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How I Made $19,889.04 in Just One Month of Working Online

Written by Grace & Silas
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This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here.

Whether you’ve been working a regular nine-to-five job for years or you want to bring in a stronger income, working online can be a great way to do it.

I honestly believe that finding a way to work for yourself can bring so much freedom. It can bring financial freedom, time freedom, and location freedom. There’s no one telling you how many hours in a day you can spend with your family or when you should wake up.  And there is literally nothing holding you back from seeing the world.

And once we found a way to make money outside of the corporate and retail world, we wanted to share it with others. Finally finding success that seemed so far out of our reach made us want to show others how to do it too.

So down below we’re going to tell you how we did it and give you the guiding steps to get started.

Now Why Post an Income Report?

Full Disclosure: If you click through one of my referral links for Bluehost web hosting and make a purchase, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me keep Chasing Foxes up and running and providing new content weekly.

Income reports were a huge part of our inspiration in learning to blog and get our dream life; living anywhere. They were a place where bloggers opened up about how they made their income and the steps they took to get where they are today. So instead of just keeping their success to themselves, they laid it out for new (and not so new) bloggers. And we wanted to do that too!

They showed us how we could make income from ads and affiliates and how to easily sign up for hosting. These bloggers went out of their way to give us great tips on how to get started and what social media sites were needed to get great traffic. So of course, we wanted to show people how to have success blogging as well.

And down below, we’ll be giving you the steps and resources you need to get started!

Now About Us..

How We Made $3,000 in 3 Months After Launching

In early 2015, my husband Silas and I were broke newlyweds (very broke). We had heard about creating a side hustle (a job apart from your 9 to 5) from many online entrepreneurs. There were TONS of ideas, but nothing really seemed to quite fit (especially since we weren’t tech savvy at all).

That is until we listened to the The Side Hustle Show (a podcast) which interviewed Rosemarie Groner from The Busy Budgeter… on blogging.

Now we had never wanted to blog. Everyone kept on saying that it would take years to gain any kind of real income. But Rosemarie had gone from just blogging about her passion for fun to blogging full time and making $5k a month. And she had done this in just a year.. but we wanted this sooner.

Related Topic

How to Start Your Own Money-Making Blog

My husband had been working plenty of energy draining and soul sucking jobs (no joke), for a number of years and I was tired of seeing him coming home exhausted emotionally and physically. We both wanted change, and this podcast (which you can listen to here), literally changed our lives. It was packed with so much information on how to get started that without it, we’d probably be in the same place we’d always been: stuck.

And 3 months after launching the blog… we were making more than my husband’s corporate job. Just from using Rosemarie’s advice and some newfound ideas that we discovered ourselves.

So down below, we’ll give you the guidance you need to start a blog yourself and tell you what we did in April to get the numbers we have.


IMPORTANT Side Note: Down below I have a list of 15 TOP questions that will answer basically everything you wanted to know about blogging.

Here are the questions included…

  1. So what do I blog about? How do I find my niche?
  2. I feel like there are too many people in my niche. Should I even bother?
  3. I feel like my niche is too small. Will anyone read it?
  4. Where do I even start? It’s overwhelming!
  5. What are the first steps in starting a blog?
  6. I feel like I’m going to FAIL as a blogger. I do not have confidence in myself for this. Any advice?
  7. How do I make money with my blog and niche?
  8. How do I get people onto my site so that I can start making money?
  9. I don’t have the money to buy hosting, what should I do?
  10. I need to be working because I need the money, should I still consider blogging?
  11. I’m not tech-savvy… Is this complicated?
  12. How do I find the right name for my blog?
  13. Where do I find the time to blog?
  14. Where do I find topics to write on?
  15. I don’t feel like I’m a good writer, what should I do?

Previous Income Reports

How I Made $9,542.32 Last Month Online
 How I Made $12,441 Online in One Month
 How I Nearly Made $15,000 in My 9th Month of Blogging
 How I Made Over $19,000 in my 8th Month of Blogging
 How I Made Over $11,000 Working Online
 How I Made $3,000 From Home Last Month

Thoughts on August

Over the last couple months, we’ve been happy to see our blog’s pageviews and income on the rise. With site down-times due to tech problems and other issues earlier on in the year, it’s been good to see things get back to normal.

And this month we nearly hit a record for income. We’ve come close to hitting $20k before, and it happened again in August. We’re seriously excited to see ourselves reach new levels in the coming months.

Lastly, we finished up on writing our free blogging email course! It’ll be launched fairly soon so feel free to head on over to the pre-signup page here if this is something you’d want to take!

What Worked in August

Things have still been going strong for us when it comes to our pins on Pinterest showing at the top people’s searches. And the best thing about it is that they’re trending topics on Pinterest!

Now if you’re curious about how we were able to do this, I’ll explain. Keywords can have a big effect on your reach through Pinterest. The best way to increase (and how we increased) your chances of ending up at the top (or near the top) of trending pages (on Pinterest) is through using commonly searched keywords in your pin descriptions.

I will usually click on the search bar at the top of Pinterest and see what drops down. This will let me know what topics are trending at the moment and what keywords people are using to find that topic.

Now Back to the Income Report

Income and Traffic

With things running smoothly (no site outages) in May, June, July, or August our numbers are rising steadily. We are back on track for increasing our income to new levels this year.

I’m honestly excited to see our business grow in different ways as we roll out our online course and pageviews increase.

Income Streams:

Mediavine: $14,990

Bluehost: $4,680

Amazon Affiliates: $202

Convertkit: $17.04

Total: $19,889.04


A Quick Note on Making Over $15k a Month

I just wanted to say that I know it’s so easy to look at other people’s income and wonder how you’ll ever get there. But I need you to know that I started out at $0 with this blog. I didn’t have thousands in the bank when it began, but through hard work and the steps and tips I give you, I was able to start making very good money.

And when you put in that hard work, you’re investing into your financial future. You can so do this!

Want to start your own blog? I created a free tutorial to show you exactly how to start and set up your blog on a budget (and in minutes!)  You can start yours for just $2.95 per month (you can get this lower price through my special link) with Bluehost. Also, if you’re wondering if you actually need hosting or if you could just make money on free blogging sites like Blogger, I’d seriously recommend going with sites like Bluehost. Free blogging sites can delete your blog at any time. It happened to Michelle from Making Sense of Cents when she first started out. It’s also the only way to actually start making income too since you’ll only get accepted with advertisement and affiliate companies if you’re hosted. 

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How I Make Money Blogging

Now if you’re curious about the different ways I (and other bloggers) make money, I created a list that goes into detail on each category.

So if you want to learn more on that, then definitely check out my post on the 5 Ways to Make Income Blogging.

How to Start a Profitable Blog – A Step-by-Step Guide

Now here’s where I get into the steps of how to start a money making blog.

Starting a blog and making money sounds like something only outgoing people and social media experts do. But to be honest, I’ve known so many bloggers who started theirs in the middle of a divorce so they could stay home with their kids, and I’ve know some who started a blog just so they could travel full time. So starting a blog to create income doesn’t have to be a famous person’s thing, it can be your thing. It can be your project. And to be honest… it definitely beats the 9 to 5 job (maybe that’s an understatement).

So here are the steps we took for starting a blog and making money fast (or at least faster than a year).


Side note, here’s a quick list of the tools I used to make $10,000+ a MONTH with my blog:

If you want to quickly start up your own blog for a cheap price (only $2.95/mo through my special link here), then I would definitely recommend Bluehost. It’s what I used when I first started out, and you need a hosting service if you want to make money through your blog more easily.

Check out my step-by-step guide here that shows you how to sign up quickly.

One of the BEST ways to make money blogging is with affiliate marketing. Basically, you recommend a product you love and when they click through your link and make a purchase, you get a commission at no extra cost to them. And a great place to learn is with the online course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. The creator, Michelle, makes over $50,000 a MONTH through affiliate marketing, so she definitely knows what she’s talking about. 

Read my review of the course here to learn more!

Also, you can check out my interview with Michelle here.

If you want a course that will take you by the hand and teach you how to become a full-time blogger, then I would definitely recommend Elite Blog Academy (or EBA). They only open up once a year though (in early March), so it’s best to sign up for their waitlist here and they’ll let you know as soon as the cart has opened.

Read my review of Elite Blog Academy here.

One of the most important things you can do as a new blogger is to start up your email list right away. It’s what I wish I would have done when I first started out because then I would have a LOT more subscribers (and having an email list is the biggest way to make money blogging). 

The email provider I use is Convertkit since they’re SUPER easy to use and give you 1 FREE month to try it out.

Read my Convertkit review here.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is one of the most important ways to get traffic to your blog. It’s basically optimizing each blog post so that it shows up in people’s search results on Google. And if you’d like to learn more on how to do that, then check out Stupid Simple SEO. It’s a course that opens up a few times a year and has REALLY helped us out!

Read the review of the course here!

If you’re new to creating images for your blog, and don’t have the money for Photoshop, then I would definitely recommend PicMonkey.com. I started out with it when I was a new blogger and still use it to this day! Also, the monthly price is the same as just a couple Starbucks drinks. 

Check it out here!


Step 1: Hosting

Now many people think that they can easily start a blog for free on WordPress.com or Blogger. But you DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS. If you start a blog on a free blogging site, you won’t be able to make income from them. Signing up for ad networks and affiliates will be impossible.

So what do you want to do? You want to sign up for hosting. Hosting is basically like renting a space on the internet so you can have your own site. It allows you a lot of flexibility to work with companies and not have to worry about a site like Blogger kicking you off for no reason at all (I’ve known bloggers who’ve had this happen to them).

Bluehost is what I use, and I wouldn’t recommend them if they weren’t a good company. They’re helpful and will guide you through the process if you have any trouble. Also, they have a special deal for $2.95 a month, which I haven’t heard of anywhere else. It’s really awesome!

Now some people might be worried that they have to pay for hosting because they’re on a tight budget. I was at the exact same place when I first purchased hosting with Bluehost. But I realized something; if I put money in now, I was going to be able to pay myself back multiple times over later. And I have; because I went with Bluehost for my hosting, I can now make enough to support two people and travel full-time.

You can sign up for Bluehost here and get hosting for just $2.95 a month.

PS – If you want a step by step tutorial for setting up a blog with Bluehost, then check out my post that’ll show you exactly how. It’s super easy!

PPS – There’s a video tutorial in there if you’re a visual learner!

 Step 2: Do the Work Before

I can’t tell you how MUCH this helped us. What I mean when I say “Do the work before,” isn’t the obvious “find a niche,” “create a catchy blog name,” or, “figure out your audience.” Yes those are all important, but you can read that from so many other bloggers out there. What I mean is, once you’ve done all that, start creating content for your blog before it launches. Say.. 25-50 blog posts, so that when it does launch, people have more than just a couple of articles to read on your site.

There’s also another reason for this, but I’ll get into that in step 4.

Step 3: Picking a Theme

Now whether you’ve heard about WordPress (a blog platform used by many) or not, Bluehost let’s you install WordPress. Once you’ve done that, you can choose one of their themes, but just make sure to choose one that’s very visually appealing. It probably goes without saying, but the better looking your blog is, the more viewers are going to see it and come back because you look legitimate.

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Step 4: Sign up for Adsense and Amazon Affiliates

In my post on how I made $500 in May, I give a rundown on what both of those two things are. They’re both free and once you understand them, I suggest signing up for them as quickly as possible. Especially Adsense since it’s probably going to be your top money earner.

Now in step 1 I told you that there was another reason for creating content beforehand, and this is why. Adsesne is Google’s ad service. They’ll display ads on your site for people to see. And when those ads are on your blog, you’ll start to gain income from them. However, Adsense can be picky about who they accept, so you’ll want to have some good content on your site before you sign up. That way they can see that you’re legitimate, not just some person who started up a blog, threw a few posts up there, and then never did anything with it again. They want real traffic seeing their ads, otherwise it’s useless. So make sure you have enough content up so Adsense doesn’t turn down your blog.

Step 5: Make a Pinterest Account

I learned that Pinterest was my secret weapon. Here’s why: sites like Facebook are made for socializing with friends (hence why it’s called social media). However, Pinterest is almost strictly used for finding content. So if you’re in need of a recipe, you go to Pinterest, not Facebook. And this is why Pinterest is great for bloggers (you’ll want to get a free Pinterest Business Account), you can get blog posts seen WAY more easily, unlike Facebook where you now have to pay for your page to be found.

Group Boards: If you don’t know about group boards on Pinterest yet, then you should definitely keep on reading. Group boards are where someone invites others to share content on their board. And guess what? If you’re on a group board, the pins from your site get seen by all of their followers. So if the host of the group board has 50,000 followers, a lot of those people are going to see your content.

If you want to find group boards in specific niches, head on over to Pingroupie and check them out! The best way to apply for a group board is to find the host of the GB, which is the first person in the list of contributors, and email them through the given email in the description or on the site that’s linked to on their profile description. You’ll then want to send them a very polite message letting them know that you love their content and would love to contribute to their board.

LASTLY! Don’t be intimidated by the size of their board, even when you’re first starting out. If I had told myself to stay away from the big boards early on, I wouldn’t have had the reach for my pins that I have today.

Pins: I’m not tech savvy, but I make pins EASILY with Picmonkey (a free online photo editor). Now there is a membership program that gives you a ton more options, and it’s only $4.99 a month or $33 a year. That’s like… a few Starbucks drinks, and it’s seriously worth it! Check out this tutorial on how to use Picmonkey to create pins here!

Step 6: WIIFM

Now this may be my last point, but it’s definitely not to be overlooked. WIIFM stands for “What’s In It For Me?” And you have to act like every reader has this written on their forehead. Because if you’re not writing something that helps them in some way, they’ll scan over your pin like it was never there.

You have to write and create titles for your pins that solve the readers’ problems NOW. It has to let them know that you’re actually answering something they need help with and it has to be a subject that answers a wide range of people’s problem. You don’t want to put out your personal life stories (at least not until you become known and you have readers who care about you) on Pinterest.

So for instance, you don’t want to write about “How to be a Cat Whisperer” (even though that does sound kinda cool), you want to write about “5 Beyond Easy Ways You Can Save $2,000 Per Month.” Again, this is just an example, but you really want to find what other people are posting on Pinterest (in your niche) that’s doing well.

Step 7: A/B/C/D and D Testing

For those of you who don’t know what that is, when you create a post and then create a pin image for the post, you create two of them to see which one does better. For me, I do a/b/c/and d testing. I make multiple because you never know which title or which image is going to do better and then make that pin take off like wildfire.

I can’t tell you how many times where I thought one pin would do better than the other, but I let them both run for about a week or two and it turned out that the other one did way better. You have to test, otherwise you’ll never know if your post had real potential or not.

Step 8: Email List?

Many people wonder if they should start their email list right after they launch their blog. But guys… those first few subscribers are the most important ones you’ll have. It’s been shown that the ones that stick with you even when you’re just beginning will be your most loyal readers and they’ll be more likely to buy from you when you offer them a product.

So Which Email List Builder Should I Use?

Well you could use a free service like Mail Chimp, but there’s a couple things you should know.

First, there have been so many times where I’ve heard bloggers complain about how they regret starting out with free services like Mail Chimp. Because when they decide to switch over to a more efficient email list builder like Convertkit (Oh also, you’ll get a free 1-month trial), it take hours for them to transfer their entire list. It’s a complete headache and takes DAYS to do.

Now the reason why I suggest Convertkit is because their services are SO EASY to use! I am not tech savvy… at all. In fact, I get seriously frustrated when something takes way to long to figure out. But with just one video tutorial, I was able to easily understand everything. Convertkit is seriously intuitive and simple.

Now the monthly cost for Convertkit is $29.99 a month which is basically 5-6 Starbucks drinks in a month. I get it, it’s so much easier to sign up for something free when you’re first starting out, but the ease of using Convertkit is so worth it (and you won’t have to deal with moving all your subscribers over later)!

ALSO, if you click through my special link for Convertkit, you’ll also get a a FREE 1- month trial!

PS – Feel free to check out my post on how to start an email list! It’s super important for having a successful blog!

Step 9: Prayer

Now this may turn some of you off if you don’t believe in God, but we seriously couldn’t have gotten as many page views without his direction. In so many moments, he helped us realize what we could do better and what we could do differently to get more traffic. We know without a doubt that he’s helped us get the income we needed; he’s beyond blessed us. And that’s why I say prayer has definitely helped us with our blog taking off. If you believe in Him, then I suggest making him apart of the process.

Lastly, Remember Two Things

Apart from the methods I’ve used in the last few months, those are the only things I’ve done differently to actually make a change and increase my viewership and income.

Now this may be overwhelming for those of you who are new to the idea of blogging, but I promise you that if you put the work in, really pay attention to what is and isn’t working, and follow my tips and strategies in this post and others, you’ll be able to work from home too.

And even if you feel like it’s a lot of work (it is), just remember 2 things:

  1. Putting a lot of work into a blog definitely beats working a nine to five or not making any location independent income at all. Seriously, I had to tell myself this when I was tempted to get a stupid part time minimum wage job (Remember? I don’t have a college degree), and it’s paid off in a huge way.
  2. In a year from now, you’ll wish you had started today. That was a bit of advice I had read and took to heart. Even now I wish I had started a year ago.

Featured Question of The Month!

We’ve decided that for every monthly income report we do, we’ll be featuring a blogging question from you guys. This is the sixth time we’ve done this, and it’s been pretty fun so far!

For this month, you guys wanted me to answer the question…

How do you come up with blog post topics?

I know that when first starting out, it can be hard to pick topics to write on every week for your blog. In fact, there are many days where you’ll just be completely stumped. However, there are plenty of ways to combat this and I’ll show you how.

First, you want to think about W.I.I.F.M. or “What’s In It For Me.” I’ve talked about this in my other posts on blogging but I’ll explain here. When you write in a certain niche(s), you need to act like everyone in this niche has this on their forehead. You need to think about the different problem big or small that people need fixed now. So if you’re a money blogger, some of your readers might need help with not living paycheck to paycheck.

Second, if you use Pinterest to promote your posts (and even if you don’t), you can get some great ideas from just looking at what other bloggers are writing in your niche. Becuase if someone wrote on “10 Ways to Make $500 in a Week” (still going with the financial blogger theme), and it did really well, there’s a chance it might do very well for you too.

And lastly, go onto other bigger blogger’s sites that write in the same niche as you. Look at the blog posts that are doing well on their site (ones with lots of engagement from readers in the comments and social media shares), and see how you can improve it yourself. What I mean is this; if you choose to write on the same subject that they did, look for where they didn’t add value. If there’s something more that you can add to the topic to make it more helpful, go for it!

Next Month’s Featured Questions!

Email or let us know in the comments down below which one you want answered for next month’s income report!

1. Is it hard to create an online course for my blog?

2. How do I figure out what affiliates are right for me?

3. How Can I Get Started on Networking with Bigger Bloggers?

Past Featured Questions

What’s do I do if a group board says it’s closed to new contributors?
 How do I write (potentially) viral blog posts?
Is it hard to travel full-time and run a blog?
How do I find the best group boards on Pinterest to join?
How do I save up for starting a blog when I hardly have any money?
“What if the niche I want to do is already done by so many other bloggers? How will I get people to see my blog and even take an interest in it?
What’s the best way to get accepted onto a group board?

And if You’re Still Worried About Working Online

Lastly, just remember that in a year from now, you’ll wish you started today. This is something Silas always reminded me of when we were first starting out. So where do you want to be in a year from now? Would you rather be surfing Facebook or watching Netflix to unwind after a hard day of work at a dead end job, or would you rather be bringing in a new income stream and working from home?

You may think that you deserve to relax after working so hard at your job, but what you really deserve is to work hard now so that you can have time and financial freedom later.


Now for the Most IMPORTANT Questions Answered on Blogging

Here I will be going over THE MOST asked questions I’ve been asked about blogging. So check them out and let me know if there was anything I missed!

  1. So what do I blog about? How do I find my niche?
  2. I feel like there are too many people in my niche. Should I even bother?
  3. I feel like my niche is too small. Will anyone read it?
  4. Where do I even start? It’s overwhelming!
  5. What are the first steps in starting a blog?
  6. I feel like I’m going to FAIL as a blogger. I do not have confidence in myself for this. Any advice?
  7. How do I make money with my blog and niche?
  8. How do I get people onto my site so that I can start making money?
  9. I don’t have the money to buy hosting, what should I do?
  10. I need to be working because I need the money, should I still consider blogging?
  11. I’m not tech-savvy… Is this complicated?
  12. How do I find the right name for my blog?
  13. Where do I find the time to blog?
  14. Where do I find topics to write on?
  15. I don’t feel like I’m a good writer, what should I do?

Side Note: Throughout these, I’ll be sharing photos of my travels since blogging as allowed me this incredible opportunity. 🙂

1. So what do I blog about? How do I find my niche?

First of all, you want to grab a pencil and a piece of paper (or open a document on your computer), then start writing down your interests and passions (I know, sounds like a no brainer, but there’s more to it, I promise!).

Also, write down your skills (and this doesn’t have to be something you learned in school). Are you great at certain aspects of parenting like getting your children to sleep through the night after just a couple months? That’s a skill!

Then, group together the passions, interests, and skills that all match up. What is the common theme? This is going to help you figure out the kind of topics you want to write on.  You can also study other bloggers in the same niche and how they’re able to make it work.

Now if you’re into multiple things that don’t seem to line up, then know that there usually is a common factor in between them all. So for instance, if you like budgeting, but you also love to cook, you can connect them both by writing on recipes you can make – for under $5 or $10.  – Just so you know, it really IS ok to blog about more than one topic; we do and it’s turned out very well for us! You just have to find out who you’re writing to and find ways to make the niches fit together. So for instance (going with the example above), does your ideal reader love to find smart ways to save money, but she’s a bit of a foodie? Well, how can you help her explore her foodie side while still staying on a budget?

You don’t have to be an expert…

You can also look into the topics you find yourself regularly talking or reading about. And it’s ok if you’re not an “expert!” I wasn’t when I first started blogging. But you become an expert as you write and learn more on the topic over time. As you search for the questions that aren’t being answered and learn from the bigger bloggers, over time you’ll gain more experience and become a well-trusted voice in your niche. YOU can become the expert.

Quick Note on Making Money with Your Niche: It’s a common concern to want to make sure that they can actually make money with their niche.  I get it; unless you’re blogging as a hobby, who wants to write long-term and not see income (no one)? And if this is something you’re worried about, then head down to question #7 How do I make money with my blog and niche?

Related Topic

How to create your own money-making blog here.

2. I feel like there are too many people in my niche. Should I even bother?

The easy answer is… yeah! Totally! My husband and I both write on very popular subjects and were able to get over 150k people on our site in our second month after our blog launched.

I understand that there are bigger bloggers that are successful in the niche you want to write on, but you have to realize that there are millions of people on the internet, and those bigger bloggers do NOT have a monopoly on all of them. You can totally have a blog on DIY and get a great following of people who aren’t readers of these other bigger bloggers.

Also, you can look at the blog topics others are writing on and see how you can provide value where they don’t. And you can do this in TWO ways. So for instance, let’s say a big money blogger is writing on “How to Start a $1,000 Emergency Fund Quickly.”  Well, they might not be discussing an important aspect that you see as obvious. And that could be the fact that they aren’t mentioning how you can save $1,000 faster by focusing on creating a separate bank account so you don’t dip into your savings.

The SECOND way you can do this is by looking in the comments section of that same post. What questions are people asking that the blogger didn’t answer in the post itself? Find those questions, answer them yourself, and write a more comprehensive blog post that will create a loyal readership.

You want to find ways you can out-perform the other bloggers so you can start seeing bigger results faster. Don’t blend in – stand out for the quality of your work.

3. I feel like my niche is too small. Will anyone read it?

Heck yeah! I know people who have a blog on Medieval history and have a HUGE following! Talk about niche!

(Another great example of a smaller niche blog would be Bridget from Cowboys Specialist. She was able to gather a great readership for her niche, Country Western Lifestyle, and monetize it within a year and a half!)

Now there are two parts to this and the first part is, find where those people are congregating. Facebook groups are an AMAZING place to find people in very specific niches.

Side Note: Forums are as well, all you have to do is Google “XYZ Niche Forum.” Example, “Medieval History Forum.”

All you have to do is search for your niche under ‘Groups’ and then join ones that have a high activity rate (which you will see in the description of the Facebook group saying something like, “7 posts a day” or “10+ posts a day”).

Once you join a few, you can start seeing what kind of questions people are asking and what people are talking about. This will give you a good idea about what people in that niche are actually interested in, instead of shooting in the dark hoping that people will read your blog post.

Then you can start showing yourself to be a helpful person in the group by answering their questions (or finding answers for them  for the ones you don’t know). Once you’ve started doing this, then you can start sharing  your own in-depth blog posts on the topics that get asked and discussed the most frequently (as long as it’s not against the group owner’s rules).

You want to become an expert to the members in those groups by providing high-quality content so that you’re their go-to when it comes to being a helpful resource.

The second part is dedication. It can (not always) take a bit longer to gain traction with a smaller niche. But if you’re consistently putting out high-quality posts that give your readers a lot of help, then you’re going to gain a loyal following.

Side Note: Down below, I also talk about how to get people to see your blog so that you can start making money in question #8.

PLUS: You can also start up your own Facebook group as you create a following so that you can keep them updated with new posts and create your OWN community of people who love you and love interacting with each other and get readers onto your blog (and groups are favored by Facebook which means they’ll be showing up first in people’s feeds a lot of the time as well as your follower’s Facebook notifications). 

Last thoughts on starting a small niche blog… getting subscribers (people who give you their email so that you can send them out newsletters) will keep people interested in your blog and coming back over and over again. It’s something I wish I had done straight away when I was a new blogger.

Also, here’s another reason why you NEED an email list when first starting out: 99.9% of the people who go onto your site are going to leave… and never come back.

So if you can get those people to sign up for your weekly newsletter (let’s say by giving them a free offer – also known as a freebie –  so for example, a list of 10 tips that will help them lose 5 pounds in a week), then you can update them every time you publish a new blog post. And when you do that, then, of course, they’re going to come back to your blog.

ALSO, if at some point in the future you decide to sell an ebook or course or some other kind of product, you’ll have an email list of loyal readers who will buy from you. And a great email provider (which is a service that allows you to gather people’s emails and send a newsletter to them) to start off with would be Convertkit; they’re great for people who aren’t tech-savvy, like me!

4. Where do I even start? It’s overwhelming!

One of the best things to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed on where to start is to write down just a few things you want to focus on and research over the course of a few months until you’ve mastered it. So for me personally, it was… writing 25-50 blog posts and put my focus into using Pinterest for my blog (which I talk about in question #8) and learning as much as I could with that ONE social media platform (I didn’t go focusing on Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitter, just Pinterest).

I also focused on blog topics that other big bloggers were writing on that would get my blog a TON of readers. So what pins on Pinterest had gone viral and why? What were they about, what did they look like, what kind of titles did they use? 

You want to get very focused on just a few things until you’ve mastered them or you feel that you can add one or two more things. This is a great way to make sure you’re getting rid of that overwhelmed feeling and staying on track towards your goal. It also keeps you from getting discouraged and helps you move onto the next BIGGER thing (like affiliate products – which I’ll talk about down below). 

Last thought: Make sure that the things you’re focusing on are going to give you the biggest results sooner. So for me, I wanted to get a lot of readers onto my site and fast, so I put my focus on Pinterest which gave me over 150,000 readers in my second month. Crazy right?

5. What are the first steps in starting a blog?

The first steps of starting a blog depend on where you are in the process. So for instance, if you have an idea of what you want to blog on, but haven’t bought hosting for your blog (hosting: basically a place to rent space on the internet for your site), then that’s your first step (which I show step-by-step here – it takes minutes; super easy!)

If you have bought hosting, then your first step would be to set up the look of your blog (the design/how your blog looks, menu items, a logo which you can easily create with Picmonkey.com for free, colors, etc.). Then get the necessary WordPress plugins (plugins are apps you can easily add to your site that will give your blog certain benefits) that would protect your site from hackers and show how many readers your site has had each day (ex. Jetpack and Google Analytics).

Next you would start brainstorming around 5-10 blog post ideas (doesn’t have to be all in one sitting – it can be over a few days), and start writing them out. Lastly, you would publish those posts and start sharing them on sites like Pinterest (which I talk about more here).

And as I mentioned in the last question (Question #4), you want to write down just a few things you want to focus on for a few months (this could be 3-6 months of your time), so that you don’t get overwhelmed. It’s very important to do this so that you are more directed and you’re getting to where you want to go faster (if you haven’t read the answer to question #4 yet, then definitely check it out – I go over what I focused on in my first few months of blogging that led me to where I am now).

Lastly, make sure to find people who inspire you. When first starting out, it’s important that you find bloggers who have been where you’re at and have actionable and helpful content for you to refer to. Being new to blogging is difficult, but when you have the right people guiding you along, it can go a LONG way!

6. I feel like I’m going to FAIL as a blogger. I don’t have confidence in myself for this. Any advice?

I was there and I TOTALLY get it! I had never done anything like blogging before, so my confidence was at an all-time low. I really didn’t believe in myself and I know that if I had bought into the lie that I could never make it as a blogger…

I wouldn’t be where I am today… Writing this to you in a cute coffee house in an adorable neighborhood in Medellín, Colombia (also, if you want to see our travels, then definitely check them out here on Instagram!)

So here’s what you need to do. Find big bloggers who had a hard time starting their blog (like Sarah Titus who was a single mother of three who made $10,000/mo blogging within a YEAR). It’s good to understand that you’re not alone and that there are others who have gone before you and did it too. I’m sure they struggled a LOT with their self-confidence as well!

Then, write out the lies you’ve been telling yourself about how you feel like a failure and won’t make it blogging. Next, argue with them and replace it with the truth. “This is untrue because if X person can make it as a blogger while working a full-time job and taking care of a kid, then so can I! I am able to make it as a blogger because there is literally nothing holding me back.”

And you know that saying that goes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars?” Even if you’re shooting to make a certain amount of money after a certain amount of months and miss, you’re still going to land farther than if you had done nothing. Especially if you’re working hard and staying focused on just a few things at a time…  how could you not see results (this was something I had to reason against when I first started)?

You also want to keep in mind the quote, “In a year from now, you’ll wish you started today.” That was what my husband told me when I wanted to quit (that’s right, I wanted to give up… just a few months before things took off).

7. How do I make money with my blog and niche?

Riad Yasmine… one of our favorite traditional Moroccan inns.

Now there are two parts to this…

The first part is that you’re completely new to blogging and you don’t know how a blog makes money. If this is you, then here are the basics. 🙂

Ad Revenue: This is where you can join ad companies like Adsense by Google (great for beginners!) or Mediavine. Once you join, they will display ads on your site and you will get paid for how many people click on the ad and how many people see the ad. It’s the most passive and easy way to make money blogging!

Affiliate Products: When you join an affiliate program, you agree to promote a certain product or products. And when someone clicks through your special tracking link (that the program gives you) and makes a purchase, you’ll get a commission at no extra cost to them. Some great examples of this for beginners would be Amazon or Target’s affiliate program. Just make sure it’s something you’ve used yourself and love! That way you don’t recommend something that hurts your reader’s trust in you.

Products: Creating your own product, whether it’s an ebook or a class (written or video), on a certain topic is an amazing way to make income with your blog. Especially if you have a smaller niche, but I’ll talk about that more below.

Sponsored Posts: A sponsored post is where a brand will pay you to write about them and/or their product. A good way to find sponsored post opportunities are on sites like blogher.com.

For the second part, I’m going to discuss how to make money even if you have a smaller niche (or even if your niche isn’t small!)

As you learn how to get readers onto your blog, the most immediate way to make money is through ads, especially since it’s SO passive. However, offering your readership affiliate products and your own products (which could be an online class or written material) is also a great way to make money with your blog.

So for instance, if you’re writing on herbal remedies to improve health, you could create a downloadable PDF that will show people the different herbal remedies that they can start off with as beginners and what it does for their health. 

And as an affiliate, you can also promote other people’s herbal remedy kits on Amazon (as an example).

Lastly, you want to look at other blogger’s in your niche and see how they’re making money. What products are they promoting and creating themselves?

Side Note: Just make sure that as you’re creating a following to promote products to, you also have an email list with someone like Convertkit (great if you’re not tech-savvy). Convertkit helps gather people’s email addresses (when they sign up for your newsletter) and allows you to send them emails weekly.

Promoting to your email list is the BIGGEST way to make money with your blog. These people trusted you enough to give you their email which means they’re probably going to trust you enough to buy what you’re sharing with them. Also, they’re already there, so you don’t have to get new people onto your site and HOPE they buy your affiliate or personal product. 

8. How do I get people onto my site so that I can start making money?

Fez, Morocco has some incredibly beautiful winding streets.

The ONE way I got readers onto my site fast as a new blogger was Pinterest. I was able to get 150,000 readers in my second month of blogging.


Side Note: If you’re completely new to Pinterest, then here’s is a quick guide to each term I’m going to use:

Pin: This is an image that a person on Pinterest can save for later (example: recipe, DIY project, etc.). Each pin links to a blog post that contains that recipe or DIY project.

Now for those thinking, “I just see an image when I see the pin. How do I actually get to the recipe?” – You will want to click on the pin image. Once it’s made big on the screen, you will click again and it will take you to that person’s site with the actual blog post.

Board: Think of this as a cork board where you can pin pictures and ideas and thoughts to (like the one below!). You can create different boards (such as a DIY board) and save a DIY pin onto that board.

Pinning: This is the exact term for saving a pin image. You can do this by clicking on the “Save” button when hovering over a pin image. 

Now if you’re on the Pinterest app on your phone, you can tap and hold your finger on the pin image. When you do this, the other pin images will disappear, and a few options will pop up. Then you can slide your finger (while still keeping your hold) over to the image of a pin. You can see this below! 🙂

Repin: This is how many times a pin has been saved by other people. Think of repins like Facebook likes or shares.


Now getting over 150,000 people onto my site so quickly was such a blessing. But if you’re just starting out, then smartest thing you can do is sign up for a free Business Pinterest account. Then, you’ll want to create 10-20 boards that fit within your niche.

Each board name should have very specific keywords (keywords are words people are searching for on Pinterest). This is just so that when you pin your own images onto those boards, Pinterest understands what that pin is about, and will show it to more people. So for instance, if you have a health and fitness blog, your board names might be “Weight Loss Tips” or “Diet Plan.”

Side Note: You can find these keywords by using the Pinterest search box. Just start typing in a word like “Hair Styles” and see what pops up. The first search results are the most searched for on Pinterest.

Next, you’ll want to pin 10 of other people’s pins onto those boards and make sure that each pin has 800+ repins (which you can find at the side of the pin when you click on it). This just shows Pinterest that you’re pinning high-quality content and helps the boards to do well (in this case, “do well,” means that Pinterest will show the pins you saved to more people). ALSO, you’ll want to make sure each board has a pretty cover and follows a board cover theme (color or image theme) to attract new followers.

Here’s an example of where the repin number is on a laptop or computer.

And here’s an example of the repin number on your phone.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re pinning other people’s content to the different boards daily (30+ pins spread throughout the different boards). This is just so that Pinterest sees that you’re spreading the love and you’re an active Pinterest user (not just someone who wants to only share their own pin images).

Then, you’ll want to start practicing pin making. There are sites like Picmonkey.com which allow you to create images for free. BUT, for a small monthly charge (the price of a few Starbucks drinks), you can get more design abilities and fonts (and not have to see their ads which tend to slow things down).

You can practice pin making by looking at other people’s pins (pins that have done well) and creating images inspired by theirs.

IMPORTANT Side Note: Just make sure you have 4+ different bloggers for pin examples. You DO NOT want another blogger to see that you’re solely using their pin style. And you want to make sure it’s not a full-on copy of their image, but inspired/similar.

Then you’ll want to try out similar fonts and images that you see from their pins so that you can get a feel for how others make pins (there are some great tutorials on YouTube for this if you want more tips and tricks!).

Then, depending on how much you want to start off with, you can a/b test pin images (or a/b/c/and d test like how I do). A/b testing is where you create two (or more) different images and see what does better. Doing this will increase the chances of people clicking through to your blog. This is very important for getting readers.

Another thing you’ll want to do is join other people’s group boards.

So what are group boards? Group boards are boards where the owner of the board allows others to pin with them. So let’s say you get on a group board that is favored by Pinterest (which means Pinterest will show the pins that are saved onto that board to other people more often) compared to your personal boards… well, then your pins are going to get seen more. That’s the magic of Pinterest.

ALSO, another reason why it’s good to make aesthetically pleasing boards with topics everyone likes is because group board owners will check out your Pinterest profile and decide if you’re someone they want contributing to their board.

Last Note: Just make sure that the majority of your boards are your own boards since Pinterest favors your personal boards more. So for instance, 30% of your boards would be group boards while 70% would be your own boards.

Now how do you find and sign up for group boards? Two ways: first, you can go onto some of your favorite blogger’s Pinterest accounts and see what group boards they’re on (the board will have a small circle on the bottom left corner showing three people’s profile images).

Two, you can go on PinGroupie and search for group boards that fill your niche AND have a great following and repin rate (a high repin rate means that the group board has an active following that is pinning a lot of the content from that board). How do you find those two? Well at the top, there are drop-down lists and you can search for group boards with a high amount of followers and/or a high repin rate.

Important Note: Do NOT be intimidated by how big of a following someone has or how exclusive it is. When I was just a new blogger on Pinterest, I had a small following, but I asked to be a part of as many group boards as I could and got accepted to many. Yes, I was denied many times, but I still got onto huge group boards with huge followings. Had I never taken the chance, my Pinterest account would never have been as big as it is right now. Pretty crazy right? 

Once you find the boards you want to join, email the board owner (if there’s an email provided in the board description).

If they don’t have that, go to their site and contact them from there. However, to find the owner and their website, you will need to click on the three images at top (these are just a few of the board’s contributors). Then there will be a drop down box which will show you ALL of the contributors. The VERY first one is the board owner.

Then you can find their blog in their profile’s description, click on it, go to their contact page, and ask them to get onto their board.

Now if they don’t have this either, comment on one of their most recent pins and ask to join (or send them a direct message on Pinterest). 

How to write the RIGHT kind of group board request: There are a couple of ways to do this. The first way is if the group board says they’re open for contributors (or doesn’t say otherwise). You can find this in the board description at the top.

You want to be very polite and professional, saying that you love their content and would like to be added onto their board. Then let them know that you won’t spam and you will follow their rules.

Lastly, let them know that if there’s anything you can do for them, to just let you know. This way they know it’s not just them giving and you taking.

Second way: If the board is closed to contributors, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply, but you should apply differently. Them saying that the board is closed to new people in the board description is a boundary. So you don’t want to make them feel disrespected by ignoring that boundary. You want to acknowledge that it’s there by saying something along the lines of, “Hey, I saw that your board “blank” was closed to new contributors. But if it ever does open up in the future, I would love to be considered as a contributor.” Again, being professional and polite goes a long way.

After that, you’ll want to join a pin scheduler like Tailwind which will pin your images for you to the boards you want. It’s a GREAT way to save time.

One Last Way to Get Readers Onto Your Site: Also, if you want to learn how to get a reliable and CONSISTENT readership from Google to your site, then you should seriously consider taking this online course called Stupid Simple SEO created by SEO expert, Mike Pearson (SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – basically, you’re creating blog posts that will be at the top of a Google search page). We’ve taken it and it REALLY helps get a lot of readers onto your site. You also get access to a private Facebook support group with Mike, downloads, checklists, & email outreach templates. It opens again on May 13th-17th, so be quick!

9. I don’t have the money to buy hosting, what should I do?

Full Disclosure: If you click through one of my referral links for Bluehost web hosting and make a purchase, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me keep Chasing Foxes up and running and providing new content weekly.

We were in the SAME spot when we first started blogging! We were living paycheck-to-paycheck, so even buying something like hosting was a commitment for us. 

Hosting: It’s like renting out space on the internet for your blog. So instead of going with a free blogging site like Blogger.com (which is basically impossible to make money on), you purchase hosting so that you have FULL control over your personal site. 

So we cut back on the wants like getting coffee out or those extra items at the grocery store (sometimes we don’t realize how much money we spend on things we don’t need). And pretty soon we were able to pay for Bluehost

And the best part is… I don’t regret it. Getting hosting for my blog was the BEST thing I could have done since it allows us to make income (instead of using a free blogging site where making money on it is VERY hard).

Think of it this way; you’ll be able to pay yourself back MULTIPLE times over what you spent on hosting. We sure did! 

You’re basically making a small investment now so that you can have greater time and money freedom later.

And you can get hosting for your blog here for $2.95/mo with a FREE domain name. Just make sure it’s through my special link so that you can actually get that amazing price and free domain. 🙂

Also, feel free to check out my step-by-step guide that will show you how to easily create your own blog here!

10. I need to be working because I need the money, should I still consider blogging?

DEFINITELY! 

Just a few months before our blog took off, I wanted to stop researching and blogging. I wanted to get a job so we could actually not feel like we were coming up for air every time payday came around.

Here were the things I said to my husband, Silas, out of desperation…

“Maybe I could get a part-time job at the Dollar Store since that’s close by (side note: we only had one car).”

“Even if I just got paid $500 month, it would still be something to help out.”

But his answers were things I could never forget because, without them, we’d still be stuck in northern Indiana right now.

He asked me where I wanted to be in 5 or 10 years down the road? Working at the Dollar Store and surfing Facebook at night? Or did I want to be traveling the world and working when I wanted to work? He told me that he knew I could do it and we were going to make it out together.

If it wasn’t for his encouragement and help, I honestly don’t know when we would have made it out of our situation.

This is something called opportunity cost…

Now the definition of opportunity cost is, “The loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.”

In my situation, opportunity cost was giving up the easy money I could have made working a part-time retail job, for the chance to make more than I had ever made before. Sure it hurt at the time, but it was so worth it!

I totally understand when sweeping the idea of blogging under the rug feels like the easiest thing to do. It’s hard when you you’re facing serious financial struggles and need to make ends meet.

But guys, I’ve known moms going through a divorce who started blogging and made a full-time income and were able to stay home with their kids. And I’ve even known people with full-time jobs who started a blog as a side-hustle and quit when their blog started making more money than their job.

You CAN do this!

Bali is a beautiful place!

11. I’m not tech-savvy… is this complicated?

Thankfully Bluehost and WordPress have made starting a blog a lot simpler. Now if you had come into the game 10 or 15 years ago… then yeah! It would be SERIOUSLY challenging. But thankfully, things have become a LOT easier, which is great for non-tech-savvy people like you and me. 

PLUS, if you are having any sort of trouble with setup, there are people directly on the other end of Bluehost who are there to help you out as well as TONS of free tutorials (video and written) to guide you along. These two factors make the tech side of blogging simple and unintimidating

12. How do I find the right name for my blog?

If coming up with a blog name is hard for you (it was for me!), then you’ll definitely want to check out my husband’s post on finding the RIGHT blog name for you. It’s filled with great advice, no fluff, I swear!

13. Where do I find the time to blog?

One of the simplest two ways to find time to blog is to narrow down and cut out.

You want to narrow down on your focus right away. You want to find the main few things that will get you to where you want to go the fastest (like how I talked about in the question, #4. Where do I even start? It’s overwhelming!). So basically, the most important things.

Then you want to cut out the unnecessary. Get rid of the blogging tasks that keep you overwhelmed and aren’t going to get you to those pageview (number of readers on your site) and income goal.

NEXT.

Narrow and cut down in your personal life. Are there home tasks or errands outside the home you could delegate to someone else? Would you be willing to cut down on media time (like on Facebook or Netflix)? Because while those things are fun and entertaining, they’re going to keep you away from living a life with time and money freedom. They’re going to keep you away from spending more time with your kids, spouse, friends, family and dreams. They’ll also keep you away from getting ahead financially and paying off the house or credit cards and/or student loan debt. There are SO many things like this that keep us away from living our dreams.

So find what those things are and cut the time you spend on them down or all together.

You’ll also just want to analyze your life in general. There are probably things taking up too much of your time or mental bandwidth throughout the week. So make sure to narrow in on the most important things in your life right now so that you can blog and have more freedom later.

Time blocking is another great way to make time for blogging (Time blocking: a type of scheduling where you dedicate a certain amount of time to a certain task, instead of just giving yourself an undisclosed amount of time to work on something).

If you just keep yourself to 1 hour doing a certain blogging task and 30 minutes for another blogging task, you’ll be able to work on the blog and not feel stressed out. You won’t be expanding the time it takes to finish something.

And the same goes for outside of blogging too. If you can time block your daily or weekly tasks or other parts of your life, then you can create more breathing room for blogging.

And lastly, there are going to be times where you’ll need to sacrifice. I remember there were nights where I would stay up a couple of hours after my husband had gone to bed just to work on the blog. Those extra hours you work will make a BIG difference in your success. And it will get you there faster too.

It’s all about the small sacrifices now for BIG rewards later.

14. Where do I find topics to write on?

In question #2. I feel like there are too many people in my niche. Should I even bother? I go into detail on how you can look to other bigger blogger’s blog posts and see where they’re not adding value.

This is a GREAT way to start brainstorming up awesome blog post ideas. You don’t want to copy them directly, but you do want to understand that the bigger bloggers are writing on those topics for a reason. And that reason is that they know that the topic they’re writing on is popular and will help out their big audience. They understand what’s going to pull in A LOT of readers since they’ve been blogging for a long time. They know what people want to hear about.

Another great way to brainstorm blog posts is to go onto Pinterest and type in a topic like, “frugal living tips” or “weight loss tips,” (depending on your niche) and see what the popular pins at the top of the page are. These pins are popular because their topic hit home with a lot of readers. Then you can go into the person’s blog post and see where you can add value.

Also, just keep a notebook or a place on your phone where you can write down blog post ideas as they come to you while you’re just living life.

Last Note: Just make sure that the blog posts follow WIIFM, which stands for “What’s In It For Me.” Readers want to know how this blog post can change something big or small in their life. And they want to know how they can do it now, not at some point in the far-off future. So give them a title and subject that lets them know how they can solve a problem by reading your blog post.

You can sign up to get my FREE viral blog post checklist here!

15. I don’t feel like I’m a good writer, what should I do?

I feel like this is almost EVERYONE when they first start out, so don’t feel discouraged!

When you’re a new blogger, you’re just finding your voice and discovering how you like to write and what you like to write about.

And one of the best ways to quickly get better is to read a few different bloggers throughout the week in your niche as well as outside your niche.

This is a great way to get a feel for how others write and what their “blog voice” sounds like. Bloggers like Lindsay from Pinch of Yum (who is an amazingly talented and funny writer) who sound SO natural. But when asked about it in an interview, she talked about how she had to read multiple other bloggers to find her own blogging voice. Which was CRAZY for me since she sounds like a complete natural!

So as you start in this process of becoming a better writer and learning how to tell stories and relate to your readers, one of the best things you can do is study the bigger bloggers.


I want to let you know that if you DO start a blog, I’m here to help you along the way. So feel free to email me at contact@chasingfoxes.com!

PLUS! If you have any questions that weren’t addressed here, please let me know in the comments down below!

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Meet Silas & Grace

Silas and Grace always had a passion for travel. So in 2016, they started Chasing Foxes to build a independent income source. Then, 4 month after launch, they were making enough money from their blog to travel full-time. And in the past two years, they’ve been able to help others out in their own blogging journey to go after their passions as well. Read more.

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