How I made my first $10,000 in one year!

Making money from your blog is not a secret anymore. In fact, you can make a Full-Time income from blogging. This post will share what I did right to make my blog profitable.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link!*

Some facts about my blog:

The blog that made my first $10,000 is not the blog you are reading. In fact, it is a travel niche blog.

  • Travel niche blog: focus on traveling in the Netherlands
  • Target audience: readers located in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.

Though the blog targets non-English readers, it is also very helpful to you. The principle of a profitable blog is the same worldwide. Besides, this post shares the strategies I used to make the blog profitable.

The blog started in 2015 and I treated it like a hobby after work. I was really into blogging but was not aware that it is possible to make good money from blogs.

What I did wrong at first:

Before diving into what I did right with blogging, first, I would like to share what I did wrong. Knowing what could go wrong with blogging can help you make the same mistakes and make good money from your blog faster.

#1 Not investing in myself and the blog

I started with a free blog platform, not a self-hosting blog. That was a mistake.

When my blog became popular, I found ads and layouts were annoying. Then I switched to a self-hosted blog. To have a good SEO blog with my old content, I hired a professional company to do that. That did cost me a lot of money.

So, if you are not on a self-hosting blog, it is time to switch! Once you have more content, you have higher risks when you make the change.

For new bloggers, I highly recommend having BlueHost. With my link, you can get less than USD 3 per month to build an excellent WordPress blog.

Related posts:
7 Detailed Steps to start a profitable blog!
Free service: start your blog the right way!

#2 Did not run the blog in English at the same time

My travel blog was in Traditional Chinese; I could only target Traditional Chinese Readers. The audience size is small. If I wrote Chinese and English posts, I can reach more readers and generate more blogging income.

Therefore, if you have a non-English blog, please consider the possibility of having your blog also in English. You only need to use the WPML plugin to do so. It is easy (I did it myself!), and they have good customer support to help with any questions you have with your blog. It is worth the investment.

Related: Top 13 useful tools for every bloggers to make more money!

#3 Thought it was not possible to make good money from blogging

Though many blog income reports show how much money you can make from blogging, I still had doubts about doing it. Therefore, I did not put all my effort into it and did not invest in online courses.

If I could turn back time, I would invest in some courses for blogging.

For starting your blog, you can do it with my detailed 7 steps to make a profitable blog guide, including what topics you should choose, ways to monetize your blog, and most importantly, you need traffic strategy. If you are struggling to drive traffic, I highly recommend having Pinterest traffic as your blog traffic strategy.

Here are two courses that help drive traffic to your blog from Pinterest:

Pinterest Traffic Explosion by Shruti ($99): This is the second Pinterest course I took since I liked to try different techniques! The course covers everything you need to know about Pinterest and the right starter course. The original price is $297 (yes, this is what I paid), but now on big promotion on AppSumo. Be sure to grab it before the offer expires.
Pinterest Avalance by Create and Go ($197): a course highly recommended by many bloggers. The first course I took, and it worked for me! A lot of useful strategies and tips for bloggers.

What I did right with my blog!

Avoiding making the same mistakes are essential, but making the right decision/strategy is even more important!

#1 Choose the right web hosting company

A self-hosting blog gives you more flexibility: no one forces you to have ads on your blog. You can add many plugins to make your blog more professional and build a blog with a nice layout or have your blog the way you want. Most importantly, no ads in your blog if you don’t want to.

I regretted that I first had my blog on a free platform and became very satisfied with it once I switched to a self-hosting blog. Strongly recommend you change if you have not.

Related: 11 Feminine WordPress Themes that make your blog gorgeous.

#2 Choose a profitable niche

A profitable niche means that the blog topics that you can make money. The most profitable niche does not have to be the most popular niche. Sometimes, topics that are not that popular could be a chance to make money since not many people are talking about them.

Based on the research from Brandi, the most profitable niches are Personal Finance (24%), Marketing (21%), and Food (17%).

The most profitable blog niche is Personal Finance!
Source: Brandongaille

f the niche that you are interested in is not listed above, it does not mean you cannot make money from your blog. Highly recommend you start looking for niche blogs that you are interested in and see if the bloggers make profits from the blog. From what I know, one DIY blog can earn at least $1,000 from ads, so don’t give up on your hobby.

#3 Know who my target audience is

It is crucial to know who you are communicating with within your blog. This way, you can deliver the content they want and understand what they like and dislike.

Remember, a blog is just like a news agency, and news (content) is the key to a popular newspaper!

How to know who your target audience is?

Method #1:

Ask yourself, what content you want to deliver and who wants to read your content? Besides, think about what other topics that your target audience will like?

Then, list down the post tiles you are planning to write. I recommend having 10-15 blog posts titles.

Method #2:

Go to Google Analytics/Pinterest Analytics for the below information:

  • Demographics
  • Age
  • Gender
  • What they like/dislike (check which posts are popular and ones that are not)

#4 Content Planning with a strategy

Once you know who your audience is, please try to understand what content they like. For example, you can ask the readers if you have an email list or visit Facebook groups and see their difficulties and help by sharing your posts.

You might have many topics in mind, but please list them down and outline and brainstorm what you will write. This way, you can finish your post a lot faster than you have no outline on hand.

Besides, you can think about what other posts you can discuss further.

For example, I have a travel niche blog. Many people sent me private messages via Facebook and Instagram for general questions, like how to get to the attractions and where to stay. So, I made some posts about where to stay in the city, the popular attractions including topics like getting there, ticket prices, etc. Since I replied to the same questions repeatedly, I made a post for the top frequently-asked questions for traveling.

Think about what content will help your readers the most, and they will be so happy to read your post and even like your blog more!

#5 Have a clear plan to drive income

If you are thinking about increasing your income from blogging without any income strategy, you have zero chance to succeed.

The most common ways to make money from blogging are:

#1 Ad revenue:

once you have stable traffic to your blog, you can join Google Adsense or some other Ad Network to earn ad income. The pros of it are that you can generate revenue quickly via your blog, but the cons are that your blog would be with some ads in your post, which is less reader-friendly.

#2 Affiliate Marketing:

Affiliate Marketing is the best way to generate income from your blog, especially for new bloggers!

Join an affiliate program or affiliate network. You can promote products/signups in your niche to your readers. If your readers complete an order/signup, etc. (depends on the terms of the affiliate program), you get commissions! No need to be spammy. I highly recommend reading this one!

Related: What is affiliate marketing? Ultimate Affiliate Marketing Guide for new bloggers!

#3 Sponsor post:

once your blog gets attention from brands, you might get sponsored posts to work with them.

#4 Digital Products:

You can quickly generate your income by creating your digital products, like ebooks or online courses! If so, I highly recommend using SendOwl and Podia to do this. They are cheaper than teachable and very user-friendly. A useful tool for budget bloggers!

Related: How I create an ebook and make money fast!

#5 Freelance Work:

Your blog is the place to show what you have got. Many bloggers use their blog as a portfolio to attract clients for their freelance work, especially if you are good at digital marketing or web analytics.

It would help if you had a clear plan for making money and implementing them into your blog.

Why I choose Affiliate Marketing as the main income strategy for my blog!

You should monetize your blog with Affiliate Marketing if you have a full-time job!
Source: Pixistock

I made my first $10,000 only from Affiliate Marketing. I don’t promote courses or ebooks for blogging or making money; they are all for travel-related products.

I love affiliate marketing since it is a passive income. I only need to work on my blog content once, and later, if anyone buys products via my link, it doesn’t matter where I am and what I do. I can get the commission!

Since I have a busy full-time job, time is very precious. I do not accept one-time work for extra money. If I take sponsored posts or freelance work, I would only become busier and busier. I need a smart way to grow my income, not to trade my time for money.

Affiliate Marketing is the best way to monetize your blog, especially for new bloggers! Besides, the best part of it is that it’s an passive income!

If you run your blog while having a full-time job, be sure to utilize Affiliate Marketing fully. It is not difficult. You create posts with Affiliate Marketing links and promote your links on social media afterward! Also, put your affiliate marketing link in your most popular posts, but only to promote affiliate products relevant to the article. Otherwise, you will not make any sales from it.

Related: What is affiliate marketing? A course that changed my life!

#6 Create a Facebook Group

Running a Facebook Group is a critical factor in making a lot of money from my blog. I fully utilize Facebook groups. You can build your audience very fast!

I know people have tons of questions about traveling, but no people around them can help or are afraid to ask their friends/family about it. So, I created the Facebook Groups for my blog.

But there are so many Facebook Groups already in the market. Is it still necessary to join my Facebook Group for my readers? I have a strategy for this: only share the most updated local travel information in Facebook Group, you cannot find it anywhere else, and that worked!

By running Facebook Groups, I know what posts to write for my readers and what affiliate products would be a good fit for them.

If you have a travel niche blog, I highly recommend you do the same. It takes some time to run the Facebook Group, but I enjoy it a lot since I help my readers and run my blog.

#7 Never stop trying!

The last one, you already know, but it is true: never stop trying.

I have no marketing background but have a passion for blogging and traveling. Along the way, I read many income reports and tips about how to make money online, AND I IMPLEMENT THEM INTO MY BLOG! (I need your attention because many people just read the articles, never try it out themselves!)

Actions can change everything. If you don’t take action, nothing will happen. If you take action, you have a chance to succeed.

Final Thoughts

Hope you find this article helpful and be sure to share or comment on this post. More people will see it and, most importantly, motivates me to write more useful posts for you!

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Last Updated on January 3, 2023 by heronlineempire

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