What a month, eh?!
It’s definitely been a memorable one, just not in the way I’d prefer. This month has been full of ups and downs—I’m sure you can relate! But, instead of diving into coronavirus stuff (because I think we’re all getting plenty of that), let’s dive into the real purpose of this post…
How to make more money from our blogs!
For years, I have loved following bloggers who share their income reports. It’s been such a cool way to get new, creative income ideas and to understand how lucrative certain streams are for different people. These have provided me with such a wealth of information over the years and I want to be able to provide that for you too.
It also proves that there is great money in blogging, and if you’ve been on the fence about starting a blog, maybe this will give you a little extra boost of motivation to finally launch and start publishing!
What I’m including in these reports is what I’ve actually been paid for this month. Technically that means I earned some of these commissions 2-6 months ago, but I don’t count anything as income until it’s safely inside my bank account. I think this is especially important to point out in this season of life—it may look like I had a great month despite Covid, but I know that I will see it’s impacts in the coming month’s income reports.
The upside is now knowing that I need to spend some extra time budgeting, cutting back on areas that aren’t essential and focusing on the areas that I can still grow—like traffic, which leads to more affiliate and ad revenue (though ad RPM has been VERY low).
At the end of the day, I’m very very grateful for my online business right now even if affiliate rates are dropping or paused all together. The internet is actually BOOMING right now, which isn’t a surprise with everyone home.
In the next few months, I encourage you to focus on creating content that people are searching for in this time of uncertainty—budgeting, recipes, activities to do at home, self-care, wellness and health, etc!
Blog Income Report: March 2020
Gross Income: $11,326.76
Mediavine Ad Network: $1,446.50
- Beautycounter: $4.746.38 (learn more about what it’s like to be a consultant)
- Rewardstyle: $4,416.57 (holiday commissions hit this month)
- Equilibria: $99.12
- Amazon: $434.15
- Bluehost: $170
Blog Collaborations: $0
Blog Shop: $14.04
- Influencer SEO: -$399
- Adobe Creative Cloud: -$56.30
- Zoom: -$16.34
- ConvertKit: -$79
- Developer: -$452.50
- Bluehost: -$32.87
- Flywheel Hosting: -$250
- SEMRush: -$99.95
- Tailwind: -$331.51
- UPS Store (bought stamps): -$70
- Freelance Work: -$519
- Canva: -$12.95
Tailwind fees were more this month because I added an unlimited package for SmartLoop & Tribes that I paid for upfront. Typically, this is much lower!
Net Income: $9,559.79
This was my final number after expenses!
My traffic grew almost 13% this month, with a big help from our gender reveal post (that’s that spike you can see at the beginning of the month). Other than that, traffic was pretty steady, with a slight uptick towards the end of the month.
Top Traffic Sources
My direct traffic was really high this month for one reason—our gender reveal post. It was my top traffic day all month, and maybe ever!
I was also bummed to see that my Pinterest referral traffic didn’t go up this month. I’ve been putting in a ton of work here, but I’ve also read that it can take a few months to really start seeing the traffic come in once you start doing this, so I’ll keep it up and I’m hopeful that I start seeing a change in this referral number over the coming months.
Top 5 Posts in March
These posts are almost all older ones that continue to bring me traffic, ad revenue and affiliate revenue. Last month, I added more affiliate links to these posts and it paid off in a big way!
This is further proof that evergreen content and good SEO are key to building sustainable traffic to your blog.
- DIY Face Serum for Clear & Glowy Skin
- Baby #2: Girl or Boy?
- Owen’s Schedule at 9 Weeks
- 8 Toxic Skincare & Beauty Ingredients to Avoid
- 6 Ways to Show Someone You Love Them
Email List Growth: 34 new subscribers
Womp, womp. As much as I wanted to focus on this last month, it didn’t happen. I keep meaning to make this a bigger priority, but again, this month a lot of my “bigger picture” plans got put on hold since I now have about 2-3 hours a day to work.
One thing I did do, was prune my list. This essentially means that I got rid of all my cold subscribers—people who hadn’t opened an email from me in 90 days and has been on my list for longer than 30 days.
Since many email marketing platforms charge by the number of subscribers you have, getting rid of people who aren’t opening your emails is smart! Your open rate goes up and you’re not paying as much.
I ended up removing a little over 650 cold subscribers, which admittedly is a little sad to see your list dwindle, but, that number is just vanity! If people aren’t opening my emails, I don’t want to spend money on them. I plan to do this once a quarter too. If you have ConvertKit and want to do this, this is the tutorial I used!
As we’re all well-aware, March threw us a freaking curveball. We all know Covid was coming, but I don’t think we all realized just how much it was going to impact our businesses, daily lives, sanity, security, etc.
I still feel like I’m adjusting and figuring out my new normal, but one good thing that came out of this past month was being able to really focus on niching down—something I’ve discussed a lot, but have struggled with it myself.
With less time to work, it also has helped me prioritize things and start thinking about how to prep for maternity leave in July. It feels far away, but also really close!
Like I mentioned, I spent a lot of time working on Pinterest and added unlimited Smart Loops and Tribes to my Tailwind account and I can’t wait to see what that does for traffic after another month or two.
Content: I plan to focus on creating evergreen content and content that people are looking for now. For a long time, I’ve been wanting to niche down to do more and more wellness and clean living content, and this has been the perfect opportunity!
Keep up Pinterest Schedule: Since I don’t have as much time day-to-day to do this, I love that I can schedule all my pins in an hour or two once a week and be set for a while! I continue to make sure that all of the new pins from MY SITE have great descriptions (I don’t worry about descriptions for pins that don’t link back to my site). Sometimes it feels tedious, and it kind of is, but I really think it’s going to be worth it!
The past few days of March, I started seeing more and more clicks and saves on these pins, so I can’t wait to see what happens this coming month! My goal is to be able to continue to grow my traffic, but actually post less often.
Email Sign-Ups: I’ve had an idea for a email challenge freebie that I’m really excited about! My goal is to create it and get it set up this month, and YES, it’s in my niche of health, wellness and clean living!
Overall, it was a great month financially, but a tough one emotionally. It may feel hard to spend time on your blog when it feels like the world is falling apart, but this won’t last forever. Plus, I find that keeping busy is the best way to keep my spirits up and help the time pass feeling like I have control over something. Hang in there friends—we’ll all get through this together!
P.S. If you haven’t joined my list, sign up here and get my Guide to Profitable Blogging and jumpstart your blog!