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Blog Income Report: April 2017

Welcome to my blog traffic and income report for the month of April 2017. Publishing my blog’s traffic and income report each month forces me to analyze in-depth my statistics as well as my readers’ behavior, via Google Analytics.

This is my fourth blog traffic and income report for 2017. You can also read my previous blogging income reports here.

April 2017 – Traffic Report

My blog’s traffic on April dipped even lower than March’s traffic. This dip is not surprising since I decided to take the month off. I only published 2 articles and I was off of social media for a long couple of weeks. None of these practices are beneficial for blog traffic. Also, Google’s algorithms are always crawling for fresh, off-the-press, new content to show in organic search, and by not publishing nearly one-quarter of posts I should have posted in a month, I hurt my ranking.

I have been also spending a fair amount of time reconfiguring and adjusting the blog’s layout since I switched to the Darling Theme, from Restored 316.

Total March Pageviews: 29,639

How I made $643 blogging - Blog Income Report April 2017

Acquisition Overview

My top 3 acquisition channels in April were: social, direct, and organic search. 

How I made $643 blogging - Blog Income Report April 2017

1. Social – 64%: my top social referrers are Pinterest (98%), Facebook (2%).

Pinterest continues to be my biggest traffic referrer. I use the scheduling tool Tailwind.  It allows me to schedule my pins months in advance, freeing up a lot of my time. I am signed up for their yearly plan, with unlimited monthly pins.

The following 5 articles are ranking high on Pinterest, and therefore are bringing the most traffic.

  1. Chalkboard Lettering in 5 Easy Steps
  2. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Baby Shower
  3. Weekly Meal Planner – Free Printable
  4. DIY Footprints in The Sand Baptism Favors
  5. Free Printable Password Keeper

Click on any of the posts that may interest you. You might learn a thing or two from them if you pay close attention to their structure, copywriting, photography, Pinterest image, etc.

Takeaway: I published Chalkboard Lettering in 5 Easy Steps almost 2 years ago, but it did not start ranking until December of 2016. The post has brought me a good amount of Pinterest traffic in the last 6 months. I believe that the Pinterest image I created for the article is very ‘catchy and enticing’.

2. Direct – 18%: this is traffic that can come from many sources that Google can’t quite pinpoint. These are, mostly clicks on links in my newsletters, readers that have bookmarked my website (or a post), shortened URLs (I mostly use them for social media), and even clicks from mobile apps like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Takeaway: my direct traffic has seen a slight increase since I switched to ConvertKit as my newsletter provider. Right now, my newsletter goes out twice a month to 2,000+ subscribers. My CTR (click-through rate) is much higher than it was when I used MailChimp. I had a little over 2,000 subscribers when I was with Mailchimp, but I cleaned out about 3/4 of them that had not opened or read my newsletters in over 6 months.  When I switched to ConvertKit, I only imported around 500 subscribers.

I decided to experiment with ConvertKit’s feature of sending out an incentive in exchange for a subscription. So, I created and embedded a sign-up form in my Weekly Meal Planner post, since this is a high performing post that attracts a lot of readers because of its free printable. This has been a game-changer for me.

As of today, I have gained 848 subscribers (from this form only!) since I embedded the form on 2/26, and the beauty of it is that they have been able to receive their free printable directly in their inbox without me having to do a thing. This definitely the best feature to date from ConvertKit.

3. Organic – 10.5%: organic traffic is my favorite type of traffic. Although I can not pinpoint the keywords people are using, due to Google’s ‘not provided’ keyword, I am able to see which post is ranking high, by adding the secondary dimension ‘landing page’ on my GA.

How I made $643 blogging - Blog Income Report April 2017

The top 3 landing pages were the same as they were in March.

  • DIY Wood Covers for Wire Shelving → not only Pinterest is sending traffic to this amazing closet makeover, but also search engines are ranking this article #1.
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Baby Shower → when searching for ‘twinkle twinkle little star baby shower’ on Google’s search bar, this article ranks #1.
  • Free Printable Password Keeper → when searching for ‘free printable password organizer’, this article ranks #4. I wasn’t quite sure how to look for this on Google. I know the title of my article and my keywords (free printable password keeper), but I don’t really know what people are typing into the search bar. So, I used Google’s suggestions to find it organically as others do. After typing the words free printable password, the suggestion was ‘free printable password organizer’ and I found my article still ranking #4.
Blog Income Report: How I made $2,053

Takeaway:  I have learned many lessons from all different kinds of posts I’ve written. I ALWAYS go back and read again those posts that are ranking well on Google through an organic search. Here is what I learned from these three particular posts:

A detailed tutorial is always a winner: This applies to both, the Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower and the DIY Wood Covers articles. Tip: Go the extra mile, take amazing pictures, and link to all possible resources for your readers to recreate the project (hello, passive income!)

SEO: I use the free version of the plugin Yoast for SEO. I never hit publish until I have a ‘green light,’ meaning until my keywords are plugged in correctly within the article and all alt tags, meta description, title, etc. All I know about SEO I learned from the Elite Blog Academy. Before I joined, I thought I knew a lot about search engine optimization. I was so wrong.

Traffic April 2017: 29,639 pageviews

How I Made $653 in April 2017

In April my blog’s income came from 3 sources: ad networks, affiliate sales, and direct sales. I did not earn any income through sponsored campaigns (private advertisers). This is a major factor that can make it or break it in an income report. I have not had landed any privately sponsored campaign this year, but I am happy that I still generate income with the blog. Below, is the breakdown of my income sources for April 2017.

1. Ad Networks

  • Monumetric – $273.53

Once I reached 50K monthly pageviews, I was able to join Monumetric (f.k.a The Blogger Network). I dropped Google AdSense, and I am happy with Monumetric. Not only they take care of all the ads and tags on my site, but I also get paid twice a month.

My RPM in April was $5.36. So, even though my pageviews were very low, I managed to earn almost a little over $5 per every 1,000 pageviews.

Takeaway: in some cases, the number of page views does not have a direct impact on revenue since RPM depends on the type of ad that is being shown at the time of the reader’s visit. It is the content and the reader’s interest in what defines the ads that appear on a page. The beauty of organic visits lies in the fact that those readers land on a particular post because they’re looking for that particular information. This triggers ads that are relevant to those organic readers, and therefore there’s a higher possibility for them to click.

2. Affiliate Sales

A big part of my affiliate income this month was through Bluehost. Bluehost is my web hosting company, I recommend their services to all those who want to start a blog.

Takeaway: my affiliate income decreased for obvious reasons, since I did not publish enough articles this month, and I did not promote on social media channels for over three weeks.

3. Direct Sales

In May of 2016, I opened an online shop on my blog, and I am slowly adding new products when my ideas and projects become solid. My number one seller is my footprints in the sand poem, thanks to this amazing DIY post which has been ranking really high on Google, Pinterest, and Hometalk.

If you are interested in learning how to create original printables for sale or just for fun, I highly recommend this very user-friendly software for PC only. I promise you will be able to draw and design in a week or less. (Here is the link to the downloadable version. No shipping. Just download, install, and start using it immediately.)

Takeaway: My two viral posts with paid printables (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Baby Shower and DIY Footprints in the Sand Baptism Favors) have made me the most sales. With that in mind, I need to increase the number of products in my shop and tie them in with a relatable post (or vice-versa). I have not taken enough time to do this, mostly because I am also busy creating custom orders that come through my Etsy shop.

Total Blog Earnings April: $653.00

And this concludes my April’s blog income and traffic report. I hope you can take my experience and put any of my tactics into practice, to help you grow your traffic and income too! See you next time!

Happy Blogging!

Flavia
How I made $643 blogging - Blog Income Report April 2017

Have you started writing your own blog yet? Are you willing to take that leap of faith and start writing about the things you are passionate about and make money from home? Follow my Bluehost step-by-step tutorial and get started. You too can earn money by blogging your passion!! But, HEADS UP: you can only generate earnings if you have a self-hosted blog. So, make sure to check out my tutorial.

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