This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.
Welcome to my first monthly blog income and traffic report.
I have debated whether or not to publish my income, for the sole reason of not wanting to over-share. But in an intangible way, blogging has been such an enriching experience in my life that the pros of sharing my income and how I am able to earn money online, outweigh the cons.
Many bloggers that I channel, share their blog income reports and their journey has truly inspired me. It has helped me focus on the big picture, set my priorities straight, and map out my own blogging journey. This is a pay-it-forward chain. As a matter of fact, I read this description in almost every other blogger’s income report.
Publishing income and traffic reports help us analyze the things that work and those that don’t. I am constantly checking my Google analytics, and I am also aware of my earnings as they happen, but without a report or a monthly assessment, some details may slip through the cracks. Therefore, I think it’s a good idea to evaluate where I am at with my blog, in order to know exactly where I am going.
A couple of days ago, I published my traffic and income report for my first two years blogging. Both years (2015 and 2016) are compiled in one post. I must warn you: it is a long post, but I thought it was necessary to share those years in order to have enough data to establish a comparison.
Here are the numbers:
- 2015 Total Income: $176.42 (an average of $14.70 per month)
- 2016 Total Income: $3,989 (an average of $332.42 per month) + $1,075 in free products
- 2017 January Income: $1,172 in one month
January 2017 – Traffic Report
January of 2017 marked a huge milestone in my blogging journey, and that was reaching over 100,000 monthly pageviews. I wrote an entire post about this, you can read it here. With 120,716 pageviews, this was my first month blogging where my earnings reached four figures. That’s a big deal over here!
On January, I reaped all the benefits of my Hometalk feature on December 30th, 2016. I am a little afraid that my traffic for February won’t be the same, especially because is a short month 3 days can make a difference of approximately 9,000 pageviews.
My top 3 channels are: social, direct, and referral.
1. Social – 66%: of all social media platforms, Pinterest is my #1 referrer. I have been using the scheduling tool Tailwind since February last year which allows me to schedule my pins months in advance. That frees up a lot of my time, and I can concentrate more on writing content. I signed up for their monthly plan $15/month which allows me to schedule 400 monthly pins, but this year I will be switching to their yearly plan, with unlimited monthly pins.
Takeaway: Pinterest is a powerful platform to drive traffic. If I am able to drive 99% of my social traffic trough Pinterest, with only an average of 400 pins per month, imagine what I could do with unlimited pins. My friend Meredith suggests I pin 100 per day, and I take her word for it.
2. Direct: 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, these do not pass referrer information.
Takeaway: sending out newsletters boosts your traffic. I have been slacking in that area, mostly because I dreaded my Mailchimp dashboard and templates. On February 6th, I switched from Mailchimp to ConvertKit. I sent out my first newsletter with ConvertKit today, and the opening rate was much higher than it was with Mailchimp. I will give you an update in 30 days!
3. Referral: I am so grateful for several fellow bloggers that have shared my content in their own posts. You guys rock! Those links have sent lots of traffic my way and therefore I have gained new readers and subscribers. These are examples of posts that have caught their attention:
- Bathroom Closet Organization – Free Printable Labels
- Free Printable Password Keeper
- Under the Kitchen Sink Organization
Takeaway: I have learned many lessons from all different kind of posts I’ve written. I ALWAYS go back and read those that have been shared over and over again. Here is what I learned from these three particular posts: people love free stuff, and people love free printable stuff. And the fact that my free printables are all and instant download makes a whole world of a difference.
Also – although this is more niche centered- people love dollar store hacks. Who doesn’t love to get a lot of bang for their buck?
Total Blog Traffic January 2016: 120,716 Pageviews
How I Made $1,172 in January 2017
On January my income came from 3 sources:
1. Ad Networks
- Monumetric – $290.93
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. Their payment threshold is $10, and sometimes I reach that threshold in a day.
My RPM on January was $2.12, very low compared to my RPM on December $3.90 – However, in December I had a huge spike in pageviews with 19,000 of them in one day only which translated into $75 in revenue that day alone.
Takeaway: I will start looking into resources that can help me increase my RPM. Solid bloggers have an average RPM of $10, which means that 100K pageviews alone can bring $1,000 just in Ad Network income.
2. Affiliate Sales
Takeaway: the affiliate sales area is definitely one of my weakest. Mostly because I don’t like to sound like a sellout. I don’t look for the opportunity to insert an affiliate link, I find the opportunity once I write that awesome blog post where I can share links to the products I use. I also like to show (in pictures) that I actually own the product and use it! I wrote the post 10 Clever Ideas to Organize the Kitchen a couple of weeks ago, and I already see in my Amazon Associates stats that people are purchasing these products. I firmly believe it’s happening because of my credibility.
3. Direct Sales
On 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 Pinterest and Hometalk.
- Products – $37.00
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 (this and this) 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 January: $1,171.74
And this concludes my very first blog income and traffic report. 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!
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