Second month of making money from blogging!
Hi, friends! I’m just as excited to write this month’s income report as I was to write last month’s report. It was an increase from last month, which I am very happy about. There’s always some fear that one day my traffic sources will disappear. And even though I am still experiencing very humble traffic numbers, the more it increases, the greater that fear becomes. On the flipside, the more it increases, the greedier I get for more LOL.
Check out my other income reports:
For those of you who are new to blogging or somehow just stumbled across this post, you must be thinking that it’s so weird to publish an income report for the whole wide Internet to see! And trust me, I used to feel the same way. And still kind of do to an extent.
So, why do I choose to publish income reports?
I find it super informative to read other bloggers’ income reports because everyone does things differently. It gives me lots of insight on how I can increase my traffic in ways I haven’t thought of yet, which will (hopefully) increase my income, too. Although my income reports are very small compared to the successful bloggers out there, my hope is that I am more relatable to those just starting out in the blogging world. Reading an income report titled “How I Made $100,000 last month from blogging!” is pretty hard to relate to if you’re just starting out. But, my income reports show how I started monetizing from the first month I did so, which hopefully makes the path to blog monetization a little clearer.
Not only do I find reading other bloggers’ income reports super informative, but I also find it inspiring. Depending on who wrote it and how they wrote it (let’s be honest, there are some pretty bad/fake income reports out there), reading how others make money from blogging motivates me and encourages me to work hard so hopefully one day I’m making a full-time income from this. If, in any way, you are inspired by reading my income reports, I am a happy camper.
Affiliate links may be used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.
A little bit about this blog:
If you take a look at my archives, you’ll notice that I’ve actually been at this blogging thing for quite some time now. I’ve been blogging for a little over two and a half years, but I didn’t start taking it seriously until recently, which is why this is only my second income report.
Making money from this blog has been a long time coming and I wish I had started monetizing from the start – who knows where I’d be now if I had! But, I guess better late than never!
If you would like to read more about my blogging journey and how Instagram is a waste of time, head on over to my first income report: July 2018.
August 2018 Income Report & Traffic
Just as I did in July’s report, I’m reporting my income on an earned basis (even though this money hasn’t hit my bank account yet). I know it’s more “real” to report on a received basis because that would be money that I actually have, but the traffic I’m reporting for August corresponds to the income earned in August.
If I reported the income I received in any given month, it would correspond to my traffic for the previous month (or maybe even earlier as not all programs pay out within a month). Thus, I am choosing to report on an earned basis, even though the money hasn’t hit my bank account yet. This may change in the future as my income (hopefully) increases, but I will always disclose how I am reporting it. Also, I will not include any income I’ve earned from Instagram because that is not directly related to my blog.
August 2018 Traffic: 5,639 users and 10,884 page views
In July, I set a goal to hit 10,000 page views in August and YAY I REACHED IT!!
Here are my stats from July for comparison:
So, what did I do to almost DOUBLE my page views?
In July’s income report, I listed a few things I was planning to do in August to increase my traffic. Did I actually do them?
1. Dive into Billionaire Blog Club
For those of you that may not know, Billionaire Blog Club (BBC) is pretty much the holy grail of blogging courses/bundles. It’s run by Paul Scrivens, who’s definitely found success in the blogging world, so I’d consider it very reputable.
Unfortunately, I can’t say that I really dove into it. I’ve gone through some of the courses and looked around the site a bunch, but I haven’t really implemented any of his strategies into this blog. Why? Honestly, I haven’t had the time. I know that sounds like a poor excuse, like I should really make the time if I really want to succeed.
Even though I haven't gone through BBC/DTC yet, I really enjoy reading Paul's emails! I definitely recommend getting on his email list ASAP! I first got onto his email list by going through his FREE 12-Day Blogging Bootcamp. I absolutely loved it and even if you just go through the Bootcamp without moving forward with BBC/DTC, you'll learn a whole lot! Sign up here for FREE!
Also, despite how long I’ve been blogging, it’s only been a short while that I’ve been REALLY blogging, so I don’t really know how to manage my time in the best way. And what I mean by REALLY blogging is doing all the small things that blogging includes besides creating content. I’m still not the most organized when it comes to promoting my content across multiple platforms, it takes me longer than I’d like to create pins for each post, and there’s so much more – there’s just A LOT of stuff to do.
I’m always amazed when I see people (I was about to say women, but not only women blog!) that have full-time jobs and families to take care of and they are just hustling the shit out of this blogging thing. The only thing I have to worry about is a full-time job. I have the evenings and weekends free and I still feel like I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do for this blog.
Sorry, I went off on a bit of a tangent there and you probably didn’t want to listen to me whine about not having enough time in the day when literally everyone in the world feels like they don't have enough time in the day. Anyways, my point of this section was that no, I did not get to dive into BBC nearly as much as I wanted to, but I hope to do so in September.
2. Write more content that people want to read
I totally think I accomplished this during the month of August. I was much more proactive about thinking whether or not someone would want to read the post I was writing and if it is solving a problem for people.
For example, I wrote a post titled “Best Drugstore Makeup Under $5” and another one titled “Best Makeup – My Holy Grails.” Don’t you think those posts would help people decide what makeup to try? I sure hope so! Because that was my intent LOL.
My Sephora VIB Sale Recommendations also did really well. And surprisingly, it killed it on Google search. Unintentionally killed the SEO on that post! It got about 1,100 views since I posted it (Aug. 23) until the day the sale ended (Sept. 3), which is really good for me. It also took less than a day for that post to rank on the first page of Google for a handful of relevant keywords, so I’d say it was a success.
It’s funny thinking back on when I was putting together that Sephora post because I was unsure how well it would do and thought it may have been a waste of time. (My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale post was pretty much a fail and it was essentially the same thing just different store.) It takes some time for both Google and Pinterest to pick up your post, so I thought it wouldn’t be able to pick up enough traction by the time of the sale. But, I guess it did alright! I also suppose Sephora just might be way more popular than Nordstrom with my readers.
Learning what kind of posts to write and what resonates with my audience is still definitely a huge learning process. I would like to say that I’ve gotten past writing for me and now I’m thinking much more about what my audience would want, but there is definitely still a lot to learn in that area, too.
3. Continue Working Hard on Pinterest
My goodness it seems like the work on Pinterest never ends. I’m not paying for a scheduler like Tailwind right now because I just don’t want to dish out the extra cash. So, I’m doing everything manually and it’s a lot of effort.
Along with the amazing Pinteresting Strategies e-book by Carly Campbell, I’ve watched all of the videos in the BBC Pinterest Course and have read Paul’s Pinterest Manual. (It used to be in BBC, but is now no longer available. Instead, I recommend taking his FREE Pinterest Boot Camp.)
So, up until early August, I was solely using Carly’s strategies from her book, which really did help me in the month of July. But, being the greedy and impatient person that I am, I wanted more and I wanted it faster. I tried to implement some of Paul’s strategies from the BBC Pinterest Course into my Pinterest game. I don’t know if this was good or bad, or if I confused Pinterest, but I didn’t grow on Pinterest nearly as much as I wanted to in August. I know Pinterest is still freaking out on us so that also may have played a part.
However, I did manage to get about 5,000 page views from Pinterest in August, which is almost double of what I got in July, so I guess something might be working. And that isn’t too shabby for someone that hasn’t been Pinteresting for very long.
4. Try to Do Better with my Email List
Okay, this one I THINK I did a good job at. For those of you on my email list, tell me what you think!
Instead of sending an email every time I post something new, I switched to sending a weekly newsletter on Sunday mornings. I’ve been posting 2-3 times a week so I thought an email after every post might be too much and seem a bit spammy.
I’ve also tried to give my emails a more personal feel by writing about what’s happening in my life outside of the blog. I know I can still work on this part a lot more, but hopefully this is going well so far. I’d imagine it’s better than just an email pushing you to read my new post.
Have I done anything else?
1. Affiliate marketing
I don’t know if you noticed in my monthly income numbers above, but I made two affiliate sales in August! Yeah, it’s like a few dollars big whoop, but hey, it’s a start! And it sure as hell is better than ZERO affiliate sales in July.
But, I didn’t do anything differently. I didn’t do any affiliate-specific posts or anything to encourage my readers into making purchases with my affiliate links. I suppose just a larger amount of traffic means there are just more people who may buy something so the chances of making a sale goes up.
2. Stopped spending so much time on Instagram
I spent a significantly less amount of time on Instagram in August than I did in July. I touched upon how Instagram brings practically no traffic to my blog in my July income report, so naturally as I’m prioritizing getting traffic to my blog, Instagram drops down on my priority list.
Honestly, it’s been a few months since I’ve even enjoyed being on Instagram. I have met some really cool people on the platform and I do enjoy the occasional scroll through my home feed. But, it started to feel like I NEEDED to be engaging with everyone, liking everything, and commenting a shit ton just so people would do the same on my posts. My engagement on Instagram has suffered from my lack of presence on the platform, but I just don’t really care right now. My focus is on the blog.
So, what’s next?
I really wanted to set my goal for September at 20,000 page views, but I know that’s a REALLY lofty goal. So, my realistic goal is 15,000 page views which equals to an average of 500 page views per day. I’ve only hit 500 page views a day once before and I’m in a bit of a slump right now (I'd like to think Labor Day weekend and back to school time is to blame), so 15,000 page views this month might even be a lofty goal LOL. As for income, more than August hopefully! I would like to be making $2,000/month by the end of the year, though, so maybe $500 for September is a good goal - but, it would be crazy to think I'd get that just from Adsense with the amount of traffic I get (even if I do reach 15,000 or 20,000), so if I don't make a ridiculous amount of affiliate sales or do a sponsored post, I probably won't hit that goal.
How will I accomplish my goal?
1. Stay calm
Different from last month, I don’t have a clear plan that I know if executed, my page views in September will increase, which may be a bad thing, but we shall see. I’m taking it one day at a time right now and trying not to get caught up in the numbers. Traffic really is a roller-coaster ride and it drives me insane! I'm the type of person that will have Google Analytics open in a tab all day and will watch the real-time stats every 5 minutes. I know, it's bad. Every day, I have to tell myself not to get down on myself if my traffic is below what I would like. Actually, Justin tells me this when I’m complaining to him all day.
2. Create more content that people want to read
I have a bunch of posts lined up that I’m hoping will do really well on Pinterest, which will bring me more traffic faster than Google. Thus, these posts will be written for Pinterest – the kind of posts that intrigue you enough while scrolling through that you click on.
I will not write any posts specifically for Google SEO, but if I end up ranking on Google for some relevant keywords, bonus!
I need to have a bit of a brag here: As of right now (Sept. 5), my latest post ColourPop Jelly Much Shadows Review is ranked #1 on the first page of Google when you search “colourpop jelly much shadow(s) review” YAY. I didn’t even write for SEO with that post. *shrugs* Time definitely plays a factor though, as my post might be the first blog post about it since it’s a new product. We’ll see how it goes as time goes on.
Other than creating more content, I’m just going to continue what I’m doing on Pinterest right now and I’m sure it’ll keep growing. I think I have a fair grasp of how Pinterest works at this point and I think my Pinterest strategy is alright as well, so I’m confident that as I put out more solid posts on Pinterest, more traffic will follow.
I am going on a trip to Japan in early October, though, so I may need to try Tailwind out at the end of this month. I really don’t want to spend extra money on anything when this blog isn’t making that much yet, but Tailwind has a free trial period so I’ll try it out. Or, I could ask Justin to do my pinning for me, but that’s a lot to ask of him LOL.
4. Sponsored Posts?
I have joined a few networks that connects bloggers to brands for sponsored post opportunities, but we’ll see how that goes. I'd really like to do sponsored posts that are relevant to my niche. It's always so weird when I come across a post that seems random compared to the blogger's other posts and then I see the disclosure that it's a sponsored post. I definitely don't want to take on any sponsored posts that are useless to my audience just for the money. However, I don't even have any lined up right now so I don't have to worry about whether or not it's relevant to my audience LOL.
And just like last month, I still don’t plan on learning affiliate marketing yet LOL. I could definitely use some Amazon sales before I get kicked out of their program, but I want to learn how to do affiliate marketing in a way that is beneficial to my readers. I don’t want to just push products at you guys! And knowing myself, I definitely won’t get to it this month. There’s no room in my brain for it right now.
And with that my friends, I will end this income report. When I starting writing this, I had every intention of making it a short post. Just straight to the point. But, here we are, almost 3,000 words later. Where do the words even come from? I apologize for this very lengthy income report and it’s probably much longer than most income reports out there, right? But, if you made it all the way to the end, you are the real mvp here.
Okay, I’ll stop now. I wanted to give you more of an outro and do my usual ‘leave me a comment, I’d love to know what you think! blah blah blah’ thing, but you’re probably hella sick of me already, so I’ll really stop now.
Check out my other income reports:
Thank you for reading and until next time! <3
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