Can a brand-new blog make money within a year? (August report)

by Gigi Griffis

Welcome back to my blogging experiment.

As you may already know, in January, I started a brand new blog with the goal of seeing if I can make money through blogging within a year. Every month, I share some details as I work (in my spare time) to see if I can grow said blog to a point where it starts earning some money.

We’re coming into fall soon. And while all the metrics – visitors, Google rankings – are climbing up, up, up, I haven’t made any income yet. So it’ll be interesting to see what can (or can’t) happen as we approach the last quarter of the year.

So, how was August? Here’s the skinny:

(Psst, this post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through one of my links, I get a commission at no extra cost to you.)

Domain Authority

My domain authority (a score that tells you how likely you are to rank in Google) took the teeniest leap upward this month – from 22 to 23. Likely because a couple guest posts of mine published on high-ranking blogs. 

I could certainly do more to push this number upward, but paying work has been more hectic than usual (to the point where I’m currently in conversations with one client about being at capacity and am fairly regularly turning other work away).

This is a good problem to have, but it means that the energy that I put into things like guest posts when I get a slow day or week in my regular work schedule just haven’t been happening. 

August blog traffic

Traffic is still following a nice upward trend. In July, I had just under 1,300 visitors and about 2,300 page views. In August, the number of visitors edged toward 2,000 and the pageviews slipped up past 3,000.

These are very small jumps in the scheme of things. But for someone who is solidly neglecting any marketing around this blog, they’re pretty nice to see.  

August stats from Google analytics

Search traffic

Organic search traffic is absolutely the reason for this growth, with nearly 1,700 users visiting the site through Google in August. 

How’s the research-intensive content doing?

In July, I published two pieces of research-intensive content:

Are dogs allowed in restaurants in Europe?


Are dogs allowed in restaurants in North America?

The reason I focused my energy on these is that my post on Are dogs allowed in restaurants in France? had quickly become my top source of Google traffic.

I did some digging and found that there isn’t much info out there on dogs in restaurants in most countries, so I took on a huge research project (still ongoing) in the hopes of publishing information on the topic for every country in the world (split up, as you can see, by continent). 

So, how is that content doing? Well, the Europe piece seems to be slowly, surely gathering some momentum. In August, it ranked as the 9th most popular page/post on the site (the France one is #5). 

North America isn’t as popular (not by a long shot). But that’s part of the deal when you’re creating content for search. Even when you’re good at it (which I like to think I am), some pieces you expect to rank just don’t do as well. 

In this case, I think it’s because people are searching much more specifically about North America since San Francisco has a different dog culture than middle Kentucky or southern Florida. 

August spending

As usual, I spent $0 in my quest to grow the new blog. Right now I’m just spending my time creating content, tweaking for SEO, and looking into monetization options.

August blog earnings

Nada. But don’t think I’m disappointed. Putting my SEO skills to the test like this in a from-scratch blog has been a fascinating and helpful exercise. Watching the incremental growth is very rewarding. And I still think there’s a chance I could start getting some teeny tiny affiliate checks by the end of the year. 

Which brings me to this point: If you want to advertise on my new foodie blog, let me know. On this blog, I offer extremely limited advertising opportunities. Over there, I’m going to experiment with more options. So this is your chance to get on my readers’ radar. (You can reach out here.)

I want these reports to be as detailed, interesting, and helpful as possible, so let me know if there’s something else you’d like to know or something I can do to improve them!

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1 comment

Michael October 6, 2019 - 7:04 pm

Hi, Gigi. I think you’ll do it within a year. You have a nice way for with words and you are clearly doing SEO too.


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