I Did All the Wrong Things as a Blogger & Still Made Money

There is soo much advice about how to make money blogging – all over Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and on Google!

I have many blog posts on this topic as well, but you want to know something?

When I first started a blog, I did not do all the right things to make money. I was doing the wrong things and I still made money and I still succeeded.

In fact, I turned my blog into a business and created multiple sites.

The other day I was on Pinterest and read a post on why your blog isn’t making money, and it made me realize that I didn’t do many of those things.

So, why, after seven years, am I still here and able to work from home indefinitely?

In this post, I’ll share typical things bloggers say when it comes to NOT making money blogging and then I’ll go into the exact things I DID to make money.

I’m hoping this post will offer some insight into actual things you NEED to focus on as a new blogger and give you some inspiration that you CAN do it!

4 Fails I Did and Still Made Money Blogging

Now, just because I didn’t do these things doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do these things. Remember, I started my blogging journey seven years ago. So things are a tad different, but you can still learn from my experience. 

1. I Had No Real Plan in the Beginning 

The #1 reason bloggers – including myself – say to other bloggers not making money blogging is that you had no plan.

That was exactly me when I first started my blog. I had no plan. All I knew was that I wanted to stay home with my twins and I needed to find a way to do this. 

I found out about freelance writing and latched on to that. I wrote about organizing my work, creating content, work-life balance and anything I was going through.

Do you see how my blog topics were very internal? I didn’t care about an audience reading my posts; I just wanted to write and share my experiences.

And, you know what? I gained a readership quickly. Now, I realize that this was seven years ago, and the blogging world was very different back then, so you may not gain a readership that quickly.

In either case, I had no plan, I wrote on things I was going through and I loved writing.

2. I Didn’t Pick a Profitable Niche

Look –

Having a profitable niche is crucial to success! There I said it, but you know what?

I did not have that thought in my head when I started my blog. As I said, I wrote what I was interested in, and at that time, it was freelance writing.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “But Elna, freelance writing is a service, not a niche.”

True, true, true.

But, I did the same thing when I started Twins Mommy! In the beginning, I blogged about MY life and what I was going through – working from home with twins.

I wrote about how I planned my day, what I fed my twins, the challenges I faced and more.

Over time, Twins Mommy evolved into helping other mom bloggers make money blogging, but in the beginning, I started a blog to talk about my life….again!

3. I Didn’t Use SEO At All in the Beginning (And it Was Fine)

I had no idea about SEO until a few years after blogging. And you know what? I’m glad about this. This has created my brand and message to new bloggers.

My advice is to learn about blogging and to build an audience for the first year of blogging. This might mean learning about SEO. In year 2, you can actively focus on SEO and ranking in Google.

This philosophy I carry with all my sites and any new sites I create. I let new sites sit and age, and then when I’m ready, I start SEO. 

This is what I did for FreelancerFAQs. Here is Ahrefs organic search for this site.

Analytics and traffic for FreelancerFAQs

As you can see, I had this site – it’s a contributor site – sit and do nothing for many years. I had bloggers guest post, but I didn’t optimize their posts for ranking in Google. Then, when I was ready, I wrote specific posts that rank and the organic traffic grew.

4. I Didn’t Have an Email Funnel or Welcome Series

I had no idea about email marketing when I first started my email list. The only thing I knew was to have a good opt-in freebie idea, and that was it.

It wasn’t until I started Twins Mommy and read a post on creating a welcome series that it clicked! I need to nurture my list and create a funnel as a way to make money blogging.

But, about the reason why you’re not making money blogging and how I did those reasons and still made money – for the first couple years of my email list, I just used it to share my latest blog post, and that was it! 

Fortunately, my blog traffic was growing, and I was gaining income from people visiting my blog!

4 Things I Did to Make Money Blogging

Okay, so now let’s go over the things I did right – because there were some crucial things I did do as a way to mitigate the things I wasn’t doing to make money blogging.

1. I Had Something to Offer 

One successful thing I had going for me as a new blogger is that I already had a monetization strategy in place.

I started my online blogging journey by offering freelance writing services. In a way, it was a quicker and much more successful method than other methods bloggers – including myself – talk about.

If you are a blogger reading this, you know that blogging is tough and making money seems non-existent.

I share different ways to make money blogging on Twins Mommy, but I share more posts about offering a service than anything else.


Because it’s a highly successful way to make money within your first month!

So, with my blog, it didn’t matter what I was blogging about; I had to have a plan to find clients, and for the most part, didn’t involve traffic or an audience.

2. I Leveraged Other People’s Audiences

Some OG bloggers are still doing this, and it’s something I still do.

One thing that not many new bloggers do is leverage other people’s audiences. This is such an easy method to gain a new audience, subscribers and income.

So, how do you do this? Well, “back in the day,” I used guest blogging as my main method.

This means I searched on Google for sites I could guest post on and pitched my blog topic idea to them.

Google search for guest blogs

Later on, I used podcasts to grow my audience and subscribers.

Nowadays I go on summits to help me make money. The most recent summit I participated in brought in over 200 new subscribers and new course students.

Subscriber jump when I was on a summit

3. I Had an Email List

So, even though I didn’t have an email funnel or welcome series, I still had an email list!

I was still able to connect with my subscribers by sharing my latest blog post, guest spots and updating what I was doing. It wasn’t much, but my subscribers seemed to enjoy this.

The thing to remember is to be authentic, consistent and available. I read all my emails from my subscribers and do my best to help them with my questions.

4. I Tried Different Ways to Make Money

One thing I tell new bloggers is to keep trying and learning new things. Don’t give up if your recent product launch failed or that your latest affiliate marketing post didn’t earn an income.

You have to adapt, pivot and sometimes change to be relevant. The very first webinar I held for my brand new course resulted in hate comments and few sales. 

I learned over the years different ways to launch courses as well as different monetization methods to make money blogging. 

Remember, it is YOUR blog and you can change topics if you want or display ads if you wish. This is something I gravitated towards as the years of blogging went on.

Verdict? Can You Still Fail and Succeed at the Same Time?

More bloggers fail than succeed. For starters, only 8% of bloggers make enough income to support their families.

Ouch! But, according to Semrush, blogging is the MOST scalable and most affordable that it’s one of the most commen content strategies to use.

I see a blog as a content library. It’s an asset for your business and a method to help you make income so you can work from home.

Over to you – have you made these mistakes before? Tell me in the comments!

Please pin me!

Leave a Reply


Leveraging is huge Elna, absolutely huge. I network, comment and guest post often to make friends, share my knowledge and to leverage my presence through other blogger’s communities. Connected people break many blogging rules and still get by; goodness knows I broke all the same that you broke. Excellent post. RyanReply to Ryan
Hey Ryan, I know, right? I didn’t know that what I was doing back then was actually leveraging other people’s audience for networking potential! Thanks for stopping by blogger friend!Reply to Elna
Thank you. This is SOOOOO good to read. Gives me hope as a new blogger trying to find my way. What kind of summits do you mean? Just interested. Thank you for the great tips.Reply to Amanda
You have done such an amazing job with your blogs. You have always been consistent and it shows, you have such a huge body of high quality work. I love this post, it’s so encouraging because we all make mistakes and there is definitely no one size fits all solution. We can always grow and evolve. I’m Blogging is never a dull business that’s for sure! I made tons of mistakes and the only one I’d really like to take back is not focusing on SEO earlier because I found out I LOVE IT. Who knew? 😂Reply to Deanna
Hi Deanna, Thank you so much! I remember you being one of the first blogs I was following and then I recently learned you had another blog and was happy because for a while I wasn’t hearing much from you! Congrats on your blogging journey! Yes, it’s never a dull business for sure!Reply to Elna
Hi Amanda, Thanks for coming over! Regarding summits I was Kate Doster’s summit and I Heart Planner summit! It’s when they reach out to a lot of bloggers to interview or do a video training and the host sells tickets and bundles to make money. The presenters become affiliates and market it to their subscribers. They sign up for free (in the beginning) and are upsold for better things and bundles.Reply to Elna