This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click through to a website from a link found here on my blog and register or purchase something, I may get a commission at no extra cost to you.
I’ve never made any secret about why I started blogging. After weeks of reading blogging income reports from the likes of Making Sense of Cents and Create and Go, I knew I wanted to try it for myself.
Sure, whilst they are at the absolute top of their game, and it might be difficult to replicate that level of success, I’m in absolutely no doubt that it’s possible to replace the income from my full-time job with my blog, and eventually be able to have the exact lifestyle I want.
That’s why, when I made money in my first two weeks of blogging, I couldn’t quite believe it!
To have confirmation that the system works, and the processes are set up correctly, is a huge boost, and has since kept me posting consistently as I approach my second full month of blogging.
So, how did I manage to make money in my first two weeks of blogging?
How I Set Up My Blog
First up, I had to set up my blog.
I spent months researching things, but you know that saying, analysis paralysis? Yep, I had that.
I consumed as much content as I could about blogging, from the best web hosts, to Pinterest marketing strategies, to how to monetise, but I eventually realised I was going to have to dive straight in and work it out as I went.
Deciding on a Niche
I knew I wanted to focus on personal finance (with maybe a little bit of travel), as it was a natural fit for me – I’ve been talking to friends, family and strangers about money making schemes and money saving tips for years now, that I could quite comfortably write about it too.
Plus, it’s something I feel passionately about – with a little commitment, I totally believe we can all get a hold on our finances without having to sacrifice the things we truly love.
If you’re thinking of setting up a blog, what could you quite happily write about for months on end, with very little readership, and very little income? That’s the niche for you!
Domain Name and Web Hosting
Next up, you need to think of a name for your blog, as you want to own your domain (that is, you want it to look like www.fundingherfreedom.com rather than www.wordpress.com/fundingherfreedom – or something equally as long-winded). It looks more professional, and it’s much easier to monetise further down the road if you own your domain – including if you want to eventually go on to sell your site!
That said, thinking of a name wasn’t easy!
You can bet the first 50 or so I came up with were already taken, and once I finally came up with FundingHerFreedom, I snapped it up straight away.
So, to buy my domain and secure web hosting, I had research to do. Now, I’m not in any way gifted in a tech sense. I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, and a lot of this is trial and error, but after reading a whole host of reviews, and reading plenty of blogging-related blogposts, the resounding verdict was that SiteGround were the ones to use.
To do so, I recommend using SiteGround for both your domain and web hosting. Packages start at as little as £5.99 per month, and after reading countless reviews and reaching out to them directly, it was apparent their customer service is completely unrivalled. They have plenty of time for total blogging novices such as myself to send them various questions – and having that level of support should never be underestimated!
Purchasing a domain name and web hosting is crucial to your blog’s success, so you might as well buy the best, amiright?
Plus, with Siteground you get a free email address for your domain, which only makes your set-up look even more professional! email@example.com is always going to look better than firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choosing a Blogging Platform
Once you’ve purchased your package, and have your domain name secured, you need to decide which platform you would like to create your blog on. Typically, most bloggers will use WordPress, Blogger, SquareSpace or Wix, and once again, after conducting thorough research (and having previously used Blogger in a past life and not been overly impressed), I went with WordPress.
An overwhelming number of bloggers seem to swear by WordPress, and with SiteGround even prompting me to download WordPress after I’d purchased my domain name and web hosting, it was a no-brainer – talk about a slick operation!
Making it Look Good
I now had my domain name and web hosting purchased through SiteGround, and I had downloaded WordPress as the platform on which to create my blog – but I needed it to look visually appealing!
So I headed where we all head, when we need something both beautiful and functional: Etsy.
You can find all sorts of blog themes on Etsy, across a wide range of budgets. Check that they come with installation instructions (if you’re as un-technologically gifted as I am, God knows you’ll need ’em!) and have a play around to get it installed. Some theme designers also offer an option to pay a little more for them to install it for you – which is quite a tempting offer!
This whole section was the ‘boring’ bit for me. Web hosting, domain names, platform downloads and theme creations aren’t what I signed up to blog for, but they’re all instrumental in the success of your business and unfortunately, are unavoidable. Give yourself a spare few hours, have snacks available to hand, and commit to getting it all done at once.
Future-you will thank you for it!
Now we get to the fun bit!
I needed to fill my blog with a little bit of content, in the hopes that visitors to my domain would want to stick around for a while and not just leave after they’d read the one post. Opinions seem to suggest that having between five to fifteen posts on your blog before you launch is ideal..
So of course, I launched with four!
But I made sure these four blog posts were spread across the main topics of this blog: making money, saving money, financial freedom and progressing within your career, in the hope that I had at least one post that could resonate with anybody, and also made sure each post was at least 1500 words long so that time spent on each post was relatively high.
Signing Up to Affiliates
Once I’d written the posts, it was also important I started to sign up to affiliates that linked well with my content. And, spoiler, it was through affiliates that I was able to make money within my first two weeks of blogging.
I wanted to only sign up to companies I used, trusted and could quite happily recommend to my parents and friends (which I already had done), rather than applying to any and all – and whilst I haven’t been accepted to them all, I was accepted to ones that really linked with my posts.
One thing I did notice was I couldn’t apply to be an affiliate until my blog was live – so once I launched my blog, the first thing I did was apply to the various schemes that were of interest to me. I then went back to the posts they fit with, and input them as and when I received the green light.
Driving Traffic to the Blog
By this point, the posts were written, the blog was live, the affiliate links were input, and it was time to work out how I was going to drive traffic to my blog.
First of all, I used Instagram, where I’d already been sharing a number of my various money making and money saving exploits. I didn’t have a huge following, but over the course of a year or so, I’d managed to build some great relationships with fellow side-hustlers and entrepreneurs, and a few did go over on to the blog.
However, from all the research I’d undertaken, I knew there was one platform that was going to be key in the early days of my blog, and that platform was Pinterest.
Now, I’ve had a personal Pinterest account for years, where I’ve pinned everything from vanlife inspiration, to Bruce Springsteen lyrics, to my dream house decor, but I’d never used it for any of my businesses or blogs.
I knew if I was going to use it to the best of my ability, it was time to learn from the professionals, and I signed up to Ell Duclo’s Pinterest course, Pinterest with Ell for around $46.
Ell is an absolute master of Pinterest, and not only is the course a great foundation on which to build your Pinterest marketing strategy, but she also has a great, incredibly active Facebook group where you can post any of your questions on there and get an almost immediate response.
Finally, I also set up a mailing list, as many bloggers say they wish they’d done this from the very beginning. I’m all for learning from my own mistakes, but learning from others’ mistakes is even better!
Once again, there are a whole host of options available out there, and you can bet I spent a long time weighing up the options. However, once again opinions seemed to suggest MailerLite was the best platform to use here, as it enables you to create professional campaigns, landing pages, pop-ups (encouraging sign-ups), automated workflows and more, and I’m pleased to report that, four newsletters later, it’s incredibly easy to use!
For me, it was the 24/7 live support that swayed my decision in favour of MailerLite, along with the fact that I can continue sending out my weekly newsletters for free until I reach 1000 subscribers – after which it’s at an affordable, competitive rate.
Through setting up a mailing list with a lead magnet in place (that is, when visitors to the blog sign up to my mailing list, they get a free copy of my ’50 Side Hustles You Can Start Today’ eBook), I’m able to build an engaged audience, share content that I don’t feature on my blog, and drive the audience to my latest post – every single week!
So, With All This in Place, How Much Did I Make Within My First Two Weeks of Blogging?
I made the grand old sum of £8.40 within two weeks of blogging.
Now, I’m not going to be able to hand in my notice any time soon and live my vanlife dreams, but I made this in my sleep. Literally – I woke up the next morning to an email confirming I’d made commission through a scheme that I was an affiliate of (a company I have been using for a long time now, and could honestly shout about the merits of).
Surely if I could do this within my first two weeks, all that’s left to do now is repeat and scale. Create more content, promote the content, sign up to more affiliates I believe in, and grow and engage with my social media followers.
That’s the plan anyway.
What Have I Learnt So Far?
Consistency is key.
And guess what I struggle most with?
You bet. Consistency.
I have a case of permanent shiny object syndrome, where I flit from one thing to another, often giving up right before the real success happens.
But see, making money in my first two weeks of blogging has done incredible things for my motivation. I have never (seriously) been so consistent with anything. Success breeds success, afterall.
I know that, if I am someday going to replace my full time income with the lifestyle I truly want (creating content when I want, from wherever I want) I am going to have to treat it like a job. There’s absolutely no way I’m going to have the breakthroughs I want if I treat it like another whim.
So, instead, I’ve set up a strict schedule for myself which includes the following:
- New post released on my blog every Monday
- Newsletter released to my mailing list every Friday
- Minimum of two Instagram posts each week (and posting Instagram Stories every day!)
It’s through this reliability and consistency (and showing up when I’m really not in the mood), that I am going to reach the levels of success I want – where affiliate income, advertising, sponsored posts and digital products are all valid income streams for me and Funding Her Freedom.
If you’re toying with the idea of blogging, and want to have the exact breakdown of how I managed to make money from my blog in my first two weeks, the below is a great bite-sized summary of the exact steps I took to achieve it:
- Decide on your niche
- Purchase your domain and web-hosting, and download your blogging platform. I personally recommend WordPress and SiteGround and know they’re widely regarded as two of the best out there.
- Create social channels (but not too many – I stuck with Instagram, and have just set up a Twitter account)
- Learn Pinterest marketing – study Youtube videos, or take a course from an expert. SEO and Pinterest are the most important ways for a blogger to gain traffic, and with SEO taking a while to register, Pinterest is your best bet at the beginning.
- Write content – lots of it! (I prefer to write a minimum of 1500 words for each post, to try and build trust and for Google to rank me higher in searches – hopefully improving my SEO each time).
- Link to relevant affiliates that you truly believe in
- PROMOTE YOUR POSTS WHEREVER YOU CAN (social channels, Pinterest etc etc)
- Write more content
- Keep creating fresh Pins for all of your posts to keep driving traffic to them – don’t stop promoting your posts, no matter how old they are!
- Analyse the statistics – which Instagram posts perform the best, which blog posts perform the best, which Pins are getting the most link clicks and repins? Once you know what is performing well, you just need to keep on replicating it.
So what’s next?
For me, my focus is now on building my email list and eventually getting up to the levels of traffic required to be accepted to the Mediavine ad network (50,000 sessions!) It won’t be easy, but through consistency and creating content that addresses readers’ painpoints, I’m hoping I can eventually replace my 9-5 with the lifestyle I want.
And if you take anything away from this post, I’ve hopefully shown you that you don’t need huge levels of traffic or a large social media following to start making money – I think I’d had less than 100 visitors to the blog when I made my first bit of affiliate commission, and now I’ve been blogging for nearly two months, I’m looking to keep on scaling.
If you’re looking for more ways to make money, these posts might be of interest: