Featured Blogger Interview: How I Make Money With My Blog
Recently I started this series of Featured Blogger Interviews with the aim of inspiring new bloggers or people who are thinking about starting a blog. I want to show that it IS possible to make money online, even with a new blog, and without tons of followers or big budgets for advertising or promotion.
This week’s interview features Taylor O’Halloran from Not Quite An Adult.
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Mel: Hi Taylor, thank you so much for joining us here at Melsmoneymindset! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog? I love that name by the way, so appropriate for those of us that often feel like we’re not quite there yet! What was the reason you decided to start Not Quite An Adult?
Taylor: Thanks so much for having me. I feel like all of us aren’t really adults, so tons of people connect with my blog name. So, to make a really long story short, I started my blog out of fear. Sounds backwards right? Most people DON’T start a blog because they’re scared.
Last year I was graduating from University with a Business degree and I was honestly terrified of being stuck in a 9-5 office job. As a kid I was under the impression that everybody just grew up, got an office job, had kids, and got old. I had no idea that there were people out there who were creating their own businesses, so I spent a few years dreading the moment I would graduate and start that job.
So, when I graduated I looked up every single article on Pinterest about side hustling and working from home and I read everything.
For about a month I had a furniture refinishing hustle and made a couple hundred dollars, but it wasn’t my passion (there’s still half finished dressers in my basement, a full year later).
I ended up hearing a podcast on Side Hustle Nation with Rosemarie Groner from the busy budgeter and it sparked an interest in me and I started Not Quite an Adult!
Mel: Side Hustle Nation is probably one of the reasons that I got into making money online too, their podcasts are great.
OK so bring us up to date, how is your blog earning money and how much money did you make last month?
Taylor: I currently make money with Advertising and Affiliate Marketing. In the last 30 days I’ve made around $550 (Canadian Dollars, I get paid in USD but when I deposit the money it’s in CAD).
Mel: Wow, right OK. That’s a decent chunk of money. How long did it take from launching your blog to making any income from it?
Taylor: I spent the first 6 months of blogging just trying to learn absolutely everything for free. I made about $100 in that first 6 months, but didn’t stop trying.
It wasn’t until I decided to invest in Elite Blog Academy that I really started making any decent money. The 7th month I was blogging was my first month of EBA and I made over $100 that single month, and it’s grown by about $100 a month ever since.
Mel: That’s great, very encouraging. So to put this into perspective for someone that hasn’t started their blog yet, how many hours a week do you usually work on your blog?
Taylor: It really depends on the week. There are weeks where I spent 40+ hours, but there are weeks where I’m ahead on content and I can spend just 5 on promotion and go on a vacation. I would say an average would be around 30+ hours a week.
Mel: Could you break down exactly how you made the income on your blog for us?
Most of the money I’m earning is from the MediaVine ads that are on my blog. But I’m working more and more on affiliate marketing and making around $50 a month from Affiliates at this point.
Mel: Advertising revenue for such a new blog is very impressive! It’s great that you are doing so well with ad revenue. I only made $1.68 from adverts last month, so I have a long way to go.
Which is your favourite way to make money and which was the easiest for you?
Taylor: My favourite way to make money is affiliate marketing (even though it isn’t much money, yet). I love the concept of affiliate marketing because you don’t have to do the work to create a product, you just have to sell it to somebody and make a decent income.
Mel: Yes, I totally agree. I love the idea of making money just by recommended things that I like or use. Who wouldn’t love that?
One of the ways that new bloggers tend to get frustrated is lack of visitors to their blog. This can be an issue even for established bloggers. How do you get people to visit your site? Do you have a marketing plan that you could share with newbie bloggers?
Taylor: Around 90% of my traffic is solely from Pinterest, and the rest is from my Facebook Page and sharing my blog posts with Family/Friends.
I learned the beginnings of my Pinterest strategy from Pinteresting Strategies by Carly Campbell and it skyrocketed my traffic really quickly. My biggest Pinterest tip for newbies is to get a ton of group boards to get your pins out to as many people as possible while you don’t have as much Pinterest SEO Juice on your account.
(If you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of content on your blog, Pinterest Ninja is a great alternative to Pinteresting Strategies, and you can use it with or without Tailwind)
Mel: What are your future plans for the blog and growing your income? Do you have any plans to branch out at all?
Taylor: Well, I’m launching two new blogs that are in progress at the moment! (LazyGirlFit.co and TaylorOHalloran.com). I want to be able to test my Pinterest strategies on 3 separate blogs so I can see if what I’m doing would work for other niches because I’d love to teach other smaller bloggers how to grow their page views with Pinterest!
I’m also looking into starting to get some sponsored posts, but it’s hard to find companies that I want to advertise for!
Mel: Well it sounds like you’re going to be a busy bee with that lot! Do you set blogging goals? If so, can you share how you do that and what they are?
Taylor: Of course! Setting goals is one of the most important things I do in any aspect of my life.
My current blogging goals include:
- Getting the new blogs and Pinterest accounts set up
- Get 3 months ahead on content for all 3 blogs (already 1 month ahead!)
- Increase Income to $1000/month!
I didn’t set any goals for the first 6 months, I was just flailing and making it up as I went. I find that having concrete goals and timelines make it a whole lot easier to actually follow through.
Mel: Thanks for sharing those, I have just started taking goal setting more seriously for my blog, and it really does help you to stay focused.
What is your favourite thing about being a blogger and what do you NOT like so much? Is there anything that you avoid doing until you know you can’t get away with not doing it anymore?
Taylor: My favourite thing about being a blogger is the freedom. I’m able to work from my laptop just about anywhere, and also able to take days off when I need to! I currently make money in a few other ways as well, so I don’t have a traditional 9-5 and devote a ton of my time to blogging which is amazing.
The thing I like the least about blogging is that it can be a pretty lonely journey. I always stress how important it is to make blogging friends and not just do it yourself!
Mel: Yes, I agree. None of my friends or family blog, so I have joined some Facebook groups and started chatting to other bloggers, just so that I have someone to talk to about blogging. My partner’s eyes glaze over if I chat to him about it.
Did you take any blogging courses that you can recommend or was there a specific blogger that helped or inspired you to start your own blogging journey?
I’m a bit of a course collector, but I think I’ve learned something awesome from every single one. Of course the best one is Elite Blog Academy, because it really kicked me in the butt and got me working harder.
I’ve also taken Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, Pinteresting Strategies and Pinterest Improvement Master Plan.
The blogger that inspired me to start was Rosemarie Groner from the Busy Budgeter. I heard an amazing podcast about her story to $5,000 a month and it sparked this whole journey.
Mel: If you could give one piece of advice to somebody thinking of starting a blog, what would it be?
Taylor: Don’t let Facebook Groups stunt your growth.
I know I said that making blogging friends is important and facebook groups can be an amazing place to meet people and to get answers to questions, but they can also be a big breeder of panic. I spent so much time in my first 6 months reading everything in blogging groups and was swallowed by them and it took time away from me actually testing and trying things for myself!
Work on your own strategy, don’t focus on what everybody else is doing.
Mel: Great advise, it’s so true about the panic spreading through the Facebook groups, I’ve seen that happen just this week when a change was made on Pinterest.
Thank you so much for sharing your blogging story with us Taylor, I think it will definitely help new bloggers to feel inspired. Good luck with all of your future plans.
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