How I Grew My Blog Without Ads (Ever)

My Story

Hi I’m Stacy! The creator of this blog, and today I’m sharing my story of how I grew it from scratch without any ads, and how I make money from it through different streams passively. I also share the mistakes I made that slowed me down so you don’t have to make them 🙂

If your thinking about starting a blog, or making money online from your hobby, this is for you!

Humble Beginnings With Yarn

The idea of having a blog was exciting. My husband and I were looking for ways to grow our income online, so he could work less at his professional job and we could spend more time together.

After several weeks of toying with ideas I stumbled across this picture on pinterest

And then suddenly other pictures and things came up and I discovered there was a growing trend of people knitting with their arms, and knitting up HUGE yarn which I found out later was “Wool Roving.”

The first thing we did was to buy hosting and a domain name (which simply means the spot online you plunk your blog and it’s name) and while my husband was at work it was my job to figure out how to make heads or tails of all the behind the scenes stuff of a blog, even the simplest things, like making a menu in wordpress took figuring out for me and Youtube was my favorite learning tool.

This non-techie girl ended up on a serious learning curb and my dreams at night were of solving coding problems and other things that came up.

The Traffic Problem and Struggle

I also opened a youtube, and facebook account for my brand new blog, once I started posting and sharing my HUGE arm knitted creations I realized that no one even knew I existed. Because creating patterns and knitting are time consuming in it of themselves, adding the “Tutorial Process” to them of taking pictures, filming, doing the voice over, then writing out the instructions ended up being incredibly time consuming without paying off much.

Sometimes I would end up spending 15 to 20 hours on just one tutorial. I then turned all my attention onto getting traffic. Just reading “How to get traffic” articles then consumed all my time and all of them were saying basically the same thing.

  1. Post 3 times a week (yes, google likes several posts a week and rewards your content by showing it to more eye’s) But this was totally unrealistic because of how time consuming it was.
  2. Share it everywhere.
  3. Post on youtube because it’s also a search engine like google.

This was all nice advice but I didn’t have time to do all this. I found myself feeling like I was working as much as my husband at home just TRYING to make money, but not actually getting anywhere.

It just wasn’t working but I didn’t want to throw away all my hard time and energy just yet. I knew building a blog would take time. I talked to other bloggers who said that I should expect to gain around 30,000 new consistent visitors by the end of each year, but these were all from people with perfect houses. I learned that perfect houses and pictures draw a lot of attention, but that’s something I didn’t have.

Trial And Error, Money Rolling In

I posted lots of my own content onto other platforms like Instructables, Youtube, and connected with other craft blogs that would allow guest posts.

This was all a tremendous amount of work, but it slowly started paying off and then suddenly I realized that one of my video’s on Youtube got 300,000 in several months, AND it was a horrible video that I didn’t even edit because I didn’t have an editor or voice on it. You can see it below.

At this little win I put more effort into turning out video’s than I did turning out written content for my blog. Some youtubers were posting once a month, while others were consistently posting 2 or 3 times a week.

I was spying on everyone and watching them grow. I knew I could do the same. I was creating video’s that were helpful and said if people wanted more info they could go to my website. That’s when my website finally started ranking in Google.

I still had to put a ton of work into creating content and was getting burnt out because of what was going on in my own life.

My husbands job meant we moved a few times, and just moving takes time and energy just to pack and unpack. I knew I needed a better solution that would take much less time to create great content, and that’s when a GOLDEN idea came to me.

For some people keeping a tight niche works like a charm and they’re able to build very fast and consistently, such as Alysha LittleJohns’ Youtube channel on crochet.

Broaden The Niche

Everywhere I went I was hearing you have to “Niche Down” and become an expert in that one area, but I would see other blogs that had gone wider in their niche and were even more successful. I made the decision to cover all sorts of crafts and hobbies, not just arm knitting.

When I did that, the doors opened. I decided to write out a series of interview questions and ask other successful bloggers or youtubers if I could interview them and post the interview on my blog. To my great delight they did! I’ve now interviewed creators that have only small audiences all the way up to ones that are at nearly 1 million subscribers on youtube!!!

Each person I interviewed would share my interview with their own audiences on youtube or facebook and their audiences who were just used to seeing what they created, whether that was macrame, modeling clay art or anything else, they would now get to read the inside scoop and see behind the scenes of the creator they loved! This was like magic for my blog. I finally found a way to create really gorgeous content without spending 15 hours per post to do it!

I discovered this was a much less time consuming way to keep up the content on my blog AND I got to meet creative souls from around the world! Here’s a list of some other creative people from around the world.

How My Blog Makes Money!

The most important thing I learned was that every post should have some way of making money in it. The different ways I in particular make money from my blog are below.

  1. Affiliate links (from Amazon and other networks)
  2. Selling my own products (knitting patterns, baby mobiles, painted stones etc…)
  3. Ad Networks (like Adsense, or Ezoic)
  4. Sponsored content (you can find brands to partner with using companies like Intellifluence)

Accidental Secret Discovered

At one point in my blog life I decided to post 4 posts in a day for a few days, the posts were of home decor items to buy. They weren’t that interesting and they weren’t SEO’d to show up in google, BUT suddenly my traffic when from 50 visitors a day to 300 a day. That proved to me the power of having content posted often, which is why all bloggers will tell you “You must consistently post every week.”

I hope you enjoyed this. I’d love to hear your own story and journey through the world of being an online influencer, even if you’ve only just barely begun!

Here’s to your success!

Stacy

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