No, this isn’t an income report! Making $40 through affiliates is not nearly enough money to start telling everyone I’m an expert on blogging! Ha! I’m not going to complain though, I’ll take the extra $40! It went straight into our Europe fund.
What this post is about though is showing you step by step what I did to gain so many followers in my first month of blogging. I have gone into detail with every program I have used and every blogger I have gathered inspiration from. I hope you can learn something from this!!
Hosting websites for your blog (SiteGround or BlueHost) – Which is better?
This is my honest opinion because I have used both of these hosting sites!
BlueHost – it is definitely more popular and you can do more with it. Their customer service was great, I can’t say a bad word about that! What bothered me, and made me switch, was because of how much it slowed my laptop down. The site itself took forever to load, it constantly froze up, and one time it deleted my entire blog and all it’s content. I’m still not sure why that last one happened.
I started on BlueHost for $3.95/month and a free domain for the first year. That was really awesome!
SiteGround – so far I haven’t had a single complaint through SiteGround. Their website is much easier for me to use and understand, they are so much faster and more responsive than BlueHost ever was. Even on it’s the slowest day, it still embarrassed BlueHost’s speed.
I purchased SiteGround’s hosting plan for $3.95/month but had to pay $15 for the domain. That wasn’t so awesome, but after reading all of the reviews and seeing it for myself – I would have spent an extra $100 for the rate of speed!
Don’t believe me? A comparison test was done comparing SiteGround and BlueHost, and you can see that the clear winner was SiteGround. On the majority of all the comparison articles, SiteGround wins.
If you are interested in starting your own blog with one of the top web hosting company in 2018, you can start your blog with them for as low as $3.95 a month with my discounted link!
These two specific podcast channels had blogging strategies I’ve never even heard of.
I listened to these two podcasts (and still do) for hours. Driving in the car, working out, while I’m blogging…I am constantly listening to these two podcasts. I have learned so much from them and feel like I’ve been able to cut in line and be further with my followers than I should be.
The Blog Millionaire – Brandon’s blog and all the blogs he has created for others each earn over 1,000,000 views every month. Brandon spent six months studying every strategy possible before even launching his blog. He has found ways to obtain followers and views that I haven’t heard of (see below). His podcast is amazing! You can listen on Spotify or sign up for his emails to get the links which include downloadable materials.
She’s Making An Impact – Rachel is a Pinterest Guru! So much so that she was asked to do a TEDx talk on her marketing strategies. I have learned so much from her and haven’t even bought her course yet! She has an amazing Pinterest course and people rave about it, talking about how much it has changed their blogging business.
I learned how to optimize my graphics on Pinterest.
By using the free designing program, Canva, I have been able to build graphics that really catch the reader’s attention! They already have layout designs for each social media platform. All you do is click on the Pinterest graphic one. I search for free for commercial use stock photos. Can’t stress that enough! Do NOT use someone else’s graphic or photo unless you have permission. Pixabay and Pexels are where I find the majority of mine.
Next is to find a font that stands out but is readable to other viewers. Pinks, reds, and oranges with a clean background are colors that catch the attention of most readers.
Here is an example of my most popular graphic. During its first day on Pinterest, the graphic was repinned 70 times and seen by over 3,000 people. You can read here to learn how we paid off so much debt so quickly.
I also signed up for a free account with Tailwind. After hearing so much about it, I decided that I had nothing to lose since it was a free account. Once I got in my tribes and got the hang of everything, my Pinterest views went from an average of 200 per day to over 3,000 per day within a week! My pins were being clicked on and saved all day long. Tailwind helped me to reach people I would never have been able to reach before. If interested, you can get a free month of Tailwind by signing up through this link.
I recommended these three affiliates that I use and swear by myself
Digit – this app watches your finances on a daily basis and sees what you can afford to save. The advanced algorithm does not allow the app to overdraft your account, and on the off chance it does, they will refund you! They recommend that you set up a limit. If your bank account hits that limit, it will not withdraw anymore until you have more money. The website says you save an extra $10-$30 each week on average without doing anything. Sign up here to start saving more towards paying off debt!
Acorns – this is a free investing app. It rounds up all of your purchases (IE: you spend $9.41, it’ll round it up to $10 and save the $.59) and when all the roundups have totaled to $5, it’ll pull the $5 from your account and put it into your investments. It is also recommended that you pull out a certain amount each week for an automatic withdrawal which can be as little as $5! If you’re interested in an easy way to save that spare change, sign up sign up here to receive your first $5 on them!
Stash – this is an investment app that is free to download and very credible! You set up an amount to be withdrawn from your account every week (as little as $5) and you can choose which companies you want to invest in! If you’re interested in adding a little investment to your savings, I’d recommend signing up for an account here! As a thank you, they will give your account with an extra $5 to start out with!
If interested in learning more about these apps, you can check out this post on how I’ve used them to save over $5,000. This is why I swear by these apps!
I transformed my Pinterest account to reflect my blog and be more appealing and easy to use
I first turned my original Pinterest account into a business account. Then I transformed all of my boards into the business style boards and made sure each board had at least 20 pins in them. I then converted these to rich pins.
I made each board a specific but broad title for SEO. How I did that was I typed in the main word I wanted the board to be about into the search bar and tried to name it after one of the first few automatic fill-ins that appeared. This way my boards would pop up whenever someone searched that broad term, but it’s still specific enough to narrow it down to one topic.
I used these three strategies and gained 3,500 followers in my first month
This first strategy is called the $1.80 strategy. I found this tip on Shayla Anderson’s page and immediately started implementing it for Instagram. She goes more in depth, but the main idea is that you look at the top 10 hashtags in your niche and give your $0.02 on the first 9 posts of each tag. (10 x .02 x 9 = 1.80)
Since I’m a personal finance blogger, one of the top hashtags I searched was “financial freedom”. By following this strategy, I went from 38 average page views per week to 269 average page views per week and gained over 100 followers on Instagram…in ONE WEEKEND! This is a very new account, by the way.
The second strategy was one given by Brandon from The Blog Millionaire. He was talking about getting more readers to convert to subscribers. He said that the biggest thing holding people back from subscribing is trust. Can they trust you? For people with little followers, like me, he suggested to do a $15-$20 paid Facebook ad and target it to users in Bangladesh (it was targeted at real people, you weren’t buying followers – he made sure to emphasize that).
I thought it was a little sketchy, but tried it because I knew I had little to lose at this point! They turned out to be actual readers and my page views and blog subscribers jumped to the highest they’ve ever been! I gained over 2,500 Facebook followers from this strategy that are actually active on my site.
The final strategy was to search each major blogger’s Pinterest account in my niche. After doing that, I followed them and their followers. Then I went back and pinned some of their pins. This helped my Pinterest followers to jump quite a bit as well.
The freebie I created brought me 50 blog subscribers on day one
The freebie has to be something your readers actually want! My freebie is a PDF of how I save $1,200 from home every month. See how the title has you wanting to know more? It’s enticing, everyone wants to save more money. With this freebie, they can find out how!
I offered this freebie through a landing page for two weeks before I even launched. My blog was active, but people couldn’t get to it because of this page. By signing up for the freebie, I was able to email all my new subscribers to let them know when I officially launched.
I made the landing page through ConvertKit. I originally was going through MailChimp, but they are very picky about what you send. Since I am a personal finance blogger, the subscription email said: “Don’t forget to confirm to get your FREE PDF of how I save $1,200 extra from home every month!” MailChimp didn’t like that and froze my account, it was too “sales-y” I guess?
Anyways, ConvertKit was SUPER easy to set up and get going. It walked you through the process. I was able to understand it much better than I did MailChimp. Also, ConvertKit offers a free two-week trial to see how you like it! Take advantage of that free two weeks, I sure did. I ended up having more subscribers than I ever thought possible starting out!
I participated in these Facebook blogging groups daily
- Boss Girl Bloggers
- Boost Your Blog
- GimmieLove – Blog and Social Media Engagement Group
- Pinterest Group Boards | Pinterest Repins | Pinterest Followers | Traffic
These four groups are all extremely active communities (thousands) that work together to share each other’s social media profiles, blog posts, and provide support. I have learned so much from these four groups and I have been able to spread the word about my blog to strangers more quickly this way!
I spent hours studying these bloggers and their strategies
Michelle’s Making Sense of Cents blog is one of the number one blogs you NEED to follow! She is so smart and knows her stuff. Her course that she created, she made $50,000 in one MONTH on it! She is on track to be almost a $2,000,000 blogger this year!
Rosemarie’s The Busy Budgeter blog is another one that I follow a lot. She has helped transform the lives of 65,000 families to get out of debt and save more money. She has amazing strategies and freebies that she gives to you in return for just your email! One of her current freebies is the 90 Day Budget Boot Camp. It’s very detailed and in depth. If you go to her website, you should get a pop-up message to sign up for it. If not, it’s in the sidebar.
Alexis from Fitnancials is Michelle’s sister! She has traveled the world, lost over 60 pounds and kept it off, and she has been able to make a very good life for herself through this blog. She doesn’t make as much as Michelle, but she still makes five figures a month! Can’t be too rough of a lifestyle! 😉
Anywho, these 9 strategies are the steps I took during my first month of blogging to gain 3,500 followers and make my first $40! What have you done to help enhance your blog and its profits? Let me know below in the comments!
This post contains affiliate links. If you sign up with any of these links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for your support and good luck on your journey!