww! I’ve made a friend! OMGosh her outfit is so cute! Mannn, she is so cool!” Then she would unfollow me a day later.

Sometimes the same people would follow me weeks later (I remember names and faces really well. #teacher). Then they would unfollow me again.

Girllll, Jesus is watching you!

…So I have yet to figure out how to grow a genuine Instagram following, but I hope to try more this month!

Lessons Learned

My mind was blown on how many blogs I’ve looked at my whole life not realizing the person behind the blog is making a profit! That fabulous holiday cookie recipe I looked up on Pinterest… yeah she is making thousands every month. It’s mind boggling! I never knew that bloggers could make THAT much money. (Is this common knowledge?!)

Likewise, I didn’t realize how frustrating and tough blogging could be. Sure, the positives definitely out weigh the negatives, but MAN my blog can make me moody! When I had a day with low views, I would get so grumpy!  I’ve definitely learned to just accept the slow beginnings!

Lastly, content is key. I wasted a ton of time just staring at my statistics and waiting for things to grow. I really wish that I used that time to write! As a full time teacher, time management is going to be a tough one.

Check out my –> Favorite Blogging Tools for this month! 

September-October Goals

  • Blog Posts: 15 new posts 
  • Monthly Views: 1200
  • Pinterest Group Boards: 50 total 
  • Pinterest Followers: 100
  • Instagram Followers: 100
  • Venture into Facebook Groups
  • Venture into Tailwind Tribes
  • Make a post/pin go  over 1k re-pins
  • Income Earned: $20

If I were to leave you with an inspirational quote, it would be… “start a blog.” Seriously! If you’ve been thinking about it, just do it!

It has been such a fun journey this past month. I’ve learned so much about online businesses, marketing and even a little bit about myself (not to sound cheesy).

I definitely have a monument of work to accomplish!  I cannot wait to report back on how September goes!

Best Wishes to You and Your blog (or future blog!)

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Make Money (1)   & (2)   Make Money    Make Money Blog  How to use   

***Sorry! There seems to be a glitch with my comments section on this post. For some reason they are labeled as “closed”.  I love reading your feedback & comments! Please don’t hesitate to contact me on another post’s comment section or on my contact page. 🙂

10 Safe Ways to Make Money Online

Is it me, or does life just get more and more expensive? Just when I was beginning to feel solid in my finances and career, in comes a new car payment at 75mph! On top of that, a mortgage and the dreadful student loan payments.

Then I got engaged. Obviously, I am completely enamored and filled with bliss, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit the idea of paying for a wedding terrifies me!

If you are anything  like me, you do not have a hidden trust fund, a wealthy family or a winning lottery ticket. You have a budget. Welcome, “no spend weekends”,  drip coffee and generic brand food! We are going to get to know each-other real well.

…Or you could find ways to earn a little side money!

As a full-time teacher, I knew that driving to another part-time job (ew!) would completely wear me out. …and let’s be real, I wanted to be paid for something that required as little brain work as possible.

Fast forward 6 months, I now have a couple tried-and-tested side hustles that are consistently helping me make a little extra money! All are online!

I am so, So, SO excited to share with you my list of safe ways to earn money online!

For the quick, to-go list of 10 Safe Ways to Earn Money Online, scroll to the bottom of this article. I get it, your time is valuable!

If you want the detailed version, keep on reading!

{Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn commission if any products are purchased.  However, all opinions and advice are 100% my own. In order to stay truly transparent and honest, I only recommend services and products that I use, love and believe will benefit others.}

10 Safe Ways to Make Money Online

Broken down into 5 different categories.

1. Survey Sites 

Survey sites are perfect if you have a little extra time to spare (or you are a great multi-tasker). Basically, you are paid to share your opinion on topics such as common household items, retailers, commercials, etc. Most survey platforms either pay you in pay-pal cash or through gift cards. 

How do survey sites have money to pay their users?  Various product companies hire survey platforms in order to find consumers to take their surveys. Basically, we as the survey takers are earning a small portion of their commission.

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2. Shopkick   

Finally there is an app that rewards me for what I do best… shopping! What?! Yes, all I have to do is proceed with my normal weekend groceries and shop kick will pay me in “kicks”. These points are later redeemed in gift cards of your choice.

The app itself runs off of Bluetooth. You “check in” once you are in a qualified store and you earn kicks! You continue to earn kicks by scanning and purchasing items. It’s kind of like an adult Easter egg hunt.

Qualifying stores include Walmart, Costco, TJMaxx, American Eagle, and just about every popular grocery store out there.

How does Shopkick have money to pay their users? Different stores and brands pay Shopkick to use their products within their app. In theory, these brands are receiving more customer sales thanks to Shopkick.

  • Try Shopkick Now  –  I earned my first gift card within 3 weeks of using the app

3. Testing Websites

Another quick and easy way to make money online is by testing websites. Depending on the test, you will be paid anywhere between $5-$10 per test. Most of them last around 30+ minutes and you are sometimes prompted to write a bit of feedback on what you tested.

How do these testing websites have money to pay their users? Similar to survey sites, these “Site Testing” platforms are the distributor. Various websites, apps and companies pay the “Site Testing” platform to find testers (you) to ensure quality in their projects.

4. Achievement Fitness App

Achievement is an app that rewards you for getting your health and fitness on! The app gives you points based off of how many steps you take in a day. You can also synch up Achievement with Apple Health, MyfitnessPal and your Fitbit to earn even more points for exercise, food, water intake and daily weigh ins.

Similar Post: How I made over $100 while exercising.

Once you get to 10,000 points you can cash out $10.00. I’ve had the App since early summer and I’ve earned around 6,000 points ($6.00). It definitely takes time, but they can’t just throw money at you now can they?! However, in a few months I will be $10 richer than I would have been without the app! (Hopefully a few pounds lighter as well…)

How does Achievement have money to pay it’s users? In theory, Achievement is paid by other fitness related apps and platforms that users can synch to their Achievement account. For example, I downloaded the MyFitnessPal along with another running App. Those two companies received my business thanks to Achievement.

5. Blogging

Creating a blog is your ticket to a potential 6 figure salary… for reals! It is mind boggling how well some bloggers are doing out there.

I have yet to earn 6 figures on my blog, but I can say it has be a creative outlet and simple way of earning passive income. I achieve this mainly through ads right now, however I hope to grow more sales through affiliate links and maybe one day an ebook. 

How do Bloggers make money through their blog? This can be achieved in many different ways! However, the most common ways are through ads, affiliate links, product/service sales and sponsorship. The easiest way to monetize a new blog is through ads and affiliate links.

If I had to choose 2 ad/affiliate markets to begin with they would be:

So if you have a passion for something or you just have really great ideas, invest in yourself and start a blog! The skies the limit with blogging!

Make Money Blog

There we have it! 10 simple, but most importantly, SAFE ways of making money online. I hope you found this article helpful. I wish I knew about these years ago! They really have been such a blessing to my fiance and me during our wedding planning adventures.

If you know of any other great ways to make passive income online, please let us all know in the comments!

Best wishes to you!



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Quick List – All safe & highly rated.

  1. Survey Junkie –  I’ve made around $110 within a few months.

  2. InboxDollars  <–Sign up via this link and earn a $5.00 starting bonus!

  3. SwagBucks  <–Sign up via this link and earn a $3.00 starting bonus!

  4. Paid Viewpoint  –  I’ve made around $5 during the first few weeks.

  5. Global Test Market 

  6. Shopkick  – I earned my first gift card within 3 weeks of using the app

  7. User Testing 

  8. Enroll  App

  9. Achievement App  –  I’ve made over $10 so far!

  10. Money Making Blog

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