This post was originally published on makesavespendgive.com
I more than doubled my blogging income this month! I also more than doubled my pageviews, users, sessions, and TRIPLED my email this month!
I’ll get to what I changed this month, but let me give you some background, okay? So.. I’ve had my blog since October of 2017, and I didn’t do ANYTHING with it until September 2018 (where I ended up writing my first post).
And I really didn’t do anything with the blog in October either (no promotion, just another post). So I considered November my first “real” month blogging, and December my “real” second month blogging.
I wanted to document my journey somehow with an income / traffic report! I know I’m not making $1,000’s (yet!) but I thought seeing the beginning would be helpful to some people.
Okay, so let’s go!
Other Income Reports
So Why Am I Doing Income Reports Anyway?
I want to document the process. I want to use these income reports to document what I’m doing, including what worked for me and what didn’t work, so I can get better at this blogging thing.
I want to help you. See by documenting what I’m doing and showing you what’s working for me, you can take it and maybe implement some of these things in your own blog. Seriously steal my strategy
Social Proof & More Content See when I do things like write a post on how to make a money making blog, I can point to my income reports to show that I’m a super legit blogger.
Also it’s another post, another thing I can promote on social media. And I’ve been poking around Pinterest, and income reports look like a popular thing to write.
What Income Is Included?
Here’s the deal, most of the things I’m promoting via affiliate marketing work on a 60 day (or more) payout time, so I won’t see the money for a short bit. So what is included in this income report is what I earned during the month, and only what I earned via this blog.
December 2018 Summary
This month I focused more on trying out different promotion methods, than actually writing anything (whoops!).
I made pins for some of my older posts, joined more group boards, tried out different Facebook groups for engagement, and went through the Pinteresting Strategies course I bought (back in September).
I also decided to change up the look of my blog. I was using the free Astra theme before (which was totally fine), it just seemed like it gave my blog more of a “lifestyle” blog vibe, so I decided to purchase the Cyprus theme from MyThemeShop. I think I like this a bit better, it seems more professional, and seems to go with the blog’s personal finance blog-vibe better.
I pumped out 7 posts (way below the goal I set last month), but at least it was something!
What Worked For Me This Month
Last month I kind of had some issues with making content. I couldn’t figure out what specifically I should be writing about. I ended up not writing anything until the last two weeks of the month, ugh.
But this month was different! I figured out my target audience and what content I want this blog to have – so I’m excited about that.
But I got a bit discouraged because it seemed like the things I want to write about.. It’s already been done. So I tried (too hard) to find a “new” angle to everything, and it seemed to slow my writing process down by a lot.
I have to keep telling myself that almost everything has already been done. And it’s okay. There’s tons of debt payoff stories, and reviews about survey websites. But that shouldn’t stop me. I have my own perspective though, so I will keep plugging along and making content.
There was one piece of content that I wrote this month that got me a lot of views, and that was the Steps TO Financial Independence post. I got a ton of traffic to it from Pinterest and that post has become my most popular post BY FAR. The other popular posts this month were also personal finance related post (which surprised me), so doing more personal finance stuff instead of lifestyle / roundup posts really worked well for me this month.
I’m still in my 60 day trial period of ConvertKit (and I love it so far!).
I kept using ConverKit, and pinning pins that lead to a landing page for some of my freebies (to get email subscribers), and I have an email list signup at the beginning or the end of every post.
But the thing that got me the most email subscribers this month (I TRIPLED MY EMAIL LIST!), was HelloBar. HelloBar is a tool that can place popups, or a top bar (or both) on your website so you can capture emails.
I set up a top bar, and a popup that comes up when people are navigating away from my blog. I got 35 emails using HelloBar this month, and I ended the month with 56 subscribers total (last month I only had 14!). So this is definitely a win!
**I use the free version of HelloBar with gives me 5000 views/month (they disable it for the rest of the month once you reach the max views).
I did three things that I think helped me: I created multiple pins per post, I applied to as many group boards as I could find, and I created more personal boards.
I’m still trying to find pin designs that consistently do well for me so I can use those pins as “templates” for future pins. So far my popular pins have been all over the place, so I’ll see what’s doing well in January, maybe the pins that are doing will have a more consistent design. I’m still making 5+ pins per new post with different colors and things.
This month instead of using PinGroupie to find group boards, I went to one of the Pinterest profiles of someone from my niche and I applied to EVERY group board that they were a part of. I ended up with 30+ new group boards this way. 🙂
I was hearing talk of people who were saying that they were having better engagement on their pins when they pinned them to their own personal boards, so this month I made more personal boards of my own and I made sure all my personal boards had really good descriptions with Pinterest keywords.
I’m still using Tailwind for scheduling pins and getting my pins out there (with Tribes), but I think I might transition to more manual pinning to see if that helps me in any way.
What Didn’t Work For Me This Month
Last month I talked about casting a wide net, and writing lots of different content… This month I tried to move away from that.
I wrote more personal finance content, and while it did bring in A LOT more views, I wasn’t getting many conversions on my affiliate links.
It seems like the content that did convert well were posts that were about one specific thing (like my SurveyJunkie Review). So this coming month I might do some more posts that are focused on going in depth on a certain service or product I use to see if that gets me some conversions.
I tried joining Facebook groups with other people in my niche to see if that would help my traffic, and it didn’t…. :/
I also tried utilizing my Facebook page for my blog to see if I could get clicks to my posts, but that didn’t work either.
I might stick with Pinterest and work on my SEO, and after I make a bit more money, try to use Facebook ads. But once again everything but Pinterest was a waste of time for me.
December Traffic Report
This month I got 3,024 users, 3,413 sessions, and 5,433 pageviews during my second “real” month of blogging (last month I got 650 users, 860 sessions, and 2104 pageviews for my first “real” month blogging.)
My main goal is still to get to 25,000 sessions so I can apply to Mediavine (ad company).
November Income Report
Affiliates* – $30.70
Media.net – $17.01 – (Better than the $0.27 I made last month)
MaxBounty – Survey Affiliates
I prepaid all of my blogging expenses before December, so there were no expenses this month.
Did I Reach My Goals This Month
- Get 2000 Sessions and 4000 Pageviews – I did get more than 2000 sessions, and 4000 pageviews. PASS
- Post 20 New Posts This Month – I didn’t post 20 times. FAIL
- Create A Resource Page – I didn’t create a resource page. FAIL
- Make $50 – I WAS SO CLOSEEEE! But I didn’t get to $50 this month. FAIL
Goals For January:
- Get 3000 Sessions and 5000 Pageviews
- Post 14 New Posts This Month (2 per week)
- Create A Resource Page
- Make $100
So that’s how I made money my second month blogging!
Do you have an income report on your blog? Let me know, I’d love to take a look (I’m a sucker for a good income report)