How I Earned a Threefold Increase in Monthly Blog Income | Giftie Etcetera: How I Earned a Threefold Increase in Monthly Blog Income

Saturday, December 5, 2015

How I Earned a Threefold Increase in Monthly Blog Income

***This post may contain affiliate links. See my "Disclaimer" link for additional details.***

My tiny blog makes me happy. 

I feel like I get to think out my processes and share good ideas with a community of planner folks, parents, organized ladies (and a couple of gentleman, but stats reveal there are only about two of you), and some Loyal Readers.

But my blog will never make me rich.

planner, blog, blogger, blogging

Well, "never" might be an exaggeration. 

If you happen to be a billionaire and happen to be reading my blog, you can buy me a million cups of coffee here. Just remember to change that little number to 1,000,000,000. Cool? ;)

But if that doesn't happen...I have another plan.

My tiny blog had about 800 - 1,000 pageviews per month forever. Tiny bloggers want to be paid to write, too, but we often don't have (and don't necessarily want) enough pageviews to do sponsored posts.

For those wondering why we CRAZIES wouldn't want too much sponsored post business, it's because we want full control of our content. You can have that with sponsored posts, but it is a delicate and difficult balance.

Big bloggers make $1,000 and up a month, but my goal, as a tiny blogger, was always just to make over $100 per month. That amount covers my coffee habit adoration addiction for the month.

I'm doing some things to increase pageviews and some things to increase income. I'll share both with you, along with my income reports for last year and last month.

TIP: I just keep my handwritten earnings reports in OneNote on my Surface.

Last year, I didn't have Google Analytics (so, idea, but less than now) and averaged $41 a month.

Blog Earnings Report

This November, I had about 50,000 pageviews and made $157 in a month. 

Blog Earnings Report

I've been averaging 40,000 - 60,000 pageviews for months now, and this is my second month making more than $100, though I've been getting close for months.

Do the math. I started at $41/per month. Now, I'm making about $150/per month. Three times the income!

(See, not rich. But rolling in coffee, y'all!)


Enjoy Blogging

It sounds silly, but if you love blogging, people can tell and will flock to your blog.

Don't worry about perfect grammar and spelling. Just write. Then edit. Without pausing, press publish.

If you have a typo? Someone will let you know. Send them love for the correction and fix the typo. Soon, you'll have free, friendly proofreaders!

If you go off topic every now and then? People who've gotten to know YOU want to read what you write, even if it isn't their thing.

Have a Schedule

Speaking of going off topic, I was doing it enough that I added Off Topic Tuesday.

I have a schedule, though, so my planner-loving peeps know that I write about planners on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Get to Know Your Niche(s)

Planners are my niche. I am a member of many planner Facebook groups.

But there are a few other things I blog about regularly:

Off Topic Tuesday (seriously, I write about Anything, y'all)

Organizing Thursday (related to my niche, but broader)

Technology Saturday (today's blogging post is a technology one, as is this one)

Flashback Sunday (where I highlight an older, but high quality post...and I go ahead and add better photos and SEO while I'm at it)

The point is that you can appeal to your niche and a wider audience! 

Just be consistent and have great content that people think is worth commenting on.

Rock Linky Parties

I do linky parties whenever I have time. (So, if I'm not at my computer at night, I don't do them.)

Here's how I organize them.

I always try to follow the rules of each party, but I have two other rules that make linky parties worth it to me:

*comment on ALL posts that are close to my niche(s) (often this turns out to bring me loads of new readers) and

*if featured, thank the host, do a special link back, and share their party on social media.

Share with Friends

Don't forget to work social media. My time is limited, so I only share once a day.

I know, I know. That breaks every rule of growing a blog!

But here's the secret: my Loyal Readers like my blog, so they share it for me. :)

I try to give them cues, like "share this with other bloggers" or "share this with the moms that you love." That way, they think about who might appreciate my blog and only share with those people.

Another advantage of this method is that no one is constantly spamming groups or anyone else. People who want to read my blog tend to be the ones who discover it!


Adsense Tips

Adsense is often the only choice of an ad network for smaller blogs. Go ahead and put at least one ad above the fold.

That will increase your earnings a bit. 

I put two. My readership only went up, not down, when I did that.

Amazon the Right Way

Don't use only links from Amazon in your posts.

I have lots of links in this post, for example, to related content or examples of certain kinds of content. I bet you checked out some of them as you read this post.

Guess what? You probably checked out something I listed through Amazon Affiliates, too.

When you do use an Amazon link, make sure the link is there to serve your readers! 

A link should include more information about the item. For example, a planner description might include a picture of the layout of the planner.

If the link doesn't give ideas or add information, resist the urge to use it. No one will click on it, plus those who do might feel betrayed and not come back. 

Ultimately, your readers matter more than your income!

You Tube Imperfectly

Consider YouTub'ing as a secondary source of income. I YouTube twice a month-ish.

I use my laptop camera. I don't plan. I just talk and show my planner. My lighting, diction, and composition aren't perfect. (In the first few seconds of this video, I said "jark" instead of "dark." My kids are still teasing me.)

If the video says it is 8 minutes long, I spent 15 minutes max, making and uploading it.

People still watch. I still get paid.

Plus, my Loyal Readers need to occasionally SEE my planner in action, and this is a low cost way to allow that.

A good rule is to always make sure your readers come first!

Buy Me a Coffee

Some of my readers have asked how to support my blog.

Y'all, the first time that happened, I almost fainted. Someone wanted to pay me to blog? Wow.

So I installed the Buy Me a Coffee link right under my picture on the right sidebar. 

Test it out and see how it works. I get paid through PayPal.

Okay, no millionaires have shown up yet. But loads of people have sent me $2 for coffee (minus PayPal fees), and one person sent me $20.

It also means I can cut out the number of ads on my blog, so readers don't have to see them.

Other Networks for Tiny Blogs

A few networks will accept blogs with smaller page view numbers. 

I've only tried two. This one, (which gives me a small commission when others sign up through my referral), The Escalate Network, is already making some money.

The other I've tried is Cooperatize. This one (which also comes with a small commission when others sign up and do campaigns through my referral) has already offered me a big sponsored post!

By the way, my blog is a Blogger blog. You might not have noticed. I hope you didn't. I've tweaked it to remove any reference to Blogger.

I don't pay anything for my blog (like you do on Wordpress, another great option for blogging) and pay a minimal amount each year (about $25) for my domain, so my profit is all profit!

Normally, I don't let you drop your link in the comments, but I want to visit you this time, so please feel free to do so just this once!


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Partied at: Small Victories Sunday, Share the Wealth, Traffic Jam Weekend Happiness Is Homemade, Simply Sundays, Making Your Home Sing, Inspiration Monday, Motivation Monday, Manic Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Mommy Monday, Meetup Monday, Marvelous Monday, Something to Talk About, Over the Moon, Good Morning Mondays, What'd You Do This Weekend, Meandering Mondays You're Gonna Love It, Turn It Up Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesdays, Creative Muster, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Link It To Me, Wednesday Showcase, Let's Be Friends, Wake Up Wednesday, Dream Create Inspire, Wonderful Wednesday, A Little R and R, Coffee and Conversation, Think and Make Thursday, This Is How We Roll, 100 Happy Days

Featured at: Small Victories Sunday, Coffee and Conversation, 100 Happy Days


Anonymous said...

This post is so informative. Right now my blog is for fun - a way for me to channel my writing and hold me accountable for things I blog about (lol!) Would like to look into monetizing at some junction. These are great points!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! I was just talking to my hubby tonight about finding ways to start monetizing my blog better. It's intimidating, but I want to dive in a little more. I think your tips are going to help me get there. Obviously I need to get my Google Analytics problems solved! I can't seem to get them to read correctly. Hopefully I've found a plugin that will help.

Unknown said...

Great tips! Thanks so much for sharing them. I enjoy your blog very much - the planner tips, the off-topics, and everything in between! I'm new to blogging, and I'm taking a hiatus during the holidays to spend time with family and friends. You can visit me there at However, the last post was regarding Thanksgiving. I'll start back in January with more of a focus on encouraging women and providing tips for getting through the "have-tos" as efficiently as possible in order to get to the "want tos" that matter.

Unknown said...

Great post. I don't have a Blog but have entertained the idea of starting one. I will re-read your post probably a few times before I commit to doing one

Kathi said...

Giftie, I've been reading your blog for awhile and enjoy it immensely. Your personality really shines through. I've been blogging for many years but in a totally different niche - I'm an avid planner so I read your blog purely because I enjoy it. I've just recently begun monetizing my blog so I appreciate your post.

You can visit me at Oak Hill Homestead, where I hope to inspire others who wish to live a self-reliant life.


Margaretha said...

This is my first visit to your blog and I am definitely following. Apart from the fact that the information here is worth its weight in gold, it feels as if you are talking to me personally, like a friend, and it is also clear that you love what you do. I have leant more from this one post than from several similar ones. Thank you.

Sagan said...

Congrats on your great blogging success! It's so exciting to be able to see hard work pay off (and YES to the enjoyment of blogging. It HAS to be a labor of love :)).

Giftie Etcetera said...

You are all so sweet. :) I worked hard on this post, so I'm so glad it's actually helping you.

And I'm going visit your blogs if you've left a link.

Life of a Busy Mommy said...

Thanks so much for all the great information! I will definitely put some of these ideas to use. My blog is, check me out and let me know if you see any areas I need to work on :) Been blogging 2 years now, and still learning everyday! So glad I found your blog!

Unknown said...

These are super great ideas, and I am pinning. I found the Buy Me A Coffee thing on another blog, installed it, and then removed it right away because I felt silly asking people for money like that. But maybe I will keep it up for a while and see what happens.

I am between 5,000 and 10,000 page views right now. I hope to hit 50,000 one day. Good job!!!

Since you asked for a link, here is mine, if you want to check me out:

See you soon!

grtlyblesd said...

I've noticed that well publicized giveaways bring a lot of traffic, but beyond that, my blog just sort of limps along. Thanks for the tips!

Cori Large said...

Many congrats on your blogging success! I'm starting to wonder if I'm having so much trouble monetizing my blog with Adsense because my blog is hosted on Wordpress not blogger. I hope your readership continues to increase. I love your posts!

becky said...

Very nice of you to share these tips with us. Wishing you a very happy holiday season!


B is 4 said...

These are such helpful and awesome tips! Thanks for sharing them, pinned and sharing :)

Strickmuse said...

Hello, I have been reading your blog after I found it through Philofaxy and have enjoyed your tips on planning. I have a love for planners and knitting and try to post every now and then on my blog. Alas, my entries are never consistent and all over the place sometimes. Thank you for today's tips, I shall follow them. Best ti: "just write". I did participate in the Noblopomo this year and enjoyed staying on track for 30 days. Take care.

Leanne said...

what an amazing number of great ideas - I have a small blog too (even smaller than yours - it's called crestingthehill if you're interested) and I haven't tried to make any money from it. I'm bookmarking your post for the days in the future when I decide to get braver! thanks so much for sharing on our #OTM link up :) ~ Leanne

Reader Unfolded said...

I really love all your ideas! Especially the one about free proofreaders :)

I'm curious how long you had adsense on your blog before you started seeing even that $40 number. I don't expect to be making money any time soon (I only have 5 blog posts so far :)) but I'd love to eventually make some extra cash to add to our income.

Doused in Pink | Chicago Style Blog said...

This post is so informative and helpful! Lot's of tips I can put to use! Thank you for sharing!

Doused In Pink

Jaime Barfield said...

I love the tips and stuff you do. They are always helpful and I truly enjoy reading your blog. you can visit me at It is a tiny blog, but I am still figuring myself out.

Unknown said...

lovely tips! Glad you've increased your readership and income :)

gail akeman said...

I like to see how others doing with their blogs as I have a tough time as well making money.

Rose @ Walnut Acre said...

Thank you for sharing your experience. It's always interesting to see how other bloggers grow their blogs and incomes.

Mom's Small Victories said...

This is really helpful, thank you for sharing. It's amazing and totally awesome that people are buying you coffees through Paypal, I never would have thought of it. Very clever :) I have been avoiding AdSense but for the first time made some money off Amazon links so I was pretty excited about that! I finally put links in a gift guide I had done 3 years ago that gets lots of views. Too bad I didn't do it sooner. Better late than never, right?

Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup. Pinning to our linkup board and hope you found some great posts to visit this week! You know my blog already but so great you're inviting us to share our links.

Hannah@Seeing the lovely said...

Wow, definitely never would have thought of asking people to buy me a coffee! Maybe I can find someone to fuel my book addiction!
Thanks for the ideas, I've begun to do some of these things, but am excited to try more. Keep up the good work!

Cheryl @The Long Way said...

What a great post! Very informative yet fun. Seems to be your "little" blog is doing quite well.

Giftie Etcetera said...

Erika - Once I moved one ad above the fold (which was YEARS in), I started making money.

Victoria said...

What an awesome post. Thanks for linking up with us on #MeanderingMondays.

Valerie said...

I really enjoy reading all your posts! This one really helped me to understand the reality of earning money with blogging. I hope you keep linking up with #100HappyDays because your posts are very helpful! Thank you!

Elizabeth Meyers said...

I've been blogging for less than a year now. I really appreciated all the great information you shared for us "small time" bloggers. So much of the advice and tips I hear only apply to blogs with huge followings which I do not yet have. I've bookmarked this page for future reference! Thanks!

Pat Fenner said...

Great ideas here!! Thank you so much for sharing this at our Coffee and Conversation last week! We'll be featuring it on our blog tomorrow :-)

Dawn said...

I enjoyed the wisdom you shared and the conversational way you right. It felt like having a cup of coffee and a little meeting all in one. ;) Thanks for sharing!

Kate said...

Thanks so much for linking at 100 Happy Days! I would love to know how to reached 40-60,000 pageviews... that seems like so much to me. I am still trying to reach 10,000!!!! I'm still working out this whole affiliate link, too. I don't want to come across as TRYING to push readers to buy things but--- making money doing what I love would be nice! HAHA! PS- yo are my featured post. I needed this little push.

Tm SupportWave said...

Much obliged for posting this and sharing so genuinely about the progress of your income. I appreciate your wisdom & all of these brilliant ideas. Have good luck!