A few weeks ago, I started a series, delving into the secrets of some of the top new bloggers around the world. My first post brought to you Ana, from The She Approach to share her top tips, strategies and most saught after secrets of how bloggers work, what they did to rapidly increase their blog views and what they recommend as next steps for new bloggers to monetize their blogs. I found it so useful as a new blogger myself, who has been searching for experts in the field to learn from on how to make money blogging and how to increase my traffic.
For today’s post, I am so excited to welcome Ling from Finsavvypanda! She has had amazing success making money from blogging by using affiliate marketing and within such a short period of time!
Would you tell us a bit about yourself and what role you have online?
Hello, my name is Ling and I started my blog Finsavvy Panda just over a year ago. It’s a personal finance and lifestyle blog where I give my best money tips. I’m always talking about finance and money with my friends and family, so I thought it would be nice to start a blog to share my experience and view to help others.I actually consider myself very new in the online world. Seriously, I had no idea that people could make money online with blogs, affiliate marketing, writing sponsored posts, selling digital products, and much more!
I’ve been working in the financial and banking sector for 8 years and I always thought that the traditional day job through promotion was the only “safe” way to earn a full-time income.
With that said, I don’t really have much experience with making money online. So again, it is new to me but I’ve learned A TON within the last year! I’m really looking forward to learning more now that I’ve realized the potential (I see it with my own eyes from the successful bloggers)!
How long have you been blogging for?
Just slightly over a year as we speak now.
What was your inspiration to start a blog?
I’m not sure how I stumbled upon Eden from Mint Notion, but I’m guessing it’s because I was searching for “how to be rich in your 20s” on Google?? I stumbled upon one of her articles and I really like the way she writes! I was able to relate to her because similar to her, I’m into building wealth and making some extra money (I’ve been obsessing about money topics for many years!)
I can’t quite remember, but I think when I learned that she was making money with her blog, I signed up on a whim (near the end of July 2017) without putting in any thought! I had no clue as to HOW blogs made money (I probably thought it was just through ads) but I signed up because I was sold the idea that starting a profitable blog is really cheap (which it is)! LOL!
That’s when I realized I had no idea what I was doing and it’s no wonder why I had no confidence to do anything with my blog when I first signed up. But many months later, when I decided to give it another try (around November 2017), I started reading blog articles about blogging from Eden’s page and I slowly learned by following her footsteps through observation, and trial and error!
Define your blogging mission in less than 10 words.
To be quite honest, I haven’t put in a lot of thought because I’m still trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. But, if I had to really say what my mission is, it’s to:
Help millennials find a good balance between earning, saving, and spending!
What did your blogging journey look like at the beginning and how has it evolved?
As mentioned before, I actually signed up for my blog near the end of July 2017 but after writing about 5 posts, I didn’t feel confident to hit publish – I was extremely terrified to start my blog. During that time, I actually deleted those posts permanently and decided NOT to move forward with the blog. I basically let the blog go and forgot about it for a few months.
Around October 2017, I was really feeling the itch to try blogging. I was still subscribed to Eden’s e-mail and I think one of her messages pushed me somehow. Also, I didn’t want fear to stop me from trying this!
Unfortunately, still… I wasn’t confident enough to move on. I didn’t sign up for any social media to promote my blog because I felt that my posts weren’t good enough, and was afraid of what people would think. I almost called quits again!
When November was almost approaching, I read and learned about blogging which gave me a little more confidence to go live and connect with a few bloggers. I signed up for a Pinterest account in November and started promoting my blog. All I heard were crickets… and for a very long time too. LOL!
But regardless of the amount of road blocks (e.g. no traffic, no likes, no one to talk to, Mailer Lite rejecting me, affiliate programs turning me down, and eventually hearing from some trolls, etc.), I kept persisting. I also eventually learned about Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing e-course (you can read my Interview with her here). This was around April 2018 and I started to see results immediately after taking her course!
When my traffic picked up even more during July 2018, everything grew from there! If you’re interested in seeing my blogging progress, you can find my blog income reports here.
What does your typical blogging day look like?
With a full-time job, it’s quite challenging. But this is how I optimise my time spent on my blog:
Monday to Friday:
I learn new stuff during my 1-hour commute to work, and 1-hour back (SUPER laser-focused).
Sometimes during my lunch time, I spend 1 hour tweaking my affiliate links in my top posts to test a few strategies. Or I manually pin on Pinterest. Anything that is considered a light activity. I also consider making pins as a light activity (much easier than drafting a new post) so I spend about 1 hour to batch-make them before I head off to bed.
If I’m not making pins after work, then I’ll review something that I recently learned and implement it onto my blog (as long as it doesn’t take too long). Because let’s face it, we don’t have a whole lot of time after work! I started to take Friday evenings off from my blog!
Saturday and Sunday:
I wake up early on the weekends to write a new post or to learn something new (e.g. courses I paid for). I take advantage of this time because it can feel really tiring and exhausting after work hours! Weekends are the best time because my brain feels refreshing! Waking up early allows me to spend some time with my friends during the evenings without thinking about the blog afterwards.
If you had 2 pieces of advice for new or up and coming bloggers, what would it be?
If you’re constantly doing the same thing and not seeing results, it’s time to try something else. Just don’t give up regardless of the number of road blocks and failures you come across! Reread my answer from question #5 and you’ll see that I struggled for some time! I always tell people that I’m still struggling. No matter what, I think we’re always going to feel like we’re struggling with something! You’ve just got to be persistent!
You have been incredibly successful at making money from blogging. Have you got any steps to success fellow bloggers could use to start making the journey towards this end game?
Many people are hesitant to spend money on blogging resources because they think they can learn all this stuff for free. Yes, you could but it will take A LOT of time and LOTS of trial and error! Sometimes, you may not even get it! Who has all that time to waste especially when you’re working a full-time job? I really believe in investing in the right blogging education to see (quicker) results. Yes, even when you do take blogging courses, they may not always translate to results. Courses are there to give you guidance and foundation. The rest is really up to YOU.
In other words, you need to be serious and REALLY want your blog to work! If you want it, you’ll make it work some way or another, even if it takes time.
To be honest, sometimes one thing that works for one blogger may not work for you. I think it’s okay if you invested in a course and didn’t see results from with. You can always try again by investing in another course. I’m not telling you to waste money on a bunch of resources, but you need to keep in mind that no business is ever “risk-free” or “guaranteed” after your first try. You’ll just have to take it as a sunk cost and move on!
That’s also another thing I learned from established bloggers who have made it — they have that mindset where they’re NOT AFRAID of “losing” money from the blogging investments they’ve made (even if it ends up being a bad investment). I learned to let go of that fear!
Pin me for later!
Last but not least, you are a fabulous inspiration to new bloggers like myself. From any of the products that you have developed, or anyone else’s you have used, which would you recommend to new bloggers?
Thank you for your kind words!
I really recommend Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course if you want to learn how to monetise your blog. Affiliate marketing is REALLY awesome for new bloggers because 1) You can start right away and 2) You don’t have to worry about creating your own product.
To learn more about affiliate marketing, you can read my post here where I interviewed Michelle who makes over $60,000 per month alone from affiliate marketing!
If you are new to Pinterest and looking for ways to grow your traffic fast, I recommend Ana’s Making Pinterest Possible e-book. I wrote a review on her e-book in my July 2018 blog income report when my traffic went from ~18,000 to 40,000 and now over 90,000 monthly page views!
I only started making over $1,300/month alone from ads because my traffic picked up after implementing Ana’s strategies from her e-book! I don’t know how the future months will look (algorithms change and that’s why it’s important to diversify your traffic sources), but so far, Ana’s Pinterest strategies have been working for me!
Talking of inspiration, is there anyone out there that you truly admire? Explain why.
He has shifted my mindset further away from the scarce and limited thinking. He thinks people focus too much on saving money. It’s not to say that saving money doesn’t matter (it does), but he points out that people tend to skimp on things they enjoy because they can’t seem to get rid of the limited mindset.
Although I still love saving money through free apps and rewards programs, I just love how Ramit sees money as an unlimited resource. In other words, I love how he focuses his efforts on earning and making money because he knows there’s no limit to it!
His personal finance opinions may intimidate a lot of people (including myself sometimes), but my mind is opened to his point of view! His way of thinking is truly inspirational and I look up to him!
Thank you Ling for the interview today!
There you have it – another brilliantly inspirational blogger. Are you as sharply focused now about what strategies to try next as I am after reading this? The organisation that Ling has, has given me some solutions to try, as I still work full time also.
Are you as motivated to try out new courses and build your blog traffic and passive income from your blog?
Be sure to check out Ling’s blog ( I especially love her post about how to get ahead by avoiding these financial mistakes) and leave any questions you may have for her in the comments section!
And if you’re not a blogger yet, but considering starting a blog, it just shows that now is an amazing time to do it! Read my Step By Step Guide on how to start a blog of your own. Start your blog today!