Blogging Income Report – How I Made My First $1000 Blogging | Blogging Story, $0 to $1000 & Lessons Learned

Last Updated on 21st Sep, 2022

Interested to make money blogging, but not sure if you should start? In this article, I’ll explain exactly how I made my first $1,000 blogging starting from scratch.

Blogging Income Report – How I Made My First $1000 Blogging | Blogging Story, $0 to $1000 & Lessons Learned

In full transparency, this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on these links and then make a purchase, we’ll receive a small fee. No worries though, you will still pay the standard amount so there’s no cost on your part.

Interested to make money blogging, but not sure if you should start? In this article, I’ll explain exactly how I made my first $1,000 blogging here on Digital Millions.

I understand that this is not a substantial amount of money.

In fact, bloggers who earn millions of dollars are not uncommon. This information, on the other hand, might be useful for people who want to start a blog but aren’t sure if they’ll be able to make a decent living from their blogging efforts.

To put it simply, yes, you can make a lot of money from blogging.

Blogging can be a lucrative business.

But unfortunately, this is not a get-rich-quick scheme and like any other business model, blogging takes time to generate a decent income.

Tattooed Woman with Laptop

In most cases, blogging will require at least 2 – 3 years to produce substantial income.

And, guess what?

To be honest, it took me 15 months to make my first $1000 from this blog. Yes, it took a considerable amount of time. But I’m happy. Because I believe making your first $1000 online is always the hardest, but your next $1000 is not.

And, based on my experience and knowledge gained over the last 15 months, I expect to earn at least $1000 per month after three years.

Or maybe, I can do it sooner.

That’s not too shabby, is it?

It wasn’t easy for me to earn my first $1,000 from this blog. I’m going to share exactly what I’ve done in the last 15 months to get to $1000 and how I am planning to move ahead. So, you can expect to reach your first $1000 faster.

I know most bloggers make nothing from their blog.

In reality, almost 90% of bloggers make less than $100 per year. So if you wish to start a blog and make money online, my story might help you make some good decisions right from the beginning of your blogging venture.

So without wasting any more time, let’s get started.

My Story

I launched this blog on 1st January, 2020, a few months before the Covid 19 erupted.

My goal with this blog was to make money while educating others on how to make money online through blogging. I didn’t want to build backlinks; instead, I wanted to concentrate on creating high-quality content as the foundation for my blogging success.

I don’t hate backlinks. But I think it’s risky.

Besides, creating high-quality backlinks takes time and, in some cases, a substantial amount of money. I wanted to put my money and effort into my blog’s content as well as anything that could help it grow faster and make more money.

Honestly, I’m still not at the point where I can call myself a successful blogger. But, while most bloggers earn almost nothing from their blogs, I believe it is worthwhile to share what I did with mine and how I made my first $1000 from this blog.

Truly speaking, this is not the first blog I started.

This is probably the 17th website I started. I launched my first blog back in 2007 and since then I started lots of blogging sites in different niches.

None of these websites were large authority sites.

In fact, these websites were focusing on a very specific topic. The idea was to make mini-sites with only 30 to 50 articles that focused on a single subject or niche.

The reason?

This way, it’s easier to rank on Google and build an income faster.

To be honest, it wasn’t my idea to create small niche sites. It’s copied from George Brown. You may have already heard of his product called Google Sniper, a digital product sold on ClickBank, teaching people how to make money from small niche sites.

I wouldn’t lie. I made quite a decent amount of money, but nothing substantial.

But now, things have changed. Those techniques rarely work.

Then, at the beginning of 2020, something clicked in my head, and I decided to create an authority site and produce high-quality content in large quantities.

And, the result is Digital Millions.

My intention is to monetize the blog with advertising.

To be honest, affiliate marketing can be very profitable for your blog and it can generate a significant amount of revenue. But, affiliate income can fluctuate dramatically every month. But, when it comes to display ads, the income is almost always consistent.

You just need to concentrate on increasing page views with display ads. More pageviews typically means more revenue from ads.

It seems to be a lot more manageable than affiliate marketing.

But unfortunately, blogs with low traffic don’t have a better option than affiliate marketing. So, I am unable to join any premium advertising networks until I reach at least 10000 sessions per month. And, building the traffic will take time.

So I decided to go with affiliate marketing.

And, that’s how I reached my first $1000 from this blog.

While making $1000 after 15 months of blogging may not sound very impressive, it still matters. It is significant to me. It should also matter to people who are trying to make their first dollar from blogging or who have never made a single dollar from blogging.

And, blogging takes time just like any other business model.

While most bloggers fail within the first year of blogging, I would consider making $1,000 just after 1 year to be a significant achievement.

Blogging Income Report

Despite the fact that this blog promotes over 100 different products or services, I was only able to generate sales for the following products.

Here’s a complete breakdown of how I made the money.

1. HostGator$325
2. WP Rocket$342.43
3. Grammarly$41.4
4. ProWritingAid$41.2
5. Fiverr$280
Total Revenue$1030.33

1. HostGator

In the last 15 months, I’ve made 5 sales for HostGator.

This is the web hosting company where Digital Millions is hosted. Since the beginning of my first blog, I’ve used HostGator to host my websites.

HostGator Promo

I’ve never had a problem with HostGator.

This is, without a doubt, one of the best web hosting companies for beginners. I want to use premium hosts like WP Engine in the future as my traffic increases. For the time being, HostGator is performing quite well for my website.

I am also planning to move my site from shared hosting to HostGator cloud in the next few months. If it performs well, I won’t probably move to WP Engine.

I tried to promote HostGator on this site whenever it makes sense. And, I have been able to generate 5 sales in the last 15 months.

My HostGator Affiliate Income Proof

HostGator Affiliate Commissions
Prices are in INR, not in dollars / HostGators pays $65/sale / 5 actions = $325

As you can see, I have received around 2500 affiliate clicks, but only got 5 sales in the last 15 months. Yes, there are reasons why my conversion rate is pretty low. Mostly, it’s due to the fact that people who click on these links are not in the buying mode.

What did I learn?

If you don’t get highly targeted visitors clicking on your affiliate links, getting affiliate sales for the web hosting companies can be challenging. And when none of your hosting-related blog posts are ranked on the first page of Google, it can be pretty tough.

And here’s the fact:

Writing a high-quality blog post, promoting it like crazy, and finally getting it ranked on search engines takes time, a lot of time. And, for such a highly competitive niche, it can take years to get decent numbers of visitors from search engines, unless you run some serious backlinking campaigns.

I was always against building backlinks.

So, I was already expecting a low conversion rate. Hopefully, I will be able to improve my conversion rate in the coming months.

But, honestly, I truly believe HostGator is a wonderful hosting company for beginners. And, if you want to start your blog, blindly go for it.

2. WP Rocket

I generated about 15 sales for WP Rocket.

WP Rocket is a WordPress cache plugin that helps my blog’s pages load faster. It doesn’t only help with user experience, it also helps a lot with SEO.

I wanted to promote this plugin from the moment I purchased it and noticed a significant improvement in the loading speed of my blog’s pages.

I literally jumped out of my chair when saw the improvement.

I wrote an article on how WP Rocket can help reduce the time it takes for any WordPress site’s pages to load, and I also shared a secret trick for getting a 10% discount coupon on WP Rocket. The post went viral, and I began to rank on the first page of Google.

During that time, I got sales of over $1100 in a single day, as you can see in the screenshot below. I started wondering how many more sales I could get from that 1 article.

My WP Rocket Affiliate Income Proof

WP Rocket Commissions

But, my excitement did not last long.

WP Rocket sent me a message asking me to delete the article because it promoted a way to get WP Rocket discount coupons. This is against their rules, and they won’t let me participate in the program unless I remove the post.

What else could I do?

I removed the article from the blog and lost all hope of earning affiliate commissions from the plugin. Later, I decided to write a review on the plugin.

You can click here to read my complete WP Rocket review.

The main target keyword for this article was “WP Rocket Review”.

Unfortunately, the keyword is so competitive that I was not able to keep my ranking below the top 30 for more than 3 months. The article still gets around a hundred visitors per month and already made 15 sales.

3. Grammarly

I don’t think I need to tell you about Grammarly if you’ve ever wanted to improve your writing skills and searched for a writing tool.

I believe every writer is familiar with this popular grammar checker.

I use Grammarly on a regular basis and promote on this blog whenever it makes sense. So far, I’ve made 2 sales and generated 7 leads.

My Grammarly Affiliate Income Proof

Grammarly Commissions

The majority of my sales came from an article I wrote about the best grammar checker apps. The article’s search ranking is constantly improving, and in the coming years, it will most likely produce more commissions for me.

I’m waiting for it to rank on the first page with patience.

Currently, the majority of my commissions come from leads generated by the article. In a nutshell, I get paid when someone uses my affiliate link to sign up for a free Grammarly trial. It pays 20 cents per lead and $20 for every sale.

4. ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid is one of the best Grammarly alternatives I’ve discovered for people who don’t like Grammarly for any reason. The best selling point of ProWritingAid is that it is less expensive than Grammarly but works just as well.

It also has a generous monthly plan that costs only $20, compared to $29 for Grammarly. It also paid me some affiliate commissions too.

ProWritingAid Affiliate Income Proof

ProWritingAid Affiliate Commissions

5. Fiverr

I earned $280 from Fiverr in last 15 months. All thanks to my blog Digital Millions.

Fiverr Earnings

I have written two e-books. One ebook explains a strategy I’ve used and would continue to use to sell domain names at a higher price.

Another eBook is on how to get direct referrals.

Both of these eBooks are being promoted on this site only. As a result, I’m going to treat my Fiverr earnings as a result of Digital Millions alone.

So those were some of the methods I used to earn a little more than $1000 from this blog. It is said that earning the first $1000 is the hardest, but the next $1000 is not. I will try my best to prove it in the next couple of months.

Blogging Expense Report

So far, I’ve been talking about my income. Let’s have a look at how I invested my money. I also want to warn you that it may not be very entertaining. Because it’s about my blogging expenses, not blogging income.

But honestly, I’ve got an excellent ROI (return on investment).

So here are my expenses in last 15 months:

1. Web Hosting – $30

I paid for HostGator‘s baby plan because I needed to host multiple websites and wasn’t just running this blog. In addition, I paid for 3 years in advance to get the best deal. I spent a total of $134.33 for 36 months or 3 years, including taxes.

So, my monthly hosting cost is $3.73 USD if I measure it correctly.

You should know that I have other sites sharing the same server and generating income for me. That way, my hosting cost per month on this blog is getting reduced.

For easy calculation, let’s say that I’m paying about $2 per month for hosting this blog.

So, that makes my 15 months cost only $30.

2. Website Themes – $56

In the beginning, I used a genesis theme called Authority Pro developed by StudioPress. I spent a total of $56 on this. If you are a first-time user, the theme will cost you $129.95. I received a substantial discount as I was an existing customer.

I’m currently using the free blocksy theme because it appears to give me more options and control over how my site should look and feel.

The Blocksy theme is truly awesome. You should check it out.

This is completely free.

There is a premium version, which I plan to buy soon because of the many additional features it provides. However, the free version is currently performing pretty well.

To be honest, it seems like a much better option than Authority pro.

While it is a free theme, it does not feel like one.

3. WP Rocket – $39

I use WP Rocket on this blog, as I previously mentioned. It speeds up the loading of my blog’s pages, resulting in a better user experience.

It also helps with SEO.

Google has stated that it takes loading speed into consideration when determining where your site should appear on search engine result pages.

You should not ignore it either.

4. BunnyCDN – $20

BunnyCDN is a content delivery network (CDN) that allows me to store static files such as images in multiple geo-locations and deliver them to visitors at lightning speed.

It helps in increasing the speed at which your pages load.

You’ll be surprised to learn that BunnyCDN costs just $10 per year. And that should be more than enough if you have a blog with less than 10000 pageviews.

And, here’s the interesting part:

While most CDN services cost anywhere from $7 to $20+ per month, BunnyCDN will cost you only $10 per year while providing the same level of quality service.

Pretty cool, right?

I recharged my account with $20 and still have balance left.

Full Breakdown of Expenses

1. Hosting$30
2. WordPress theme$56
3. WP Rocket$39
4. BunnyCDN$20
Total Expense$145 + My time on this blog

That brings the total cost of running this blog to $145, excluding the countless hours I spent writing blog posts, optimizing content, running promotions, and everything else.

Please keep in mind that I use Moosend for my email marketing campaigns as well. When you have less than 1000 subscribers, it is completely free.

I can use it for free since my blog’s subscriber count is only about 650.

My Net Profit from This Blog

It’s clear that I managed to get a net profit of $885.33 USD.

Total Revenue$1030.33
Total Expense$145
Net Profit$885.33
ROI (Return on Investment)More than 500% ROI

At the time of writing, the website has 118 blog posts with over 400,000 words published. This equates to approximately 7 articles per month. Without a doubt, if I published more articles, I would have had more opportunities to earn affiliate commissions.

Now, I am planning to invest on content and hire writers to write for my blog.

And, as always, quality will remain my top priority.

My Final Thoughts

So, what did I learn?

Quite a few things. But there’s one thing I’ve learned for sure:

If you can give it time, blogging will always pay off.

I promote more than 100 different affiliate programs on this blog. But, I managed to get sales only for a few products. And, I am still in profit.

The best thing?

Even though I have no intention to leave this blog alone, it is quite possible to turn it into a passive income-generating asset. Even if I stop working on this blog and leave it alone, it will continue to produce income for me for years to come.

Pretty cool, right?

That’s all for today. And of course, thank you so much for reading.

If you want to launch your blogging business now and need someone to guide you, you can read my ultimate guide on how to start a blog. And, start your blog with HostGator for just $2.75/month. It’s the best web hosting option for beginner bloggers.

Get Started with HostGator

Full Disclosure: Please note that if you decide to buy hosting using any link on this page, at NO additional cost to you (none whatsoever!), I may get compensated, by the hosting company. Will this be a problem? In fact, if you click and buy, thank you. It really motivates me to create more quality content, free of charge.

If you find my blogging story motivating, please don’t hesitate to show your love and share this post. It really helps me a lot.

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