Blogging, Blogging Tips

How I Earned $1,118 My First Year Blogging

This month I’m celebrating my blog’s anniversary milestone! I launched Caffeine and Conquer on February 1st, 2018 as a hobby blog believe it or not! Now I’m looking back at my first year blogging and thinking it could have been better but it could have been a lot worse too.


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My mission is to empower women to be their own boss and live their best life. Using my experience building my online business, I help women launch, grow and make money blogging online.

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CAFFEINE AND CONQUER’S FIRST YEAR

It didn’t take me long to figure out I can do more with my blog than write journal style posts. I could earn money! I just needed to figure out how.

In my first year, I have:

  • Written seventy-seven blog posts and three guest posts
  • Launched my Pinterest virtual assistance services
  • Started a YouTube channel
  • Connected over social media
  • Partnered with brands such as Interact Quiz Collective and Tailwind.
  • Earned a small income

I think a lot of new bloggers go through the same realization or start blogging thinking they will make oodles of money. There is no doubt that we have high hopes. The future is online and we’re exposed to so many successful online entrepreneurs that we think we can do it too.

And we can!

It just takes time, which is not always talked about in blogging circles. We’re just shown the highlights and the success.

We try and keep trying.

I DIDN’T EARN A SINGLE PENNY UNTIL 6 MONTHS IN

In August 2018 I made $27.78 writing transcriptions as a freelancer. It wasn’t even directly related to my blog but it was income I earned as my own boss.

At the time, even though I was putting in full-time hours with no return, I was loving every single second of it. I was learning so much too.

My father likes to point out how little return I am getting for the effort I put into my blog. However, I don’t see it that way exactly. I like to look at it as investing my time, the same way you would invest in education. And this time, instead of going $25,000 into debt for a diploma and no work experience, I’m doing the opposite. I’m teaching myself by working, and it’s costing me very little money to do so. I also know I have to build and keep building before I see the payoff.

It was working, slowly.

I began to see results for my efforts six months into my project to see if I could be my own boss. From August 2018 onwards I started earning consistently.

Over the second half of my first year, I earned income from freelancing, virtual assistance, sponsored writing, and affiliate commissions.

Below is a more detailed breakdown of my income from my first year blogging.

A photograph of a woman writing in a daily planner on a surface with a laptop and keyboard

WHY I’M SHARING MY YEARLY BLOGGING INCOME REPORT

Before sharing my personal information I want to take a break to explain why I am sharing this.

In most job situations you don’t share how much money you’re making, it’s not good etiquette. However, I want to be as transparent with you as I can. My life is an open book through my blog, not only to connect with other women with similar struggles and dreams but also because I value authenticity.

As someone aiming to empower other women to start their own money making blog, it’s important to me to be transparent about my own experience. You’re not going to trust someone who can’t show that they’ve accomplished what they are teaching right?

I’m proud of the amount I made with a blog less than 12 months old! It will be nice to look back on this report a year from now and compare the two.

FIRST YEAR BLOGGING INCOME BREAKDOWN

It’s important to note that this breakdown includes income that has been paid out to me. Anything tied up or being held until I reach a certain threshold for payment is not included here. It also doesn’t show compensation through gift cards or free products.

In my first year of blogging, I made $1,118CAD before expenses! Here is a breakdown of that amount:

  • Freelance Work: $143.60 This is the income I made by writing transcriptions and graphic design. Before I started earning money directly through my blog I was freelancing on Crowdsurf, transcribing media videos. Similar to many work-from-home survey sites they pay VERY little, it’s almost robbery. It was taking me a couple of hours transcribing to make $5USD so that didn’t last long and I stopped doing it. Most of my later freelance income was coming from Fiverr where I offer graphic design services for social media accounts. Lastly, I had one tiny gig where I helped a writer edit his novel for a small sum.
  • Virtual Assistance: $818.81 Most of my income right now comes from my Pinterest virtual assistance services. Back in July, I decided I was going to use my experience and skills from Pinterest to help other businesses by offering consultations or management options. It’s been so successful and fun learning the ropes of selling my services to other people and maintaining business relations. Since July I have taken on two ongoing management clients and helped another by auditing their account. This form of income has been great early into my blogging career because my traffic isn’t high enough to qualify for premium ad networks or high affiliate sales.
  • Sponsored Writing: $130.00 A couple of times last year Tailwind offered a bonus commission for content created to promote their features. I wrote two posts to earn that bonus commission and because I live in Canada the conversion rate means I earn even more!
  • Affiliate Commissions: $25.58 I earned a very small amount of affiliate commissions. It’s SO hard to earn this way if your traffic isn’t high. I have had luck promoting Tailwind on my blog and earning a small commission when people sign up.

When I first started blogging for money I expected to make more than I did my first year. But girl was I naive!

I know better now and am ecstatic at the results I got during my first year blogging. It’s only up from here right?

We can’t forget about those pesky business expenses though, so keep reading!

FIRST YEAR BLOGGING EXPENSES

During my first year of blogging, I spent $275.78 on blog-related expenses. Here is a breakdown:

  • Domain: $17 So I can have an amazing blog URL that’s mine.
  • Bluehost: $75 Around May or June 2018 I decided I wanted to go self-hosted on WordPress.org. I moved my blog from Blogspot to Bluehost and the rest is history. It’s an investment, and the second year of hosting is going to cost me SO much more, but the benefits are well worth it.
  • Theme: $25 I found this theme on Etsy!
  • Tailwind: $127.60 I use Tailwind to manage my clients and my Pinterest scheduling. It’s $14.99USD per account I manage (less if I get referral credit!).
  • PayPal Fees: $31.18 It irks me that PayPal takes a fee for every transaction I make but a lot of people trust PayPal when handling money between parties. I have a PayPal business account and process my client invoices and Fiverr payments through there.

FIRST YEAR BLOGGING PROFIT – $842.22!

I made $842.22 profit from my online work over the last twelve months.

It’s definitely not a full-time income, however, I spend full-time hours every day working towards that goal.

The next twelve months are either going to prove that I’m still on to something or fail horribly! My financial goals moving forward are a lot higher and the projects more exciting. I can’t wait to bring you along my journey.

If you’re a blogger what have been your financial successes and struggles in your first year? 

A pinnable image of three woman holding their hands in the air in front of a blue and white brick wall. Text over: "How I earned $1118 my first year blogging. Yearly income report. Caffeine and Conquer"

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4 Comments

  1. Erika

    February 8, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    This is great information. Sometimes I see posts from other bloggers about how they made money right away. And although they don’t mean it to be that way, it can get discouraging if you aren’t seeing the same results as them. Thank you for breaking your stats down. I appreciate it.

    1. Sarah Fournier

      February 9, 2019 at 9:56 pm

      I always liked peaking at other bloggers income reports too. I agree, it’s always crazy amounts that sound amazing but it’s not always the case for everyone. I’m just happy I made it over 1k haha.

  2. Sasha

    February 8, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    I love this. It’s so nice to hear a real perspective on blogging and you’ve done a really amazing job! Thank you for this!

    1. Sarah Fournier

      February 9, 2019 at 9:59 pm

      Thanks Sasha! I feel like even though my post isn’t some crazy “I made 60k my first year”, it’s more relatable to a lot of new bloggers. I also expected to make more at the beginning of the year, so I could have hidden my number, but I felt it was important that I be honest with my readers!

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