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Blog Income Report: March 2017

Welcome to my blog traffic and income report for the month of March 2017. Committing to publish 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 third blog traffic and income report for 2017.

Click here to read my previous blogging income reports.

March 2017 – Traffic Report

My blog’s traffic in March was the lowest it has been in a year. Compared to the previous month, my blog’s traffic decreased by 33%. I let my guard down and I only published 3 articles, which is not beneficial for ranking and, therefore, blog traffic.

But it wasn’t all-time wasted. As a matter of fact, this month I had the highest income since I started tracking all earnings from blogging, social media influencing, and related products and services. I spent a couple of weeks of the month creating a few products for a company that hired me to manage their YouTube channel. This has been an amazing opportunity for me as a social media influencer.

Also, on March 23rd, I purchased and installed my new blog’s design theme Darling Theme, from Restored 316. The installation was easy and the transition through 90% of the design was seamless. However, I did have to make changes in a few of my sidebar widgets, menus, and I have been slowly changing all the featured images on each post.

Although I am not proud of the drop on my blog’s pageviews, I accept that – like in all businesses- there are highs and lows and I am learning to roll with it. Discovering my new skills in setting up and managing a company’s YouTube channel has been the highlight of my month.

Total March Pageviews: 34,714

Blog Income Report: How I made $2,053

Acquisition Overview

My top 3 acquisition channels were the same as in February: social, direct, and organic. 

Blog Income Report: How I made $2,053

1. Social – 67%: my top social referrers are Pinterest (97%), and Facebook (3%).

Pinterest continues to be my main blog 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 6 articles keep ranking high (or are starting to rank high) on Pinterest, and therefore are bringing the most traffic.

Click on any 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: by taking a look at this particular stat, I noticed how a freshly pressed article starts to rank on Pinterest. This was an article that I wrote with a clear goal in mind: provide a solution to a problem.  This is one of the many lessons I learned from Ruth Soukup and EBA.

Side Note: EBA is short for Elite Blog Academy. I took this course last year, and it is by far the best investment I have made in blogging. If you are interested in signing up for this life-changing course, I recommend you to get on the waiting list since they only open once a year in the spring. But you can sign up today, and you will receive AHmazing free blogging resources sent to you.

Elite Blog Academy

2. Direct – 16%: 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 a little over 1,300 subscribers. My 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. So, I when 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 747 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.

3. Organic – 10.5%: last month I was excited to see some organic traffic come to the blog. 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.

Blog Income Report: How I made $2,053

The top 3 landing pages were:

Blog Income Report: How I made $2,053
  • DIY Wood Covers for Wire Shelving
  • 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 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 March 2017: 34,714 pageviews

How I Made $2,053 in March 2017

In March 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 for me at the moment. Just two sponsored campaigns could have added at least $400 to my total income.

But, I am really excited to have earned over $2K. Below, is the breakdown of my income sources for March 2017.

1. Ad Networks

  • Monumetric – $207.36

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 March was $5.97. This was a big improvement compared to my past RPM’s that averaged $3.00. So, even though my page views were low (the lowest they’ve been in a year!), I managed to earn almost $6 per every 1,000 pageviews. Here is the formula really quick (numbers don’t lie 😉 ):

(34,714 pageviews / 1000 ) * $5.97 RPM = $207.24

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 interests that define 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

Once again, a big part of my income this month was thanks to my affiliation with Bluehost. Bluehost is my web hosting company, I recommend their services to all those who want to start a blog.

  • Bluehost – $525.00
  • Share-A-Sale – $66.00
  • Amazon Associates: $38.00
  • Others: $340.00 ($318 for selling one product alone!)

Takeaway: never underestimate the power of an affiliate campaign. I spent 5 days promoting a product that only launches once a year. I promoted on all social media channels as well as on the blog, and through my ConvertKit newsletter. Since this was my first time promoting the product, it took me longer to understand how the campaign worked. But, this commission of $318 was worth the hours I spent promoting.

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 (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.

  • Services – $800.00

Last month, a business conversation arose within a group of friends. One of them asked me if I was willing to help promote her company’s services by building her social media channels, particularly YouTube. I have been working on a few projects and videos with her, and the experience has been very rewarding.

Takeaway: I built more confidence in myself by stepping into a totally new business/niche, as well as managing YouTube. I made extra income this month thanks to my social media, SEO, and web design skills. None of these would have been possible without my experience that has come through my blogging business.

Total Blog Earnings March: $2,053

And this concludes my March’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
Blog Income Report: How I made $2,053

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3 Comments

  1. Hi Flavia! Thanks for your tips! WOW! It’s like you sharing you $ with us, spreading all this valuable info – your directions will be significant for somebody starting their own blog! Speaking about features of ESP, that could grow your subscribers list – I can also recommend analysis of your correspondence like tracking&campagn reports or automated A/B split tests. That could help in sharing info only for needed audience in future. Have you ever thought about upgrading your ESP again? I know Mailerlite, they have lower pricing than CK, still offering even more features: https://www.mailerlite.com/convertkit-alternative

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