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Today we’re going to talk about blogging income. Now, I am not one of those bloggers who can teach you how to make $100,00, $10,000, or even $2,000 a month blogging.

I see a lot of that content out there, which is fantastic. However, if you’re like me you’re a smaller blogger who’s not making a lot of money or you’re where I was even just a year ago and you’re making nothing…

Hearing about how to make $100,000 blogging likely means nothing to you if you haven’t even made your first sale!

So today, I want to do a more realistic blog post about how I made my first $100 blogging. Because I think that will give you a more realistic picture of someone who is just starting out like you!

The reality of starting a blog

I want to start out first by talking about how hard it is to start a blog and make money.

It can be misleading to see how I made my first $100 blogging because you don’t see all of the hard work that went behind it. It might look easy.

When in reality, that is not the case.

I started my first blog back in 2017-2018. It did not go well or stay live on the internet very long. I’m pretty sure it lasted all of about a week.

But, even in that short time, I was hooked on the idea of owning a blog. So, shortly after in 2019, I started another blog, this time about arts and crafts.

I worked day and night on this blog, for a year straight, with little to no progress. I even created a YouTube channel for the blog as well, which is still online to this day.

Despite working long hours and late nights, guess how much money I made in that time?

None. In fact, I lost money.

How I Made my First $100 a Month Blogging- January 2021 Income Report!

Once I saw that blog wasn’t working, I came up with the idea for this one.

Originally, the idea was to run both. That quickly stopped when I realized my passion was moving elsewhere, towards this current blog.

So, now that I had my direction.. all is well right? Everything is good, I’m making money now?

Not quite.

I redirected yet again with this blog after about a year, re-branded, and changed the name. Business Women Thrive changed into Sarah Marie and I went for a more lifestyle approach, which is what I always wanted to do anyway.

My first year (Before the name change) I brought in a little cash. A whopping $184.55, but my expenses still greatly outweighed my income.

This is a long-winded way to say that blogging takes time and commitment.

Most people will not come out the gate making money. You most likely won’t be making much money the first few months, if any at all! It’s possible, but not likely.

So, if you aren’t happy with your income or blogging results, just know that it’s okay and I’m right there with you!

Let’s get into the part you came for now, the income!

My income source for January 2021

1. Affilaite marketing

So my first income stream was affiliate marketing.

This source of income has always been hard for me to really get going, and even to this day, it’s not an easy source.

Affiliate marketing is a lot harder to do than most bloggers will tell you!

I made $49.00 from affiliate income by recommending a course from Teachable. That was two sales of the course.

And the way Teachable pays out its affiliates is, the buyer has a 30-day window to cancel their purchase, meaning, you won’t get your income until after that 30 days.

And on top of that, they only payout on the first of the month. So it takes two months to actually get paid from this platform.

I made two sales in November 2020 and didn’t get paid until Jan of 2021.

This is a pretty long time to not get paid for your sales, and most places aren’t this way but that’s just their policy. As you can see, it wasn’t a really lucrative source of income, but it’s half of the $100 income that I made back in Jan!

2023 UPDATE: The course that I was recommending sadly shut down, so I’ve taken another course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and it has really helped me start making more money with my blog!

2. Selling digital products

Now I want to look at my Etsy income. This is again not a huge source, but it is something.

My Etsy shop was popping off in Jan because I sell content calendars, and that is obviously a really popular thing at the beginning of the year.

I made $68 on Etsy. This is what my income is before Etsy takes out its fees and I, unfortunately, can’t show you the screenshots of the exact income because they come from my bank. But here is what it is from Etsy.

The take-home for me was $28.95. Right now we are up to $77.95 for the month!

2023 UPDATE: I’ve since taken down my Etsy shop (I talked about why in this video here) and now switched over to WooCommerence so my shop is right here on my very own website!

3. Blog advertising slots

This was my smallest source of income for the month.

I offered advertising slots on my blog, meaning I will promote your blog and any links you want in a “meet the advertisers” post, and on my social media.

I had one advertiser this month and made $4.62.

2023 UPDATE: I no longer offer these packages! I never made much money with them and its not something Google really wants you doing anyway!


My last source of income for the month has grown to be my biggest income source today! I am a Pinterest manager and currently manage about 1-3 client accounts a month.

This client that I worked with didn’t go with my monthly services but went with a 1-off pin creation service that I also offer.

I made $48.25 after Paypal fees.


So the total income I made in Jan of 2021 was $104.65. And this was my very first month making over $100 blogging.

This was a long time after I started my blog. I started Business Women Thrive, what is now known as, back in August of 2019. 

And I didn’t make $100 a month until Jan of 2021.

So, the bottom line is, don’t get discouraged when you see an income report about how they made $300 their first-month blogging because it took me like 3 years just to make my first sale!

Which by the way, was only $3.92!

I hope this income report was helpful to you, and if you are interested in reading something else, check out How to Monetize your Blog in the Early Days!

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  1. I love reading these posts of how determined bloggers are to make a career out of their blog because new bloggers can relate to their struggles and it’s nice knowing that we’re not alone!

    1. That is what I really hope people get out of this post! It’s hard to write posts like these, knowing they are not as click-worthy as something along the lines of “How I made $100,000 blogging” but I hope people can get something out of the smaller amounts people make blogging because they can relate!

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