I am so excited to be completing my second blog traffic and income report of 2017!! WOOHOOO!!
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 happy with how this accountability study and goal mastery went last year. Although, I will say it was a transitional year for me with the blog. I feel like 2017 is going to be a successful year for Arts & Classy!
I have decided to keep up the accountability going for the year 2017. 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!
If you haven’t seen my last monthly income of 2015, you can check it out Blog Traffic and Income Report: How I made $1,430.12 in January.
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!
What worked in February.
I began redesigning some of my pinnable images in some of my older posts. I am trying to breathe some new life into the posts that were from my hobby blogging days. AKA when I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.
We all have to learn the hard way sometimes. I am very much a trial and error learner. I do best by being thrown into the mix and I learn as I go. The reason being… I have to do things myself to retain the information. That is how I learn best so I can teach others how to do it better.
I would say that was the main things that worked in February to help me get more new eyeballs on my site. I also picked up a couple sponsored blog posts that really helped me financially this month.
What I Learned in February.
I learned that I had….
- Too many plugins slowing down my site speed time.
- Over 30 gigs of data on my site to stay on a shared server.
- My images are too large.
After a lot of troubleshooting on my own, I sought out help from my web host to figure out why my site was acting up and freezing. I then purchased the service WP-Live to help me further with the problem. After a few live chat sessions and one 25 min one on one phone call, my site was being fixed.
My ad network Adthrive also assisted me with some back end stuff like analyzing plugins I could delete. They also added my google analytics UA code to my sites head so that I could eliminate a plugin. Too many Plugins = slower site load time. They rock!
After doing everything I could to improve my site’s speed we learned how much data my site had. Since I am a DIY and come decorating site, photos are essential and I often have a lot of certain projects. I was advised to migrate to a WordPress Virtual Private Server.
I won’t go into all the details but this process took much longer than I was originally told. 5 days of my having my site completely down. Many phone calls to my web host to find out the status of it coming back up again. Finally, on day 5 the site was back up within 30 min of a phone call. YAY! Now I am so happy it has migrated. My site is much faster now. It was worth it in the long run.
Here are the traffic analytics stats from January…
Here are the traffic analytics stats from February…
- My page views decreased by -35,806 in February because of my website issues and 5 days of downtime.
- The average time on my site decreased by -4 secs.
- My bounce rate increased by +.74% (which is not a great thing.)
Sharing a more in-depth look at my stats! You are welcome.
Here is the breakdown of how I did with my income…
- AdThrive ………………………………….$705.00
- Content.ad ……………………………….$59.83
- Amazon ……………………………………$168.29
- BlueHost Affiliate ……………………$150.00
- Affiliate Window ……………………..$21.39
- IZEA ………………………………………….$770.00
- Share-a-Sale …………………………….$7.50
- Skimlinks ………………………………….$5.56
- Linqia ……………………………………….$15.92
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 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 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!
*BONUS* 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 40k 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!!
Check out my I also have some great blog post brainstorming tips. for more info on other helpful resources.
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