Last year I wrote a post explaining how we make money while RVing. I wrote it not to brag (hahahaha!! We weren’t making enough to live on, let alone brag about!) but to show others exactly how possible it is to make money online, and how much.
I feel like it’s important to show other people that there may need to be sacrifices made to live a certain way of life.
For example, you could live tiny and get to travel all around your country in an RV, but what sacrifices are you going to have to make in order to live that way?
For us, it was sacrificing two reasonably good incomes for a couple of piddly incomes.
Making an income
I’ve always found it very frustrating when I would follow bloggers who looked like they are having the most amazing time, had blogs that were getting tons of traffic, a huge email list and a tribe of committed followers who loved them and every product they produced or recommended.
But they never revealed how much they were actually making. Nor how much they were actually working. Not that they had to, of course!
I knew that making money online (well, by blogging) wasn’t going to be easy, but I certainly do think that I had on my rose-colored glasses when I first bought the RVObsession domain name.If you’re looking for a blogger that will share the ‘no-holds-barred’, ‘straight-talking’ post about how a blogger (this blogger) makes money, then I plan to be that blogger for you!
So let’s first update you on how we’ve progressed since last year…
Last years ball-park figures (per month, in USD)
Ads: $400 (which tanked pretty much straight after that post and was sitting at $200 for the rest of the year)
Affiliate income: $50-80 (mostly Amazon.com)
Total: Less than $800 per month
This years ball park figures (per month, in USD)
I shudder at having to tell you, that not much has changed in the last year! I’m making slightly more… but the emphasis is on slightly.
Affiliate income: $50-80 (mostly Amazon.com)
Total: Less than $1,000 per month
So why am I telling you this?
Is there a point?
Yes, there is a point. I’m telling you this so that I can see exactly where I went wrong, and what I’m doing to fix it. I really want to share with others, who are as desperate to make this work as I am, what the core things you need in order to have a successful blog, and make money from it.
The KEY things to remember if you want to make money blogging
I’m being a bit forward here, telling you these are the keys to making money blogging, when I barely make any money blogging myself.
Maybe you’ll take heed, maybe not. But here are my lessons anyway:
- Blogging requires a whole new level of self-discipline and self-motivation.
I naively thought I had this one sorted. But I have learnt that if I get mentally stuck, or I don’t want to do something, or it gets a bit hard… then I will stop and let myself waste time by looking up something else, buying a new course, checking stats or checking email for the umpteenth time.
This is a mental battle that I need to fight every single day… but often don’t, and so not nearly enough gets done.
- Blogging is not hard… but it’s certainly not easy.
The technical side of blogging is not too difficult, it may be overwhelming at the beginning, but there are so many blog posts, videos and courses to help you out, that learning ‘how’ to blog is not hard. It’s sticking at it consistently that is the hard part. That and doing tasks that you don’t really want to do.
- Consistency is KEY
This is especially important at the beginning. Not only do you want to tell google, and your audience that you are a consistent blogger, you want to build up the amount of content you have on your site, so that people have something to look at when they do come visit you.
- Blogging is A LOT of work
I know, I know, everyone always says that about blogging.But here’s what I mean: I personally, get stuck at the writing of a blog post stage. I have great ideas and even think about how I’m going to write it, but when it comes to actually sitting down and writing it, my head plays silly tricks on me and I think it’s way too hard and I find a million other things to be doing instead of writing that great blog post.When I do finally finish writing that post, I’m so mentally done that I just can’t stand the thought of having to do more work on it.
But… there is still heaps to be done to promote that blog post so that people actually get to see it!Pinterest: Create multiple pins (I start with 2, but will eventually create 7-10 pins for each blog post), write great descriptions, share to Pinterest and schedule on Tailwind.Facebook & Twitter: Create shareable images, add the blog post to my SmarterQueue schedule and create 4 unique captions for each post (cos they get shared out multiple times over a couple of months)Participate in FB sharing groups: I’m only in one small group and we share each others work (we’re in the same niche so it’s stuff that we’d all share anyway)
And that’s just the bare minimum. I haven’t even touched on guest posts (I can’t comprehend writing posts for other blogs when I struggle just to write them for mine!), Instagram, YouTube or any other content that needs to be created.
It’s just so much work.
I honestly think that you need to be either a workaholic, or the topic you’re blogging about is something you are totally passionate about.
You really can’t be wishy washy about this.
When you sit down to work on your blog, you need to be creating content, not mucking around checking stats or ‘researching’ what other bloggers are doing.
You need to be working.
I had already started to slack off on writing posts (because I find them so hard to do) when I had barely more than 30 posts on here.
I rested on my laurels waaaaay too soon, and really should have been consistently producing content in order to grow the blog.
Don’t make that some mistake.
My focus for now is to increase the traffic to this blog, so that I can make more advertising income from it. I’m going to do this in ONE key way:
Write more blog posts. At least one per week.
That’s it. I’m gonna leave email marketing, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, Facebook, Instagram and everything else, as they are for the moment.
Sure they’re all important. But not as important as me getting content onto this site.
So the point I want you to take away from this is, to FOCUS ON ONE THING.
Focus on One Thing
Figure out the one thing you need to do to grow your blog, and do that ONE THING.
Even if it’s hard.
Even if it takes longer than you think it should.
Even if you have to outsource it.
Just make it a priority to get that ONE THING done.
Those that have read ‘The One Thing‘ (#affiliatelink) by Gary Keller will know that the book explains why it’s so important to find the one thing you can do that will make all the other things you have to do, easier.
But the point is, find that one thing you need to do, and just do that.
For me and this blog, that one thing is writing posts.
Of course, your ONE THING will be different. But if you’re a new blogger, I suspect your ONE THING may also be writing posts.
This has actually decreased a little bit. Still the same two clients, but one of them has reduced the work I do for them. It’s a sensible business move on her part, but I haven’t done anything to try and replace that work.
Speaking of which, that’s the biggest challenge I’ve found with getting more VA work is… getting more VA work.
There are lots of things that you should do as a VA to ensure that you’re booked up and busy. Things like:
- Check job boards and apply
- Join business groups on Facebook that might be looking for VA help
- Ask your current clients for recommendations
- Let your current networks (friends, family) know that you’re looking for work
So basically, you’ve got to network (either online or in person) and put yourself (and your service) out there. Promote yourself. Ask.
None of which I like doing. So I didn’t really do that much.
And so I never grew.
But, I’m cool with that.
I think if I had actually wanted to be a VA, I would have done a lot more to get work. But the little bits that I do is enough for me. So I’ve just left it at that.
Besides, I’ve started working on other things.
Well, one other thing actually.
More on that in my next post.
So there you have it. My income has not gone up by much, but I have defined exactly what I need to work on.
The reason I’m telling you all this, is hopefully to stop any other eager bloggers / VAs from making the same mistakes that I have.
The reason I’m okay with my progress is that we’re not reliant on me making money online in order to survive. Ben has a job as a truck driver so anything I make is extra and not needed for our every day living expenses.
But we don’t want to be stuck in one place working normal jobs. We want to make our income online.
So the sooner I can make a decent income online, the sooner Ben can quit his job and we hit the road again.
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