This month I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Communications. While I finished school this year (and worked a full-time job!) I wanted to set my blog monetization mostly on autopilot. The result was an experiment that still brought in an extra $5k by the end of the year. Read on to learn more about my process.
A little background: I’m a freelance writer, published author, and blogger with multiple niche blogs. This year I stopped actively writing for clients to focus on school, and picked up a warehouse job instead. There’s only so much time I can handle on my laptop before I get antsy, and school required a lot of screentime. However, I still wanted to publish at least one article a month for my most established blog and (hopefully) continue to bring in a little extra income.
A disclaimer: there are a LOT of variables with blogging! Depending on your niche, your SEO strategy, and your specific affiliates, you may see different results if you try your own Tailwind app experiment. I cover my process and offer some of my best tips and strategies below to give you a leg up, but they aren’t guaranteed. Blogging is a business, and if you treat it strategically you will see the best results.
The blog I used for the experiment
For my experiment, I focused on my most established blog, The Independent Herbalist. It sees steady traffic every month, but nothing spectacular. Usually, I have less than 12k unique visitors each month. That’s the beauty of a niche blog. It doesn’t have to receive a ton of traffic, it just needs focused traffic that converts.
Having an organized, focused Pinterest account for the blog is also important. I don’t use Facebook, Instagram, or Tik Tok because I’d rather spend time writing evergreen content than I can see residual income on for a long time. Nothing against social media, but it isn’t for me. I think podcasting, blogging with SEO in mind, and Pinterest provide the best return.
Choosing an affiliate to focus on
To yield the highest income, I focused on an affiliate that has typical payouts ranging from $12-$45 for each sale. For me, that was The Herbal Academy. They are highly specific to my niche, and I used to be a content writer for them so I know it’s a good fit for my blog’s audience and I have the benefit of being an expert in this niche. Here’s my screenshot from the dashboard so you can see exactly how things went down.
When choosing an affiliate, here are things to consider:
- Is it relevant to your niche?
- What is the commission?
- Does the affiliate have a blog of their own to help you promote their content?
An affiliate partner that understands the importance of blogging to create leads is a huge plus. Especially for an information product like courses.
Getting my blog ready for the Tailwind app experiment
I didn’t have much time to devote to maintaining my blog, so I settled on writing one or two blog posts a month. Most months, it was just one. I also updated an older blog post every month, making sure the content followed SEO best practices and added fresh graphics for Pinterest. It was also important to make sure there were affiliate banner ads prominently displayed on my blog sidebar and in each post.
My Pinterest following and boards
I don’t have a huge following on Pinterest. It’s a myth that you need six-figure followers. What you ACTUALLY need is a niche account that attracts followers who are interested in what you have to say and sell. Currently, I have 5,052 followers and usually receive between 245k- 600k views each month. I made sure my boards were organized by related topics and there was potential for me to repin to multiple related boards so that it would be simple to fill up my Tailwind app scheduler’s queue.
- Create multiple, related boards
- Plan strategically so that each Pin is relevant for at least three other boards
- Create multiple graphics for each blog post
- It’s ok to use templates to help brand your content
An example from my Indie Herbalist Pinterest account is that I can potentially pin a single article to Everything Herbs; Favorite Herbal Academy Articles; and Learn Herbalism. If the article contains recipes, it can also go to Easy Herbal Projects or a board about a specific herb (like Lavender).
Setting up a Tailwind app schedule
Tailwind makes everything so easy once everything else is in place! I didn’t want to spend a lot of time finding pins to fill my queue. So I settled on using only pins from my blog and pins from the Herbal Academy’s blog. It seemed easy enough to create a schedule of 8-10 pins per day and not run out of content, so that’s what I did. I find it’s usually better to publish higher-quality content less often to maximize the return on invested time. If you have more time, awesome! More potential for results.
I used Tailwind’s smart schedule feature to select the best times of day for pins to post to boards and also used the Smart Loop feature to regularly repin the most popular pins without being spammy. Pinterest has been prioritizing new pins with fresh graphics, so I added 3 pins to each new blog post I published and 3 brand new graphics to each refreshed blog post.
Amount of time spent on my Tailwind app experiment
It took me around four hours each month to create new blog posts and graphics and about 30 minutes every month to top off my Tailwind queu. Did I mention Tailwind is a timesaver? It’s also insanely affordable compared to hiring a virtual assistant or taking your OWN valuable time to pin every day.
As a blogger, your most valuable time is time spent creating content. If you also have family or educational responsibilities, that squeezes your time even more. Don’t let appearances fool you. You don’t have to be a huge social media influencer to make good money from your blog. You just need to stay focused and prioritize what yields the most results over time.
For me, the top priority is evergreen content that readers will find useful year in and year out. I’m looking forward to applying my Tailwind app experiment to my other niche blogs now that I’m done with school and ready to prioritize online income again.
Strategies and variables that helped
It takes time to create traction with a blog and set up a Pinterest account, but it’s been time well spent for me. Using just the content on my blog and traffic from Pinterest and search engines, I was able to bring in a nice extra income without social media, Google ads or ad networks, guest posting, or writing spammy articles or sales funnels. Not bad!
What I did that worked:
- stayed focused on providing value through my blog
- didn’t waste time on social media
- have an established blog with lots of older content that search engines already know
- affiliate partner has a generous commission
- affiliate partner has a fantastic blog that new customers love
- used Tailwind app to set things on autopilot
Try Tailwind for Free
You can use my affiliate link to try Tailwind for free! I appreciate their easy-to-use tools and dashboard, and it makes my Pinterest marketing a breeze. If you love it and decide to continue using it, the monthly Pinterest plan is an affordable $14.99 per month, or choosing the annual plan brings it down to $9.99/month and saves you $60.
Enjoy your blogging and remember: stay focused on what matters, not what gives the best show on social media! Help your readers solve problems and provide informative, interesting content to connect with readers and get the best results.