May report: Can a brand-new blog make money within a year?

by Gigi Griffis
Google Analytics

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 the deets on how the blog is growing (or not growing), what I’m doing to grow it, and (eventually) what I’ll do to attempt to monetize.

So, how’d it go in May? 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.)

A slow May

First, I should say that May was an extremely busy month for me outside of the blog. I increased my working hours and took on a lot of cool projects (in my actual pays-the-bills career of content strategy and copywriting for clients). 

I was also in a cool new place where I wanted to do as much exploring as possible. And then at the end of the month we moved on to Switzerland, one of my favorite places in the world. 

All this means that I didn’t do that much on the blog this month beyond keeping it running, making sure there was at least one piece of new content queued up to publish each week, and sharing posts on social media. 

Still, the good news about blogs is that the time and effort you put in kind of multiplies over time. Staying power helps you rank in Google. Ditto consistent publishing schedules. And since I was guest posting like a fiend early in the year when work was slower, I’m still reaping those rewards…

Domain Authority

My domain authority (a ranking that gives you an idea of how likely you are to rank in Google) saw another tiny bump this month, from 19 to 20. Still nothing to write home about (by the end of the year, it’d be great to bump into the 30s), but trending in the right direction.

May blog traffic

April was a banner month for blog traffic and now it’s settled back down a bit. Still, 500+ individual users and nearly 1,000 page views per month on a blog that’s less than 6 months old is not bad at all. Especially on a month where the blogger was doing approximately nothing to actually promote or grow the blog.

Google Analytics

Search traffic

I’m happy to report that my appearance in search engines and the click-throughs on my pages continue to rise. 

growing search traffic chart

The most popular piece in search: Are dogs allowed in restaurants in France?

Creating massive, research-intensive content

The one new thing I did in May was start to brainstorm some pieces of longer content. What could I write about that hadn’t been covered well by other blogs or sites? What did my foodie readers want and need more of? How could I increase the value of what I was publishing? 

Since my post about dogs in restaurants in France is already my most popular post on search engines, I decided the first answer was to do a giant mega-post about dog-friendliness of restaurants/eateries in every country around the world. 

Finding info for hundreds of countries would be a big task, but the search engine payoff could be huge. Especially since my own Googling often resulted in nothing useful at all.

In May, I was able to find info or do interviews for maybe 40% of the countries in the world, so still plenty of research that will bleed into my June. I’m hoping the post will be ready to go live in June or July and will catapult me to the top of a lot of searches.

May spending

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

May blog earnings

Not-so-shockingly, my earnings are still at 0. I have a few affiliate links up on the blog, but beyond that I haven’t had time to monetize just yet.

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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Adi Ben Ezer June 20, 2019 - 8:13 am

Thanks for your kind sharing Gigi.
Just wondering, in order to get an idea as a relatively new blogger myself, how many hours a month do you actually spend working on the blog? Also, what is the average time a person spends on the site? This will help me get some kind of benchmark :)
Enjoy Switzerland!

gigigriffis June 20, 2019 - 8:21 am

Hi Adi – I have no idea what the average person spends. For me it varies greatly depending on my workload and other commitments. Right now my time on the blog is really low. Maybe an hour a week. When I have less paid work, I end up working on the blog more.

Adi Ben Ezer July 1, 2019 - 11:04 pm

Thank you Gigi!

Ben July 12, 2019 - 11:06 am

Hello Gigi.

I was glad to find this article. I too have been tracking several blogs I created to see how long it takes to make money. Most it has taken over 1 year to start making money. On one however, I found just the right affiliate program and that page started ranking within a few months and the site now makes over $1,000 per month.

Anyway, I love what you’re doing here. Keep sharing and I will keep coming back for updates.

Melissa August 29, 2019 - 12:19 pm

Great post! Impressive increase on your DA – keep up the good work.


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