How to start a profitable blog: June 2019 Income Report (Part 1)

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Welcome to my first ever income report for my new personal blog!

I wanted my first blog post to be this income report, before I start writing anything else.

Why?

Because I thought it would be nice to break down exactly what it takes to start and grow a blog in 2019.

Yes – other blogs write income reports.

But most of them start when the blog already has traction and is generating revenue.

They are not an accurate representation of the struggle towards making an income with a blog.

It’s not fair.

You don’t get to see those tumbleweed months and years where the blog owner has to hustle and grind away to grow the traffic.

It looks like they suddenly start making thousands of dollars a month.

And that’s why I want to write income reports for my blog – and why I want to start writing them from the very beginning.

Think of it like an experiment.

This way you will be able to follow the blog’s growth over the next few months, years or however long I keep this up.

And in a few years time – who knows what might happen?

It could be a good resource to look back on to see step by step how the blog developed.

Or for tips on how you could replicate its growth for your own blog or business.

You get the idea.

Why start another blog?

There are over 500 million blogs on the internet as of writing this income report.

So I understand why you think I am crazy for starting yet another blog.
But the truth is – it doesn’t really bother me.

Yes there are a lot of blogs out there.

And yes my blog will likely be a drop in the ocean against some of the big marketing blogs out there.

But the number of people with access to the internet is also increasing.

There will always be a place for great content on the internet no matter how many blogs there are.

Google has recently shown us that valuable content will naturally rise to the top of the pile.

Value is competitive advantage on the internet.

Millions of blogs are inactive.

Thousands of blogs contain short diary-like posts with very little content.

Blogs like that don’t provide any value.

And that is why I think this blog will have a chance.

Because I will do my best to add value to the reader’s life.

If this blog educates just one person on how to start and grow a blog.

To help them turn it into a profitable business and help them make a living.

Doing that for just one individual would make writing this blog worth my time.

What have I done so far?

As this blog is only 5 days old I have done only the bare minimum to get the blog up and running.

In the coming months I will document the majority of the blog setup in my income reports.

But here is a brief summary of what I have done over the last few days:

  • Purchased the johnfowler.co domain name from GoDaddy
    • I settled for the .co domain, as .com is already taken (although I have offered to buy .com from the owner)
    • I actually purchased this domain a few years ago, but it has sat dormant for about 3 years
    • I now buy all my domains through Namecheap (it’s a lot better)
  • Set up a hosting account on SiteGround
    • I evaluated the pros and cons of various hosting companies
    • Narrowed it down to my top 3: SiteGround, Kinsta and Bluehost
    • Decided on SiteGround due to price, speed and support
    • Really wanted to host with Kinsta for its advanced features, but it’s a little expensive for a new blog with no revenue yet
  • Installed WordPress with one-click on my new hosting
  • Purchased and installed a premium theme from ThemeForest
    • Tribe theme (if you wanted to get it)
  • Created the basic website pages
  • Signed up for a free trial of ConvertKit
    • This is where I will initially build my subscriber list
    • I was torn between SendInBlue for the low price and ActiveCampaign for the more advanced features.
    • ConvertKit has the best of both worlds
  • Installed essential plugins:
    • Thrive Leads for collecting email subscribers
    • Thrive Comments to replace the default WordPress comment system
    • Yoast SEO to optimize for search on the blog and easily generate a sitemap
    • Contact Form 7 for the contact form
    • ShortPixel Image Optimizer to optimise any screenshots in blog posts
    • Monster Insights for Google Analytics
    • ThirstyAffiliates for affiliate link management
  • Set up and installed Google Analytics through Monster Insights
  • Submitted my sitemap to Google Search Console
    • I have no blog content yet, but I want Google to index my site with the basic pages to get the ball rolling
This is what my blog homepage looks like after a couple hours work getting it set up

What Metrics & Numbers will I report on?

The decision to write Income Reports is not an easy one.

My main goal for these reports is to motivate others who are on the fence about starting a blog for themselves.

But it’s also to be transparent about the ups and downs of growing a blog.

I know that this is not going to be an easy task.

I know these numbers may never be very impressive.

But as an experiment, I think it would be valuable to both myself and others to see exactly what it takes.

So after some thought, I’ve decided to report on these stats & numbers in future posts:

  • Revenue, Expenses & Net Profit
  • Monthly Blog Traffic
  • Email Subscribers
  • Messenger Subscribers
  • Social Followers

Why not only report my income?

Well the above combination of metrics should show the correlation between growth and income.

What good is showing revenue without showing what traffic it takes to earn it?

What use is revenue without highlighting the expenses involved in running a blog?

I want readers to read these reports, ignore the stuff that doesn’t work and double down on what creates results.

I want to fast-track the growth of your blog or business.

That’s why I’m going for full transparency on this blog.

The numbers so far

No surprises here.

A big fat 0 all round.

With a brand new blog and no content, it is no surprise that the blog has 0 traffic and subscribers.

Blog Traffic

Launching to crickets!

Email Subscribers

My ConvertKit dashboard is a lonely place to be right now

Messenger Subscribers

My view from ManyChat 🙁

Social Followers

Facebook: 6 (I started this page before the blog)

Profit & Loss

Income$0
Expenses$0
Net Profit$0

I will be going into more detail on the profit and loss side of things in Part 2 of the June Income Report.

In the next report

I made the decision to split this June report in two halves as I wanted the first post on this blog to be an income report.

This first half sets the scene for the whole blog and the future reports.

The second half will be the actual income report for the first month of the blog’s life (June 2019).

It will outline the numbers after publishing a piece of content and maybe some promotion.

I’m not expecting anything much.

But we will wait to see in the next report.

It’s your turn. Get Involved!

Are you thinking of starting a blog?

Or currently in the process of growing one?

Leave a comment below and let me know about your plans.

If you enjoyed this post – it would be great if you could give it a share!

Cheers,

John

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