The Truth (Almost) Nobody Is Telling You - Your Income in Your First Year

Last Update: Jul 19, 2019

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I'm leaving Wealthy Affiliate at the end of this month. I learned a lot here. It was a great place to start my online marketing career. But since I'm not promoting WA, I feel like there are better places out there to further expand my knowledge.

I want to contribute what I've learned during my first year, before I leave this community. I have to warn you; I'm an analytical guy. Always was, always will be. So, my observations are well-researched and sound.

I see a lot of people wondering how long it will take to finally start earning money with affiliate marketing. Will it take a week, a month, or even longer? From my experience and the gathered experience of others, I can tell you don't expect anything in your first 6 months.

That's right, hard work, and $0 income. It's what I call the testing phase. To rank highly in Google takes time, especially if you're building up a new website. Most people stop during the first few months. Don't let that be you!

It took me around 50,000 words of content and 4-5 months to earn my first $1. I was pleasantly surprised, I didn't even expect it that early. If I would have had higher expectations, I probably would have stopped.

Then after half a year, things finally started to pick up.

My traffic went from 100 organic visitors a month to 8,000 organic visitors in 6 months. My website is now generating $150-$200 a month after 12 months of hard work. That's a cumulative earning of approximately $500 in my first year.

$500 in one year is nothing to write home about. Why am I still excited?

It's the second year most websites finally start picking up. It's hard to break the $100 a month barrier. But once you break through, it'll get easier and easier.

I analyzed hundreds of succesfull websites in my field and there was one correlation. The first year they earned almost nothing! The second year things picked up and it's very possible to go from $200 a month to $4,000 or even $8,000 a month in the second year.

Don't believe me? Watch Littlemama's 2 year analysis and see it for yourself:

Or take a look at this timeline of a popular online marketing course. $687 total earnings after publishing 130 long-form pieces of content in 1 year. That equals to 300,000 words. Are you willing to work that hard for one year and earn almost nothing?

If that's not enough, here is another proof. A competitor's website in my niche. It took him 12 months to go from 0 to 1633 organic visitors/month. Now, this tool usually underestimates traffic by 50-75%, but it gives you a great overview. I assume his website made $100-$200 a month at that time. Then it went from 1633 visitors to well over 20,000 in a couple of months for a profit of approximately $2,000 a month. That's 15x the traffic in a matter of a few months. This website owner didn't publish more in his second year. In fact, he published less! It was just patience and perserverance that made his website successful.

So, where am I at after 12 months in terms of earnings? I have 87 articles published. Approximately 250,000 words of content. And I earned $500 in my first year. I know there will always be people, who earn money quicker, but these are outliers, not the norm.

I have to share another sad truth about online marketing. I estimate 90%-95% of all websites never even earn $1. Most people quit during the first few months of blogging, because they get no results. Are you willing to work hard for 1-2 years before you can reap the harvest?

I've only talked about the first 2 years of blogging in this post. But the beauty of this is, the following years can be even better. It's not uncommon to hit 5-digits, or even 6-digits a month in the following years, if you keep on learning and keep working hard. It's one of the best industries to be in. You just need to be patient.

Adjust your expectations, work hard, learn more, and perservere. Don't be the one who stops after 2 months. You almost made it through the challenging first 6 months, it's time to reap the rewards.

Wish you all the best. To your success,


Recent Comments


Hey Phillip,

Thank you for sharing this info man. I will admit that I am one of those who have seen $0 in my first year.

In fact, three month into my second year I am still to see any ROI.

but I too have learned that the early hard work pays off later on. So am plodding along. I know that the breakthrough will come. I have been able to identify some of the things that have contributed to my slow take off and am working on improving on them.

Sorry to see you go though.

I wish you all the best wherever you go.


Thank you Phil
You have said What I have always thought. It's sad you are now leaving but may you find success where ever you end up.

This is SO true!! I agree with you 200%! Patience is key, we should not give up.

Thank you for sharing this :)

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