I am so excited to be completing my TWELFTH income report of 2016 & 24th blog traffic and income report of all time!
I am still in disbelief that I am now in my 2nd year of treating my blog like a biz.
If you are new here…I started my blog in April of 2012 but just messed around with it for the first 2 years while I was soaking up as much info as I could about the art of blogging, marketing, & other biz strategies.
I am so happy with how this accountability study and goal mastery went this year. I have decided to keep it going for the year 2016. I really admire those that are making an income online and disclosing how they are doing it.
When I am writing my blogging articles, I am constantly saying to myself… what would I have wished I had found when I was learning who to blog? This is the basis and mindset of ever blogging or business post I write. I want this to help you succeed!
I am sharing my wins and my losses and let me tell you. I learned a lot last month! My blog suffered a bit.
If you haven’t seen my last monthly income of 2015, you can check it out Blog Traffic and Income Report: How I made $2,096.42 in November.
Accountability is key with this.
It isn’t hard, but it is about focusing your attention. It is also about creating new daily habits to make sure you are using your time wisely to take care of your tasks while soaking up blogging 101.
This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. It helps to keep this blog up and running. I appreciate your support.
Check out all my Blog Traffic and Income Reports page!
I like to start each blog income report with how I got started as a professional blogger. I was determined to make money doing what I loved to do while having more hours every day of ME time.
Way back in December of 2014, I took some advice from Bonnie at Hobbytohot.com who said to create your annual goal $$. She says to then work backward to help figure out your monthly goals to achieve your large goal for the year.
Since my large goal was $15,000 for the year 2015, I was able to work in the order she suggested to help create smaller manageable goals every month.
I began to hear this reverse engineer method over and over in podcasts that I enjoy listening to.
So I started to pay attention.
A couple of the podcasts that I love and subscribe to are:
By reverse engineering your goals you make them more plausible. In fact, when you write your goals down on paper you are 42% more likely to accomplish them.
I began by breaking my income goals into months, but you can take it a step further and break it down to weeks or even by day. That is if you want to get really specific.
Months works best for me with what I am doing.
I am excited to say that the info I have been presenting this year has been inspiring others to start a blog or take their blog to the next level which is the best feeling in the world for me!!!!!
My main goal when starting these income reports was to show others (in a very specific way) how they can make money online. Especially those that are just starting out and trying to figure the whole blogging thing out. I remember how intimidating and confusing it was when I first started.
The process of really tracking my earnings along with my blogging expenses has been so helpful. It is quite eye opening to the amount of change that can occur within a month!
After switching to BlueHost as my web host at the end of April 2015, I am happy to report that my site has only crashed once.
I signed up for a 3-year deal where I pay an awesome price with BlueHost. Awesome hosting without killing my blog expense budget. This was not the case when I was hosting with Go Daddy after I started getting more traffic.
Also, did I mention that a lot of my photos from my transfer in hosting didn’t make it?? So now I am manually replacing photos on posts and galleries which can be super tedious work. This is still something I am working on. No fun!
If you want to learn more about the art of blogging (because it is an art form) you should check out my Essential Bloggers Resource Guide to get more details if you are thinking of starting a blog to even just improving the one you already have.
I am really trying to put myself out there to (hopefully) inspire newer bloggers with my current and future monthly blog income reports. I am also doing this to hold myself accountable to continue pushing forward with my income goals for the year.
I have also launched my blog & social media consulting services!!
This Google Hangout session will include a timed session + a pdf printout documenting what was discussed during the session. Stay tuned for an entire page dedicated to this service with testimonials, and check out directly from the site. WORK WITH ME
Another new avenue I am pursuing is called Maven! If you are a fan of Pinterest, you will love maven. It is affiliate marketing in a Pinterest-like setting. You curate board with your favorite products, share it, and make commissions when people buy.
Moving on to the details from December…
This month was spent trying to regain my footing. I had the privilege of working with a couple more reputable companies through IZEA.
My traffic increased a bit from November but not by much. My plan is to get more active again with my posting schedule to boost my traffic. That is going to be my main focus in 2017.
Here are a few investments/tools I started utilizing (once my blog was making $1,000 per month).
Now that I am making a decent side income each month, I don’t see any harm in freeing up my time to finish my ebook and work on more DIY projects.
- I’ve been using the social media automation tool Meet Edgar for two years now and I swear this was such a great move! I am saving so much more time every day by not having to be on my phone scheduling posts on FB, Twitter, and Linkedin. It is a little bit of a splurge costing me $49/month. But this is a solid investment because it frees up my time to other things.
- Another tool I began using is Tailwind. I heard about it from the fabulous Blogger, Erika, over at Olyvia.co. Since working with Tailwind and joining more group boards within my niche, I have increased my traffic substantially.
- LeadPages is another tool I implemented in 2016. I finally splurged for $37.00 to have access to lead boxes, pages, and other amazing features to automate my email sequences better.
- I used to use MailChimp and now I use Convertkit to send out my email newsletters. The pricing is the same for my email list size.
I didn’t realize how much I could still learn from Pinterest when I felt like I had a really good handle on it with my following when it was at 5,600k. I thought I had a lot of traffic coming to my site daily. But this article taught me so much and showed me Tailwind.
This automation tool is geared specifically towards Pinterest and Instagram. Now I have over 38k followers and I am gaining hundreds weekly.
That was pretty exciting. I attribute a lot of my success to Tailwind. Since 65% of my traffic comes from Pinterest, it was so it was worth the investment. I can schedule an unlimited amount of pins for weeks ahead of time with their easy interface. I love setting it and forgetting it! Getting back to life to be present in the moment.
Best. Thing. Ever.
** You can try Tailwind for free and schedule up to 100 pins before they ask you to pay $15/mth for 400 pins a month. Or you can pay $119 for the year for unlimited pins.
Since this platform is my largest traffic referrer, it was worth the investment and I paid for the annual membership.
I am happy to announce that AdThrive has been my ad network now for 5 months. I am very happy with them and the income I am now making!
I am happy to report that not only has my daily increased by over 7% of what it was on The Blogger Network. I did enjoy my time with TBN however, some of their ads were slow to load and also distracting.
I am happy that my site looks less cluttered and my income is growing + the techs with AdThrive are super helpful and they respond very quickly to any issues I may be having.
It was hard to leave The Blogger Network which is now called Monumetric because I was doing well with them too. However, the ads they placed on my site that converted really well were the most annoying to deal with on my site.
Both Monumetric and AdThrive are ad management companies built by bloggers.
They help bloggers make more money with their own ad placement techniques. These ads will be implemented for you!!! Say wha? Yep. I don’t ever have to worry about placing or managing ads on my site again! IT’S AMAZING!!
Here are the traffic analytics stats from November…
Here are the traffic analytics stats from December…
- My page views decreased by +3,980 in December.
- The average time on my site stayed the same from the previous month.
- My bounce rate increased by -1.23% (which is not a great thing)
Sharing a more in-depth look at my stats! You are welcome.
My top traffic referrers for the month…
Pinterest is the still the best social media traffic driving tool and I really trying to create more compelling images that people will want click on and hopefully pin to their boards. I took a lot of time at the beginning of this year to brand my Pinterest boards to give them a cohesive design. I also organized them in a way that made sense.
After reading Affiliates for Bloggers by Tasha Agurso, I started implementing skimlinks & Affiliate Window into some of my posts. Now I get to work with brands like Etsy, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Target, & Wayfair.
Here is the breakdown of how I did…
- AdThrive ………………………………….$991.00
- IZEA ………………………………………….$775.00
- Content.ad ……………………………….$133.70
- Amazon ……………………………………$186.42
- BlueHost Affiliate ……………………$75.00
- Affiliate Window ……………………..$28.49
- Adsense ……………………………………$11.03
- Day Designer Affiliate …………….$8.82
I purchased the EpicBlog Editorial Planner in December 2014 and have been staying true to my income and expense tracking for this year. I really wanted to see if this would make a difference in what was just my hobby and has helped me make this a lucrative side business. This has helped me tremendously.
I seriously love this calendar and planner. I bring it with me pretty much everywhere OR a notebook to write in if an idea strikes. I love how organized I am staying while planning my posts months in advance. What a relief it is to have things pre-planned!
This planner has helped me go from making $400 on my blog in one month to over $33k in one year as a side hustle in 2015.
I highly recommend it if you are ready to get serious about blogging. The creator Regina is absolutely fantastic. I have learned so much about blogging and business from her!
Check out my I also have some great blog post brainstorming tips. for more info on other helpful resources.
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