5 Reasons I Had 4 Viral Pins on Pinterest in One Month
After 4 of my pins went viral in one month, I took a step back to analyze why and I came up with 5 reasons I had 4 viral pins on Pinterest. In this post, I go into detail with each pin and explain why I feel each pin did so well. I also share a few pins that didn’t do so well and why.
As you continue to grow your blog and share your blog posts you will find that certain topics do better than others. That doesn’t mean that you have to only write about those topics but you can count on them bringing in new traffic.
For example, I share blogging tips for new bloggers and when I write about making money or getting traffic to my blog those topics do better than others.
I still share other tips because you never know who is in need of that specific tip. Once I wrote a blog post on how to set up your sidebar. It received a very kind comment from a reader stating how thankful she was for that post because it helped her.
I love those comments! Even though it isn’t a super popular topic it still helped someone!
By always writing about all the tips I can share and not just sticking to the popular topics it helps me find new popular topics. That is what happened when I wrote a blog post on something I found that I thought was better than the bullet journal.
This was a new topic for me. I haven’t written any blog posts on note taking but it is a popular topic because everyone is always looking for better ways to organize their lives. So I wrote this blog post one day just sharing how I found something that (in my opinion) is better than the bullet journal.
First, in case you don’t know what a bullet journal is, it is a journal full of empty pages and each page has dots for guides on it.
There are a million different things you can use a bullet journal for. If you check out my bullet journal board on Pinterest you will see some amazing ideas and ways to use one.
I had first heard of them through another blogger. She shared some of the ways she uses hers to organize her days and keep on task with her blog.
I ended up getting one to try for myself. There were some flaws for someone like myself. Such as I have horrible handwriting and I am not the most artistic person. Yet I am a perfectionist so each page I felt like I was constantly trying to fix it.
If you look at some of the amazing ways bullet journals can be used you can see the appeal but that only works if you have a steady hand. For me, it was more work than fun and I didn’t end up using it.
Another reason is I would always forget it or decide not to bring it because it didn’t fit in my purse and I didn’t want to carry around 50 different colored pens.
If you check out my post I share that I had just recently purchased an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and used the free notes app to create my own bullet journal. This improved the handwriting issue because I could easily erase any mistakes. I go more into detail about why I like it better in that blog post so I will skip all of that for now.
Little did I know while writing that post that it would end up being a very hot topic. I shared the post on Pinterest and with the help of Tailwind the pin took off!
I had over 24k impressions on that pin in 24 hours. Today after being pinned a little over 30 days ago it has over 201k impressions. My blog traffic for the month of June 2019 was over 20k page views. Which let’s just say that is MUCH higher than normal.
I had no idea that it was going to be such a hot topic.
How I got so many page views
As I said it was definitely thanks to Tailwind and Pinterest for sending all of that traffic to my blog. I usually create several images for each blog post and pin them to Pinterest at different times.
With this particular blog post I originally only created one pin and that is the pin that took off. To test it out and see if it was the content (topic) of the pin or the visual look of the pin that made it go viral, I created others to put to the test.
What I found out is there are 5 main reasons this pin took off compared to my other test run pins.
- Hot topic
- Visually appealing pin
- Enticing Title
- Keywords in the pin description
- Scheduled to pin to all group and personal boards and Tailwind Tribes
While I was creating the test pins I also scheduled out the first pin to all of my group boards, personal boards and added it to all my Tailwind Tribes. I knew that I needed to get this pin out there since it was doing so well from just one pin to one of my personal boards.
Then I created several other pins for my test run. A few did very well and a couple did not. I noticed there was a trend on the ones that did well and the ones that didn’t.
Test Run Results
The main difference was the enticing title. Take a look at these results to see for yourself.
Enticing Title – Pin 1
This pin has a very enticing headline. It creates curiosity and I feel like that was why this pin had the best click-through rate compared to the others.
Visually it is a pretty pin so it was easy to save but I believe the curiosity is what made this pin do so well. It had the most impressions and saves of them all. It was also the first one I pinned so that could be why because the next one did very well too.
This is the stats after a little over 30 days of being pinned.
Enticing Title – Pin 2
These two pins I did the same enticing title because my test on these was to see if it was the pin image or the content that made the first pin so popular.
This one did fairly well. It didn’t receive as many impressions or saves but it came very close and still did very well. What is interesting is this pin had fewer impressions and saves but yet had more link clicks than the first pin.
I’m not quite sure why on that. They were both pinned to all the same boards and all within the same time frame.
Here are the stats after a little over 30 days for this pin.
Enticing Title – Pin 3
However, this one didn’t do well at all. I am not sure why this one didn’t do as well as the first two because it has the same catchy title with similar colors and fonts but for some reason, this one was not a winner.
Looking back I think I forgot to schedule this pin out to all the group boards like the other two did. I just looked back through my pins and I don’t see it mixed in like the other two are. I only pinned it once and must not have scheduled it out. It will be interesting to see what happens after I add it to the schedule!
Freebie – Pin 1
These next two were to test and see if the freebie inside the blog post was popular. Once readers click through and read the blog post many of them signed up for the freebie I put into it after it started taking off.
Originally, I had the normal freebie that I always offer in the post and it always does well because it teaches readers how to start a blog. That freebie always gets sign ups but none of these readers were signing up.
This told me that the people reading were bullet journal folks and not blogger folks. I created a freebie from my other blog that I am starting up because I felt like it fit with that niche better. My other blog is going to be about planning and productivity tips. I created a freebie that was a digital bullet journal which ties into that.
Around 30-50 people a day were signing up for that freebie after I added it. Once I realized the amount of traffic going to the post and yet no email subscribers were coming out of it I knew I needed to switch freebies and it worked.
Like I said I could tell the readers were not interested in my other freebie about blogging. So, I was happy to see they wanted the free digital bullet journal. I did learn though with these two pins that it still was the curiosity the first pins had that was bringing readers in.
These pins did not do well, however, once in the blog post they did sign up for the freebie. But the freebie alone was not bringing in readers.
Freebie – Pin 2
The first freebie pin looks like the second popular pin. I made another that looked similar to the first popular pin to again see if it was the look of the pins that made them do so well.
Neither of these pins did that great. So this told me it was bullet journal folks curious about what I had found that was better than the bullet journal. Not people excited about a freebie and not people that only saved the pins based on their looks.
Safe Title – Pin 1
The other clue was the backlash I received on the two popular pins. I received about 6 comments and most of them were mean.
They were from personal accounts of people who clearly were die-hard bullet journal lovers. They did not like my opinion of the notes app as being a solution that could be better than the bullet journal.
They also did not like my idea of a digital bullet journal also being a solution. Apparently, the curiosity pins made it sound like there was some new amazing thing that was better than the bullet journal that they did not find after reading the post. I personally love the idea of going digital. It works so much better for me. I have found so many amazing fun resources too that solve all of my personal issues with a physical journal.
These were just folks that mean and grumpy and taught me a valuable lesson on how to handle mean comments. One told me my freebie was ugly. There is no reason other than being mean for that to be commented. I had to remind myself that over 300 people had signed up for that ugly freebie so one person’s opinion shouldn’t matter.
However, to make the pin less “deceiving” because I was also told I was fake advertising pretty much. I made this pin to explain a little bit more without giving away all of the info or I wouldn’t get click-throughs.
It seemed to have worked. I stopped receiving very mean and hurtful comments and still was able to have a pin that had good numbers. This is about 30 days of the pin being up. I don’t have as many click-throughs (because of the less enticing title I’m sure) but I still reached a good amount of impressions off of this pin.
Safe Title – Pin 2
I created this pin with the same theory in mind. Again, I just wanted to test out the different titles and see what was working and what wasn’t. This pin is still going so I don’t have a full 30 day stat on it but so far it is doing okay but not a crazy good as some of the others.
It doesn’t have as catchy of a title but I feel like it is less likely to make any readers feel tricked as well.
Here are the stats so far on this pin. I know that is says published May 31, 2019, but this pin was definitely not. The first pin I created (which would have the same URL) was. This one has only been on maybe 2 weeks.
What this has done for me
By continuing to write blog posts on other topics other than just my main popular ones, I have come across a great topic that ties right into my new blog that I just started. I was nervous about branching out but this helped show me there is an audience out there for my new blog.
I have heard other bloggers say this but I didn’t understand until now but they say you never know what blog post is going to just take off! That is so true! I had no idea when I first wrote it that it would bring all of this. This is what this one blog post has done for me.
- Gained 378 email subscribers in 30 days thanks to this hot topic and my viral pins.
- Made 6 Amazon affiliate sales and my Amazon affiliate account was officially approved! (most of my affiliate links in my blog posts are for blogging resources so I don’t have many with Amazon affiliate links so I always had to reapply since it wasn’t my target products. Thanks to the bullet journal Amazon affiliate links in this blog post I was finally approved!)
- Made $30.13 with Google Adsense which is the most I have made in one month from ads.
- Broke two records of blog traffic to my blog. Not only did I hit 10k page views for the first time but I broke through and had over 20k pageviews!
- I was only 7,000 sessions away from being able to apply for Mediavine!
- Gained over 100 Pinterest followers.
- My monthly views on my Pinterest account went up from around 75k to over 400k!
- I had not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 viral pins in one month!
It was definitely a crazy and amazing month for my blog and all because of one post on a completely different topic than I normally write about!
Bye Bye Bullet Journal, I Found Something Better!
I love journals, planners, pens, pencils, stickers, anything office supply related. And I know I am not alone! There is a whole community out there of people who are obsessed with office supplies too! I don’t even know why I want all these things but I do! One year for Valentine’s Day my husband got me office supplies and I was so excited! That’s why I can’t wait to share with you what I found that is even better than the bullet journal!
The bullet journal has taken over by storm. Every blogger I see is talking about this bullet journal and how awesome it is. I finally decided to get one for myself after seeing all the fun everyone was having with them! I mean just look at how fun that looks!
This isn’t the exact one I got, I ended up getting this journal, this washi tape bundle, and these pens. But this bundle right here comes with that and much more so looking back I should have just got this bundle instead.
My sister told me about these gel pens that erase so I got those too and they are much more my style because I like to erase (I’m a perfectionist some times).
The big craze with the bullet journal is that each page is customizable. Every page just has dots to use as a guide to be able to create all kinds of beautiful pages. One page could be your grocery list, another your calendar, and the next your cleaning schedule. There is no limit to what you can do with each page and I do really enjoy that flexibility.
I just had one issue, I would always forget it. I don’t think to always have my journal with me. So even though I like to write things out and use the fun pretty colors and all that, I would never bring it with me. It was just one more thing I had to remember to lug around. (However, if you do love to carry that thing around and you are looking for more ideas on how to use your bullet journal, Suzi has an amazing post that you can check out!)
I tried to use apps and a Google Calendar instead to make it more digital and less inconvenient but it didn’t work. I like the fun bright colors and I did find one app that worked well enough to keep me on schedule however, I didn’t have the flexibility of each page being something different.
So I needed something that was a digital version of the bullet journal. The only thing I could find was the Notes app on my iPhone. I use it quite often to keep all of my important information all in one spot. I started that about a year or so again and that has been great! There is an option where you can write things out with my finger but then you couldn’t read any of it. So I was missing the fun artistic appeal the bullet journal has.
That is until I got my new iPad! I have been wanting to get a new iPad to be able to make my business more mobile. School is out and I don’t want to lose work time and I don’t want to lose precious time with my daughter either. I thought if I could be more mobile then I could work on things while we are at the pool or the park. That’s when I decided to invest and get the new iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and keyboard.
Here is a digital bullet journal that you can download for free!
Grab your Free Download of the Digital Bullet Journal by Consistently Procrastinating
Or here is why I love the Notes App on my iPhone and how it can be used to replace your bullet journal!
Notes App Features
- It’s FREE
- You can add tabs and organize thoughts
- There are options to Bold or Underline Text
- You can have clickable links in it
- It automatically saves new changes on any device
- You can scan documents
- Take Photo or Video
- Add Sketch
- Photo Library
- Mark Checklists that actually check mark off for you
I like the option to add documents or photos to the note. I have actually taken pictures of notes and stored it in a note in the app instead of retyping it all in there just so I could throw the paper note away! As you can see I really do use this app a lot. All along the side are major categories in life and then there are folders under them to organize further down.
Then lastly within each of those is the second column of notes you see. This helps me break things down and everything is easy to find! Now with the new iPad Pro, I can use my Apple Pencil and write on the screen just like you see (sorry I have horrible handwriting).
I can change the color, the style of pen or pencil, and even the thickness of the stroke I am using. With a bullet journal, you can’t break down into categories and sections as easily as you can with this notes app. You would have to bookmark every new section in a bullet journal.
But wait it gets better!
You can add lines and grids to your note! Just like the bullet journal you now have guides to help you design your page. Also, you only need one pencil and you can change it to any color!
Before if I would remember my bullet journal I would want to bring all the pens so I had all the colors I wanted to use for each page! This way you only need one pencil and one device.
Now you don’t have to take your iPad with you everywhere you go (but let’s face it there is a better chance you bring that than your journal). Because if you need to refer to that note you created such as this one below… Then you can still do that from your iPhone and no one’s going to forget their phone! You can make all these changes from your iPhone too it just isn’t as easy using your finger but you can still access the same note.
So if you are at the grocery store you can still cross off your list as you get each item. The Add Sketch feature is pretty cool because it gives you a ruler to use as a guide that you can move around!
All This For Free
A lot of people are Apple users so if that is you then you have all this for free! If you have been on the fence about switching to Apple then here is a little insight into some of the features! I’m sure there is something similar on the Andriod phones too though.
It is just nice to know some of the ways you can utilize what you already have access too. If you have an iPhone then odds are you have an iPad and might have been in the market to upgrade to the new iPad Pro. So far it is amazing!
Not just because of this example but so many other reasons! But if you are like me and you want to be able to have all the fun colors and designs but are not good at using a bullet journal then I hope you learned something fun and new with this post! I know I was so excited when I realized it!
Here is more information on the iPad and Accessories that I bought.
This is the exact iPad that I bought. I did go with the lower storage because I need to get a hard drive anyways so this way I can just get one of those and save money on buying the extra storage.
We looked into purchasing the iPad through our phone carrier to add data to it but that costs more also. Plus we found out that our T.V. provider has hotspots I can use when I am away from home. Just some things to think about!
I wanted the bigger screen so that was my main priority. I wasn’t as worried about storage because I have a bigger icloud storage plan and then again I plan to get an external hard drive to save all pictures and important documents on it.
Now I don’t pretend to be all tech savvy, I know just enough to get by. I know that I am a busy mom and this all makes my life easier and more portable. I do want to say that it comes with a completely new charger.
Supposedly it is to be able to connect to your computer better or other techy stuff I don’t understand but my point is no more USB on one end and no more of the other normal end that all apple products have.
The cord has the same end on each end. So either way, it connects to your converter to plug into the wall and then into the iPad to charge. Just a heads up.
Then since I got the bigger screen I had to get this keyboard that fits it. They are both 12.9 inches so that gives plenty of room for using your screen and typing on a good-sized keyboard, not a tiny one.
The iPad connects magnetically to the keyboard and there are three dots on the back of the iPad that connects it to the keyboard.
Then you can have it in different positions to adjust it to your liking while typing. Then when you aren’t using the keyboard you can fold it over to close and you will hear the iPad lock. Also, you can flip it around and under the iPad to quickly use the iPad only.
Then, of course, I got the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation that is compatible with the iPad Pro. It is very sleek and easy to use.
There are no buttons, it looks and feels just like a regular pencil. It doesn’t erase like one although I think it should. I keep wanting to flip it around and erase with the pencil eraser like you normally would.
But just a heads up it doesn’t work like that. Another fun feature of the Apple pencil is that it connects to the side of your iPad magnetically to charge.
This is great to keep track of the pencil and know that it is always charged up. No plugging it in or cords involved! Once you connect it to the iPad it will tell you what charge the pencil is at as well.
Because I will be on the go I did get myself a case and as I said I also have the keyboard too. I have seen some creators have these cool pencil gripper sleeves.
I don’t know if I will do that or not because with the new pencil it senses when you double tap to erase when using the Notes App. Also, I don’t know how the gripper affects it charging magnetically or staying safely on the side of the iPad. I worry that it might come off and I would lose it.
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4 Super Simple Steps to Turn Your Hobby Blog into a Business Blog
So you have a blog but it is more of a hobby than a business right? Or maybe you have a business blog but you treat it like a hobby? (Raising hand)
I know exactly what you are talking about. In the summer of 2017, I started a blog and my goal was to just have it ready to launch in the fall.
On September 1, 2017, I reached my goal and launched my blog. I was so excited! I finally reached one of my long-time goals to have a blog.
Well then, the holidays came in like a whirlwind and the next thing I knew it was the end of December!
Between all the holidays and all of our family’s birthdays that fall in October, November, and December, it just flew by!
So, here I was with my new blog that was now four months old and hadn’t changed much in those four months.
Over the summer I had poured my heart into it but I let it go over the fall. I jumped back in at the beginning of the year in January 2018. I added a new opt-in and implemented Tailwind and Pinterest.
The traffic came ROLLING in! I couldn’t believe it! It almost felt too easy! I later learned I was right. It was too easy. I couldn’t replicate it again… because I wasn’t treating my blog like a business.
I was offered a job at the Church Preschool and they badly needed help so I decided to take it and I worked from February to May as a Lead Teacher. It was a wonderful time, but I bet you can guess what happened to my blog.
Yep, it was pushed off and the traffic went with it.
I told myself “Okay, I am going to work on it all summer and get it back up and going”.
Well, being home with my daughter over the summer was great but trying to entertain an 8-year-old who doesn’t play pretend by herself anymore was a struggle.
It was either let her sit in front of a device all day or let friends come over and then it was loud and crazy.
We would go to the pool, go out on the boat, do all kinds of summer fun things, but once more my blog got pushed back.
I felt like I had to focus on her and since I was home I tried hard to keep all the housework taken care of so my husband who works long hard hours didn’t have to worry about anything when he got home.
At the end of the summer, my husband and I decided that I would stay home once she started school back up and I could work full time on my blog. (I know isn’t he the best!)
I do help out some of the neighborhood parents and get their kids on and off the bus to make a little extra money. I also watch one little girl twice a week.
Plus, I have all my house chores. Which since my husband is being so sweet to let me chase my dreams, I do make those a priority, so he doesn’t have to stress about a messy house after a stressful day at work.
BUT I now have technically all the time I need to work on my blog!
So how can I turn my clear hobby blog into a business? And how can you? With these 4 Super Simple Steps!
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Make it more of a priority. Make time for your blog.
If you want to turn your hobby blog into a business, then you need to treat it like a business. Like it is your job (because it is).
You may not need to work on it 8 hours a day like a real job and thank goodness for that! But you do need to make progress on it daily!
Here is a post I wrote on how to easily find time to blog!
And here is a post on how to stay focused and create more content.
This post walks you through how to not waste time on your blog but actually make progress on your blog (aka writing blog posts not just post on social media).
I love to learn so I could spend all day every day watching videos on how to blog but then when it comes down to actually putting those steps into action I seem to always struggle to finish.
I have shiny objective syndrome or bunny hole syndrome. Maybe it’s a fear of rejection. “What if someone doesn’t like it? I know! I just won’t put it out there and then no one can hate it!” But that’s obviously a bad idea.
So, whether you want to or not, whether you feel like it or not. Make it a priority that you work on it every day. If it is only 30 minutes a day then that’s fine! At least you are working on it!
The more you put into it the more you will get out!
Maybe you aren’t like me and you don’t struggle with that part. Maybe you have a successful blog, but it just doesn’t make any money yet.
So, you want to turn your successful hobby blog into a successful business blog. Well, I can still help!
See I am knowledgeable about this all (remember I love to learn and take courses on all this) so I can help walk you through what you need to do to monetize your blog.
I think that’s the frustrating part for me. I know all this stuff I just need to do it! (me kicking myself)
That is why I am drawing a line in the sand and I am saying no more. From now on I am going to treat it like a business!
I am going to work on writing blog posts and helping my readers reach their goals!
Get out of your comfort zone
I think that’s a major part of this too. We are still in our comfort zones and we like it that way.
But staying in our comfort zones isn’t going to get us very far though is it?
We need to push ourselves and get out of our comfort zones!
For me, I don’t like making videos.
It is easy for me to think all these things to say but the second I push record my mind goes blank!
I know videos are an important part of blogging, so it is something I have to push past!
I have seen other very successful bloggers do not so great videos and it just shows that they are human just like all of us but for some reason, it is a major hurdle for me.
What are your weaknesses?
Do you struggle with…
- time management?
- content creation?
- Creating images?
- Promoting your posts?
- Creating videos?
Find your weakness and do that one first. Focus solely on your weakness and work on it. Or maybe you have the funds and are able to outsource your weakness.
If you struggle with balancing housework and your blog, then hire someone to help you clean your house.
I am not to that point yet, but I want to be!
2. SOLVE A PROBLEM
To turn your hobby blog into a business you need to be helpful for your readers. They are looking for an answer to their problem.
Help them find a solution to their problem.
Whether that be a course you created to solve it, an affiliate product that will solve it, or maybe you just provide the answer and that traffic to your blog brings in ad revenue.
Solving their problem will also create trust between you and your readers. They will come back for more. Knowing you helped them last time they will trust you can help them again.
Also, they are more likely to share your blog with their friends that have the same problem you solved.
There are several ways you can monetize your blog. If your blog is a hobby blog and you aren’t monetizing your blog yet, but you have consistent traffic then all you have to do is add the following to capitalize off of your traffic:
- Affiliate links
- Sponsored Posts
Ads or advertisements can be placed on your blog and the advertiser will pay you for it. You get paid based off of the amount of traffic that sees the ad and by how many people click on that ad.
For more information on ads on your blog, I suggest this eBook by Victoria Pruett called Make Money Blogging at any level.
She has successfully grown her blog about life on her homestead to making over $8,000 a month!
She has updated her income several times so I have noticed that it says a different number depending on where you look on her blog but the last email she sent me she told me $8,000 and that was months ago! So it is most likely more now.
A large portion of her income comes from ads! She goes into detail in her ebook.
Adding affiliate links are links that take your reader to a product by someone else and if they purchase that product you receive compensation for that sale.
So, for example, the eBook above that I mentioned is an affiliate link. I read that book and really found it helpful, so I signed up for Victoria’s affiliate program.
Now if anyone clicks on that link and purchases her eBook through my link, she will pay me for that sale.
I have heard of other affiliate programs that pay out differently and not only on purchases but that is definitely the main way to earn an affiliate commission.
Amazon is a great affiliate example. They were able to grow so big off of affiliate sales. Bloggers put links on their blogs to products off of Amazon and when a reader clicks on that link and makes a purchase then that blogger gets a cut of that sale.
Here is a great resource to learn some awesome tips for making money with Amazon! I had the pleasure of being a test reader for Dale for this ebook and I am so glad I had that opportunity! It seriously is packed with awesome tips and tricks to making the most of Amazon’s affiliate program.
She has some amazing insight and it is definitely worth the small investment for all of the time you will save and shortcuts she gives you to get right into making money with affiliate marketing.
I thought I knew it all and I have even purchased and taken Michelle Gardner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing which is also a great course but it does come with a price tag.
Although since Michelle makes over $100,000 PER MONTH on her blog she does know what she is talking about!
But even after reading everything I have read over the years and taking many courses (course junkie remember) Dale’s ebook Amazon Affiliate Affluence was packed with new and helpful information!
A sponsored blog post is when you receive payment for posting a blog post on your blog. Either you or the sponsor can write the post that you will then put on your blog. I personally haven’t dabbled much in the sponsored posts area so I suggest checking out McKinzie’s post on How to Make Money Blogging with Sponsored Posts.
Adding your own products to your blog is another way to earn money off of your blog.
If your blog is all about baking cakes, then you could create a course or write an eBook that combines all your knowledge into one convenient place. People will pay to get the quickest answer.
Just like the affiliate ebooks I previously mentioned. I would rather pay $20-$50 bucks and get the answers right now that I know will work than search through all of their blog posts trying to piece it together myself.
Your readers could read all of your blog posts and try and put the pieces of the puzzles together on their own but if you offered an easy and convenient course or eBook that will walk them directly through it, most people would just pay the $10-$100 to get the answer now.
It depends on how in-depth you make your course or eBook as to the price you want to sell it for.
I have seen courses go for hundreds of dollars. If it is your first one, then I would suggest to not make it too big and not have it cost too much.
Just to test out your audience and see how they respond. You could even ask them what they think about some different course ideas and also how much they would be willing to pay for it.
Get some feedback and maybe offer them a discount or a free copy for their feedback!
Once you have gotten your feet wet with adding one or all of those options then you can focus on using your email list to your advantage and selling to them.
You can make sales sequences for them to go through to warm them up before trying to sell to them.
You can also create a sales funnel for them to go to. Those are all things you can focus on later once you have gotten the first step done.
Focus on adding ads, affiliate links, sponsored posts and/or products to your blog and start treating it like a job and before you know it, it will be a business bringing in an income for you!
Here is what will set your blog apart from Hobby Blog to Business Blog. Just like I have said before you have to make it a priority. Part of that is staying consistent.
It is important to not only stay consistent to show Google that you are a serious blogger but it is good for you to stay in a routine with your blog.
If you take a long break in between working on your blog you will come back to it and be completely lost where you left off. You will end up spending all of your time catching back up on where you left off.
Then if you go another long break again you are once more in the same boat of trying to remember what you were going to do next.
Stay consistent. Make a schedule and stick to it! This will improve your productivity and efficiency.
Those are the 4 super simple ways to turn your hobby blog into a business blog!
What kind of blog do you have?
I would love to feature your mommy blog on my blog! Get Featured Here!
Make Money on Your Blog by Creating Your Own Products
There are so many different ways to use your blog to bring in an income. One of those ways is to create and sell your own products.
You can use your blog to showcase your products.
Maybe you already have products you make that you want to share with the world or maybe you have a blog and want to create online products to put on it.
Either way, the possibilities are endless!
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You can sell a physical product or a digital online product.
Physical products would include things such as a t-shirt, an ornament, wall décor, furniture, clothing, etc!
Digital online products would be things like an ebook, a course, a PDF, a file, a worksheet, a chart, a guide, a booklet, and so on! Literally, the possibilities are endless!
Here are some ideas of products you can create and use your blog to promote.
List of possible products
- Wall décor
- Dog clothes
- Baby clothes
- Baby bows
- Endless options!
Digital Online Products
The list just keeps going. If you can imagine it, you can create and sell it on your blog!
So, why would you want to create your own products? Here are some pros and cons of creating and promoting your own products instead of someone else’s.
- Express yourself
- Set your own price/choose your own worth
- Creative outlet
- Create your own brand of products
- Digital or physical
- Run your own specials, discounts, and giveaways
- Be self-sufficient
- You have to put in more work
- You have to handle all transactions and refunds
- You have to handle unsatisfied customers and bad reviews
- “one man show”
- You are in charge of promoting your own products
Pros outweigh the cons
In my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons by far! So, you have to put in a little more work? So, what? The fact that you are the one that is creating your own products that you are promoting on your own blog is an amazing feeling.
That said, if you are new to blogging you may not be ready to sell your own products just yet. So, promoting other products that you believe in is still a great way to bring in an income.
Sell your own online products
However, selling your own online products is where the bigger bucks come into play.
You can make pennies with ads and you can make dollars with affiliate marketing but selling your own online products puts you in charge of how much you make.
With affiliate marketing, you don’t have to create any products but the highest you will probably make per sale is 40%. Maybe 50% if you are lucky!
However, selling your own online products you are able to make 100% of the profit! All you have to do is pay for the hosting of your online products but that’s it! And there are probably ways to host it yourself for free with a plugin or something.
I have my own digital online products and they are hosted on Teachable and I have to pay Teachable monthly and per sale, but it is a small amount. I get almost all of the profit per sale.
But this way I know that my online products are handled with a trusted company that is going to be secure for my readers and myself.
It is a bit different if your products are tangible. There are more factors involved in that such as materials, tax, and shipping. But you are more likely to sell your product to more people if you are able to reach a new online audience.
As for online products, there is less cost and physical work involved since you don’t have to physically make anything. Here is why I like to use Teachable for my digital online products.
Why I Chose Teachable
Set your own price
You are able to set the amount you want to sell it for!
Maybe you feel your knowledge is worth $100 per sale, then you can put that as your price! Maybe you think that it’s worth $10 and you hope more people buy it at a lower price. That’s your choice as well!
Run sales and promotions
If you choose to sell a digital online product and you go through Teachable, they have an option to offer a discount on your products.
This makes it easy for you to run sales for your online products. You can offer a discount as a promotion, a prize, or a holiday special! You are not always able to do that when promoting someone else’s product.
It would be something that you would need to ask permission on first from the creator of that product.
There are different options you are able to choose as well on how you want to offer that discount on your online product.
- You can choose if you want a percentage or flat rate discount.
- Choose whether there is a specific end date or have it end after a certain number of units are sold.
- There is an option to set different codes to offer different discount amounts. So you could set one code to give readers one amount or percentage off and another code to do a different amount or percentage off.
Then depending on what your criteria are, certain readers would receive the higher discount code and some the lower discount code. This just gives you more options on promotions you want to run.
Affiliates for Your Products
Plus, you are able to offer your own affiliate program and have other bloggers sign up to promote your online products!
This way not only can you make more money selling your own online product you can make sales from your affiliates too!
When you sign up for Teachable you can set up a “school” where all of your courses are.
From there you can decide whether you want to make a reader who is requesting to be an affiliate, an affiliate to your entire school and all of your courses or just an affiliate to one certain course.
One of the main reasons that I love Teachable is that I know it is safe. Some of the biggest names in the blogging world use Teachable.
Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income, Melyssa Griffin from melyssagriffin.com, and of course Suzi from Start a Mom Blog all use Teachable.
Those folks wouldn’t just put their names on any product. They use and promote Teachable so I know that is the best option for me as well!
More Than Just Courses
You may be thinking that Teachable is just for courses. It actually can be used for more. You just have to think outside the box just a little.
First, yes it does work for courses. You can set up a curriculum and have your readers go through your course.
Second, you can have it just be for your eBook. Maybe you want all of your teachings to be all on the same place and make it easy for them to find all you have to offer.
You can set up a “course” that is titled as an eBook and then once they purchase and log into that “course” it will consist of one lesson and that contains a PDF file of the eBook.
Now you can keep your eBooks and your courses altogether in one spot.
You can even go a bit further and have a welcome video thanking them personally for purchasing your eBook and instructing them on how to download the PDF file containing the eBook.
The third option is you could use it for free opt-ins for your readers. I offer a Free Pinterest Image Course in my Teachable School where I show students how to create Pinterest Images for their blogs.
This course is free so it is a freebie that I offer on my blog.
When a reader enrolls in the free course they are now synced and added to my email list with Convertkit. Then the reader is able to log in to my Teachable School and take the free course!
Then lastly, another option that I use Teachable for is my Feature Plans. I have an option on my blog to get featured on Mom Blog From Home. There are different package options to choose from such as if you just want to have your blog bio and image featured alongside other mom bloggers then it is free!
If you want to have access to other perks like our Private Facebook Group, your feature going out to my email list, adding a product link, or even adding an affiliate product link then you can purchase one of those packages that contain those perks.
The reader will be taken to my Teachable School and they will make the purchase from there. Then they will open the “course” and it contains a PDF will all of the information on how to submit their information for their feature.
It walks them through how to join the Private Facebook Group and even gives them a special “Featured On” image so they can add that to their blog!
This is a way I can use the platform that I have my other courses on too and keep all of my online products together in one place for my readers. It is also thinking outside the box and using it for more than just courses!
Integrates with most email marketing providers
Teachable integrates with most email marketing providers so you can keep everything tracking altogether. If a reader signs up for one of your courses and you are worried that you don’t have them added to your list because they didn’t sign up through an opt-in, then don’t worry!
Since Teachable integrates with email services then it will sync and add that reader that purchased your product from Teachable to your email list!
I use Convertkit as my email provider and it syncs perfectly with Teachable.
Then I have it set up within Convertkit to tag the subscriber with what online product they purchase so I don’t bother that reader with information on any specials running for that online product because they already purchased it.
This just helps keep my list organized and easy to track which readers have purchased which online products.
How to sell your own products
There is an array of different platforms you can use to sell your own products whether they are tangible or digital. Here are some of those platforms where you can sell your own products.
It depends on the product that you want to sell and your own preference as to which platform to use. For instance, if you like to handmake crafty things then I would suggest Etsy. Etsy is geared more towards the crafty/artsy/ DIY crowd.
If you want to sell digital products such as an online course, then, of course, I would suggest Teachable.
It really is up to you and which one suits you best. Here are some things to think about before choosing one.
- Do they charge you monthly, per sale, or both?
- Do they accept all major credit cards?
- Can they help handle returns and exchanges?
- Are they a secure site that your customers will feel comfortable using?
- Is it user-friendly on both your end with setting up the store and your customers end on buying the product?
- Do they help you with SEO and getting customers to your site?
Imagine how you want your store to look and make sure that is what that particular site will be able to offer you.
Everyone has their own style and what comes easily to one may not to another. Do your research and find what works best for you!
Where to Start
Here is a guide to help you get started on which products to create and where you should host them!
Like I said before, creating products may not be for you at this time if you are a new blogger. You can focus on promoting other people’s products and just be an affiliate.
But, I do suggest later on to start creating your own products and making more money per sale.
Don’t forget to make sure whether you are an affiliate or you are creating your own products to add them to Pinterest and help get traffic to those products!
Learn how to drive Pinterest traffic to your blog or products right here!
How I Made My First Affiliate Sale
(with zero followers)
Hello! Vanessa with MomBlogFromHome here! I can’t wait to share with you how I made my first affiliate sale with zero followers! I know that is a huge hurdle for new bloggers. Everyone wants to know how to make money right away. I was surprised at how fast I was able to make some money with my new blog!
When you first start a blog you have to sign up for hosting and I chose to go with SiteGround. They came highly recommended and I really liked them so I signed up to be an affiliate for them and that’s who my first sale was through!
If you want to learn more about SiteGround and see if they are right for you, check out my post Why You Should Use SiteGround As Your Hosting.
I have always dreamt of having a successful profitable blog. I knew it was going to be hard and it was going to take time. I also knew that even if I made some sales it would take time for those sales to become consistent. The results I am going to share with you are not 100% consistent.
However, I am going to share with you how to make sales more consistently than a sporadic sale here and there though!
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*Update: I ended up making 3 affiliate sales with ZERO followers!
Starting a blog
Some people start blogging for fun but I would say that most (or at least the ones I follow) do it to make money.
Even if you did start your blog for fun I am sure that it has crossed your mind on how you could make money with your blog at some point.
There are several different ways to make money with your blog but one of the most common ways is affiliate marketing. That is what I am going to be sharing with you today is how I made my first affiliate sale with zero followers!
If you haven’t started your blog yet then no worries! Just take my 30-Day Challenge to Start a Blog and get on your way! You could have your blog set up in one day if you wanted to! But for those of us who have kids and other priorities, that may not give us much free time, I have broken it down into 30-day steps.
Again, you can go faster if you would like!
What is Affiliate Marketing?
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
So what is affiliate marketing anyways? In a nutshell affiliate marketing is promoting someone else’s product(s) or service(s) in exchange for a percent of the sale.
Of course, you want to make sure the product you are promoting is something you yourself use and can recommend. Your readers are trusting you and your recommendation so you want to help them find the perfect product for them!
For example, I use SiteGround for my hosting for my blog and I highly recommend them to my readers! I have tried other hosting sites and although I never had a bad experience with any of them I just prefer SiteGround.
SiteGround was recommended to me by two different bloggers that I follow and I trust them. So since I use and trust them I recommend them to my readers with my affiliate links. This link has a “cookie” attached to it or a code that tells SiteGround that person that came to their site was sent there by me through my affiliate link.
So if you use my link and purchase SiteGround’s services as your hosting provider then I would get paid for that! Pretty cool!
All you have to do to become an affiliate of a company is go to their site and usually at the very bottom there will be a link that says something along the lines of “Become an Affiliate” and then just go through the process.
It is usually very quick and easy! You can also google a product you want to be an affiliate for and add +affiliate in the search.
For example, if you want to be an affiliate for shampoo you put in shampoo +affiliate and all the shampoo companies that offer affiliate marketing programs will come up!
There are also affiliate networks like Commission Junction and Share a Sale that maintains many companies affiliate programs. This way all you have to do is sign up with them and you now have access to a bunch of companies that offer affiliate marketing programs. You just have to choose which one you want and apply for that certain company.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
After you are approved and you have your affiliate link you can then link words throughout your blog post. Then when your readers click on it, it will take them to the site where they can make a purchase.
Like I said if they purchase a product you make a “commission” off of their purchase. It is a way for you to make a little extra money and the company to get new sales as well! If you have more questions about affiliate marketing I suggest Michelle’s course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
This course goes very in-depth into affiliate marketing. It is easy to follow and implement but it is jam-packed with great information!
In this course Michelle goes over every detail you need to know about affiliate marketing such as:
– What affiliate marketing is and how it works
– How to properly and legally use affiliate marketing to make an income
– How affiliate marketing makes her over $50,000 a month!
– The many places to sign up to become an affiliate for different companies
– How to get your readers to convert
– Strategies and ways to promote affiliate links
– Things you DO NOT want to do with affiliate marketing
– Bonuses and worksheets
– Guest speakers that share:
– How to guarantee acceptance into affiliate programs
– How to legally disclose that you are an affiliate
– How to market your affiliate links on all social media platforms
– How to drive thousands of readers to your blog and your affiliate links
As you can see this course is full of amazing information that will set you up for success in affiliate marketing!
Another option is this Amazon ebook by Suzi Whitford who I have been following and she has taught me SO MUCH about blogging!
I haven’t had a chance to read that particular ebook yet because I have already purchased so many of her others I have to finish those! She is well known for her course Blog By Number that walks you through how to start a mom blog. It is the reason I even have a blog so I, of course, recommend that one!
All of the ebooks and courses I have taken of Suzi’s have been amazing so I can only assume so is her ebook on Amazon affiliate marketing!
What about traffic to your blog?
One important fact you will need to make money with affiliate marketing is traffic to your blog! But wait, isn’t this post about making money with zero followers?
Yes! Yes, it is!
I decided to start a blog in the summer of 2017….well this blog anyways. I have attempted this road many times but I have never fully committed and started writing posts.
I had gotten hosting, bought a domain name, read ebooks, took courses, researched myself silly, but never actually started blogging.
Ya know…the most important part of having a blog.
Then I was given an amazing opportunity to stay home with my daughter over the summer and I decided I was going to do it this time!
That’s when I found Suzi’s course on blogging and it changed everything for me!
I felt like I actually knew what I was doing this time!
So again here I am at zero followers and yet I made my first affiliate sale!
I had been prepping my site and working on getting it ready to launch. There was a landing page that was live with a countdown to my actual launch time but that was all.
The secret is that I didn’t get my first affiliate sale from my blog. I got it by talking about my blog to everyone. I had people ask me what I was doing now that I was home and so I told them!
And one person who follows my passion for blogging is my sister! She wants to start her own cooking blog!
I have been begging her to so I can’t wait for her to get started! She is a very good cook! Her and her husband both! What’s more awesome is they live down the street so I get to eat it all the time! Yay!
She had asked me if I used SiteGround because the people she had been following recommended it too.
I told her yes and how much I loved it! She said she was going to sign up then and I thought for a second and said: “Well if you do then use my affiliate link”!
She understood that it wasn’t going to change the cost for her so why not let me make a little bit off of her purchase?
That day I sent her my link and here we are a couple days later and I got an email congratulating me on my first affiliate sale! Whoo Hoo!
I hadn’t even launched my blog yet, and I had zero followers, and yet I made my first affiliate sale! I was so excited!
No traffic? No problem!
My point is that if you are starting a blogging business then why not share it with everyone you know!
Maybe someone else was getting ready to start blogging too and needs some advice on which hosting to use, which email marketing to use, etc.!
If you were starting up any other kind of business you would be telling everyone! So why is blogging any different? It’s not! You can do it!
I am so excited to share my blogging journey! And making that first affiliate sale makes me feel like I am getting started in the right direction!
Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you on your journey! I would love to hear from you!
I hope you enjoyed hearing How I Made My First Affiliate Sale (with zero followers)!
*My other two sales were from a friend and a fellow new blogger I met in a Facebook Group! They each bought Suzi’s course! So 3 sales before I had any real traffic!
After the first of the year (2018) I implemented a Pinterest strategy I had learned to gain traffic and I went from 39 views on Monday, January 8th to 645 views Tuesday, January 9th! I gained over 600 views overnight! It continued and in less that one week I have had over 1500 views! Check out my strategy here!
If you’re looking to start a blog or jump-start your new blog:
Take my 30-Day Challenge to Start a Blog. I have taken everything I have learned about starting and growing my blog and turned it into 30 daily action steps!
This 30-Day Challenge will help you: Start a Blog | Create Content | Drive Traffic | Grow Email List