How To Make Money Blogging Without Tons of Page Views: My Very First Income Report

make-money-blogging

I’ve been running this blog for 3 years now. I can’t tell you much about the day I started it,  but I vaguely remember deciding that I needed to vent or I was going to punch people in the face.

So I did what I felt like doing in that moment, and started a blog. I had no idea you it was something you could do to make money.

I knew nothing about blogging. Let alone that you could make money blogging.

I had a million ideas inside my brain, but NOTHING about blog promotion and marketing, and I really wasn’t even interested in growing my readership.

I had some really cool peeps who’d comment on the ONE weekly post I’d write, and that was it.

At about my 2 year mark, blogging began to take a physical and mental toll on my body, so I took a complete blogging hiatus for 6 months.

I didn’t write anything. NADA. ZERO.

And then, like most writers, I started having major anxiety because I wasn’t writing.

Two months ago, I decided I’d get back to it. But I decided that I didn’t just want this to be a hobby.

No.

I wanted to be able to devote more time and energy into it.

But in order to do that, I had to make it profitable.  AKA, I needed to find ways to make money blogging.

For the past two months I’ve totally immersed myself in reading about blogging,  watching tutorials, and reading tons of other blog income reports. I’ve also been listening to Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Podcast on my way to work and that’s been a tremendous help in keeping me motivated.

But the reason I wanted to write this post today isn’t just to tell you that it’s possible to make money blogging. You’ve probably read that about a thousand times now.

But what I DO want to let you know is that not only can you make money, but you can do it without having 100k+ page views.

It seems like almost every other post these days is about increasing your page views. And yes- it’s definitely in your benefit to do that.

But I think that these posts sometimes discourage bloggers who don’t have tons of traffic.

Truth is, you have to start somewhere, which is why I’ve decided to be totally honest about my page views and my income.

It’s not a lot! I don’t even have 50k+ page views a month!

But I’m still managing to make money off of this crazy adventure of mine, and I’m having the absolute best time growing my numbers and trying new things.

Just to give you an idea…. back in March when I really wasn’t paying much attention to my site, I reported 3,925 page views. Yep, that’s it.

And then I worked my butt off in April and bumped that number up to 11,936 page views that month. Guys- that’s about a 204% increase. I’m really proud of that.

What helped me get there?

Well, I finally switched over to self-hosted WordPress through Bluehost. Definitely think that played a big part in me taking my blog seriously and treating it like a business.

In May, I ended up with 16,456 page views which is something I never thought was possible.

Baby steps, people!

So now comes the fun stuff: MONAAAYY!!

Here’s a breakdown of my income for April and May.

APRIL: 

  • Miscellaneous Sponsored Posts: $100
  • Pannel Contribution: $100 (I’m currently participating in a Millennial Feedback Panel for a company that sends me questions every month. I answer the questions. They pay me $100. Not a bad gig. These guys approached me via e-mail after coming across my blog)
  • Google Adsense: $2.82

TOTAL: $202.82

MAY:

TOTAL: $434.18

So there you have it, everyone. My little baby income report. Don’t make fun of it!

Given that I never even thought I’d make a dime off of this, I’m super excited that I’m making some progress here.

So whatever you do, understand this…

1. You have a blog

2. You CAN make money

3. You DON’T need a million page views a month

4. It just takes a lot of work and dedication.

Don’t give up. Even if you’re making $10 a month…that’s still a whole $10 you’re making doing something that you love!

Let me know if you have any questions! Would love to help in any way that I can! 🙂

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103 Comments

  1. Emilie

    June 25, 2015 at 10:00 am

    I love blogging but I don’t treat it like a job. I have made a few dollars with AsSense but that’s pretty much it! Thank you fo sharing your blogging income so openly, it’s nice to see that’s it’s possible to make money from it.

    1. Kayla Cruz

      June 25, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Anytime, Emille! Thanks so much for stopping by to read 🙂 xoxo, Kayla

    2. Simone

      August 6, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      You inspire me so much!! I made my first blog post yesterday. I am just blogging for fun. I am a college student a mass communications major with a concentration in journalism and public relations so this is right up my alley! I love writing but it so amazing to see people like you how are passionate about it getting paid for what they love! Honestly thats all I want in life to have a job that is successful but that I love! So thank you so much for your daily words of encouragement and inspiration through this blog!!!

  2. Amy

    June 25, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I found this post so helpful! I have found myself in a similar situation as you, I got a new job and got into graduate school and my blog was put on the back burner for months! But, I felt like something was missing, and that was my blog! I too want to make some income with it, and more ad programs ask for a ridiculous amount of page views. It can be hard because at one time my views were that high, but now I am starting from the bottom again. Thanks for the tips!!

    1. Kayla Cruz

      June 25, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Anytime, Amy! Glad you found it helpful! I know what you mean… my first year of blogging, stats were super high. After that hiatus, I had to build back up from the bottom. And now… numbers are higher than ever. So don’t be discouraged. You can do it! Let me know if I can ever help out in any way. xoxo, Kayla

  3. Heather @ The Deans List Blog

    June 25, 2015 at 11:28 am

    This was so encouraging to read — I’ve been really discouraged lately on growing my readership. I’d love to hear more about how you’ve been hustling to get your page numbers to 16,000! That’s actually a really big number.

    1. Kayla Cruz

      June 25, 2015 at 11:39 am

      Hi Heather! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this! I’ll be posting in the near future about that process, so be on the lookout. A lot of it had to do with Facebook groups and PINTEREST!! But if there’s ever anything I can do to help, let me know! Have a wonderful day! xoxox, Kayla

  4. Heather Serra

    June 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this!! It’s so inspiring! I just started and I would be so proud to make $200…heck, $100 would be cause for a happy dance. This definitely spurs me to start really digging in there. And thanks for the links!

  5. Lisa Jordie

    June 25, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Woohoo!! Thanks for being so transparent, girl! It means a lot to those of us that don’t have 100k views. I think it’s important for people to focus on content rather than traffic, and it looks like that is exactly what you are doing.

  6. Jasmine Watts

    June 25, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. I think you are a perfect example that it is absolutely possible and you can blog full-time or whenever you want and still make money. Great post.

  7. Shann Eva

    June 25, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    I think that’s awesome! I have yet to make any money, so I think you’re doing great. I’m working hard to at least get my page views up to 10,000, and I’m soooo close. Thank you for the tips, and I’ll be looking for more. 🙂

  8. Kara Benz

    June 25, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Super encouraging read, Kayla!

    I’ve been tossing the idea around to start a monthly income/traffic report series of my own, but I was scared that no one would care since I’m just starting out and there’s really not much to report (haha!)

    After reading this though, I think I’ve got the motivation that I need… thank you!

  9. Jazmine

    June 25, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    I believe I really needed to hear this. With everyone talking about media kits, boosting following on social media, and page views. Sometimes you can get so caught in it. I’ve never worried about those stuff I just always wanted to inspire people and make great content. Lately I have been wondering about those things, I think this really boosted my confidence. So Thank you for a lovely post. 🙂

  10. Brooke Knipp

    June 25, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Don’t make fun of it, psh! I think that’s awesome! And a 204% increase in views is so amazing! Those are not what I, at this point, would call baby steps. That’s fantastic progress, Kayla! I need to get going! I feel like I need someone to hold my hand and walk me through all the money stuff, but for now, your post is really inspirational. Thanks!

  11. Shannon Ketchum

    June 25, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing and congratationa!!!! My blog is just a baby but it’s exciting to watch it grow and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

  12. Lindsay

    June 25, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing, it was insightful.

    Jeez, don’t make fun of?? Are you kidding me? Most of us would dream of that many views! Good for you! Hard work definitely pays off.

  13. NZ Muse

    June 26, 2015 at 1:04 am

    I have a little goal to get to 10,000 a month but haven’t really been doing anything about it! But you’re so right, you don’t need huge amounts of traffic to make cash. Balancing this against actually providing awesome content and not alienating readers is key though.

  14. Kiara Catanzaro

    June 26, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Definitely needed to read this because I’m currently in your position about two months ago. I want to make an income from my blog, but I thought you needed TONS of pageviews to even think about making some money. Now I see that it is possible. All I need to do is buy my domain and join some sites. Thanks so much for this post–it definitely helped!

  15. Noor Unnahar

    June 26, 2015 at 8:32 am

    I love how you broke it down with honesty. Blogging money is a THING and it’s for almost all the bloggers who are willing to invest their time and efforts in their blog, it pays off eventually.

  16. Kayla Lea Daughetee

    June 26, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I am also just starting out in the blogging world and am a stay at home mom looking to make extra income from this. But where do I find all of these sponsors and ways to make money? I just don’t know where to look or get started looking. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Dani @ Dani Dearest

      July 1, 2015 at 3:16 am

      I second this! This is fantastic motivation for those of us with way under 100k views!
      I think that I have a pretty good number of views for my blog’s age (under one year, 30k views/month) and yet… nothing! I can’t seem to find how to get my foot in the money making water. How did you actively get out there and do it? I’m a part of a ton of networks, including most of the ones you mentioned above, but nothing comes out of it and it’s frustrating.

  17. Jess Beer

    June 26, 2015 at 9:47 am

    This is SO true and I’m so glad you wrote about it. I don’t make a ton off my blog, but I do make enough to sustain it, which is all that really matters to me. The income reports of the people with crazy pageviews drive me crazy – it’s just not a good representation of average!

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  19. Candace shiflet

    June 26, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I, like you, started a blog simply because I wanted to write and vent and have my own little website. I blogged pretty consistantly for maybe 2 years and then took a break and blogged about big events (aka getting engaged, married, etc) and in March I decided to really imurse myself into the blogging world! I know you said it isn’t all about page views but I HAVE to ask, how the heck did you grow SO much with page views???? I comment and comment on blogs hoping to be seen but I don’t have numbers like that yet! I’ve seen growth, for sure, just trying to figure out a better way to grow! oh man I have so many questions for you haha can I email you and just ask some things?? LOVE this post! motivation!!

    xo
    Candace

  20. Jessica

    June 26, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    I love this. I’ve been wanting to push my blog a bit further and take it more serious than life happens. I really need to sit down and really research it all. How did you start?

  21. Ally

    June 28, 2015 at 12:03 am

    I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! I am in South America this summer and learning how to create wonderful photos for travel campaigns. I’m super proud of you because I have never posted an income report so this is a major step for you. Hope you are a part of the fb group for the smart passive income group as sometimes we post things we need feedback on (like cover art) and there are so many folks who give feed back.

    Awesome to read the Ask Pat podcast is helping you. It has been a wonderfully inspiring daily listen for me as well. 🙂

  22. Christina @ Embracing Simple

    June 30, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Big congrats on making your blog profitable Kayla, that’s so awesome! It’s funny timing for me to read this actually, because I just reached the $100 minimum payout threshold in Adsense a few days ago and was THRILLED too. Even though it essentially meant I just broke even on my blog startup costs, I still feel so proud that I was able to make that money from something I created entirely from scratch and pour my heart and soul into.

    I think I might be creating blog income reports as well starting in July (for June), I find reports like these so motivating and encouraging.

    Keep up the great work! 🙂 I’m sure you’ll be able to add a few zeros to the end of that number soon!! I love your blog!

  23. Alicia

    June 30, 2015 at 10:13 am

    I needed this today! Sitting here in front of my computer and comparing myself to everyone else! I am tiny…nothing sauce…and I needed to hear that it takes time and the progression is slow! Keep trucking right?? Thanks!!

  24. Elise

    June 30, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I always celebrate when I make a couple cents: “whoo hoo!!! I made a nickel!”

    I love your positive perspective! 🙂

    1. Kayla Cruz

      July 1, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks, Elsie!! Yeah!! If I make 25 cents in a day from Adsense, I’m like…SCORE!!! 🙂

  25. Pam / Hey, Miss Adventures!

    July 2, 2015 at 7:13 am

    This is awesome ~ so glad for great things to happen to you.

    I was able to double my traffic about four months ago and it dipped a little the next. I’m not sure what happened but my traffic’s gone to just 3/4 the amount of my most busy months. I am still figuring things out but it’s frustrating.

  26. Jessica

    July 8, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I don’t even get 1000 views a month, so this is encouraging.

  27. Tia

    July 9, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Kayla, Thank you so much for sharing your story and your income report with us. It can sometimes be a little discouraging for beginning bloggers to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As I work to grow my following on my blog, I’m learning a lot from others like up.

    Congratulations on your start, I’m certain the numbers and page views will only increase moving forward.

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  29. Bonita

    July 10, 2015 at 9:47 am

    WOW! Your baby income report is growing up fast! Those are not numbers to laugh at. You more than doubled your income from April to May in addition to what you’d already done!

    Please tell me you will continue to share your income reports. It’s fun to read about the money the big guys are making, but nothing is more encouraging than seeing someone work their way to the top.

    Way to go!

  30. Adrian

    July 12, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    this is encouraging to hear from someone is s similar position. It’s always horribly discouraging to find someone who stRted a blog like yesterday and is making $5,000. I’ve been blogging consistently every single week since 2007 and I’m still in pretty low figures in views and money, but it’s getting slowly better and I’m just starting some partnerships that I think will help a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Courtney Dunsmore

    July 13, 2015 at 12:46 am

    could you link to that millennial panel? I would love to join that!

  32. Nelson

    July 14, 2015 at 2:16 am

    Hi Kayla, Thanks for sharing. I’m on week 3 of my blog and averaging about 20 to 50 users a day. I’m naturally impatient so it’s helpful to have a frame of reference. I also really like your writing style. I tone myself down. I shy away from saying stuff like I want to punch people in the face even though that’s what I’m thinking. Actually, it’s more like I want to throw my laptop out the window cause WordPress can be really annoying sometimes.

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  35. Kylee

    July 16, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Love this post! Very encouraging for all of us newbie bloggers! Thanks for sharing!

  36. Michelle LeAnn

    July 17, 2015 at 4:40 am

    Thanks a million for the information and transparency. I’ve learned not to worry, continue to dream BIG and build. I am in my way and will take and apply a few of your pointers. Much success on your blogging and extra income journey.

  37. Lindsay

    July 17, 2015 at 8:26 am

    As a new blogger trying to do my research before monetizing, this was really encouraging and helpful- great work!!

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  41. M. Michelle Derosier

    July 30, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks for the peek under your blog’s financial covers. To be that transparent is very appreciated. Congratulations on the jump in traffic. Hopefully it’s a lasting shift to help with your career move.

  42. Kortnee

    August 1, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Kayla,

    I enjoy reading bloggers’ income reports; I find them very motivating. But as a very, very new blogger myself, it can be a bit misleading to read some of the reports from those that have been doing this for years and have a lot lined up. So I LOVED reading your beginner ones because I can related much more to them. They’re kind of a “how to” for me. Thanks for the honest stats!

    Kortnee

    1. Kayla Cruz

      August 2, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      Hey Kortnee! So glad you enjoyed it! I still find myself getting excited about $0.50 days on Google Adsense. As long as there’s even the tiniest of progress, you’re headed in the right direction! And yea, I know I may not always have $1k+ income months, but even if I’m making $10, that’s still $10 I’m making doing something that I love. Thanks so much for stopping by! xoxox, Kayla

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  44. Betty

    August 7, 2015 at 3:33 am

    What a great post, and so helpful! Thanks!

  45. MsCrookedHalo

    August 8, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    I love both writing and reading blog income reports whether big or small. I just love to see progress or even errors that might have been made that I can avoid.

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  48. chandra@The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen

    August 11, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Your story almost mimics mine to at T! I was an on and off again blogger for 3 years spinning my wheels and getting no where fast. Then in Jan of this year I decided to take it seriously. I am hoping to be able to quit my full time job in 6 months and blog full time.
    Thank you so much for this post and the encouragement that it provides!

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  52. Erin

    August 18, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    This is an inspiring post! I LOVE blogging but it is intimidating being so new in the blogging world. You’re right, there is a TON to learn and I can’t believe everything I know now compared to 6 months ago when I started. Thanks for encouraging us “far from famous” bloggers! Btw – I’m rocking the same Sela theme on my blog!! 🙂

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  58. Jaymee

    September 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Kayla, this post came at just the right time for me. I relaunched my blog $mart Woman, a personal finance blog for young women, and I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with all things blog related. The idea of making money via my blog would be great however I wasn’t expecting that to come until years from now when I have LOTS of page views and traffic. This post shows that I’m capable of making something out of it with a lot of front load work and it’s inspiring for a new blogger like me. Thank you!

  59. Stephanie

    September 5, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    This was inspiring, encouraging and true honesty. I’ve been looking for something like this.

  60. Brooke of Passport Couture

    September 7, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    It’s great to hear you can make money on a blog without having tons of blog views. Unfortunately I have nowhere near 3,925 views, and I spend lots of time promoting and sharing my blog with social media. I’ve been plugging away at it for a while, but if you have suggestions of other things I can do beyond social media, that would be helpful. Right now I’m happy to have 50 readers a post, and I would definitely like a LOT more than that.

  61. Kari

    September 7, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Great Post! It’s good to see where everyone starts off. I started my blog because since finishing Grad School a few years ago I literally do nothing with my spare time. Of course, everything ends up being a business in my world so I am one of those people with $10 in monthly income from my blog. Actually, $9 haha. That’s a few extra trips to fast food. 🙂 Thank’s for the encouragement!

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  63. Karlise

    September 11, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    This is JUST what I needed to read tonight! I’ve been blogging for a year and a. Not seeious enough about it (1 post a week) also b. I’ve been apprehensive about taking the leap to self host bc I don’t want to waste my money. But I DO BELIEVE I can make money if I buckle down and get serious.

    Is it possible to make money from your blog if you aren’t self hosting?

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  70. Renee

    November 3, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Very inspiring! I just launched my blog (http://www.lovelifeincolor.com/) and this is the kind of information that makes me feel hopeful!

  71. Sarah Louise

    December 1, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Just discovered your blog and plan on catching up on a lot of your posts! I started blogging about two weeks ago and just hit 2000 page views. I work full-time as well, so just started it up as something I love to do. Hope to continue along this blogging journey and see where it takes me!

    http://www.sugarmaplenotes.com

  72. FlightScarlet

    December 25, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I just made the switch to self-hosting and have made a total of $0.24 from Media.net, haha — it’s nice to see someone else’s baby steps! You’re right: nobody seems to talk about this stage that openly! (Plus, you have a new subscriber!)

  73. Chelsea

    January 10, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I appreciate the beginner numbers, because you’re totally right, everyone does talk about large page views and their income from that. It’s hard to really gauge where you’re heading (or going wrong) if you’re comparing your beginning to someone else’s end. Thanks for sharing!

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  77. Alison

    March 28, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    great post! I’m a new blogger and you inspire me!!! I just switched to self-hosted and my site goes live this week

  78. Trupti

    March 29, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Hi Kayla thank you for such an inspiring post. I started blogging 3 months back http://www.truptideo.com. I have written around 10 posts ( well, I am slow) right now i Am struggling for page views. I dont even have 200. I am posting my posts on twitter and pinterest but since my website does not have much content it is not attracting page views as such. I contacted google adsense but they said that my website does not have enough content. Can you help me give some tips to increase pageviews or do you have a post written for it? I am technically impaired(lolz) so looking for posts that i would understand in non-technical language. Also, did you do anything different for people to comment on your blog? I dont have any comments on my blog too.

  79. Kumiko

    April 5, 2016 at 1:06 am

    Thank you for this post! How do I get involved in a focus group panel?

  80. Bria | MondayRebel Blog

    May 28, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Kayla, this blog post is super inspiring – so glad you took the time to write it! It’s great seeing someone else’s super small beginning that looks identical to your own. I know you just released your new book, so literally, anything it possible. 🙂 Get it, gurl.

    After pinning this post a few days ago, I finally took the time to read through the whole thing and afterward, I signed on to several blogging networks/affiliates. I’m ready to start making big changes and actively pursue a larger income from my blog. Kudos to you!

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  82. Rebecca

    June 12, 2016 at 2:10 am

    I would really like to blog full-time. But making money out of blogging is not that easy. And i have tired many different things. I would like to know what im doing wrong.

  83. Monae

    June 15, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Great post. I’ve been blogging for years and I have decided to take it seriously! Your post has motivated me.

  84. Melanie

    June 22, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Yes! These are my blogging goals! Just a little bit to keep it running. Of course, blogging full time is a dream, but as you said, baby steps! Thanks for sharing this post for the newbies out there 🙂

  85. Matt

    September 7, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Nice to know page views aren’t all that is required to make money from your blog. I’ve only been blogging for about 6 weeks, but getting the page views is definitely the hardest part. I know it won’t be easy, but nice to know others were in the same boat!

  86. Kaley

    November 4, 2016 at 12:55 am

    How do I get involved in that panel? I’m very interested.

  87. Gen

    December 13, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Great post! I just wish you’d go into more detail about things like the panel and realclever so that your readers can get involved with things like that too.

  88. Kristie Chiles

    February 16, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    I love this! And your style is truly unique! Thanks for sharing with us!

  89. Alicia Stack

    February 17, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing! Very inspirational for someone as myself just starting out. Seeing some of the other successful bloggers with so many page views and income reports kind of discourages soemone who has no clue where to start .
    Quick question I interested in the panels you participate in , do you have a list of panels and how others can participate too?

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  92. SeekAndRead

    July 31, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Kayla,
    Good post but I’m wondering, how did you able to get these sponsored post from those companies in just of you blogging beginner venture?
    Thanks
    SeekAndRead | Happy & Healthy Family Lifestyle

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