How fast can a new blog make money? (June 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. What did I write? How many guest posts did I contribute? What have I done to optimize or monetize the site? And is it making money yet?

So far, the growth has been steady. SEO value is on the rise. But I haven’t really monetized yet. 

Here are the details on this June:

(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.)

Slow, steady progress in June

Like May, June was a very busy month in my actual pays-the-bills career of content strategy and copywriting for clients. Which means the blog took a backseat in both time and attention.

I did do some work on it, but really it was a half hour here, 15 minutes there. So I don’t expect any exponential growth this month (or even this summer, as I’m about to sign a contract for Q3 and Q4 that’s going to keep me busy). 

Still, I’m posting at least once a week (I’ve already pre-written enough posts to get me into the fall and I’m still slowly, surely creating food-related content as I find new markets, restaurants, and topics worth writing about) and trying to respond to at least one or two guest post opportunities each month.

Guest posting

In June, I contributed to a couple new blogs and saw two of those posts go live, giving me another couple backlinks to help grow my domain authority (see below for a definition if you’re new around here). 

I also still need to follow up on all those guest posts I wrote early in the year (not all of them have gone live). It’s on my radar, but I haven’t had a chance to sit down and do it. Hopefully once I do, I’ll see another spike in domain authority and bump in my Google rankings. 

Domain Authority

My domain authority (a ranking that gives you an idea of how likely you are to rank in Google) continues inching upward, going from 20 to 21 in June. 

June blog traffic

Blog traffic also continues to slowly, surely climb – from about 500 visitors last month to 756 this month, and pageviews have gone up by about 50% as well. 

Search traffic

In large part, my growth is due to SEO. As you can see from the chart below, I started showing up in Google sometime in February and started gaining some ground in April. As we come into summer, the click-throughs continue to trend upward. 

Keep in mind that SEO writing is something I do often in my day job. I’ve been doing it for 10+ years. So if you’re starting a new blog from scratch and you don’t have an SEO background, there may be more learning curve time before you start seeing results.

Creating massive, research-intensive content

In May, I talked about how I was starting to write longer, more research-intensive pieces of content. The idea here is to cover topics that aren’t well covered elsewhere on the web and hopefully get bumped to the top of search results for those inquiries quickly, driving the numbers above upward on a faster timeline.

The topic I settled on: Are dogs allowed in restaurants around the world?

At first, I treated it as one mega-piece of content. I would find out the rules for dogs in restaurants for every country in the world and publish one giant post.

Pretty quickly, though, that post became unwieldy. I wondered if it would be too long to be helpful. And so I decided to split it up by continent/region, creating six or seven long-form pieces where I was originally planning on one.

In June, I finished two of those posts (Europe and North America) and queued them up to publish this summer. Four other posts are in progress for Africa, Asia and Oceana, The Caribbean, and South & Central America. July 1st, the first installment – Are dogs allowed in restaurants in Europe? – went live. 

Stay tuned to see if that turns into SEO gold. 

June spending

As usual, I spent $0 in my quest to grow the new blog. It’s all time and effort at this point.

June blog earnings

Still a goose egg. Which is definitely what I expected. Blog-building takes a lot of time, even if you know what you’re doing. It is most definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme, no matter what people selling courses tell you. 

Can you make money within a year? Maybe. Hopefully. And we shall see. But most of us are going to see zero return for a long while. 

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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Willow July 11, 2019 - 6:11 am

Thanks for sharing this, Gigi! I wonder if you can talk a bit about what exactly you do with SEO in one of these posts? I’ve been studying up, and I also have been working on contributing to other blogs in my niche plus creating longform hopefully useful content for my blog (created from topics people are interested in and searching for) but I find that my domain authority has actually gone down a point lately (boo hoo). I know that’s not huge but I have seen much traction at all over time.

gigigriffis July 11, 2019 - 1:30 pm

I think I may have touched on it in an earlier post in this series, but can definitely revisit!

Viv July 14, 2019 - 4:06 pm

So much inspiration and knowledge! Thank you Gigi!


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